Currently viewing the tag: "Catoctin-Ettes"

The Catoctin-Ettes, inc., has just completed its in-house twirling and marching contest for its membership. Corps members competed in various marching events, including pom poms, baton, and adult-parent march. In addition to marching, the twirlers performed their twirling skills and competed with various dance moves as they pertain to baton twirling. 

The contest gave the twirlers a taste of a different avenue of baton twirling, as they twirled and danced their way through these competitive events. First place trophies were awarded to deserving individuals; and second and third places were also recognized awards.

Parade Strut first-place winners were Kasandra Grimes, Hannah Gonzalez, and Georgia Winslow. Second place was awarded to Janae Rene’, Ruby Elswick, and Sydney Topper. Third place was earned by Isabelle Roath.

Pom Strut trophies were presented to first place winners: Georgia Winslow and Janae Rene, with second-place ribbons going to Sydney Topper, Hannah Gonzalez, Kasandra Grimes, and Ruby Elswick.

Basic Strut, which is a march using two arms, had first-place winners of Janae Rene’ and Hannah Gonzalez. Second place was earned by Ruby Elswick and Kasandra Grimes.

In the event of Basic Skills, in which twirlers demonstrate twirling concepts, first place was earned by Georgia Winslow, Janae’ Rene, and Ruby Elswick. Second-place ribbons were earned by Sydney Topper, Isabelle Roath, and Hannah Gonzalez. Third place went to Kasandra Grimes.

Parade Routine allows the twirler to compete in the routine that is the group’s parade style demonstration. First place trophies were captured by Ruby Elswick and Isabelle Roath with second place going to Janae Rene’.

Presentation is a short program constructed solely by the twirler. First place for admirable work went to Hannah Gonzalez, Georgia Winslow, and Janae Rene’.

The highlight of the contest was the Parent Strut and the Parent-Child Strut. First place was earned by the Rene’ family of marchers in each of the two events. Ruby Elswick also won first place in the Parent-Strut event.  Second place was earned by Leann Deardorff, while third place was won by Cheyenne Shaw.

The group now begins work on its annual holiday program, set to be held at Catoctin High School. For more information on the Catoctin-Ettes, inc. and upcoming free baton-twirling courses, contact Donna Landsperger at 240-405-2604 or by email at [email protected]

A new session of beginner baton-twirling classes is starting on Thursday, January 19, 2023, at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym.

The course runs for four consecutive Monday evenings and will be teaching basic twirling skills and marching. The course is taught by qualified instructors with decades of experience in twirling. Instruction is completely free. Batons are correctly sized for each child and are purchased at the first class of the course at a discounted rate.

Yearly, the Catoctin-Ettes hosts free beginner classes as a means to make the public aware of the growing sport of baton twirling, as well as to offer a new adventure for local youth.

Baton twirling takes place in gyms all over the world and encompasses many more levels than parade-style membership. This is a wonderful opportunity for youth to explore a new and exciting activity with no commitments.

For more information or registration, contact Donna Landsperger of the Catoctin-Ettes, an award-winning local non-profit twirling program established in 1972, at 240-405-2604 or email at [email protected]. Please use the header BATON in the subject line of emails.

A new and exciting free baton-twirling course is being offered by the Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. This four-week course is for the beginning baton-twirling student, ages five and up. Batons are available and loaned free for class time and are also on hand for optional purchases. Participation in the course costs absolutely nothing! 

The classes will be held on Wednesday evenings outdoors at the Emmitsburg Antique Mall parking lot, beginning on May 12, 2021, from 6:00-6:45 p.m. (A dance-pom course will also run for four weeks beginning May 12, from 7:00-7:45 p.m. at the same location, open to ages seven and up.) 

All COVID-19 procedures will be in place, with required social distancing throughout all classes. Pre-registration is required.  

During the course, basic twirling skills and marching techniques will be presented in class. Certificates will be awarded at the end of the four-week session. There is no obligation to continue twirling once the course has concluded.

The classes will be taught by the group’s director, Donna Landsperger, who has directed the marching unit in twirling, color guard arts, and pom poms and its competitive teams since 1976. They have captured titles at the local, state, regional, and national levels. 

The Catoctin-Ettes, inc., will again be offering its free, introductory baton twirling course for beginners interested in the growing sport of baton twirling. 

The classes are set to begin on Wednesday, February 12, at the Emmitsburg Elementary School. The course runs for four consecutive Wednesday evenings  and is geared for beginners from ages 5 and up. Baton twirling and marching are the focus of the course. 

