Currently viewing the tag: "Thurmont Senior Center"

by Teresa Kempisty

Hello to all my senior friends and volunteers. While the center remains closed at this time, the COVID numbers are moving in the right direction to be able to open in some way sooner than later. It may have to be a partial opening, with some restrictions. It will all depend on Frederick County Health Dept. Guidelines at that time. We are being cautious for the safety of our seniors and volunteers (most of whom are seniors), and we appreciate your patience and understanding. When we do open, we will announce it on our website, in The Catoctin Banner, on Thurmont’s Channel 99, Thurmont’s radio station, on our sign, and on our voicemail recording.

I hope to bring a smile to your face by admitting that I forgot to mention Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and grandmas in the May issue! I can’t believe I did that. I am so sorry; my memory has seriously suffered since being closed for COVID. I hope you ladies had a wonderful day doing whatever you wanted to do. Now before I forget, I want to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day! Hope you have a wonderful day. I know my dad will want to go fishing and be with family…hmmmm, that’s exactly what I did for Mother’s Day, except we had to postpone it a few days until the weather was better. Enjoy whatever you do!

We are so thankful to the Community Foundation of Frederick County for receiving an Impact Grant to purchase three new lift chairs for our sitting area near the puzzle table. These will be able to be disinfected and are spaced appropriately. The two dark brown chairs are medium-sized chairs and the reddish-brown chair is a large size chair. See (above) the photo of the Birthday Quackers in the chairs.  We look forward to the day when you can use them. 

As far as we know, at this time, our Roy Rogers fundraiser is still drive-thru only, but guidelines are changing quickly, so check Channel 99 or call the center at 301-271-7911. The next fundraiser will be Thursday, June 10, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Please mention the Thurmont Senior Center when you order.  Thank you.

Our Christmas Raffle will start in June this year and will be a little different than in past years. Instead of a quilt, Carol will have put together a “Thurmont Treasures Collection” of hand-crafted items made by Thurmont seniors for first prize. Second prize will be $100 and third prize will be $50. She will be selling them around town at different locations and at the center once we reopen. They are six for $5.00 or $1.00 each. You can also call 301-271-7911 if you want to purchase any, and we will make sure we get them to you.

It is unknown at this time if we will be having a Christmas party or not, but we will still draw the winners on the first Saturday in December which is December 4, 2021. 

Take care, everyone, and enjoy the warmer weather that June will bring.

Photo by Kim Clever

“Thank you, Community Foundation of Frederick County for the Impact Grant to update our common seating area.”

by Teresa Kempisty

Hello, to everyone. I miss you all so very much. I want you to know that I appreciate and miss each and every one of you. Many of you have asked, “Do you think we will ever be open again?” And the answer is a definite, “YES!” My guess would be not until spring, but it will be when Gov. Hogan allows senior centers to reopen. For your information, with the rise in COVID-19 cases, we have decided not to rent out the Thurmont Senior Center to any groups until we reopen. 

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to have our Christmas Party this year, but we want to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas.

As I am writing this, it is 75 degrees outside, so to be wishing you season’s greetings seems surreal.  Living in Maryland, as we all know, the weather can change rapidly, so who knows, maybe we will have a White Christmas after all!  I know some of you are thinking, Hush, Teresa, but I really do like the snow! 

If you can, please come through the drive-thru at Roy Rogers in Thurmont on Thursday, December 10, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Mention the Thurmont Senior Center for our fundraiser night, and we will receive 25 percent of the total sales. Due to COVID-19 regulations, it is drive-thru only at this time, but it will always be the second Thursday of each month, same time and place.  Thank you.

A huge thank you goes out to all of our Veterans, to those presently serving, and to all their families for their service and sacrifices. Every one of you is a hero for selflessly serving to protect us and our country. We hope you had a Happy Veterans Day, and we hope to be able to have our Veteran’s Day open house next fall or in 2022. We were supposed to have the open house this fall, but couldn’t due to COVID.

Congratulations to Barbara Ritenour (second-prize winner) and Caythee Ruby (first-prize winner) of the free Halloween Basket Raffle. Carol Long put together the raffle using names of people on the sign-in sheets and volunteer sign-in sheets from 2020.  More free drawings will be coming.

Another big thank you goes out to Winterbrook Farms, who donated treats that we were able to distribute to seniors and our volunteers.

If you have a birthday coming up and you are registered with the Thurmont Senior Center, don’t be surprised when you get a call and visit from the “Birthday Quackers.”  

We had our last Drive-by Greetings Parade on November 5, and it was the longest one yet at 2 hours and 22 minutes. We are stopping for the winter. We really enjoyed seeing our senior friends in Rocky Ridge, Keymar, Woodsboro, and Thurmont. 

In closing, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year! 

Take care, and if you need to call the center, the phone number is 301-271-7911.

Photo by John Kempisty

Ron and Marie Free all dressed up for the Drive-by Greeting Parade on November 5, 2020.

by Teresa Kempisty

Photos by Teresa Kempisty

President John Dowling & Board Member Kathy Dowling drive in the Drive-By Greetings Parade on October 14, 2020, waving to over 36 seniors

Jim and Joan Leo are visited during the October 14th Drive-By Greetings Parade.

Helen Deluca waves to the participants in the October 14th Drive-By Greetings Parade.

Hi, there! Happy Thanksgiving to all! 

Even in these difficult COVID times, we can all find much to be thankful for. If you can’t find anything to be thankful for, try reaching out to a friend or neighbor in need. It always helps us when we help others. Please wear your masks and social distance, and keep your hands washed and away from your face when you are with others. 

