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Maxine troxell

Volunteers with the Thurmont Alumni Association hosted the Thurmont High School (THS) Alumni Annual Banquet at the Thurmont Event Complex on June 11, 2022. Alumni President Howard Lewis (Class of ‘60) welcomed the crowd of about 200, and Ron Free (Class of ‘64) served as master of ceremonies. Joanne Coleman Gaver (Class of ‘51) gave the invocation.

Fond alumni memories were shared with a big screen video developed by Maxine Troxell (Class of ‘62), with photos from the good old days in school.

In addition to the social aspect of the banquet, some association business was conducted with the reading of the organization’s last meeting minutes by Secretary Viola Noffsinger (Class of ‘58), as well as the Treasurer’s Report and Scholarship Fund Report by Treasurer Becky Linton (Class of ‘58).

Scholarships totaling $22,400 were awarded to this year’s scholars.  Those receiving scholarships were:

Paige Baker (Catoctin HS)—Albert Eyler, Jr. (Class of 1944)

Rianna Chaney (Catoctin HS)—Mark Long (Class of 1971), Raymond Long (Class of 1953), Carole Beauchamp  (Class of 1956)

Sheridan Chaney (Catoctin HS)—Mark Long (Class of 1971), Raymond Long (Class of 1953), Carole Beauchamp (Class of 1956)

Joshua Glass (Catoctin HS)—Cindy Shire (Class of 1970)

Makenzie Kuhn (Catoctin HS)—Barry Kuhn (Class of 1971), Barry Brown (Class of 1972), Richard F. Kuhn, Jr. (Class of 1968)

Jack Willard (Brunswick HS)— Morris Willard (Class of 1952)

Anniversary classes honored at this banquet were graduating classes: 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, and 1972. 

Election of officers for 2023 were: President—Ron Pearcey, Vice President—Rusty Hauver, Secretary—Viola Noffsinger, Treasurer—Becky Linton. Volunteers are needed for assistant secretary and assistant treasurer.

Prizes were given for the oldest attendee, Edward Coleman (Class of ‘42), and the person who traveled the furthest, Terry Miller (from Waxahachie, Texas). 

Door prizes, donated by various local businesses and organizations, were hosted by Ron Pearcey, Ray May, and Lela Weaver; 50/25/25, Basket & Baked Goods Raffles—Bill Eyler, Melanie Pearcey, Bernadine Trout, Nancy Rice, Carol Long; Auctions—Bill Eyler.

The banquet was closed by President Howard Lewis. Next year’s THS Alumni Banquet will be held June 10, 2023.

The Thurmont High School Alumni would like to thank the following donors of door prizes and auction items: Door prizes: Bollinger’s Restaurant, Trout’s Market, Carriage House Inn Restaurant, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Roy Rogers Restaurant, Mountain Memories, The Ott House, Fratelli’s New York Pizza,  Karen Myers Bouquets, Gateway Candyland, Weis Market, Hillside Turkey Farm, Hobbs Hardware, Jubilee Foods, Mountain Gate Restaurant, Epicure Foods LLC,  Rocky’s Pizza, and Kountry Kitchen; Auction items: Original THS Brick —Dick Creager & Tena Creager Karinshak, THS Cats Meow—Becky Linton, Maple Run Golf Outing—Russell Moser, Wine Display—Gladys Baker.

Photos by Maxine Troxell

Class of 1944 Edward Coleman

Class of 1952 (from left) Rodman Myers, Virginia Dewees Portner, and Charles Portner.

Class of 1957 (from left) Back row: Don Clabaugh, Chester Fogle, Donald Stitely Robert Layman, Plummer Fraley; Front row: Frank Free, Connie Heck Testaman, Betty Lee Eyler Rickard, Ross Smith, and Terry Miller.

Class of 1947 Robert Fox

Class of 1962 (from left) Back row: Charles Harbaugh, Jack Sease, Earl Miller, Mike Thompson, James Mackley; Center row: Maxine Fogle Troxell, Judy Coleman Knott, Jerry Moser, Beverly Rayford Mapp, Helen Staub Troxell, Beverly Hoke, Frances Beard Redding, Nancy Gearhart Rice; Front row: Jerry Weddle, Cheryl Zentz Hildebrand, Phyllis Johnson Dayhoff, and Betty Keeey Dewees. Missing from photo: James Abiba, Larry Eby, Edward Reifsnider, and Dennis Hoffman.

Class of 1967 (from left) Back row: Bill Eyler, Larry Clabaugh, Wayne Moser, Mike Smith; Front row: Faye Christie Worth, Larry Brown, and Jim Kuhn.

Scholarship recipients: THS Alumni President Howard Lewis presents scholarships to Jack Willard, Rianna Chaney, Sheridan Chaney, and Paige Baker (Joshua Glass and Mackenzie Kuhn not pictured).Teacher Clarence Piper

Executive Committee (from left) Bill Wivell, Alan Brauer, Connie Fisher, Sam Valentine, Joyce Bruchey, and Phyllis Kelly.

Courtesy Photo

On October 16, 2021, members of the Emmitsburg High School Alumni Association (EHSAA) met at the Emmitsburg Fire and Ambulance Building for the 96th and 97th banquet. Due to the COVID pandemic, the 96th banquet was postponed a year. Approximately 150 attended, with a social hour from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Dinner was prepared by Keystone Family Restaurant and served by the Pen Mar Blue Star Mothers.

Bill Wivell, Class of 1966 and president, opened the meeting with the invocation, salute to the flag, and prayer. Teachers from the high school were introduced: Mary Fiery, Betty Ann Hollinger, and Joyce Bruchey. Veterans who served in WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were recognized, as well as those who also served their country. Secretary and treasurers’ reports were shared and approved. There was no old or new business.

Scholarship winners and their perspective colleges for 2020 and 2021 were acknowledged by Phyllis Kelly (Class of 1965): (2020) Alexi Baumgardner—Virginia Wesleyan University, Max Bingham—West Virginia University, Grace Blanchard—Frederick Community College, Gage Franz—Wheeling University, Audrie Gadra—Towson University, Molly Knighton—Loyola University, Issac Turner—Brigham University; (2021) Dylan Click—Virginia Tech, Emily Dewees—Hood College, Savannah Morris—Mount St. Mary’s University, Gage Franz—Wheeling University.

The EHSAA has given 95 scholarships for a total of $89,000 since 1994.

The deceased members were recognized with a memorial station, listing the birth year and death date, as well as obituaries collected by Mary Catherine Shields. Alan Brauer asked for a moment of silence in their honor.

Alan Brauer (Class of 1964) was elected president, and Vickie Frushour (Class of1971) will serve as assistant secretary. Phyllis Kelly (Class of 1965) will become vice president.

Treasurer Sam Valentine and Secretary Connie Fisher (both Class of 1964) and Historian Joyce Bruchey (Class of 1962) will continue their roles.

Joyce Bruchey shared a new book available, EHS in The Emmitsburg Chronicle. Newspaper articles were collected from the website established by Eric Glass of the Taney Corporation, “Archives of Emmitsburg Chronicle” from 1879-1918 and 1948-1977. With the help from Mary Mannix, librarian of the Maryland Room at the C. Burr Artz Library, and Joe Jennings, MD Room volunteer, over 500 articles were collected about EHS news.

The honored classes in attendance were recognized by sharing events that occurred during their senior years. Honored classes of 2020 ended in “0” and “5” while those of 2021 ended in “1” and “6”.  Displays with memorabilia from each honored class were assembled. Thomas Hoke (Class of 1940) was the oldest EHS graduate present, and it was his 81st anniversary. The Class of 1950 was the first class required to attend twelve years, thus there was no graduating class in 1949. A new addition, comprising of a gym and cafeteria, began this year. The school newspaper, E-Hi Times, was published for the first time. The Class of 1955 had a class member, Ray Harner, who completed eleven years of perfect attendance. The first discussion about consolidating Emmitsburg High and Thurmont High began during the senior year of the Class of 1956.

