Currently viewing the tag: "colorfest"

Blair Garrett

Festival season is upon us.

There’s no doubt we’ve all noticed the changing of the season. A biting cold light frost has replaced the morning dew from summer’s end. Our windshields are foggier than they were just a month ago. And, come October, Northern Frederick County gets a whole lot busier.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, the race to get your loved ones something special is on. And there may be no better place to find that special item for your family than at one of our great local annual events.

Despite the rain, doom and gloom, shoppers arrived in droves to the three big October festivals on the weekend of October 14-15. Colorfest, Ridgefest, and Mountain Fest vendors all braved the weather to put on a great showing for visitors.

Colorfest has been renowned as one of the nation’s top craft events for the past 60 years. Patrons arrive by the bus load to sample some of the great food or check out some of the best artists in the area. On every corner in the Thurmont Community Park during Colorfest weekend, there are some of the most interesting and unique items for sale. You can find anything, from custom metal airplanes to hand-crafted jewelry.

Vendors come from all over the east coast to show off some of the custom art and products they’ve been working on throughout the year.

There are even multiple stands of organic local honey to satisfy your sweet tooth, along with all your classic festival treats like whoopie pies, fried oreos, and chicken on a stick. Colorfest is one of the year’s most fun community events because of all the representation from businesses and craftsmen that are scattered throughout our region. You can get delicious brisket sandwiches from some of your favorite local fire companies, or baked goods from any of the various churches who reserved a spot along the way.

The money spent each year at Colorfest goes a long way into supporting these organizations, so they can continue creating the products that brighten up our communities.

Even with heavy rains, blustering winds and cloudy skies, Colorfest once again reminded us of how many talented people make up our towns. Hopefully, next year’s festival weekend is a little sunnier and a little bit warmer; but no matter what, the support from festival-goers is sure to be there.

Mountain Fest is another one of the great events put on by our tight-knit community. Each year, Sabillasville Environmental School sees tons of friendly faces pass through the halls, checking out some of the delicious pastries for sale and the many artisan crafts. There are food trucks serving up hot meals and happiness, and music in the background to keep everything fun and exciting.

Another huge draw for visitors is the annual car show at Mountain Fest, which is a huge attraction for automotive aficionados from far and wide. The antique tractor show also featured is perfectly fitting for our big farming community.

There was no shortage of specialty items featured at this year’s Sabillasville Mountain Festival. Tammy and Donald Haycraft displayed a huge variety of custom specialty pens, with some featuring your favorite sports teams, some fit from bullet shell casings, and some Halloween pens fit for the season. The pair even has a pen made from the wood of the old Yankees’ Stadium. Now, that’s what you call a collector’s item.

If neither of those events are in your wheelhouse, Rocky Ridge’s annual Ridgefest might be just what you’re looking for. While the kids play on Mount Tabor Park’s famous big slide, you can always catch the popular apple butter boiling demonstration. And, even with the rain, Mount Tabor Church put on a great event for locals to stop by and see.

All items sold at the park were donated by locals who enjoy giving back to the community, and the proceeds made for the event go toward keeping Mount Tabor Park a great place for everyone to gather.

At the end of the day on Saturday, there were still lots of great deals and great items being sold. Tons of cool memorabilia, lamps, cards, custom benches, and so much more were still available for patrons to check out, and they’re sure to have more donated items for next year.

It’s a great yearly festival that showcases how shopping local benefits our community, and Mount Tabor Park is a beautiful place because of it.

If you missed out on the chaos of festival weekend this year, brave the traffic and give it a shot in 2024 to help support your hometowns and pick up some really great memories along the way.  

Cover: Rain doesn’t stop the town of Thurmont and visitors from all over from showing support to all the vendors at Colorfest.

Photos by Blair Garrett

Connie Smith sells baked goods to benefit Saint Stephen’s Church of Cascade during Sabillasville Mountain Fest.

Mount Tabor Park’s Ridgefest sells a variety of donated items to support the park.

Tammy Haycroft shows off her variety of detailed and custom pens at Sabillasville Mountain Fest.

Antietam Dairy serves up ice cream and smiles at Sabillasville Mountain Fest.

Christiana Graham (left) and Tom Peterson (right) check out some of Colorfest’s tastiest treats at Calvert Kettle Corn.

by Helen Xia, CHS Student Writer

You read the title. You know what we’re going to discuss: Colorfest. Although the rain that Saturday didn’t do us any favors, the following day, the sky was clear again, and it overlooked the vibrant streets bustling with life. Overnight, it seemed like our cozy town of Thurmont became a crowded city.

This year, I struggled to pick a topic regarding Colorfest to write about. I wanted to capture a meaningful essence of the event, so I reflected on what Colorfest made me, as a consumer, think about. Initially, I considered writing about Colorfest’s food options and how they came to be; however, as I gazed at the long lines and busy workers, I decided I’d rather not be a nuisance and hold up the lines with my interview questions.

I continued to walk around, searching for inspiration. I noticed friendly art vendors, standing gleefully by their pieces and initiating conversations with shoppers. This heartwarming sight brought me back to a personality quiz I took online, where one of my defining characteristics was “sees the commercial value in art.” That must mean some people don’t see the commercial value in art, which was a foreign concept to me. Settling on that train of thought, I decided that’s what I wanted this month’s article to be about. I wanted to look into art and its contributions to the world, especially since Colorfest unites so many skilled artists and craftspeople every year.

Even from a strictly economic standpoint, art is undeniably valuable. According to the Statista Research Department, in 2022, the global art market value reached 67.8 billion dollars—the highest number in the past 15 years. Surprisingly, the United States accounted for a whopping 45 percent—30.2 billion dollars—of the world’s art market, followed by the United Kingdom with 18 percent. This makes sense, considering a study conducted by Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, which found that 41 of the world’s 50 most costly fine art lots were sold in New York in 2022, leading to a remarkable recovery of our art market from the pandemic.

Popularity-wise, art wins, too. Market research company YouGov concluded that around 80 percent of Americans have art in their homes. Of that percentage, over half of them have at least photographs or paintings displayed in their houses. Interestingly, older citizens—those 55 and older—are more likely to frame their artwork before hanging it on their walls.

Art’s emotional influences prompt people to purchase, analyze, and create art in the first place. For instance, with, say, abstract art, it’s not always so much about the artist’s skill as it is about what the audience feels when they observe these artworks. Numbers and statistics won’t do these impacts justice, so I interviewed a few artists I visited at Colorfest.