I have observed something that troubles me about mask-wearing.  I have noticed that not all people are wearing masks over their nose and mouth. If your mask is to be protective of you and others, you must have both your nose and mouth covered. I know it’s a bother, and it causes glasses to fog up, but it is a simple bother if it keeps you and others well. 

Several of you have called the Thurmont Senior Center (TSC) regarding meeting with Ellie (Jenkins) Williams about Medicare prescription coverage during the open season, but the Department of Aging (now called Senior Services Division) is not meeting with anyone in person. They are taking appointments to talk on the phone or virtually. To make an appointment, call the Senior Services Division at 301-600-1234. 

Beginning back on October 8 (monthly now), we held our Fundraiser Night again at Roy Rogers in Thurmont (always on the second Thursday night of each month), from 5:00-8:00 p.m. However, it will now be drive-thru only. Please specify when you order that it’s for the Thurmont Senior Center fundraiser. The drive-thru stipulation is due to the restaurant only being able to have 50 percent capacity inside. Also, we are not having our bake sale at this time, but it will resume sometime in the future. Every bit helps, so thanks to all who participate and thanks to future participants. We receive a donation of 25 percent of the total sales between 5:00-8:00 p.m. on our Fundraiser Night at Roy Rogers, which for November is Thursday, November 12.

We had another successful Drive-By Greeting Parade (our fourth) to some town areas through Woodland Park and Jermae and up Rt. 77 and 550, to visit seniors in these areas who frequent the Thurmont Senior Center. Thanks to all who participated. The last parade for 2020 will be on Thursday, November 5, with a rain date of Friday, November 6. We will be driving to a few more residents in town areas, then out to Rocky Ridge, Keymar, and Woodsboro. The Thurmont Senior Center serves a very large area, and we miss everyone! Also, thanks again to the “Birthday Quakers” who are still bringing birthday treats to those seniors who are signed up with TSC, considering we are still closed and can’t have our monthly birthday parties. 

I will leave you with some Thanksgiving quotes to make you smile.

“The thing that I’m most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands.”—author unknown

“May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump, may your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump, may your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize, and may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.”—anonymous 

“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”—Erma Bombeck 

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”—John F. Kennedy

Alex Potter

January was a quiet month for the LEO Club. Plans and posters were made for the Share the Love Food Drive and Pennies for Patients.

Share the Love Food Drive will collect food for our local food bank, and Pennies for Patients raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Leo Club decided to donate $100 to Days End Horse Rescue and $50 to Cuddles Cat Rescue.

Lastly, we are planning to make Valentine’s Day cards for the seniors at the Thurmont Senior Center, as well as scheduling an afternoon to play bingo with the seniors.

by John Dowling

The good times of summer are here once again to enjoy. Now is the time of backyard cookouts, picnics, nature walks, swimming, and so much more. A time to visit and see and breathe in the many sights, smells, and beauty that Mother Nature offers us. 

Flowers in front of the Thurmont Senior Center are adding their beauty to all who enter the front door. We extend a grateful “thank you” to the Rocky Ridge 4-H Club, who donated the beautiful flowers, along with their time spent preparing the ground and doing the planting and mulching. Come by and see their beautiful work, and come check out what we have going on for the seniors to take part in and enjoy this summer.

The Thurmont Senior Center is located at 806 E. Main Street, across the street from the Thurmont Elementary School. Just drop in some time and meet our coordinator, Teresa, and pick up the monthly events calendar, which also has the daily menu on the back.

All of our activities and exercises are geared to the levels and abilities of most active seniors. On every Monday, there is the senior version of Zumba Gold exercises, from 10:15-11:00 a.m. The cost is $24.00 for a punch card for eight sessions, or you can pay $5.00 per session. Also happening every Monday at 1:00 p.m. is a free movie, which will be shown on our large screen TV.  Call the Center to see what movie will be playing at 301-271-7911.

On each Tuesday, from 9:30-10:00 a.m., we have exercise with Alice Eyler (you make a donation). Following exercise with Alice,  you can have fun learning and doing line dancing, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  There are also cards and games each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, July 3, and July 17 for our fun-time Bingo, which starts at 1:00 p.m. The cost to play is $5.00 for a 3-pack of 20 games, and $1.00 for a winner-take-all game. During intermission, there are a variety of free snacks to enjoy. 

Because of the July 4th holiday closure, we will have our Monthly Birthday Party on Tuesday, July 9, at 12:30 p.m., and the Memory Café on Thursday, July 11, at 12:00 p.m., sponsored by Spring Arbor. Call the Center for details at 301-271-7911. 

Bunco will stop for the summer, but will start up again in the fall on Thursday, September 19, at 1:00 p.m., and will always be the third Thursday of each month. From all the laughter and happy chatter that was coming from the Bunco tables, it must really be a fun game! Come and learn how to play; it’s easy.

On Wednesday, July 31, at 1:00 p.m.—since it’s the fifth Wednesday in the month—we will have our Special Benefit Bingo, when our proceeds go to a charity (yet to be decided for July) in the Thurmont area. Our Bingo games are growing and are a very fun time for all who attend. The payouts are getting BIGGER as well! So, come have some fun and see for yourself.  Call us on Tuesdays and order lunch for $6.00 on Bingo Wednesdays at 301-271-7911.

Don’t miss the Pot Luck & General Meeting at the Center on Wednesday, July 24, at noon. Bring a dish to share or pay $6.00. Fried chicken will be provided.