EHS girls were the county volleyball champs during the Class of 1960’s senior year. Dr. Morningstar, a well-respected local doctor came to town also. The Class of 1961 experienced the snowiest season in record-keeping history-62.7.” During their senior year, the class of 1965 saw the retirement of a beloved first-grade teacher, Mrs. Leary, and the promotion of a respected shop teacher, Mr. Eugene Woods, to County Supervisor of Industrial Arts. Land was bought for the new Emmitsburg-Thurmont High School in Thurmont and was to be named Catoctin. Emmitsburg PTA asked that ninth grade be included since only tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades were initially proposed. The Class of 1966 dedicated their yearbook to Vietnam soldiers (sold for $3). The student body worked hard to present an outstanding production of The Sound of Music. It was so well received that the cast was asked to perform it at Frederick High. Classes after 1968 graduated from Catoctin High. However, the classes of 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972 have been invited to join the EHS alumni association since they spent at least eight years at EHS. The Class of 1971 is the last class to celebrate a 50th anniversary at EHS. Bobbie Black of Catoctin Mountain Orchard gave apples to all honorees.

Anyone who attended Emmitsburg High School is encouraged to attend the annual banquet and meeting. The 2022 meeting will take place at Emmitsburg Fire and Ambulance building on Saturday, October 15. EHSAA executive committee would like to acknowledge Bill Wivell’s contributions serving as president for six years, and the support of his wife, Rachel.

Volunteers with the Thurmont Alumni Association hosted the Thurmont High School (THS) Alumni Annual Banquet at the Thurmont Event Complex on June 12, 2021. Alumni president, Howard Lewis (Class of ‘60), welcomed the crowd of about 200, and Ron Free (Class of ‘64) served as Master of Ceremonies.

Carol Long (Class of ‘72), Nancy Rice (Class of ‘62), and Bob Fahnestock (Class of ‘76) sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” and Larry Eby (Class of ‘62) gave the invocation.

Fond alumni memories were shared with a big screen video developed by Maxine Troxell (Class of ‘62), with photos from the good old days in school. In addition to the social aspect of the banquet, some association business was conducted with the reading of the organization’s last meeting minutes by Secretary Viola Noffsinger (Class of ‘58), as well as the Treasurer’s Report and Scholarship Fund Report by Treasurer Becky Linton (Class of ‘58).

Anniversary classes honored at this banquet were graduating classes: 1940, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1950, 1951, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971. Those in graduating years ending in 0 or 5 would have been honored last year, but the banquet was canceled due to COVID-19.

Prizes were given for the oldest attendee, Edward Coleman (Class of ‘42), and the person who traveled the farthest, Ernest Snyder (Class of ‘53).

Carol Long, Lela Weaver, and Lottie Trigg distributed door prizes and hosted the fundraising auction.

The alumni’s slate of officers of 2022 was approved, with Howard Lewis servicing as president, Viola Noffsinger as secretary, and Becky Linton as treasurer.

It was an honor to extend support to the alumni’s scholarship recipients: Kelby Benjamin (Walkersville HS), Emily Marie Dewees (Catoctin HS), Addison Elizabeth Eyler (Catoctin HS), Ava Maze (Catoctin HS), Shelby Madeline Ott (Walkersville HS), Nathan Sanders (Catoctin HS), Austin Lewis Smith (Catoctin HS), Lily Elizabeth Smith (Catoctin HS), and Grace Stambaugh (Walkersville HS).

The banquet was closed by President Howard Lewis, announcing next year’s banquet date as Saturday, June 11, 2022, with anniversary graduating years ending in 2 and 7.

Special thanks to all of the businesses and individuals who donated for the event.

Photos by Lottie Trigg

A nice crowd of alumni gather to celebrate and socialize.

Scholarship recipients from left: ( top row) Grace Stambaugh, Shelby Ott, Emily Marie Dewees, Addison Eyler; (front row) Ava Maze and Austin Smith.

The Vigilant Hose Company’s 137th Annual Banquet—normally held in January of each year to recognize and present awards to department members for the previous year—was canceled this year due to COVID and the social distancing requirements. The officers of the department decided to recognize those individuals who would have been recognized at the January banquet. Awards were presented at the monthly department meeting in March.

Chief Chad Umbel selected and presented the 2020 Chief’s Award to the DFRS career staff who are currently working at Station 6.  Chief Umbel selected the DFRS staff in deep appreciation for their individual talents and concerned dedication so generously given to the success of the Vigilant Hose Company. These DFRS staff included: Scott Johnson, Brian Hames, Matt Hughes, Chad Owens, Mitch Krysiak, and Alex Carnathan.

President Tom Ward selected and presented the 2020 President’s Award to Scott Maly. President Ward’s submission for this award included the following: “To call this year’s President’s Award recipient a “go-getter” would be a major understatement. Joining the VHC in 1998, after relocating to the Emmitsburg community with family, he quickly became involved with the VHC family and never turned back. With the drastic change in how we were able to operate this past year, this member kept his commitment to his duties and elected office and never let the pandemic stop him. While still maintaining his active operational role as a firefighter, he became a go-to guy for countless fundraising operations. When our in-person fundraising efforts were halted (twice), he got busy figuring out ways to keep the much-needed flow of cash into our reserves while still participating in any event or sale he could. He can be found in the station several times a week, unclipping cash from ticket entries in what has become one of the most popular fundraising events anywhere around the area: the “6 of Hearts.” He is respected by all members across the organization. For his commitment and contributions to the VHC, I am pleased to present the 2020 Presidents Award to Scott Maly.”

Both Chief Umbel and President Ward selected and presented the Member of the Year Award for 2020 to Steven Hollinger. The submission for this award included the following: “As 2020 began, nobody thought of the immense changes our operations and fundraising efforts would see. What was set to be a standout year with growth in fundraising and the purchase of a new tower ladder, we quickly, along with everyone else in the fire service, realized that we would have to drastically change the way we operate. 2020’s member of the year is somebody who is seen mostly behind the scenes but has one of the greatest impacts on the Vigilant Hose Company. He could regularly be seen in his office tending to invoices, bills, and banking inquiries, or perhaps playing a game of solitaire. He spent a great deal of time figuring out an entire year’s worth of anticipated revenue losses to submit to the county treasurer’s office. Also maintaining communication with the county government and submitting invoices and requests for reimbursement every month.  His devotion to the Vigilant Hose Company makes him stand out, even without a pandemic, but his extra effort and behind-the-scenes work make him a true candidate for this well-deserved recognition. The 2020 Member of the Year is Steve ‘Little Man’ Hollinger.”

The Hall of Fame Award—which is the highest award for the Vigilant Hose Company—was presented to Guy A. “Gabe” Baker, III. His nomination included the following:  “This individual joined the fire department January 11, 1983, at the age of 19. He was presented with Life Membership at the January banquet in 2009. He was an active firefighter and first responder until just a few years ago. Early on in his years with the department, he held the offices of assistant secretary and assistant treasurer. This individual participates in just about every fundraising activity of the fire department and most Auxiliary events. He is a ‘regular’ in the kitchen for the Friday evening Bingos, assisting even when it is not his scheduled week. He has served as the co-chairman of the Annual Spring Fling and is again co-chairing the event this year, as it is being conducted virtually. He usually serves as the applicant for the Special One Day Licenses required by the Frederick County Liquor Board when serving alcohol at events. In addition, he has completed the Alcohol Awareness and Crowd Manager Training, all of which is required when having fundraising events where alcohol is served. This individual is often called upon to place orders at Jubilee to assure that the fire department and Auxiliary have all the necessary supplies needed to make their fundraisers successful. It is for these reasons that Gabe Baker was selected as the Hall of Fame inductee for 2020.”

The 2020 Training Award for the most formal training was presented to Elizabeth Beaton. Training for the most in-house training drills was presented to Josh Kehne.

The Ten Top Fire Responders for 2020: (from left) Matt Boyd (10th); Alex McKenna (9th); Josh Brotherton (8th); Charlie Rustigian (7th); Josh Kehne (5th); Cliff Shriner (4th); Frank Davis (2nd); and Jim Click (Top Responder). Not pictured: Matt LeGare (6th) and Dave Zentz (3rd).

Five Top EMS Responders for 2020: (from left) Frank Davis (Top Responder); Josh Brotherton (4th); Tom Ward (5th). Not pictured: Dave Zentz (2nd) and Patrick O’Hanlon (3rd).

Three Top Fire Police Responders for 2020: (from left) Sam Cool (Top Responder); Steve Orndorff (2nd); Lynn Orndorff (3rd).

President Tom Ward (left) presents Scott Maly with the 2020 President’s Award.

Individuals are presented with their Years of Service Awards: (from left) Josh Brotherton (10 years); Tom Ward (10 years); Mike Working (25 years—you get life membership into the department); Bill Boyd (30 years); Ed Little (30 years); Carl White (35 years); and Wayne Powell (40 years). Not pictured: Brandon Murdorff and Dave Zentz (both 5 years); Jennifer Stahley (10 years); John Damskey and Tom Vaughn (both 25 years); Monroe Hewitt (50 years).

