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Blair Garrett

Breaking one world record can take a lifetime of dedication and hard work.

Holding two world records is a distant dream for most athletes.

For sixteen-year-old Tristan Rice, that dream has become a reality.

After spending just five months training and working out, Rice took his talents to Las Vegas, Nevada, to take his shot at powerlifting glory in the International Powerlifting League Drug Tested World Championship.

The young athlete’s short but fruitful powerlifting career began through success in other sports. Rice, a dual-sport athlete, took a break from football and track and field to face a new challenge and to accomplish something he had never done before.

“I started powerlifting during football and shot put,” Rice said. “There was always something I enjoyed about it.”

From the beginning, Rice found a knack for lifting heavier weights, and it did not take long for him to set his sights a little higher.

“I looked up the records and saw what they were, and I thought that I should give that a try,” Rice said. “I figured if I could be the first to set those records at my age and my weight, then that’s something I wanted to do.”

Rice slotted into the 16-17 year-old, 275 pound weight class, smashing the existing deadlift record with his 540.1 pound lift. Rice beat the previous record by nearly 35 pounds, but still believes he has room for improvement.

“I’ve done more in training,” Rice said. “I went for 567 pounds, but I couldn’t pull it. I broke out with a nosebleed.”

The climate of Las Vegas posed a new challenge for Rice, pushing him to compete despite a series of nosebleeds from the stresses of lifting, plaguing Rice’s ability to recreate his heaviest lifts in practice. “I got it to my knees and my nose let loose,” he said. “I kept pulling and lost my balance and fell.”

Across the three events Rice competed in, he set three Maryland state records, three national records in the United States Powerlifting Association 16-17 year-old division for his weight, and two world records in his class for the deadlift and squat.

Perhaps Rice’s most impressive event of the day was in squats, where he lifted 567.7 pounds to secure his second world record, among other accolades. Rice was one of just two athletes to even qualify for the championships in his age and weight class.

Rice’s final national record was a cumulative one, totaling 1,355.8 pounds across the three main events: bench press, deadlift and squat. While 1,355 pounds sounds like a nearly unbeatable record for a sixteen-year-old, Rice plans for much greater numbers.

“My next meet is April 27,” Rice said. “I want to drop weight classes and be the youngest person at the lightest weight ever to total 1,500 across squat, bench, and deadlift.”

Now, just six months into the powerlifting scene, Rice has his own training regimen and his own goals to reach. Limits have yet to stop Rice so far, and world records may only be the beginning.  

Rice lifts 540.1 pounds to secure first place at the Powerlifting League World Championship.

John Dowling Receives Awards for his Volunteer Work

James Rada, Jr.

2018 was quite a year for John Dowling, age seventy-five, of Thurmont. The Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Grange, and Mother Seton School all recognized his abundant volunteer work in the area.

“I guess I’m involved just about everywhere,” Dowling said. “It’s in my blood.”

Last fall, Dowling’s work was recognized three times.

Mother Seton School recognized him for his thirty-six years of work at the Mother Seton School annual carnival. Dowling and his wife, Kathryn, got involved with the carnival when their children attended the school. Besides helping to start the carnival at the school, the Dowlings also launched the successful bingo and auction fundraisers for the school. The work started as a way to reduce the tuition at Mother Seton School for their children, but it turned into a labor of love, even after their kids graduated and moved onto Catoctin High School.

The Thurmont Lions Club recognized Dowling as the Thurmont Volunteer of the Year. He was nominated for his work at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and the Thurmont Senior Center. He was awarded a certificate of recognition and gift certificate for dinner at the Shamrock Restaurant at a town meeting. He was also able to designate where a $400 donation from the Thurmont Lions Club would be donated in his name. Dowling chose to split the money between the Thurmont Senior Center and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

The Thurmont Grange also recognized Dowling with its Outstanding Community Citizen Award.

These aren’t the first awards that he has received for his community work. In the past few years, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and State of Maryland have recognized Dowling for his volunteerism.

Dowling said that he was “dumbfounded” with all of the awards last year. He considers helping his community almost an obligation.

Dowling may be retired from his appliance repair business, but he still puts in ten to twelve hours a week of volunteer work. He also continues to run a small woodworking business from his home.

“We’re here on this earth to benefit our fellow citizens,” he said.

Dowling grew up in a family of twelve children in Montgomery County, and his parents set the example for volunteerism. He remembers his mother organizing an annual dinner to benefit Montgomery General Hospital and helping his father plant grass when a new high school was built.

When he moved to the area in 1968 as a young man with a wife, he brought with him the values his parents had instilled in him. He began helping out whenever he could.

“I would help out with anything dealing with the community, because the community is an important part of the lives of everyone who lives in it,” expressed Dowling.

Of all the various places where he provides service, he considers his work with the Thurmont Senior Center the most important. He serves on the center’s board and knows how great the center’s need for help is. He picks up day-old bread from Weis that is used at the center, gives rides to and from the center to seniors in need, delivers hot meals from the Mountain Gate Restaurant to home-bound seniors, and helps with the general maintenance of equipment around the center.

The values of service to the community that Dowling’s parents taught him are something that he and Kathryn have also been able to instill in their own children.

“All of my kids do a lot of volunteer work, and they’re all successful,” Dowling said.

Deb Abraham Spalding

Locally, we’re at war. We’re not in an obvious battle, it’s a hushed one. Our casualties are many. Our enemy is addiction. Through the efforts of the Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC), and several other groups and individuals, we’re starting to fight back in the Catoctin area.

Chris Schildt of Thurmont wasn’t our area’s first casualty of addiction, but his death was one that inspired collective action to do something to help and prevent addiction. In his case, a street drug addiction began after using prescribed drugs for a sports injury. Chris had a bright future ahead of him. He was an athlete, a 2009 graduate of Catoctin High School, a 2015 graduate of Shepherd University, he had a job, he coached youth sports, and he had recently become a father, when he died in June 2016 from an overdose, or bad batch, of heroin.

Chris didn’t want to die, but addiction has no geographic, demographic, moral, financial, age, or racial boundaries. We honor him, all who have passed, and all who battle addiction, by seeking solutions and resources in the Catoctin Community. It’s time that we all become proactive in attack to defeat this enemy from which no one is safe, because even if we don’t have an addiction ourselves, we may have a family member, friend, or neighbor who does.

