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Pictured (from left): Wesley Haines (11 months old) with mother, Briana Fowler: named Cutest Boy; Charlotte Berry (11 months old) with mother, Shelly Berry: named Prettiest Girl; Hayden Myers (11 months old) with mother, Laci Myers: named Chubbiest Baby.

The annual Mt. Tabor Church Big Picnic, Tractor Parade, and Baby Show was held on Saturday, August 12, at Mt. Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge, with lots of sunshine! A total of 32 babies—16 girls and 16 boys—participated in the show. We also had 32 tractors in the Tractor Parade! The youngest baby was two-month‐old Kinsley Davison, daughter of Jenna Fazenbaker from Chewsville, Maryland. There were no twins or triplets in this year’s Baby Show. Wesley Haines, 11-month-old son of Briana Fowler and Jonothyn Haines, traveled the farthest distance from El Paso, Texas! Babies placed in three categories: prettiest girl, cutest boy, and chubbiest baby, in five age categories, from 1 day to 24 months old.

There were only two babies in the one-day to three‐month‐old category. The prettiest girl was Kinsley Davison, two-month-old daughter of Jenna Fazenbaker from Chewsville. The cutest boy was Linden Webb, two-month‐old son of Andrea and Tom Webb from Woodsboro. There were four babies in the four- to six-month-old age category. The prettiest girl was Saylor Sterner, five-month-old daughter of Amber and Zack Sterner from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The cutest boy was Daelan McIlrath, five‐month‐old son of Patrick and Taylor McIlrath from Thurmont. The chubbiest baby was Tyler Domer, six-month-old son of Destiny and Hunter Domer from Rocky Ridge.

In the 7- to 12‐month‐old category, there were 10 babies. Charlotte Berry, 11‐month‐old daughter of Shelly and Tim Berry from Thurmont, was judged the prettiest girl. The cutest boy was Wesley Haines, 11‐month‐old son of Briana Fowler and Jonothyn Haines from El Paso, Texas. Hayden Myers, 11‐month‐old son of Laci and Steven Myers from Cascade, was named the chubbiest baby.

The 13- to 18‐month‐old category had the most registered babies, with 11. Trinity Grace Ruch, 17‐month‐old daughter of Robbie Ruch and Camelia Powell-Ruch from Emmitsburg, was judged the prettiest girl. The cutest boy was Malcolm Hahn from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, 15‐month‐old son of Lara and Brian Hahn, Jr. The chubbiest baby was Cecilia Shorb, 15‐month‐old daughter of Aaron and Rebecca Shorb from Cascade.

In the 19- to 24‐month‐old category, there were five babies. Viella Rice, 23-month-old daughter of Heather Rice from Thurmont, was named the prettiest girl. Alexander Crawford, 20‐month‐old son of Haylee Wolfe from Fairfield, Pennsylvania, was named the cutest boy. The chubbiest baby was Josie Geiger, 23‐month‐old daughter of Chelsea and Donnie Geiger from Emmitsburg.

Please join them again next year on Saturday, August 10, at Mt. Tabor Park. Watch your local newspapers for more details, including registration time.

On August 9, 2023, the Thurmont Lions Club awarded the Nancy Dutterer Service Award to Lion Lisa Riffle (pictured on left). This special award is given to a Lion member who doesn’t stop with their work with the Thurmont Lions Club; they also volunteer with other organizations in Thurmont and Frederick County.

Lion Lisa has been a Lion member since September 2015. She has given her selfless service and demonstrated what it means to be a Lion. She helps at Operation Second Chance (Heroes Ridge), which is a site for Veterans. The Veterans come for a week or two at a time (alone or with their family) at no cost to them. Heroes Ridge is definitely a “heaven” for the Veterans. Congratulations, Lion Lisa Riffle! The Thurmont Lions Club meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Church Street in Thurmont at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit or contact Lion Susan Favorite at [email protected]

On August 9, 2023, the Thurmont Lions Club recognized Lion Nancy Echard (pictured on right) as the recipient of the prestige award “Lion of the Year” for 2023. Lion Nancy has been a Lion member since June 2016, and during this short period of time she has taken on the planning and coordination of various club activities and service projects.

Lion Nancy has gone above and beyond serving as a Lion. She has served as coordinator of the Farmer’s Market table for the club working with Vickie Grinder throughout the summer. She promoted Lionism by letting the community know what we do as a “Lion” and encouraging new membership. Lion Nancy Echard works very hard at selling multiple raffle tickets, as well as supporting many of the Lions functions. Last year, she stepped up into a leadership position as 3rd Vice President. A huge thank you to Lion Nancy Echard for her dedication to Lionism and community service.