Also, don’t miss a free performance by “Forever Young” with Kip and Dale, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., on Tuesday, July 30. You will enjoy their great entertainment. There is more parking available across the street at the Thurmont Elementary School and behind the police station next door. 

Please see the Community Calendar in the back of the Banner for dates of our other events.

“Did You Know” that the Thurmont Senior Center building was originally built as an airplane hangar by Victor Leisner, who also started the WTHU Radio Station on Radio Lane, here in Thurmont. I once saw in the late 1960s on the grass runway behind the then-hangar, seven small airplanes, where the Little League ball fields and housing developments are now. My, how things change!

Have a great and safe summer, and may each and every day be a great one.

Katie, Club Reporter

Members of the Rocky Ridge 4-H Club clean the flower beds, plant flowers, and mulch at the Thurmont Historical Society.

The Rocky Ridge 4-H Club has been busy. In May, many of our members participated in shows and events in the local area, including Wills Fair, Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and Jefferson County Spring Classic. Our members always enjoy these events and represent our club well!

Our Community Service project for May was cleaning the flower beds, planting flowers, and mulching at the Thurmont Senior Center and the Thurmont Historical Society. We split our group into two teams and quickly tackled the project. The results will be enjoyed throughout the summer, as the flowers grow and bloom. After finishing the job, we enjoyed pizza at the Thurmont Grange Hall and held our monthly meeting.

Swine, Sheep and Goat weigh-ins for the Great Frederick Fair are right around the corner. We’re all working hard on our projects. Our club will enjoy its annual Club Field Day on Sunday, June 30. At Field Day, members will bring projects that we’ve been working on, to include: cooking, sewing, crafts, photography, and all animal projects. The entries will be judged just like at the Fair and prizes will be awarded. We will enjoy lunch together and play lots of games. It’s a fun day that members look forward to.

Blair Garrett and James Rada, Jr.

Whether it’s in the grocery store, your local food chain, or volunteering for a charity in need, elders continue to pitch in and help the community around us.

Thurmont resident Margaret Reed, age eighty-seven, has put in countless hours over the years, working a variety of jobs. To this day, Reed still works. She aims to keep herself busy and moving.

“I love to work, and I always have,” Reed said. Her working career started off at a young age, back when it was necessary to have the whole family chip in to help. She began working at fifteen years old at Kresge’s 5 and Dime, making 35 cents an hour.

At sixteen, Reed moved on to Sagner’s in Frederick, sewing clothing, where she got a significant bump in pay to 50 cents an hour. “I thought I was rich,” she recalled.

That youthful attitude and determination was not age-relative for Reed, though, as she has carried youthful optimism throughout her life.

Reed flourished in a long career, and she had decided to enjoy retirement at sixty-two years of age. But after forty years of marriage and the passing of her husband, Reed got back into the workforce to get out of the house, where she took a job at the Carriage House Bakery.

She spent sixteen years there until her second retirement this past December. But even at eighty-seven, Reed couldn’t stay dormant for long, taking her current job, on-call, cleaning at the Super 8 Motel in Thurmont. Seeing her friends using walkers and oxygen is motivation for Reed to stay active, and keeping busy is the best way to maintain her independence.

Darlene Wastler is another example of perseverance and dedication. Wastler, age sixty-six, maintains a job at the Roy Rogers in Thurmont, where her smiling face is often the first thing new and old customers see when they visit.

She also works at the Thurmont Senior Center, offering help week after week. Wastler is a Catoctin local, born and raised. She graduated from Catoctin High School in 1970, and ever since, she has found her way in the workforce in the Emmitsburg and Thurmont area.

“I enjoy the people and the customers,” Wastler said. “If you can get along with your employer, they look out for you.”

Wastler has been a staple of Thurmont’s Roy Rogers, having worked there for more than a decade. “It’ll be eleven years Mother’s Day weekend,” Wastler said. “I got a pin for ten years.”

Despite spending much of her fifties and sixties balancing life’s stresses on top of two jobs, she doesn’t plan on stepping back any time soon. “I’m hoping to continue for a while.”

If dedication and longevity are the keys to becoming a huge part of a business or company, Don Stitely is the epitome of those characteristics. Stitely is a member of the Guardian Hose family, logging more than sixty years for the volunteer fire company.

Stitely still serves as the President Emeritus, playing a big part in the administrative duties at Guardian Hose as a volunteer. Stitley was honored at the annual Guardian Hose banquet with a certificate for his long-standing contributions.

On top of the various volunteer work Stitely has done over the years, he also works at Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg, stocking the shelves on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At eighty years old, the motivation is built from a long career of putting in hard work.

“After people retire, they don’t last long if they aren’t on the go,” Stitely said. “I’ve slowed down a bit, but I like to keep moving.”

Stitely spent just five years in retirement before picking up a job at Walmart, and then finally at Jubilee. “I really just like meeting with people and getting out of the house a bit.”

After the last sixty years in the workforce, Stitely’s future appears to be the same as it’s always been. “I hope to stick around there for a while.”      

Regardless of where you go across Northern Frederick County, you will find many elders still active in the workforce and volunteering their services to the community. With the dedication shown here by just a few of our local elders, it’s easy to see how they continue to make an impact and how their value in the workforce is still undeniable.

