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Opening Ceremonies Will Honor Three Local Organizations

The 63rd Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show’s opening ceremonies will be held at Catoctin High School on Friday night, September 6, at 7:00 p.m.  The evening will begin with the 43rd Annual Community Organizations Flag Ceremony, with approximately 30 local organizations participating.  This year’s program will honor the 50th anniversary of the Seton Center in Emmitsburg, and the 100th anniversary of the Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. American Legion Post #168 of Thurmont and the Francis X. Elder American Legion Post #121 of Emmitsburg. At the end of the evening, the 2019-2020 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced.    

The Seton Center in Emmitsburg provides emergency assistance with rent and utilities; financial literacy education; job search and support; case management; information and referrals; access to dental health care; life skills workshops; and Getting Ahead in a Just-Getting-By World program, which teaches people self-sufficiency, finance and budgeting, and how to create a sustainable way out of poverty.

The Seton Family Store is very popular with a selection of quality items; the support of the Family Store helps the outreach programs operate. The Seton Center relies on the generosity of donors and funds from the store to continue helping our neighbors in need. Honorees from The Seton Center are Kelly Overholtzer; Sister Roberta Treppa, D. C.; Kenneth Droneburg; and Melissa Miller. 

The American Legion organization was founded in 1919 by Veterans returning from Europe after World War I, and was later chartered as an official American patriotic society that carries on the tradition to support Veterans, families, and their community. The Legion continues to volunteer in patriotic service of mutual help to our Veterans and has touched virtually every facet of American life; and, to this day, they carry on the objective to serve the community, state, and nation. 

Honorees from Emmitsburg’s Francis X. Elder American Legion Post #121 are: Thomas E. Hoke, Edward E. Lingg, Martin R. Williams, Paul J. Sutton, Sanford R. McGuire, and Kevin Cogan. 

Honorees from Thurmont’s Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. American Legion Post #168 are: Sidney A. Wolf, James L. Mackley, Alvin L. Hatcher, Rick L. Hall, Robert H. Brennan, and Edward A. Gravatt.

The Linda Elower Studio of Dance will also be honored for their 50th anniversary during its Saturday, September 7 performance at 1:00 p.m. 

The annual Community Show Baked Goods Auction will begin immediately following the program, with the Grand Champion Cake, Pie, and Bread being sold at 9:00 p.m. Bidder number registration is on the auditorium’s stage, so come on out and support the 63rd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show!

In conjunction with many other Community Show events and activities, on Saturday, September 7, the Thurmont Grange will serve a roasted turkey and country ham buffet dinner in the Catoctin High School cafeteria, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Prices are: Adults—$14.00; children under 12—$7.00, and children under 5—$5.00. Carryout dinners are $15.00. On Sunday, September 8, at noon, the Catoctin FFA Alumni will serve a chicken bar-b-que dinner in the Catoctin High School cafeteria. Prices are: Adults—$10.00; under 12—$7.00. Carryout dinners are $11.00.

Community Show’s Entertainment Showcases Local & International Talent

Don’t miss the performance of Thurmont’s Gateway Brass Ensemble on Saturday, September 7, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Thurmont’s Gateway Brass Ensemble was formed in September 2017, under the direction of Morris Blake. The Gateway Brass Ensemble is very unique, in that it blends contemporary sounds with the traditional brass genre. The Gateway Brass Ensemble members span many generations, which makes this group’s talent shine!

Richard Troxell will perform in the auditorium on Saturday, September 7, from 8:00-9:00 p.m. Richard Troxell’s beautiful lyric tenor voice has been thrilling audiences in leading roles in opera houses and on concert stages around the world, among them are The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Australia in Sydney, Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, L’Opéra Comique Paris, Opéra Monte Carlo, Théâtredu Capitôle de Toulouse, Opéra National de Montpellier, Vancouver Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla, Teatro del Lago Chile, National Theater for the Performing Arts Beijing, National Theater Taipei, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and the Portland Opera. His vocal artistry and powerful stage presence set him apart, and his ability to connect with audiences has made him a favorite.

Richard’s recording credits include his latest two solo CDs, So in Love with the Tom Lawton Trio, Classic Broadway with the Czech National Symphony under the baton of maestro Steven Mercurio, the role of Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly for the Sony label, the role of Beppe in I Pagliacci for the Deutsche Gramophone label under the baton of Georges Prêtre, the role of Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac for the Deutsche Gramophone label, the role of Galieo in Philip Glass” Galileo Galilea for the Orange Mt. label, and numerous recordings for the Milken Archive of Jewish Music on the Naxos Label, including Masada by Marvin David Levy with the Berlin Radio Symphony and his first sold-out solo CD Wonderful World. Richard Troxell is from Thurmont, where he started singing at the age of four, along with his parents, belting out Broadway tunes at Lions Club benefits and singing hymns in the church choir. He graduated from Catoctin High School in 1979. He received his operatic training at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in the countryside of Chester County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, dancer/choreographer Lisa Lovelace, and their two sons, Wilder and Shane.

When not performing, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, motorcycling, hiking, and long-distance bicycle riding.