New Service Translates Callers’ Text Messages

Frederick County will become the first county in Maryland to offer an enhanced 9-1-1 system. Starting September 1, people who call or text Frederick County’s 9-1-1 center will find a range of improved capabilities, including language translation for over 170 languages and dialects and precise location of mobile phone callers.

“Every person should be able to call 9-1-1 and know that help is on the way,” said Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater. “Improving access for everyone is essential, and this enhanced service is just one of the many ways Frederick County is growing into a more vibrant and inclusive community.”

The Frederick County Division of Emergency Management is partnering with Baltimore-based Convey911 to add a series of capabilities to support the division’s 9-1-1 specialists. With the new capabilities, staff will be able to deliver quicker, more accurate, more inclusive, and accessible 9-1-1 text and voice services to the residents of and visitors to Frederick County during emergency incidents. The improved capabilities include:

Language interpretation for both parties in a 9-1-1 call or text conversation in over 170 languages and dialects, with automatic detection of the language. Census data show over 35,000 Frederick County residents speak a language other than English.

Precise location of mobile devices contacting 9-1-1, in partnership with RapidSOS (latitude/longitude) and NextNav (vertical axis).

Sending text messages requesting location tracking in an emergency to phones that did not directly dial 9-1-1. This can happen in cases of lost people, welfare checks, or when a call is transferred to 9-1-1 from 9-8-8 or a non-emergency line.

Beginning October 1, Frederick County will activate ConveyConnect live interpretation service with over 22,000 public safety trained interpreters available to support over 350 languages and dialects, including sign language (ASL, SSL, SEE, PSE and Hungarian). After the initial roll-out to the 9-1-1 center, the county will make the critical capability available to public safety staff in the field who need to directly communicate with residents and visitors they are serving. Convey911’s patented process to securely and reliably remove language barriers to facilitate service delivery is initially being deployed to 9-1-1 services in Frederick County. Convey911 can also provide the same language translation services to other county agencies as needs are identified

Members of the Lewistown Ruritan volunteered to do a number of projects for the Lewistown Elementary School, prior to the start of school.

The projects included painting the curb in front of the school with yellow paint; disassembling and removing rotted lumber and replacing the boards on four picnic tables; and disassembling and replacing the boards on a bench, so it is usable. 

The Lewistown Ruritan prides itself for being able to provide support for many local community projects.

Pictured from left are Jim Brown, Steve Moser, Frank Warner, Ben Tilley, Jeff Barber, Greg Warner, and Patricia Goff.

Courtesy Photo

Randy Green, Co-chair of the Lewistown Ruritan Education and Scholarship Committee, presented $3,175 in scholarships at the annual picnic to the following students: Natalie Dodson, Penn State – Altoona; Dalton Mount, Waynesburg University; Kaitlyn Schildt, West Virginia University; Phoenix Moore, Costal Carolina; Allison Rippeon, Shippensburg University; Lauren Anderson, Bucknell University; and Michael Staley, University of North Carolina.

 The Lewistown Ruritan Club has been a mainstay of economic support for many community activities. The money to fund these activities and the scholarships is raised by holding its famous chicken BBQs each year from May through October and through funds derived from its golf tournaments.

Pictured from left are Natalie Dodson; Dalton Mount; Kaitlyn Schildt; Phoenix Moore; and Randy Green, Lewistown Ruritan. Recipients not pictured: Allison Rippeon, Lauren Anderson, and Michael Staley.

BSA Scout Troops 270B and 270G hold an annual Junkyard Racing Competition.  Each patrol gets together and builds—out of scraps around their yards—a non-motorized go-kart. They then compete against each other on Elm Street in Thurmont for the fastest go-kart. The winner again this year was Howling Wolves patrol T270G.

Howling Wolves, USA & Wolverine patrol members compete in Junkyard Wars. Courtesy Photo

Members of BSA Scout T270B/G read the 271 names of the enslaved at the Catoctin Furnace cemetery, with a ringing of the bell after each name by Julie El-Tahar of the Thurmont Lions Club.

June 19 is a federal holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  This year the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Thurmont Lions Club and Harriet Chapel Catoctin Episcopal Parish hosted a Juneteenth Remembrance, with a wreath laying and reading of names of the enslaved found in the cemetery at the Catoctin Furnace.  Youth from BSA Scout Troops 270B&G provided the voices that commemorated 271 people.

Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, with the help of the Smithsonian, used DNA research to find living descendants of the skilled enslaved ironworkers from the furnace.

