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James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont servicemen Charles Pittinger and Woodrow Carbaugh were remembered last month when the Moser Road bridge was dedicated in their honor. However, their families will soon receive another remembrance. Kellen “Buck” Musser will paint portraits of the two young men for their families.

Musser, 83, has been painting for 20 years. He often paints in watercolor or acrylics, using a palette knife.

“I use every edge of that knife when I paint,” he said.

His paintings are vivid and often look a lot like a photograph. He once spent two-and-a-half hours getting a shoe right in one painting.

Musser is also a 26-year Veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force, serving in Vietnam. He often paints portraits of fallen Veterans for their families and Veterans’ groups. For the many hours of loving work he puts into the portraits, he receives nothing more than a “thank you.”

“This comes from the heart,” he said.

Musser not only paints the portrait, he also has it framed for the family. Over the years, he has painted more than 100 of these portraits.

He remembers the first one he did of David Smith, a Frederick Marine reservist killed in Afghanistan in 2010. Musser spent about 50 hours on the painting. When it was complete, he called Smith’s mother and asked her to meet him.

“I told her I had something very valuable to her that she would want,” Musser said.

They met in a Denny’s parking lot, and Musser took the painting out of his truck to give her.

“Her smile when she saw it… she had tears running down her face looking at it. That made it worth it for me,” Musser said.

Musser grew up in Brunswick. He dropped out of high school and joined the Army. When he retired from the military the first time, he came to Frederick to work as a maintenance employee for the city. After two years, he realized he didn’t enjoy civilian life and rejoined the military.

“In all those places, all those people I met, I never told anyone I was an artist,” Musser said.

He always knew he had an attraction to making art, but he never indulged himself and took classes to refine his skills. That is, until he saw a painting of a vase of flowers with water drops on it. Those water drops intrigued him, and he decided he wanted to learn how to paint.

“It was a gift I was born with, but I had never used it,” Musser said.

He took a class with Diane Simmons at A. C. Moore. Then, he continued taking classes with her, learning all he could, trying different subjects, and challenging himself. He then found a way to combine his love of art and the military.

He does his paintings at his small kitchen table, working from pictures of the servicemen provided by their families.

“I don’t eat at the kitchen table anymore,” Musser said. “It has my work on it.”

His home is filled with his paintings—hung on the walls, in sketchbooks, in stacks around the living room. He also has a book filled with the letters he has received from the families to whom he has given his paintings.

His work has also allowed him to meet some notable Veterans, such as Frank Buckles, the last surviving Veteran of WWI who died in 2011, and Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient.

Buck Musser holds a painting he made for “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Iwo Jima Medal of Honor winner. You can see on the wall a self-portrait he did of himself after he joined the Army.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

A wonderful SpringFest event was held over the Memorial Day weekend at the Catoctin View Church. The two-day event in memory of our fallen Heroes was attended by many Thurmont families. Mayor John Kinnaird gave the welcome.

The Catoctin View Church provided activities such as bounce houses, inflatables, foam machines, a 150-foot slip ‘n’ slide, snow cones, a reptile display, pony rides, a yard sale, an antique car display, and free food for guests. 

“This was an opportunity to come out of the house and enjoy the outdoors after a year of not being able to,” said Alvin Payne, Bible Worker for the church.

“It was the first large event post-pandemic in Thurmont that I enjoyed volunteering for,” said Children’s Ministry Director Tina Gagliardi.

The Catoctin View Church is committed to making the SpringFest a yearly event, and adding more activities to it, reminding others that the church is fully open to serve all families in the area.

“We are here to help in any way we can,” said, John Bennet, Vietnam Veteran and First Elder of the church.

Alvin Payne helps Jay T. navigate the largest slip-n-slide foam attraction in Thurmont.

Education Night was held at the Thurmont Lions Club meeting on May 12, 2021, and it was a very meaningful evening for the teachers, students, parents, and administrators from the Catoctin feeder area! Lion Bob Kells Jr., chair of the Scholarship Committee, presented scholarships to five very outstanding students: Isaac Dugan (Lynn Stuart Scholarship), Ethan Burdette, Ava Maze, Savannah Morris, and Dylan Click. Pablo Arriaga will receive his fourth year of the Vic Jagow Scholarship.

Three outstanding teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award. The teachers recognized were: Katherine Best from Thurmont Elementary, Kristianne Dove from Thurmont Primary, and Sarah Gue from Thurmont Middle School.  Kristianne Dove was presented with the well-deserved 2021 Teacher of the Year award. Thank you to all of the teachers who have worked so hard to continue to educate our youth.

