Playmate gets serious for a good cause

FLAT ROCK Brittany Binger returned home last week to family, friends and a line of fans eager for an autograph at a fundraisi
May 24, 2010



Brittany Binger returned home last week to family, friends and a line of fans eager for an autograph at a fundraising event.

Binger, 20, Playboy magazine's June 2007 Playmate of the Month, greeted fans Saturday at the Roar at the Rock event hosted by Flat Rock Care Center.

The event, organized by the non-profit group ABATE of Ohio Inc. Region 7, or American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, raised money for the center. Flat Rock Care Center houses more than 30 people with severe or profound mental retardation and helps them become independent.

Binger's cousin had lived in the home for several years, making the fundraiser especially near and dear to her.

"I love children and I want to support the charity," Binger said.

Binger flew into Ohio Wednesday night from Los Angeles, where she now lives. She was able to spend a few days with her family before her week picked up pace. On Friday, she traveled to Columbus for an event and returned back to her hometown for Roar at the Rock. She had another charity event scheduled Saturday night in Columbus.

Her crazy schedule didn't keep her from catching up with old friends.

"It was very nice to see her. She's a down-to-earth girl," said Josh Heath, a friend from Bellevue High School, from which Binger graduated. "(Roar at the Rock) is a good thing. It's going to good causes."

Although there was controversy surrounding Binger's appearance at the care center in the days leading up to the event, Nancy Hull, the center's president and chief executive officer, said she and others at the center were excited Binger was there.

"That's all that really matters to me. (Binger) has a heart for children with mental retardation," Hull said.

"The bishop fully supports the ministry of Flat Rock. We feel this is consistent with the Gospel."

Although fans brought copies of the June Playboy, Binger would not sign them at the event, instead having people put their copies into self-addressed envelopes to be signed and returned later. She did, however, sign copies of one of her publicity portraits for donations to the care center.

About 100 people -- bikers, friends and fans -- participated. T-shirt vendors, food vendors and music provided by Oldies Radio 92.1 The Wolf were all part of the festivities.

"I was scared nobody was going to come," Binger said.

Ken Herman, ABATE coordinator for Seneca County said he believed about $2,000 was raised Saturday.

"The turnout of this event was fantastic. I appreciate Brittany Binger's appearance to make this a success," he said.

The fundraiser ended with a poker run to Tiffin, where people enjoyed live entertainment by Mudflower and food catered by Big Dave's Chicken.

"I'm hoping to put on this event again next year."