The course is completely free and batons are loaned free of charge for classtime. This is an excellent opportunity to determine a child’s interest for twirling with absolutely no costs or commitments whatsoever! Certificates are presented to those completing the four-week course.

Participants must be pre-registered. For more information or for information, please contact Donna Landsperger at [email protected] or 240-405-2604.

A free baton-twirling course is coming to Emmitsburg this summer for a summer daytime session. The course will run for four consecutive Mondays, beginning on Monday, July 8.

Classes will be held at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gymnasium.  Class time is 10:00-10:45a.m. Classes are geared for the beginner twirler, ages five and up.

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. (aka Catoctin-Aires), a local youth organization specializing in baton twirling and related activities, is the sponsor of this fun-filled and exciting course. The organization has been in existence since 1972, and performs in local parades, contests, and has sponsored national level dance-twirl teams. 

There is absolutely no fee whatsoever for the course, and batons are loaned free for classtime. This is an excellent opportunity for girls and boys to try a new activity to determine interest for continuing or for just plain having fun!

Registration is required. Please contact Donna Landsperger at 240-405-2604 or via email at [email protected].

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., also known as the Catoctin-Aires, will be hosting its annual free, four-week introductory baton twirling course for beginner twirlers.

The course will highlight basic baton twirling skills and marching over the four-week course. It is a wonderful opportunity to determine interest and talent for twirling, with no costs whatsoever! Batons are loaned free of charge for class time. Certificates of completion are presented to all who graduate the course at the final class of the session.

These classes will run on consecutive Monday evenings at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gymnasium, beginning on October 17, 2016.

An exciting new opportunity for the very young is starting this year. A new baby doll class is forming. This class is for tiny twirlers, ages three to five years old. This special class runs from 6:00-6:30 pm.

Following the baby doll session, beginner twirlers, ages six and up, will meet from 6:45-7:30 p.m.

Participants must be pre-registered. For registration or more information, please contact Donna Landsperger, the program director, at 301-271-4326 or [email protected].
In addition to baton twirling, the group also sponsors competitive Pom Pom teams; Dance-Twirl teams; competition Percussion Line; and competition Color Guard, consisting of rifle spinning and flag twirling.

Those interested in these activities may register at the above mentioned contact points.

baton-rampage-wins-titleThe Rampage National Baton Twirling Teams have captured the national title of Beginner Senior Large Twirl Team Champions. Rampage is the competitive name for the spin-off group from the Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. and Catoctin-Aires Twirling Corps.

In order to compete for this prestigious title, the group of nine twirlers traveled to South Bend, Indiana, where they twirled at the University of Notre Dame for the week-long event. The National Baton Twirling Association holds its national championship yearly at the University.

All members of the national team were participants in the winning title event and received commemorative Olympic-style medallions. They were: Abigail Adams, Rachel Bechler, Kiara and Shyanne George, Erika Oland, Jilliam Plummer, Caitlyn Purdum, Kelly Reed, and Angela Ridenour. The head coach and director of the group is Donna Landsperger.

In addition to this title, the group also placed in the top ten, earning second place in the Beginner Senior Small Twirl Team category and eighth place in the Beginner Senior Large Dance-Twirl category.

For more information on joining the twirling program, please contact Donna Landsperger at [email protected] or 240-405-2604.

Cuddles Cat Rescue Holds Unique and Successful Fundraiser

Cuddles Cat Rescue (CCR) had some awesome fundraisers in 2015: a pizza night at Rocky’s New York Pizza; Cuddles Cat Rescue and Friends calendar with photographer, Gina Rubino McCracken donating her time; a booth set up at Colorfest; and a paint night at The Furnace with Laura Day; and many people making personal donations.

But the most unique fundraiser they had was in December, when Rick Toms of Red Canary Tattoo donated his time for cat tattoos for one week. For $20.00 anyone could get a cat tattoo, chosen from one of his tattoo flash, and 100 percent was donated to Cuddles Cat Rescue. Ninety people came and got tattoos! Cuddles Cat Rescue would like to sincerely thank Rick Toms and everyone who received tattoos, and to all who participated in all of their fundraising events throughout the year and who made personal donations. You can contact them at [email protected].

Cuddles Rescue - cat tattoos

 Cuddles Cat Rescue volunteers are shown waiting for their cat tattoos (from left): Dawn Bonsby, Becca Lee, Sarah Stine (one of CCR’s adoptees), Devin Stine, and Cory Stine.