Pictured from left are Jen Clements, principal at Catoctin High; Ethan Burdette; Savannah Morris; Ava Maze; and Isaac Dugan. Absent from picture: Dylan Click and Pablo Arriaga.

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Woodsboro Bank congratulates Steve Ott on his retirement in June 2021.

Ott has been in the banking industry for over 46 years, with 23 at various Farmer’s & Mechanics Bank branches in Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and Frederick Towne Mall, as well as 23 years with Woodsboro Bank. At retirement, Ott had worked 33 total years in Thurmont.

Since joining Woodsboro Bank, he has been the Branch Manager of the Thurmont Branch for many years and oversaw all branch operations.

“I liked working with the people and the community,” Ott said, especially, “being involved with the community activities like the Community Show, the Thurmont Police Shred Events, Thurmont Economic Development meetings, and the Thurmont Business Expos.”

Ott plans on, “relaxing, relaxing, and relaxing,” in retirement. In that order.

“We are very thankful for Steve’s years of service to the Bank and will miss him greatly. We wish him the best in this next chapter of his life,” said Woodsboro Bank President & CEO Steve Heine.

Former Mount St. Mary’s basketball coach and athletic director Jim Phelan passed away in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning, June 16, at his home in Emmitsburg.

Phelan arrived at the Mount in 1954, accepting a one-year contract to lead the team as the youngest coach in college basketball. Forty-nine years later, using fierceness, fearlessness, and humor, he had guided the efforts of the Mountaineers’ men’s basketball program to 830 career victories and 16 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, he led the Mount to the 1962 College Division National Championship and Final Four appearances in 1957, 1961, 1981, and 1985.

His all-time win total stands 13th all-time in NCAA men’s basketball history, and he was the winningest active coach in the sport from 1997 to 2003, following the retirement of Dean Smith at North Carolina. Beginning his career as the youngest coach in 1954, Phelan ended as the oldest active coach, retiring at the age of 73. His 49 seasons at the helm in Emmitsburg are the third-most for any coach in one single location.

“For 49 seasons, Coach Phelan formed student-athletes who embodied the Mount’s mission statement by having a passion for learning, being ethical leaders, and serving God and others,” Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy Trainor said in a statement. “Everyone who met Jim loved him, especially his student-athletes and his family. He touched the lives of thousands of Mounties and summer basketball camp attendees.”

His coaching had a direct impact on hundreds of student-athletes, both on the court and in the classroom, over the years. Notable success stories include the school’s all-time leading scorer Jack Sullivan ’57, two-time All-American and 1962 national champion John O’Reilly ’63, and 2,000-plus point scorer Chris McGuthrie ’96. All three players have had their jerseys retired at the Mount, along with a symbolic “830” for Phelan. Fred Carter ’69 also has a jersey that hangs from the rafters at Knott Arena. A future NBA standout and coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phelan’s recruitment of Carter to Mount St. Mary’s was instrumental in integrating the college.

Along with his duties as head men’s basketball coach, Phelan took on administrative duties as athletic director. He served in that post from 1967 until 1989, when the Mount moved to Division I, and coached the baseball team from 1955-1965.

A member of 13 Halls of Fame, Phelan has received induction in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame, La Salle University Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, and the Mount St. Mary’s Hall of Fame, to name a few.

Two awards for excellence in coaching are named in his honor: the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award, presented by, and the Northeast Conference’s Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. His home court of Knott Arena, where he monitored from the sidelines for 16 years following the opening of the facility in 1987 to his retirement, is named in his honor, immortalized by a logo bearing his signature bow tie, which Phelan wore for almost every game he coached.

Following his final game on the bench, he remained in the Emmitsburg area for the rest of his life and was a regular attendee at Mount St. Mary’s games and events.

Originally from Philadelphia and a 1951 graduate of La Salle, Phelan served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War and was drafted into the NBA in 1953. Following a brief career with the Philadelphia Warriors and an assistantship at his alma mater, he assumed coaching duties in Emmitsburg.

Phelan is survived by his wife, Dottie; four children: Jim, ’78, Lynne, ’79, Carol, ’81, and Bob, ’90; 10 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his son, Larry, ’87.

Officer First Class Nicole Fair was honored as Thurmont Lions Club “Police Officer of the Year” at the town meeting held on April 20, 2021. OFC Fair joined the Thurmont Police Department in July 2016. She is  a graduate of the Western Maryland Police Academy. She is currently serving as a Patrol Officer and has accepted extra assignments.