The Catoctin Mountain Boys will be performing in the auditorium on Sunday, September 8, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  

Enjoy Catoctin’s local talent in the Catoctin High School auditorium during the 63rd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show! 

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show offers free admission and free parking. For more information, please visit www.thurmontemmitsburg

The Catoctin Mountain Boys (from left), Shane Swope, Bob Brown, Joe Brown, Dave Lingg, and Adam Brown, perform on September 8, 2019, at the 63rd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show.

James Rada, Jr.

The Emmitsburg Boys and Girls Club starts this month on September 3 in Emmitsburg Elementary School.

The club is part of the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County. It is an after-school program that provides a safe and friendly place for Emmitsburg students to gather, learn, and have fun.

According to Lisa McDonald, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County, a typical day in the club includes a snack, time to complete homework, and an enrichment activity. On occasion, the students will have field trips for different activities.

“Each day is a little bit different,” McDonald said. “We use several outcome-based curriculums to teach things like healthy habits, STEM, and character development.”

The club starts directly after school and continues until 6:00 p.m.

“When school closes early, we open early to accommodate,” McDonald said. Also, on days when school is closed, the club will meet at Christ Community Church in Emmitsburg.

The program, which is funded by a Frederick County Community Partnership Grant, serves 45 students and is open to everyone. The Town of Emmitsburg has also committed around $10,000 to the program, just as they did with the former after-school program.

“We are hoping to grow the program in Northern Frederick County,” expressed McDonald. However, the Emmitsburg Club is currently focusing on students in Emmitsburg Elementary, where a United Way study identified a need for such a program.

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs worked to convince the Boys and Girls Club to come to Emmitsburg.

“Their program is terrific,” said Briggs. “It complements the schools and helps develop a well-rounded person. It’s also another thing for youth in town to do.”

Students can register for the club online at The cost of the program is $15 annually and $40 a month for each month school is in session.

Emmitsburg Food Bank/Catoctin Pregnancy Center Relocate

This month, the Emmitsburg Food Bank and the Catoctin Pregnancy Center move from the old mill location on the east side of Emmitsburg to a new location up-town (meaning “up hill” into town), near the Emmitsburg Elementary School playground in the former W.S. Drywall offices at 130 South Seton Avenue (in the rear of the building) as of September 1. The food bank and pregnancy center will be closed the last week of August for the move.

At the new facility, Catoctin Pregnancy Center hours will remain the same: Monday and Friday, 1:00-3:00 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Whereas, the Emmitsburg Food Bank hours will change to Tuesday, 6:00-7:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.; Friday, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Everyone is excited about the new location, which features more space and easier access. Please be patient while volunteers settle in. Director Phyllis Kelly said, “We invite anyone that needs help with food or during pregnancy to check us out.”

The former location of the Catoctin Pregnancy Center/Emmitsburg Food Bank was on East Main Street.

The new location is the rear entrance of the property at 130 South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg.

Courtesy Photos

The family of John and Betty Brown donated a wood and glass display case from Brown’s Jewelry & Gifts, which closed recently, to the Thurmont Historical Society. John passed away in July of this year and Betty died in 2009. According to Stacey Brown-Hobbs, her mother, Betty, displayed her favorite items in the case near the front of the store.

On Saturday, August 31, 2019, beginning at 10:00 a.m., Brown’s Jewelry & Gift Store at 9 Water Street in Thurmont will be celebrating the memory of John and Betty Brown with a Customer Appreciation Day. Light refreshments will be available, as well as a special discount for that day only. The Brown’s Jewelry Store family and staff are forever grateful for the prayers and support the community has given throughout the years.

Pictured from left are Joey Miller, Barb Barbe, Stacey Brown-Hobbs, Eric Hobbs, Emily Hobbs, ShaLeigh Saylor, and Michael Hobbs.

The annual Mount Tabor Church Big Picnic and Baby Show was held on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at Mt. Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge. A total of 42 babies—24 girls and 18 boys—participated in the show. The youngest baby was two-and-a-half-week-old Castiel Frushour, son of the late Austin Frushour and Angel Sharrer of Thurmont. Skyler Frizzell, daughter of Veronica Frizzell, traveled the farthest distance, from Selbyville, Delaware. There were no twins or triplets in this year’s Baby Show. 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 seven babies in the 1 day to 3-month-old category: the prettiest girl was Grace Miller, 2-month-old daughter of Tiffany and Will Miller of Hanover, Pennsylvania; the cutest boy was John William Reever, Jr., 2-month-old son of John and Danielle Reever of Hagerstown; the chubbiest baby was Atticus Lamb, 3-month-old son of Jessica and Scott Lamb of Frederick.

There were also seven babies registered in the next age group: the prettiest girl in the 4- to 6-month-old category was Emery Click, 6-month-old daughter of Morgan and Vance Click of Emmitsburg; the cutest boy was Kovalan Rosensteel, 5-month-old son of Asia and Matthew Rosensteel of Thurmont; the chubbiest baby was Raegan Davis, 5-month-old daughter of Tyler and Noah Davis of Thurmont.