First, I stopped by Salvaged Suncatchers, where I chatted with Mary about her business and motivations. “I make suncatchers and ornaments from repurposed materials, like old jewelry, chandeliers, antiques, chains, and hooks from thrift stores,” she explained. She adds an artistic touch to material, from loose beads to leftover fishing wire that otherwise would’ve been forgotten. “They catch light inside or outside, wherever anyone needs some extra sparkle.” (Some of Salvaged Suncatchers’ products are shown below.)

When I asked what impels her to create, she replied that putting together suncatchers is therapeutic. “Stress relief to take my mind off the rest of the world,” she revealed. “I’m also environmentally motivated to keep material out of the landfill because I work with the environment. Material like broken jewelry ends up there a lot of the time. I enjoy the thrifting aspect of it, too, and I enjoy sharing art to brighten others’ spaces.”

Regarding some of the invisible impacts of art, she shared that art “brings uniqueness to our world. Each piece of art is original and one-of-a-kind—no two of the suncatchers I make are the same. Art is hard to re-create—there are no identical paintings or photographs. The world would be empty without original art; a lot of what you see in T.J. Maxx and other shops is predictable. I like observing art from others’ spaces to see the differences between what they enjoy.” You can learn more about Mary’s store via her Salvaged Suncatchers Facebook page.

Additionally, I visited Because Science, which combines science and art to make science-inspired gifts. They offer a wide range of products, from stationery to keychains and other novelties. “We make art out of recycled circuit boards and other computer components to give it a second life. The colors are original—we don’t change the colors of the material we use. We find art within the boards,” the vendor described.

Much like Salvaged Suncatchers, Because Science emphasized the therapy and sustainability factors behind their art: “[I make art] to keep my hands and mind busy. The main goal is to minimize the electronic waste that ends up in landfills and to find a better second life for these electronics—most of it just sits in basements. We have e-waste programs in our store, where people can bring in their waste to be repurposed. Electronic waste is a lot worse than other types of waste, so we work toward bringing awareness and creating unique art.”

Lastly, Because Science offered insight into an underappreciated attribute of art. “If anything makes you stop and think about perspectives other than your own, then that has a lot of meaning. It centers you and highlights how big the world really is outside of your bubble. Things may seem one way and be another.” If you’d like to learn more about Because Science, visit their store in Washington, D.C., or on their website at

Evidently, there’s a lot to be gained from admiring and producing art, and there’s a lot to browse at Colorfest! Now that it’s November, other festive gatherings are coming up, such as the Thurmont Christmas Market Craft and Vendor Show on November 18-19 at the Thurmont Event Complex.

In October, there were several festivals to enjoy, such as the Catoctin Furnace’s Fallfest on October 13-14, Sabillasville’s Mountain Fest Car & Truck Show on October 14, and Fort Ritchie’s Fall Fest on October 21.

Here’s a quick rundown of what happened: The Catoctin Furnace provided blacksmithing demonstrations, kids activities, and apple butter sales; Sabillasville hosted food trucks, local vendors, carnival games, and more—for free; and Fort Ritchie had hay rides, local vendors, and a farmers market, amongst other sources of entertainment.

We live in a cozy town, and there’s a lot to be thankful for here! I hope everyone has had a great start to the autumn season and enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving

Blair Garrett

There’s no doubt that the way businesses have had to operate has changed forever.

More people than ever before are finding new ways to make their careers compatible with the world around us. The ability for so many different industries to work remotely has revolutionized the way businesses operate, and it may only be just the beginning.

Conversely, mobile businesses have found a niche in a wide variety of markets, bringing their products and services directly to the customers instead of having a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

Over the past few years, outdoor events like Colorfest, music festivals, and craft shows have seen growing numbers of food trucks catering to hungry event-goers with on-site food prepared almost hibachi-style right in front of your eyes.

The food market is a popular roving business, but it’s far from the only one meeting customers out in the wild.

Meet.Plant.Love is a brand new business, blazing the trails of mobile plant sales, operating at markets and events held locally in Maryland. “We kind of operate like a food truck, but we’re selling house plants,” said Lee Hufnagel, owner of Meet.Plant.Love.

Lee and Jackie Hufnagel kicked off their business in May, and in just a few short months, they’ve been able to spread plant love all over Frederick County.

“We discussed opening up a storefront, but that’s obviously a very big step,” Lee said. “We wanted to build around the whole experience of houseplants and taking care of them with the community, which is kind of how we got our name. That’s the ‘Meet’ portion of it, and that’s where the mobile part comes in.”

The two got their start in a unique way, too. At the start of a turbulent 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty about what the next few months might look like. With clear information at a minimum and panic at an all-time high, many people needed to latch on to things that brought them comfort.

For Jackie, that thing was houseplants. “Every time I would try to conquer feelings of anxiety, I would buy a houseplant,” Jackie said.

Little did they know, that her anxiety-relief tool would turn into their own mobile business, where they get to go out and meet tons of people interested in plants and share a bit of their expertise.

“We’re selling houseplants, cactus, succulents, hanging baskets, and things like that,” Jackie said. “During a few shows this summer, we offered outdoor plants; we’ve had mums and herbs. We like to have a little bit of something for everybody.”

Meet.Plant.Love often posts where they’ll be on their Instagram and Facebook accounts, and you may just catch them at a brewery, winery, or an event near you.

There’s nothing more relaxing than catching up with a few friends at your favorite pub over an ice-cold drink. But your favorite cocktail may be heading your way in the near future.

Mobile bars are a huge hit in beach towns like Ocean City, Maryland, and Wildwood, New Jersey.

A dozen partygoers and a liquor-loaded liaison hop onto a rectangular bar mounted on wheels, powered by the pedaling guests partaking in the festivities. It’s a great way to cruise a boardwalk in a fun environment while sharing a drink with your friends, but it’s far from the only mobile bar out there.

Similar to how food trucks are showing up and delivering meals on wheels, mobile cocktail bars are handcrafting your favorite Moscow mules, mojitos, and Long Island iced teas.

Presley’s Mobile Cocktail Bar in Philadelphia has renovated an old trailer and modernized the bartender-to-customer experience with the changing times. It’s a smooth transition to bring and drop off your bar to a location, craft a menu to fit the needs of the event, and then pack it up for your next adventure. Mobility allows companies like Presley’s to open up the base of clients to fit a huge market.  

Mobile bars are revolutionizing the way catering companies deal with weddings and work outings, and that is a trend that is not going away any time soon. So, be on the lookout for more to pop up in the near future.

Taking your dog to the groomer can be a tremendous chore to fit around your work schedule. If your pooch doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with other dogs, you may need to wait hours for your pet to be cleaned up and ready to go.