Devastation Rallies the Emmitsburg Community

David & Danielle Eyler with DeniseIn December, residents of Emmitsburg suffered great loss of life, homes, and personal belongings, in two separate fires. Pictured right, two of the fire victims, Mr. David Eyler (right) and his daughter, Danielle (center), stood with Seton Center, Inc.’s Case Manager Denise Sauvageau (left), to say thank you to the Seton Center and the Emmitsburg Council of Churches (ECC) Fire Relief Fund for their help to secure safe housing, receive referrals for future needs, and find the hope needed to re-build their lives.

Since the day of the first fire, Seton Center’s Outreach Office has been serving as the liaison for the Emmitsburg Council of Churches’ Fire Fund to help those affected, by providing referrals, case management, and additional support for resulting needs. The ECC’s Fire Fund is assisting the fire victims with rental deposits, first-month’s rent for new housing, and other necessities that will help them restore their lives.

The combined financial support of the Emmitsburg Council of Churches’ Fire Fund, Trinity United Methodist Church of Emmitsburg, and Seton Center, Inc. assisted the widower in paying the funeral costs for his wife, who perished in the December 7 Emmitsburg Main Street fire. The ECC Fire Funds were also used to assist with the funeral expenses of the second victim who also lost her life in that fire.

Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. Awards Ceremony

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. Twirling Corps recently named its 2016 Queen during the annual awards ceremony held by the organization. Miss Shyanne George, daughter of Donna Walter and Teddy George, was elected by members of the organization to represent the group in the new year. Her duties will include acceptance of the organization’s awards at various events, and a featured spot in the Emmitsburg Community day parade with the marching group. She was presented with the crown and royalty sash from the outgoing queen, Abigail Adams.

The Catoctin-Ettes also named Kiara George to the first runner-up title. Members of the royal court were Rachel Bechler and Erika Oland.

In addition to the crowning ceremony, the group celebrated the end of its performing and competing year with its annual holiday stage show, where groups and individuals performed new dance-twirl style routines for the audience.

In recognition of the group’s Advanced Marching Corps Championship title, each member of the twirling squads, the competing color guard, and the percussion line received a championship hooded sweatshirt and representative trophy.

Trophies were also presented to members achieving perfect attendance at all events, including practices. As a long-standing tradition within the organization, special recognition pins were presented to those who have maintained accumulated perfect attendance for performances throughout the years. Those receiving these prestigious awards were: Kelly Reed—28 years; Angela Ridenour—18 years; Paula Sharrer—14 years; Catilyn Purdum—12 years; Rachel Bechler—8 years; and Abby Adams—7 years.

Most improved members of the group, Erika Oland and Adelaide Flanary, were recognized with trophies for their exceptional progress as twirling members. McKenzie Walker earned the respect of her coaches as most improved percussionist. Additionally, twirlers who completed their first year of membership were rewarded with “Survivor” plaques. These members were David Haynes, Caylan Markel, Britany Study, Courtney Study, and Bianca Thews.

The Catoctin-Ettes also recognized Paula Sharrer as the Most Valuable Player for 2015, due to her involvement in each area of the corps. Completing the awards ceremony, Angela Ridenour was named as Hero of the Year.

The stage production and awards presentation marks the forty-second year that the Catoctin-Ettes has closed a successful and rewarding marching corps season.

Five Emmitsburg Scouts Earn Coveted Eagle Scout Rank

It’s hard for any high school student to stay focused on achieving the rank of Eagle, let alone five at one time, but that is exactly what happened for five scouts from Troop 727 sponsored by St. Joseph’s Church in Emmitsburg.

On December 26, 2015, Maryland State Delegate Kathy Afzali, Mayor Donald Briggs of Emmitsburg, and Fr. John Holliday CM, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Emmitsburg, joined Troop 727 Scout Master Mary Neibecker and Assistant Scout Master Christopher Anadale in honoring the five scouts who successfully completed the Eagle Scout rank. The scouts were Keegan Wright, Andrew Neibecker, Brendan Isaacson, Paul Slotwinski, and Stephen Lowe.

The Eagle Scout rank is the culmination of years of work. Most of the boys had been scouting together for ten years, starting as cub scouts. A major highlight of their scouting careers was their trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure base, located in New Mexico. Other highlights included camping at the Summit Bechtel Reserve; the new BSA high adventure camp, located in West Virginia; Goshen Scout Reservation; Camp Airy Boy Scout Camp; Camp Tuckahoe; and portions of the Appalachian Trail. They overnighted on both the Battleship USS New Jersey where they slept in hammocks, and the USS Constellation (at anchor in Baltimore Harbor, it’s the last all-sail U.S. Navy warship), where they stood watch aboard the frigate. They also participated in numerous training classes, including CPR and Wilderness and Remote First Aid.

