by Chris O’Connor
Sabillasville’s Northwestern Frederick County Civic Association
The year’s annual Mountain Fest Festival in October, sponsored by the Northwestern Frederick County Civic Association (NWFCCA), was attended by local residents and repeat visitors from as far as Baltimore and Annapolis.
Founded in 1974, the positive effects of the NWFCCA are palpable, far beyond the picturesque hills that surround Sabillasville Elementary on what was a picture-perfect October weekend.
George Kuhn, current president of the NWFCCA, explained that Mountain Fest is the organization’s sole fundraiser that benefits the scholarship fund, which includes the John A. Cliber Memorial Scholarship, the Automotive Industry Scholarship, and a scholarship intended for an individual returning to the workforce or re-training for a new career.
Kuhn expressed that one of the most fulfilling aspects of his role as president of the association is seeing the positive effects on the lives of over fifty individuals who have benefited from the scholarships. And, of course, the scholarships wouldn’t be possible without the innumerable volunteers who help. Kuhn expressed special thanks for these efforts, citing life’s fast paced commitments as zapping some of the organizations volunteer base in recent years.
Despite dwindling membership, NWFCCA remains responsive to citizens in innumerable ways by providing residents a sounding board for any of their concerns. Their brochure describes their efforts: “…neighbors serving the social, recreational and environmental needs of the Sabillasville community and surrounding Catoctin Highlands while preserving and protecting its rural legacy.”
Just a few of the ways the NWFCCA helps neighbors on the mountain include providing assistance for local projects, education on issues that affect individuals and families, speakers on pertinent state and local issues, and candidate forums. Some of the speakers have included Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, our own publisher of The Catoctin Banner, Deb Spalding, and many others.
Kuhn adds that the association is there to react and respond to issues that concern local residents, filling a vacuum and giving a voice to the folks who sometimes feel somewhat forgotten or invisible in the larger context of Frederick County. He is concerned with the shrinking membership and hopes residents will join the association.
Additional philanthropy by the NWFCCA includes financial aid to local families in need, disaster relief donations, and funds to local schools, fire and rescue, and libraries.
Attention to maintaining the health of beauty of the environment is also of interest to association members. Members and volunteers conduct an annual roadside cleanup each spring, and strive to monitor the health of the creeks and streams.
For further information on becoming a Mountain Fest vendor or to join the NWFCCA, contact George Kuhn at 301-241-3997. You can also attend a NWFCCA meeting, held the first Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Sabillasville Elementary School.