At eighty-seven, Margaret Reed continues to push herself to stay active in the workforce.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

The new Thurmont band Morris Blake has been working on for a few short months, made its public debut on December 21, 2017.
A sneak preview of the band was held at the Thurmont Senior Center, and the band presented a Christmas Concert to a full house. The band started with the first member, Devon Shorb, a trumpeter, and shortly after that, five new brass members followed. At the beginning of the performance, Mayor John Kinnaird presented the band and delivered its official name, Gateway Brass Ensemble. The performance was filled with traditional Christmas music, such as “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” and many others, leading up to the grand finale of “White Christmas.”

During a small intermission, Director Blake introduced each member and presented each of them with a Christmas gift. Each member received a sweatshirt, replicating the former Thurmont Train Station that the Thurmont Historical Society is selling as a fundraiser.

The Gateway Brass Band is under the direction of Morris Blake, and members include trumpeters, Rachel Murdorf, Devin Shorb, and David Fisher. On trombone is Alex Contraras, with Ed Price on Baritone and Gene Blum on the tuba.

Gateway Brass Ensemble will appear at various Thurmont events, and will be working on a July 4 concert at Memorial Park.

A contest was held for individuals to submit a name for the band, and the names received were put out to a vote, with Gateway Brass Ensemble receiving the most votes. The name was submitted by Susan Free, who will receive two tickets to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and a dinner for two at a Thurmont Restaurant. The Thurmont Commissioners had the final approval for the name and it was approved on December 20, two nights before a delightful Christmas performance. Gateway Brass Ensemble will continue to grow. If you are interested in joining, contact Morris Blake at 301-271-4831.

Grace Eyler

In the month of November, our nation’s Veterans are honored for their service and commitment to our country. In the town of Thurmont, the Senior Center goes above and beyond to make area Veterans feel welcomed and appreciated.

On November 5, 2016, the Thurmont Senior Center celebrated its second annual “Veterans Day Open House.” Girl Scout Troup 81178 and their leader, Crystal, welcomed guests as they arrived, followed by the young girls leading the Pledge of Allegiance and Flag Ceremony. Families and friends then united to enjoy a luncheon served by volunteers from the Center.

Opening remarks were given by the Center’s president, George Anzelone. Also in attendance were local VA Representative James Burger; Bill Buehrer from Stauffer’s Funeral Home; David Wingate, Attorney at Law; and Chuck Fisher, entertainer. Throughout the luncheon, Chuck reminisced about memories from his time in the military, as well as entertained the audience with classic hits. While one couple danced, others sung along to their favorite songs. Girl Scouts visited every table to personally thank the Veterans for their service.  Leo Club volunteers eagerly served the guests. Mr. Fisher announced raffle winners, who were thrilled to win local handmade items and merchants’ gift certificates, as well as freshly baked home goods and other items donated by the Thurmont Senior Center.

Local Veterans organizations set up in the Center with informational displays and welcomed Veterans to ask questions about services. Ernie Unger, Claims Officer for the D.A.V., was available to answer questions and help with filling out benefit forms. Participating rganizations included the Thurmont AMVETS, American Legion; and the largest display couldn’t fit inside with the Center’s guests, thanks to the American Legion Riders, who parked  their gleaming motorcycles in the parking lot.

Thurmont resident and retired Marine, J. R. Hamilton (seventy-four years old) displayed his extravagant collection of military memorabilia: awards from many Veterans organizations and snippets of his ten years of volunteer work with the Wounded Warriors Project. He recalled his time volunteering every week at Bethesda Naval Hospital as a Chaplain. When a solider would come out of ICU into recovery, he would speak with people who were visiting, to go over what they could and couldn’t do with the solider to insure his quickest recovery. Mr. Hamilton proudly displayed just a few of his sixty “Challenge Coins,” explaining how one acquires them, “You meet with that person, shake their hand, and exchange a challenge coin and talk with them.”

The Thurmont Senior Center brought all elements of the community together, providing a wonderful experience to many of the areas Veterans. Everyone who attended enjoyed the day and will surely return for the third annual Veteran’s Day Open House in November of 2018.


J.R. Hamilton sits alongside of his display, showcasing military awards, photo albums and other memorabilia during the Thurmont Senior Center Veteran’s Day Open House, held November 5.

The Catoctin Civitan Club has been busy this year, raising money and reaching out to people in need throughout the community. With a handful of active members, the club has contributed well over $74,000 back to the community, just this year. Civitan Clubs normally only reach out to individuals who have intellectual or developmental disabilities to offer support and help with expenses: however, we are lucky to have a club that helps people with other challenges as well.

Recently, concerned citizen, Bill Wachter, contacted the Civitans, in hopes they might be able to help a lady who was bed-ridden and unable to tend to outside upkeep of her home. When volunteers Ginger and Bill Malone and Mary Dal-Favero caught wind of this, they scheduled a day to visit the lady to clean up brush and fallen branches. They plan to go back in the spring and help maintain the yard once again.

The very next week, the Club received another call, providing a lead to help another local woman. Fortunately, the Civitan Club may be able to help her financially, while she is on disability.

Mary, Civitan secretary, explained, “Our club is to help people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, but these people we are helping have physical disabilities in life, but we can help them!”

In October, the Club presented the town of Thurmont with a check for $74,000 (phase 1 of 3) or an inclusive playground for handicapped children, located behind the Thurmont Senior Center. The total amounts to $288,000. The playground will feature a rubber mat ground, a zip line, and a multi-functional “teeter tunnel.”

In the previous year, fundraising enabled the Club to purchase three Chromebooks for the special education department at Catoctin High School. The Chromebooks were such a help, volunteers promised eleven more laptops to the school. In the end, they will be providing thirteen from a donation amounting to over $2,000.

