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Experience Art In Motion! ESP Performing Company’s annual showcase fundraiser is a fun and entertaining evening out for the entire community. The annual ESP Showcase Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. in The Marion Burk Knott Auditorium at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. Advance tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. There will be basket raffles, 50/50s, concessions, and flowers available for purchase. This year (included with Main Show ticket purchase) there will be a Bonus Solo/Duo/Trio Show at 5:30 p.m., with the main show starting at 7:00 p.m.

This year’s showcase will again feature Maggie Kudirka “The Bald Ballerina.” Maggie is an amazing dancer and an outstanding young lady who was diagnosed in 2014 with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer while dancing with The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. Maggie has been dancing since she was four years old. Maggie shares her journey and speaks to groups around the country to help bring awareness about metastatic breast cancer. Maggie also teaches master ballet classes and continues to dance while fighting this terminal disease. You can follow Maggie on her Bald Ballerina Facebook page.

The choreography and dances presented by ESP in the showcase have already won numerous awards this season. The dancers are excited to present these performances to the community, as well as continuing to travel the East Coast this competition season. ESP dancers love traveling and competing on the road, but their favorite place to entertain is at home.

“Local performances have always been my favorite events. Making the community smile though the passion we have for dance is heart-warming. I look forward to ending my very last local performance with a bang, with the best team I could ever imagine,” said Lucy Estep, senior dancer.

Mike of Mike Miller Photography said, “I love taking pictures of the ESP Performing Company at the Showcase. The ESP dancers always put on a fantastic show. Their grace, energy, and talent sure make for some beautiful pictures, but they are even more amazing live. I hope everyone comes out to see them on stage and supports the company. ESP is a wonderful gift to our community. The Showcase will not disappoint!”

Tickets may be purchased through any ESP Performing Company member or at ESP Dance Studio, 15 Water Street, Thurmont. Registration is still open for spring 2019 classes at the studio, culminating with the annual recital “ESP Visits Wonderland” at the Weinberg Center on Saturday, June 15. All levels of classes are available. ESP specializes in many types of dance, including tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, acro, and pointe. Participating in dance class is a great way to build confidence, strength, and to have tons of fun! Check ESP out on Facebook at ESP Dance and ESP Performing Company. Please support ESP Performing Company and help Keep Art Alive!

ESP Performing Company (from left): (front row) Abigail Shriner, Anna Doolittle, Tierney Burns, Laken Maniscarco, Maria Fry, Adaline Ridenour, Evie Price; (second row) Emma Strahler, Georgia Wiles, Jordan Bridgett, Mya Horman, Justin Stevens, Sofia Domingues, Marissa Smith, Olivia Gamer, Julie Beech; (third row) Olivia Ecker, Rose Weedy, Claire Daly, Valarie Witmner, Mackenzie Garrett, Kristen Felichko, Sophia Daly, Robyn Tucker; (fourth row) Jack Estep, Kaylyn Ott, Kierdyn Ott, Emily Mitchener, Lucy Estep, Lyla Zelenka.

Stephanie Kennedy of Thurmont was awarded a $1,250 National Rifle Association (NRA) Scholarship at the 2018 AIM Grand National Championship, held this summer in Sparta, Illinois.

Kennedy is a criminal justice major at Mount Saint Mary’s University and a member of the Thurmont Top Shots. She also placed third in Class C Doubles Trapshooting in the junior-gold division at the competition.

Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church

by Theresa Dardanell

I recently visited The Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church and met with the minister and some of the members. During the meeting, Rev. Dr. Peter Keith said, “Anyone coming to worship with us would hear a message of inclusiveness, love, and forgiveness, not about judgement,” and everyone agreed.  The small tight-knit congregation enjoys Sunday services that combine uplifting music; prayers of thanksgiving, sharing, and petition; and sermons described by Lynda Lillard as giving them “some very thought-provoking ideas about God/Jesus/Christianity that carry us through the week.”  A “Wee Sermon” for the children is given during the service. Organist Christine Maccabee plays classical and contemporary music, as well as the hymns during the service. Christine said that “the harmonies of music are a glorious expression of the harmonies of heaven, and so both the playing and singing of them is uplifting for the soul.” Also, twice a month, everyone is welcome to join the discussion group before the Sunday service to talk about a particular book and share thoughts and ideas.