Addiction is a disease that is believed to be caused by a genetic predisposition that can react to stimulants and immediately cause addiction. The reference to addiction in this article is not only on drugs since addiction comes in many forms, with drugs, smoking, drinking, and eating being the most obvious, and sex, tanning, pulling out your hair, and social media being examples of the less obvious.

Chris’ death was the spark of intention for his father and mother, Ed and Karen Schildt of Thurmont, who joined in the efforts of others who had already started fighting, healing, and helping to deal with this enemy they never saw coming. The Schildts’ path to recovery in mourning was to do something, anything.

Ed said, “We were supported tremendously when our son passed. We stood in a receiving line at Stauffer Funeral Home for ten straight hours with Chris’ death. We were supported during the days and weeks and months afterward. When clarity came back, we said, ‘What can we do? How do we say thank you?’ The Schildts held an educational awareness event in April of 2017, called “Introduction to the Enemy,” during which the auditorium at Catoctin High School was filled.

Ed explained, “The ‘Introduction to the Enemy’ event puts addiction in the room with you as the monster that it is, and then it shows you the struggles. In the end, you’re supporting those who are dealing with a disease. It’s not a problem. It’s a disease.” He added, “This is a topic

[addiction]

that doesn’t normally draw a crowd. It made people more aware. From that, the community said, ‘What’s next?’”

The result of that first event was a challenge for Ed and Karen to continue to step up. Former Mayor and current Thurmont Town Commissioner Marty Burns attended that first event and told Ed that his opinion of addiction had changed because of it. From that point, Marty involved the Town of Thurmont and there were follow-up meetings and then the opportunity to create the Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC).

TAC stands upon three pillars: Educational Awareness (Ed Schildt, Pillar Lead), Support and Recovery (Myra Derbyshire, Pillar Lead), and Prevention and Outreach (Susan Crone, Pillar Lead).

Educational Awareness is the broadest pillar and encompasses everything; Support and Recovery is a positive thing because it’s all about supporting people in recovery or seeking recovery; and Prevention and Outreach, that’s where Susan Crone’s FUSE Teen Center comes in; young people are shown alternatives to prevent addiction and provide positive options and results.

TAC is a growing group of advocates, who are providing information and resources to the community and empowering those who are doing good things in this battle right now.

The FUSE Teen Center is one example of a program TAC is empowering. Susan Crone is the founder of FUSE, a teen center where participants are encouraged to interact with each other without technology. This program has been running for a while now, and participants are truly having a blast.

Susan is a tenured teacher at Thurmont Elementary School, who stepped up to do something about the addiction and suicide frequency she was noticing. She is joined by many volunteers to operate FUSE, and they’re currently meeting at the Trinity United Church of Christ on East Main Street in Thurmont. It is a social option for teens from sixth to twelfth grade, from 4:00-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fridays from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Teens may come to just hang out with each other, play games, and be creative, or they can bring homework and FUSE volunteers will do their best to lend a hand. They are always looking for ideas and volunteers.

“FUSE is a place where teens have the undivided attention of volunteers who are there because they care about the future for them. We will do whatever we can to help them find the treasures that are already inside them waiting to be found,” said Susan.

To learn more, check out FUSE Teen Center on Facebook.

Chastity Fox, founder of the Music is Medicine Foundation nonprofit, is an advocate for addiction recovery after losing her brother, Richard “RJ” Holmes, to a heroin overdose in October 2016. She is close to opening The Path—Peer Recovery Community Center, which will offer free peer-to-peer addiction support with certified Peer Recovery Specialists. This is another project that TAC is empowering.

Other services at PATH include music therapy, yoga, meditation, classes for the community, family support groups, job-seeking skills, resume writing, and other resources that help a person with addiction become a functioning member of society.

This resource center is located at 31B Water Street in Thurmont. TAC is supporting it and assisting with the operation. There is an immediate need for volunteers, especially a person to write a business plan and a grant writer. Other needs are for donations of furniture and things like a television. Like the Music is Medicine Foundation on Facebook or call Chastity at 240-440-2020 or e-mail RJsLastingStrengthFoundation@gmail.com.

There’s so much that is being mixed in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin that’s not known. These aren’t pharmacists out there. They’re street dealers. They’re getting the cheapest ingredients to make the most profit, and they’re preying on people with addiction.

To become a warrior in our community’s battle against addiction, visit the Thurmont Addiction Commission on Facebook or seek out any of the resources in this article.

James Rada, Jr.

It’s doubtful that anyone would deny that 2018 was a wet year. Just how wet was it? Well, the Town of Emmitsburg collects and reports on rainfall data each month as part of the wastewater report that Town Manager Cathy Willetts submits to the town commissioners.

Her reports from the 2018 town meetings include the rainfall from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018. During that time, the town received 73.45 inches of rain when the average is 42.96 inches. That means the town saw 71 percent more rain than typical.

The heaviest month for rainfall was September (13.5 inches), but the month with the biggest difference between rainfall received and the average rainfall was July (9.69 inches). Four months (November, December, March, and April) actually had less rainfall than average.

The table below shows the information collected from the Emmitsburg Town Manager reports.

James Rada, Jr.

In the days before air conditioning, Washington D.C. could be nearly unbearable in the summer. Those who could would travel to summer homes in more-agreeable climates. It wasn’t always possible for federal officials, though.

In 1915, some of the towns surrounding the capital city began making their case to serve as the summer capital for the United States, in a similar way to the way President Dwight D. Eisenhower would use his Gettysburg home as a temporary White House while he was recovering from a heart attack. They were generally towns within a couple hours of Washington, D.C., and at a higher elevation.

In August, the Waynesboro Board of Trade appointed a committee to open communications with Congressman D. K. Focht “and urge him to use his influence in having the summer capital located in this section,” according to the Gettysburg Times.

W. H. Doll of the traffic department of the Western Maryland Railway traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with one of President Woodrow Wilson’s secretaries to show the railroad’s support for having Blue Ridge Summit be the summer capital.