The Juneteenth Remembrance hosted several descendants, with guest speakers Mayor John Kinnaird and Elizabeth Anderson Cooper, along with a video presentation from Machele Jones, a descendant of one of the iron workers.

Daisy Troop 81224 decided to celebrate summer and their Daisy program by spending some time at Lazy Daze Farm, located at 14074 Hoovers Mill Road in Rocky Ridge. The farm is owned by the Doody family, and they have turned a portion of the farm into an area to hold small get-togethers/parties. Their slogan is “Helping families create memories and inspiring children’s curiosity in agriculture!” And that is exactly what they did for Girl Scout Daisy Troop 81224.

Scouts, along with their parent/guardian, spent time on the farm learning about farm animals, such as chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, horses, and ponies, to name a few. The girls spent time getting comfortable around the animals, petting, feeding, and even riding one of the ponies. Most of the animals are rescues, to which the Doody family have lovingly given a home.  The girls enjoyed age-appropriate activities, including loop lassoing, sand box, corn hole, and hay bale climbing. They also made a horseshoe wind chime, ate some pizza, and ended the fun with a hay ride. An experience the girls will talk about for a long time.

Lisa Doody had a vision to expose people of all ages to her family’s love of farming and agriculture with a hands-on experience in a comfortable atmosphere.  And she did just that for Daisy Troop 81224!

Daisy Troop 81224 feed a baby sheep with Lisa Doody at Lazy Daze Farm.

Courtesy Photo

On Monday, September 11, 2023, the Thurmont Lions Club will commemorate this somber day in Memorial Park, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Chief Charlie Brown of the Thurmont Guardian Hose Company will be the speaker, and Mr. Steve Hess will provide special music.

Scout BSA Troop 270 B&G, Venturing Crew 270, Cub Scout Pack 270, and Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital will be doing the opening flag ceremony, in conjunction with the American Legion Post 168, AMVETS Post 7, Maryland State Police, Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, our local Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and Fire and Law Enforcement personnel. Please attend the 911 Memorial ceremony to support those who were affected and are still being affected by this event.

Member of VFW 6658 Emmitsburg places a flag for retirement during Flag Day Ceremony.

This year marked the 100th anniversary of Flag Day. The Thurmont American Legion Post 168, in coordination with Legion Post 121 Emmitsburg and AMVETS Post 7 Thurmont, hosted a Flag Day Ceremony at Memorial Park.  Guest Speaker and special music set the tone on the importance of our national flag and its historical and current significance to our nation.

June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress commemorated the adoption of our national flag. In 1916, it was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson, officially establishing the day as Flag Day.  The year 1877 marked the first celebration of Flag Day. To this day, civic groups such as the American Legion, VFW, and AMVETS host a ceremony on June 14 to honor our national flag.

Every year, Post 168 and Post 121 alternate towns where the ceremony is held. Included in the ceremony is a flag retirement ceremony. The United States Flag Code states: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Worn, ripped, and damaged flags are usually given to the American Legion for disposal. A special ceremony honoring our nation’s flag is done and the flags are then burned.

BSA Scouts T270B/G, T1011 (Walkersville), Venturing Crew 270, Cub Scout Pack 270, Girl Scouts Daisy and Brownie T37191, and Girl Scout Junior T37126 spent hours folding bags of flags properly, including a flag donated by Criswell in Thurmont. Scouts, as well as ceremony attendees, took turns retiring our nation’s flag with honor. 

Phillips Library Receives $10,000 Grant

Richard D. L Fulton

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSMU) students began to move into their quarters in mid-August, preparatory to the coming school year.

Donna Klinger, MSMU executive director of Communications, announced on August 14 that the day was “move-in day for approximately 500 first-year and transfer students, and the returning students.”  The day also included faculty, administrators, and staff who assisted the students with their moving in.

The idea of having faculty aid in the moves, Klinger stated, was that it provided “an efficient, seamless process, and those moving in and their families don’t even break a sweat.”

The new students participate in the Expedition MSMU 2023 orientation program through Sunday, with classes beginning on August 21, she said.

 The move-in was staggered.  Those who moved into Sheridan Hall were scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m., while students scheduled to move into Pangborn Hall and McCaffrey Hall arrived at 10 a.m.  Sheridan Hall, she noted, underwent renovations this summer and has new flooring and furnishings.

In other MSMU news, Katherine Stohlman Pieters, writer and editor with the university’s Office of University Marketing & Communications, reported that the Mount Saint Mary’s University’s Hugh J. Phillips Library has been selected as a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions.

Pieters stated that, “The maximum award of $10,000 was given to the Phillips Library, in recognition of its status as a small institution whose collection and archives are of cultural and historical significance,” adding, “The grant will be used to improve the preservation of the university’s Rare Book Collection.”