OFC Fair took an interest in Juvenile Delinquency and assisted the agency with the adoption of the Juvenile Diversion Program and serves as the agency’s liaison with the State Attorney’s Office and Juvenile Services. She is also the agency’s Gang Coordinator. Among many other duties, she tracks gang activity locally and monitors regional gang intelligence networks. OFC Nicole Fair was presented a Certificate of Appreciation, a gift certificate to a restaurant, and $400 to be donated to a charity of her choice.

Pictured from left are Lion Jonathan Hamrick and OFC Nicole Fair.

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Jayden Myers

In Thurmont, the idea of a skatepark has been brewing for a while. Recently, the dream for many has become a reality, as the project has been accepted. The community can help support the skatepark by making donations, big or small, to the Town of Thurmont. The donations can be dropped off at the town office or mailed to P.O. Box 17, Thurmont, MD 21788, and should be labeled as “Thurmont Skatepark Construction.” They can also be sent online to the Skatepark’s GoFundMe page.

Not only will this be beneficial for the attractions, but also for all the teens and kids of the community. This skatepark will provide an outlet for young people like myself. This outlet will allow them to express themselves, hang out, socialize, and more. It also allows them to be more involved with the community by making them a part of the project!

This skatepark also adds another activity that provides exercise for the youth and adults. According to Skateboard For Kids, pain tolerance, reflexes, patience, precision, coordination, and stress relief are some of the health benefits that come from skateboarding. So, not only will this benefit their physical health but their mental health as well.

This will also provide a safe environment for those who have built makeshift skateparks at their home and other skaters as well. Although they can still get hurt, the skatepark would provide them with a safer environment compared to the streets, roads, and makeshift parks people use. It would lower the risk of skaters getting hit by cars, running into pedestrians, and any property damage. It not only provides safety for the skaters, but pedestrians will be safer as well.

With this being said, the skatepark cannot be accomplished without the support of the community. If you can donate or help contribute to this project in any way, please consider doing so. The Thurmont Skate Park Committee has bi/weekly meetings on Thursdays in the pavilion behind the Senior Center in Thurmont. For more information, join the Thurmont Skatepark’s Facebook page.

New skatepark logo—congratulations, Jacob Williams, on creating the winning logo.

The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock fishing organization hosted a Wounded Veterans fishing event on May 22, 2021, at the Camp Airy ponds in Thurmont. Total attendance was around 75 with participants noted from La Plata; Washington, D.C.; Quantico; Fort Belvoir; and Walter Reed. Almost everyone caught fish!

Along with the BOJC membership volunteers, special thanks is extended to the volunteers from the Thurmont American Legion Post #168, Rod Gross from the Taneytown Country Kitchen Restaurant, Roy Rogers Restaurant (Thurmont), and contributing families.

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In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, Town of Thurmont Electric Department crews have recently put up banners throughout the downtown area that pay tribute to many of Thurmont’s military service Veterans.

These banners are a result of a successful Thurmont Lions Club program and show our community’s sincere appreciation for the sacrifice of each and every Veteran. 

“Please take some time and take a look at all of the Veterans who have been so appropriately honored. Thank you to all of our Veterans and their families for your selfless dedication to our country!” —Town of Thurmont.

The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show announces its 2021 event cancellation. During the current pandemic situation, our concern is for the health and safety of our community, volunteers, attendees, exhibitors, and vendors, and all involved with our Community Show. An additional factor is the uncertainty of Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) facilities usage, which includes Catoctin High School, by outside user groups.     

All events related to the Community Show are canceled, except for the Catoctin Area FFA Alumni & Supporters Livestock Show & Sale for market goat, beef, sheep, and swine. All activities will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at The Eyler Stables (managed by Wolfe Agricultural Auctions), located at 141 Emmitsburg Road in Thurmont. 

The livestock show will be held at 9:00 a.m., with awards presentation at 6:30 p.m. and the livestock sale beginning at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, September 12, the dairy goat and dairy cattle show will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the decorated animal contest will be held at noon. 

The log sawing contest will also be held on Sunday, September 12, at 1:00 p.m., which will have women’s, men’s and children’s divisions. 

For an application to exhibit animals—due by July 10—please email The application includes information about all the events for the weekend. 

The Community Show looks forward to seeing everyone at next year’s Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 9-11, 2022. Exhibits can include any item that has been made since the 2019 Community Show, except for baked products and any perishable items. 