So, how is such a small club able to raise enormous funds? Along with other small fundraisers, a blue toilet does the trick. If you wake up with a toilet in your front yard, thank a member of your family—you’ve fallen victim to the toilet. You may pay $35.00 to place the potty in someone’s yard; to remove the toilet, pay $15.00 and give it to someone else. Fortunately, to insure the lawn ornament doesn’t show itself again, it’s another $10.00.

The traveling toilet has visited close to twenty homes in our area—you could be next!

Are you interested in being a part of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club? They are always welcoming new volunteers—not just from Thurmont. They serve the entire Catoctin feeder area. Meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in Thurmont at the Main Street Building.

Helen Deluca

Congratulations to Roy Clever, a recent inductee to the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Roy received the honor for the many ways in which he volunteers to help others. He dedicates his time to four principles: God, family, country, and community.

Roy and his wife, Dorothy, are active members of Weller Methodist Church, and, in the past, Roy volunteered for several missions to Costa Rica.

He served as a Marine in the Korean War. In 2011, he was nominated for Town of Thurmont Volunteer of the Year, which is sponsored by the Lions Club. Returning after thirty-four years of teaching and serving as a principal in Frederick County Schools, he now volunteers at the Thurmont Senior Center, where he continues to be an inspiration and mentor to others.

After more than twenty-two years as president of the Board of Directors at the Center, he is currently, as vice president, using his experience to assume responsibility for a variety of legal and financial matters regarding the Center.

Roy has a quiet, thoughtful type of personality. The result is a dependable, resourceful, and kind individual who is always ready to help and volunteer.

He is the third inductee into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame from the Thurmont Senior Center.


Roy Clever is shown receiving his Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Award on October 27, 2016.

Photo taken by Kim Clever

Ninety-year-old couple, George and Helen Deluca, of Thurmont, don’t look or act their age. Helen has been an active volunteer with the Thurmont Senior Center and a long-time contributor to The Catoctin Banner, and George, after his retirement, stayed busy delivering meals from the Thurmont Senior Center to the homebound, as well as helping at the local food bank. He also enjoyed selling tickets at the stadium for all the Washington Redskin games.

Having met in the seventh grade in Wanamie, Pennsylvania, they eventually became “high school sweethearts,” but that was put on hold when George was drafted into the Army and was deferred until he graduated. He served in the Glider Infantry 82nd Airborne. Shortly after his discharge, he and Helen were married on October 5, 1946, with the written permission of their parents, which was a requirement if the couple was under the age of twenty-one.

In 1951, following a visit to his brother who lived in Virginia, George and Helen, with their two daughters, decided to start their new life in a new area. They settled in Wheaton, Maryland. George went to work at Thompson’s Dairy, while Helen was a stay-at-home mom until their daughters started school. It was then that Helen began a twenty-year career with Giant Foods. When Thompson Dairy went out of business, George went to work with Montgomery County Liquor Control until he retired.

In 1970, after twenty-three years in Wheaton, they renovated a vacation cabin into a permanent home in Eylers Valley, near Thurmont. They lived there for twenty-three years and now live in Thurmont.

For their 70th wedding anniversary celebration on October 2 of this year, the Deluca’s daughters “went overboard” for their party at the Thurmont AMVETS, with dinner for ninety-four people. George said, “We had one big thing [party] and one big time.” This was followed by a family reunion the next day.

Helen shared the secret of a happy marriage: “Don’t give up when things aren’t going smooth. You don’t just walk away from a problem, you work it out. When we took our vows, that was back in the day where you didn’t take them unless you meant them. You knew that was the rest of your life.” Helen looked at George and added, “We just worked it out didn’t we? We’ve had a real good life.”

Photo by Grace Eyler


Helen and George Deluca of Thurmont celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on October 5.

From the Mayor


by Mayor Briggs

The holiday season is aquí! Many events are planned for the holiday season; jump in. Continuing Emmitsburg’s holiday traditions, Mother Seton School third graders will trim the tree on the square on December 1, and the Emmitsburg Elementary School will trim the tree in front of the Community Center on December 18.

On December 4, Emmitsburg will host the Maryland Municipal League Frederick County chapter delegation dinner. Attendance is estimated to be 80-100 people.

On Monday, December 7, the Christmas tree lighting on the Square begins with Christmas music at 5:00 p.m., caroling by two choruses at 5:45 p.m., then Santa Claus and the tree lighting shortly thereafter. From there, it’s down to the Carriage House Inn for the 26th Annual “Evening of Christmas Spirit” for one-on-one with Santa, caroling, hay rides, free hotdogs, cookies, hot chocolate, and more, happening 7:00-9:00 p.m.

A Christmas present for all: It looks like an old favorite style of pizza may be coming back to the square.

On Veterans Day, promptly at 11:00 a.m.—the eleventh day of the eleventh month—it was again a pleasure to join the American Legion Post Honor Guard as they visited each cemetery, the Doughboy, and the American Legion Post with a 21-gun salute and “Taps.” Later in the day, they visited nine war Veterans at St. Catherine’s Nursing Home.

On October 27, Emmitsburg received the “Sustainable Maryland Certified” designation. Emmitsburg is one of only three municipalities in Frederick County to earn this award. The award was made at the Maryland Municipal League Fall Conference held at the Hyatt Hotel in Cambridge.  This is the third award the town has received in the last three years. In 2013, the town was recognized by the state as a “Sustainable Community” that made the town and residents eligible for grants, among other things. Over $300,000 has gone into improving private property through this program. In 2014, Emmitsburg was recognized by the Maryland Energy Administration as a “Smart Energy Community.” The efforts leading up to these awards were geared primarily toward the goals of assisting residents, lowering the cost of government, and lessening our impact on the environment. Congratulations to the Emmitsburg town staff!

