Currently viewing the tag: "Thurmont Lions Club"

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, the Thurmont Lions Club honored two students at its Education Night program. Each year, the club presents a Lion Award to a Catoctin High School (CHS) student and a Junior Lion Award to a Thurmont Middle School (TMS) student who has volunteered the most hours.  Each student is presented with a certificate and a check.

The Junior Lion Award was presented to a Thurmont Middle School eighth grader, Morgan “Mo” Baker, who earned his service learning hours at the 4-H Shooting Sports Club. He volunteered throughout middle school on a regular basis, recruiting and educating the public about 4-H shooting sports and gun safety. He has sold raffle tickets, participated in clean up days, and sold food at events.

When asked about his service learning, Mo indicated it gave him something good to do with his time. He also learned some construction skills while volunteering. During his years in middle school, he earned a total of 258 hours of service, which is the highest number of hours for any eighth grader.

The Lion Award was presented to Catoctin High School senior, Noah Barth.  During his four years at Catoctin High School, he has accumulated a very impressive 1,075.5 hours of service. Noah has served as a camp counselor at Camp Round Top for the Your Farmers Safety Camp for the past four years.   In addition, Noah has served in a variety of service roles with Catoctin’s award-winning FFA organization, led by Amy Jo Poffenberger; as a volunteer at the Frederick County soup kitchen; and as the manager of the CHS football team for the past three years. Noah has also helped with the CHS unified tennis team for the past two years, under the direction of Coach Charmane Nesbit, and has been a member of the CHS varsity tennis team for the past four years, under the direction of Coach David Gadra. 

Pictured from left are Lion George Bolling, Noah Barth, TLC President Julie El-Taher.

John Dowling Receives Awards for his Volunteer Work

James Rada, Jr.

2018 was quite a year for John Dowling, age seventy-five, of Thurmont. The Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Grange, and Mother Seton School all recognized his abundant volunteer work in the area.

“I guess I’m involved just about everywhere,” Dowling said. “It’s in my blood.”

Last fall, Dowling’s work was recognized three times.

Mother Seton School recognized him for his thirty-six years of work at the Mother Seton School annual carnival. Dowling and his wife, Kathryn, got involved with the carnival when their children attended the school. Besides helping to start the carnival at the school, the Dowlings also launched the successful bingo and auction fundraisers for the school. The work started as a way to reduce the tuition at Mother Seton School for their children, but it turned into a labor of love, even after their kids graduated and moved onto Catoctin High School.

The Thurmont Lions Club recognized Dowling as the Thurmont Volunteer of the Year. He was nominated for his work at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and the Thurmont Senior Center. He was awarded a certificate of recognition and gift certificate for dinner at the Shamrock Restaurant at a town meeting. He was also able to designate where a $400 donation from the Thurmont Lions Club would be donated in his name. Dowling chose to split the money between the Thurmont Senior Center and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

The Thurmont Grange also recognized Dowling with its Outstanding Community Citizen Award.

These aren’t the first awards that he has received for his community work. In the past few years, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and State of Maryland have recognized Dowling for his volunteerism.

Dowling said that he was “dumbfounded” with all of the awards last year. He considers helping his community almost an obligation.

Dowling may be retired from his appliance repair business, but he still puts in ten to twelve hours a week of volunteer work. He also continues to run a small woodworking business from his home.

“We’re here on this earth to benefit our fellow citizens,” he said.

Dowling grew up in a family of twelve children in Montgomery County, and his parents set the example for volunteerism. He remembers his mother organizing an annual dinner to benefit Montgomery General Hospital and helping his father plant grass when a new high school was built.

When he moved to the area in 1968 as a young man with a wife, he brought with him the values his parents had instilled in him. He began helping out whenever he could.

“I would help out with anything dealing with the community, because the community is an important part of the lives of everyone who lives in it,” expressed Dowling.

Of all the various places where he provides service, he considers his work with the Thurmont Senior Center the most important. He serves on the center’s board and knows how great the center’s need for help is. He picks up day-old bread from Weis that is used at the center, gives rides to and from the center to seniors in need, delivers hot meals from the Mountain Gate Restaurant to home-bound seniors, and helps with the general maintenance of equipment around the center.