“Mr. Doll called attention to the fact that Blue Ridge Summit is now more or less a ‘summer capital’ on account of the large number of government officials and members of the diplomatic corps who spend the heated season there,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Diplomatic delegations from Argentina, Norway, Japan, and Uruguay already had many of their members spending the summer in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. The Washington Post even noted in 1915 that Viscountess Chinda, the wife of Japanese Ambassador Chinda, had traveled to Japanese property in Blue Ridge Summit, calling the summer embassy. The U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Comptroller of the Currency also spent much of the summer in the mountains.

Some of the diplomats and officials had homes, but others simply stayed the summer in the Monterey Inn. The Monterey Inn was probably the most famous of the inns of Blue Ridge Summit. It was built in 1848 and attracted visitors from all over the region. The inn would burn to the ground in 1941, but in 1915, it was the jewel of Blue Ridge Summit.

For a while, it seemed that the government was considering officially designating the town as the summer capital. Engineers from Washington traveled to Blue Ridge Summit in October to take elevations and measurements of the town and surrounding area. Local officials took it as a sign that the government was collecting data on where to build government buildings.

It wasn’t the first time towns had made an appeal to be the summer capital. Earlier in the year, Braddock Heights in Frederick County had made its case only to see nothing come of it. It doesn’t seem that the town fathers made much of persuasive appeal other than offering cooler summer weather within a fairly close location to Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Virginia Congressman Charles Carlin was making the case for the summer capital being in the Virginia mountains, not far from Washington. The basis of his appeal was that he would submit a bill for designating a summer capital, but only if it was located in his district in Virginia.

Although Blue Ridge Summit’s official recognition as the summer capital failed, the town continued to appeal to foreign delegations. Even as late as 1940, about a dozen foreign embassies maintained summer legations in Blue Ridge, many at Monterey, occasioning it to be called often “the summer capital of the United States,” according to the Living Places webpage for the Monterey Historic District.

Japanese Ambassador Chinda and wife Viscountess Chinda.

Courtesy Photo

December 2018

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

Mount Still Planning on Building a Health Care Clinic in the Area

Simon Blackwell, with Mount St. Mary’s University, spoke to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners during their monthly meeting in December. He said that the university is in negotiations with the Frederick Regional Health System to bring a health and wellness clinic into the area. It is needed to help “improve the quality and access to healthcare” for Mount students, according to Blackwell, but it would also be available to area residents. The planned-for clinic would have primary and urgent care services, a laboratory, radiology, and physical therapy. As part of the process, university staff have been meeting with the members of the community to get their input.

Town Approved Water Contracts

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved water agreements for two property owners outside of town. Years ago, Emmitsburg bought a small water company that serviced property owners outside of town. Over the years, most of those properties have been easily serviced on the town system. However, an 8-inch water line that serviced only three properties was discovered to be unrepairable. One of the properties was close enough to a 10-inch water line that the town owned that it could be connected to it.

The town then faced a decision: Either spend an estimated $1 million to build a new water line to service the two properties or find a way to terminate service to properties.

The town chose the latter and offered the property owners to either drill a new well on the property or pay the property owners the equivalent amount ($11,655).

One property owner took the buyout, and the other will have the town pay to have a new well dug on his property.

Traffic Should Switch on Bridge This Month

According to information that Emmitsburg town staff received from the Maryland State Highway Administration, the deck of the new East Main Street bridge over Flat Run was to be poured in mid-December. Following the concrete deck, a layer of asphalt was applied. This needed to set for 28 days before traffic could be rerouted onto it, which puts the date into mid-January.

Town to Deal with Business Trailers

The Emmitsburg Commissioners are expected to approve changes to the zoning laws that will allow large storage trailers to be used on industrial properties. The changes will allow a trailer used to collect tires for recycling to continue to be used at Quality Tire, while not creating an eyesore for adjacent residential properties.

Thurmont

Thurmont Third Safest Town in Maryland in 2018

Thurmont recently received recognition from Safewise as the third safest city in Maryland. Safewise looks at the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics and population of cities with more than 3,000 residents. They look at violent crime and property crime that occurs per 1,000 residents.

According to Safewise, Thurmont has .92 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 10.45 property crimes per 1,000 residents. It is the only city in Frederick County to make the top ten.

This is a big jump from the 2016 report that listed Thurmont as the ninth safest town in Maryland. Between 2016 and 2018, Thurmont violent crime increased from .92 incidents per 1,000 residents, but property crime decreased from 11.76 incidents per 1,000 residents.

The safest cities in Maryland are: 1. Hampstead (Carroll); 2. Manchester (Carroll); 3. Thurmont (Frederick); 4. Bowie (Prince Georges); 5. Glenarden (Prince Georges); 6. Ocean Pines (Worcester); 7. Taneytown (Carroll); 8. Frostburg (Allegany); 9. Bel Air (Harford); and 10. Easton (Talbot).

Thurmont is the only Frederick County town listed among the safest towns in Maryland.

Town Receives a Clean Audit

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently received the results of the annual review done of its finances by an independent auditor. Not only did the town receive a clean audit with no findings, but the town also did not have to file for an extension in order to have it done on time.

Town Enacts Planning and Zoning Fees

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to enact planning and zoning fees to recover the cost of using town resources to review development plans. The fees are based on those used in other nearby municipalities. A concept plans submission and review will cost $250, plus the invoiced cost of professional services, such as advertising, legal, and engineering fees. A preliminary site plan, category 1, residential, will cost $350, plus $25 per lot and the invoiced cost of professional services. A preliminary site plan, category 1, non-residential, will cost $500, plus professional services for projects smaller than 25 acres; and $500, plus $25 an acre and professional services for projects over 25 acres. A preliminary site plan, category 2, will cost the zoning certificate fee and professional services. An annexation and review will cost $500, plus $25 an acre and professional services.

Colorfest Review

The Town of Thurmont is starting to dig itself out of a deficit from hosting Colorfest, after making some changes to the permit fees. For Colorfest 2018, the Town of Thurmont received $68,578 and spent $61,289 for sanitation, trash, buses, and security.

While this proved to be a year the town was in the black, it was not the case in 2014 and 2015. Those two years left the town $24,237 in the red. The commissioners made changes to the fees and trimmed some expenses, which has helped the town show positive numbers since 2015. The town is now showing a deficit of $10,147 over the past five years.