An often forgotten issue is our trash. As we move into the season of uplifting and gift exchange, why talk about trash? From 2013 estimates, the county generates 427,000 tons of waste a year, of which approximately 49.5 percent is recycled. Of the remaining 50.5 percent; 9 percent went to the county landfill, and 91 percent was diverted out of the county. Although great strides have been made in recycling, at the current rate of 9 percent, the life expectancy of the landfill is eighteen years or until 2033.

To a lot of us, eighteen years is like a blink of an eye. How risky is dependency on out-of-state sites accepting our trash? What will be the cost in the future? To these queries (and more), last spring, County Executive Jan Gardner appointed residents from throughout the community to an ad hoc Solid Waste Steering Committee to address specifically solid waste management. This is a community-driven committee whose role is with the “assistance of the consultant, help manage the process in the development of a sustainable and robust long-term solid waste program for Frederick County.”After regular meetings held throughout the summer and early fall, the committee recommendations were made and Geosyntec Consultants were selected and hired by the county. In November, the first of five public forums were held in the Frederick City area. Two more will be held in December, and a public forum for northern Frederick County is scheduled for Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Thurmont Library. Mark your calendar.

To all, have a safe and wonderful holiday season.


November 2015

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg Hosting MML Meeting

For the first time, Emmitsburg will play host for a meeting of the Maryland Municipal League (MML). The meeting will be held at the Carriage House on December 4, 2015, and will bring municipal officials from all over the state to Emmitsburg.

Scenic Byway Incorporated into Comprehensive Plan

The Catoctin Mountain National Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan has been incorporated into the Emmitsburg Comprehensive Plan, which is currently being reviewed. The new additions to the plan can be reviewed online at

The Emmitsburg Comprehensive plan addresses the town’s goals for future development and infrastructure improvements.

For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit or call 301-600-6300.


November 2015

by James Rada, Jr.

Planning Commission Appointment

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners appointed Jim Wilkins to the Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission as an alternate member. The commissioners voted unanimously for the appointment on October 20.

Main Street Beautification Moves Forward

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners unanimously approved the second phase of the Main Street Beautification, which involves installing five benches, two bike racks, and two trash receptacles downtown. Thurmont Main Street will apply for a $7,683 grant from the Department of Community and Housing Development.

The mayor and commissioners also voted three to one to allow Main Street to apply for a second $3,225 grant to pay for the design and printing of 500 professional brochures, certificates, and envelopes for the Thurmont Business Bucks Program.

The program is in its third year. It allows customers to purchase $25.00 or $50.00 certificates that can be used in twenty-nine different Thurmont businesses. Vickie Grinder estimates that thirty-five to forty certificates will be sold this Christmas season.

Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder said that the purpose of the program is to “try and keep some of these local dollars in the community.”

Commissioners May Allow Alcohol on Some Town-owned Properties

The Town of Thurmont has a policy of not allowing consumption of alcoholic beverages on town properties. When the Thurmont Senior Center has requested exemptions for special events in the past, it has been turned down.

However, during a recent event at the Painting with Laura Main Street Center, wine was also served. Wine tasting was also done at one of the Thurmont Farmers’ Markets during the summer.

Commissioner Bill Buehrer said that having arts in the community makes the community healthy, and serving wine at events is a great marketing tool.

“This makes it healthy, and it just happens to be alcohol and alcohol has a negative connotation. I don’t think this is negative in any way,” Buehrer said.

Mayor John Kinnaird told the commissioners that they needed to decide whether the policy needed to be revised. He also noted that if there is a charge for the event, a liquor license would also be required.

He said that if the commissioners wanted to allow alcohol at arts events, they should only allow it on properties leased from the town, such as the Senior Center and Main Street Center. The leasing organization must also maintain liability insurance and follow the Frederick County Liquor Board regulations. They would also not be able to charge a fee for events.

The commissioners decided to have a draft revision of the policy created that they will then consider for passing.

New Stop Sign in Thurmont

Drivers looking to avoid the traffic light in the center of Thurmont by using South Center Street and Park Lane should be watchful for a new stop sign that will be placed on South Center, halting drivers who are used to cruising non-stop around the curve onto Park Lane. Thurmont Police Chief made the request of the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners on November 10. The sign is needed as a safety measure, because a lot more traffic is expected to be making left-hand turns from South Center onto Park Lane once a new town home development is completed.

Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick said that the stop sign will condition drivers to stop now, before traffic at the intersection increases and accidents happen.


View the Town of Thurmont’s website at or call the town office at 301-271-7313 for more information.

Deb Spalding

20151022_132431_resizedCongratulations to Helen Deluca of Thurmont, who was recently inducted into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Her volunteer contributions to the Thurmont Senior Center, senior citizens in general, her church, and the community are very deserving of acknowledgement. As a column contributor to The Catoctin Banner newspaper, Helen’s willingness to communicate with readers in regard to senior citizen news has been greatly appreciated. She has a kind heart and consistent purpose. She and her husband, George, have contributed great things to our community over the years.

The 29th Annual Awards Luncheon of the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, Inc., was held October 22, 2015, in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Of the forty-eight seniors citizens honored this year, Helen was the only representative from Frederick County. Helen was surprised by members of her family who flew in to celebrate with her.

