Currently viewing the tag: "Thurmont Lions Club"

Pictured from left are Lions Susan Smith, Susan Favorite, Dianne McLean, Doug Favorite, Joyce Anthony, and Don Keeney, Jr.

Since the Thurmont Lions Club had to cancel its pit sandwich sales for the months of April and May, the club felt it needed to give back to the community to help during the pandemic. They decided to make pork BBQ and donate it to the Thurmont Food Bank, as well as to the Frederick Health Hospital (FHH), to provide tasty meals for the frontline staff. The club received more than $2,000 in donations to support the club’s “giving-back” project. The club made more than 800 pounds of pork BBQ. Many thanks go out to those who donated to this cause and to those members who helped to prepare, package, and deliver the pork BBQ.

The pork BBQ the club made for the FHH COVID-19 testing center tent was delivered to the nurses who work at the tent. The meat was heated, made into sandwiches (rolls were also donated), and distributed to the 60 nurses who work there on a daily basis.

The Thurmont Lions Club received a wonderful note from the hospital from Ms. Sipes (below). Lion Don Keeney stated, “This gives true meaning to ‘We Serve’ and makes me very proud to be a member of the Thurmont Lions Club.”

Hi, there! I want to thank you so much for everything you are doing.  Doctors and nurses and frontline people aren’t the only heroes …the effect this has on us mentally, seeing families watch their loved ones die from afar, not being able to kiss them goodbye or even see them, the grueling hours our bodies deal with, physically….people like you, supporting us, taking that extra load off, being our backbone when we weaken, are the unseen heroes…we honestly couldn’t do it without the support from wonderful caring people like you all! Heroes are for sure a team effort…thank you for keeping us going.  It is truly appreciated and loved.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  We love you!   ~Theresa Sipes

The Thurmont Lions Club is a group of community-minded men and women who come together to enjoy each other’s company, hear interesting programs, and raise funds for important local or vision-related activities. The club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Mountain Gate Restaurant.

For more information, visit or call 240-288-8748.

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Trinity United Church of Christ and the Thurmont Lions Club will be partnering together to provide a benefit breakfast for Luke Bradley (pictured right) to help the family with his medical expenses. Luke is the 10-year-old son of Tracey and Dan Bradley, and the grandson of Rick and Judy May of Thurmont and Edward and Shirley Bradley of Taneytown. The family has lived in the community for many years. Luke is a fifth-grader at Thurmont Elementary School.

Luke has been a fighting underdog from the start. He was born six weeks premature due to his mother suffering from pre-eclampsia late in her pregnancy.  He was delivered by emergency C-section and spent two months in the NICU at Frederick Memorial Hospital. During that time, he contracted an infection that delayed him from coming home.

During his first two years of life, Luke’s development was slow, and his parents started noticing that he was not reaching the normal milestones for a two-year-old.  After being examined by doctors, it was determined that Luke had Cerebral Palsy, which was likely caused by brain trauma at birth.  Cerebral Palsy can present itself in many different ways, depending on the part of the brain affected. In Luke’s case, the muscles in his legs contract, which makes it difficult and painful to walk. He wears leg braces to keep his feet flexed, and he also uses a walker to get around.  As he grows, these things need to be updated to accommodate his size. 

The condition has also manifested itself in the way of nerve damage to his eyes. Luke has undergone surgery to help improve this, be he still suffers from low vision and requires glasses to help improve his vision. A few years ago, he also began having seizures while sleeping, so he is on daily medication to help prevent this from happening.

Luke has had numerous surgeries over the years. He’s had several rounds of Botox injections into his leg muscles to help relax them, and he now has a Baclofen pump installed subcutaneously in his abdomen with a catheter that delivers medicine directly to his spine. 

In May of 2019, he had major surgery performed at Johns Hopkins in an attempt to straighten out his hips, knees, and ankles.  The tension from his muscles contracting tends to cause his legs to twist, so during the seven-hour surgery, they inserted many plates and screws to straighten his legs and make walking easier. After two weeks at Johns Hopkins, Luke was transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for six weeks of extensive therapy.  In the beginning, with casts and knee immobilizers on both legs, he was confined to his bed and a wheelchair. As therapy progressed, he eventually regained his mobility and was able to return home in July. During the rest of the summer, he worked to build up his stamina, in hopes of joining his fifth-grade class in September. This coming summer, he will be facing another surgery to remove the hardware they inserted, but recovery from this should be much easier.