The Colorfest revenues have also been helped by the increasing number of permits sold. For Colorfest 2018, 798 permits were sold, up 101 from 2016. This includes a jump from 21 to 32 permits for commercial food vendors, who pay $500 for their permits.

Town Increases Water Reconnection Fee

After reviewing the cost of reconnecting a property to the town’s water system after it has been disconnected for non-payment, the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently voted to increase the fee to $75.

This came about after the town reviewed all of the costs associated with reconnecting a property and found that it cost slightly more than $73. The town was only charging $6. The $75 is also equal to or less than the amount charged by surrounding municipalities.

Chief Administrative Office Jim Humerick told the commissioners that disconnecting a property is a last resort for the town. Before that point is reached, the town will have offered the property owner an option to pay the debt back on a payment plan and give the property owner contact information for agencies that might be able to help the property owner pay the bill.

Emmitsburg

 Mayor Don Briggs

In our Community Christmas Stocking

Thank you to those who added the trees on the square, and then, decorated them. A spontaneous occurrence and a very nice added touch.

Thank you town staff for the decorations at the square and at the Community Center. Many compliments.

Thank you E&E Trees, Walkersville Tree Farm, Ken and Barbara Willets, for donating the beautiful town Christmas tree.

Thank you third grade class at Mother Seton School, and all the grades from elementary school, for decorating the town Christmas tree in front of the Community Center, adding to the trimming efforts of the town staff.

Thank you to all the volunteers of our churches, organizations, and businesses who participated in the various Emmitsburg events, starting with the traditional town Christmas tree lighting, on the first Monday in December, in front of the town office, Christ Community Church children’s chorus (My error on invitation to Mother Seton School. They will be singing next year.), Santa Claus arriving in a Vigilant Hose truck, the lighting of the tree, then following Santa on foot to the Carriage House Inn for the 30th Annual “An Evening of Christmas Spirit.” The weather was kind again to the many who attended.  

The state finished the square and sidewalks project, except for some loose brick work. Just can’t seem to get the state’s contractors out of here.

Things are moving along on the Flat Run Bridge project, with the concrete being poured for the new bridge lanes. If the weather cooperates, the complementary road work could be completed and we could have a lane switch by the New Year.

For the New Year

Lots of New Year’s resolutions to add to pushing away from the table with a little bit more fervor and with more, much more, resolve. Oh well…

Mount St. Mary’s University is moving ahead with plans to enter a venture with Frederick Memorial Hospital affiliate to build a medical facility on its campus. At the facility, primary and urgent care will be available for students, faculty, and community residents. The university will make a presentation on the proposed medical facility at the January 7, 2019, town meeting, at 7:30 p.m.

At the January 30 Green Team meeting, Hilari Varnadore, Director, LEED for Cities and Communities, U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be the guest speaker. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The topic will be: Helping cities and communities use data to drive more sustainable, equitable investments. Hilari was formerly with Star Communities, which recently merged with the USGBC. Before that, she headed up the Frederick County Sustainability Office that assisted the Frederick County Sustainability Commission when I was chairman of the commission.   

With the New Year comes the sad reality that after seventy-four years of service to the community, Zurgables Hardware will be closed. All those convenient planned and emergency stops no more. According to Mark Zurgable, it was time. Mark has owned and operated the store for thirty-nine years. Thank you, Mark, for all the years of service to the community at your store.

To all, hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a wonderful New Year. Emmitsburg, a great place to live.

Thurmont

  Mayor John Kinnaird

Mayor John Kinnaird was as busy as Santa Claus at the time of our deadline for this issue, and we think his column may have been eaten by a reindeer! He wishes everyone a Happy New Year!

Blair Garrett, Gracie Eyler, and Deb Abraham Spalding

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come… I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise…”

These words are part of a Proclamation done at the City of Washington, the Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth by the President: Abraham Lincoln.

President Lincoln was not the first president to proclaim Thanksgiving, and he wasn’t the last. Today, although the pace of our daily business has changed with the ease of technology, it is important that the foundation of thanks be reminded and put into practice universally, for it is a basic part of humanity.

For 126 years, almost as long ago as President Lincoln’s Proclamation, members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown have provided a community Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day in their parish hall. This year, the room was full consistently, as family-after-family gathered to share the homemade meal throughout the day.

Courtney Topper, a twenty-one-year-old member of the Seiss family, one of the long-time member families deeply involved with this tradition, has helped since the age of four. She said, “I’d rather do this than anything on Thanksgiving Day.”

Thirty-seven volunteers served over five hundred dinners and over one hundred carry-out orders. Linda Seiss, Courtney’s grandmother, coordinated the event. She said, “It’s the giving and joy and love that make this event so great! Everybody came in so jolly and happy… and so thankful. It’s a wonderful thing!” Linda tried to name all of the volunteers because, “That’s important,” she said, “Phyllis Kolb is known for her sweet potatoes. Everyone is overwhelmed by them. Then there’s…let me see, Madeline Valentine, Glenna Wilhide, Dick Wilhide, Bill and Regina Dinterman, Sherry and Melanie Topper, Vicky Troxell and her daughters Kelsey and Payton, Nancy Heyser, Judy Zimmerman, Betty Seiss, Dot Lare, the Ferrell Family, the Thayer Family, and my husband Frankie Seiss. We can’t forget about him.”

Linda said she hopes that the Thanksgiving Dinner event, “makes it to 200 years of Thanksgivings someday.”

At the Ott House Pub in Emmitsburg, the Ott family, extended family, friends, and sometimes people right off the street, gather to enjoy a pot-luck Thanksgiving feast. This year, one hundred and four gathered for this tradition at the family’s restaurant.

Their tradition started when Bernard Ott, a painter by trade, and his wife, Evelyn, opened the Ott House in 1970 as a hobby and “something for their son, Pat, to get into,” said Chris (Ott) Wilson. They had nine children, Buddy (deceased), Pat (deceased), Dave, Susie, Chris, Cathy, Bobby, Rosie, and Ritchie. Today, four are still heavily involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. At the time, the family had grown too large for any one’s house to host Thanksgiving dinner, so the restaurant was the perfect alternative.

To this day, the Ott House Pub still operates with about half of the work force comprised of family members. Most Ott family and extended family members have worked at the pub at some point during their lives. It is truly a family-run business. The Otts, Susie, Bobby, Chris and Rosie, and the greater Ott House family and staff wish the community a happy holiday season and expressed, “Thanks for all of your support.”