Mobile groomers and veterinary services are a rapidly growing business, offering options out there to contour to even the busiest of schedules.

Pets are often uncomfortable in the car or don’t handle being away from home or their owners, so mobile pet care can alleviate some of the stress for your beloved furry friends.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that people have to be adaptable and open to change. Many of the storefront businesses have taken the lockdown situation and unlocked a creative way to make their companies thrive, and this might be just the beginning.

Meet.Plant.Love’s mobile market has tons of houseplants sure to add color and beauty to any room in the house.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Recently, members of the Thurmont Grange met to prepare fruit baskets for area shut-ins for the holiday season. Approximately 40 fruit baskets, containing fruit, canned items, apple butter, crossword puzzles, and other canned and packaged items, were made and distributed to various persons in the surrounding area. Many thanks to Catoctin Mountain Orchard for donating a half-bushel of apples along with the gift boxes that were used for the fruit baskets.

Grange members also adopted a needy family through the Thurmont Food Bank and purchased items the family requested for the holiday season. They also donated canned items to the Thurmont Food Bank as part of a community service project. 

In addition, the Grange will be sending a care package to Elijah Moser, grandson of Russell and Sidney Moser, who are members of the Grange. Elijah is in the service and is presently stationed in England. 

Several members were recognized for their membership in the Grange: Ethel and Alan Brauer (50 years), Sandy Moser (60 years), and Mary Kathryn “Peg” Long (70 years). Congratulations to all of these members for their Grange membership. 

We also are deeply saddened by the recent loss of Grange member, Gail T. Powell, who was a very active member in the Grange. She could always be found helping out during the Community Show dinner and also during Colorfest and other activities. Her smile and willingness to assist wherever needed will be greatly missed.

Thurmont Grange members prepare fruit baskets for area shut-ins.

During the annual Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. banquet at Simply Asia in Thurmont on November 18, 2019, Carol Robertson, president of Catoctin Colorfest, Inc., reported that the weather during the annual Colorfest event, held in October, was the “best ever!” The sunny, calm, temperate weekend resulted in record numbers in attendance, sales, smooth operations, and favorable public opinion.

Statistics to note include that The Thurmont Ambulance Company sold almost 11,000 apple dumplings, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church sold 490 crab cake sandwiches. Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. had 237 food and craft vendors that produced $14,290 in permit revenue for the town.

It was with happiness that Carol presented $20,308.17 to various community organizations who support the event. The Guardian Hose Company: $1,500; Thurmont Ambulance Company: $1,500 and two vendor spaces; Thurmont Police Department: $1,500; Catoctin High FFA Scholarship Hog: $1,650; Catoctin High School Student Scholarships: $4,500; Town of Thurmont garden supplies: $168.17; Commissioners of Thurmont: $5,000; Gift Cards $100; Thurmont Food Bank: 220 meal baskets worth $3,500; a bereavement basket: $150; Christmas decorations for Mechanic’s Town Park: $100; and family Christmas meals: $150.

Recognition was observed in the memory of John Brown, a founder of Catoctin Colorfest and past president, who passed this past July. Carol recalled that he would tumble gems for sale during the early events before opening his jewelry business in Thurmont.

The 57th Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. event will be held October 10-11, 2020.Members of the Colorfest, Inc. Board of Directors and representatives of recipient agencies (from left): Jeff Wood (Catoctin Colorfest), Jim Humerick (Town of Thurmont and Thurmont Ambulance Co.), Mary Edwards, Frank Taylor, Mike Ancarrow, Carol Robertson, Nancy Mooney, Ted Zimmerman, and Cathy Maverick (Catoctin Colorfest), Harold Bollinger and Sally Joyner-Giffin (Thurmont Food Bank), Wayne Stackhouse (Guardian Hose Company), and John Kinnaird (Town of Thurmont).

Megan Doolittle

Elower-Sicilia Productions (ESP) ESP dancers are back for a new dance year and are excited to dance for their community! The dancers loved dancing at the Community Show, as well as the Thurmont Art & Wine Stroll! They will also perform at Colorfest in the Thurmont town park on both Saturday and Sunday at noon. While ESP is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the ESP Performing Company has been working hard at brand new choreography for a new year. ESP is so lucky to have such a great group of dancers, who love to express their love for dance through their performances. ESP Performing Company has a couple of events coming up in the near future that we would like to invite you to attend!  

ESP would like to invite all to come and participate in the 9th Annual ESP 5k “Superheroes On The Run Fighting through Breast Cancer” on October 26, 2019. We are again proud to use this event to honor our dear ESP friend who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010. Pamela Gray Hobbs was a dancer, teacher, and parent affiliated with ESP for over 20 years. She remains in our hearts. In memory of Pam, a portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to help support Maggie Kudirka, aka “The Bald Ballerina.”  Maggie is a Maryland native who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 23, while she was dancing with the Joffrey Ballet Company in New York.  Maggie has been a strong advocate for breast cancer awareness.  The money raised will help with the cost of Maggie’s increasingly large medical bills, as she has already received 85 maintenance treatments. 

We always like to have a little fun with this event! So besides running a beautiful course lined with dancers cheering you on, this year we will be holding a contest for the most creative, most powerful and the cutest costumes! Runners and volunteers will be entered into this contest and the winners will receive a prize. Please register at ESP Dance Studio @ 15 Water St. Thurmont or you can register on Active:

For more information, contact the studio at 301-271-7458. Be sure to check them out on Facebook.

The ESP Performing Company would like to extend a special “thank you” to the Thurmont community, The Catoctin Banner, and to The Frederick Arts Council for all of their continued support.

ESP taking its fight to new heights.

Mayor John Kinnaird

Thurmont has survived yet another Colorfest weekend, probably the best one we have seen weather-wise and crowd-wise in the past five years or so. Saturday was an amazing day, despite starting out cloudy, and Sunday was just as nice. First and foremost, I want to thank our residents for making this a great weekend; your patience and understanding go a long way to making this event work for all of us. As you may know, many of our local non-profits count on Colorfest as their biggest fundraiser of the year. I want to thank all the vendors and Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. for coming out this year and helping to make the weekend a success. Thanks, also, to our town staff, both our office workers and the outdoor crews. The office staff had been working for several weeks making sure everything was planned and that vendors were able to get their permits. Our outdoor crew worked all weekend making sure that things ran smoothly. The Electric crew handled an emergency outage on Friday evening and got everything back in working order in no time. Our Police Department was also out in full force making sure there were no issues. I want to thank our department heads including CAO Jim Humerick, Chief Greg Eyler and Public Works Superintendent Butch West for helping make this weekend a pleasant experience for our guests and vendors. I want to mention that we had three amazing companies helping us this weekend, Tim May Investigations and Security provided additional security personnel to help guide pedestrian traffic throughout the town in a very professional and courteous manner; Rill’s Bus Service supplied buses and drivers to help move our guests form the parking areas to Colorfest quickly and safely; and finally, Key Sanitation worked hard to provide our trash and sanitary facilities. Without these fine companies providing these services, Colorfest would not be the smooth-running operation that it is. Come Monday morning, our street crew had cleared away almost all remaining indications that anything had occurred over the weekend and things quickly returned to normal for another year.

