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The State Highway Administration has begun overnight closings and detours on MD 77 (Foxville Road) to repair more than 40 aging culverts.

MD 77, between Pryor Road and Stottlemyer Road, will be closed Sunday nights through Friday mornings, from 7:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m., until early fall, according to a State Highway Administration (SHA) news release.

Detours will take drivers from MD 77 to US 15 to MD 550 to Foxville Deerfield Road and back to MD 77.

Single lanes will be closed Mondays through Fridays, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The $2.1 million project is expected to be finished by summer 2020.

The road was previously closed for nearly a month in May for culvert work.

On June 6, 2019, Thurmont Grange #409 hosted it’s second annual Veterans Appreciation Program. 

The evening began with a welcome by Thurmont Grange Lecturer Niki Eyler. Grange members, Jim Moser and Addison Eyler, lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Boy Scout Troop 270 presented the flag folding ceremony, while Granger Sandy Moser gave the meaning of each fold of the flag. Following was a special honor of veteran and Granger John Hart, who passed earlier this year. Members of Boy Scout Troop 270 presented his wife, Cindy Hart, and daughter, Carrie Shives, with the folded flag in memory of John and his service to our country. For all guests, it was very touching to watch the flag folding ceremony, learn its meaning, and be part of its presentation in honor of one of our local veterans.

One of Thurmont Grange’s 2018 community service projects was making a Quilt of Valor. This beautiful quilt was created by not only several Grange members, but also the Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Sewing Club and Thurmont resident, Bev Eckenrode. The quilt was presented to Wacahu Grange member, Alton Hoopengardner, at the 2018 MD State Grange Conference. To make that presentation even more special, a second quilt was donated and presented to Linganore Grange member, Maurice Wiles. A PowerPoint presentation, narrated by Niki Eyler, was shared with Veterans Appreciation Program guests, which summarized the quilt from yards of material to the presentation of both quilts. To highlight this, the quilts were on display for everyone to admire.  

The evenings honorees were recommended by Thurmont Grangers and friends of Thurmont Grange. Those recognized were James Kilby (Navy 84-05), Valaria Kilby (Navy 88-92), Wayne Wireman (Army 70-72), Bryan Umberger (Marines 91-97 & Army 97-11), Raymond Long (Army 54-56), Maurice Wiles (Army 56-62), Larry Clabaugh (Navy 69-77), Alton Hoopengardner (Army 62-65), Ed Gravatt (Air Force 61-69) and Douglas Zimmerman (Air Force 78-95). It was definitely a privilege to say “Thank you for your service!” to these selfless men and women who chose to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

As June 6 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird said a few words, and respectfully asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of those who bravely fought that day and those who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy in the name of freedom. 

The evening’s program was ended with a prayer, read by Sandy Moser and the singing of “God Bless America.” Many guests and honorees remained to enjoy refreshments, fellowship, conversation about the importance of June 6, and reminisce about their years of service. 

If you are interested in learning more about Thurmont Grange, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104 or Niki Eyler at 301-471-5158.

Honored veterans (from left): (back row) Doug Zimmerman, Larry Clabaugh, Maurice Wiles, Bryan Umberger; (front row) Niki Eyler (Granger), Linda Bernstein (accepting on behalf of Alton Hoopengardner), Ed Gravatt, Raymond Long, Valaria Kilby, Wayne Wireman, James Kilby, and Carol Long (Granger).

Scout Troop 270 flag folding ceremony participants (from left): Annalisa Russell, Adre Russell, Seth Young, and Tanner Seiss.

Addison, Jody and Niki Eyler admiring Maurice Wiles’ Quilt of Valor.

Francis Smith, Emmitsburg resident and local poet, unaware of a poem honoring our beloved state, felt inspired to dedicate an original “Maryland’s Creed.”

Recently, he presented Emmitsburg Mayor Donald Briggs with a framed copy, embellished with the State of Maryland’s colors, the State of Maryland’s official bird (the Baltimore oriole), and the State of Maryland’s official flower (the Black-eyed Susan).

Mr. Smith hopes his efforts find favor with all of Maryland’s citizens.

With four homes in the Thurmont-Emmitsburg area and four more in planning for construction next year, Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County is already helping make homes affordable in the area.

Now the organization has joined Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the United States over the next five years.

Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet. In Frederick County, the ALICE Report from the United Way tells us that 34,688 households, or 39 percent of our local population cannot afford basic needs such as housing, childcare, food, transportation, and health care. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

“We want to start focusing on where the ALICE Report identified the greatest need,” Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Executive Director Ron Cramer said. Emmitsburg and Thurmont show the highest need, and Brunswick and Frederick City also top the list.

This could benefit Thurmont and Emmitsburg because the towns also have affordable land compared to other locations in the county.

“We build where we find land that we can afford,” Cramer said.

Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.

Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County already has taken steps toward these goals. The local organization has advocated in the past for a change to the County’s Impact Fee structure, and is now asking local residents to join that effort through the Cost of Home campaign.

Frederick County is one of the only counties in the State that has “flat-rate” impact fees, meaning the fee is the same, regardless of size, type, density, location, or any other factor on the home. A nonprofit homebuilder like Habitat for Humanity can waive these fees; however, if they do so, the fee passes to the low-income homebuyer as a lien on their home. The result is that these flat-rate impact fees have a regressive effect, falling disproportionately on those with lower incomes.

As part of this campaign, Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County is continuing to advocate that the County Council revise the legislation on Impact Fees to make them more affordable for lower-income homebuyers.

How do you define the success of a program? The Thurmont Legion Post 168 had poppies in businesses throughout Thurmont for the entire month of May. The businesses were Kountry Kitchen, Hobbs Hardware, Bollinger’s Restaurant, Rocky’s NY Pizza, Fratellis, Criswell Chevrolet, and Gateway Candyland. They also had them, and will continue to have them, all year round at Marie’s Beauty Salon and Main Street Thurmont. The Legion’s Memorial Day Ceremony was held in Memorial Park on May 30, 2019. At that time, the Legion’s Poppy Princess, Ella Renner, who is the granddaughter of Vietnam Veteran and American Legion member, Roland Renner and the late Gail Renner, an American Legion Auxiliary member, distributed poppies throughout the crowd.