This year, as always, after our Thanksgiving feasts were consumed and our family members filtered home, the chaos of Black Friday arrived. The season of thanks continues and becomes the season of giving as the holiday shopping frenzy builds.

Many families see the end of Thanksgiving as the beginning of Christmas, pushing moms and dads to flock to the stores in search of the perfect holiday gift for their children. The transition from November to December brings lights, candy canes, and plenty of holiday cheer, but what is it that spurs shoppers nationwide to begin checking off those holiday lists one by one?

The holiday deals cannot be denied, with stores around the world slashing prices to entice customers to spend their hard-earned cash in their stores. Parents often begin gathering ideas for gifts as early as summer, officially beginning the countdown until the holidays. The holiday crunch is finally here.

There are a few different types of holiday givers, with each finding different ways to make their shopping and gifting all come together for their families.

The extremely prepared are the early birds who have their holiday gifts purchased and wrapped months in advance, hiding them in a locked-away safe place, away from the eyes of the kids. Then, there are the extremely unprepared procrastinators, who are scrambling to grab the latest and greatest gifts fifteen minutes before the doors close for Christmas Eve.

But, the majority of givers fall somewhere in the middle, picking a weekend here and there to peck away at their shopping lists, grabbing the final items just in time for family get-togethers. Though disguised in the materialistic shopping game, the togetherness and camaraderie of being surrounded by the people you care about most is what excites people about this time of year.

Events like “Christmas in Thurmont” and “An Evening of Christmas Spirit” in Emmitsburg give people a reason to cook, celebrate, give thanks, and give to others. But…don’t forget to take a moment, take a breath, reflect upon history, remember loved ones who have passed, celebrate the moment, plan the best future, notice the little things, invite the big things, live life fully, and appreciate family and community. Be thankful. Be giving.

John and Fay Holdner, Angel and Mike Clabaugh, Randy Welty, Mary Elle Goff, Jaylyn Shaw, Jess Shaw, Bill Thurman, Alice Thurman, Larry Gladhill, and Brooke Gladhill sit together to enjoy the community Thanksgiving Day meal at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown.

Linda Seiss is shown with fellow volunteer, Russell Long, in the kitchen at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Family, extended family, and community members gather at the Ott House Pub and Restaurant for a Thanksgiving feast. A tradition since 1970.

 

Candy (Leahy) Lawyer, of Thurmont, “was a beautiful lady with golden hair, bright green eyes and a sweet smile. She lived in a cottage called Candy’s Corner. Joy and laughter filled the cottage. Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, after days of preparation filled with love, she would host a gingerbread house decorating celebration. This became a celebration of love, family and togetherness that was disguised by candy-coated fun! It was a special time for everyone to laugh and kick off the holiday season.”

The above is an excerpt from Heather Lawyer’s “Candy Corner”online about her mom. What started out as a small gathering to make four small gingerbread houses became known as “Gingerbread Day”and grew to become an annual tradition. Candy became known as “Sweet Candy,”since this was her very favorite time of year. Candy passed away in 2017 after a courageous four-year battle with cancer.

Her children, Brent, Heather, and Mitchell, have set out to carry on the gingerbread tradition by continuing Gingerbread Day. Heather hosted the family’s gingerbread day this year, and she worked with Vickie Grinder, Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, to provide community gingerbread classes in the Main Street Center in Thurmont. Her brothers, their wives, their cousins and friends come out to help. Heather said, “We have a little army of gingerbread helpers.”

In a “History of Gingerbreads” interview by Barb Lawyer Briggs with Candy, Candy explained that when she was pregnant with her and her husband Dave’s first child, Brent, in 1982, she made a gingerbread carousel for her mother-in-law, Mary Lawyer. Then, in December of 1986, when Brent and their second child, Heather, were three and four, Candy’s mother, Lynne Leahy, came across an article about a gingerbread lady where the recipe, the patterns, and directions were outlined. Lynne had always wanted to start a Leahy tradition for the kids and felt this was it.

During Barb’s interview, Candy recalled that one year, half the gingerbread houses collapsed. She explained that gingerbread can be temperamental. She shared that when the kids get to age 10 to 14, they start using planned themes. “It’s really interesting to watch.” One year, Mitchell made a complete barn and barnyard. One nephew, Kevin, used gummy bears every year. One year, the gummy bears were in a battle. “I think that year all the boys had a war theme. Santa was on a roof with a machine gun. There were injured gummy bears. It wasn’t very Christmassy.”

This year marks the thirty-first year of Gingerbread Day. Every year, every kid keeps coming back, even when the kid has now become an adult. Heather said, “The youngest cousin is now 20 and everybody including him still shows up. That was mom’s favorite part.”

Heather’s love for her mother and her family is very evident in her actions and words. It is very obvious that the opportunity to carry this tradition is truly an honor for her. Heather claims that her all-time favorite gingerbread will always be the tribute to her Uncle Jan Lawyer. The year Jan passed away, Heather, her brothers and their wives, Renee and Stephanie, made gingerbread replicas of Jan’s Winterbrook Farm and Corn Maze. Brent and Renee did the barn, Heather did the home farm, Mitchell did the corn maze.

For about twenty years, Heather took her gingerbreads to her Grammy (Mary) Lawyer. Heather said, “She’d be calling, ‘Heather, is your house done yet? I thought Gingerbread Day was two weeks ago!’ As soon as I took it to her, she’d stand up in church and announce that the gingerbread house was finally there and she’d invite the whole congregation to come on over and see it.”

Heather’s most memorable gingerbread creation that she made herself was a ski resort with a mountain made of Rice Krispie with a gingerbread lodge at the bottom. It was about 24”x 24”. She said, “I made trees out of pretzels using coconut shavings that I died green for leaves. It took me about a week to finish. I remember coming home from work and finding random gum drops stuck on places I did not put them. I realized it was my grandfather (Pat Leahy), of course, playing tricks on me! They know how particular I am and this was a fun game for my grandparents and mom to play!” She added, “Grammy (Lawyer) called during that week wondering if I would ever finish it. When I finally delivered it to her, her jaw dropped and her face lit up when she finally saw it being carried in her house!”