The values of service to the community that Dowling’s parents taught him are something that he and Kathryn have also been able to instill in their own children.

“All of my kids do a lot of volunteer work, and they’re all successful,” Dowling said.

For a number of years, the Thurmont Lions Club has sponsored the Thurmont Community Remembrance Tree during the Christmas season. Starting with the 2018 Christmas season, the concept of this tree has been expanded to encourage local residents and organizations to express any seasonal sentiment that they desire. As in years past, the tree will be placed on the corner lot next to the PNC Bank at East Main and South Center Street. Individuals and organizations are being asked to place their own ornaments on the tree (must be weather-proof). The ornaments can express a seasonal sentiment or simply identify the individual/organization that placed the ornament, as long as they are in good taste.

The tree will be dedicated at 4:30 p.m. on December 1 (Christmas in Thurmont Day). Ideally, we would like to see individuals/organizations place their ornaments on the tree as a part of the dedication ceremony; however, if that is not convenient, the ornaments may be placed at any time after the tree is erected (around November 25).

Please join the Thurmont Lions Club in celebrating the spirit of the Christmas Season this year.

The Thurmont Lions Club will be hosting two Northern Frederick County Candidates Forums in October for the upcoming elections. On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Thurmont Middle School, a candidates forum will feature those running for the County Council District 5 and County Council At Large seats.

On Wednesday, October 17, also at 7:00 p.m. at the Thurmont Middle School, the Northern Frederick County Candidates Forum will showcase the candidates running for the County Executive and House of Representatives 8th District seats.

This Northern Frederick County Candidates Forum series will highlight those issues that are important to our area, allowing the candidates to present their views and allowing the constituents of our area to get to know the candidates so that they can make informed decisions on Election Day. The Thurmont Lions Club does not endorse any one candidate for office, but rather presents an opportunity for our communities to know who is seeking to represent them in our local and national governments.

Gene Long is quick to share his advice for life: “never stop learning; enjoy your vocation, serve your country and community, worship your Creator, and be thankful!”

As Long celebrated his 90th birthday at a party with more than 250 family and friends from six states, laughter prevailed in the room. Harold Staley, local folk singer and songwriter, performed “The Ballad of Gene Long.” A poem about Long that had been written by Rosemarie Powell just two days before she passed away was shared.  Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird presented a Proclamation declaring March 5 through March 11, 2017, as Gene Long Week, in recognition of Long’s many years of dedication to our heritage, our community, and his fellow residents.

Long grew up with loving parents and nine siblings at their family farm in Creagerstown, and graduated from Thurmont High School in 1944.  After serving in the U.S. Army during WWII, his career involved various agricultural positions, including manager at St. Joseph’s College Farm (site of current National Fire Academy), production manager for Ideal Farms Dairy, and manager of Mid-East Dairy Herd Improvement Association. He has four children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He and his wife, Shirley, live near Lewistown.

After his retirement in 1992, Long enjoyed being involved in the community. As a member of the Thurmont Lions Club, he was the leader of the Thurmont Trolley Trail Refurbishing Project. The trail was dedicated to the Town in 2007.  Raising funds for causes that he feels are important is one of his passions. He raised more than $38,000 for a handicap-accessible van for the family of an eight-year old child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Long was instrumental in getting football into Walkersville High School in the late 1970s, and his love of sports and youth led him recently to partner with the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, to provide funding so that a national archery program could be included in the Frederick County curriculum at several schools. The program has been very successful in building self-esteem by offering an even-playing field for all, including youth who may not easily excel at other sports.

Long’s compassion is also shown in quiet ways. The men who pick up the recyclables at his home find cold beverages waiting for them; a four-year-old at his church adopted “Uncle Gene” the very first time they met; and family, friends, and neighbors all benefit from his abundant crop of lettuce each year—still producing from seeds gathered from his own father’s garden.

Despite many hardships, including the death of an adult child, heart stents and by-pass surgery, abdominal aneurysm, amputated fingers, twelve broken ribs, a punctured lung, broken shoulder, etc., he enjoys life and approaches each day with the desire to make that day better for someone else. At ninety years YOUNG, he remains active by playing golf, bowling, playing cards, hunting, tending the garden, and woodworking.