Thurmont Legion’s goal each year is to be more visible than the year before. This year, they added Hobbs Hardware, Rocky’s NY Pizza, Fratellis, Criswell Chevrolet, and Main Street Thurmont as its partners to promote and collect donations. The second goal is to collect more money than the year prior. This year, the Legion collected $351. Last year, approximately $212 was collected. Since the Legion achieved both goals, the Poppy Program was a success. If your business would like to be involved in the Poppy program next year, please send an email to Thurmontlegionaux168@gmail.com.

A reminder that the Legion’s kitchen hours for Tuesday are 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is Wing Buffet; Wednesday hours are 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Thursday and Friday  hours are noon-8:00 p.m. Come check them out for lunch or dinner. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with the lunch and dinner specials: The American Legion Post 168.

Auxiliary early bird dues payment will be Monday, July 1, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Pay your dues on this night, and your name will be put in a drawing to win $30 (aka free dues). There will be two winners drawn.

June brought the Legion to the installation of Officers for the 2019-2020 year (shown below) and a new year of paying your dues.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird and Thurmont American Legion’s Poppy Princess Ella Renner.

With help from the Civitan Club of Frederick and the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Catoctin Area Civitan Club presented the Catoctin Forest Alliance SUCCESS program a check for $9,500 to help build an inclusive trail outside of the Thurmont Regional Library.

The Thurmont Library Nature Trail Project is a collaboration between the Catoctin Forest Alliance, the Catoctin Area Civitan Club, the Civitan Club of Frederick, the Town of Thurmont, the Thurmont Regional Library, Thurmont Green Team, the Frederick County Public School Program called SUCCESS, and volunteers from the community.

The SUCCESS Youth Program is one of the programs of Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) that, for the past six years, has been working on projects for the Cunningham Falls State Park and Gambrill State Park, Catoctin Furnace Historical Site and the National Park, Catoctin Mountain Park. These youth are between the ages of 18-21 with a disability who are from the SUCCESS School, part of the Frederick County School System.

When asked by the library to establish an ADA trail, it fell into part of the overall objectives of the SUCCESS program. This trail is a win-win, where youth with disabilities are working on the trail for people with and without disabilities.

The part that ties all of this together is the help of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club. Six years ago, CFA received a grant from them through the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Chesapeake District – Civitan International, Inc. to start the SUCCESS program. This program is operated every day that the youth are in school for the entire school year, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. It is run by volunteers, and receives assistance from the state and federal parks.

When it was decided that the trail at the library was workable, Jim Robbins from the Catoctin Forest Alliance came to Mary Dal-Favero of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club for assistance. She asked the Civitan Club of Frederick to join as they work closely with the SUCCESS School in Frederick. This support of the two clubs, who agreed to co-sponsor the grant for the trail, was the first step, along with the collaboration of the other groups mentioned above, to make this trail part of the trail system for the Town of Thurmont. It will tie together the ADA Trolley Trail with the Library Trail and future trails and picnic areas in the area behind the library.

If you have any questions about Civitan, please feel free to contact Mary Dal-Favero at 240-620-8630. If you would like to learn more about the Catoctin Forest Alliance SUCCESS program of the Trail system, please contact Jim Robbins at 301-693-9703.

Blair Garrett

Atomic 26 has been rocking Frederick County for years, and now they’re getting the recognition they’ve worked for.

It all started in a basement in Emmitsburg, with a few guys who liked to jam on weekends. The group picked up steam and a few new members, adding guitarists Steve Anderson and Will Hurst to join John Ruffner and Jimmy Belt, forming what is the modern day Atomic 26.

“We were in a band before, and we played kind of the same scene,” Anderson said. “So 20-25 years later we stuck with it, and we’re still doing the same thing.”

The band’s synergy really hit its stride in 2018, where the four got their biggest break yet. “The Maryland Music Awards had a fan vote,” Ruffner said. “We got nominated for best metal act in Maryland in 2018. We were a small band from a basement and all of the sudden we were in the Maryland Music Awards.”

Just a handful of bands were nominated at the biggest music award show in Maryland, and Atomic 26 grabbed the runner-up spot for best Metal band in its home state. “Here we are, just jamming in Emmitsburg, and to get recognized for something like that was pretty cool,” Ruffner said. “I thought it was cool just to see our name up there.”

The influences to get to this point are vast, and it’s created a special blend of hardcore punk that has resulted in Atomic 26’s distinct thrash sound. “Everyone’s background is a little bit different,” Hurst said. “Everyone has a different favorite band, so it’s a cool mix.”

 The crew even got to open up for some of their idols that they listened to growing up. DRI and Murphy’s Law were two bands Ruffner listened to over and over while skateboarding as a kid. Atomic 26 got to kick off the show for both bands, sharing the stage with the same groups they listened to years ago. “That was a pretty big deal,” Ruffner said. “These guys were pretty much royalty in the hardcore scene.”

Atomic 26’s shows aren’t just catching the attention of local fans and festivals, though. In May, the crew was invited to do an interview with Wobbly Bob, host of 101.5 Bob Rocks, one of the mega radio stations in the area.

“We got the interview with Wobbly Bob just playing a show at the Dawghouse,” Hurst said. “Wobbly Bob was there and came up and talked to us and asked if we wanted to do an interview on 101.5 Bob Rocks. It was a lot of fun; I was really nervous going in.”

The recognition for the quality of music and entertainment of their live performances has begun opening up opportunities for the band.

The band recently rocked the house at the Maryland Doom Fest in Frederick, adding to an already talent-stacked lineup.

“It’s an honor because we’re not really a doom band,” Ruffner said. “It’s just a big deal because bands all over the world play there.”