President Tom Ward (right) presents Gabe Baker with the Hall of Fame Award.

Pictured are President Tom Ward; 2020 Member of the Year Recipient Steve Hollinger; and Chief Chad Umbel.

Grace Eyler

Graceham Volunteer Fire Company (GVFC) members gathered in their fire station to celebrate 59 years in operation at their annual banquet on April 27, 2019. President Gary Keller invited the “County Royalty” to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, including Graceham’s own, Leigha Blake (Little Miss Fire Prevention), who stepped forward to lead.

Pr. Sue Koenig provided a heartfelt blessing before the crowd dug into a tasty meal, catered by Donna and her crew from Bollinger’s Family Restaurant. Special guests from Company 15 started the line for dinner; guests clapped in thanks for their services.

Graceham’s special guests were recognized: Kevin Fox, director of Frederick County Fire and Rescue Services; Eric Smothers, president of Frederick County Fire and Rescue Services; and Phil Dacey, Frederick County Councilman. Dacey took the opportunity to show his appreciation as liaison to the Fire and Rescue Board, stating, “It really has been a joy to see communities like this serve like this and see shear community spirit.”

After guests were introduced and the crowd’s applause subsided, President Keller took the opportunity to educate the audience on a special fund: the Betsy Marshall Fund. “Some companies still do collect from that, some do not, but we’re going to pitch into the pot tonight!” This fund is for any member in the fire company who is in good standing in the Maryland State Fireman’s Association and is sick or injured and thereby incapacitated, not in the line of duty. The young volunteers grabbed a helmet or a boot and went table to table to collect donations. While members counted up donations, Jean Main held a brief memorial service for deceased volunteers. Fortunately, the GVFC had no members that passed away in 2018.

Louis Powell, past president of the GVFC took the floor to remark on 2018, “As you all know, last year we had to put out for a new apparatus bay floor. That was a big expense, but it turned out really well.” He also commented about the new fundraisers that members worked hard to make a success. These included two meat bingos, which they plan on continuing in 2019. They also plan to have a monthly bingo.

Louis Powell announced that after just those few minutes of collecting for the Betsy Marshall Fund, the GVFC raised a total of $185. The GVFC planned on matching the donation.

Powell joked, “This year, I’m giving out two President’s awards. I’ve been known to do this since I became president. It’s too tough to pick one person, so I pick two people.”

The first recipient, Josh Helman, unfortunately was unable to attend. He was highly regarded for his reliability and dedication to Graceham.

The second recipient, Nancy Kelly, was recognized for keeping things fun at the fire hall, and largely credited for the start of the meat bingos, as well as serving as head of the fundraising committee.

After passing out gifts to the young volunteer ambassadors who attended with their families, he recognized honorary volunteers who do so much for the company. Lennard and Vonnie Kesner from Middletown and Denny Myers. Denny has been a member since the early 1990s at the GVFC.

Chief James Kilby joined Powell up front to provide the stats of 2018. Last year, the company received 231 calls; 119 of the calls pertained to fire, and 112 were EMS-related.

“I’d like to thank everyone who came out to help get the apparatus out,” expressed Kilby.

He remarked that the company only had a 13 percent failure rate, of which most were during the day while volunteers were at work.

Top responders that were recognized for gearing up for most of the calls were: Hilary Blake (112 calls), Josh Helman (108 calls), Michelle Powell (63 calls), Brian Boller (36 calls), and Katie Lott (35 calls). The officers who also attended the most calls: Chief Kilby (59 calls), Louis Powell (120 calls), Val Kilby (59 calls), and Julie Durgan (36 calls).

This year’s Chief’s award was presented to Louis Powell. “He did an outstanding job keeping up with everything, keeping administrative stuff going, keeping me on the straight and narrow, and helping out with all the equipment.”

Before Kilby had a chance to sit down, his grateful team—Louis Powell, Hilary Blake, and his wife (and current chief)—took a special moment to recognize his effort and dedication to the fire company. Hilary remarked, “There have been ups and downs, but most of all, memories to last a lifetime.” During her sincere thank you to Chief Kilby, her firehouse Dad, she was grateful to him for always being there teaching, not only about fire and EMS, but important life lessons as well.

Val Kilby, current chief of Graceham, addressed her husband, Jim, and said, “One thing we decided, is no one is a past chief, because once a chief, always a chief.” As she rewarded him with a special helmet, newly dedicated for past fire chiefs at Graceham, he stripped him of his badge titled, “Chief,” and pinned a new one on his uniform that now reflected “Past Chief.” As apart of his retirement, he was inducted into the GVFC’s Hall of Fame and presented with a special shadow box, handcrafted by his firehouse family.

Kilby wasn’t the only one with a special induction. Former president, Brian Bollar, was recognized for being inducted into Frederick County Fire/EMS Hall of Fame.

As the ceremony drew to a close, one of the last lines of business was, “The Blackbird Commeth.” Chief Val Kilby enlightened attendees on a little of Graceham’s forgotten history. In the 1920s and the 1970s, the woods of Graceham were thick with migrating blackbirds of all kinds, including crows, starlings, ravens, and red-winged blackbirds. It was estimated that over a million birds filled the tiny town. The phenomenon occurred for a period of 6 to 10 weeks. At the time, Graceham made national news. Skipping forward to 2018, the company has decided to embrace its wild history by making the blackbird the GVFC mascot.

Following the year-end presentation, the ceremony closed with another special moment during the installation of officers. Instead of the stereotypical line-up in the front of the building for this, they gathered around the table of one of their oldest officers, Sterling Siess (turning 94 this year), so he could be a part of the important moment.

“They are strong, but very mighty up here in the mountains,” commented Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association President Eric Smothers.

Graceham Volunteer Fire Company proudly exemplifies the attributes, not only a strong and mighty team, but a caring family that is always welcoming new faces with arms wide open.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at GVFC, contact them at 301-271-2000, or you can stop by the station located at 14026 Graceham Road in Thurmont (Graceham).

President Gary Keller, Hilary Blake, Chief Val Kilby, Past Chief Jim Kilby and Past President, Louis Powell proudly display Jim’s Commemorative Shadow Box.

Louis Powell, past president from 2016-2018, displays his award presented by current president, Gary Keller.

Graceham Volunteer Fire Company 2019 Administrative Officers.

Blair Garrett

Through rain, shine, sleet, or snow, first responders will be there in our time of need. The Thurmont Guardian Hose Company’s Annual Banquet was no exception, with several of the featured volunteers called away to combat a house fire on the Catoctin Mountain.

But, the show must go on, and the banquet didn’t miss a beat. 

The food was served, memories were shared, and the banquet got underway to celebrate and recognize all of the hard work the men and women of Guardian Hose Company puts forth day after day. 

A moment of silence and recognition for the dedication and accomplishments of five members of the Guardian Hose Company was held, whose passing in 2018 was felt by each member of the area’s fire and EMS community. Diane Oxendale, Elwood Riffle, Richard Kaufman, Marion W. “Bill” Rice, and Gloria Clabaugh were honored through their families with the lighting of a candle and Reverend James Hamrick’s blessing.

Guardian Hose Chief Chris Kinnaird was responsible for the minutes of the banquet, informing the public on the past year’s events and statistics, accolades for administrative and operational officers, and future plans for the fire company.

The Top 10 Responders for the year were highlighted for their loyalty and service: Larry Duble (102), Michael Beard (124), Stacy Stackhouse (147), Steve Strickhouser (163), Christopher Kinnaird (194), Terry Frushour (200), Mike Duble (254), Jared Snyder (261), Wayne Stackhouse (271), Brad Weddle (421).

The officers who were inducted for 2019 are Lieutenants Chad Brown, Brian Donovan, Will Gue, and Kevin Welch; Captain Blaine Schildt; and Assistant Chief Charlie Brown.

“I’m sure they will support me throughout the year, as they have done in the past. I thank them for stepping up to the plate and taking these positions,” Chief Kinnaird said.

It was a tremendously busy 2018 for the Guardian Hose Company, running nearly 700 calls in just twelve months. As a company that is depended upon day in and day out, entirely functioning on the efforts of volunteers, the dedication of the operational and administrative officers doesn’t go unnoticed.

“It’s amazing that you’re an all-volunteer fire company,” Mayor John Kinnaird said. “There are very few communities like ours that have all volunteer companies, and we really appreciate your service.”