Despite all of the challenges Luke faces in his life, he continues to be a very happy and upbeat 10-year-old. He has an overwhelming love of sports, especially football. He has great intuition for the game and has helped out with coaching and announcing for the local CYA football team. The coach loves having him on the sideline, and he is a great inspiration for the team. When he can’t be on the field, he hones his coaching skills by playing sports video games and watching plenty of games on TV.  He also enjoys woodworking, and his dad has set up a workbench in the basement just for Luke.  He especially enjoys building the prefab kits from Lowes.

Luke’s daily schedule is complicated, and often includes physical therapy and doctors’ visits. His parents and grandparents work together to provide for his needs while also including stimulating activities. Luke will live with these—and many more—challenges his entire life. It would be great if we, as a community, could come together to provide support for him and his family. 

So, please come out on Saturday, March 21, 2020, from 6:00-11:00 a.m., to Trinity UCC, located at 101 East Main Street in Thurmont. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast, sponsored by Trinity UCC and the Thurmont Lions Club. There will be an abundance of good food and community fellowship.                              

Lis Ruppel

The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) LEOs have been very busy the past couple of months. During October and November, TMS LEOs held a coat drive in conjunction with the Thurmont Lions Club Coat Drive for Make a Difference Day. The LEOs collected multiple bags of coats, which were combined with the other coats collected by Lion Marci Veronie and sent to be dry cleaned. Some of the coats were then distributed to kids and families in the TMS community in need, with the help of TMS Community Outreach Coordinator Kelly Pizza.

For Halloween, the TMS LEOs held a Costume Contest fundraiser. For a small fee, students could wear their costumes to school on Halloween. A contest was held at lunchtime, with judging by the lunch staff. An Amazon gift card was given for the best costume from each grade level. The TMS LEOs voted to use some of the money raised to buy a Thanksgiving dinner for a family in need at TMS.

Teacher Melanie Ware spoke with both Food Lion and Weis. With their generous assistance, she was able to put together baskets with food for Thanksgiving dinner for two families. Kelly Pizza distributed the baskets. In December, the LEOs assisted the Language Arts Department at TMS with its Food Drive by collecting the donated food and loading it into Ms. Ware’s car for delivery to the food bank. They also voted to fund several Christmas dinner baskets the same way they had done for the Thanksgiving baskets.

On the final day of school before the winter break, TMS LEOs held a “Holiday Hat” fundraiser, where students could wear a festive holiday hat to school for a small fee. After school let out, the LEOs met at Thurmont Regional Library for a Holiday Party and Secret Santa gift exchange. TMS LEOs are looking forward to an exciting 2020, filled with fun and service!

On October 22, 2019, the Thurmont Lions Club celebrated its 90th Anniversary on its Charter Night, held at Shamrock Restaurant. SVDG Charlie Croft presented to the club a certificate from District Governor Evan Gillett in recognition of its 90 years of service. Past International Directors Ted Reiver and Richard Liebon greeted the audience. 

SVDG Croft presented an International President’s Certificate of Appreciation to Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird for all he does for the Thurmont Lions Club and the Thurmont community. 

Mayor Kinnaird presented two proclamations to the club: one from the Town of Thurmont and the other from the State of Maryland. A great honor!

Lion Dianne McLean received  a Melvin Jones Fellow, and Lion Doug Favorite received a Life Membership.

In addition, four chevron members were recognized: Lions Joyce Anthony and George Bolling (20 years) and Lions Joann Miller and Kim Grimm (10 years). The committee recognized the past presidents and those members with 30-plus years of service.

The necrology service remembered Lions Cindy Wantz, John Hart, and John Brown.

Lion Dianne McLean receives a Melvin Jones Fellow: (from left) Lion Joyce Anthony, Lion Dianne McLean, PDG Paul Cannada.

Lion Doug Favorite receives a Life Membership: (from left) President Joyce Anthony, Lion Doug Favorite, 2nd VDG Charlie Croft.

International President’s Certificate of Appreciation is presented to Mayor John Kinnaird of Thurmont: (from left) Lion Joyce Anthony, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, PID Richard Liebno.

Camille Kime (pictured above), with Karaoke Buddies, was a recent guest speaker for the Thurmont Lions Club.

Karaoke Buddies is an all-volunteer organization that provides individuals with disabilities a safe social setting to gather with their friends to dine, sing, dance, and not be judged by anyone. Camille’s disabled granddaughter, Taylor, likes to do all of those activities, so Camille started Karaoke Buddies in 2010. She developed the idea after she saw Taylor come out of her shell while singing karaoke.

Karaoke Buddies is a monthly get-together that fills the First Baptist Church of Frederick gymnasium with nearly 500 people. The last Friday of every month, the event includes a free hot meal, a disc jockey’s entertainment, and karaoke to people of all ages with a variety of disabilities.