The leaves are starting to change colors, the daylight is getting shorter, and the temperatures are dropping as we head into the Fall. Be sure to keep an eye open for our children as they make their way to school. They may not always watch when crossing our streets, so be sure to be on the lookout for them. Remember that these cool mornings can mean the roads are slippery!

Christmas in Thurmont will be here before we know it! This year, it will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017. Be sure to watch for upcoming information about this annual event.

As I write this article, we are preparing for the Thurmont Municipal Elections on October 31. There are three seats up for election: two commissioners and the mayor. I want everyone to know that it has been an absolute pleasure serving these past four years as mayor of the Town of Thurmont. I have decided to run for office again, and I will be honored to serve our great community for another term if I am re-elected.

As always, I can be contacted by phone at 301-606-9458, by email at, or you can just stop me if you want to talk about an issue or concern in our community.

Thurmont American Legion Post 168

Ed Gravatt, Past Commander

Just in case any of you haven’t noticed, the Town of Thurmont did an excellent job in cleaning up after Colorfest, and wasn’t it a beautiful weekend. I want to send out a big “Thank You” to several members of our Sons of the American Legion for their tireless efforts getting our Octoberfest set up and cleaned up. Without their assistance, it wouldn’t have come off so effortlessly. Now we can start planning for next year.

In the past couple of months, we have had to do some extensive repairs, and there will be a handicap restroom in the near future. All of this required some patience, both on our part and from members who had to contend with our construction mess and inconveniences.

There is some really good entertainment here at the Legion this month. On Saturday, November 4, 5 1/2 Men will be here again; pretty soon, they might have to change their name to 5 3/4 Men. They are a very good band, playing a variety of music from country to Rock to Pop. On November 11, we have the honor to have the Catoctin High School Safe & Sane Dance here again this year. This is an excellent event, raising funds to help keep our Kids SAFE, and out of trouble. On November 17, we will have TC Beats in our party room.

Please remember that our kitchen is open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Doreen and Christi do a wonderful job; we are lucky to have them.  The soups and specials from our kitchen are made from scratch and could compare to any of the finest restaurants around. Come on out for a good meal. Join us for the Ace of Hearts drawing on Wednesdays or for Bingo on Thursdays, along with  some great entertainment on most Fridays.

We, here at the Edwin C Creeger American Legion Post 168, would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. For any of you who may be venturing into the wilderness this month in search of the elusive White Tail Deer, please have a safe and successful hunt.

Ed Gravatt, Past Commander

Colorfest is now a memory; all the yard sales are over and the colors of fall are bright and quite vivid, despite the overall dry weather we have had. I just hope that I am done with mowing.

The Ace of Hearts is a new game; we had a winner last month with the pot over $12,500; she walked away that night with tears of joy and a check for approximately $7,700. Our new game is at $2,300 now; someone is going to win, sooner or later. So, come on out and play. All you have to do to play is be a member in any Post, Son Auxiliary, or regular member. Our kitchen is open for the Ace of Hearts, as well as for Bingo, on Thursdays, and on Fridays and Sundays, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

We are having some entertainment on Fridays: Firehouse DJ on November 4, Jimmy Jones on November 11, and DJ Jake on November 25. On November 18, we are having our Thanksgiving Ham and Turkey Night; there will be some meat packs, and we will be giving away some turkeys and some hams. Come on down and take home Thanksgiving dinner.

We have a Henry Leaver Action Big Boy .44 Magnum to give away to the lucky winner; tickets are only $1.00 each. I hope I win, but if not me, maybe you.

by Theresa Dardanell

Thurmont Police and the Community — An Important Partnership

When asked what he wanted the Thurmont citizens to know, Chief Gregory Eyler said, “We want to be in a partnership with the community. We want them to be involved with our department and assist us in any way they can, and we will assist them and serve and protect them as much as we can.”

This partnership is the basis for “community policing,” police and citizens working together to detect and prevent crime. Community policing was instrumental in solving the recent pipe bomb incident. The Thurmont police, together with allied agencies and numerous tips from citizens, were able to solve that crime. Although the police were concerned that they had been targeted, they were more concerned that the citizens were extremely frightened that this happened in Thurmont. The officers have been working to assure the public that only the police were targeted and that the community is safe.

The investigation into the report of gunshots on July 14 is continuing. The department has already received numerous tips from citizens, but welcomes any additional information. That incident triggered a Reverse 911, which means that residents in that area receive notification to Shelter-in-place (stay in your home, lock the doors, shut the windows) until notified that it is safe to leave. When an incident occurs, the police department notifies the Frederick County Office of Emergency Management. That department then contacts residents in the area of concern. There are also several ways that citizens can receive information. Citizens can sign up for NIXLE ( to receive information sent out by the police department via e-mail or on their smartphone, or they can sign up for the community alert system ( to receive e-mail notices only.

Although public safety is the chief concern of the department, community outreach and community service programs are also very important. Information about these services is available on the website.

Bicycle registration is a free service that provides help if your bicycle is ever lost or stolen.

The Ride Along program is available to residents because Chief Eyler believes that it is important for the public to see what they do.

The sign board in front of the police station provides important information.

The Medication/drug disposal container in the lobby of the police station makes it easy to safely dispose of these items. This has been a very successful program that eliminates thousands of pounds of medications.

There is a room in the lobby of the police station with an abundance of information provided by the National Child Safety Council. There are pamphlets and brochures for children and adults about drugs, bicycle safety, crime prevention, home and personal safety, travel safety, domestic violence, identity crime, and much more. These are available and free to everyone. Coloring books with safety information for children are also available. Just stop by and pick up what you need.

The “Safety Pup,” part of the commitment to safety for children, is a new program. The Department’s code officer eagerly volunteered to take on this role and dress up as the adorable Safety Pup, providing a friendly face to children at public events and at the beginning of the school year.

Several annual events provide a great opportunity for the police and community to get together.

National Night Out encourages interaction between the community and local law enforcement. It is a family event, with activities for children and a picnic for the community. It was held this year on August 2 and was very well attended. If you are interested in helping out next year or have ideas for more activities for children, your input would be welcome.