Volunteer fire companies thrive on the shoulders of invested community members who aim to support and protect the public. The communication and teamwork among local departments is paramount to maintaining the safety of the Catoctin area.     

“I’d like to thank our neighboring departments who helped us out throughout the year,” Chief Kinnaird said. “We can’t do this job by ourselves. It’s not a one-company operation anymore. The whole department relies on everybody, and everybody always lends a hand.”

As President Wayne Stackhouse continued to acknowledge each member and their years of service and membership to the fire company, a few stood out among the crowd.

Donald Stitely and Richard Wilhide joined the sixty-year club, putting in more than a half century of service to Guardian Hose Company.

“I want to make note that William “Bill” Rice was our oldest member on record before his passing last year, and he had completed seventy years,” Stackhouse said.

President Stackhouse’s next award put a smile on everyone’s face in the room, but none bigger than the smile on committee member Linda Davis’ face. “This next award is kind of a special award,” Stackhouse said. “Linda is one of those members in the activities committee who goes way beyond what she needs to do, but she’s always there.”

Davis was presented with a framed certificate and a huge bouquet of flowers, and the emotion on her face was immediately apparent. The gifts weren’t done yet for Davis though, as she also received a lifetime membership, certifying that she will receive membership benefits and privileges for her hard work and dedication to the Guardian Hose Company.

The banquet ended with the official installation for the 2019 officers by Director of Volunteer Fire Services Director, Chief Kevin Fox: President, Wayne Stackhouse; President Emeritus, Donald Stitely; Vice President, Terry Frushour; Secretary, Lori Brown; Assistant Secretary, Tisha Miller; Treasurer, Chad Brown; Assistant Treasurer, Beverly Frushour; Trustees, Brian Donovan, Jared Snyder, Joe Ohler, Steve Yuengling, and Christopher Kinnaird. Operational Officers: Chief, Chris Kinnaird; Assistant Chief, Carroll Brown; Captain, Blaine Schildt; Lieutenants, Chad Brown, Brian Donovan, Will Gue, and Kevin Welch; and Chaplain, James Hamrick.

The Installation of Officers puts the Guardian Hose Company and its supporters in a position to be successful for yet another year. As a volunteer fire company, Guardian Hose is always looking for more help and dedicated volunteers.

For more information, contact one of the company’s officers or visit for more information.

President Wayne Stackhouse (center) acknowledges Richard Wilhide’s (left) and Donald Stitely’s sixty-years of service.

Vice President Terry Frushour is shown with Linda Davis, who receives a beautiful bouquet of flowers, as well as a lifetime membership.

Grace Eyler

“I’m like the bird that couldn’t follow directions, and he decided to just wing it,” joked Pastor James, as he provided a light-hearted invocation for the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company’s (RRVFC) annual banquet held on January 24, 2019. Members of Company 6 filled in the RRVFC’s banquet area in Rocky Ridge, ready to enjoy the evening with friends, family and neighbors to celebrate their hard work in 2018.

RRVFC lost two members during 2018. Lenard T. King, Sr., who served as an active member of the fire company since 1968. Lenard served as a fire prevention officer for Montgomery County, as well as president of the Maryland State Fireman’s Association from 1985 to 1986. He then spent many subsequent years serving as secretary for the organization. Lenard passed away February 1st, 2018.

George Anzelone passed August 27, 2018. He joined the fire company in 2016 and the RRVFC Auxiliary in 2017. A past president of the Thurmont Senior Center, George enjoyed volunteering his time to help out where he could.

President Dale Kline, a member for fifty-four years proudly stated, “This marks our 70th year of Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.” Rocky Ridge is currently one of five fire companies left in Frederick County, that still runs only on a volunteer status. Dale mentioned, “It might not mean a lot to a lot of you, but if you stop and think about what you have to pay in taxes if these people weren’t volunteers and this equipment was not paid for by the community, you can imagine what your tax bill would be.” He thanked the community for all of their support.

Dale reminisced on the successful fundraisers the company put on during the past year. Every year, the weather can really affect the outcome of the carnival. Fortunately, with only two nights of rain during the week-long event held at Mt. Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge, people still made their way out to grab a bite to eat. Another very successful fundraiser that is held twice a year is the Country Butchering & Breakfast. Other events that were recognized were Ridgefest, monthly Bingo, and the Santa Detail and Workshop. “It’s unbelievable what a community can do when they set their hearts and efforts to it,” said President Dale Kline.

Mrs. Betty Ann Mumma joined the President at the front of the room. As President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Betty Ann explained to the hall that this year Buddy Stover would be spearheading the “25 Club Raffle,” a dinner and drawing to benefit the fire company. This past year, the auxiliary cut back on the bingo events and that impacted the amount of money that was raised. “We plan to bounce back this year,” Betty Ann said with a big smile.  She then presented President Kline with a check for $10,000 to help with funding new equipment and tools necessary for the fire company to operate in the future.

This year, the RRVFC Auxiliary had a long list of accomplishments. Some of which included, preparing and serving 4 Butchering Dinners and 2 Pancake Breakfasts, preparing 181 creme pies for Easter, preparing and processing 800 pounds of chicken, 34 country hams, 180 fruit pies and 256 creme pies for the carnival. ‘Sixx girls’ made 36 peanut butter pies and the Auxiliary matched their donation with another 36 to sell at the carnival.

The president stated, “We’re always looking for new members.” He recognized families have busy schedules, which makes it harder and harder to find new members. However, RRVFC continues to grow year by year by 3-4 new members. Most volunteer their time on the social end, however they would like to gain more support on the operational side.

A special recognition was given to a non-member, Mark Brum. After RRVFC purchased the land for the new parking lot, Mark was contracted to complete the parking lot. Due to constant rain last summer, his days were limited to complete the job. The goal was to have the parking lot complete by the parade night during the carnival. Dale stated, “Wednesday morning, they were in here doing the final stone and grading. By golly, by evening, it was ready to park on!”. He was assisted by members Ronnie Eyler and Alan Hurley.

Over the course of 2018, RRVFC kept busy running 219 emergency calls—117 of which were mutual aid, 3 service calls, 4 drills, and 13 public service details. Volunteers contributed over 1,000 hours. Out of 219 calls, Special Unit 13 was called 116 times, the second most common call was house fires, with 21 calls, and the third most frequent were vehicle accidents with a total of 13 calls. The busiest day of the week for RRVFC was Wednesday with 43 calls. The busiest month was January with 28 calls.

Linda Northrup and Bonny Hurley, who serve on the RRVFC awards committee came forward to reward the hard-working volunteers of the fire company. The first award that was given recognized an “Outstanding Junior” of the fire company. This year, Hunter Hurley volunteered 98 hours and was well recognized for his time.

The Charles Mumma Firefigher of the year award, one of RRVFC’s most prestigious awards was given to Alan Brauer, Sr. for over fifty years of service and dedication to the fire company. Alan joined the company in 1963. Since then, he has held multiple positions in the company, including secretary, assistant secretary and vice president. He was a part of Frederick County’s HAZMAT Team, and stays up to date with a refresher course every year. His nick name is “Mr. HAZMAT.” Alan has operated the dime pitch stand at the carnival since 1975. He currently serves as the captain of the Fire Police.

This year’s Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Helen Burrier. Helen has been a member since 1967. She served on the board of directors for several terms. Known as the “Gravy Lady,” she has been on the go for many gallons of gravy, and has contributed her time as the maker of the meringue for pies throughout the years.

Steve Wolfe received recognition for this year’s “Honor Member.” Like Helen, Steve has also served many terms on the board of directors. During the carnival, Steve enjoys helping out in the ham sandwich stand. Steve has spent much of his volunteer time helping set up for suppers and oversees the dining room for the Auxiliary’s banquets.

Denny and Paulette Mathias of RRVFC took the podium to award members with Length of Service pins. Five-year recipients were: Ed Knott, Bob Wiles, Kay Enzer and Steve Orndorff. Ten-year recipients: Rodman Myers, Bill Wachter, Jeff Reaver, Bruce Rice, Joey Youngerman, Megan Baugher, and Patt Riggs. Fifteen-year recipients included Craig Hovermale, and the Beal Family Amanda, Bonnie and Herman. Twenty-year recipients included Cindy Hart and Christine Hurley. Twenty-five year recipient was Alan Brauer, Jr. Thirty-year recipients: Ronnie Hahn and Larry Eyler. Thirty-five year recipients: Donna Kline and John Clark. Forty-year recipient: Daniel Whetzel. Forty-five year recipients: Steve Wolfe and Ed Northrup.