Jessica Boyer, director of the Phillips Library, said, “I am profoundly grateful for the generous grant from the NEH, which will be directed toward enhancing the preservation of our university’s Rare Book Collection”, further noting, “This funding is a testament to the recognition of the historical and cultural significance of these invaluable texts.”

Boyer has been the director of Phillips Library since 2017. After having graduated from the Mount, she continued on to earn her master’s degree from Clarion University and her doctoral degree from Concordia University Chicago, Pieters said.

The grant will enable Phillips Library to purchase several hundred custom-fit archival preservation boxes, to house the library’s rare books, a collection that contains over 1,000 titles. The Mount’s Rare Books Collection includes volumes from as far back as the Early Modern Period, in languages including English, French, Latin, Hebrew, Welsh, and more. Most of the books are about literature, theology, and history, and some are the only copies within the United States or even the world.

Boyer noted that by preserving these rare books, the library is preserving the voices of the past, thereby fostering a deeper understanding of our collective history, literature, and culture.  “We’ll continue to provide researchers, students, and scholars with unprecedented opportunities to engage with these materials, enriching their academic pursuits and intellectual growth,” Boyer stated.

Monsignor Hugh J. Phillips, the library’s namesake, was a former president of Mount St. Mary’s College who was associated with the Maryland Catholic school for more than 80 years.  Phillips passed away in 2004.  According to The Washington Post, Monsignor Phillips was the last priest to have served as a full-time president of Mount St. Mary’s.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

Hugh J. Phillips Library, Courtesy of MSMU

When you buy a pit beef, ham, pork, or turkey sandwich from the Thurmont Lions Club at Bell Hill Farm or devour one of the Emmitsburg Lions Club finger-licking delicious chicken BBQ dinners from the Activities Building on Creamery Road, where does the profit go? What do our two local Lions Clubs do with the profit and the donations that many of you kindly give when you purchase their food or participate in our other fundraisers?

If you have been to one of the local food events lately, you can see how many people are involved in pulling these events together. In addition to the purchase of the food, it still needs to be cooked, the event must be advertised with signs and ads, then people need to serve and collect payment for the results. When all is said and done, at least 16 Emmitsburg Lions are involved in each BBQ and 25 Thurmont Lions are involved in the pit beef/pork and chicken events.

While the profit from each individual sale is not huge—because they realize the impact of inflation on local residents—each purchase you make adds money to their activities funds. While they like to focus on using these profits to benefit the members of our local Thurmont and Emmitsburg communities, they also provide funds, through their dues, to the International Lions Club.

Lions Clubs work on the five global causes that are the focus of the International Lions Clubs: vision, diabetes, hunger, environment, and childhood cancer. Lions are serving a world in need. Lions International is the largest service club organization in the world, with more than 1.4 million members in 49,000 clubs, serving 200 countries and geographic areas, worldwide. Since our founding in 1917, they have been proving that where there’s a need, there’s a Lion.

The Emmitsburg Lions Club provides eyeglass exams and glasses to approximately 35-40 local residents each year. In addition, the club works with other local Lions clubs to conduct vision screening for preschool and school-age children. Last year, the club screened at least 500 children in the county. Children whose results show potential issues are referred to eye doctors for follow-up diagnosis and care. The Thurmont Lions Club provides similar services to local residents. 

Emmitsburg Lion Club President Dianne Walbrecker was asked to serve as Diabetes Awareness co-chair for District 22-W, which encompasses 75 clubs. She and her co-chair, Lion Tom Harney, raised close to $10,000 to support diabetes awareness efforts and to send Type I diabetic children to the Lions Camp Merrick in Nanjemoy, Maryland, and to Camp Charm City in Baltimore, which is located on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. Campers spend five days to one week at these camps. While there, they learn how to manage and live with their diabetes, rather than fearing or fighting it.

Both Lions Clubs provide support to their respective food banks. In addition to organizing bags to be purchased and then donated to the food banks, several Lions also work at the Thurmont and Emmitsburg food banks.

The Thurmont Lions Club spent years restoring the Trolley Trail, contributing to the environment, as well as the health of residents. Several Emmitsburg Lions have planted trees in environmentally sensitive local areas.

Kindness matters to Lions. Lion’s motto is “We Serve,” and Lions put that motto into action every day. They are caring men and women who come together to be the difference in their communities. Every day, every way, Lions are investing their time, talents, and resources in the communities where they live, work, and serve. Come join them! Contact the Emmitsburg Lions Club at (20+) Facebook or call Lion President Dianne at 301-676-1561. Contact the Thurmont Lions Club through its website at or contact Lion President Susan Favorite at 240-409-1747.

The Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) is offering two rabies vaccination clinics in 2023. The first one is on Sunday, September 24, at the Thurmont Community Park (Community Park Road). The second is Sunday, October 22, 2023, at the Brunswick Park (655 East Potomac Street). Both clinics are from 12:30-3:30 p.m.  

The clinics will be held rain or shine on a walk-in basis. Each vaccination is $10.00 and payable by cash or check only (no debit or credit cards). All dogs, cats, and ferrets 12 weeks old or older are welcome.

As of August 15, 2023, Frederick County had 21 laboratory-confirmed rabid animals for 2023: 11 raccoons, 5 skunks, 3 foxes, 1 bat, and 1 horse. Rabies exposures can impact both pets and their families. Exposures to rabies-positive animals can create the need for people to get post-exposure vaccinations and for pets to complete a quarantine. It is important to note that vaccinated pets have shorter quarantines and, more importantly, much better protection from rabies.

Rabies has a nearly 100 percent mortality rate once an animal or person starts having symptoms. However, rabies fatalities are preventable in humans through avoiding unvaccinated animals or, if exposed, by early administration of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. In pets, rabies is preventable by vaccination or by preventing their exposure to unknown or unvaccinated animals. Since it is not always possible to limit your pet’s interactions with unvaccinated wild or stray animals, it is crucial to get pets vaccinated against this deadly disease. According to FCHD Environmental Health Services Director Barry Glotfelty, “The cornerstone of rabies prevention and control is rabies vaccination of domestic animals, so please take this or other opportunities to vaccinate your pets.”

For additional information about this vaccination clinic or general rabies information, please contact 301-600-1717 or visit

For millions of Americans who are descended from enslaved Africans, genealogical research often hits a dead end at the era of slavery because there were few written records of enslaved people’s lives. That has now changed for thousands of Americans who are descended from 27 enslaved workers who were buried at the Catoctin Furnace iron forge in the state of Maryland. 

Published August 4 in the journal Science, researchers from Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, 23andMe, and the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society analyzed the DNA of the remains of 27 individuals buried at Catoctin Furnace and compared it to people who have submitted their DNA to genetic genealogy databases.

The results revealed how the 27 individuals at Catoctin Furnace were related to each other, genetic conditions they may have had, and their African ancestors and American descendants.

Elizabeth Anderson Comer, CFHS President: “The search for a descendant community has been the principal quest of CFHS for more than a decade. Catoctin Furnace is an example of the tragedy of slavery writ large: namely, the erasure of the black population and collective heritage from the area, manifest in the lack of an identified descendant community. This latest research has the potential to identify individuals and reconnect this lost legacy of skilled ironworking.”

The research compares novel ancient DNA technology, which sequences genetic data from human remains to data from consumer genetic testing services, to establish relationships between the enslaved African Americans at Catoctin Furnace and modern Americans. The new method was developed by a team led by David Reich, professor of genetics in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School and professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard, and first author Eadaoin Harney, a population geneticist at 23andMe. Until now, it has been difficult to trace family lines from enslaved people because of the absence of birth and death certificates and census listings. Before this research, there were no known descendants of the enslaved ironworkers.

By comparing the genetic profiles of the 27 Catoctin Furnace workers to millions of American DNA profiles, 41,799 relatives were identified. Of those, 2975 participants were found to be close relatives of the Catoctin Furnace workers. The results have a profound impact on our understanding of the history of enslaved Africans and their descendants.

The research also shows that the people buried at Catoctin Furnace were descended from people in West and Central Africa, particularly the Wolof and Mandinka of Senegambia and the Kongo of Central Africa. Fifteen of the Catoctin workers were part of five genetic families who were buried close together.

Elizabeth Anderson Comer, CFHS President: “This research may increase our understanding of knowledge transfer of ironworking skills from the continent of Africa. For example, well over forty thousand smelting furnaces have been counted in one eighty-kilometer section of the Senegal River Valley in Mauritania, illustrating the prevalence of ironmaking. These results may inform future research linking knowledge transfer of ironworking to the colonies, that was then exploited by owners who realized great wealth and power for themselves.”

The Catoctin Furnace study moves genetic research into African American family trees forward and helps to right some of the historical wrongs that were created by the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Catoctin Furnace was built in 1774 by four brothers, James, Baker, Thomas, and Roger Johnson, to produce iron from the rich deposits of hematite found in the nearby mountains. The iron furnace at Catoctin played a pivotal role during the Industrial Revolution in the young United States; American cannonballs fired during the Battle of Yorktown came from here. The furnace supported a thriving community, and company houses were established alongside the furnace stack. Throughout the nineteenth century, the furnace produced iron for household and industrial products. Catoctin Furnace ceased production in 1903.