Helen has lived in northwest Frederick County since the early 1970s. She was part of a concerned neighbors group, formed to preserve the conservation of the area where she lives from encroachment of a proposed ski resort, road closures, and sewage treatment plant on a mountain stream. She is a very active volunteer at her church, Our Lady of Mr. Carmel Catholic Church, in Thurmont. There, she won the 2008 Archdiocesan Medal of Honor Award for Service.

She retired from her position as Head Checker at Giant Food in Rockville in 1972, then became active on the Senior Council with the Town of Thurmont and became a member of the Thurmont Senior Center. At Giant, she received the “Cashier of the Year” award and with it, a trip to Bermuda.

At almost eighty-nine years young, she serves as an advocate for all seniors, through her words and actions. At the Thurmont Senior Center, she was instrumental in helping through the transition from Frederick County governance to an independently managed non-profit center.

We appreciate all of your work, Helen! Life has its “Senior Moments”—this one’s for you.

Photo by Lew Hamlett

helen deluca

From right (back of head is Helen’s daughter Nancy Hamlett, granddaughter Angela Cotie (flew in from Texas), George Deluca, Helen Deluca, Carol Humerick, Jim Humerick, Irene Matthews, Kathy Dowling, John Dowling, taking picture is son-in-law. Daughter Carol Council flew in from North Carolina on Friday to join them for dinner Friday night to celebrate Helen’s award.



Guardian Hose Company Yard Sale

The Guardian Hose Company is sponsoring a yard sale on May 30, 2015, at the Thurmont carnival grounds on 123 East Main Street in Thurmont. Spaces are $5.00 each.

Vigilant Hose Company’s Spring Fling

The Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2014, at the ARCC Athletic Complex area at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. This annual event features horseshoes, great food, live music, 50/50 tip jars, and much more. It’s great fun for everyone! Tickets are $60.00 each (good for two people). Get your tickets today; there are limited tickets remaining. Spring Fling gives $30,000 away in prizes! Benefits the Vigilant Hose Company and VHC Explorers Post.

Concert at Germantown Church of God

Germantown Church of God Presents Rich Kiser—a solo, finger-style guitarist—in concert on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., at 16924 Raven Rock Road in Cascade. Admission is free.

Lewistown Fire Department Sportsmans Bingo

The Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Frederick, Maryland, will be holding a Sportsmans Bingo on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m.; buffet meal will begin at 6:00 p.m., and games will start at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $40.00 per person (includes dinner, ice tea, and beer). Advanced ticket sales only.

Creagerstown Community Dinner

The Creagerstown Community Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from noon-5:00 p.m. Dinner will feature pot pie, fried chicken, country ham, and more. The cost is $16.00 per adult, and $8.00 per child. Proceeds will benefit the upkeep of Creagerstown Cemetery and street lights.

Zurgable Brothers Holds Grill Demo

Stop by Zurgable Hardware, located at 1663 Old Emmitsburg Road in Emmitsburg, on Saturday, May 16, 2015, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. See demonstrations of Holland Grills.

Old Field Woodworking Open House

Spring is a great time for an Old Field Woodworking Open House! Come see handcrafted and original designed furniture, or order custom-designed furniture on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 13333 Graceham Road in Thurmont, from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

John Dowling, Kathy Dowling, Theresa Keeney, and Jack Cogan will be on hand to assist you. Receive 10% off of your purchases when you show their advertisement from page 29 of this issue. Call 301-271-4439 for more information.

Fun Festival

Don’t miss the Fun Festival at Victory Tabernacle, located at 6710 Kelly Store Road in Thurmont, on May 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Event features games, crafts, face painting, live music, clowns, and much more!

Guardian Hose Company’s Flower Sale & Chicken BBQ

Don’t miss the Guardian Hose Company’s Flower Sale and Chicken BBQ event on May 8, from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., and May 9, from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Thurmont Senior Center Yard Sale — May through September

Join the Thurmont Senior Center for a yard sale on the second Satruday in May through September. Reserve your spot for just $10.00.

Thurmont Art & Wine Walk

Come on out to the Art & Wine Walk on Main Street in Thurmont on Friday, May 8, 2015, from 6:00-8:30 p.m., for an art, wine, cupcake, and appetizer walk! The event will feature local artists.

All About Birds Art Exhibit

Don’t miss the All About Birds Art Exhibit on June 5-6, 2015, from 2:00-5:00 p.m., at the studio, located at 14726 Old Frederick Road in Rocky Ridge. Original paintings, photographs, prints, and cards will be available by local artists. The event benefits the Catoctin Forest Alliance.

Take-a-Tour Tuesday at Mother Seton School

Visit Mother Seton School for Take-a-Tour Tuesday on May 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Mother Seton School is located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield is hosting many events in May, including a Final Wagner Shoot on May 2, 2015; a Cash Bingo on May 3, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., with doors opening at 11:30 a.m.; a Kids Fishing Rodeo on May 9, 2015, for ages 2-17 years old, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.; and a Crab Leg Feed on May 23, 2015.

His Place Car Show

Mark your calendar for the 6th Annual His Place Car Show, being held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Mother Seton School, located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Event features three awards each, for five categories; raffle, food, door prizes, and more.

Thurmont Anytime Fitness Offers “Free Workout Saturdays” Throughout May

Get ready for some outdoor fitness fun! Anytime Fitness of Thurmont is hosting fun-infused exercises—tug-of-war, relay races, obstacle courses, and more—at Thurmont Community Park at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday during the month of May.