When asked his secret to longevity, he replied, “Learning right from wrong at an early age, finding ways to fully enjoy life in spite of hardships along the way, and good strong genes from the best parents anyone could ever have.”

The Thurmont Lions Club continues to recognize the hard and diligent work of the Boy Scouts. The Club has sponsored Boy Scout Troop 270 since 1932. On February 8, 2017, the Club hosted Boy Scout Troop 270 and their scout leaders for their outstanding volunteer service.

The scout leaders honored were Sean Young, Brian Seiss, Walt Ellenberg, Leo Coolidge, Dave Place, Dwayne Snyder, Julie Bostian, and Norm Feldser.

Three Eagle Scouts were also honored: Taylor Ellenberg, Phillip Norris, and Dominque Nield. Due to other commitments, the Eagle Scouts were not present to accept their awards.

Scout Leader Julie Bostian presented the Ross Smith Sr. Scout Award to Scout Keegan Coolidge. Keegan has worked on many outstanding projects/events to be awarded this prestige honor. He has lead/tracked hours and taught how to do brick work on the new Thurmont Community Ambulance complex (146 hours); he has worked on the building, alone, for a total of 768 hours. Scout Keegan planned and built a shed for the CYA lacrosse program as his Eagle Scout project at Eyler Field, and he will be doing future fundraising for the project. He is scribe and assistant senior patrol leader for Troop 270, is secretary for Crew 270, and is planning and mapping the philemon trek that Troop  270, Troop 1011, and Crew 270 will be going on in the future. Scout Keegan has helped to plant trees at the Thurmont Community Ambulance complex for an Eagle Scout project by Devin Stafford; helped with the trolley trail cleanup; helped with an Eagle Scout project, building poster boards and hanging them at Camp Green Top by Dalton Wine; has volunteered for cub days at the airport for a week as a helper with sling shots; and is helping his fellow scouts with rank advancement and teaching first aid skills.

In addition, Scout Keegan is assisting in planning the 2018 camporee with a theme of Mountain Man, which will be held at the Thurmont Hunting and Sportsman Club in Lewistown.  Scout Keegan plans to run for patrol leader and scribe again in the future.  He has joined the Thurmont Ambulance Company to further his knowledge in MS, to follow his dreams of becoming a flight medic. This outstanding scout has received the Volunteer of the Year for Crew 270, multiple merit badges, and two religious awards.

Scouts in Troop 270 have taken several camping trips and have helped with various events: Klondike Derby camping; Freeze Out camping; Water Shed camping; Poplar Grove; Camp Palawan for summer camp for a week; camp for shooting; Aviation camporee; Lock in at scout hour; first-aid competition held every year in March; USS North Carolina and USS Yorktown trips, where they stayed on the Yorktown and slept where all the Navy personnel slept, and also toured the Yorktown submarine and destroyer.

The troop has helped and supported so many events and activities in the community. They are totally committed in helping one another in leadership, first-aid, camping, and hiking skills. Such outstanding achievements show the diligence, leadership skills, and dedication of these scouts, encouraged by their parents and scout leaders. The Thurmont Lions Club wishes to welcome these youth leaders into our club someday.  Congratulations to Scout Troop 270.

Pictured from left are Troop 270 Scout Leader Julie Bostian, Scout Keegan Coolidge, and Lion Ross Smith, Jr.

Once again this year, the Thurmont Lions Club proudly sponsors scholarship opportunities for Catoctin High School students, who are continuing their education at an institution of higher learning next year.

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to four deserving CHS seniors later this spring at the local Lions Club Education Night, held in May. Applications for these scholarships can be picked up at the Counseling Office at Catoctin High School. Applications are due no later than April 10.

James Rada, Jr.

When Thurmont Police Officer Tim Duhan showed up at the town office on October 25, 2016, he thought he was there to recognize his fellow officers who had investigated the pipe bomb that had been planted on his police vehicle.

“They didn’t tell me why I needed to be there,” Duhan said. “The chief just told me to wear my class A (uniform).”