“Boy Scouts has been an amazing experience from start to finish, but it wouldn’t have been the same without these guys,” said Eagle Scout Paul Slotwinski. “They helped to make every experience fun and productive. Also, we all pushed each other to finish, so if not for them, I probably wouldn’t have gotten my Eagle.”

As part of the Eagle rank requirement, scouts are required to complete “a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community.”  Years after they are gone, people who have never met them will enjoy the benefits of their Eagle service projects. This is truly the spirit of scouting.

Keegan Wright constructed a three-sided wooden firewood storage shed at Catoctin Mountain Park for the benefit of the campers staying at the Park’s camp sites. Andrew Neibecker rehabilitated the Willow Rill Nature Trail, located at Mother Seton School, to benefit the teachers and students. Brendan Isaacson constructed a fenced play area around St. Joseph’s Parish Hall to provide a safe area for the children and their parents. Paul Slotwinski blazed fifteen miles of the multi-user trail system, located throughout the Rainbow Lake watershed, for the benefit of Emmitsburg citizens and town visitors. Stephen Lowe constructed a memorial outside of St. Joseph’s Parish Hall to Army 1st Lt. Robert A. Seidel III, who died May 18, 2006, in service of his country.

“Our parish is very proud of these four young men,” said Fr. John Holliday, CM, pastor of St. Joseph’s. “This is a remarkable achievement for a small Boy Scout Troop such as ours and is a wonderful testimony to our men and women who are leaders of Troop 727.”

For more information about the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program sponsored by St. Joseph’s Church, please contact the parish at 301-447-2326. The scouts meet every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the parish hall.

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Troop 727, Emmitsburg, had five scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout: (from left) Keegan Wright, Andrew Neibecker, Brendan Isaacson, Paul Slotwinski, and Stephen Lowe.

Thurmont Community Ambulance Company Banquet Held

On January 16, 2015, members and guests of the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company gathered together in the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company Banquet Hall for their annual awards banquet. As volunteers from Rocky Ridge 4-H Club gathered up empty plates from a delicious home cooked meal, Lowman Keeney brought the audience’s attention to the podium. He announced the many honorary guests and thanked them for their participation and help throughout the year. “This year had been a great year!” he said.

As Lowman provided some updates pertaining to the progress of the new ambulance building being built on Strafford Drive in Thurmont, he was excited to announce the first event that will be held at the new facility. The Town of Thurmont’s annual Business Expo will be held in April. Then, he directed attention to the back, where donation forms were located for their “Dollar per Pound Fundraiser”. The goal of the fundraiser is to outfit the new ambulance with all of the needed equipment.

Chief DJ Ott took the stage to share the Company’s stats. They ran a total of 1,265 calls for 2015. He extended a thank you to Graceham, Libertytown, and Emmitsburg companies for their support through the year. In 2015, the volume of calls increased by 25 more than 2014. The busiest day of the week was Sunday. However, the busiest day of the year was August 29th, a Saturday, with a whopping 15 calls during a twenty-four hour span. A normal day in Thurmont averages around three calls. Between the hours of 12:00 and 1:00 p.m., are the busiest times of the day with a total of 87 calls. Most of these cases are reported as “Injured Persons.”

One of the company’s goals for this year is to bring the fail rate back down to 10 or less calls. “This year’s fail rate was marked at 2.38%, which is good, because they give until 10% before county steps in.” Unfortunately in 2015, there has been a reduction in amount of members who would sign up to run calls, but were still able to increase the amount of time people signed up to 2,000 coverage hours. “We lost seven members, but other members who were active picked up the slack,” said the Chief.

As it was a slightly slower year for training in the company, they were happy to announce they were able to train the Boy Scouts on Wilderness training, as well as receiving a 31 person turn out for CPR training from members of the community. All training by the Ambulance Company is done at cost. They volunteer their time and pass the costs along for processing paperwork. “We want you to have the training for what it costs us to give it to you.”

Another point DJ touched on, was the new ambulance the company purchased. The new ambulance will arrive in March or April and will be fully equipped for calls by June or July. The cost for the new ambulance is $229,000 un-equipped. “That means it will be a box, a chassis and lights,” said the President.

The new activities building isn’t the only big project going on at the moment. DJ explained the current ambulance building on North Church Street isn’t getting a total remodel, but will receive a facelift. Another improvement being made to the company will be a computer management system to monitor all calls, scheduling, LOSAP, and fundraising events.

The ambulance company looks forward to new programs in 2016, such as a “Community Wellness Check” that will serve seniors and disabled members in the Thurmont area.