The five consecutive “Free Workout Saturdays” will be led by certified personal trainers and are designed for people of every fitness level. They are open to all adults, not just Anytime Fitness members. The concept, inspired by grassroots efforts of a few Anytime Fitness clubs that regularly offer free outdoor “boot camps,” has grown into a nationwide campaign to promote physical fitness.

“We want our community to be as healthy and active as possible, and we hope that the Free Workouts Saturdays will show folks that exercise can be fun,” said George Puvel, owner of Anytime Fitness Thurmont. “We hope this is the jumpstart and motivation to continue their own personal healthier lifestyle journeys.”

Anytime Fitness Thurmont is one of more than 1,000 Anytime Fitness clubs across the United States that will host the free outdoor exercise classes.

View a Free Workout Saturday video at

“At Anytime Fitness, we’re passionate about helping people ‘get to a healthier place,’” said Puvel. “That can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s losing weight or gaining strength. For others, it’s improving balance or flexibility. The important thing is to find physical activities that you enjoy, so being active is something you look forward to—rather than dread.”

The Taney Corporation Welcomes Special Guests to Tour Facilities

The Taney Corporation, located in Taneytown, Maryland, welcomed U.S. Congressman Andy Harris’ Chief of Staff, Kevin C. Reigrut, and Community Liaison Mary O’Keeffe, to tour their office and plant facilities on February 5, 2015. 

Established in 1958, The Taney Corporation is a family-owned business considered to be the premier stair and rail manufacturer in the Mid-Atlantic market. Owned by Eric, Jeff, and Brian Glass, The Taney Corporation sells to dealers and builders throughout Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.  Nancy McCormick, director of economic development for the City of Taneytown, was instrumental in coordinating the visit of Reigrut and O’Keeffe, and accompanied the congressman’s staff on their visit to The Taney Corporation. 

Mary O’Keeffe writes, “The state of Maryland is fortunate to have a manufacturing company like yours remain in operation. The motto on your card reads, ‘Over 50 years of excellence’ and after seeing the craftsmanship of what you do, I am a true believer in The Taney Corporation.” 

The Taney Corporation manufactures straight stairs, circular and spiral stairs, pre-built rails, handrails, balusters, and newels in all wood species, including red oak, yellow pine, white oak, poplar, walnut, hickory, and many others.  They employ over sixty-five people, and pride themselves on their fine craftsmanship and dedication to excellence.

Pictured from left are Community Liaison Mary O’Keeffe; Chief of Staff Kevin Reigrut; Taneytown Economic Development Director Nancy McCormick; The Taney Corporation Vice-President Brian Glass; The Taney Corporation President Jeff Glass.

Deb Spalding

The evening of November 15, 2014, was one to be remembered, as Thurmont native and international tenor, Richard Troxell, returned to his alma mater, Catoctin High School (CHS), to present—along with current students of the CHS music program—a world-class concert to benefit the Catoctin High School music program and the Thurmont Senior Center.

This benefit concert included operatic works in several different languages that Richard has sung in different characters, including “Quanto e bella” from l’eslier d’amore, “La Donna e mobile” from Rigoletto, and “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, as well as some show tunes and classics. Richard framed his concert around two universal elements that he experiences everywhere. “The first is love… I see everywhere I go, every country I am in, from Chili to Israel, from Taiwan to Beijing, from Italy to France to Canada to the United States. Everywhere I go, I see love… People wanting to be in love, I see people in love, and I see people who love has messed them up so much… The other thing I always see is music. It’s in every person’s life… It’s on your cell phone, on your alarm clock, when you wait on the phone to the cable company, it’s on everything… It’s a trillion dollar industry,” said Richard.

 The concert was peppered with Richard’s stories about love and music. He shared humorous personal stories about his childhood loves, and stories about how love changed as he grew into an adult.

Richard identified other CHS graduates who became famous in the entertainment business, including Neal (Angleberger) Coty, a singer-songwriter who now resides in Nashville; Susanne Mentzer, a mezzo soprano from Thurmont; Michael Gray, a drummer with the Lee Brice Band (he performed during this concert, along with the CHS band); Ann Perry, Dale Webster, Jimmy Rickard, Mickie Late, and many others. He acknowledged former teachers and mentors with gratitude. 

Richard taught a masters class to CHS students the day before the concert. CHS soprano soloist, Katelyn Claxton, said, “The concert was awesome and the masters class was amazing! We are really lucky to have had Mr. Troxell teach us.”

Claxton, Diana Burch (alto) and Taylor Zentz (soprano) also presented solos, and Cody Horman performed a guitar solo. The Jazz ensemble was joined by noted performers.

Music and Band teacher, Mr. Z (Zamostny), presented Richard with an honorary Tri-M National Music Honor Society life membership at CHS.

Special thanks was extended to piano accompanists Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Christine Merki, and Windy Schmidt. The evening’s financial sponsors included His Place Auto Repair, Mrs. Gail Frantz, and Mrs. Karen Graf (in loving memory of her husband.)

Richard chose this concert to officially release his new CD, So In Love. One dollar from every sale will benefit the CHS music program and the Thurmont Senior Center.  If you would like to be a donor to the CHS music program, please visit

“It doesn’t matter what kind of music we enjoy. We’re all connected,” expressed Richard.


Richard Troxell and his Russian accompanist took their bow with the CHS choral ensemble and bands at the end of the benefit concert at Catoctin High School.