In 1973, The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc. was formed by G. Eugene Anderson, Clement E. Gardiner, J. Franklin Mentzer, and Earl M. Shankle to “foster and promote the restoration of the Catoctin Furnace Historic District…and to maintain the same exclusively for educational and scientific purposes,” as well as “to exhibit to coming generations our heritage of the past.”

Catoctin Furnace maintains much of its original layout and structures, which were constructed primarily between 1774 and 1820. The village introduces visitors to the area’s historical importance and heritage resources, providing the look and feel of an early industrial complex yet retaining the freshness and charm of a small community at the foot of Catoctin Mountain. It is located 12 miles north of Frederick on Maryland Route 806 (Catoctin Furnace Road). For more information, call 240-288-7396 or visit

Shirley and Franklin Riffle celebrated their birthdays in August. Franklin turned the big 95, and Shirley turned 85.

Frank and Shirley are retired FCPS school bus drivers who safely transported many of our area’s athletes for many years!

Thank you Frank and Shirley and congratulations for staying young after all these years! 

Dr. Raymond D. Ediger, a longtime resident of Frederick County, particularly the Thurmont and Utica communities, has recently received a Distinguished Alumni Award for “Excellence In Practice” from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

According to a statement from the University: “Dr. Ediger’s 62-year career has encompassed numerous accomplishments and awards. While serving in the Veterinary Corps as director of the Fort Detrick Biological Laboratories in Fort Detrick, Maryland, he was credited for making it one of the leading laboratory animal facilities in the U.S. He is also credited for developing procedures for the caesarean-derivation of germ-free colonies of laboratory animals. Many of his innovations are now accepted as the gold standard in the care and use of laboratory animals. Dr. Ediger is a Diplomate of the College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and created the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Animal Facilities Diagnostic Laboratory, which served the NIH laboratory animal colonies on the Bethesda, Maryland, campus. As the Maryland Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) state veterinary epidemiologist, he initiated the Maryland Scrapie Eradication Program and was honored as MDA’s Most Outstanding Employee of the Year.”

Three years ago, plans were made to honor the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department’s 50th anniversary during the opening ceremony at The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, but those plans were put on hold when COVID forced the Community Show to be canceled. So, Thurmont Grange decided to honor Lewistown Fire Department on Monday, June 26, for their 53rd anniversary. Although three years late, it was still a wonderful occasion.

In attendance were several Lewistown officers and members, including current President Vicky Martin and founding President James Grimes.  The program began with a history of Lewistown given by Grange President Niki Eyler. 

In 1970, because of what was then considered a remote location in the county, Lewistown area residents made the decision that they needed a fire company of their own. So, Company 22, The Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department, was formed to serve Lewistown, Utica, and Mountaindale. The first meeting was held on June 3, 1970, and founding officers President James Grimes, Vice President Donald Coyle, Secretary John Reburn, and Treasurer Richard Ellis were voted into office. There were approximately 20 founding members, including Russ Goodsell, Raymond Stull Jr, Bill Stull, and Bill Biddinger. By August of 1970, the newly formed company had purchased Engine 222 for $1,800. It was the first diesel engine in the county. 

James Grimes, who later would become mayor of Frederick, was instrumental in the early plans for the department, as well as Albert Powell, director of the State Fisheries in Lewistown; Donald Martin; John Reburn; and Jack Barber. Within a year, Lewistown had purchased a garage, owned by Jim Grimes, and moved into the building with Engine 222 & 223 and Tanker 22. They had a yard sale, a raffle, several suppers, and 50/50s under their belt.

Today, the fire department has approximately 80 members. It has six different apparatuses: Engine Tanker 224, Engine 221, Tanker 22, Brush 226, Utility 22, and Ambulance 229. The fire station is staffed by volunteers from the community and two paid employees of the county who are on duty 24/7.

Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department is vital to the safety and well-being of the surrounding communities. In 2022, Lewistown ran 164 fire calls and 640 EMS calls. Just last month alone, they went out on a total of 76 calls, 11 fire, and 65 EMS.

Thurmont Grange No. 409 thanked Lewistown for 53 years of volunteer service, and they were honored to recognize the fire department for all the volunteers do to protect and serve not only Lewistown but the surrounding communities.

Pictured from left are Vicky Martin (current Lewistown President), Jim Grimes (Founding Lewistown President), Rodman Myers (Community Show Committee President), and Niki Eyler (Thurmont Grange President).