The “shred event” was a great success, with thousands of pounds of paper collected and shredded.

Shop with a Cop and Fish with a Cop are enjoyed not only by the children but also by the officers who volunteer for these activities.

Colorfest is one of the annual responsibilities of the department. Chief Eyler begins preparation by coordinating with the security company, public works department, civilian staff, and the fire/rescue departments. He has been pleased with the successful operations in the past, but he always prepares for the unexpected. During Colorfest weekend, a command post staffed with officers is set up to monitor the event. Officers on foot and on bike patrol work to maintain safety and security.

All of these safety and community outreach services are handled by sixteen members in the department. Along with the chief of police and deputy chief of police, the department consists of one sergeant, two corporals, and eight patrol officers, as well as an administrative coordinator, receptionist, and a code officer. K9 Buddy is also an important member of the department. The patrol officers provide 24-hour coverage, seven days a week. Along with a fleet of thirteen police vehicles, the department has two Mountain bikes equipped with emergency lights and sirens.

Everything done by the department follows the primary mission: “In partnership with our citizens through Community Policing, we will strive to detect and prevent crime and provide the best quality of life for the citizens of Thurmont.”

Thurmont American Legion Post 168

Ed Gravatt, Past Commander
Guess what? It’s time for Colorfest already! Get the swimming pools covered and start raking those leaves. It’s time to get the air conditioners covered or taken out of the windows and to fill up those oil tanks—old man winter is on its way.

Speaking of Colorfest, here at the Legion, there is 140 spaces for vendors. There will also be almost anything you may desire to eat, along with delicious desserts and an adult beverage of your choice. For you football fans, there are several TVs—with college football on Saturday and NFL on Sunday, in our beer garden.

Starting in October, we will again be having entertainment every weekend, mostly on Fridays, but also on a couple of Saturday nights, just to make it interesting. On Saturday, October 29, our Halloween party is always a fun time. This year, we are having Jimmy James with DJ/Karaoke. Don’t forget to wear your costume!

The ace of hearts is going well; at the time of this writing, there is in excess of $10,000 in the pot. Come on down, even if you are a member of a different legion—somebody is going to win sooner or later.

On Sundays during the NFL season, there are several TVs with the Direct TV NFL package—no reason you cannot watch the game of your choice. The kitchen is here on Wednesday for the ace of hearts crew, Thursday for the bingo players, and Friday night dinners with some specials and good burgers. On Sunday, there is a good selection of items that Art served up for your enjoyment while you enjoy the games.

After this month, we will be closing out pavilion for the winter, so if you want to use it, check with us for availability. Our ballroom upstairs is available for rental, full kitchen, bar and the largest wooden dance floor in Frederick County—perfect for a reception, a dinner, or for almost any type of event.

Sons of AMVETS Squadron 7

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, the Sons of AMVETS Squadron 7 is hosting a free Veterans Breakfast, from 7:00-11:00 a.m. They will honor all Veterans with a free buffet-style breakfast; for the family of the Veteran, the cost will be $5.00 for adults; $2.50 for ages seven to fourteen; and free for ages six and under. This event is open to the public.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19, 2016, for the Sons of AMVETS Squadron 7’s Steamed Shrimp & Fried Chicken Feed. Doors will open at 3:00 p.m. The cost is $20.00 per person and includes sides and beverage. This event is open to the public. Proceeds benefit the community and Veterans.

Hamrick and Buehrer Win in Unopposed Election

James Rada, Jr.

Thurmont Commissioners Wes Hamrick and Bill Buehrer retained their seats on the Thurmont Board of Commissioners after the town election on October 27, 2015.

A total of 209 residents voted in the town election, and although both men were running unopposed, neither candidate garnered the total support of the votes. Hamrick received 199 votes and Buehrer received 167 votes.

The difference was made up of write-in votes for seven different candidates, including former Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee.

Hamrick and Buehrer were sworn in during the November 3 town meeting.

“I know Wes and I are most appreciative,” Buehrer said of the people who turned out to vote.

He said that he wished more people had turned out to vote, but that at least the turnout wasn’t as low as the town election in Emmitsburg, which also had two commissioners running unopposed.

Buehrer and Hamrick had both posted campaign signs around town in the hopes of encouraging voters to come out and vote, but the commissioners heard after the election that some people had forgotten about the election since there weren’t any major issues or contested races involved. Mayor John Kinnaird said that he would like to set sign boards and banners up for the next election to hopefully avoid the problem of low voter turnout.

This will be Buehrer’s second term on the board and Hamrick’s first full term. Hamrick won the special election to fill the unexpired term of John Kinnaird when he was elected mayor in 2013.

Fall Fundraiser at Lawyer’s Farm a Huge Success

lawyer fundraiserThanks to all participants who helped to raise $12,238 for the American Cancer Society (ACS) and $776 for the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) during the Lawyer’s Farm 2nd Annual Fall Fundraiser on November 1, 2015.

This year, Lawyer’s “Hogan Strong” corn maze was made in the shape of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s image. Governor Hogan and his family attended the event. Taylor (Lawyer) Huffman of Lawyer’s Farm said, “We had a beautiful day, and Governor Hogan said that even though a concert by Tim McGraw with a ‘shout-out’ was great, being in a field of corn for a great cause was the highlight of being Governor so far!” He donated $1,500 from the Hogan Strong campaign to the fundraiser.

Frederick County’s Chief Executive Officer Jan Gardner signed a proclamation that November 1 is Jan Lawyer Day in Frederick County! Jan Lawyer is Taylor’s father, who succumbed to brain cancer in December 2013. Jan Lawyer was a driving force behind Lawyer’s Farm operations, and is remembered because of his outgoing, friendly personality and his driven work ethics. Taylor expressed, “That was certainly the highlight of my day! So cool.”

To make donations to these causes, please visit the and find the Fall Fundraiser tab, with links to donate to ACS or ABTA.

Thurmont’s Think Pink Raises $10,000 for Patty Hurwitz Fund

Deb Spalding

DSC_1875Thurmont  Rocks! The check says $9,407; however, with a few last minute business and personal donations, Think Pink ends up raising a total of $10,000 in the month of October for the Patty Hurwitz Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH). All of the funds stay in Frederick County to help people with cancer.

Extended gratitude goes out to all of the participating businesses; customers who patronized the participating businesses; all who turned on a pink light bulb; those who walked, ran, or donated to the Thurmont Think Pink 5K; those who participated in the Think Pink Paint Night; and those who purchased tote bags, cookbooks, decals, or a T-shirt.