Atomic 26 has built its foundation on non-stop action-packed energy at its shows, and that has propelled the band further than what the group initially thought was possible. “We have a show that doesn’t stop,” Ruffner said. There’s no stop for tuning or anything like that. Once it starts, the music doesn’t stop.”

You can catch Atomic 26 at shows around Maryland and Pennsylvania by checking them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atomic26band/.

Photo by Blair Garrett

The 2019 Multiple District 22 Convention was held May 13-15, 2019, in Ocean City, Maryland. The convention was outstanding. The Lions Memorial Service, numerous seminars, District luncheons and meetings, candidate’s hospitality rooms, and election of officers for the year 2019-2020, were all well attended.

The attendees had the privilege of meeting International President Gudrun Yngvadottir and her husband, Dr. Jon Bjami Thorsteinsson, a past International Director.  IP Yngvadottir is the first woman International president. She is a very warm, friendly, and well-spoken individual, and she is from Iceland. Nine members of the Thurmont Lions Club attended the convention.

During one of the ceremonies, District Governor Gerry Beachy presented numerous awards to his cabinet members and throughout the five districts.  Three members of the Thurmont Lions Club received awards: PDG Paul Cannada was named to the District 22-W Honor Roll (top, left); 2nd Vice President Susan Favorite received the District Governor’s Medal of Commendation (center, left); 1st Vice President Joyce Anthony received the District Governor’s Commendation Metal (bottom, left); and District 22-W Cabinet Treasurer Susan Favorite received the International President’s Medal  (below).

Additional information about the Thurmont Lions Club, a group of community-minded men and women, can be obtained by calling President Julie El-Taher at 301-788-0855.

Thurmont Lions Club gather for a photo at the well-attended Community Night on May 22, 2019.

A night to remember as to why we are Thurmont Lions—what a privilege and honor! A well-attended Community Night was held on May 22, 2019—a night to remember for Thurmont Lions Club members, a privilege and an honor. Approximately $12,000 was presented to 19 local community organizations and 8 regional and international Lions funds or organizations. This was in addition to the $12,000 distributed on Education Night for area schools and scholarships. 

These funds were the result of all of the numerous fundraisers the Thurmont Lions Club holds throughout the year: the pit sandwich sales, food sales at Colorfest and Community Show, cash bingo, selling Christmas trees and ornaments, as well as the calendar sales. A lot of work is put into these efforts, but the effort enables the Thurmont Lions Club to give back to its community and to Lions work around the world. This is how they serve, and they should be proud of their accomplishments.

Community-focused organizations receiving donations were: Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Maryland Parents of Blind Children, Guardian Hose Company, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Frederick County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program, Catoctin Community Medical Fund, Thurmont Food Bank, Camp Jamie/Frederick County Hospice, Community Foundation of Frederick County, Maryland Patriot Guard, Catoctin FFA, Thurmont Regional Library, Hearing Loss of Association of America/Frederick Chapter, Thurmont Middle School Leos, Catoctin High School Leos, Thurmont Scouting, Inc., Thurmont Ambulance Company, Lions District 22-W Hearing and Speech Camperships, Diabetes Awareness Committee, Lions Saving Kids Sight, District 22-W Mobile Screening Van, District 22-W Foundation, Camp Merrick, Lions Quest, Low Vision Research Foundation (LVRF), and Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).     

Bill Eiker, SAL Historian

On Saturday, June 8, 2019, Cascade Post 239 Sons of American Legion (SAL) held the 10th Guns and Cash Bash at Fort Ritchie Parade Field.

The weather was beautiful and sunny. Of the 2,850 tickets sold, more than 1,360 happy folks were in attendance. Delicious menu items of pulled pork and beef and other delicious fare were enjoyed by all.

Drawings for the ticket prizes took place every 15 minutes. Winning ticket holders were R. Eiker, J. Bittner, D. Teffeteller, B. Hill, T. Beard, S. Bryan, T. Kauffman, B. Rinebolt, D. Rumbaugh, T. Rindt, F. Mastrouni, G. Albright, C. Martin, C. Morrow, M. Late, S. Welch, B. Black, and E. Davis.

Proceeds from this event benefit Fisher House Foundation, Cascade and Sabillasville Elementary Schools, Cascade American Legion Scholarship Program, and SAL’s Someone in Need Fund. 

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members, as well as the Hotels for Heroes Program, using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers, without a charge.

Appreciation is extended to the innumerable volunteers who donated countless hours to make this the most successful event ever. They are to be lauded for their efforts.

Pictured from left are: (first row, bottom) Christian Sartin, Marlayna Reaver, Makayla Evans, Quateara Adams, Ashley Villegas, Ke Mauri Oney, Aidyn Tomalewski, Michael Hill, Haven Miesner, Russelk Heatherly, Michael Mossburg, Kevin Hodge; (second row) Jamal Burnett, Ofc. Brian Cosgray, Ofc. Desiree Palmer, Ofc. Jeff Putman, Ofc. Margery Lee, Ofc. Sara Evans, Ofc. Daniel Gerand, Cpl. Tim Duhan, Cpl. Kyle Minnick, Ofc. McKenzie Divelbiss, Cpl. Christopher Warden, Ofc. Cody Linton; (third row) Patricia Taliaferro Chairwoman Fish with a Cop, Braiden Schofield, Clay White, Leland Bare, David Haynes, Ronnie White, Kaleb Wolfe, Tfc. Kyle Knowles, Elijah Cumby, Braden Dawson, Kegan Coleman, Julian Hackley, Earl Gamber Club President; (fourth row) Dfc. Sean Vanderwall, Cpl. Josh White, Sgt. Todd Hill, MT Dave Greenwood, Tfc. Josh Socks, MT Matthew Crouse, FSgt. Jim Egros,  Tfc. Jared Daniels, Sgt. Paul Schur, Tfc. Jonathan Deater, Cpl. Jacki Druktenis, and Ofc. Michael Eyler. Not pictured: Lt. Jon Holler, Harry Vineyard. 