He was happy to go to recognize his fellow officers who had helped discover who had placed a homemade bomb on his car earlier in the year. However, after that recognition, the Thurmont Lions Club presented Duhan with their Police Officer of the Year Award. “It was unexpected, and a nice surprise, seeing as how I only expected to be there to support my department.”

Duhan has been with the Thurmont Police Department for four years. Before that, he had served as a police officer in Frederick City and a small department in Prince Georges County.

“Coming to Frederick from Prince Georges County kind of felt like we had left the city and come to the country,” Duhan said. “Moving from Frederick to Thurmont felt like that again. Things move slower, the volume of calls isn’t as much, and the crime rate is lower.”

Duhan actually retired in 2011, but after a year and a half, he said his wife told him that he needed to go back to work to keep busy. Duhan thought about it and went to see Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler. Duhan decided that he wanted to work with a police canine if he went back into policing, and he asked Eyler what the chances were. Eyler told him that he would have to make the proposal.

So Duhan became a Thurmont police officer. He also researched police canines and put together a proposal that he presented to the Thurmont Commissioners. They signed off on the idea, and Duhan was given Thurmont’s police canine.

Buddy is a two-and-a-half-year-old narcotics dog and Duhan’s near-constant companion. He is one of about a dozen police dogs that serve in Frederick County.

Buddy came to the department from Washington State in June 2013. It can cost around $10,000 to get a trained and certified drug dog, but Duhan knew a trainer who offered him a deal, which the town commissioners approved to give the police another tool to help fight the town’s drug problem.

When on the job, Buddy rides in the rear of Duhan’s vehicle, which is equipped with a heat alarm for Buddy’s protection.

Duhan said that being a police officer was something that he always wanted to do. He tended to be larger than many of the other kids with whom he grew up and pretty easy going.

“I never liked bullies, though, and if I ever saw someone bullying someone else, I had to step in.”

Although naturally inclined for law enforcement, he was told that he couldn’t become an officer unless he had military experience or a college degree. He joined the military in order to get that needed experience.

When he got out of the service, he became a police officer in Prince Georges County. Although his community was small, it was busy.

“It seemed like there was a car chase once a week, with drugs, shootings, and burglaries,” recalled Duhan.

When Duhan’s first child was born, he realized that he didn’t want her growing up in such a dangerous area. That is when he transferred to Frederick City and set up roots in Thurmont.

“I love Thurmont. It’s a great community. I go to church here and have friends. I know the people. When I stop a car for something, it usually turns out to be someone I know.”

He also noted that Thurmont has been a good place to raise his two children and that “Ninety-nine percent of the people here are good people.”


Thurmont Police Officer Tim Duhan, awarded Police Officer of the Year by the Thurmont Lions Club, is pictured with narcotics dog and steady companion, Buddy.

Photo by Stephanie Freniere

The volunteers in the Trinity United Church of Christ’s Kitchen were working on apple pies when we caught up with them the week after Thanksgiving. They were taking orders for their yummy soups, fruit pies, chicken pot pies, lemon cream pies, cakes, sandwiches, and many other menu items. They had just raised $11,365 in sales leading into Thankgiving. The proceeds of their efforts not only benefit Trinity UCC, but also other churches and individuals in need. The Thurmont Lions Club often joins them to host benefit breakfasts during the year. Call 301-271-2305 to place your orders.


Trinity United Church of Christ Kitchen volunteers are shown from left: (front row) Betty Grossnickle, Joann Miller, Nancy Dutterer, Margaret Clabaugh; (back row) Larry Clabaugh, Russ Delauter, Dick Shank, Shirley Long, and Tootie Lenhart. Volunteer Seigi Leonhardt was absent.

The Thurmont Lions Club is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Nominate an individual(s) who is/are making a difference in the lives of others. Please nominate those deserving individuals for the goodwill and volunteer services they give to help their community.