A special event happened at the Thurmont Lions Club Membership meeting on July 12. Region III Chair Wendy Dunn introduced District Governor (DG) Jeremy Bair as the 2023-2024 District Governor for District 22W. DG Jeremy Bair made his first official visit to the Thurmont Lions Club.

DG Jeremy is perfect for this position. He is a member of the Greater Carroll Lions Club and has held many positions, received many awards, attended numerous leadership institutes, a Melvin Jones Fellow, and so on. His job is to oversee the clubs and the functions of District 22-W. This will keep DG Jeremy Bair busy since the District covers 53 clubs in Carroll, Frederick, Washington, and Allegany counties.

DG Bair’s chosen theme, “The Promise of Tomorrow,” is appropriate for the positive future he sees for District 22W. His hope is to increase the membership and, thereby, better serve those in need. Another hope for the District is to purchase a mobile screening van and conduct basic health and vision screenings in the four counties.

So, whether you buy the scrumptious Thurmont Lions Club homemade chocolate candy bars or purchase the famous Emmitsburg Lions Club BBQ chicken, remember that all the proceeds are returned to the community.

Photo by Lion Ruth Heaney

Pictured from left are Secretary Lion Joyce Anthony; President Susan Favorite; DG Jeremy Bair; and Region III Chair Wendy Dunn.

The Bill Coyle Memorial Cruise-In at Fort Ritchie in June was a big hit with participants and enthusiasts. Over 180 cars, trucks, Jeeps, motorcycles, and tractors were on display at the second annual event in Cascade. Funds raised from the Cruise-In will support the Fort Ritchie Community Center’s (FRCC) summer camp program for local children.

Vehicles were registered in one of seven categories.

Best Truck — Justin Bushneck (1917 Mack)

Best Tractor — Mike Head (Pulling Tractor) 

Best Jeep — Louis Capezuto (Restored Military Jeep) 

Best Motorcycle — Eric Peel (1962 Harley Davidson Trike)

Best Modern — Richard Burd Family (2010 Corvette)           

Best Classic — John Gongloff (1979 Corvette)          

Best Antique — Dennis McCullough (1970 Chevy Nova)

This marks the second year for the event, which has been renamed in memory of Bill Coyle, a Cascade resident and FRCC member, who passed away in March. Bill loved antique cars and frequently drove in parades, proms, and Pen Mar Park. Bill’s 1929 Model A Ford was on display at the Cruise-In.

The Fort Ritchie Community Center is celebrating its 15th year of service in 2023. The Community Center provides a wide range of programs and activities such as youth programs, group fitness classes, holiday events, craft bazaars, and fishing tournaments. Located on the former Fort Ritchie property, it features a fitness center, weight room, two gymnasiums, and personal training. Please visit for more information on the Community Center and its upcoming events.

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Pictured are Jeff and Bethany (Bill’s youngest daughter) Deibel next to Bill Coyle’s 1929 Model A Ford, on display at the Cruise-In.

The Optimist Club of Frederick held its 14th Annual Fish with a Cop program this June at the Camp Airy Pond in Thurmont. There were 22 boys and girls from across Frederick County that took part in the program. Officers from Frederick City, the Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police Department, National Resources Police, and Thurmont Police Departments participated in the program this year. 

The officers picked up the children from their homes and transported them to the pond. The children were given a Zebco rod and tackle from the Optimist Club. The officers, as well as club members, worked with the kids to help them develop or further their fishing skills. The main purpose of this program is to encourage the children to enjoy the great outdoors and to give them a positive experience with the police officers.  

When the fishing was done, the Optimist Club held a cookout and fish fry for the children and officers. They were served grilled hotdogs, chips, fried fresh fish, and ice cream and cookies. After the cookout, the officers took the children back home. 

The following sponsors contributed to the program this year: Dicks Sporting Goods; The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock, who made this program possible for stocking the pond; and Camp Airy for use of their pond. Thanks to the Strong Tower Church for providing most of the food for the program. A special thank you to Mary Pat Kulina, owner of All-Shred, for providing most of the fishing equipment. Because of these sponsors and police officers who volunteered their time, the children and officers had a very memorable experience. Thank you again to all who helped with this program again this year. 

Also, a special thank you to the law enforcement of Frederick County. They volunteer their time to make sure a child has a good time, all while taking time from their own families. They should be commended for their dedication to the community of Frederick County.