“The Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show has been bringing our Thurmont and Emmitsburg communities together since 1957.  Please continue to support our local agriculture and area businesses who have advertised in our past Community Show booklets. We thank these organizations who sponsor our annual Community Show: Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin Area FFA Alumni & Supporters, Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board. Next year, we look forward to bringing back the largest Community Show in the State of Maryland. Until then, everyone please stay safe and be well.” –Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show President C. Rodman Myers.

The Thurmont Regional Library loop at the Southern end of the Thurmont Trolley Trail is really taking shape! The trail is currently paved with fine gravel and will be blacktopped soon.

Recently, volunteers installed signage directing you to the new loop. “I want to thank these volunteers and the others that helped create this extension for a job well done. The Trolley Trail is a popular destination and this will add to the attraction,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

Please feel free to take advantage of the extension. It takes you on a new path that runs through a beautiful wooded area to the Thurmont Regional Library trail. The Library Trail is a wonderful, shaded walk with stations along the trail featuring ever-changing displays.

 Photo by John Kinnaird

New signage keeps you on the trail and directs you to new loop.

Catoctin High School/Saint Joseph’s High School, Class of 1981, 40th reunion will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. Save the date; more details to follow. For more information, contact Jerry Free at 301-418-5351 or Mark Williard at 214-263-6613.

James Rada, Jr.

Mount St. Mary’s University is planning for a return to near-normal operations and face-to-face instruction for undergraduate students in Fall 2021. Remote teaching and learning options will only be available by exception.

While the vast majority of Mount students are safely living, learning, and engaging in activities, such as athletics on campus in the current academic year, classes are being offered in a hybrid format to maintain physical distancing protocols. Multiple co-curricular activities are only presented via Zoom, and approximately 15 percent of students are learning in a fully remote environment.

“With vaccination rates increasing, we expect that a sufficient percentage of our community will be vaccinated by the end of summer to significantly reduce the transmission of coronavirus. As a result, our planning for the fall is based on the expectation that we will be approaching pre-COVID-19 conditions,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “This not only means a return to full on-campus instruction, but also the complete range of on-campus living, learning, research, service, and extracurricular activities that are a major part of the Mount experience.”

Undergraduate classes will begin Monday, August 23, with first-year students moving in on August 19. The full undergraduate academic calendar, including a fall break, is available here.

The university anticipates offering study-abroad opportunities starting in December 2021, with a winter break trip to Spain that includes a six-credit Spanish course. Full-semester programs in Florence, Italy and Cuenca, Ecuador are being planned for the Spring 2022 semester, as well as shorter spring break trips to London and Southern Spain in 2022.

Health standards will be applied to all activities, so there may be some changes from how the university operated in 2019, but it will look more normal than 2020-21.

These plans are based on projections and are subject to change as needed to address reality in the fall. Based on guidance from public health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maryland Department of Health, and Frederick County Health Department, decisions about whether masks will be required in classrooms and other indoor and outdoor campus areas, as well as COVID-19 testing protocols, will be finalized in the summer.

The Mount Safe Initiative webpage will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

“We will be ready again in August to welcome students on campus,” Trainor said.

Jessica Bentley

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4. This Bible verse sums up the average day of a first responder. These men and women put their lives on the line, day in and day out, to protect us from evil, to save and comfort us when we need it. These men and women most times do not know us, but they help us anyway. It takes a special person to do these tasks. So many take our first responders for granted. It is important that we appreciate them.

Thurmont United Methodist Church (TUMC) held a special service on April 18, 2021, for our first responders. During the church’s 10:30 a.m. Contemporary Service, there was a ceremony to honor the first responders with coins made by the TUMC Youth Group. The coins were made as a service project. The youth wanted the first responders to know that somewhere there are kids and people who care for them and want them safe. The coins were prayed over, asking God to protect the brave men and women who are our first responders. The church was filled with first responders on April 18, and it was an amazing sight to see.

There are many more coins to be given out to our first responders. The youth will be delivering the coins to people as they see them in their everyday travels. The goal is to let every single first responder in Frederick County know that there is a kid in Thurmont who cares for them, that there are people out there praying for their safety, and, above all, that God is protecting them.

First Responders and TUMC Youth Group

When the world shut down last year because of the pandemic, the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton decided it was time to reach outward.

The question was how, when for a time, people couldn’t even visit the Shrine in Emmitsburg. The answer was simple, profound, and one that Mother Seton, America’s first native-born saint, would have appreciated: Pray.