Keep an eye open for opportunities to participate in the gingerbread classes that Heather and her brothers are hosting in the coming years. It’s a sweet time of candy-coated fun!

Candy Lawyer is shown with her husband, Dave, and her first gingerbread: a carousel.

Heather Lawyer gives her mom, Candy, the Gingerbread Lady, a squeeze as they bake gingerbread in their kitchen. Candy is wearing her Gingerbread Lady apron.

Heather’s favorite gingerbread, a ski resort.

The Wallpaper Story

Joan Bittner Fry

Preface 

William Jones was a prosperous tannery owner who operated his tannery along Little Hunting Creek in Thurmont in 1838. To show his prosperity, he built a six-room stone house on East Main Street. That was not enough, though. To give his new home a touch of elegance and class, he ordered new panoramic wallpaper from the French company of Jean Zuber.

Eugenie and Daniel Rouzer purchased the home in 1891. The Rouzers’ daughter, Gertrude, and her husband, William Stoner, eventually inherited the house.  Gertrude Stoner sold the house in 1961, and it was scheduled for demolition to make room for a grocery store (Thurmont Super Thrift at the time; now Hobbs’ Hardware).

In 1929, Gertrude Stoner had written to Gregory and Brown Co., an interior decorating firm, trying to find out the history of the unusual wallpaper. J.C. Waterman replied saying the print was called “Scenic America” and was manufactured by a French manufacturer, J. Zuber in Rixheim, Alsace, France. The scenes were taken from a set of Currier and Ives prints and show American landscapes: Natural Bridge, Niagara Falls, West Point, and Boston Harbor.  The wallpaper was an extravagant cost of $10.00 at the time. It journeyed from France to Thurmont in tin foil tubes to protect it from the moisture of an ocean crossing.

Viewpoint from Baroness Stackelberg, Baltimore American (newspaper), Sunday, September 3, 1961

The Stoner House provided a near miracle recently for a young man who had faith in his own judgment and real devotion to a cause.  He is a 33-year-old Washingtonian named Peter Hill who, through a set of unusual circumstances, sold some very early 19th Century wallpaper that he bought for $50 for 250 times as much as he paid for it.  The paper, which shows a scene of the Boston Harbor in the early days, and another scene of an Indian dance, brought $12,500 to the finder and his Danish-born wife and was later presented by the purchasers to the White House.

Mr. Hill happened on to the paper on account of an interest in the history of religion and a zest for antique collecting.  The antique collecting and selling has helped him make money to carry on the spreading of the gospel as a lay preacher.

Through some of the heirlooms he found in the past that are now part of the historical collections at the Smithsonian Institute, Peter Hill met John Newton Pearce. Mr. Pearce is in the cultural section of the Smithsonian, and his wife, Mildred, is the White House curator.  It was through her that Mr. Hill later aroused the interest of Mrs. John F. Kennedy in the scenic wallpaper.

Last spring when he was in desperate need of money to carry on his religious drives, as if in answer to prayer, friends told him to go to an antique sale in Thurmont, Maryland.  There a Mrs. Stoner was selling the furniture in her old house as it was being torn down in just a few days to make way for a chain store (Thurmont Super Thrift, now Hobbs’ Hardware).  When Mr. Hill entered the house he noticed the magnificent wallpaper in the front hall and was told that in order to acquire it he must deal with the wrecking company.

Hill told Stoner he wanted to purchase the wallpaper, but she told him he would have to negotiate with Ralph Miller who was in charge of the demolition that was scheduled to start in two days.  Miller told Hill that a woman had offered $100 for the wallpaper but would not be able to remove it before the house was demolished, according to a 1961 Frederick Post article.

He paid $50 for the wallpaper and set to in a rush to remove it from the walls where it had been for over 100 years.  He spent three days removing the complete set of “Scenic America” wallpaper with a razor blade and putty knife.  After this was done, he called his friend Mr. Pearce of the Smithsonian and showed it to him.  Mr. Pearce thought it a “find” and arranged with his wife to take it to the White House so Mrs. Kennedy could see it.

On seeing the wallpaper, Mrs. Kennedy decided it was appropriate for the White House and indicated she would like to have it.  Mrs. Kennedy and the Hills decided it would go well in the Diplomatic Reception Room which was at that moment being furnished with Americana by the National Society of Interior Decorators (NSID).  They offered to buy the paper when they heard Mrs. Kennedy liked it. And, so, it was that the NSID complied with the wishes of the First Lady, and helped a young religious person to carry on his work by paying $12,500 for paper that had cost him but $50.

The sequel to the story is that the NSID who paid for the paper has found out since that this wallpaper was made in the early 1800’s by a company called J. Zuber.  The J. Zuber Co. is reputedly still making the identical wallpaper from old hand blocks and modern prints of this paper could have been bought for less than an eighth of the price they paid.

The Zuber wallpaper in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.

The Stoner House

Joan Knott Courtesy Photo

James Rada, Jr.

Catoctin High School (CHS) recognized its graduates who had gone on to find success post-high school during its 4th Annual Distinguished Graduates Induction Ceremony on November 20, 2018.

“We’re here to connect the future with the past,” said Teacher Mike Franklin.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were the freshmen and senior classes at CHS. They were the future that Franklin wanted to show what can be accomplished by graduates from the school. Many of the graduates said that when they were students, they wouldn’t have believed that they would be honored as a distinguished scholar. However, they had applied themselves in their chosen fields, seeking to do the best work. It was an effort that succeeded for them in academics, arts and humanities, athletics, business, and public service.

This year’s ceremony was dedicated to the memory of 1LT Robert Seidel, a member of the CHS Class of 2000, who was killed in Baghdad in 2006.

Besides graduates from the school, former staff members Gail Slezak and Earl Miller were also recognized for the impact they had on the lives of Catoctin students. Slezak was a music teacher at CHS when it opened in 1969.

“I was eager to meet the challenge of creating a music program here at Catoctin High School,” Slezak said. In 1970, Music Theory students actually wrote the school’s alma mater using skills that she taught them.

Miller was the principal of CHS from 1984-1996. He called his time at the school, “the most significant chapter of my career,” in part, because he was shaping the school in his own community.