The volunteer service work must be done in the area of zip code 21788. Forms are available at the Thurmont Regional Library, online at, or by contacting Lion Joyce Anthony at Nomination forms are due no later than October 1, 2016. Send your completed nomination form to Thurmont Lions Club, ATTN: Joyce Anthony, P.O. Box 306, Thurmont, MD 21788, or email to Thurmont Lions Club members are eligible to be nominated with the stipulation that the majority (95 percent) of the volunteer services considered for the award must be performed outside of related Lions Club community service (e.g. church, school, community, another organization).

The recipient will be announced at the 2016 Make a Difference Day reception on October 22, 2016.

Outstanding Catoctin Feeder Area Teachers Recognized

The Thurmont Lions Club honored thirty-two teachers at their “Teacher of the Year” reception, held on April 21, 2016, at Emmitsburg Elementary School. The reception is an annual event, sponsored by the club, so that teachers who have made an impact on students and the school community can be recognized. For a teacher to be recognized, nomination letters had to be submitted by students, parents, administrators, and colleagues, who shared their thoughts about why that teacher is so appreciated and how he or she has made a difference for them. These letters were shared at the reception by committee members, parents, students, and administrators.

From among these nominees, one teacher was chosen as the “Teacher of the Year” from each school. These teachers attended the Thurmont Lions Club Education Night on May 11, 2016, where one teacher was selected as the Thurmont Lions Club “Teacher of the Year.” Last year’s recipient was Charlene Rippeon of Emmitsburg Elementary School.  The teachers nominated from each school and the “Teacher of the Year” from each school are as follows: Catoctin High School: Tyler Ausherman, Mayellen Taylor, Theresa Hutchinson, Rick Brainerd, Terri Gibbons, and Ben Zamostny as “Teacher of the Year”; Emmitsburg Elementary: Tamara Reed, Theresa Krantz, Bonita Hopkins, Leslie Frei, Brooke Adams, and Sarah Fawley as “Teacher of the Year”; Lewistown Elementary School: Tyler Myers, Erin Murphy, and Lauren Clore as “Teacher of the Year”; Charles Hubbard was recognized as “Custodian of the Year” for receiving a nomination; Mother Seton School: Danielle Kuykendall and Sheila Dorsey as “Teacher of the Year”; Thurmont Elementary School: Ryan Oman, Jennifer Reynolds, and Kim Stevens as “Teacher of the Year”; Thurmont Middle School: Mary Lee Quealy, Berna LaForce, Jennifer Shesman, Carol Britton, Alicia Kuchinsky, and Sean Tucker as “Teacher of the Year”; Thurmont Primary School: Lauren Burdette, Joni Wiles, Stacy Bokinsky, and Ellen Slotwinski as “Teacher of the Year”; Sabillasville Elementary School: Jennifer Rutherford as “Teacher of the Year.” Congratulations to all of the very deserving nominees!


Six Catoctin High School Seniors Sign College Letters of Intent

Six seniors at Catoctin High School (CHS) eagerly awaited to sign the documents that would soon take them off to their next step in their athletic and educational careers. As proud family, friends, and coaches poured into the high school’s gymnasium on February 29, 2016, CHS Athletic Director Kevin Macmullen handed out pens to each student in preparation. As the students began to sign, their coaches (Valentine, Franklin, Williams, and Olsen) remembered star moments of each individual and spoke of how proud they were of each one of their athletes.

Katie Shugars will be attending Frederick Community College and playing on the Women’s Softball team. Kristen Fox will be attending Stevenson University in Maryland, playing on the Women’s Soccer team. Four seniors will be moving onto a college football program: Noah Dell, attending Frostburg State University; Payne Harrison, attending Mercyhurst University; CJ Simmers, attending Juniata College; and Braden Thomson, attending Bridgewater College.


Pictured from left are seniors Katie Shugars, Kristen Fox, Payne Harrison, CJ Simmers, Braden Thomson, and Noah Dell.

Thurmont Middle School PTA to Award Two Scholarships

The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) PTA is awarding two scholarships to qualified Catoctin High School seniors. You must apply by Friday, April 29, 2016. Applicant must have attended TMS for one full school year. View the advertisement on page 6 for more details.

Thurmont’s Masonic Lodge #155 Offering Two Scholarships

Since 1995, Thurmont Masons have awarded scholarships worth over $75,000 to area students. Scholarships are available to all graduating high school level seniors from a Maryland State accredited public, private, and/or homeschool program, who reside within the Catoctin High School district boundaries.