For the first time ever, RRFVC celebrated a member who has been a part of the company for fifty-five years. “We found out they didn’t even make pins for someone that old!” Paulette Mathias joked. Instead of receiving a pin, Alan Brauer, Sr. received a special certificate to show the company’s appreciation.

The Chief’s Award was presented by Alan Hurley. “This year has been a little busy for us, I’d like to thank all of you for your time, for being a part of our communities and thank the families,” said Alan. He recognized his fellow line officers, Captain Jim Rice and assistant chiefs, Kevin Albaugh and Luke Humerick.

Top Fire Police for the year included Alan Brauer, Sr. and Steve Orndorff. Top EMS Responders included Christina Hurley, Bonny Hurley, and Matt Moser.

Top Ten Responders were Alan Hurley, Matt Moser, Christina Hurley, Kevin Albaugh, Bonny Hurley, Luke Humerick, Wesley Burrier, Jamison Mathias, Dennis Mathias, a tie at tenth between Alan Brauer, Sr. and Buddy Stover.

Luke Humerick stood to recognize his group of Junior Members. He said, “We’ve had a great group of kids this year. They’re hard workin’ and fun to be around. They were always willing to help, no matter what the task was.” The juniors wrangled up more than 240 hours of volunteer time at the fire company and volunteering with events.

“I think he knows everyone in the Rocky Ridge area. If he doesn’t know you, you’re new.” Dale Kline commented while introducing the recipient of the President’s Award. Bun Wivell was awarded for his forty years of hard work as Treasurer for RRVFC.

Like Bun Wivell, every member has a role in the company. Whether it be managing the finances, making fluffy meringue, or managing a supper, all the members join together to support each other in their community and keep a good thing going for now seventy years—and many more to come!

2019 Officers

Linda Northrup presents Helen Burrier the Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Pictured are Bun Wivell, Alan Hurley, and Dale Kline.

Deb Abraham Spalding

The members of the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department held their annual banquet at their station in Lewistown on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The welcome was given by the outgoing president, Scott Martin. Chief Wayne Wachter reviewed company stats, indicating the total number of calls in 2018 was 755 consisting of 586 EMS calls and 169 fire calls. The busiest month was June with 71 calls.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 270 executed the Presentation of Colors and the National Anthem was sung by Catoctin High School students, Danielle Baker and Lily Gadra.

A memorial was held for three company members who passed away in 2018. They were Charles Michael, Flossie Layton, and Ruth Powell.

Scott Martin introduced 2019 Administrative Officers: Scott Stonesifer, President; Vicky Martin, Vice President; Karen Stull, Secretary; Mary Frances Bostian, Assistant Secretary; Vincent Schrader, Treasurer, Donald Martin, Assistant Treasurer; and Paul Stull, Steve Stull, Donald Stull, Sr., Mike Stull, Thomas Minnick, and Mike Fogle, Board of Directors; and Line Officers: Wayne Wachter, Jr., Chief; Vicky Martin, Deputy Chief; and Mike Stull, Assistant Chief.

The installation of officers was conducted by Dale Kline with the Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association.

Top Responders for 2018 were 10. Thomas Minnick (47 calls), 9. Brianna Wachter (67), 8. Frani Wachter (79 calls), 7. Mike Stull (85 calls), 6. Steve Stull (92 calls), 5. Stephanie Wachter and Donald Martin (129 calls), 4. Gerald Stull (149 calls), 3. Wayne Wachter (174 calls), 2. Beth Wachter (185 calls), 1. Vicky Martin (195 calls).

Lewistown Fire Police: Diana Bryant, Rodney Myers, Steve Stull, and Thomas Wachter were recognized.

A certificate was presented to Scott Martin for his service as President, Assistant Chief and Training Officer for 2018.

As chairman of the fundraising committee, Karen Stull presented her top ten fundraising, those earning the most LOSAP hours for fundraising: #10 Amber 141.5 hours, #9 Tyrell 146 hours, Amber and Tyrell got married in the firehouse in 2018, #8 Frani Wachter 176.5 hours, #7 Brianna Wachter 203 hours, #6 Vicky Martin 233 hours, #5 Stephanie Wachter 240 hours, #4 Wayne Wachter 288 hours, #3 Gerald Stull 304 hours, #2 Beth Wachter 309 hours, and #1 Steve Stull 355 hours.

Scott Martin shared, “We have a lot of pride in what you’re doing. This job is a true calling. We love doing what others can’t or won’t. The calling is impossible to explain to someone who is not in the Brotherhood. People most likely won’t thank us, and most of the time ignore us. We are the ones who wait for something bad to happen so we can go and fix it. The job is always changing. Training is the key. We don’t fight fires like we did years ago. It is not that fire changes, it’s the box it comes in. Buildings are built quickly and with less bulk, and that means they will fail quickly and faster.”

He presented Dedicated Service awards to several individuals for providing dedicated service to the department and the community with pride, honor, and distinction, and he stressed, “Not just this year but every year!” These awards were presented to Mary Frances Bostian, Beth Wachter, Donald Martin, Wayne Wachter, Wayne Stull, Delbert Stull, Mike Stull, Brianna Wachter and Stephanie Wachter.

Presidents Awards in recognition for hours of exemplary dedicated service were presented to Steve Stull and Karen Stull. Steve Stull is chair of the Fire Prevention committee, chair of Membership committee, the bingo caller, he runs calls, fire police, and helps with fundraising; Karen Stull is chair of the Fundraising Committee, is in the background putting in a lot of hours and makes sure food is at the ready for firefighters, even in the middle of the night.

The most emotionally touching part of the evening was when Scott Martin recognized Mike Stull for being inducted into the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Hall of Fame in 2018. Scott also acknowledged Mike’s moving into the position of Assistant Chief of Lewistown Fire Department and following in his father’s (Raymond Stull, Jr.) footsteps in these accomplishments. Scott gave Mike’s father’s Chief helmet shield for his own helmet.

Scott added, “In order to succeed in the fire service and in your own personal life in life, you have to take risks, you have to fail. You won’t be successful if you don’t do these two things. You have to have faith and take risks. What we couldn’t get to work here is working there. I spent 29 years in Frederick County Volunteer Fire Department. Though they are the best 29 years I can remember, it was time for me to move on.”

Scott gave some parting thoughts: continue to learn this job, it is always changing and if you let your guard down you will get hurt. Share your knowledge with others. Treat others how you would want them to treat one of your family members; get out the door quick or your fire will be my fire; always show a calm exterior no matter what you’re feeling on the inside, your demeanor can drive an incident in a positive or negative direction; don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help, show up ready to do your job; take care of your crew; admit when you’re wrong or make a mistake and learn from it; different is not wrong it’s just different; and above all, love and enjoy your family for they are, your support system and they serve just as much as you do; life is better lived when you center it on what’s happening inside of you rather than what is happening around you; don’t think too much for you create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.

Members of the Guardian Hose Company served as the standby crew. Catering was by GT’s Catering.

Mike Stull, serving as assistant chief and on board of directors; Vicky Martin, serving as vice president and deputy chief; Wayne Wachter, serving as chief; Donald Martin, serving as assistant treasurer; Steven Stull, serving on board of directors; Mary Frances Bostian, serving as assistant secretary; Karen Stull, serving as secretary; Donald Stull, serving on board of directors; Mike Fogle, serving on board of directors; Vincent Schrader, serving as treasurer.

(above) Top Responders: Brianna Wachter (67 calls), Frani Wachter (79 calls), Mike Stull (85 calls), Steve Stull (92 calls), Stephanie Wachter (129 calls), Donald Martin (129 calls), Wayne Stull (149 calls), Wayne “Skeeter” Wachter (174 calls), Beth Wachter (185 calls), Vicky Martin (195 calls). Not pictured: Thomas Minnick (47 calls).

(above) President, Scott Martin, presents Mike Stull with his father’s helmet shield.

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding

Blair Garrett

Through a wintry mixture of sleet and snow, locals from around the Catoctin Area poured into the Thurmont Event Complex to show love and support for the Thurmont Ambulance Company during its annual banquet on January 18, 2019.

Friends, families and volunteers of the Thurmont Ambulance Company braved the icy conditions to honor and recognize the people who dedicate their time and energy to answering calls for help 365 days a year.