The President then called upon Devin Stafford, President of Adventure Crew 270. Devin proudly announced some of the achievements the crew has conquered in the past year. They placed second in the Klondike Derby, participated in the Iron Chef Camporee, celebrated “Scout Sunday” by planting trees at the Thurmont Regional Library, and held a successful Scouting for Food Campaign boasting 4,869 pounds of collected food benefiting the local food bank.

Before handing out awards, the President of the Ambulance Company kindly thanked the local fire rescue companies for the support they give through the year, especially the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company for filling in during the banquet.

Recognized for the top ten responders were Molly Joiner (58 calls), Amber Zimmerman (65), Dev Shaffer (71), Matt Demarais (88), Jarred Snyder (106), Lisa Eichelberger (125), Brooke Kennedy (158), Rose “Grandma” Latini (161), Amanda Barth (162), and for the second year in a row, Bev Frushour was the top responder with 304 calls.

DJ Ott presented the Chiefs award. DJ acknowledged that he felt this is the one of the toughest awards to give out because everyone does such a great job and it is hard to pick just one. This year’s recipient was Chris Pigula. Chris has been an outstanding member, qualifying in LOSAP every year since 1992. He started the company with no training; now in 2016, he is one of the most-well-trained members.

Administrative awards were presented by Dave Riffle. Recipients who received the award included Jason Schultz, Becky Ott, Jim Humerick, Renee Coolidge, Bob Lookingbill, Travis Unger, William Ott, Kacey Manahan, Holly Herald, Amber Zimmerman, Molly Joiner, Stephanie Kennedy, Chad Zimmerman, Shirley Stackhouse, Joyce Stitely, Matt Demarais, Chris Pigula, Dennis Ott Sr., Dev Shaffer, Jim Wolfe, Tim Wiltrout, Jared Snyder, Lowman Keeney, Lisa Eichelberger, Amanda Barth, Brooke Kennedy, DJ Ott, Rose Latini, Jen Frushour.

Proceeding to the Administrative awards, the President thanked Venture Crew 270 for their participation with the Thurmont Ambulance Company. Devin Stafford accepted a $1,000.00 donation on behalf of Crew 270 to fund future activities. Lowman thanked the Rocky Ridge 4-H, and awarded Margo Sweeney a $200.00 club donation for their efforts to prepare, serve, and clean up dinner every year.

Life members who were inducted included Johnathan Troxell and Vickie Martin. Johnathan was recognized for being an active member in the Ambulance Company, as well as serving in Emmitsburg’s Ambulance Company. Vickie Martin currently serves as Chief at Lewistown Volunteer Fire Company.

As the chief had admitted how difficult it is to choose one person to receive an award, Lowman also agreed. “Doesn’t matter if it is for the membership, for the community, or whomever.” Lowman recalls a recent event of 5 large hay bales being burnt on the new building property and sure enough, the recipient was there to clean up the remnants of the mess. He has served on the board of directors for the ambulance company for two years during which time he was bestowed with, “keeping the ambulance company’s troublemaker [Jim Wolfe] in line.” Lowman called Tim Wiltrout to join him on the stage to receive the President’s award for 2016.

We didn’t get to do much in fundraising this year, but one fundraiser that we are proud of – to the family that makes this all possible…to the people who go out of their way every year, Catoctin Mountain Orchard.” Apple Dumplings during Colorfest contribute to Thurmont Ambulance’s most successful fundraiser. This year it took 1,693 man hours to peel, bake, box and sell the mouth-watering dumplings.  The company made over $44,000 in gross profit with a net profit of $36,123.72.

As the evening drew to a close, Lowman explained how much he is looking forward to the New Year. They will hold new fundraising events that will be bigger and better, with more room for people to spread out. “We often joke that we need a golf cart to get from one side to another in the new building…” said Lowman. On October 26, 2016, The Amish Outlaws are scheduled to play an indoor concert. For more information on future fundraisers and events, check out their Facebook or drop by their location at 27 North Church Street in Thurmont.

Thurmont banquet

Thurmont Ambulance Company’s Administrative Officers

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Thurmont Ambulance Company’s Operational Officers

Photos by Gracie Eyler

Vigilant Hose Company Holds 132nd Annual Banquet

The 132nd Annual Banquet of the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) honoring accomplishments for service in 2015 was held on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg. Tim Clarke, Past President of the VHC, served as master of ceremonies. Invocation was given by Fr. Charles F. Krieg of St. Joseph’s Parish in Emmitsburg. Invited guests were introduced. Frederick County’s 5th District Councilman, Kirby Delauter, presented VHC’s Deputy Chief, Jimmy Click, with a proclamation for his dedicated service to the fire company and the Emmitsburg community.