Of the twelve babies in the 7- to 12-month-old category, Adelaide Shoemaker, 10-month-old daughter of Whitney and Dustin Shoemaker of Thurmont, was judged the prettiest girl; the cutest boy was Jackson Grimsley, 7-month-old son of Jordan and Whitney Grimsley of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Jaxson Cool, 11-month-old son of Mary Glass and John Cool of Thurmont, was named the chubbiest baby.

In the 13- to 18-month-old category, there were ten babies: Scarlett Lutman, 14-month-old daughter of Shannon and Matt Lutman of Walkersville, was judged the prettiest girl; the cutest boy was Carter Staub of Thurmont, 17-month-old son of Ashley and Justin Staub; the chubbiest baby was Angelo Bonasero, 16-month-old son of Michelle and Jason Bonasero of Frederick.

In the 19- to 24-month-old category, there were six babies. Izabella Putman, 22-month-old daughter of Andy and Kelly Putman of Woodsboro, was named the prettiest girl; Kace Boyer, 19-month-old son of Kathleen and Brian Boyer of Ijamsville, was named the cutest boy; the chubbiest baby was Skylar Herr, 20-month-old daughter of Dawn Wood and David Herr of Thurmont.

Please join in the fun again next year on the second Saturday of August at Mt. Tabor Park. You may register your baby (or babies) who ranges in age from 1 day to 24 months, 0 days.  Watch your local newspaper for more details, including registration time.

Ray Dove and his eight-month-old daughter, Cornelia, of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, are all smiles at the annual Mount Tabor Church Big Picnic and Baby Show.

July 2019 Meeting

Emmitsburg National Night Out on Aug. 6

Emmitsburg is planning a large celebration of National Night Out on August 6. The events will take place in Community Park at 201 West Lincoln Avenue, from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its county-wide event in Emmitsburg. There is no admission. Enjoy hot dogs, ice cream, music, face painting, vendors, fire truck, SWAT teams, police K-9 demonstrations, McGruff the Crime Dog, and more.

National Night Out is a nationwide event, held annually on the first Tuesday in August, with the goal of making communities safer places to live by bringing police and the public together under positive circumstances. Emmitsburg has been hosting an annual National Night Out event since 2017.

All-Inclusive Playground Ready to be Installed

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved the final funding for the new all-inclusive playground to be installed at Community Park. The $302,350 playground will be paid for with funds from a Community Legacy Grant, Program Open Space money, Emmitsburg capital funds, and the Civitan Club. Playground Specialists of Thurmont will do the installation.

The new playground is based on the all-inclusive playground design in Thurmont and is ADA compliant.

Cross Connection Control Contractors Approved

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved its recommended contractors for installing state-mandated backflow preventers.

Kelco Plumbing & Backhoe Services of Sabillasville is Emmitsburg’s approved residential low-hazard, non-testable backflow preventer contractor. Tri-County Plumbing & Heating of Rocky Ridge is the town’s approved commercial/industrial high-hazard, testable backflow preventer contractor.

Although these contractors are town recommended, homeowners and business owners are not required to use them.

Town Purchases Mini-Dump Truck

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved the purchase of a new mini-dump truck from MJR Equipment. The new truck will replace a 2002 mini-dump truck and will be used for plowing, salting, hauling dirt and stone, work in the parks, and water line repairs. The cost of $73,950 was budgeted in the FY2019 capital projects budget.

MJR Equipment was one of three bids. Although it wasn’t the lowest bid, staff recommended it because of other factors, one of which is that MJR will come to town to pick up equipment and make repairs and bring any necessary parts.

Farmer’s Market Postponed

The 16th Annual Emmitsburg Farmer’s Market has been postponed indefinitely because too few vendors planned on offering their goods. It may return later in the season if enough vendors decide that they want to participate.

Mayor Don Briggs

There are still more of the Emmitsburg ensemble of summer activities!

National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 6, from 6:00-8:30 p.m., in Community Park. PLEASE check or recheck your calendar; the town is hosting this event. The event will feature the Sheriff, the Sheriff’s Department Swat Team, Swat Team vehicle, and K 9 team, plus 30-some venders, free hotdogs, Rita’s Ice, and maybe more.

Over 170 people attended the town-sponsored second summer pool party on Friday, July 12. This was a record attendance for a pool party. There will be more DJ music, free while-they-last hot dogs, Rita’s Ice, and lemonade at the third and final pool party on August 16, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The cost is $1.00 for those who do not have a pool membership. 

The disc golf course designers were in town to familiarize themselves with the lay of the land in Community Park. Part of the course layout may go through wooded areas in an ecologically balanced way.

Look for more Parks and Rec Committee concerts in Community Park: Friday, August 2, 6:00-9:00 p.m., with Party Rock from the 70s, 80s, and 90s; Friday, August 30, 7:00-8:00 p.m., with American & Comedy “Christine and the Road King.”