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Troopers & Thurmont — Pictured from left: (front row) Stevie Ray Adams, Lucas Shane, Kara Elam, Marshall Elam, anonymous, Juliana Smith, Mason Whetzel, Jason Harris Jr.; (second row) MT Matt Crouse, TFC Timothy Coss, Trooper Dane Devin, SGT Rich Kulina, Trooper Adam Sweckard, Macenzie Ford, OFC Kori Meinsen, Trooper Gabriel Berger, Trooper Lye German, Sgt. Josh White; (back row) CPL. Tim Duhan and Bentley Beachley.

Sheriff, Frederick City, and NRP — Pictured from left: (front row) Christopher Villatoro, OFC Maggie Lee and Fred, Amber Logsdon, SGT Rebecca Carrado, Nevada, (second row) Cayden Perry, Braxden Lovejoy, Xavier Morris, Mason Moore, Jax Lavender, anonymous, Julionna Lord, Thomas Matthews, Delante Husky; (third row) CPL Jestin Joseph, OFC Alexander Mangot, OFC Joe Constantine, DFC Nicholas Thomas, Wyatt Flook, DFC Travis Dyhoff, CPL Christopher Warden, OFC Will Faith, CPL Nathaniel Minnick; (back row) OFC Cody Chaney, OFC Bradley Lowe, OFC Tim Hawkins, and SGT Bill Davis.

The Thurmont Lions Club welcomed Past District Governor (PDG) Charlie Croft to officiate the Installation of Officers for the year 2023-2024. PDG Charlie expressed that the success of the club depends on their officers.

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Pictured from left: (front row) Lions Don Keeney, Jr., Tail Twister; Ruth Heaney, Assistant Treasurer; Dianne McLean, Membership Chairperson; (second row) Lions Joyce Anthony, Secretary; Nancy Echard, 2nd Vice President; Julie El-Taher, Immediate Past President and LVRF Chairperson; Susan Favorite, President; Sharon Morgan, Lion Tamer; (third row) Lions Doug Favorite, Treasurer; Bev Nunemaker, 2-year Director; Debbie Schray, 1-year Director. Absent from picture: Lions David Crum, Dues Treasurer; 3rd Vice President, Heidi Dennie; 1-year Director, Lisa Riffle; 2-year Director, Kim Grimm.

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The Emmitsburg Knights of Columbus presented a check for $400 to the Catoctin Pregnancy Center (CPC) in Emmitsburg as part of the Knights Aid and Assistance After Pregnancy program. 

The check amount represents 20 percent matching after the Annual Fr. Didier Memorial Run, sponsored by the Emmitsburg Knights of Columbus. 

Pictured are Howard Hagan and Melanie Carroll (Director CPC).

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Tom’s Creek UMC in Emmitsburg welcomed Pastor Mike Cantley (pictured right). Pastor Mike Cantley is “fired up” about the joy of Jesus! Mike began his pastoral appointment with Tom’s Creek UMC on July 1, and he is excited about what God will do through our community working together to share the goodness of Jesus’ life and Way.

Born in Louisiana and raised in Arkansas, Mike Cantley was a professional firefighter and an instructor with the Arkansas Fire Academy before getting “fired up” about Jesus and disciple formation with the local faith community. He served as a Christian Education and Families Minister in Arkansas, work that inspired his coming to Washington, D.C., to study International Relations at American University and theology next door at Wesley Theological Seminary. His fire department background cultivated a love for peace work and conflict response.

Mike became a pastor in 2010 while still in graduate school, long before ordination as an elder in the UMC. He served two consecutive years on delegations to Colombia, South America, with Christian Peacemaker Teams. Mike and his wife, Brooke, have three gifted young adult children: Jess, Noah, and Katie. Brooke has grown “a houseful of artistic hearts” and gracious encouragers, and she shares this ministry in many ways. The family inspires Mike’s own passion for art and for completing his music degree in classical guitar. The Cantley’s smallest family member is a little Maltipoo, named Rosie.

Thurmont Grange No. 409 was proud to present scholarships to three Catoctin High School 2023 graduates who will be pursuing their higher education goals.  All scholarship recipients are exceptional students and very involved in community service, as well as many extracurricular activities. Tanner Seiss will be attending University of Maryland, Abby Moreland will be attending Wilson College, and Morgan Ridenour will be attending Hood College. 

A donation was also made to the college fund of the grandchildren of Thurmont Grange members Bob and Carolyn Wiles, whose son, Dales Wiles, passed away unexpectedly last year.

Congratulations and best of luck to Tanner, Abby, Morgan, and all of our 2023 graduates.

Pictured from left are Niki Eyler (Scholarship Committee Chair), Addison Eyler (Committee member), Tanner Seiss, Morgan Ridenour, Abby Moreland, and Susan Crone (Committee member).