So, buoyed by dedicated staff members and seminarians from nearby Mount St. Mary’s, the Shrine created a prayer hotline last April that has proven so successful that it plans to continue well after COVID-19 has receded. More than 2,000 calls have been logged, and many of them have turned into relationships that have changed the lives of people on both ends of the line.

“We are sometimes the only ones they talk to; the only ones who say their name,” says Rebecca Corbell, evangelization programs manager at the Shrine. “Having that connection, having a person who knows your name, builds a relationship that is so powerful.”

And this effort isn’t limited to just calls. One of the staff members on this project writes to 12 death row inmates a week. The hotline team also proactively calls people in the Shrine’s vast database to see if they need prayers.

“It’s a way to do pastoral work and to be with people amid the pandemic,” says Christopher Feist, a seminarian from Leonardtown.

The prayer hotline is part of the extensive evangelization efforts of the Shrine, as it marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Mother Seton. In January, the Shrine released Seeker to Saint, a film on her life. Other short films on various aspects of her life and spirituality will be released later this year.

“The Shrine is a basilica, a museum and the real home of a saint, and we have a mission as a place of prayer and pilgrimage to draw people closer to our Lord,” says Rob Judge, executive director of the Shine. “Through programs like the prayer hotline, we connect people to Mother Seton and a life and legacy that is relatable and inspiring. She is a true saint for our times, and we increasingly find that her message resonates with people today.”

The seminarians who attend Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and hail from the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said they jumped at the chance to participate in the program. “We wanted the experience of being with people and to bring their concerns to God and to show we care and to bring God’s love to them,” Feist said.

The idea of cold-calling people—not to sell them anything but to offer to pray with them—can be intimidating. But in the end, “you’re going to connect with people who Jesus wants you to and nobody else,” said Benedict Radich, from Rockville.

Sometimes the reaction is “are you sure you’re not asking me for money?” said Caleb Gaeng, another seminarian from Bowie. “But it’s beautiful to be with someone who God has put me with; someone who needs prayers at just that moment.”

Prayer requests deal with everything from loneliness and illnesses to issues with jobs, families and addiction, said Karen McGrath of Taneytown and the first person hired on the prayer team. “People need to tell their stories,” she said. “Part of this is just standing with them before God, asking for the things they need.”

She recalls how one man called in January and was distraught. She tried to express how he needed to see how God is with us and in each other.

Recently he called back to say that her advice helped and “that he was able to look at Jesus and say ‘thank you.’”

A prayer ministry comes easy to her, she says. She’s the mother of five sons and a daughter – “so I pray a lot.”

As for the future, the Shrine now sees the hotline – borne in the depths of the pandemic — as an essential part of its mission, Corbell says.

“These are our people,” she says. “We need to be doing this.”

To contact the prayer hotline, call 1-866-202-4934 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT or visit the prayer request page of the Shrine website.

For more information about the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, please visit

In addition to providing exceptional healthcare to the area’s cat and dog population, the owners of Catoctin Veterinary Clinic are committed to being good neighbors to the surrounding Thurmont community. With the recent energizing of their 35.6-kW roof-mounted solar system, the clinic took a big step in furthering that commitment.

The 89 solar panels (pictured above) will produce enough clean energy to offset 35 tons of CO2 or save 815 trees each year. “We are concerned about the environment and the carbon footprint we make with our business,” stated Dr. Jonathan Bramson, co-owner of the clinic. “It’s about caring for the pets, our pet parents, our community, and the environment. Going solar grows out of that.”

With a high reliance on electricity to keep the clinic functioning, Dr. Bramson is also looking forward to having lower energy costs. “We use a lot of electricity, with four heat pumps and our equipment,” stated Dr. Bramson. “We look forward to having lower energy costs while using renewable energy.”

When asked what he would say to other business owners that are considering investing in solar energy, Dr. Bramson said, “Consider it, look at the economics, and go for it!”

Contributed by Lion Joyce Anthony

On March 9, 2021, the Thurmont Lions Club donated a “Brady Buggy” to the Frederick Health Hospital. The Brady Foundation makes transport animal cars for pediatrics. There are various animals you can get for the buggy, but the club chose a lion. Colorful wagons known as “Brady Buggies” are used for young cancer patients in hospitals. It allows the patient freedom to roam around the halls instead of being trapped in a tiny hospital room. An IV pole is already mounted that carries the pumps and the platelets and blood or other necessary apparatus. All you need to do is push or pull the patient and IV pole.