Please heed or assist those in need, “Food 4 Kids” pickups are at Elias Lutheran Church on Wednesdays, 3:00-6:00 p.m., August 7, 14, and 28, and Wednesday, September 18. Also at Elias Lutheran Church, food giveaways from the Maryland Food Bank are Wednesdays, 3:00-6:00 p.m., August 14 and September 18.

The Square, Doughboy, and Emmit House wayside exhibits are now in place after the special Community Day ribbon-cutting with County Executive Jan Garner, our Northern Frederick District County Council representative Michael Blue, and Dr. Denis Onieal, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator, joining us. Our 2020 Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) grant request was approved for four additional wayside exhibits, to include the Vigilant Hose Company, the Chronicle Press building, Carriage House Inn, and the Great Emmitsburg Fire. Our hope is to add wayside exhibits to the town streetscape every year under this grant program. 

The re-adaption of the Community Park playground to an all-inclusive playground, with the cooperation of weather, will be completed and operable by mid-to-late October. To our grant sources and the wonderful assistance from the Catoctin Area Civitan Club contribution, “thank you.”

The Community Pool will be open through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

The town’s regularly scheduled meeting will be held Tuesday, September 3, at 7:30 p.m.

From the Town to all: thank you for being a part of and contributing to the Emmitsburg Community. Please, please be careful of the heat. If in need, stop by the Seton Center for water and a break.

July 2019 Meeting

Commissioner Deal With State-Mandated Energy Changes

The State of Maryland is requiring electric companies to double the amount of renewable energy they use from 25 percent to 50 percent. In particular, the amount of renewable energy from solar polar is increasing from 2.5 percent to 14.5 percent.

These changes could drastically increase the electric bills of customers on the Thurmont power system. Currently, Thurmont has the second-lowest electric rates in the state, but these increases could potentially increase the cost of energy for Thurmont by hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Under law, if a power system is not generating renewable energy, then the system must pay offset credit. These credits were costing $10 per megawatt hour. However, because the changes in state law instantly increases demand without creating additional sources of renewable energy credits, the cost of those credits has jumped to $60 per megawatt hour.

Commissioner Marty Burns was very upset with the changes, saying they weren’t sustainable and that they negatively impact residents.

The commissioners are pursuing a two-pronged approach right now to deal with the changes.

First, they want to lock in the current energy rates if possible. Energy costs have been dropping since the last time the town negotiated an energy contract. These savings could offset the increase energy credit costs for a couple of years.

Second, the town will work with the Town of Easton and other small energy companies to lobby elected officials to try and get some relief.

Town Uses Outside Electric Company to Supplement Town Staff

The Town of Thurmont has seen an increase in after-hours calls to deal with power outages, but it currently does not have enough trained staff to fully handle the calls. Because of this, the town has entered into a contract with Diamond Electric in Keedysville to supplement town staff when after-hours power problems happen. The goal is to get enough town staff trained to handle things, but this will take time. In the meantime, Diamond Electric will keep town staff from being over-worked.

Year-End Budget Adjustments Were Made

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved the year-end budget amendment to balance out the fiscal year 2019 budget before it closed at the end of June. These included income increases due to interest on accounts and grants received. On the expenditure sides, various amounts were moved from one line item to another. The adjustments were small, with none of them causing concern among the commissioners.

Mayor John Kinnaird

July is vacation time for many, and this year we are no exception! As I write this, we are traveling in England and Scotland from July 10 through July 28. We started our adventure in London with our uncle Grant and his family and had a great time. We then spent a night and day in Liverpool with our friends Helen and Paul Smith, before heading to their home in Ripon. We spent three days there and then headed for my home town of Aberdeen. A 13-hour ferry ride to the Shetland brought us to where we are today, as I write my column.

 I am writing this morning from the keeper’s quarters at the old lighthouse on Bressay Island in the Shetlands. We got to Bressay by ferry from Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. Lerwick is the Northern most City in Great Britain. We are surrounded by Neolithic sites established 4,000 years ago. The history here is long and complicated and includes Viking invasions. The Vikings arrived in 900, over 2,000 years after the first settlers. We visited Jarlshof, a site that has been in use for 4,000 years, each generation building over previous works. We have been enjoying mostly sunny days, with temps in the 60’s and 70’s.

Meanwhile, back in Thurmont, I hear the weather has been hot and stormy. The paving on Main Street is underway, and I hope it is not causing any unnecessary aggravation or issues. Looking ahead to August, the Commissioners and I will be back to our regular weekly meetings. As always, I invite you to attend our meetings and see how our local government works.

The Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market is open each Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. until noon. There is always a great selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, handcrafted soaps, and crafts.

As the saying goes: “No matter how far I roam, no matter what I see, there’s no place like home, it’s where I want to be.” I was born in Scotland but have adopted Thurmont as my home, and I can’t wait to get back!

Please call me at 301-606-9458 or email me at if you have any questions or concerns. Better yet, just stop me if you see me out and about.

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held at Catoctin High School, 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, on September 6-8, 2019. 

On September 7,  the annual Pet Show’s registration begins at 10:00 a.m. on the front lawn of the school. The Pet Show will begin at 10:30 a.m. Entries will be accepted from any person in the Catoctin High School feeder area. All pets must be handled by their owners. 