The Optimist Club of Frederick held it’s 10th Annual Fish with a Cop program on Saturday June 1, 2019, at the Camp Airy pond in Thurmont. There were 24 boys and girls from across Frederick County that took part in the program. There were 25 officers from the Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police, Frederick City Police, Brunswick Police, Thurmont Police, and the Natural Resource Police who participated in the program this year.   

The officers picked up the children from their homes and transported them to the pond in the officers’ police cars. They were then given a Zebco combo rod and reel, along with tackle from the Optimist Club.

The officers worked with the kids on their fishing skills, along with forming a better relationship with law enforcement. When the fishing was done, the Optimist Club held a shore lunch for the children and officers, which included fresh fried trout, grilled hot dogs, and ice cream sundaes with all of the fixings. The officers then took the children back home. 

The following sponsors contributed to this program: Wegman’s, Weis, The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (for stocking the pond with trout), Camp Airy (for use of their pond) and their director Tim Olson for all of his assistance, and Frederick County elementary schools. A special thanks goes out to Dale Kramer Construction Company and Dustin Construction Company for their generous cash donations, which was a big help in purchasing the fishing equipment for the children. Because of these sponsors and police officers that volunteered their time, the children had a very memorable experience. 

The Optimist Club of Frederick hopes that in a small way this program connected the children in a positive way with law enforcement and with the great outdoors. Again, gratitude is extended to all who helped with this program.

For more information, contact Pat or Craig Taliaferro at 301-663-8116 or smbass47@aol.com.

by James Rada, Jr.

May 2019 Meeting

$1.9 Million Budget Approved

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved a $1,930,323 town budget for Fiscal Year 2020. This is a 5.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget.

In addition, the current town property tax rate of 36 cents per $100 of assessed value will remain the same. Because the tax rate remained constant, the town had more money to work with because property assessments increased.

The budget was helped by increased revenues from the Frederick County Tax Equity Program and Maryland Highway Users Revenue.

The budget also included a 2 percent COLA for town staff, along with any step increases.

Other funds in the budget that were also approved include a $248,171 in capital projects, $583,910 in the water fund, and $735,613 in the sewer fund.

The new budget goes into effect on July 1.

Relining Appears to be Working

Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets informed the town commissioners that early signs show the town’s efforts to reline its sewer lines is paying off.

According to Willets, the town received two inches of rain on January 19. During the two days afterward, 4.5 million gallons of water were treated at the wastewater treatment plant. When a similar rainfall fell on April 19, only 2.5 million gallons were treated during the next two days.

“If we continue to make these improvements, I think we’ll see a lot of changes,” Willets said.

Two relining projects that will hopefully occur in the next year include relining the pipes from Irishtown Road to Creekside Drive and from the Post Office to Mother Seton School.

The relining seals cracks and holes in the pipes, keeping outside water from flowing into the sewer system where it can overtax the system and increase costs because it needs to be treated.

Boys & Girls Club Coming to Emmitsburg

Thanks to a $110,000 grant through Frederick County and $10,000 from the Town of Emmitsburg, the Boys & Girls Club will be coming to Emmitsburg. The club will run an afterschool program for 40 children next school year.

Community Deputy Contract Approved

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved the FY2020 with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to continue having two community deputies working in Emmitsburg. The cost will be $288,824, which is a 2.89 percent increase. This is due to salary merit increases and changes in the benefits costs for the deputies.

Town Purchases All-Electric Vehicle

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted to purchase a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt from Wantz Chevrolet for $35,746. This new car will replace that current 2002 town car. Although the town now has charging stations for electric vehicles, town staff did not want an all-electric vehicle because it can be difficult to find charging stations.

The original motion to purchase a Chevrolet Volt failed 2-3. Commissioner Tim O’Donnell then made a motion to purchase the Bolt, which passed 4-1.

Emmitsburg has so much activity to distill. May was a very active month. Lots of congratulations to go around. I was a Hood “Green Team Festival” forum panelist with the mayor of Frederick, County Executive Jan Gardner, and the mayor of Myersville. It was a well-attended, solid program.

May marks the 50th anniversary of the Seton Center providing service to our community. I spoke at the open house celebration. Again, congratulations to the Seton Center.

Recently, I attended with the 99th commissioning ceremony of the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) at Mount St. Mary’s University. Nine graduating students were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

The Vigilant Hose Company held the dedication ceremony of Engine 61 and the retiring of Engine 63 thirty years to the day, May 7, of Engine 63’s installation. The new Engine 61 has a 1,000-gallon water tank and much more. Engine 63 will join another VHC engine, donated by VHC 30 years ago, to the Pine Mountain, Arkansas, firehouse.

By the way, happy 120th anniversary to Woodsboro Bank.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) hosted a spring breakfast with the town, during which County Executive Gardner was the guest speaker. Following the breakfast, the dedication of Electric Vehicle (EV) stations behind the Emmitsburg Community Building was held and County Executive Gardner participated. More ribbon cuttings will follow on future dates for the dedication of the new Wayside signs in town—at the square, Doughboy, and Emmit House.

The Seton Center had another graduating class from the Seton Center’s “Getting Ahead” program. Congratulations to the graduates who are now poised and more prepared with new tools for the management of their lives.

A big congratulations goes out to the 2019 graduating classes at Mount St. Mary’s University and Catoctin High School. Commissioner O’Donnell stood in for me at the Catoctin High School graduation, as I was in Colorado for our granddaughter’s high school graduation.

Another super Vigilant Hose Company “Spring Fling” event was held at the Vigilant Hose Company’s Activities Facility that is now accessible by a sidewalk extension, thanks to County Executive Gardner.

June is filling up quickly for me with meetings in preparation of the new Boys and Girls Club in Emmitsburg that opens this fall, as well as attending the Maryland Municipal League summer conference. This year, Commissioner Sweeney and Commissioner Ritz will join me and Commissioners Blanchard and O’Donnell for more climate leadership classes.

I am most excited about the 36th Annual Community Heritage Day celebration to be held Saturday, June 29. This year, another wonderful day is planned in the park, on the Town Square, in town, along the parade route, and all over town. Of course, the grand finale fireworks display will be spectacular, I’m sure.