Food was served, laughs were had, and awards were given for several individuals who go above and beyond for citizens in need around the area. Among those recognized, a few could not make it due to the snowy tundra that blanketed the Catoctin Mountain, but the snow did not stop President Lowman Keeney from reading their names and praising their services in their absence.

The Rocky Ridge 4-H Club served the dinner for the banquet, providing everyone with a variety of delicious foods and desserts to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters. The lines for food piled up, with guests collecting around the mashed potatoes, green beans and fried shrimp.

As the 4-H kids made their rounds providing refills and entertainment for guests, President Keeney took the stage to bring attention to the banquet and give thanks to all who made the event possible.

As everyone began to settle in, bellies full and eager for things to begin, Keeney started with introductions and a welcome.

“I want to thank you all for being here despite the conditions outside.” Keeney said. “There are a few of us who could not make it tonight, but we still appreciate the all of the contributions they have made.”

Many people had and continue to have a helping hand in making the Thurmont Ambulance Company the smashing success that it is, but Keeney identified a few key players who make the company what it is today.

Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott, Judy White, Joyce Stitely, Dennis Ott, Sr., Jim Wolf, Shirley Stackhouse and the company’s top responder Jenn Frushour all got special thanks among several others for the work and efforts made for the ambulance company.

Across all members, 46 responded to calls in 2018, providing Catoctin Area residents with fire and EMS aid at all hours of the day. Of the 46 responders, one stood above all others in time dedicated and calls ran.

Jenn Frushour clocked 3,872 hours for the Thurmont Ambulance Company, running a remarkable 342 calls for patients. To put it in perspective, across a full year, Frushour logged 10.6 hours per day in total time spent for the Thurmont Ambulance Company.

“Our top responder apparently has no life, running 342 calls,” Chief DJ Ott joked.

Other top responders include last year’s Chief’s Award winner, Brooke Ott, who ran 201 calls. Hilary Blake ran 128 calls, William Ott ran 62 calls and Chris Pigula ran 55 calls.

The ambulance company responded to 1116 EMS, 50 fire and 92 non-emergency calls over the course of 2018, continuing to stay busy each and every day. “We had an average response time of seven minutes,” Chief Ott said. “Ideally, we’d like to get that to five, but that’s something we’re working toward.” With an average response time of seven minutes and a total call time of 87 minutes, it’s easy to see just how much time some of the staff and volunteers are pouring in to help the community.  

“We have a great group here, but we’re always looking for more help and more EMTs,” Chief Ott said.

Venture Crew 270’s presentation kicked off the awards.

The operational awards went off without a hitch despite absences from a few key members. President Keeney presented Dennis Ott, Sr. with the President’s award, highlighting his contributions to the community of Thurmont and all its people. “He takes an hour to get from Thurmont to Emmitsburg, but he’ll always be there for you,” Keeney joked.

A memorial service soon followed in honor of two close members who passed away in 2018 and made a significant impact over the course of their lives.

Two candles were lit by Shirley Stackhouse for the memorial service to symbolize the eternal place Russell “Lee” Fisher, Sr. and Diane Oxendale have with the Thurmont Ambulance Company. Fisher passed away in April of 2018 and Oxendale passed in June 2018.

After a moment of silence and a prayer for those we’ve lost rang through the Thurmont Event Complex, the focus shifted to the naming of the 2019 administrative and operational officers.

Lowman Keeney, Dennis Ott, Sr., Judy White, Glenn Muth, Joyce Stitely, Shirley Stackhouse, Tim Wiltrout, Jim Wolf, Jim Humerick, Dennis Stitely, Cole Mercer, Dennis “DJ” Ott, Jr., Jenn Frushour, Brooke Ott and Renae Coolidge were all named officers for the new year. Congrats to all current officers on their positions protecting and serving our community.

The 4-H Club members made their rounds once again, handing out raffle tickets to everyone in attendance, with the crowd eagerly awaiting to hear their ticket called to get one of several awesome prizes. The ambulance club had gift baskets filled with fruits, several bottles of wine and gift cards to a select few lucky winners.

The raffle wrapped up the event and capped off another successful Thurmont Ambulance Banquet, but each speaker made it clear that the contributions made by those honored do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. A sincere thank you goes out to all EMS providers in the area for your service and dedication.

Without your time and efforts, our community would not be the same.  

Fifteen members were appointed as 2019 Administration and Operational Officers. Administrative Officers include President, Lowman Keeney; Vice President, Dennis Ott, Sr.; Treasurer, Judy White; Asst. Treasurer, Glenn Muth; Secretary, Joyce Stitely; Asst. Secretary, Shirley Stackhouse; Directors, Tim Wiltrout, Jim Wolf, Jim Humerick, Dennis Stitely, and Cole Mercer. Operational Officers include Chief, Dennis Ott, Jr.; Asst. Chief, Jenn Frushour; Lieutenant, Brooke Ott; and Sergeant, Renae Coolidge.

(above, right) Despite the wintry weather, a significant crowd attended the annual banquet.

(left) One of many awards presented, Dennis Ott, Sr. presented an award to Judy White.

(right) Shirley Stackhouse lit two candles in memorial of Russell “Lee” Fisher, Sr. and Diane Oxendale.

The Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet to recognize its members and to install its new officers on Saturday, February 4, 2017, in the department banquet hall in Lewistown.

The members and other guests recalled the fun that they had in serving the community in 2016. The company had a busy year, with 415 fire calls and 380 EMS calls, but the Lewistown VFD members had turned out to help.

“Without these guys, this would not have been possible,” said Fogle.

In recognizing the top ten fire and EMS responders, many of the same names appear again and again, demonstrating the dedication of these members. In fact, the top two responders in both categories were a husband and wife team that competed for the top spot.

The top ten fire responders for 2016 were: Wayne Wachter (125 calls), Beth Wachter (117 calls), Wayne Stull (116 calls), Steve Stull (95 calls), Donald Martin (90 calls), Michael Fogle (89 calls), Frani Wachter (84 calls), Mike Stull (80 calls), Vicky Martin (72 calls), and Vince Schrader (59 calls).

The top ten EMS responders were: Beth Wachter (157 calls), Wayne Wachter (156 calls), Wayne Stull (143 calls), Stephanie Wachter (127 calls), Michael Fogle (69 calls), Brianna Wachter (66 calls), Steve Stull (55 calls), Frani Wachter (53 calls), Vicky Martin (44 calls), Vince Schrader (44 calls), and Mike Stull (35 calls).

After the catered dinner, the members enjoyed a good laugh at their own expense as Steve Stull handed out the Oopsy Awards. Stull called them a “celebration of the human condition, and, boy, were you guys human this year.” The awards recognized members for getting vehicles stuck, running over a skunk, driving down U.S. Route 15 with their gear on the hood of the engine, and chewing up a mat with a snowblower.

Frederick County Director of Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services Chip Jewell swore in the new company officers.

Line Officers: Chief Wayne Wachter, Jr.; Deputy Chief Vicky Martin; and Assistant Chief Scott Martin.

Administrative Officers: President Donald Stull, Jr.; Vice President Chuck Jenkins; Secretary Karen Stull; Assistant Secretary Mary Frances Bostian; Treasurer Lena Stull; and Assistant Treasurer Lisa Monday.

Board of Directors: Paul Stull, Donald Martin, Scott Martin, Scott Stonesifer, Steve Stull, and Shawn Wetzel.

The company also remembered the members it lost in 2016 with a bell-ringing and candle-lighting ceremony. The members who passed away were: past chief Raymond Stull, Jr.; Rose Marie Williar Powell; Eve Ziglar; Janet Marsh; and Joseph Linton.

The company has been proudly serving Lewistown, Utica, and Mountaindale since 1970. That was the year Company 22 was formed and housed on Hessong Bridge Road. The first meeting was held on June 3, 1970, and the company purchased Engine 222 in August for $1,800. It was the first diesel engine in the county.


Lewistown VFD new administrative officers: Secretary Karen Stull, Assistant Secretary Mary Frances Bostian, Treasurer Lena Stull, and President Donald Stull, Jr.

Lewistown VFD new line officers: Deputy Chief Vicky Martin, Assistant Chief Scott Martin, and Chief Wayne Wachter, Jr.

Photos by James Rada, Jr.

Grace Eyler

On January 26, 2017, Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company (VFC) members and their families came together to reminisce and recognize their achievements from the previous year. The banquet was held at the New Midway Volunteer Fire Company.