New this year will be the addition of premium money for winners in each class: 1st —$5.00; 2nd—$4.50 ; 3rd—$4.00. Premium checks will be mailed to exhibitors by November 15. Champion and Reserve Champion awards will be selected from the first-place winners of all 12 classes. There is only one entry per person in each class, and you may enter as many classes as you wish. 

Pet Show Classes: Class 1—Cat with Prettiest Eyes; Class 2—Cat with Longest Whiskers; Class 3—Cutest Cat; Class 4—Best Trained Pet; Class 5—Dog with Waggiest Tail; Class 6—Prettiest Dog (25 lbs. and under); Class 7—Prettiest Dog (26 lbs. and over); Class 8—Best Costumed Pet; Class 9—Pet with Most Spots; Class 10—Largest Pet (by height); Class 11—Most Unusual Pet; Class 12—Smallest Pet.

Additional Important Pet Show Information: An ant is not a pet, animals are not allowed in the school, and please bring your own lawn chairs to enjoy watching the Pet Show.   

Before the Pet Show begins, Thurmont Police Department’s Cpl. Tim Duhan will give a K-9 demonstration with the department’s police dog, Majo.

The Community Show’s admission and parking are free. Please stop by the hospitality booth at the high school’s entrance and sign up for door prizes, which will be drawn each evening. Also, a silver offering will be received to benefit the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Food Banks.  

The Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC) has kicked into high gear this summer in its effort to educate the public about the dangers of addiction and to sponsor activities that promote awareness and healthy living.

At the end of May, a showing of the documentary Heroin’s Grip was held at Catoctin High School to a large audience and featured a guest panel discussion.  In June, TAC presented an Overdose Response Training workshop at the Thurmont Library, which also provided instruction to administer Narcan. 

The FUSE Teen Center recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and what a busy year it’s been. A handful of FUSE’rs traveled to Washington D.C. for a guided tour of the White House. In addition, a FUSE Fun Day took place on June 8 for area teenagers, with a great response from local establishments. 

On July 16, TAC hosted a “Hands on Addictions Advocacy Workshop” in the back room of the Kountry Kitchen in Thurmont. This event was free and open to the community. On July 24, FUSE hosted the ‘Kick-IT for FUSE Kickball Tournament,” in conjunction with Potter Baseball Tour, at the Thurmont Little League field. The event was open to all ages. There was also a movie shown on the baseball field that evening.

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, will be a day of volleyball fun and good times at the “Spike for a Cause” Volleyball Tournament. This event will be held at Libertytown Park. If you are an adult and interested in joining a team, contact Mike Schilling at 301-305-5529.

On August 31, from 7:00-8:00 p.m., there will be an Overdose Awareness Luminary and Program at Mechanicsburg Park in Thurmont. This event is open to the public.

Momentum is building to turn Frederick County Purple in September for National Recovery Month, to bring awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and to celebrate those living in recovery.  More information can be found at or on Facebook at There are many opportunities for the public to get involved. We encourage you to get involved and help Turning Frederick County Purple!

TAC is always looking for volunteers or individuals that want to help combat addiction in our communities. Those interested may email or on Facebook at

Come to the Shrine and pray for servicemen and women at the Annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services on Sunday, October 6, 2019, in Emmitsburg. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is the Patroness of the Sea Services, which include the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Public Health Service. The late Cardinal John J. O’Connor advocated for her designation as the Patroness of the Sea Services in 1977, when he served as the Navy Chief of Chaplains. The Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ, the current Bishop of Oakland, California, and who also served for many years as a chaplain in the Naval Reserve.

“It will be a very special honor to have Bishop Barber, who recently retired from the Navy Chaplain Corps with his broad background of military service, join us for the annual Pilgrimage,” said retired Admiral William J. Fallon, chair of the Pilgrimage Sponsoring Committee. “Bishop Barber has served with our Navy and Marine Corps in many places around the world, including a deployment to the Middle East during the war in Iraq and also on aircraft carriers and with Marine units. He’s provided spiritual guidance to numerous deployed servicemen and women in a variety of circumstances, and we will be so pleased to welcome him to the Pilgrimage.”

“We’re grateful for all of the servicemen and women who’ve taken part in the Pilgrimage over the years,” said Rob Judge, executive director of the Seton Shrine. “It’s a prayerful and moving time for them to join with their family members and others in thanking Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton for her protection and to ask for her continued intercession on their behalf as they serve our country.”

The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, and a co-sponsor of the Pilgrimage said “This annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine is to be commended. With two sons serving in the Sea Services, Elizabeth Ann Seton is a fine example of sacrifice, service, and love for our country and its people.”

The Pilgrimage Mass will take place at 3:00 p.m. on October 6, in the Basilica at the Seton Shrine, located at 339 South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg.

A complimentary dinner will be provided afterward to all in attendance. If you would like to attend, please contact Rob Judge at 301-447-6037 or through email at

Over the past 100 years, Roger Atkins has been on quite the adventure!
Roger was born in the big city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 6, 1919. He recalled his first job, which was making nuts and bolts, followed by working at the Pittsburg Steel Mill.