The 2016 officers of the company were installed: President, A. Frank Davis; Vice President, David Wilt; Treasurer, Steven M. Hollinger; Assistant Treasurer, William D. Boyd, Jr.; Secretary, Steven W. Valentine; Assistant Secretary, Thomas Vaughn; and Board of Directors, Hugh Boyle, Elyssa Cool, Randy Myers, Douglas D. Orner, David Stonesifer, and Carl A. White.

2016 Operational Officers: Chief, Chad M. Umbel; Deputy Chief, James E. Click; Assistant Chief, Christopher A. Stahley; Captain, Joshua Brotherton; and Lieutenants, Douglas Yingling, Derek Rosensteel, and Alex McKenna.

Fire Police: Lynn Orndorff, Captain; Ronald P. Face, Jr., 1st Lieutenant; and Steve Orndorff, 2nd Lieutenant. Auxiliary Officers: Tina Ryder, President; Sharel Boyle, Vice President; Jo Ann Boyd, Treasurer; Joyce E. Glass, Secretary; Mandy Ryder, Financial Secretary; and Jennifer Boyd and Katie Davis, Co-Historians.

Chief Awards were presented for length of service to Tyler Bennett, Josh Brotherton, Dale Fogle, Jennifer Stahley, and Thomas Ward for 5 years of service; John Damskey, Tom Vaughn, and Mike Working for 20 years; Bill Boyd, 25 years; Carl White, 30 years; Jim Glass and Wayne Powell, 35 years; and Tom White, 55 years.

The Top 10 LOSAP President Awards were earned by the following: Tenth Top LOSAP was a tie at 79 points for Hugh Boyle and Dave Wilt; Ninth was a tie at 86 points for Chris Stahley and Karyn Myers; Eighth was Matt Boyd with 89 points; seventh Frank Davis with 92 points; sixth Derek Rosensteel with 101 points; fifth John Damskey with 103 points; fourth Carl White with 104 points; third Bill Boyd with 107 points; second Jim Click with 108 points; and Top LOSAP was earned by Cliff Shriner with 145 points.

Vigilant’s Top Ten Responders were: 1st, Cliff Shriner with 257 calls responding; 2nd, Derek Rosensteel (249); Frank Davis (193); Brandon Burriss (181); Tyler Bennett (177); Josh Brotherton (200); Hugh Boyle (147); Tyler Arrowood (140); Alex McKenna (129); Doug Yingling (116). Top Fire Police Responders were: 1st, Sam Cool (68); 2nd, Steve Orndorff (57); 3rd Mike Orndorff (33).

The Training Award was presented to the individual who attended the most hours of in-house training and training conducted outside the VHC to include Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, the National Fire Academy, and the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association including department drills and recertifications. The Training Award was presented to Tim McKenna who had 245 hours of training.

Karyn Myers was awarded the President’s Award; Derek Rosensteel was awarded the Chief’s Award; Elyssa Cool was awarded the Member of the Year 2015.

During the banquet, the Vigilant Auxiliary presented a check to the department in the amount of $40,000.00. A video presentation was enjoyed by all. The video showed 2015, the year in review. After the banquet, dancing was enjoyed to music by the band, “First Class.”

Memorial was held for Gerald Orndorff who passed away in 2015.

The highest award presented at the annual banquet is the Hall of Fame Award. Inductees included Thomas Hoke and Luther “Jay” Grimes.

Thomas E. “Tom” Hoke has been a long-time active member of the Vigilant Hose Company, serving many key roles over the years. Born in 1923 in Emmitsburg, he had a typical life as a youngster roaming the town and spending most of his time outside. He graduated from Emmitsburg High School in a class of 26 students. He was drafted into the United States Army to serve as a medic during the European Theater and the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

He is one of the remaining charter members of the Emmitsburg Veterans of Foreign Wars and is a member of the Emmitsburg American Legion Post 121. Tom found his career as a heavy equipment operator with Potomac Edison and retired from there in 1985.

Tom has lived his life as a generous man. He married his wife Ethel Grace Long in 1947. They had a son, John (known as Jack) and a daughter Rebecca (known as Becky). Ethel passed away in 2003.

The VFW Post 6658 bought Emmitsburg’s first community ambulance in 1948. It was a green 1947 Cadillac. The first patient to be transported was Tom’s wife, Ethel, as she was going in to labor with Jack. Jack would go on to serve with the Vigilant Hose Company, too, while his wife, June, would be one of the first women in Frederick County to serve in the emergency services.

Thomas E. Hoke was inducted into Vigilant’s Hall of Fame for his many years of faithful service to the community and its emergency services.