A thank you note received from the Pediatric staff said as follows: “Thank you so much for your generous donation of the Brady Buggy to the Pediatric Unit here at Frederick Health Hospital. We have never had anything like the Brady Buggy, and it is AMAZING! It will provide much-needed entertainment for kids that need to change the scenery of their hospital room! You are so wonderful to think of us! Thanks, again.”

Pictured from left are IPP Lion Joyce Anthony; Chari Crawford, Nurse Manager, Pediatrics Frederick Health; Staff Pediatric Nurse; Lion Kim Grimm; PDG Paul Cannada; Staff Pediatric Nurse.

A group of 15 Catoctin High School sophomores attended an April Town of Thurmont meeting with Patrick Dugan (sophomore) as their leader and presented their case, convincing the town to build a skate park. The mayor and commissioners gave the teens lots of positive feedback, as well as advice on how to help their project move along as quickly as possible. The teens have been busy doing research, visiting other towns with skate parks, and meeting with other organizers and planners who have designed and built skate parks. They also met with members of the Thurmont Parks and Recreation Committee and Sergeant Armstrong, leading up to the meeting. Armstrong spoke at the meeting in favor of the skate park.

They held their first official committee meeting in April in the pavilion behind the Thurmont Senior Center to discuss fundraising, planning, logo art contest, and skate park location, among other things.

One town resident came to the town meeting and spoke in favor of the skate park and donated $50 to the project. This resident challenged all other residents to do the same. In support of the challenge for donations, the town is sending the information out in a flier included in the utility bills.

Pictured are Chris Sanchez, Maceo Zelenka, Jazmyn Weedon, Colin Byrne, Nik Contreras, Alex Contreras, Courtney Wreschy, Phoebe Chmiel, Alan Chmiel, Norman Montoya, Adrian Febus, Patrick Dugan, Sergeant David Armstrong, and Deondre Febus.

Dianne Walbrecker

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute marked its 70th anniversary in April. The institute, part of the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, proudly commemorates its long and distinguished history supporting the Nation’s emergency management community.

The Emergency Management Institute began in April 1951 as the Civil Defense Staff College. The Civil Defense staff taught civil defense courses in heavy rescue, program administration and finance, radiation monitoring and control. The early years are highlighted in training films produced by the college’s “School for Survival.” The films depicted trainees fighting incendiary bombs in enclosed spaces, working through poison gas attacks in a sealed chamber, and tunneling through crumbled brick walls. They help illustrate how much emergency management has evolved over the years.

Today, the institute focuses on providing state, local, territorial, and tribal emergency managers with professional leadership and crisis management training, designed to address a wide range of threats and hazards. On an annual basis, the institute offers several hundred instructor-led, virtual and online independent study offerings, training millions of students annually.

To celebrate its 70 years, the Emergency Management Institute will have a year-long celebration to include webinars, podcasts, panel discussions, videos, and featured speakers, providing compelling insights from those who have benefitted over the years from the institute and its predecessor institutions in Olney, Maryland and Battle Creek, Michigan.

Following a national search, Mount St. Mary’s University (MSM) has named John Nauright, Ph.D. (pictured right), as dean of the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business, effective June 14, 2021. He brings to the Mount deep experience in developing and leading innovative business programs both in the United States and internationally.

Nauright currently serves as dean of the Stephen Poorman College of Business, Information Systems and Human Services and director of the Clearfield Campus at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. He directs programs in business management and marketing; finance, insurance, and risk management; accounting; computer science; recreation and tourism management; cultural heritage management; sport management; sport psychology; clinical mental health counseling; criminal justice; and social work as well as offering an integrative studies program and minors in entrepreneurship and environmental studies.

At Lock Haven, he created multiple external partnerships, including with Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club of the Premier League in England; Preservation Pennsylvania; and Higher Digital, LLC.

“We are excited to have John join our Mount community and to see the business school grow and form more partnerships with area, national, and international business that foster student success,” said Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “John’s wealth of experience in both traditional and adult education and years of leadership on multi-campus universities will be invaluable to the Mount as we continue to expand our offerings both in Emmitsburg and Frederick.”

Nauright looks forward to shaping the Bolte School into a national and international leader in business education and the role of business in social and economic transformation. “I am thrilled to join the team at the Mount as we continue to develop incredible opportunities for both traditional on-campus students and adult and continuing education students,” Nauright said. “The vision, ethical values, and approach to educating the whole person at the Mount is crucial to individual success and to the futures of our society and the world.”