Roger is a graduate from Purdue, with a degree in metellurgy. He also worked a summer as a lumber jack up north. A Veteran of the U.S. Army, he served in World War II. After his tour, he settled down for a career in government working for the U.S. Army, which included a tour in Vietnam, finally retiring in his mid-60s.

He has been a resident of his favorite little town, Detour, for 50 years. He has three children—two sons (Thomas and Kevin) and a daughter (Sheila), plus two grandchildren (Jason and Rebecca) and two great-grandchildren (Brady and Hudson). He enjoys getting his exercise at physical therapy, and spending time calling and speaking with his sweetheart of 35 years, Darleen.

The Fort Ritchie Community Center has been robbed! Gold recovered from a sunken Pirate ship on loan to the Community Center’s summer program has gone missing. Luckily, participants in the summer camp program are on the case collecting and deciphering clues as part of the Crime Scene Investigators theme week.

“We know one of the staff took the gold,” said a seven year old male camper, adding the gold would be too heavy for his bookbag. Participants will get some professional guidance to help break the case from the Washington County Special Response Team comprised of local law enforcement officers this week. A field trip is planned to see a local courtroom. Video surveillance of the room where the gold was on display will also help the campers identify the culprit.

“The CSI week was the first week to sell out in terms of registration this year,” said Buck Browning, director of the Community Center. “Our staff does a great job planning the activities for each theme week and then the involvement from agencies and other groups really help make the experiences memorable and exciting for the campers,” he added.

Browning credits the summer camp staff with designing the activities so campers use a broad range of critical thinking skills to collect clues and work together to identify suspects and then ultimately decide who they think took the gold.

The Community Center located in Cascade provides nine weeks of summer camp activities for local children between the ages of 6 and 13. Each week features a theme, such as Crime Scene Investigators, Sports, Outdoor Adventure, Robotics, and the Arts. Guest presenters, specialized activities, and field trips are incorporated into the traditional summer camp schedule.

The Fort Ritchie Community Center is located on the former Fort Ritchie property. In addition to summer camp activities, the Community Center features a fitness center, exercise classes, two gymnasiums, and a museum highlighting the history of the property. Programs offered through the Center include job skills for youth, senior citizen activities, and various community events such as craft shows and holiday celebrations. For more information regarding the Community Center, visit its website at

Emma Ginn, Finley Brodsky, BreElla Guildoo, Isabel Brodsky, Mitchell Hundley, Jaylyn Etter (staff), Sarah Henry, Hunter Stockslager, Casey Lowe, and Gabe Riling look over the crime scene as part of the CSI Week at the Fort Ritchie Community Center summer camp.

Community Heritage Day was held on June 29, 2019, at the Emmitsburg Community Park. This much-anticipated annual event is enjoyed by the whole community and features many fun activities, shows, crafts, fireworks, and many more, as well as many contests, including sack races, art contest, egg toss, and more. A list of winners for each contest is listed below.

Up to 6 years—Wyatt Droneburg; Ages 7-11—Blake Cool; Ages 12-16—Lexi Cool; 17 and older—Jess Miraballe.

Sack Races (Singles)

Up to 4 years: 1st—Emma Blair, 2nd—Easton Beck; Ages 5-8: 1st—Savanah Phebus, 2nd—Layton Black; Ages 9-12: 1st—Madison Ball, 2nd—Jeremy Talcott; Ages 13-16: 1st—Joseph Larrivee, 2nd—Michael Legare.

Sack Races (Doubles)

Up to 8 years: 1st—Layton Black/Kaleb Wolfe, 2nd—Bridget Ball/Brielle Calhoun; Ages 9-12: 1st—Bella Tramma/Sarah Keifer, 2nd—Madison Ball/Aubrey Calhoun; Ages 13-16: 1st—Tessa McKenzie/Aria Calhoun, 2nd—Michael Legare/Joseph Larrivee; Ages 17 and up: 1st—Nicodemus Powell/Chankiri Franco, 2nd Tie—Barrett Turner/Issac Mills, 2nd Tie—Becca Corbeol/Theresa Buchheit.

Egg Toss

1st—Thomas Legare/Matthias Buchheister.

Pie Eating Contest

Up to 8 years: 1st—Lily Coblentz, 2nd—Cora Krom; Ages 9-12: 1st—Curtis Heath, 2nd—Grady Abruzzese; 13 and older: 1st—Jason Krom, 2nd—Phil Abruzzese.

Watermelon Eating Contest

Kids: 1st—Curtiss Heath, 2nd—Lynzee Davis; Adults: 1st—Gary Suit, 2nd—Jessi Miller.

Parade Winners

Scouts BSA Troop 727; Catoctin Aires; Emmitsburg Lions Club; REM Ranch (Rodney Myers – 6 Horses); Catoctin Baseball; Superstar Twirlers; Miss B’s Family Day Care; Emmitsburg Council of Churches; Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company #13; Race Car; SS Car (#19).