 Emmitsburg, a great place to live, work and visit.

by James Rada, Jr.

May 2019 Meeting

FY2020 Budget Introduced

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners received the proposed budget for the town for fiscal year 2020 in May.

It is proposed to adopt the property tax constant yield rate of 29.92 cents per $100 of assessed value. The constant yield rate is the rate the town needs to adopt to generate the same amount of revenue as the previous year. As property assessments rise, the constant yield rate drops.

Under the proposed budget, the general fund revenues are expected to be $4,197,027, with $3,733,555 in expenditures and $449,594 in capital expenses.

The water fund is expected to have $980,825 in revenues, with $853,481 in expenditures and $51,000 in capital expenses.

The wastewater fund is expected to have $1,633,010 in revenues, with $1,479,853 in expenditures and $147,500 in capital expenses.

The electric fund is expected to have $6,704,881 in revenues, with $6,410,268 in expenditures and $249,000 in capital expenditures.

Copies of the budget can be viewed at the town office or online at the town’s website.

Road Paving and Patching Contract Awarded

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners awarded Tibbs Paving, Inc., of Manassas, Virginia, a $35,638 contract to do roadway patching and paving on Hammaker Street, West Moser Road, Locust Drive, Summit Avenue, Ironmaster Drive, Collier Drive, Carroll Street, Rouzer Lane, and Eyler Road. Tibbs was the low bidder among the five bids received. The money will be paid from the town’s highway user revenues paid by the State of Maryland.

Cindy Poole Recognized

Thurmont resident Cindy Poole was recognized for her efforts coordinating and organizing the Thurmont GreenFest.

“You are a spectacular volunteer,” Mayor John Kinnaird said. “You’re everywhere. You do a lot of stuff for our community, and we appreciate it.”

Don’t Feed the Wildlife

The Thurmont Code Enforcement Office has been receiving complaints of residents feeding wildlife. Please don’t feed wild animals, for their health and your safety. For more information why you shouldn’t, visit dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/plants_wildlife/Feeding-Wildlife.aspx.

Help with A Day in the Park

The Town of Thurmont is seeking volunteers to help with the town’s summer program for youth, A Day in the Park. The program will run Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to noon, on July 22-25, July 29-August 1, and August 5-8. You can volunteer one day or every day to guide children, divided into small groups, through organized activities.

For more information, contact Michele Maze at maze.michele07@gmail.com.

 Mayor John Kinnaird

The Class of 2019 at Catoctin High School (CHS) just graduated, and I want to wish all of them the best of luck as they move on to the next phase of their lives. I feel that CHS, and all our feeder schools, provide a rich educational experience for our children. Our communities are very fortunate to have wonderful and dedicated teachers, administration, and support staff, and I want to thank them for their hard work. I also want to say thank you to all the parents; your loving care and support play a big part in your child’s success at school and graduation. I believe that one of the most important lessons we learn at school is how to learn. At some time, someone has probably told you to never stop learning or that you should learn something new every day. Regardless of whether you are going on to higher education or not, it is important to keep learning. Follow this simple rule and you will find a world full of challenges that you can face head on with confidence and the knowledge that you will be successful. Each day will present you with new opportunities to better yourself, increase your knowledge, and to apply what you already know and understand. Again, congratulations to the CHS Class of 2019!

The arrival of June also means that schools will be out for summer break. Please keep an eye out for our youngsters as they enjoy their summer break. They may not always be fully aware of their surroundings outside, as they ride their bikes and skateboards or when they are playing.

The Town of Thurmont is once again hosting the “A Day In The Park” Summer Program. Last year was the first year of this program, and it proved to be a big hit with the kids and parents. The days are filled with lots of outdoor activities, games, learning experiences, and plain old fun! Be sure to check out the details at Thurmont.com, and register your children for this fun summer park program.

This is also carnival season! Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg holds the first carnival of the year and always sets a high bar for the others to match. Carnivals are fun events and allow us to meet friends, have a good time, and get some delicious homemade food. As much fun as carnivals are, they also provide much needed revenue for our fire departments, ambulance services, and schools. I invite you to join me at each of our local carnivals to support these local organizations; they are here for us every day of the year!

The Town of Thurmont just adopted our 2019-2020 budget, and I want to thank our financial staff and department heads for helping craft the budget, and our Commissioners for reviewing, tweaking, and adopting the budget. Our General Fund is dependent on property tax revenue to maintain our police, parks, streets, and administrative staff. I am pleased that we were able to base this year’s General Fund on the Constant Yield Tax Rate. Due to increased property values, this year’s constant yield tax rate actually drops our property tax rate ever so slightly. In the coming year, we will be making several improvement to streets and parks and funding several new police cars and equipment.

If you have any questions, complaints, or suggestions, I can be contacted by phone at 301-606-9458 or by email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com. I am also happy to speak to you in person, so if you see me out around town feel free to strike up a conversation.

On May 7, 2019, at the Vigilant Hose Company’s Fire Hall on West Main Street in Emmitsburg, a brand new fire engine, Engine 61, was dedicated to all past VHC chiefs and to the community they serve.

The date was selected because it was May 7, 1989 (exactly 30 years before), that the unit this engine replaces, old Engine 63, was placed into service. While old Engine 63 had proven itself many times over, both age and active use had taken their toll.

Members of the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) participated in the ceremonial welcome presented by current VHC Chief Chad Umbel inside the firehouse. Then, attendees gathered in front of the fire house to witness several past chiefs spray down the fire truck. Next, VHC and community members picked up a towel to help to dry the engine before using “all of the member’s might” to push the fire truck “into service,” which was represented by pushing the fire truck into the engine bay.

New Engine 61 had been developed from more than 6-months of detailed design, construction, testing, and acceptance testing in Appleton, Wisconsin. Engine 61 has a range of critically important safety and operational capabilities necessary to serve the diversity and complexity of the VHC’s response area.