The vast community support for Think Pink further demonstrates that Thurmont is a superior municipality in Frederick County, because this is a community that unites for a greater cause!

Thurmont Think Pink Businesses and Organizations: YOU are the core of this program. A thank you seems so insignificant for all of your dedication and contributions for The Patty Hurwitz Fund at FMH, and a Gateway To The Cure, so please know how much you make the difference for this extremely worthy cause.

Thurmont presented a check with proceeds from Thurmont’s Think Pink to the Patty Hurwitz Fund. Pictured from left are Jim Humerick, Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer; Bill Buehrer, Town Commissioner; Vickie Grinder, Thurmont Main Street Manager; Wayne Hooper, Town Commissioner; Mayor John Kinnaird; Patty Hurwitz;  Martin Burns, Town Commissioner; Jeff Hurwitz; and Wes Hamrick, Town Commissioner.

Colorfest Donates Nearly $17,000 to Thurmont Organizations

James Rada, Jr.

Colorfest donationsWhile the Colorfest event in October over for this year, monetary donations to town organizations were made during the Colorfest annual meeting at Simply Asia in Thurmont on November 9, 2015.

“I think everybody was happy with the weekend. I don’t know what we could have done better,” said Colorfest President Carol Robertson, speaking about October’s Colorfest weekend.

During the weekend, the Town of Thurmont issued 713 permits to vendors, including 552 craft vendors. Robertson also said that on the Monday following the end of Colorfest, she started getting calls from vendors who want to participate in 2016, and on the Wednesday after Colorfest, she started getting applications from returning vendors.

“And it hasn’t stopped yet,” she said.

Many organizations in Thurmont have booths at Colorfest to hold fundraisers, and organizations that have the room also rent spaces to vendors. These create significant income streams for the organizations. In addition, Colorfest, Inc. makes annual donations each year to different organizations.

From December 2014 to November 2015, Colorfest made the following donations:

  • $1,500 to Guardian Hose


  • $1,500 to Thurmont Ambulance Company plus $500 worth of vendor space.
  • $1,500 to the Thurmont Police Department.
  • $2,551.80 to Catoctin High FFA.
  • $3,500 worth of Catoctin High scholarships.
  • $300 for straw for the Town of Thurmont.
  • $80 for the Town Gardens.
  • $2,500 to the Thurmont commissioners to hopefully be used for town parks.
  • $50 gift card for the Thurmont road crews.
  • $1,800 worth of canned hams to the Thurmont Food Bank plus $500 in the spring and $200 in the fall.
  • $100 to the Thurmont Regional Library.
  • $200 for Thurmont Christmas decorations.
  • $150 to Thurmont Main Street.

The grand total of all of the donations was $16,932.80.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird told Robertson, “The entire community has benefitted from your crafters and other crafters in town for Colorfest.”

Catoctin Colorfest President Carol Robertson presents Thurmont Food Bank Coordinator Rev. Sally Joyner Giffin the first of 800 canned hams that Catoctin Colorfest, Inc. donated to the food bank.

Emmitsburg Certified a Sustainable Maryland Community

James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg SM Awards Photo 2015  Dave Haller and Mayor Don   Briggs (2)Emmitsburg was one of twelve Maryland towns honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference, held in Cambridge at the end of October.

Emmitsburg has been working toward the certification for a year.

“We had many things lined up and done before we even applied,” said Mayor Don Briggs.

Highlights of the things that Emmitsburg did to earn the certification include:

  • Completed the replacement of all 330 town-owned streetlights with LED energy-efficient bulbs,  cutting streetlight energy use by nearly 70 percent and the town’s  overall energy use by 10 percent.
  • Installed approximately two  megawatts of solar panels to provide 95-100 percent renewable energy to run a new, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant.
  • Hosts a weekly Farmers Market.
  • Home to one “Maryland Green School” within its boundaries: Mother Seton School.
  • Maintains a small Community Garden for residents.
  • Adopted a Green Purchasing Policy for procurement of  municipal goods and services.
  • Created a network of fifteen miles of natural surface trails, utilizing over 1,000 hours of volunteer work and approximately $300,000 in private donations.

Some of these things are already saving the town money. Briggs said that replacing the town lights with LED lights did not cost anything because of a grant from the Maryland Department of Energy and rebates from Potomac Edison.

“So we immediately were saving 40 percent on the electric costs,” Briggs said. “Also, the old lights had to be replaced every three years. The LED lights are ten-year lights.”

Briggs said that the town applied for the certification to get recognized for their efforts to create a greener community, and to also support a worthy program in the state.

“It also puts us in a better position to take advantage of things to come,” Briggs said.

To achieve certification, municipalities are required to form a Green Team comprised of local residents, community leaders, municipal staff, and officials; complete a variety of sustainability-related actions worth a total of at least 150 points (including two mandatory actions and two of six priority actions); and submit the appropriate documentation as evidence that the Sustainable Maryland Certified requirements have been satisfied.

“We are excited to welcome more municipalities to the growing Sustainable Maryland community,” said Dan Nees, director of the Environmental Finance Center. “This program is a hallmark of our work at the Environmental Finance Center, guiding communities towards healthier, more sustainable futures. Each certification award represents the commitment of local elected officials, municipal staff, and Green Team volunteers in these towns and cities to create a stronger, more resilient Maryland.”

Brunswick was the only other Frederick County community to receive a certification as a Maryland Sustainable Community. Only 19 percent of Maryland municipalities (30) are Sustainable Maryland Certified.

For more information about Sustainable Maryland, visit

Dave Haller, Emmitsburg Town Manager, and Emmitsburg’s Mayor Don Briggs, are shown at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference.

Scotty’s Ride

This year marked the 10th Annual Scotty’s Ride, held September 26, 2015. Riders departed at 10:00 a.m. from Emmitsburg’s Jubilee parking lot, with approximately two hundred motorcycles roaring west on Route 16 to visit their first stop: Blue Ridge Summit Sportsman’s Club. The ride then continued on to the Mountain House, located in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. The ride also stopped at Yianni’s Greenwood Tavern in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania (formally Bobbie A’s), and then circled back to Dave and Jane’s Crab House in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

All Scotty’s Ride participants reunited at Kerry and Val Shorb’s home in Emmitsburg for the “After Ride Celebration”, along with friends and family from all over who didn’t ride but came out to celebrate the benefit event that evening. Approximately four hundred people attended Scotty’s Ride making this one of the largest turnouts for the celebration. Participants enjoyed live entertainment with the band,”RedLine”, a “Closest to the Pin” contest, Corn Hole tournaments, good food and refreshments. John McCabe of Fairfield, Pennsylvania was the winner of the raffle for a 2016 Indian Scout motorcycle or $10,000.