Nauright comes to the Mount as the Knott Academic Center expansion and renovation moves into higher gear. The project, funded by a state grant and generous donations from the Bolte Family Foundation and Raphael Della Ratta, C’92, includes construction of an approximately 15,000 square foot addition and renovation of the 49,074 square foot existing building.  The upgrade includes enhancing the learning environment and building new classrooms, a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory, and faculty offices. The university also now offers its MBA program both in person and fully online.

The former vice president of the Dallas Griffins, now Dallas Jackals, of Major League Rugby, Nauright has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Barbados, Denmark, and Scotland. In addition to being a visiting professor at leading universities in Barbados, China, Ghana, India, and Russia, he is the author or editor of 27 books and has written over 150 refereed articles and chapters in the areas of sport, event, and tourism management. He has made numerous media appearances around the world.

After receiving both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the University of South Carolina, Nauright earned his Ph.D. in African history, comparative history, and political economy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Led by Executive Vice President Kraig Sheetz, Ph.D., the search committee was assisted by RH Perry & Associates, based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Lucia Lamberson thought she was attending a Zumba fundraising event at the Fort Ritchie Community Center; however, her friends had secretly planned a surprise party in her honor. Lamberson officially became an American on Monday, April 12, 2021, in Philadelphia.

Friends she had made through exercise classes at the community center were so impressed with her, they decided they wanted to publicly acknowledge the achievement.

The original fundraising idea was actually Lamberson’s, as she and others challenged Fort Ritchie Community Center Director Buck Browning to take a Zumba class. Browning eventually agreed to try the Latin-themed dance exercise class after Lamberson and her friends said they would raise $1,000 if he would agree to the challenge. The challenge evolved into community center members bringing in various items that Browning would wear during the class if the goal were met. Items included fairy wings, a tutu, a beard and wig, and Mardi Gras beads.

The community raised close to $1,100 for the event, with funds being used to help provide the eight-week summer camp for local children. On Wednesday, April 14, Lamberson walked into the community center expecting to take the Zumba class with Browning and the other usual participants. Upon entering the gymnasium Lamberson said she saw a banner that read “Congratulations,” but it didn’t register that the banner was for her.

Around 40 people were present, as Browning, wearing the wig, beard, beads, tutu, and other items, thanked the crowd for raising the funds for summer camp. He then surprised Lamberson by asking her to come forward. An American flag and lapel pin, donated by Ed and Anne Orndorff on behalf of the community center, were presented to Lamberson. An American-themed red, white, and blue cake (and cupcakes) were enjoyed following the Zumba class.

Lamberson lives with her husband Jason and two dogs in Carrol Valley, Pennsylvania. She moved to the United States from Venezuela.

Please visit for more information on the Fort Ritchie Community Center and its programs and activities. Community Center Director Buck Browning, wearing a wig, beard, beads, tutu, and other items, plus 40 other people, surprise Lucia Lamberson with a party to celebrate her officially becoming an American citizen on April 12, 2021.

Lions Club President Susan Favorite introducing Nancy Rice and her sister Carol Long. L-R Lion Albie Little, Nancy Rice, Carol Long, Lion Joyce Anthony and Lion Susan Favorite.

The Thurmont Lions Club bestowed a sister-duo its Volunteers of the Year Award for 2021. The award was announced during the April 20, 2021, Town of Thurmont meeting. Carol Long and Nancy Rice, both of Thurmont, were the recipients.

Carol Long was nominated for her tireless volunteer work within the Thurmont Community including service to the Thurmont Senior Center, Weller United Methodist Church, the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Community Show, and the Thurmont Grange. 

With the senior center, Carol serves as secretary on the board of directors. She puts together all the baskets for their raffles; she sells tickets at the center; and helps with bingo and a multitude of unending details.

She makes the grand prize quilt for the senior center’s Christmas raffle. The quilt is nicely wrapped in a clear package with the story of the quilt attached. Carol is chairperson of the senior center’s Christmas Party and runs the event which is held at the Graceham Moravian Church. Since the Christmas Party was not held in December 2020 due to COVID restrictions, she still arranged for one of her committee members to pick up over 52 door prizes which she puts in beautiful baskets or packages. The prizes were delivered to winners directly to their houses. In addition, Carol made thank you cards for all the donors and sent them out.

Carol and her sister Nancy, and Nancy’s granddaughter volunteer their baking talents making treats. They dress up and deliver the treats singing Happy Birthday to the seniors who are registered with the senior center. This has brought much joy to the seniors. Also, she participates in the drive-by parade, greeting people in the community by waving and blowing car horns from June through October.

Every fall, with the exception of fall 2020, Carol sets up the display at the annual Community Show at the Catoctin High School, where the Senior Center has a quilt on display and sells raffle tickets.