Scholarship application forms are available at the Catoctin High School guidance office and at the Thurmont Regional Library.

Interested students must complete an application and return it on or before April 30, 2016.

Questions regarding the application should be directed to Acacia Masonic Lodge #155 Scholarship Committee via the Lodge website at

Thurmont Elementary Hosts its Annual STEM Night

Thurmont Elementary School hosted its annual STEM Night, where students showed off their skills in all aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math. Every year, STEM Night has grown, with this year having over eighteen stations of interactive fun, spread throughout the school for the community to stop, look, learn, and play. Can you take two dixie cups and one 3×5 index card, make a bridge with it, and then stack forty-six large and ninety-three small metal washers on it without the bridge collapsing? Fourth grader Tegan Mott holds the record.

Students research projects included topics such as fastest cars, bottle rockets, the solar system, why candy is sticky, and many more. TriState Astronomers was on hand with their 8” 40 mm IP Celestron reflected telescope, which allowed everyone to take turns looking at craters on the moon, up close and personal.

This event could not happen without the support of the Catoctin community.  Thurmont Elementary School would like to thank the following: Gateway Market, Rocky’s Pizza, Weis Markets, Jubilee Foods, Bollinger’s Family Restaurant, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, Food Lion, Subway, Wendy’s, Fratelli’s Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, Shamrock, Catoctin High School, Walkersville High School, Mrs. Brawner and NIH/NCI, Mr. & Mrs. Child, Boy Scout Troop 270, Cub Scout Pack 270, TMS Olympiad Team, Thurmont Public Library, Catoctin Zoo, TriState Astronomers and TEPS PTA for helping to make STEM Night a success.

Mother Seton School Students Map Their Way to Winning in Annual Geography Bee

Do you know in which country Mount Kosciuszko is the highest peak? Jack Guinan (Grade 6) and Emma Adams (Grade 8) could tell you! (It’s Australia.) The Mother Seton School students placed first and second respectively in the school-wide Geography Bee held on February 3, 2016.

First-place winner Jack went on to qualify for the Maryland State Geography Bee, to be held on April 1, 2016, in Owings Mills and will be broadcast on Maryland Public Television. Only the Top 100 scoring students are eligible to take part in the State Bee. Jack is the only seventh-grader and only Catholic school student from Frederick County to be selected. The Top 10 state winners will move on to the National Geography Bee, which will be held in May of this year. The National winner receives a $50,000 college scholarship. The National Geography Bee is in its twenty-eighth year and is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

Elizabeth Vines, Middle School teacher and Geography Bee Coordinator, said that participation in the Bee is a fun way to promote the value of understanding the world around us. “I tell the students they are global citizens,” she said. “The Bee is one of the ways in which we try to broaden their minds.”

With it being easier than ever before to connect with others on a global scale, it’s crucial for students to have an understanding of their neighbors and where they come from. Classic subject matters such as geography provide the necessary frame of reference for students to reach that understanding, and programs like the Geography Bee provide a forum for students to challenge themselves.

Guinan and Adams competed against other classmates who were selected after the initial classroom screening, including: Ethan Little and Vincent Reaver III (Grade 4), Jameson Doll and Brendan Guinan (Grade 5), Emma Wivell and Alyssa Corsetty (Grade 6), Larisa Tayler (Grade 7), and Kirstyn Bockelmann (Grade 8).


First-place winner and runner-up of MSS Geography Bee, held February 3, 2016: (from left) Jack Guinan (Grade 7) and Emma Adams (Grade 8).

Thurmont High School Alumni Invited to Celebrate 100 Years

Be the first alumnus to register for the 100th Anniversary Banquet of Thurmont High School Alumni to be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Lewistown Fireman’s Activities building, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Lewistown.

Social hour begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by the banquet of fried shrimp, turkey, and trimmings. During the program, the graduating classes ending with 6 or 1 will receive special recognition, three scholarship recipients will be announced, door prizes will be distributed, and a very special musical performance from Nashville, Tennessee.