Horseshoes Contest Winners

Dave Miller; Gilbert Luckenbaugh; John Smith; Tom Weller; Bill Klunk; Mike Love Joy; David Wantz, Jr.; David Wantz III; Josh Weikert; Wade Droneburg; Donnie Kaas, Sr.; Robert Dewees; Robert Dewees, Jr.; Rick Wivell.

Art Contest Winners

Prizes are: $150 (1st), $100 (2nd), $50 (3rd), $25 (4th), $10 (5th); a total of $945 in prizes this year.

Division 1 (1st-3rd Grades): 1st—Kendall Crutchfield, 2nd—Presley Green, 3rd—Lucy Mae Whittington, 4th—Evan Zachary Ryder, 5th—Robert Lee Koontz; Division 2 (4th-6th Grades): 1st—Ripleigh Maring, 2nd—Chelsea Reifsnider, 3rd—Aiden Shranatan, 4th—Blake Smith, 4th—Elena Grace Crutchfield, 4th—Sascha Zurawski, 5th—Annabelle James; Division 3 (7th-8th Grades): 1st—Arianna Calhoun, Michael LaGare.

by James Rada, Jr.


For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit www.emmitsburgmd. gov or call 301-600-6300.

June 2019 Meeting

New Sign Ordinance Moves Forward

The Emmitsburg Commissioners sent the new proposed sign ordinance, with changes incorporated to the town’s planning commission, in early June. The commission then undertakes a 30-day review of the plan.

The commissioners’ action followed four community outreach meetings to get feedback on the proposed ordinance. One of the most significant changes to come out of those meetings was to allow neon signs in downtown businesses. Each business is allowed one sign, up to 2-square feet in size, that has a steady light source.

The planning commission will review the ordinance and recommend it for approval, approval with changes, or denial.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association has also seen the proposed ordinance and supports the version sent to the planning commission.

Town Applies for $75,000 in Community Facade Grants

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved a resolution to apply for a $75,000 facade grant from the Community Legacy Program.

The town has applied for this grant every year since 2013. Over that time, $820,491 have been invested in the town’s facade from the state grants, resident matching payments, and in-kind donations from the town.

Two Appointed to Parks and Recreation Committee

The Emmitsburg Commissioners appointed Carolyn and Martin Miller to serve on the town parks and recreation committee. Their terms run from March 15, 2019, to March 15, 2021.


For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit or call 301-271-7313.

June 2019 Meeting

Town Purchases Property for Public Works Department

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners agreed to purchase the property at 115 Water Street for $152,000. The .21-acre property is adjacent to the Thurmont Public Works Department, and it will allow the department to expand in the future. Until that time, the town will rent the home that is on the property.

Town Expects Full POS Funding

The Town of Thurmont expects to receive its full funding request from Program Open Space. There was enough funding this year to fund all of the requests from Frederick County’s municipalities: $60,000 for the Thurmont Trolley Trail extension; $30,000 for the Community Park playground update; $22,500 for a half-court basketball court at the ice plant.

Town Makes Annual Donations

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners made their annual contributions to organizations that provide services to the town: the Guardian Hose Company received $30,000; the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company received $30,000; the Thurmont Food Bank received $6,000.

Thurmont Receives National Main Street Accreditation

For the fourteenth straight year, the Town of Thurmont has received National Main Street and Maryland Main Street accreditation. This recognizes outstanding commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization.

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in the release. “Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in these places is inspiring.”

The National Main Street Program is a subsidiary under the National Trust for Preservation, with 45 states participating in the Main Street Program. The State of Maryland has 27 National Main Street Accredited Main Streets. The Main Street Maryland program strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. The program provides designated communities with support for economic planning, marketing, promotion, and education administered by the Department of Community Housing and Development.

Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder manages the Main Street program in town. She said, “I am very proud that we have been accredited for 14 straight years. This says a lot about our municipality, our residents, and our community leaders.”

Town Can’t Help Parkview Townhomes

Representatives from the Parkview Townhome Community on Moser Circle asked the Town of Thurmont to take over maintenance services the homeowner’s association provide in the hope of disbanding the HOA. The HOA has had to deal with bad contracts they are locked into and home foreclosures that have reduced the HOA’s income.

“We would like to get away from the association altogether,” said HOA officer Joe Kelley.

The commissioners said they sympathize with the residents of the community, but it was doubtful the town could take over the HOA duties. Mayor John Kinnaird pointed out that the road is probably not up to town standards.

“We would be taking on a large headache and a liability,” he said.

The commissioners said that they were willing to help where they could, but taking over for the HOA was not an option.


 Mayor Don Briggs

Summer in Emmitsburg is blooming.

The pool, dog park, exercise trail, multi-use trail, and ball fields are all in use and all busy.

The first pool party was held on June 21. Mark your calendar for the remaining ones: Friday, July 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m., and Friday, August 16, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The cost is $1.00 for all who are not pool members. There will be free hot dogs and cold drinks.