The cost for food and supplies comes to about $1,000 a month. Camille is always out in the public fundraising. She has many volunteers who show up each month to help with the logistics. Everything is free to the individuals with disabilities. The hours and money it takes could make one question how she keeps going—she gives so much financially, as well as in labor, support, and love.

Camille said, “My parents taught me to love these children who are God’s special chosen ones. I have loved them all my life, especially my granddaughter, Taylor. My heart bursts with love for her.” 

For additional information, please visit the Thurmont Lions Club website at or call 240-288-8748.

Thurmont Lions Club’s first September meeting fell on the 9/11 anniversary. Its guest speaker was Cindy McGrew, who talked about Operation Second Chance (OSC). 

OSC began in 2004 and is a 501(c)(3) organization, composed of patriotic citizens committed to serving its wounded, injured, and ill combat Veterans.  OSC supports Veterans and their families while they recover in military hospitals, building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. OSC is dedicated to promoting public awareness of the many sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. Their goal is to provide support for the soldiers and marines while they are at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and then to further assist them when they transition either back to duty or back to civilian life.

Cindy McGrew decided to leverage her business knowledge to provide some much needed financial relief to the families of American service members injured in combat. For the past 14 years, the non-profit organization she started has provided financial assistance and cold hard cash for everything from rent to groceries, to childcare, to mortgage payments, and even fishing trips. OSC is a national organization with chapters in Montana, Colorado, Texas, New York, Florida, and many other states. By the end of the summer, OSC has provided six million dollars in cold hard cash.

As part of the Thurmont Lions Club Literacy Project for September (Literacy month), 648 books were delivered to the Thurmont Primary School and the Thurmont Elementary School. Literacy is one of the core missions of the club.

The books Paddington Sets Sail, Sleep Bear, and Amazing Dolphins were delivered to the Thurmont Primary School, and Flat Stanley and the Very Big Cookie, The Titanic, and The Truths and Myths about Weird Animals were delivered to the Thurmont Elementary School. 

Each book included a bookmark from Texas Roadhouse. If each child reads three books and has the bookmark signed by their parents, he/she will receive a free kid’s meal!

The principals were delighted and appreciative of the help they receive from the Thurmont Lions Club in supporting literacy in their schools.

The Town of Thurmont held a Nominating Convention on Tuesday, October 24, 2019, for the upcoming municipal election in which two commissioner seats are up for election.

Five candidates were nominated (pictured right); incumbent Wes Hamrick, new candidates Elliot Jones, Sabrina Massett, and Kenneth Oland, and incumbent Bill Buehrer.

The Thurmont Lions Club will sponsor a Candidate Forum to be held at the town office, the date and time will be announced. Mayor John Kinnaird encourages all registered voters to participate in the election and predicted a 50 percent voter turnout for this election. Let’s prove him right, Thurmont residents!

Dates to remember:

October 1 is the last day to register to vote; you can register at the town office.

October 22 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot.

October 29 elections will be held at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building at 123 East Main Street. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

Why are you running for commissioner?

Bill Buehrer

I was first elected in 2011, vying to preserve our past and save the future of Thurmont. This board has demonstrated such through infrastructure improvement. We have vigorously looked for and received state grants, thus bringing our tax dollars back to Thurmont. I want to continue those efforts.

Wes Hamrick

I am privileged to have served the Town of Thurmont as a member of this board for six years and the fulfillment it affords to being able to make a positive difference for this town. The current board and Thurmont staff have made many inroads to improve the quality of life in Thurmont with our parks, trails, amenities and services, and I want to be a part of the exciting future for our town. This past term has literally flown past and much remains in the works that I certainly want to be a part of in seeing to fruition. It is an honor and privilege to serve and represent this community as one of its commissioners.

Elliot Jones

We, in Thurmont, have the good fortune to have a local government that works hard for its residents, with elected officials that truly care about the town. I want that experience to continue, not only for our current residents, but our future residents as well. While volunteering for events like “Halloween in the Park” and “Christmas in Thurmont” and writing articles for the Gateway publication, I’ve learned just how much of an impact our local government makes on our community. As a commissioner, I would bring my own insights and experiences to serve the community with new ideas.

Sabrina Massett

I care about making sure that the concerns and needs of my friends and neighbors are heard and responded to. I’m running to ensure we maintain our “small town” identity, even as we grow and change. I have a vision of a town that continues to welcome and embrace diversity among our residents; provides affordable rental options and homes to purchase; provides a safe environment for families to raise children, free of the disease of addiction, and supports the services necessary to retire and age in place; a town that prioritizes attracting and supporting small businesses, light, green industry, and sustainable practices. I firmly believe we as citizens can choose what’s best for Thurmont.