Luther E. “Jay” Grimes walked in to the firehouse in the summer of 1988 asking to speak with then Fire Chief, Tom White. He introduced himself as the area’s new Pierce fire truck salesman. Story goes that the chief had run the former Pierce salesman out of town after a bad experience and the company joked that Jay had his work cut out for him.

Jay worked to correct the former salesman’s blunders at no cost to the company. This prefaced a wonderful, true and honest 25-year relationship between him and Vigilant. Over the years, Jay worked hand in hand to help replace an aging fleet of apparatus. That was instrumental in bringing new technologies to Emmitsburg—including compressed air foam, Emmitsburg’s first aerial truck, a state of the art rescue squad that was featured nationally in Fire Chief Magazine with Vigilant’s first engine/tanker, and other innovations.

Jay was a 1963 graduate of Williamsport High School in Williamsport, Maryland, and was a nationally certified firefighter. He was employed by Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton, Wisconsin, until his retirement in 2010. He was a life member of Williamsport Volunteer Fire and EMS for 54 years, where he served as chief, president, and head of various committees.

Additionally, he was instrumental in the creation of the State Wide Alert Network, LOSAP Program, 911 emergency communications, and the National Incident Management System. In 2011, he was inducted into the Maryland State Fireman’s Association Hall of Fame and also received the United States President’s Volunteer Service Award.

He took great pride in each and every fire apparatus unit he delivered. Jay passed away on Monday, April 20, 2015, at the age of 70.

For his many years of faithful service to the fire and emergency services and his very special service to the Emmitsburg community, he was inducted into the VHC Hall of Fame.


The Vigilant Hose Company’s 2016 Fire Police (top row) and Operational Officers (bottom row).


Vigilant’s 2016 Ladies Auxiliary

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Thomas E. Hoke was one of two who were inducted into the VHC’s Hall of Fame.

CYA Lacrosse Registration Now Open

It’s a new year—try a new sport! Lacrosse is known as the fastest game on two feet for good reason—you’re never sitting still! The Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) Lacrosse league is happy to say that it’s that time of the year again to start gearing up for another fun and exciting spring season of lacrosse. Anyone can play lacrosse—big, small, boys or girls—the game rewards coordination and agility. There is a rise in the number of teams that play, both in Maryland and nationally. CYA Lacrosse strives to provide a fun, educational, family-driven experience. In recent years, they have been fortunate to produce a number of competitive teams, including last season when their U11 Cougars—with half of the players never having played before—went to the championship.

CYA Lacrosse offers opportunities for school-age children, ages five to fourteen. They have established teams in the boys’ division, and they are happy to announce that this year they have added a girl’s division. Many of their coaches are U.S. Lacrosse certified, and with a certified coach in each division, even children with no experience will be in very capable hands to grow in the sport. Starting a new sport can be an undertaking, and an investment. For those who are interested in trying the sport, they have equipment available.

Registration is now open; they have multiple ways for you to register—even from home. You can visit them at to learn more about the sport and to register; you can also find registration forms to print and mail to P.O. BOX 374 Thurmont, MD 21788.

Questions? They have answers. Email them at [email protected] or give them a call at 240-342-6238.

Just want to see what CYA Lacrosse Cougars are up to this season? Make sure to be social with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thurmont Little League is Gearing Up for an Exciting Season of Baseball

The cold weather has arrived, but Thurmont Little League is gearing up for their 65th Season of Thurmont Little League baseball. Registration is open and is in full swing until March 1, 2016. Visit their website at to register.

Players from Thurmont, Sabillasville, Emmitsburg, Rocky Ridge, Woodsboro, Taneytown, and Union Bridge are welcome to register. Come be a part of the Little League experience: #playLittleLeague.

At the Tee-ball, Instructional, Minor, and Major divisions, all of their games are played in-house at the Thurmont Little League Complex. This provides families the convenience of not having to travel around the county during school nights for games.

2016 League Divisions: Tee-Ball (ages 4-6): typically, seven to ten teams; Instructional League (ages 5-8): typically, six to eight teams; Minor League (ages 7-11): typically, eight to ten teams; Little League Major (ages 9-12): six teams.

Thurmont Little League is looking forward to seeing your player on the Little League Ball Fields. Feel free to call Ed Lowry at 267-664-5059 with questions or email [email protected].

Mount St. Mary’s University to Host 16th Annual Maryland International Youth Rugby Festival in April

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSM) will be the site of the 16th Annual Maryland International Youth Rugby Festival on April 23-24, 2016. The entire community is invited to come out and see some of the best boys and girls high school rugby teams from the United States and Canada.

