By Megan Kowalski
Big Night Out Severna Park featured live music, a buffet catered by Garry’s, and a silent auction that offered mostly donated baskets from local businesses, as well as such memorabilia as a helmet autographed by Ray Lewis.
The real attraction of the evening, however, was the opportunity to help a local family in need. The proceeds from the event are supporting the family of Kellie Thompson Shiley, a woman originally from the Annapolis area who passed away this summer.
Shiley died in July from complications after giving birth to twin girls. She participated in Severna Park sports growing up, and attended St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis, where she became an All-American lacrosse player. After setting various records playing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, she married husband, Ryan, and had a son, Landon, now 2 years old.
The event was a way for the community to come together to support the family of a woman who, by all accounts, had a tremendously positive impact on the lives on those she came in contact with. About 200 people came to the event, and proceeds—totaling a little more than $2,000—benefited the Kellie Thompson Shiley Family Trust Fund.
Many attendees heard about the event by being members at Sport Fit, while others were co-workers of Shiley’s mom, Roseanne, who works at Anne Arundel County Medical Center in Annapolis. For whatever reason they came, there was one common thread—a community-wide desire to help a local family.
Mandy Schulz, a Sport Fit fitness consultant, stressed the willingness of the Severna Park community to come together as a support system for a family that many of them didn’t personally know.
“It’s fun to give everyone an opportunity to come out and mingle in a classy environment, and an engaging environment,” she said. “This is a great cause, but also a legitimate reason to come out and help a family in need.”
Schulz said that residents heard about the event, and immediately wanted to come and show their support.
“It’s such a community here,” she said. “I can’t use that word enough.”