Kenneth W. (Kenny) Oland

I spent 40 years in public service; 25 years in law enforcement (7 years with Frederick Police, 18 years with Maryland State Police, attaining the rank of Corporal before retiring on a disability from injuries suffered in a traffic collision), 4 years with the federal government, 4 additional years with the Maryland State Police, and 7 years with the Town of Thurmont. I had my own crash consulting business for 8 years. I want to, once again, serve the citizens of the town and community that I grew up in and moved back to over 16 years ago with my family, in a leadership position.

What are your goals as a commissioner?

Bill Buehrer

My goal is to continue improving our infrastructure to bring more businesses to Thurmont and to improve housing development in a conservative manner.

Wes Hamrick

One of the pressing issues facing us, as well as other municipalities, is the continued increase in the cost of doing business and the pressure it places on the annual budget. I want to continue to work as a board with our town staff and administrative heads to continue finding ways to save money and continuously make every effort to acquire all the monies we can obtain through grants and other revenue resources. As a commissioner, I make monetary decisions and vote through the eyes of the taxpayer as though it’s coming from my own checkbook.

Elliot Jones

Not only do I want to sustain the strong sense of community in Thurmont, but I have three key initiatives that I pledge to support. First, Thurmont can and should establish a municipally owned fiber internet utility in order to provide faster, cheaper, and more efficient internet to our residents and businesses. Secondly, Thurmont should pursue long-term sustainable development, maximizing our use of our developed areas and preserving our green areas. Thirdly, Thurmont should continue to support Community Policing, which strengthens the trust between our police and our residents and prevents crimes, rather than just respond to them.

Sabrina Massett

To attract visitors to our town by capitalizing on our proximity to State and National Parks, rural vistas, and historic sites. We need to continue to grow our town center by attracting and supporting unique, small businesses for residents and visitors to enjoy. It’s my dream that adolescents and young teenagers will once again ask their parents “can I walk uptown” because there are spots to visit for an ice cream cone, a small purchase, or to “hang out.”  To ensure that Thurmont grows in the manner that we, as citizens choose, rather than allow a “cookie-cutter” approach. Growth that provides housing and services for citizens to live out their lives here if they choose.

Kenneth W. (Kenny) Oland

I would like to determine if there is a way to lower our electric bills, continue to work to improve the town’s infrastructure, streets, electric grid, parks, and water/sewer systems. Ask the youth of our community if there is anything we could do to provide them with activities. Continue to support the seniors. Determine why the police department has a high turnover rate and what we can do to attract and retain quality officers, as well as maintain the allotted number of officers. Look into the retirement benefits of our employees. Responsible growth that will bring more tax monies, which will help spread the tax burden over a larger population. Businesses: attract more business to the town, which could/will offer more employment to our community. Continue to work with the county and state governments to bring monies into the town.

Why should people vote for you? 

Bill Buehrer

I have demonstrated impeccable integrity for eight years. I’ve been a passionate spokesman for our community and have been fiscally responsible and conservative with our tax payers’ money.

Wes Hamrick

During my almost six years on the board, I have always made myself available to the public. I firmly believe, as a public servant, that it is necessary to listen to the needs, concerns, and issues of our residents and to be a voice for them as an elected official. Thurmont has been my home for a total of 40 years, a town where I spent my youth and young adult years, and a town I returned to, after being away for ten years, to raise my family. I have a vested interest for the betterment and beauty of this town and will continue to be an advocate to maintaining the small-town charm and atmosphere, whilst being inviting and welcoming for newcomers. Foremost, I am actively engaged within the community and am proudly part of its pulse and heartbeat in many facets.  Above all, ethics, integrity, respect and transparency are not a cliché in my book, but traits that I live by and will not compromise.

Elliot Jones

I just want to do right by people in the best way I know how. I want our residents and newcomers to feel safe and welcomed in our town. I want for our businesses to thrive and for their employees to be happy they’re working in our community. I want even our most remote families to be able to access their job opportunities, telehealth, homework, and other online necessities at an affordable price with reliable service. People should vote for me if they want someone to take what they like about Thurmont and polish it to a greater shine.

Sabrina Massett

I recognize that Thurmont is unique, and that we as citizens can decide to maintain what’s good; to demonstrate what we value and shape our town around these values. I have been involved in shaping our town through a lifetime of community service. Additionally, 30-plus years of human services employment gave me the opportunity to learn about many things: poverty, homelessness and housing instability, severe mental illness, the disease of addiction. My experiences taught me how to talk with people, not to them, to learn to ask the right questions, and most importantly, to listen for the answer. As commissioner, I promise to listen and learn from you. Let’s Talk.