Kerry Shorb was proud to announce that this year marked the tenth annual Scotty’s Ride and to date has donated approximately $100,000 to families and children with medical needs. Scotty’s Ride thanks all of you who came out to support a great cause. Special thanks to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department, the Frederick County Fire Police, and the Town of Emmitsburg. Sponsors included: My Father’s Footsteps Hair Design, Jubilee Foods, Big Hook Crane & Rigging, Sons of the American Legion Post 121, Francis X Elder Post 121 American Legion, Ladies Auxiliary Post 121, Mountain Liquors, Inc., Trout’s Supreme Seafood, Steve Bittle Tent Rentals, Gettysburg Elementary School, Main Street Sweets, AMVETS Riders Chapter 172, AMVETS Post 172, Toops Troops, Greene’s Trucking, Heritage Cycles, LLC, M & O Exterior Applicators, Inc., Hobbs Cycle, Hillside Inn, AC & T Co., Gateway Farm Market & Candyland, The Ott House, Harrington’s Equipment Co., State Line Gun Exchange, Silo Hill Exxon, Carleo’s Italian Restaurant, The Carriage House Inn, E Plus Copy Center, Window World of Frederick, Ventura’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Village Book & Table, Rick’s Power Washing & Connie Few, Baugher’s Country Restaurant & Fruit Market, Redland Embroidery & Desserts, Dougherty Ice Co., Napa Auto Parts, Advanced Auto Parts, Ace Distributing, No Anchovies, Paul’s Pit Stop, Beaver Dam Lumber, LLC, Bollinger’s Restaurant, The Links at Gettysburg, Zurgable Brothers, Inc., Rube’s Crab Shack, LLC, Harley Davidson of Frederick, Battlefield Harley Davidson, Sunrise Soap Company, Mountain View Golf Club, Emmitsburg New-Journal, Shriver’s Meats, Grandma Gems Family Restaurant, Tahiti Sun, VCP Vanessa’s Corner Pub, Tony’s Café and Pizzeria, The Palms Restaurant & Bar, Hernley’s Polaris/Victory, Hobbs Auction, McDonalds, Zales Jewelers, Stouffer’s Custom Cycles, Ernie’s Texas Lunch, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, Inc., Mountain House, Yianni’s Greenwood Tavern, Dave & Jane’s Crab House, Tim & Pam Duffy, Jim Shorb & Nancy Haines, Ronnie Cool, Darin Fitzgerald, Tony Young, Craig Hahn & Candy Richardson, Doug & Angie Foley, Brian & Kim Stavely, Mike & Cheryl Kulkusky, Doug & Laurie Smith, Moe & Pam Kendall, Tim Wantz, Katherine Dowell, Jeannie Clark, Michael & Kathy McCabe, Chuck and Becky Riggs (In Memory of their daughter Brooke).

by Valerie Nusbaum

I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the holidays are almost here. A few minutes ago, we were sweating and wishing for a break from the heat, and now we’re thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and what to buy Uncle Frank for Christmas. Still, with Thanksgiving approaching, I should acknowledge some things that I’m thankful for.

Randy and I do a little traveling in the fall. In recent years, we’ve done mostly day trips. Though, things don’t always go as smoothly as we’d like. One night, I glanced out the window and saw Randy’s truck pulling up out front. The door flew open, and I looked up to see a scowling, fuming man.

“When did we change our PIN for the ATM?” he fired off.

“We didn’t,” I replied.

My hubby had gone out to run some errands around town, one of which was to get us some cash for our trip to Pennsylvania the next day. He went on to explain that the ATM had spit out the card twice, with the message that he was using an incorrect PIN. He ranted that for the last twenty years, he had been using the same number and now that number wouldn’t work. I asked what number he’d used and he rattled off four digits ending in “9”.

“Well there’s the problem, dear. Our PIN ends in “3”. You just had a brain freeze. Happens all the time to me,” I laughed.

We argued for a while, with each of us sticking to our story; however, in truth, neither of us could say for certain what our PIN number really is. I went upstairs and searched through our old rolodex in the hope that years ago I had written it down. I couldn’t find it there or in the file cabinet. Then my brain turned on, and I looked at Randy and blurted out the correct number. Both of us had been wrong before. His face cleared up, and he agreed that I finally had the right number. We eventually got the mess straightened out.

I’m grateful that our memories aren’t totally gone, that we’re still able to get around, and that the ladies at our bank don’t judge us.

Perhaps we should just give up on using the ATM; on our next outing, we stopped by the bank for some cash. Randy was driving my car. He got a little too close to the building and scraped the tire. I bit my tongue and glared at him. He scowled back at me and proceeded to drop the ATM card out the window. He couldn’t get the car door open far enough to retrieve the card, and the swearing started. There was a car behind us, so we couldn’t back up. I got out, walked around my car, wedged myself between the car and the bank, and picked up the card. I called Randy a bad name, and I apologized to the person behind us. That person shook his head and did not look happy.

We got our money and then drove over to McDonald’s to get some drinks for the road. Randy ordered two senior Diet Cokes. When he pulled around to the window to pay, the young lady took his money and said, “You don’t look like a senior, but ok. Congratulations. You’re doing well.”

Randy spat out, “What the heck does that mean? Should I have said, ‘Why, yes, I’m upright, I’m mobile, and some days I can make water!’” I just looked out the window, hoping that our day would get better. After all, the young woman at McDonald’s hadn’t told me that I was doing well. Evidently, I do look like a senior citizen.

I’m grateful that we’re able to take these trips, that we have a little cash in the bank, and that some businesses give old people a discount.

I am also grateful for MapQuest and GPS, even though Randy often argues with them and tells them how wrong they are.

A nice lady (whose name I didn’t catch) visited us in our booth at Colorfest. She saw our names on our tent banner and wanted to know if we were “that” Randy and Valerie from The Catoctin Banner. I’m always hesitant to admit it until I find out if I’m in trouble, but this lady said she enjoyed reading about us. That same day, a nice gentleman named Russell visited us and told us that he, too, likes reading my column in The Banner.

As always, I’m grateful and amazed that anyone wants to read the things I write, and I’m grateful for my relationships with The Catoctin Banner, Catoctin Colorfest, and the Town of Thurmont.