So pass the word to your high school friends and send in your reservation(s). The cost is $25.00 per person; checks made payable to Thurmont High School Alumni and mail to Viola Noffsinger, 12510 Creagerstown RD, Thurmont, MD 21788. The first one received will be awarded a free meal.

Note: The open time for scholarship applications is March 30 to April 30. Check the Community Foundation of Frederick County website for applications.

Four $1,000 Scholarships Offered

The Emmistsburg High School Association is accepting scholarship applications.  Four one thousand dollar scholarships will be awarded in May to deserving students. Any Catoctin High School senior or graduate enrolled in an institution of higher learning, including trade schools, is eligible if he/she resides in the Emmitsburg School District. This includes Emmitsburg 21727, Rocky Ridge 21778, and Taneytown 21787 (Taneytown boundary is determined by Bridgeport on route 140).  Applicants may apply each year as long as they are enrolled in an institution.

Selection is based on having a 3.0 or higher grade point average, being a full time student, presenting two letters of recommendation, their community and school activities, and pursuing higher education (technical school, four-year college, or community college).

Applications may be obtained by contacting the guidance department at Catoctin High School (240-236-8082 Ryan Zimmerman) or calling Phyllis Kelly (717) 642-6963.  All applications must be received by May 10, 2016.

Thurmont Lions Club Lions Work to Increase Literacy in our Community

Lions Clubs International President Jitsuhiro Yarnada has announced a program to Lions to strengthen the service challenge to get resources to develop hands-on projects to help children in need. President Yarnada has implemented a Reading Action Program to help give the gift of literacy. Education and literacy are crucial to helping our students grow. They are the keys to overcoming poverty, disease, and other social issues.  As children’s book author Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more you read, the more things you’ll know.  The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The Thurmont Lions Club has taken great strides to help bridge the gap between literacy and education, and has supported the Literacy Program for many years. This year, the club donated a drawstring backpack containing a Dr. Seuss book, Look for the Lorax; a Dr. Seuss bookmark; and a Dr. Seuss coloring book and crayons to the kindergarten classes at Thurmont Primary, Lewistown Elementary, and Sabillasville Elementary schools (127 students), to be used to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which took place on March 2. The book chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, which everyone needs. This project will also apply to the club’s Environmental Program. Hopefully, the Dr. Seuss book will encourage the children to read.

The Literacy Program co-chairpersons, Lions Susan Favorite and Joyce Anthony, delivered filled backpacks to the Lewistown Elementary and Sabillasville Elementary Schools (Lion Susan) and Thurmont Primary School (Lion Joyce).


Thurmont Middle School Spirit Show Choir

The Broadway Life is a busy one! The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) Spirit Show Choir continues practicing their hearts out, getting their routines down, and perfecting those smiles to prepare for competition season. They are fast approaching their first event in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on March 19, 2016. In April, they will be traveling to the bright lights of New York City to compete at Brooklyn College.

The kids are extremely excited about this trip and continue to raise funds in order to create an unforgettable experience. They are holding an All-You-Can-Eat Pizza and Salad Night at Rocky’s Pizza in Thurmont on March 14, 2016, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Adult tickets will be $10.00 each; senior citizens and children (ages twelve and under) are $6.00. You may contact any show choir member to get your ticket in advance or you can get your tickets at the door. Please come and support these talented kids!

The Thurmont Spirit Show Choir, directed by Mrs. Berna Laforce, consists of forty-three TMS members. The routines this year are all performed to Broadway-style music, and the kids’ costumes are just as bright as their personalities. There are also upcoming competitions at Hershey Park and Oakdale High School, both in May. The group also performs at Thurmont Middle School in May as part of the Spring Concert.  They appreciate all of the community donations and support that has enabled the group’s continued success.

Catoctin High School Distinguished Graduate Organization Accepting Nominations

Nomination forms can be picked up in the front office of Catoctin High School (CHS) or can be downloaded from the CHS website at Nomination forms must be submitted by May 1, 2016. Nominees will then receive an application to be completed by June 1, 2016.

The Distinguished Graduate Organization committee will determine the award recipients by June 21, 2016.