The new engine has a Pierce ‘Enforcer’ style cab (for 6 seat-belted personnel), a stainless-steel body, a 1,000-gallon water tank, a 1,500 gallon per minute pump, can supply both Class A Foam (for difficult to extinguish fires involving ordinary combustibles including deep-seated brush fires) and Class B Foam (for flammable liquid firefighting). Class A Foam is applied via the unit’s built-in ‘Compressed Air Foam System’ (or CAFS) which has proven to be very beneficial on VHC’s other front-line pumper, Engine-Tanker 64 (a year 2000 model unit).

Only about 1 percent of VHC’s 100-square mile response district has water mains and fire hydrants. Many buildings both in town and in the outlying areas are well over a century old – in fact, some are double that age. Multi-story structures, the range of weather conditions and the mix of residential, commercial, agriculture and institutional occupancies here combined with roadway and farm emergencies require modern equipment be on hand and at the ready 24/7, 365.

The fully-outfitted unit cost the VHC nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. Credit goes to VHC’s hard-working volunteers working tirelessly to make this dream a reality plus at massive cost savings to area taxpayers, too.

VHC’s former fire chiefs hold the water hose to spray down the new Engine 61.

Community and fire company members help to towel dry Engine 61.

Members use “all of their might” to push the fire truck “into service” in the engine bay.

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show committee met recently to begin planning the 63rd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show.  The show will be held at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, on September 6-8, 2019. Officers elected at the meeting were: President—Rodman Myers; Vice President—Robert Valentine; Secretary—Jennifer Martin. Other committee members are Sue Keilholtz, Robert Wiles, David Harman, Niki Eyler, Cheryl Lenhart, Ray Martin, Carol Long, Chip Long, Sharon Graf, Denise Valentine, Amanda and Paul Dennis, Clifford Stewart, Helen Troxell, Cathy Little, Karen Myers, Nancy Wine, Patty Johnston, Jim Barth, Kay Barth, Thad Bittner, Amy Jo Poffenberger, Daniel Myers, Sierra Weatherly, Josie Kaas, Cheyenne Van Echo, Alexis Morgan, and Robert Hahn.

On Friday night, the 2019-2020 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced. In addition, this year’s program will honor the 100th anniversary of the American Legion of Thurmont and Emmitsburg and the 50th anniversary of the Seton Center in Emmitsburg. The Linda Elower Studio of Dance will also be honored for its 50th anniversary during its program on Saturday afternoon. The baked goods auction will begin immediately following the program, and the grand champion cake, pie, and bread will be sold at 9:00 p.m. 

Entry of exhibits will take place on Thursday evening, September 5, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and on Friday, September 6, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., in the new gymnasium and in the agriculture department area. Judging will begin at 12:30 p.m. Commercial exhibits may be entered on Friday, September 6, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show will open to the public at 6:00 p.m. 

On Saturday, September 7, the show opens at 9:00 a.m. Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep and Swine Fitting & Showing Contest, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the Ag Center at the school. The Pet Show will be held at 10:30 a.m., outside the front of the school. The petting zoo, farm animals, and pony rides will also be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The Thurmont Grange will serve its turkey and country ham dinner in the school cafeteria on Saturday night, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Entertainment for Saturday and Sunday will be announced at a later date. There will be no admission charged for the entertainment.

The 45th Annual Catoctin FFA Alumni Beef, Sheep & Swine sale will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area on Saturday night. 

Activities begin on Sunday, September 8, at 9:00 a.m., with the Goat Show, followed by the Dairy Show. At 12:00 p.m., the Catoctin FFA Alumni Chicken Bar-B-Que will be held in the cafeteria. The decorated animal contest will begin at 12:00 noon. The Log Sawing Contest will begin at 12:30 p.m. under the show tent in the Ag Center area, with categories consisting of women’s team, men’s team, men and women’s team, and a children’s division.

A peddle tractor contest for kids will be held on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in the Ag Center area, and the 40th Annual Robert Kaas Horseshoe Pitching Contest will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 8, from 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Please note the new deadline to pick up items.

Soon, the community show booklets may be found in local Thurmont, Emmitsburg and surrounding area businesses in late July or early August. New residents of the community are urged to enter and be a part of the Community Show, the largest in the State of Maryland.  

There will be changes to some departments. Departments include: Fresh Fruits, Fresh Vegetables, Home Products Display, Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables, Jellies & Preserves, Pickles, Meats, Baked Products, Sewing & Needlework, Flowers and Plants, Arts, Paintings & Drawings, Crafts, Photography, Corn, Small Grains and Seeds, Eggs, Nuts, Poultry & Livestock, Dairy, Goats, Hay, Junior Department and Youth Department. There is no entry fee. Please visit the website for updated information at www.thurmontemmitsburgcommunity show.webs.com. 

The Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, the Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.

Dianne Walbrecker

Emmitsburg rolls out the red carpet for neighbors and visitors alike at its biggest event of the year: Community Heritage Day. This year, at our 38th annual festival, we roll out all the games you love, the BBQ chicken, car show, horseshoe contest, parade, and music, but all at a later time than in previous years. Rather than starting too early in the morning, most events will begin at noon. That will give you plenty of time to eat breakfast at the Vigilant Hose; take a cool, refreshing dip in the pool (free for the day); play those hard-fought games like the three-legged race and the raw-egg toss; but also stick around for the parade, music and dancing, and fireworks—with enough energy to spare. For any questions, you can always email us at eburgheritagedays@gmail.com.

As always, the Vigilant Hose Company starts us out with its famous breakfast at 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The Lions Club will serve its famous BBQ chicken dinners, as well as hot dogs and snacks, from noon until sold out, at the Community Park Pavilion.

For those of you who enjoy cycling, we have biking activities for the hardcore biker, as well as the beginner. This year we offer our 50-Miler Sightseer tour that begins at 8:00 a.m. For mountain bikers, we offer various trail rides, from beginner to advanced, at Rainbow Lake at 10:00 a.m. At 1:30 p.m., the “Tour de Pasture,” a five-mile police-escorted ride around Emmitsburg and a shorter family-friendly ride “Tour de Park” will be offered. Finally, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., we will hold “drop in” Bike Safety Rodeo for kids to learn cycling skills at the basketball courts in Community Park.