“The decisions you are making in high school will shape the life you will live later as an adult,” Miller told the students.

Kerry Dingle, Class of 2001, was the academics inductee. She is an appellate litigator with the Securities and Exchange Commission, protecting investors from financial fraud. She gave the students some tips on understanding and taking control of their finances. It is only in doing that, she said, that they would be able to build the life they wanted.

Justin Albright, Class of 2009, was one of the athletics inductees. Although his athletic skill helped him earn a college degree, today he works as a software engineer. He told the students to be true to themselves and have patience.

“Good things will come to you as long as you continue working hard and continue doing the right things,” Albright said.

Sean Reaver, Class of 2001, was also an athletics inductee. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate now serving in the Marine Corps, Reaver urged students to set their goals high and to not be afraid of failure because it would help them learn and get better.

Craig Mayne, Class of 1996, was the business inductee. Mayne, who owns the Ace Hardware store in Thurmont, recounted some of his personal struggles and struggles as a student. He told them that they don’t necessarily need to attend a fancy college to be successful, but they do need to work hard and strive to be the best that they can be.

Randy Waesche, Jr., Class of 1972, was the public service inductee. An active member of many community organizations, Waesche urged the students not to coast but to push themselves to do more.

David Ammenheuser, Class of 1980, was the arts and humanities inductee. He told the students that adults don’t have all the answers, but they are there to listen and help. However, the students also need to listen and absorb what knowledge they can to figure out the answers to their questions.

Principal Bernie Quesada noted that the inductees and their achievements were part of what helped make CHS a “landmark of success.”

The pictured CHS Distinguished Graduate inductees are: (from left) Gail Slezak; Craig Moyne; David Ammenheuser; Sean Reaver; Randy Waesche, Jr.; Kerry Dingle; Earl Miller; and Justin Albright.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

 

November 2018

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

New Trees on Main Street

The Maryland State Highway Administration has planted new trees along Main Street. The different species include scarlet oak, columnar sergeants cherry, snow goose cherry, and rotundiloba sweetgum.

Town Awarded Community Legacy Grant

Emmitsburg received a $50,000 Community Legacy Grant for façade improvement and restoration. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provides half of the grant award, and the property owners match the award amount. The maximum grant amount is $12,500 per property, per fiscal year, as long as the money is available.

You can pick up a grant application in the town office. The completed application is due by January 4, 2019. Contact Town Planner Zach Gulden at 301-600-6309 or at zgulden@emmitsburgmd.gov with any questions or for more information.

ADA Playground Nearly Fully Funded

Emmitsburg received another Community Legacy Grant of $75,000 to help pay for the new ADA-compliant playground in Emmit Gardens. This grant, along with the $125,000 in Program Open Funding previously awarded for the playground, nearly pays the entire cost of the playground.

Commissioners Review New Town Waysides

The Emmitsburg Commissioners reviewed a new set of waysides that will be erected in town to highlight the town’s history. The waysides are designed and written by Ruth Bielobocky of Ion Design Firm and Scott Grove of Grove Public Relations.

The waysides are funded with a $9,000 grant from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority. The three waysides will be at the Emmit House, doughboy statue, and town square. The long-term goal is to create a historic walking tour through the town.

Tree Ordinance Approved

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved an ordinance for tree care that is needed for Emmitsburg to become Tree City certified. To receive the certification from the National Arbor Day Foundation, a municipality must meet four criteria: (1) Celebrate Arbor Day; (2) Have a team dedicated to tree care; (3) Have at least $2.00 per tree dedicated to tree care in the budget; and (4) Have a law to protect trees.

 

Thurmont

John Dowling Named Volunteer of the Year

The Thurmont Lions Clubs announced its Volunteer of the Year for 2018 during a recent town meeting. The award recognizes volunteers who work in the Thurmont zip code. This year’s nominees were: John Dowling for his work at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and Thurmont Senior Citizens Center; Nicole Orr for her work with Hospice of Frederick County, the Distinguished Young Women’s Program, and the Lewistown Elementary School; and Donna Voellinger for her work with the Thurmont Historical Society.

“They are each passionate about their volunteer work and put their whole heart into what they do,” Lion Susan Favorite told the commissioners.

Dowling was chosen as the Volunteer of the Year. He received a certificate of recognition and a gift certificate to the Shamrock Restaurant. He was also able to designate where a $400 donation from the Thurmont Lions Club would go. Dowling chose to split the money between the Thurmont Senior Center and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

New Police Dog Introduced

The Thurmont Police Department introduced its new police dog, Majo, to the Thurmont Commissioners in October. Majo is now a nineteen-month-old shepherd chow mix that came from the Czech Republic. He was certified in October and is now on the street with his handler, Cpl. Tim Duhan.

The town had budgeted $10,000 to purchase and train Majo, but the bill came out to be $12,600. However, the Humane Society of Frederick County donated $1,600 and Woodsboro Bank donated $1,000 to make up the difference.

Town Will Continue to Receive County Tax Rebate

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners decided to continue receiving money that the county returns for duplicative services as a rebate rather than the more complicated tax differential. The refund amounts to roughly $685,000 returned to the town annually to help pay for police, parks, and town planning.

Thurmont Food Bank Receives Donations from Town Events

Two recent events netted the Thurmont Food Bank substantial donations just in time for the seasonal increase in demand for services.

The Community Shred Event asked residents to also bring non-perishable food items for each box of paper that was being shredded or to make a cash donation. The event collected 768 items and $235.

Halloween in the Park also asked attendees to bring a non-perishable food item or to make a cash donation. The event collected 820 items and $91.

Arbor Day Proclamation Made

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners made an Arbor Day proclamation as part of their efforts to continue being recognized as a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation. Over the last few years, the town has also planted 224 new trees throughout the town.

Emmitsburg

 Mayor Don Briggs

This year, Northern Frederick County residents will get a great Christmas present. The Hayward Road-U.S. 15 intersection is closed. Amen. For years—no, generations—this intersection was one of the worst traffic spots in the county. Stop and think of all the trips that you, your friends, or family members whistled by there at 60 mph or merged first south from Hayward Road across traffic to make a “J” to go north in all types of weather, at all times of day. Travel through there was always a chilling reality.