We will be hosting National Night Out on Friday, August 16, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. The Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team, Swat Team vehicle, and K9 team will all be there, along with many vendors, free hot dogs, Rita’s Ice, and maybe more.

Disc golf is coming to the Community Park. We will begin designing the course layout during the next weeks.

Great concert opener in Community Park from Commissioner Ritz and the Parks and Rec Committee. Nothing like Irish traditional music, which was provided by Morningstar to entrance and entertain. Coming up on Friday, August 2, 6:00-9:00 p.m. is Party Rock from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Friday, August 30, 7:00-8:00 p.m. is American & Comedy “Christine and the Road King.” Also, on Saturday, July 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon, will be “Creatures Big and Small,” a traveling petting zoo is coming to town.

Need a little extra food for your kids this summer? Come to Elias Lutheran Church, “Food 4 Kids” Wednesdays, on July 10 and 24, August 7, 14, and 28, and September 18, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Also, at Elias Lutheran Church, there will be food giveaways from the Maryland Food Bank, Wednesdays, July 24, August 14, and September 18, from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

From Commissioner O’Donnell: 60-100 young bikers and parents are coming to Emmitsburg on Community Heritage Day weekend for a National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) sponsored mountain biking event. Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) representatives will be here to monitor Teen Trail Corp mandatory work project on the town multi-use trail on Sunday, June 30. The group will be camping out on the Indian Lookout Conservation Club property.

I attended the Emmitsburg–Thurmont Flag Day commemoration, held this year in Thurmont. The annual event hosting rotates every other year between the towns. Very solemn tribute. Thank you to the sponsors, the Thurmont American Legion, Thurmont AMVETS, Emmitsburg AMVETS Post No. 7, the Emmitsburg American Legion, and Emmitsburg VFW Post No. 6658.

The first three wayside exhibits are in place in the downtown historic district, for the Square, the Doughboy statue, and the Emmit House. This is the first set of what is hoped to be annual additions under a grant for a historic tour. Next year, Vigilant Hose Company, Chronicle Press, and The Carriage House Inn should be added.

A wonderful addition to the downtown square, provided by the town grant program, is the deep red “brick” color of the middle Ott House building.

I also attended the last two-day segment of the state-sponsored climate leadership classes.

The 36th Annual Community Heritage Day is Saturday, June 29. Another wonderful day is planned in the park, on the Square, along the parade route, and the grand finale fireworks display. Wayside signs ribbon-cuttings to dedicate the signs start at the Square at 9:30 a.m., then onto the Doughboy and Emmit House. Thank you to the Heritage Community Day committee, Jenn Joy, and Commissioner Sweeney.

Happy Fourth of July to all. Please, please, relax, kick back, and invite friends over. Enjoy Emmitsburg, the best place to live, work, play, and visit.

 Mayor John Kinnaird

I am writing from Ocean City, Maryland, this morning! The Maryland Municipal League Summer Conference is being held from June 22 through June 25 at the Convention Center in O.C. The MML holds two Conferences through the year, and this one is by far the best attended—my guess is because it is in Ocean City. We will be attending three days of meetings and discussions that range from the opioid epidemic to planning and zoning tips, from consensus building to infrastructure concern to running well organized meetings, to…well you can see it’s a little bit of everything. The discussions are always very helpful, and it is good to sit with 50 or 60 other elected officials and discuss these topics. There is always someone that has had experience and is able to shed some light on even the most difficult topics. The MML elects a new board of directors and president at the Summer Conference; I have been helping with the voting for several years. When I first started attending the Conference, I was worried that the larger municipalities would hold an undue influence over the MML, but, boy, was I wrong! Two years ago, Jake Romanell was elected president; he served as a councilmember from New Market. This year, Perry Jones from Union Bridge is running for president elect. So, in a short span of four years, our MML President will have come from two of our smallest municipalities. The absolute best thing about attending the Summer Conference is that when we sit in on discussions, we find that every community has similar issues, and it is reassuring to me that most have much greater problems than we have in Thurmont or Emmitsburg!

Summer has arrived, and with it, comes our great Main Street Farmers Market. The Market is held every Saturday morning in the Municipal Parking lot on Center Street. This year’s vendors will have a great selection of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, handmade goods, and delicious baked items. Be sure to stop by early for the best selection!

A reminder that the Guardian Hose Company Carnival will be held the week of July 8. There is still time to get presale all-you-can-ride tickets; be sure to get to the parade to see the best parade in Frederick County.

On Saturday, June 27, we held our First Annual Gateway to the Cure Golf Tournament at Maple Run Golf Course on Moser Road. The event was well attended and has been declared a great success. The proceeds from this, and other upcoming events, will go to our community donation to the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital. To date, the residents of Thurmont have donated over $60,000 to FMH to help with treatment and research. We dedicated this year’s tournament to the memory of Jill Hooper. Jill was always very active in our community and worked hard to help raise funds for the Cure.

School is out and our children will be outdoors playing, riding bikes, and skateboarding. Please keep an eye out for the youngsters as you drive our streets; they may not always be aware of their surroundings.

As always, I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or by email at

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

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

Photo by Blair Garrett