The public vote car show (registration at 10:30 p.m.) and vendor show will begin at noon. The car show will be on School Lane at the elementary school parking lot, while vendors will be set up in Community Park. For horseshoe fans, registration will be open at noon at Community Park. Games for the whole family, sponsored by the Lions Club, will begin at 2:00 p.m. You will want to bring your best for the water balloon, raw-egg toss, sack races, tug of war, and pie-eating competitions. May the best man, woman, child, or team win!

The Emmitsburg Lions Club is once again sponsoring a Heritage Art Contest. The contest is open to school-aged children from the Emmitsburg School Area in first through eighth grades. Homeschoolers are encouraged to participate as well. All artwork should reflect the theme, “What Does My Community Look Like to Me?” Prizes are awarded to winners in each division. For registration go to Emmitsburgevents.com or email eburgheritagedays@gmail.com

The beer garden will return to this year’s Community Heritage Day celebration as a fundraiser to support two local worthy causes: The Friends of the Emmitsburg Library and Emmitsburg trails. This year, we plan to expand our hours into the early evening, and we are happy to report that Dave Blackmon from Smoketown brewery is returning to share his delicious brews; we are hoping to bring in a couple more breweries to join the fun.

The parade will begin lining up at 4:30 p.m. on Mountain View Road, and will begin half an hour later. As always, folding chairs will crowd the Main Street of Emmitsburg, as people cheer their favorite with “whoops and hollers.” The parade will end at Community Park in time for music and more food.

Come to the Band Stand in the park, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., to rock the night away with the Special Delivery Band, bringing you music from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. This is the kind of music to which everyone will want to dance.

We know you brag about our fireworks to your coworkers, friends, and family, and this year will be no different—they will again be spectacular. Come down to Community Park for the music, food, and company, and enjoy the fireworks up close and personal,

Joan Bittner Fry

I particularly like this story. My Dad, Harold Bittner of Sabillasville, was a historian of sorts. He enjoyed picture taking. The photos above show his interpretation of the flag-lowering ceremony at Fort Ritchie in 1967. I can picture him walking toward the Fort Ritchie Castle, or headquarters, where the flag is usually flown at military posts. In the second photo, the smoke from the fired cannon is seen. After the flag was lowered, military personnel would retrieve the flag, finally catching and folding it and never allowing it to touch the ground. 

This was such a solemn and beautiful part of military life at Fort Ritchie and the community. On a clear day, the cannon could be heard for miles. This ceremony was performed at 4:30 p.m. each day.

A live soldier provided his rendition of “Taps,” and a bugle call played during official military ceremonies when the ceremony was finished. 

When I worked at Fort Detrick, I would walk from the parking lot to my office each morning at 6:00 a.m.  The flag-raising ceremony wasn’t nearly as uplifting as the one Dad had recorded in 1967. A scratchy recording of “Réveille” would be played as the flag was automatically raised. “Réveille” is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise.  The name comes from the French word for “wake up.” There were no military personnel in sight here.  However, I would pause, place my hand over my heart, and hope to be protected by God and the military another day. 

If you have an unserviceable flag, consider calling the Boy Scouts, the AMVETS, the American Legion, or one of their members, to see if they are holding a Flag Retirement Ceremony on or around Flag Day, June 15. They will take your worn out flag and respectfully retire it. These clubs and organizations hold inspiring ceremonies for retiring flags, and the public is invited.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has reopened MD 77 (Foxville Road) in Thurmont, following the total closure and detour in May. The contractor, Highway & Services, Inc. of Gaithersburg, is currently working under flagging operations in both directions of MD 77, between Pryor Road and Stottlemyer Road, weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be occasional overnight work from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The $2.1 million project will replace 46 aging culverts that are under the roadway. These culverts allow water to flow under the road and prevent flooding. To replace the culverts, the contractor will excavate part of the roadway and replace the culverts underneath. This will require single lane closures, guided by a flagging operation this summer.

 In addition to the culvert replacement, the contractor will clean existing drain pipes and inlets. This section of MD 77 will also be paved after work is complete, which is scheduled for summer 2020.

James Rada, Jr.

Flood watches and the threat of rain didn’t deter people from visiting Thurmont’s downtown businesses for the Main Street Art & Wine Stroll on May 10, 2019. A dozen businesses hosted dozens of local wineries, artists, and other artisans for the bi-annual event. Visitors sampled wines from area vineyards and admired the work of local artists.

The participants included: Businesses: Browns’ Jewelry & Gifts, Center of Life Pilates & Holistic Health Center, ESP Dance Studio, Gateway Orthodontics, Hobbs Hardware, Long & Foster – The Huffman Team, My Eye Doctor, Rebecca LaChance Artistic Portraits, Rebecca Pearl Gallery, Thurmont American Legion Post 168, Thurmont Amvets Post 7, Thurmont Bar & Grill, Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, Thurmont Main Street Center, Thurmont Senior Center, Timeless Trends Boutique; Artisans: Alexandra Farrington, Ashley Wagester, Barbara Creighton, Charlotte Dutton, Gnarly Artly, James Rada, Jr., Jan Flynn, Jody Newton, Liz Dodson-The Kombucha Lady, Michele Maze, Nancy Houston, Nicole Lutrell, Sarah Simmons, Scales & Tales, Sharon Rowland, Sublime Wine Design, Willow Creek Studio, Yemi; Musicians: Doug Alan Wilcox, Gateway Brass Ensemble, Harold Staley, Open Easy, Slap Happy; Wineries: Catoctin Breeze Vineyard, Detour Vineyard Winery, Links Bridge Vineyards, and Mazzaroth Vineyard.

The staff and mayor of Emmitsburg, members of the Emmitsburg Business and Professionals Association, and community members gathered to celebrate the official opening of several electric vehicle charging stations located on the back side of the Community Building parking lot on South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg.