Kenneth W. (Kenny) Oland

I will be a full-time commissioner, being retired, willing to listen to and address your concerns. I offer the citizens a person that will work with and for them and the employees of the town. I will listen to those that have a question, an opinion, or a concern. Research their concerns and then address them the best I can with the Board of Commissioners and the employees at the Town Office. I will approach all situations with an open mind then work to find a resolution to their concerns, while working for the betterment of our community as a whole. My desire is to serve the entire community, all ages, and our employees, who deserve to have quality equipment, competitive pay, and benefits that this town can afford and provide. You will have a voice while I’m serving as your commissioner of the Town of Thurmont.

The Town of Thurmont held a Nominating Convention on Tuesday, October 24, 2019, for the upcoming municipal election in which two commissioner seats are up for election. Five candidates were nominated (pictured right); incumbent Wes Hamrick, new candidates Elliot Jones, Sabrina Massett, and Kenneth Oland, and incumbent Bill Buehrer.

The Thurmont Lions Club will sponsor a Candidate Forum to be held at the town office, the date and time will to be announced.

Mayor John Kinnaird encourages all registered voters to participate in the election and predicted a 50% voter turnout for this election. Let’s prove him right, Thurmont residents!

Dates to remember:

October 1 is the last day to register to vote, you can register at the town office.

October 22 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot.

October 29 elections will be held at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building at 123 East Main Street. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

On July 20, 2019, the Thurmont Lions Club held a 50’s Sock Hop. The proceeds were donated to the non-profit organization “Music for Medicine Foundation” to help combat the heroin epidemic in the Thurmont community. 

On August 14, 2019, a donation of $550 was presented to Rachel Hubbard, Music for Medicine Foundation.

The Lions Club extends its gratitude to everyone who attended the Sock Hop to support this important fundraiser.

The Thurmont Lions Club (TLC) would like to express its sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Thurmont community, surrounding counties, and all the travelers on Rt. 15, who stopped by its sandwich booth for their support of the pit beef, pit ham, pit pork, and pit turkey sandwich sales held this summer. The community’s dedication to the club over the past numerous years have been nothing short of amazing.

TLC saw record crowds this year for its sixth sandwich sales event. The club’s dedication to quality food and large portions has been major contributors to the sales. This year has been an astonishing, outstanding year, with the club netting a profit of $15,300.   

These successful events have supported the club in helping to sustain donations to sight-related organizations and organizations within our community.

The Thurmont Lions Club will be celebrating its 90th anniversary in October. Over the years, the community has helped in providing eyeglasses; doing preschool vision screening; and giving to the Thurmont Food Bank, local schools, Thurmont Regional Library, Diabetes Awareness, and many, many more local and vision-related organizations.

Thurmont Lions Club gather for a photo at the well-attended Community Night on May 22, 2019.

A night to remember as to why we are Thurmont Lions—what a privilege and honor! A well-attended Community Night was held on May 22, 2019—a night to remember for Thurmont Lions Club members, a privilege and an honor. Approximately $12,000 was presented to 19 local community organizations and 8 regional and international Lions funds or organizations. This was in addition to the $12,000 distributed on Education Night for area schools and scholarships. 

These funds were the result of all of the numerous fundraisers the Thurmont Lions Club holds throughout the year: the pit sandwich sales, food sales at Colorfest and Community Show, cash bingo, selling Christmas trees and ornaments, as well as the calendar sales. A lot of work is put into these efforts, but the effort enables the Thurmont Lions Club to give back to its community and to Lions work around the world. This is how they serve, and they should be proud of their accomplishments.

Community-focused organizations receiving donations were: Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Maryland Parents of Blind Children, Guardian Hose Company, Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Frederick County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program, Catoctin Community Medical Fund, Thurmont Food Bank, Camp Jamie/Frederick County Hospice, Community Foundation of Frederick County, Maryland Patriot Guard, Catoctin FFA, Thurmont Regional Library, Hearing Loss of Association of America/Frederick Chapter, Thurmont Middle School Leos, Catoctin High School Leos, Thurmont Scouting, Inc., Thurmont Ambulance Company, Lions District 22-W Hearing and Speech Camperships, Diabetes Awareness Committee, Lions Saving Kids Sight, District 22-W Mobile Screening Van, District 22-W Foundation, Camp Merrick, Lions Quest, Low Vision Research Foundation (LVRF), and Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).     

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