Event Chairman Dan Soso stated that the event was moved to MSM because of the outstanding facilities, the championship caliber play of Mount St. Mary’s rugby program, and the friendliness of the entire Emmitsburg community. “It’s an amazing opportunity for us to showcase our event, the scenic beauty of our state, and the outstanding program at Mount St. Mary’s. It is a win-win for everyone involved, and we can’t wait to bring first-class high school rugby to the Mount.”

Catoctin-Ettes Hosting Free Introductory Baton Twirling Course

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a local non-profit youth organization, is again hosting its free, four-week introductory baton twirling course set to begin on Monday, February 1, 2016, at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym (on the first floor). Each class will operate for 45 minutes and run on consecutive Monday evenings, from 6:30-7:15 p.m. The course, geared for the beginner twirler from age five and up, is completely free. Additionally, batons are loaned for class-time free of charge.

The course is designed to teach beginner baton twirling skills and marching while introducing this growing sport to the community’s youth. Classes are taught by experienced coaches within the organization in an exciting and fun atmosphere. This is an exceptional opportunity to bring baton twirling to families with no costs whatsoever and to determine a child’s interest in twirling without membership commitments. All students must be pre-registered. Please contact Donna Landsperger at 240-405-2604 or [email protected].


The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) competitive baton twirling, color guard, pom pom, and percussion organization from Emmitsburg, is reaching out to the community to ask for their consideration in making a tax-deductible donation to their corps. With the money that they collect, they will be able to purchase equipment and meet their operational expenses, as well as fund the part of their program that participates in various competitions.

Established in 1972 as a creative outlet for youth, they have performed in local parades, charitable events, and have earned prestigious titles in state, regional, and national competitions. If you would like to donate, visit

Catoctin-Ettes Host Twirling Extravaganza

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., recently hosted their annual year-end twirling extravaganza. Members of the organization performed dance-twirl style routines on stage for an audience of family and friends.

Highlights of the show included an awe-inspiring competitive pom pom number by the group’s Jr. Pom Team, who captured the 2014 Regional and State Pom Team Championship titles. Members of this group include Abby Adams, Rachel Bechler, Alexis Bond, Kiara George, Shyanne George, Caitlyn Purdum, and Paula Jean Sharrer. The group was coached by Angela Ridenour.

Tiny Tots, Adelaide Flanary, Hannah Gonzales-Diaz, Emily and Lauren Holtzople, and Bethany Study performed a specialty group number to the fun song, “Simon Says.”

In an exciting number combining many different levels of baton twirling with a ribbon stick performance, the group’s juveniles and complimentary units brought enthusiasm to the evenings’ activities. The girls in this number were Abby Adams, Rachel Bechler, Alexis Bond, Gracie Flanary, Kiara and Shyanne George, Tamour-Lin Nanan, Erika Oland, Greta Smith, and Amanda Study. Their musical selection was “Shake It Off.”

The organization’s most advanced twirlers exhibited a stunning performance with their routine to the music, “Rock and Roll All Night.” Members of this group were Caitlyn Purdum, Kelly Reed, Angela Ridenour, Amber Rothhaupt, and Paula Jean Sharrer.

In addition to the group performances, several of the organization’s twirlers performed amazing feats of baton twirling and juggling in individual and duet show-twirling numbers.

Following the entertainment portion of the show, the marching corps also presented awards for exceptional performance and attendance throughout the 2014 year.

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc. is hosting its annual free baton-twirling course for beginner twirlers, ages five and up. The course began on February 17, and will be held on four consecutive Tuesday evenings at the Emmitsburg Elementary School. Classes run for 45 minutes in length; class time will vary according to age.

The course is absolutely free, with batons on loan for class time at no charge. During this course, basic twirling skills and marching are presented by experienced staff coaches of the marching organization. This introductory course is an excellent way to determine a child’s interest in twirling with no financial outlay whatsoever.

For more information or registration, please contact the group’s director, Donna Landsperger, at 301-271-4326 or email [email protected].

CHS Softball to Hold Crab Cake Dinner

The Catoctin High School (CHS) Softball Team will hold a Crab Cake Dinner Fundraiser on Friday, March 13, 2015, at the fire hall in Emmitsburg (25 West Main Street), from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Dinner includes two crab cakes (a Vigilant Hose Company specialty), baked potato, green beans, roll, drink, and your choice of a dessert. The cost is $15.00 per dinner (eat in or carryout).

Purchase tickets from any softball player or call Coach Jess at 301-788-0976 or email at [email protected] to hold your tickets at the door.

All remaining tickets will be sold at the door until dinners are sold out.