Rocky Ridge VFC President Dale Kline began his review of 2016 by recognizing the members who passed away in the previous year, and called upon Pat Riggs to join him to lead a memorial prayer.

Betty Brown, born on September 27, 1933, was the last surviving charter member of the Rocky Ridge Fire Company’s Auxiliary that began in 1955. She spent her time serving food to participants at the “Penny Bingo Games.”  Through the years, Betty helped with banquets, dinners and the carnival. She passed on July 20, 2016, at the age of eighty-three.

Edna “Libby” Myers grew up in the Creagerstown area, but spent much of her time in Rocky Ridge. She operated her own hair salon, “Libby’s,” out of her home, located next to the fire company. Libby joined the Auxiliary in 1969, and became a member of the fire company in 1984. Libby even volunteered her time in-between appointments at the salon. She made homemade goods for dinners, banquets, and the carnival, but was most known for her “Chocolate Pudding Pie, made from scratch.” In 2008, she was recognized as an honorary member of the Auxiliary. She passed on December 18, 2016, at the age of ninety-four.

After Pat’s touching speech and memorial prayer, Pr. Jim was welcomed to provide a memorium.

President Kline then spoke proudly about the company, “This company has been in service for sixty-seven consecutive years, serving the Rocky Ridge community and surrounding areas very well.” He spoke about the many activities the company hosts each year, including the annual carnival; country butchering; Ridgefest; a Halloween party; and a community favorite, Santa’s Detail. Smaller benefits include bingos and gun raffles on a more frequent basis.

President Kline gave special recognition to the butchering volunteers. “I used to think these guys were doing it to be helpful, now I understand they come over just to eat!” he said with a smile and the entire audience laughed, admitting that he had been there to eat, too, and, “It is very, very good.” For this year’s butchering, they expect at least five hundred people to pass through for fresh meats and breakfast line.

Kline recognized Company 10 members who weren’t in attendance as fill-in for Rocky Ridge. He also recognized the Maryland State Fire Association, calling upon President Mike Davis to introduce his table. Also in attendance was Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. Gardner said, “You really exemplify the idea of people helping people… you save the tax payers of Frederick County a lot of money through volunteerism and fundraising.” Also in attendance were Frederick County Councilmen Bud Otis and Kirby Delauter.

President Kline invited the President of the Auxiliary, Betty Ann Mumma, up to join him. “It’s just so good, as we all support each other and everything pretty much works out in the end. We are fraternal friends, and I think that is all that matters in this life,” said Mumma. She then presented Kline with a check in the amount of $20,000 from their fundraising efforts in 2016.

Linda Northrup and Bonny Hurley came forth to provide 2016’s awards. The first award presented was “Outstanding Junior Award.” The ladies mentioned that before this person became a volunteer for the company, she was already volunteering her time every Saturday night at Bingo. The award was presented to Brianna Kaas, who volunteered 64 hours of her time at various activities in 2016.

Next, the “Charles Mumma Firefighter of the Year Award” was presented to Paulette Mathias, who has been a member of the company since 1984. She was recognized for her work on several different committees, helping with the annual butchering, Holiday House Tour, and spaghetti dinners.

The “Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award” was established because Robert loved all components of the fire company. In order to receive this award, a volunteer must be a member for at least three years and also work off of LOSAP system. This year’s recipient has been a member since 1994 and treasurer of the auxiliary since 1972. Having donated 382 hours during 2016, Betty Lee Mumma received the once-in-a-lifetime award.

Ronnie Eyler was presented the “Honorary Member Award.” He has volunteered for thirty years with the company, serving in many committees, as well as serving a previous vice president for the company. Ronnie, being a recognized driver for the company, has even been privileged to utilize the Model A Fire Truck.

Vice President Denny Mathias and Secretary Paulette Mathias presented the Five-Year Pin awards to: (5 years) Jerry Free and Steve Myers; (10 years) Franklin Free, Robert Free, and John Reese; (15 years) Debbie Eyler and Patsy Wetzel; Shirley Brown, Robbie Eyler, Jamison Mathias, Theresa Kaas, Clarence White, and Wilton Smith (20 Years); Tom Myerly (30 Years); James Willard and James Glass (40 Years); and Barry Burrier (45 Years).

Luke Humerick presented awards to the Junior Fire Company for volunteer hours. Humerick stated, “They’re a bunch of hard working kids; they are willing to help whenever we ask. We couldn’t ask for a better group to jump in and give a hand.” Those recognized were: Jolene Mathias (21 hours), Jacob Dolly (28 hours), Josie Kaas (55 hours), Breezy Combs (88 hours), Brianna Kaas (64 hours), Wayne Lewis (61 hours), Heather Hurley (54.5 hours), Robert Albaugh (57 hours), Hunter Hurley (43 hours), and William Kaas (38.5 hours). The tiniest of the junior company, Devin and Blake Youngermen, recieved an award as well.

Chief Alan Hurley provided company statistics and presented this year’s Chief Award. “This year, I started a little something to recognize our top ten firefighters.” He recognized Matt Moser (178 calls), Alan Hurley (155 calls), Bonny Hurley (140 calls), Christina Hurley (134 calls), Luke Humerick Jr. (99 calls), Kevin Albaugh (97 calls), Leon Stover Jr. (95 calls), Kerri Gasior (77 calls), Craig Hovermale (58 calls), and Wesley Burrier (53 calls). Steve Orndorff was recognized for being Top Responder for the Fire Police. The all-volunteer fire company tended to 233 emergency calls, totaling 1,300 volunteer hours over the year. The highest volume of calls occurred on Thursdays (a total of 38) and the busiest month for the company was November, with 31 calls.

President Dale Kline closed the ceremony by presenting the President’s Award. Dale reminisced about working with the recipient of the award for forty-five years. He said, “When I was nineteen, he [recipient, Dennis Mathias] was probably twelve or thirteen and was already on the fire trucks, learning how to pump water and so forth.” Kline then asked for Vice President Dennis Mathias to stand. Kline recognized that Dennis’ family, from parents down to grandchildren, have volunteered their time with the company.

Rocky Ridge’s Volunteer Fire Company is always looking for new recruits, however, it’s very clear that instead of joining a company, it’s really a family of volunteers working together for the greater good of Rocky Ridge.


(left) President Dale Kline presents Vice President Denny Mathias with this year’s President Award.

(below) President Dale Kline receives a check from President of Ladies Auxiliary, Betty Ann Mumma, in the amount of $15,000.

Photos by Grace Eyler

The Emmitsburg High School (EHS) Alumni Association held its 92nd annual banquet on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company event facility. A social hour was held at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner. One hundred eighty-nine graduates and attendees were part of the celebration.

The program began with musical selections from Timeless Harmony Barbershop Quartet. Alumni President Jim Martin presided over the business meeting with assistance from Vice President Bill Wivell. Secretaries, Phyllis Kelly and Connie Fisher, shared the minutes from last year’s banquet. Treasurer Sam Valentine presented the treasurer’s report.

Phyllis Kelley introduced the 2016 scholarship winners. This year’s scholarship recipients included Megan Millison, daughter of Sheri Wetzel and Phillip Millison, who attends Salisbury University and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in social work to help trauma patients; Maya Swiderski, daughter of Deborah Wivell and William Swiderski, who attends the University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing her degree to become a veterinarian; Kayla Umbel, daughter of Chad and Sandy Umbel, attends Virginia Tech in their dairy science program; Marah Williams, daughter of Richard and Joan Williams, attends Towson University to become an audiologist; and Taylor E. Shank, daughter of Duane and Anita Shank, who attends Clemson University and is pursuing a degree in architecture.

Maura Williams was in attendance at the banquet and expressed her appreciation; Joyce Bruchey read an excerpt from Maura’s application for the scholarship, “Although my family has been in Emmitsburg for many, many years, none of my relatives ever attended Emmitsburg High School. My great-grandparents were illiterate. My grandmother had only an eighth grade education… Grandma was barred from attending Emmitsburg High School because she was black. (Maura’s grandmother, Kathleen Williams, was 102 when she passed away in June of this year.) Her hard work has given me the opportunity to pursue a doctorate. My grandma taught me determination and kindness, and that complaining is worthless and forgiveness is important.” Joyce Bruchey said, “What better words. I’m glad she was one of our winners.” Maura thanked the audience for her scholarship award.

Richard Williams, Maura’s father, thanked the organization for the good that they do. Even though they didn’t attend the high school, it was still a vital part of the community. He said, “We hated to see the school close. It was a community where bigger is not always better. It’s nice for the small communities to stay together. We were sorry to see the school go.”