The members are very proud of their contributions to the local and the worldwide community.  As members of the Emmitsburg Council of Churches, financial assistance is provided to local families through the Seton Center Outreach. They also have a scholarship fund set up to benefit a student at Mount Saint Mary’s University. The entire congregation is involved with the youth group projects, which benefit organizations around the world. School supply kits and hygiene health kits were collected and sent to Church World Service, where they were distributed to communities where the need is great. Money collected from fundraising projects was sent to the Presbyterian Mission, which then provided blankets for refugee families, chickens for a family to raise food, and gardening tools and a water filter kit for people who do not have access to clean water.

The church has a long history that began in 1760. It was originally a meeting house, known as Tom’s Creek Presbyterian Church, and was located about a mile north of Emmitsburg. In 1839, it was moved to the current location on Main Street in Emmitsburg, and the name was changed to Emmitsburg Presbyterian. The building was remodeled in 1869, and then rebuilt again in 1879. Unfortunately, it was struck by lightning in 1902 and was destroyed. The church was rebuilt in 1904 and remodeled in 1950. The stained glass windows are magnificent, and the interior design is warm and welcoming.

Emmitsburg Presbyterian is located at 415 West Main Street in Emmitsburg. Everyone is welcome to join them for the 11:00 a.m. Sunday service.

Rev. Dr. Peter Keith and members of the Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell

In light of two recent area fires of significance, a Home Fire Safety Visitation effort, including Smoke Alarm awareness information, began Saturday, December 12, 2015, reaching Emmitsburg area residents. Red Cross volunteers and local fire/rescue first responders were joined by other safety advocates in going door-to-door, promoting the importance of having working smoke alarms in place and helping to answer questions and/or providing assistance with existing smoke alarms.

The joint effort was undertaken by a number of fire safety advocates from across the region, working together to help assure fire safety in homes, apartments, and similar residential occupancies.

The two recent fire events occurred on: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, in a commercial/residential building (apartments) on South Seton Avenue (residents displaced; business disruption); and Monday, December 7, 2015, on West Main Street (double-fatality, plus one serious injury; residents displaced).

During the Home Fire Safety Visitation effort, personnel were out and about in the community, offering insights on simple and easy-to-accomplish home fire safety measures, including installing free smoke alarms where requested. Safety personnel—men and women—wore easily-identified apparel, showing their affiliations.

Emergency services vehicles were seen in various neighborhoods during visitation periods. Anyone interested can also call the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) fire station at 301-447-2728 to request a visit or follow-up visit at a suitable time. A door-hanger information card was left at each home if no one was home, as well as where residents may prefer safety teams to return at a more convenient time to discuss safe practices and/or install an alarm.

The new alarms have non-removable 10-year lithium batteries, plus also include a “Hush” feature for accidental activations, such as from vapors during cooking periods, from fire places when a damper is not initially opened, and so forth. Teams will offer to replace any existing alarm more than ten years old, including any that use 9-volt batteries, which must be replaced at least yearly.

Jointly with the Vigilant Hose Company, this important initiative was taken in cooperation and coordination with efforts already underway by the American Red Cross of Western Maryland, the Town of Emmitsburg, the Emmitsburg Council of Churches, the Fire Prevention Committee of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association, the Frederick County Department of Fire & Rescue Services and the Frederick County’s Fire Marshal’s Office, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Fire Administration/National Emergency Training Center, Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company, Mount Saint Mary’s University, area Media Outlets, the Seton Center, the Emmitsburg Business & Professional Association, and area Service Clubs.

Further information is available on various websites like those of the Vigilant Hose Company, Town Government, and so on. Additionally, for residents living inside town limits, information will also be posted on the Town’s Cable Channel.

Note: This effort did not include installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors, but the VHC will gladly help with that effort upon request in the coming weeks.