Catoctin Area 2016 Teacher of the Year Nominations

It is time to recognize that special teacher who has made an impact on your child’s life and on your school community. You can let this teacher know how important he or she has been to you by nominating him or her for the Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year Award. Parents, students, administrators, and fellow teachers may nominate a teacher.

This award is open to Pre-K through Grade 12, full-time teachers, in these public and nonpublic schools in the Catoctin feeder school system: Catoctin High School; Thurmont Middle School; Thurmont Primary School; Thurmont Elementary School; Sabillasville Elementary School; Lewistown Elementary School; Emmitsburg Elementary School; and Mother Seton School.

All nominees will be recognized at a reception on April 21, 2016, and one finalist from each school will be announced. The Teacher of the Year will be selected from these finalists by a committee of community leaders and will be announced at the Thurmont Lions’ Education Night on May 11, 2016.

Nomination forms are available at, at the Thurmont Regional Library, and the Thurmont Town Office. You may also pick up a form at your child’s school. Forms are due by March 23, 2016 (all information needed for filling out the nomination form and submitting it is included on it). This is a truly meaningful way to show your appreciation for that teacher who has made a difference in your child’s life and in the school community.

Williams Awarded International Leo of the Year 2015

SCHOOL -- Marah Williams Leo of YearOn October 28, 2015, during the Thurmont Lions Club annual charter banquet, Marah Williams, a senior at Catoctin High School, was awarded International Leo of the Year 2015. Also in attendance were Lion Wendy Candella, CHS Leo Club advisor, and District Lion Eileen.

The Lions Club International, District 22W level, may nominate one high-achieving Leo each year for this medallion and certificate award. The Lions Club is an international service organization.

Marah is one of thirty-one award recipients from around the world, out of 44,000 members. This year, there are ten international Leo’s from the United States and twenty-one Leo’s from various countries around the world: Japan, Australia, India, Nigeria, and Italy, to name a few. Prior to becoming International Leo of the Year, Marah was awarded Leo of the Year, and Regional Leo, and is the current Catoctin High School Leo Club president.

Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program Spring Session Begins April

The Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program’s (TRP) spring session begins on April 23, 2016.  The program provides education, socialization, recreation, and therapy to more than seventy-eight individuals each spring and fall at no charge. The program, a 501c3 non-profit organization, will begin its thirty-second year of service to Frederick County citizens with emotional, physical, and/or mental disabilities. Students ride one hour per week for seven weeks during each session without charge. Class instructors and physical and/or occupational therapists design specific programs for each student, direct the implementation of these programs, and monitor the progress of the students.

Each of their riders requires a “team”: a horse leader and one or two side walkers. The “teams” are an invaluable asset to their program. They assist riders with completion of riding tasks and encourage the “I can do attitude.”

Also, each student rides a specific horse with specific equipment, deemed necessary by the instructors and therapist, thus requiring a capable Barn Crew to groom and ready the equine therapist for their job. Volunteers are the heart of this good work.

Volunteer Training Day for all prospective volunteers will be on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the farm, from 9:00 a.m.-noon. If you have never attended volunteer training, please come and join the TRP family. For more information, check them out on Facebook or visit their website at

Three local charities—Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Food Bank, and Trinity United Methodist Church (TUMC) Community Clothes Closet Ministry—are joining forces to sponsor a food and clothing drive, in recognition of Make a Difference Day, on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Make a Difference Day is the nation’s largest day of volunteering. The annual event is an initiative of USA TODAY, in collaboration with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Millions of volunteers around the world participate in local projects and events on Make a Difference Day (the fourth Saturday in October). The Thurmont Lions Clubs and other local organizations have sponsored a variety of projects during past years, and are participating again this year by organizing a local food and clothing drive.

The Thurmont Lions Club has been serving the local community since 1929, and sponsors a variety of fundraising events and service projects to help individuals and organizations in the local area. The Thurmont Food Bank, located at 10 Frederick Road, supports many local families in northern Frederick County by distributing donated groceries. The TUMC Clothes Closet Ministry, located on the property of the Thurmont United Methodist Church on Long Road, is open several times each month to help Thurmont-area families.