Taylor Shank’s mother, Anita, thanked the organization for the scholarship award, expressing that Taylor is very appreciative of the opportunity it helps provide.

Alumni members who donated money to the scholarship fund were thanked, then gift baskets provided by Catoctin Mountain Orchard were presented to Elwood Motter, Class of 1934, as the oldest attendee, and to Mike Humerick, the alumni who travelled the farthest, from Alaska.  The classes with largest attendance were the Class of 1953 and the Class of 1968, each with eighteen. Richard and Connie Masser from Scenic View Orchards presented apples to winning classes to keep them healthy until the next year’s banquet. Joyce Bruchey, EHSAA historian, shared the names of deceased alumni and attendees and spoke of the importance of appreciating each day and the blessing of good health. She also reminded the audience that time flies but each is the pilot of the journey.

Honored classes were the classes of 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966 and 1971. Students who attended Emmitsburg Elementary and went on the Catoctin High have been invited in recent years. The class of 1972 was recognized. Souvenir booklets related to each specific year were given to members of each honored class. Joyce Bruchey  introduced the honorees with personal high school tidbits. She explained that the EHS History book, along with a supplement, were still available.

Vice president, Bill Wivell, presented Joyce Bruchey a plaque and gift certificate in honor of her work on EHS history and her service to the organization. Rev. Bill Simpson closed the program with a prayer and all sang, “God Bless America.” Honor class group photos were then taken.

Allison Rostad

A vision and hope for the next generation was prominent at the Guardian Hose Company’s annual banquet, held on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at the Guardian Hose Company’s Activities Building in Thurmont.

Emcee of the night, President Wayne Stackhouse, welcomed guests to a dinner (catered by GT’s Catering of Cascade), with an invocation from Chaplin Reverend James Hamrick. Guests from surrounding fire companies, volunteer ambulance companies, and local businesses attended the banquet in support of the company.

Reverend James Hamrick held a memorial service and asked for a moment of silence for the one deceased member, Donald Weddle, before beginning the presentation of the 2015 report, awards, and installation of officers.

Chief Chris Kinnaird presented the 2015 report, mentioning several new equipment upgrades, including 5.5 Scott CVA Packs, a compressor and fill station, and computers. The total call volume was down from 2014 to 469 calls, with 373 of them being first-due calls. The total fire loss was only $25,500, which was a good low number for the year.

Several new members joined in 2015. After announcing that Daniel Myers, a member’s son, had joined the company this past year, Kinnaird stated, “We need outsiders to come in, and we also need our families to continue this tradition of firefighting that we’ve started and that continues in this department for so many years.” The next generation of Frushour and Duble families are expected to become active within the next year, continuing the generation tradition within the fire company.

Certificates of appreciation were presented by Chief Kinnaird and Assistant Chief Carroll Brown to the Top 5 Drivers: Steve Yingling (59 alarms), Mike Duble (143 alarms), Wayne Stackhouse (161 alarms), Larry Duble (169 alarms), and Terry Frushour (299 alarms); and for Top Firefighter Responders: Stacey Stackhouse (59 alarms), Mike Beard (75 alarms), Bobby Black (115 alarms), Steve Strickhouser (125 alarms), David Sanders (137 alarms), Brad Weddle (169 alarms), Christopher Kinnaird (173 alarms), David Easterday (183 alarms), Brian Donovan (240 alarms), and Chad Brown (256 alarms).

Two additional Chief Awards were presented to Chad Brown and Brian Donovan, who “showed commitment, passion for their duties, and furthermore, a willingness to help out anywhere they could.” Both men continued their education; were top responders; helped at all, if not most, company functions; and planned and organized a new fundraiser for the company. They both responded to the Emmitsburg house fire on December 7, 2015, and assisted with the interior search and rescue of a downed subject. Brown and Donovan did what they were trained to do and, although the outcome did not go as expected, they were recognized for their courage and diligence in responding to the call and administering life-saving assistance where needed.

Chief Kinnaird closed out his presentation with remarks regarding the year to come, and the hope of its success. Chief Kinnaird then turned everyone’s attention over to President Stackhouse, who introduced Vice President Terry Frushour to present a certificate of appreciation to Bill and Howard (non-members) for their support and reconstruction help of building and projects throughout the past year. President Stackhouse then invited the chairman of the events committee, Bev Frushour to award a certificate of appreciation to AJ Hahn, who has always provided help and assistance during Guardian Hose Company events.

President Stackhouse then cut right to his presentation of awards for years of service: Brian Donovan (5 years), Joshua Bentz (15 years), James Demarais (15 years), Randy Demarais (20 years), Tisha Miller (20 years), Abby Valentine (20 years), Ross Smith III (30 years), Timothy Bentz (30 years), Carroll Brown II (35 years), Judith White (35 years), Steve Yingling (35 years), Terry Frushour (40 years), David Valentine (40 years), and Robert Wilhide (55 years).

Life Membership awards were also presented to Roxanne Angel and Jody Miller.

To conclude the evening, President Stackhouse thanked several businesses within the Thurmont community that stood behind the company and supported them with donations, along with anything that was asked of them throughout the 2015 year.

“The standards we set forth in our operations to serve the community when we’re called to duty would be difficult for us to maintain without their support for the fire company,” expressed Stackhouse.

Prior to the benediction, the 2016 Operational and Administrative Officers were installed.

Administrative Officers: President—Wayne Stackhouse; President Emeritus—Don Stitely; Vice President—Terry Frushour; Secretary—Lori Borwn; Assistant Secretary—Tisha Miller; Treasurer—Russ Shantz; Assistant Treasurer—Pam Fraley; Trustees—Brian Donovan, Jody Miller, Steve Strickhouser, Chad Brown, and Joe Ohler.

Operational Officers: Chief—Chris Kinnaird; Assistant Chief—Carroll Brown; Captain—Blaine Schildt; Sergeant—Chad Brown; Lieutenants—Sean Donovan and Will Gue.


Operational Officers


Administrative Officers

DSC_0208The Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet in their banquet hall on February 7, 2015.

President Donald Stull, Sr. presented the welcome, Renae Coolidge gave the invocation, and Chief Vicky Martin gave chief’s comments. Donald Stull awarded Life Membership to Joe Linton. About Joe, he said, “His pay’s about like mine… a big ‘Thank you,’ but we have a lot of fun!”

This past year, new floors and gear lockers were installed in the department’s engine bay. Drills were conducted for water rescue and vehicle entrapment extrication. The company handled 653 calls, more than the previous year.

Eric Smothers of the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association swore in the officers. He said, “Traveling the county, I know it takes a lot of folks to make a department run. It takes a constant effort to get volunteers across the county and nationally. Thank you all very much for volunteering.”

Administrative officers included: President, Donald Stull, Sr.; Vice President, Chuck Jenkins; Secretary, Karen Stull; Assistant Secretary, Shari Jenkins; Treasurer, Lena Stull; Assistant Treasurer, Delbert Stull; and Board of Directors, Jacob Howell, Donald Martin, Kenny Miller, Scott Stonesifer, Steve Stull, and Wayne Stull.

Line Officers included: Chief, Vicky Martin; Deputy Chief, Wayne Wachter, Jr.; Assistant Chief, Doug Wallick, Jr.; Assistant Chief, Mike Fogle; and Captain, Scott Stonesifer. Scott Martin was assigned as Chair of the Training Committee.

A seven minute video was presented showing a review of the year in pictures. Renae Coolidge held a memorial service for Rosalie Keyser Garver who passed September 12, 2014.

ToDSC_0204p Fire Responders were:  Mike Stull (46), Lisa Monday (56, 70 EMT), Jake Howell (67), Donald Stull (83), Steve Stull(83, 46 EMT), Frani Wachter (83, 41 EMT), Mike Fogle (91, 41 EMT), Donald Martin (126), Wayne Wachter, Jr. (130, 122 EMT), Wayne Stull (133, 123 EMR), Beth Wachter (136. 122 EMT), and Top Responder Vicky Martin (175, 111 EMT). Also recognized for EMR responses were Brianna Wachter (81) and Stephanie Wachter (93).

Members of the Fire Police were recognized: Steve Stull, Thomas ‘Doc’ Wachter, Ronnie Myers, Diana Bryant, Mike Toms, and Bobby Black. Also recognized were new Fire Police Donald ‘Bud’ Howerton, Kenny Miller and Fred Baudrau.