Matt Wade, the CEO of the EVI (Electric Vehicle Institute), the company who helped with the installation of the service, out of Baltimore, gave a demonstration of charging his electric vehicle. He said, “It’s as easy as plugging in and watching the lights on the kiosk progress from red to blue to green.” A full charge can take up to four hours to complete.

County Executive Jan Gardner presented a proclamation to Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs during this ceremony. She talked about Frederick County leading the way being the first on the Eastern Seaboard to utilize all-electric buses in its transit system.

Owners of electric vehicles can now plug into one of several convenient charging stations to top off, or fully charge, their electric vehicles. Mayor Briggs said that charging will be free until further notice so that residents can become familiar with the convenience. After the fee-free timeframe, charging will cost a few dollars and can be paid at the charging kiosk with a credit card.

Pictured left to right are Emmitsburg Town Clerk Maddy Shaw, Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs, EVI CEO Matt Wade, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, Emmitsburg Town Councilman Cliff Sweeney, EBPA Vice-President Michael Cantori, Emmitsburg Town Planner Zach Gulden, EBPA President Wayne Slaughter, Emmitsburg Town Office Manager Terri Ray, and Emmitsburg Town Accounting Tech Reese Fryer.

Blair Garrett

Donations come in all shapes and sizes. Giving back can be a chore for some. For others, donating clothing, food, or money can be a tremendous resource for those in need.

For Emmitsburg resident Elaine Schmidt (pictuted above), donating her time is what keeps her going. For the past 18 years, Schmidt has been dedicating countless hours to helping to make the community a better place by helping her local church and residents at St. Joseph’s.  

“I got here in November of 2001, and by December, I was volunteering,” Schmidt said. “I started out feeding residents. Now, I work in the beauty parlor, and I always took residents out on doctor appointments.”

Schmidt had a setback from a medical procedure last August, which prevented her from shuttling patients to their appointments, but it was something she excelled at during her time in Emmitsburg, and it’s something she plans to get back to in the near future. “I enjoyed that, so I will start to do that again, but I’m trying soon,” she said.

At 90, Schmidt has been a near lifelong caregiver. She has four children and has worked various jobs, where she was the glue, filling the needs of her employers, so her dedication to the church is nothing new. Her continued support of the church and the community has garnered more recognition than Schmidt would like or was used to, but her contributions were too great to be ignored.

“Last year, Father Marty came to me and read this letter and said that I would be made an affiliate of the Vincentian Family, which was quite an honor,” Schmidt said.” “I would like to really thank him because I know he did quite a lot on my behalf.”

In fact, not only did Father Marty write and acknowledge the efforts of Schmidt over the past two decades, priests and sisters across Northern Frederick County added their thoughts on how valuable Schmidt has been to the church.

Priests came from as far as Philadelphia to recognize Schmidt as a member of the Vincentian Family with a plaque on April 27 at St. Joseph’s Church. “It was a beautiful day,” recalled Schmidt. “It really was a day I won’t forget.”

Schmidt’s volunteer work started long before her arrival in Emmitsburg. A native of Baltimore, Schmidt found her love of volunteering to go along with her career while helping out at the VA Medical Center in Baltimore. “I fed patients on the surgical floor, and I worked for the priests there in the psychiatric ward,” Schmidt said.

Her move to Emmitsburg was a new journey, though, and a challenging one at first. “When I first moved to Emmitsburg, I didn’t know a soul.” But she found her home in a small town, and quickly became a shining star among the community through her greatest passion: volunteering.

Today, Schmidt continues to offer help to the people who need it most. She also enjoys gardening and crocheting blankets and hats for local hospitals. Her work with the church is often thought of as a humbling and quiet life, but her outgoing personality and undying generosity is anything but.  

Catoctin Mountain Park recently opened new visitor center exhibits that are a must-see for area residents.

 For decades, the rustic 1940s-era visitor center has served as a contact point for hikers, campers, and individuals exploring the wooded hills and creeks around Thurmont.

The new exhibits provide a broad overview of the area’s history, including sharing how American Indians collected rhyolite from the mountain to create tools and projectile points, as well as how later settlers made a living from farming, timbering, and manufacturing charcoal for the Catoctin Iron Furnace.

The exhibits highlight the park’s beginnings during the Depression as a Recreational Demonstration Area, and the evolution of the park by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

Also included are uses of the park by the Job Corps, youth groups, the Frederick County Outdoor School, and many others seeking opportunities for personal renewal and recreation.

The exhibits have engaging interactive elements for children and the young at heart to learn about the animals, plants, and the people who have current or historical connections to the park and surrounding area. 

 The Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  It is located at 14707 Park Central Road, Thurmont, MD, 21788.

The Thurmont Lions Club held its Education Night on May 8, 2019, with Mark Pritts, Frederick County Public School’s instructional director as their guest speaker. The club recognized a teacher from Catoctin High School and the seven feeder schools. Of these eight teachers, a “Teacher of the Year” for the Thurmont Lions Club was honored. Each teacher received a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant. The Teacher of the Year received a check for $250.

The 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year was Marisa Bruce, Thurmont Primary School. Fellow teachers nominated her. An excerpt from her nomination form reads: “She is a music teacher whose love and enthusiasm for music is contagious. Even the most timid student has found confidence and joy in her classroom. She has planned grade-level performances that involve every student this year. This is an amazing opportunity for our students to show and share what they have learned this year. She is a wonderful asset to our school.”

The club recognized Mike Franklin, a physical education teacher at Catoctin High School, who was named Frederick County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. He has been head coach of the CHS baseball team for 20 years. Franklin was unable to join the club for their Education Night celebration due to a previous commitment. However, Principal Bernard Quesada of Catoctin High School said a few heartfelt words about Franklin, regarding his outstanding contributions to the school and his outstanding commitments to the students in the physical education department. 

Pictured from left are 1st VP Lion Joyce Anthony; Marisa Bruce; Principal Kate Locke, Thurmont Primary School; President Julie El-Taher.