I’m grateful that my mother and my in-laws are still with us, and I’m thankful for the years I had with my dad. I appreciate my friends—old and new—and I’m grateful for family near and far. Food on the table, clothes on my back, freedom to come and go, and so much more, are things I’m grateful for. Most of all, I’m grateful to have a partner who muddles through life with me. And, of course, I’m thankful for Bill Blakeslee.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have much for which to be grateful

by Chris O’Connor

There’s More to Bonnie than Postage Stamps

Sabillasville resident Bonnie DeLauter is a self-described social butterfly who loves to talk.

Many know her as a hard-working employee of the United States Postal Service (USPS), who runs the post office in Cascade and who is a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville.

I know about her talkative side. She was the first person to befriend me over a decade ago when transferring my then-second grader to Sabillasville Elementary School. We met many times there to join our daughters at lunch. Early on, Bonnie’s gift of gab must have left me looking a bit bewildered while she attempted to fill me in on the lay of the land. Bonnie’s late husband, Steve, noticed the bemused expression on my face. He glanced at me and said, “Confusin’ ain’t it?” I chuckled, but Bonnie didn’t miss a beat and continued to educate me on what to expect in the days to come.

Bonnie and Steve met when she was just fourteen. They dated for close to a decade before marrying in 1982. She worked as a bus driver before taking the civil service exam some thirty years ago and was hired by the USPS, working at post offices ranging from rural post offices on the other side of Hagerstown to Libertytown.

Her only sister, Linda, passed away in 2001, but Bonnie treasures and appreciates the company of her Aunt Virginia in Thurmont, and her aunt and uncle, Dorothy and Richard Valentine of Emmitsburg.

Her husband, Steve, worked for a couple of years in the late 1970s for the Western Maryland/Chessie Railroad, until he turned his full attention to the family farm in Sabillasville, producing grains, hay, fruit, and raising cattle until his passing in 2004. Bonnie and her still young daughter, Karen, returned to her parents place, Donald Harbaugh and her late mom Betty Green Harbaugh’s Sabillasville farm. They resided with her dad, Donald, until building a house on the home place in April 2006.

Bonnie is active in a variety of organizations, including the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Cascade Post 239, of which she is obviously proud. The Legion sponsors many activities to raise money for Veterans who have served our country and philanthropic organizations such as the Patty Pollatos Fund, a non-profit that helps to financially benefit individuals and families in need while in the throes of devastating illnesses and injuries.

One upcoming fundraiser is a gun raffle on September 26. Bonnie helps out by selling tickets to the raffle and lending a hand the day before with food preparation. Raffle tickets are available to the public for $10.00, and can be obtained from Bonnie at the Cascade Post Office or the Legion Hall on McAfee Hill Road.

The Legion’s Mr. and Mrs. Cascade event is being held on October 10 (Colorfest weekend). The light-hearted occasion finds men and women dressed as the opposite sex, participating in a talent showcase. Bonnie’s description of past contests made the coronation sound like more fun than a barrel of monkeys. It is open to the public.

Local businesses donate products, time, and talents for the Spa Day on October 18, which is also a public event. One can enjoy a massage, makeup, manicure, and hair styling. A donation to the Legion is welcomed and ultimately benefits someone in need, especially those who have honored us with their service.

The wide-reaching significance of the Legion to Veterans and residents of the Cascade area is hard to quantify, but Bonnie conveys a perspective that hints at the reach of the Legion’s helping hand. Profits benefit Veterans of our Armed Forces, as well as children for a back-to-school get-together. At Christmas, members attempt to fulfill the wishes of children at Cascade Elementary, whose families might find purchasing a particular gift unaffordable.

Bonnie recounted many touching, heart-warming deeds accomplished by the Legion’s members, which I hope to recount in a future column.

Some years ago, I was a beneficiary of the Legion’s generosity after breaking my leg and receiving a loaner wheelchair from them, thanks to Bonnie’s intervention on my behalf.

She is also a member the Ladies Auxiliary of South Mountain Rod and Gun Club, located on Rt. 77 in Smithsburg, which opens its doors to non-members during holiday celebrations throughout the year.

One tradition Bonnie revisits is cruising to her childhood stomping grounds in Rocky Ridge, helping out wherever needed at the annual Rocky Ridge Carnival. It also affords her the opportunity to chat with friends she can’t see as frequently as she’d like.

Another of her local haunts is Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, where she plays shuffleboard and enjoys a meal and the camaraderie of friends.

Travel is another of Bonnie’s favorite pursuits, though she bemoans the fact that it’s been more than a few years since she has been able to get away. She loves visiting friends in Florida, Oklahoma, and Ohio, while squeezing in one of her favorite spectator sports: bull riding. There’s been a Caribbean cruise or two, and horseback riding at John Flaugher’s place in Florida. John was a great friend to Bonnie’s husband, Steve, and is Karen’s godfather.

Bonnie’s benevolent nature, sense of humor, and easy laugh is testament to her favorite saying, “Life is what you make it.”

James Rada, Jr.

Colorfest, Inc. met for its annual meeting on November 11, 2014, at Simply Asia in Thurmont to elect officers for the coming year and to review its contributions to the Thurmont community.

Colorfest, Inc. earns income from the annual fall festival and returns much of that money back to the community through either cash donations or purchases made on behalf of organizations.

Between December 2013 and November 2014, Colorfest gave $14,486.50 in cash and goods to the Thurmont community.

Here’s how those donations break down: Guardian Hose Company—$1,500; Thurmont Ambulance Company—$1,500; Thurmont Police Department—$1,500; Catoctin High School FFA—$1,164.40 (for a hog purchase at the Community Show, which was donated back and sold again with the proceeds donated to the Thurmont Food Bank); Catoctin High Scholarship—$3,500; Boy Scouts—$50 (for the BSA popcorn fundraiser that was then sent to overseas servicemen); Memorial Day Observance—$25 (for flowers and a wreath at Memorial Park); Straw—$188; Town Gardens—$126.19; Commissioners of Thurmont—$2,000; Gift Card—$50; Thurmont Food Bank—$2,233; Summer Donation—$250; Thurmont Regional Library—$100; Town Christmas Decorations—$200; Thurmont Main Street—$100.

In addition, local businesses and organizations benefit from the increased traffic in town during Catoctin Colorfest weekend. Hotels and restaurants are filled. Gas stations sell more.

Many organizations also use the event as a major fundraiser for their groups. Even residents make money with yard sales.

“We really try to support the local businesses, restaurants, hardware stores, grocery, by buying straw or flowers or Christmas decorations or even printing our brochures and fliers,” said Colorfest President Carol Robertson.

Robertson and all of the current officers are remaining in office for the next year and will continue making contributions to their community.

The 2015 Catoctin Colorfest will be October 10 and 11, 2015.