During the Senior Center monthly fundraiser at Roy Rogers on the second Thursday evening, Carol sets up and later takes down the signage. Carol’s father-in-law lives next door to her. She provides meals for him. She also helps her husband on their farm.

Since Carol has nothing else to do, she makes homemade cards from photographs with witty poems and sayings for special events or for a Board member or senior that needs a pick-me-up.

Carol retired from the banking industry. She knows so many people from being a former bank employee. She is kind, caring, honest, hard-working, and always has a smile on her face.

Nancy Rice is an individual who does her work in the background, never seeking recognition regardless of how richly she deserves it. Nancy is a director on the Thurmont Senior Center Board. She is known for the apple dumplings she was making for the monthly TSC bake sales—they sold out in minutes—and she was making dozens of them each month. She has been a part of the TSC Troupe that has been doing drive-by birthday greetings to TSC clients reminding them that they are important in a pandemic world where so many of our elderly are alone and isolated.

Nancy has been an amazing supporter of the Thurmont Lions Club although she is not a member. She has contributed countless hours to the TLC projects. She made apple dumplings for the pit sandwich sale in October, donating all her supplies and time. She has helped to paint the Community Tree ornaments, again donating her supplies and time. Most recently, she helped to paint tote bags for the TES and TPS Read-A-Thon winners to carry their winnings home. The tote bags had lions and books and motivational sayings on them, and, once again, she donated her time and supplies to the projects.

Nancy is also a devoted member of her church (Weller United Methodist Church), and in the words of her Pastor Bob Kells, “Nancy has done just about everything a volunteer can do!” She has served as a trustee, helped keep the church facilities up to snuff, sung in the choir, helped lead the singing during worship services, and performed a duet with her sister Carol at Christmas time.

Nancy served for a year as the interim Church Council chair, and Nancy was probably the last Weller member to visit a former member in a nursing home in Westminster before the woman died. Nancy told Pastor Kells how fulfilling that was for the both of them.

Nancy has artistic talents. She has drawn Christmas cards for the church and designed the current logo for the church vision, “The church on the hill with a heart for all.”

Nancy made a coloring book for children for a relative’s church and donated the proceeds from the sale of the books to the church. Nancy hand-painted the signs that sit outside the church at Christmas time. This year, she created a Resurrection scene in wood that sits on our altar.

“Nancy doesn’t reserve her good deeds to just organizations. She has delivered goodies and mowed the yard for a close neighbor who has been ill; she delivers her homemade goodies to lots of people around town. She pitches in wherever she sees a need; she brings light wherever she sees darkness and she spreads joy wherever she can.”

Nancy makes a difference in her quiet way throughout the town of Thurmont. She is one of those people with a servant’s heart.

Frederick County Government will develop a new north county regional park, located between Emmitsburg and Thurmont, on land purchased from Mount St. Mary’s University, County Executive Jan Gardner and Mount St. Mary’s President Dr. Timothy Trainor announced on February 25. The 152-acre property adjoins the campus, on the east side of U.S. 15, straddling Motters Station Road.

“We are excited to be moving forward with a regional park in the northern part of Frederick County,” Executive Gardner said. “County parks attracted over 3 million visitors last year, a 44 percent increase over the year before. The purchase of this land will help us to meet a growing demand for space to recreate and provide much needed park amenities in Northern Frederick County.”

“We are pleased to have offered the 152.7 acres for this regional park adjacent to the Mount St. Mary’s sports complex and are deeply appreciative of the county’s partnership in our shared commitment to expanding access to sports and recreational opportunities and fostering the growth of youth sports in Northern Frederick County,” Dr. Trainor said.

The parcel is currently zoned agricultural and features both forest and open land. A concept plan funded by the university shows the potential for multiple sports fields, walking trails, a dog park, and other features for active and passive recreation. There will be many opportunities for public input into the park’s design.

The Frederick County Division of Parks & Recreation will form a Master Plan Advisory Committee to develop plans for the future park. Members will include representatives from local recreation councils and sports leagues, civic associations, neighboring property owners, and others. The total purchase price for the land is $857,000, of which Program Open Space is providing $807,000; $50,000 will come from County recordation funding.

County Executive Gardner thanked Park and Recreation Division Director Jeremy Kortright and Deputy Director Bob Hicks for their hard work to make this acquisition a reality.

Map of new north county regional park, a 152-acre property that adjoins the Mount St. Mary’s Campus, on the east side of U.S. 15.