For me, the newly completed and opened overpass of U.S. 15, connecting Monocacy Boulevard and Christopher Crossing, conjured up thoughts of approaching the ANZAC bridge in Sydney Harbor, Australia. That bridge, that trip, was spectacular. So was the opening of the overpass for us from the north who now have safe and easy access to the many shopping and service opportunities on Route 26, as well as to the primary location for county medical services along Thomas Johnson Drive.

Going back some 30 years, when I was a member of the Frederick City Planning and Zoning Commission, there was a deadly automobile accident at the Hayward Road-U.S. 15 intersection. It was not the first accident nor was it to be the last. At that time, frustration was high on the commission and in the community, “Please, State do something.” The Maryland State Highway Administration was requested to send a representative to the commission’s next meeting, and did. At that meeting, the representative made a presentation, and in the end, joined in with our frustration, “Sorry, there is nothing we can do. There are over 1,000 similarly dangerous intersections in the state like the Hayward Road-U.S. 15 intersection.” That is my recollection almost verbatim. And that was that.

Update: The trees are in place along Main Street. We have been assured that they are different varieties from those planted thirty years ago. Not fruit bearing, and the shape and growth will be more controlled.

Thank you to the EBPA for the series of volunteer clean-ups around town. It was a wonderful gift to the town.

There are many wonderful community events planned throughout the Christmas season, so please check our town website and Facebook page.

I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and from my family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful Christmastide and Happy New Year.

Thurmont

 Mayor John Kinnaird

Thurmont held its annual Gateway to the Cure fundraiser in October. At the Town Meeting on November 20, we presented the Patty Hurwitz Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital with a donation of $18,000. These funds were raised by Thurmont businesses, organizations, individuals, the 5K Run, as well as through the sale of pink lightbulbs and other items. The funds will be used by the Patty Hurwitz Fund to help support research and cancer patient services at FMH. I want to thank everyone that participated in this year’s event. With your help, cancer patients now get treatments in Frederick that just a few years ago were not locally available. This year’s donations brings our five year total to $62,000! All of our residents and businesses should be very proud of this accomplishment.

Be sure to visit the model train display at 5B East Main Street, open weekends during December. The display is open Saturdays, from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., and Sundays, from noon-4:00 p.m. The train setup is courtesy of the Frederick County Society of Model Engineers. The Society is partnering with the Town of Thurmont to make this display possible as a part of Christmas in Thurmont. As a special treat, Santa will be at the display on December 15, 16, 22, and 23. Stop in to see this amazing train display!

The New Year is almost here, I find it hard to believe that 2019 is upon us. It will take me at least a month to write the correct date! With the new year comes the annual park pavilion registration. Be sure to watch for the opening date for reserving park pavilions. I am happy to announce that we were just informed that we will be awarded Project Open Space funding for a new pavilion at the Community Park. I hope we can begin construction on this new pavilion in the spring and have it available by summer.

The coming year will bring new projects and infrastructure repairs, and we will be sure to let everyone know when work will be done. New schedules for grass clipping pickup, bulk trash removal, trash pickup holiday changes, and other important dates for 2019 will be sent with your electric bill and posted on the Thurmont Facebook page and website.

On behalf of the town staff and the Thurmont Board of Commissioners, it has been our pleasure to serve the residents of Thurmont, and we wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!

Questions, comments, or suggestions are always welcome. Call me at 301-606-9458 or email me at jkinnaird@thurmont.com.

James Rada, Jr.

October has become a month when the residents and businesses in Thurmont go all-out to fight breast cancer. This year was no different, with Thurmont raising $18,000 for its 5th Annual Gateway to the Cure. With this year’s donation to the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund, Thurmont has raised $62,000 over five years.

With the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners wearing their pink T-shirts, they held a meeting to present the town’s annual donation to the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund.

Thurmont Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder reminded the commissioners and mayor that when the town began its efforts in 2014, they were hoping to be able to sell a case (122) of pink light bulbs.

“Jim Humerick and I were afraid we wouldn’t sell them all,” Grinder said. “We sold 1,348 that year and had two dozen businesses on board with us.”

Jeff and Patty Hurwitz created The Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital in 1999. Patty had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the couple believed that early diagnosis had helped improve her chances of beating cancer. The fund is used to help improve ways of diagnosing and fighting cancer in the county. The fund has raised $1.7 million to date. That money has gone to purchase things, such as a machine for biopsies and another for 3D mammography. Every dollar donated to the fund is used for direct patient benefit, and there are no administrative costs.

During October, the Town of Thurmont sold pink light bulbs, sold Gateway to the Cure merchandise, sponsored “Paint a Lighted Wine Bottle” afternoon, held a Zumbathon at the American Legion, held a 5K race, and planted a pinwheel garden in honor of loved ones and survivors of all types of cancer.

Nearly fifty businesses and groups also participated in the Gateway to the Cure by holding their own fundraisers to contribute to the town’s donation.

Catoctin High Football Team and Cheer Squad sold pink T-shirts to be worn during the pink-out games.

Thurmont Historical Society donated a portion of its new member and returning member membership fees.

Gateway Orthodontics donated money for each set of braces patients purchased and sold pink mouthguards.

Timeless Trends held a night of pampering for people with local wine, food, and services.

Roy Rogers donated a portion of the strawberry shortcake sales for the month.

Simply Asia donated a portion of its customers’ checks.

Woodsboro Bank held Pink Fridays where employees could pay to wear pink on Friday, sold merchandise, and paid for each Facebook like their page received.

Criswell Chevrolet donated a portion of the cost of each oil change performed in October.

The thing that many of these participating businesses had in common is that they had employees, members, family, or friends who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Some had fought it and won. Others had died from the disease. These businesses and groups wanted to help find a cure or at least more-effective ways to treat breast cancer.

The $18,000 donation is not only Thurmont’s largest donation to date, but it is also 20 percent more than was donated in 2017.

“This town is just amazing, and you should be commended for that,” Jeff Hurwitz told the commissioners.

Thurmont’s involvement in the Gateway to the Cure started in 2014 with Commissioner Wayne Hooper, whose wife Jill is a breast cancer survivor. Since that time, Grinder has been coordinating the town’s efforts to help find a cure.

Thurmont raises $18,000 for its 5th Annual Gateway to the Cure and presents check to Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at FMH.