Thurmont Grange #409 held its annual Community Citizen and Grange Membership awards dinner on Monday, April 11. In addition to recognizing Grangers who have reached milestones in their years of membership, the Grange honors an individual or group who strives to make a difference by giving back to our community. 

This year, Kountry Kitchen was recognized with the 2024 Community Citizen Award. Owners Rob and Sherry Myers were present to receive the award on behalf of their business and their employees. Kountry Kitchen opened its doors in 1984 and recently celebrated its 40th year. It has always been a family-run business, with Sherry working beside her parents and grandmother, learning the restaurant business along the way. Rob and Sherry purchased the restaurant in 2019 and quickly learned just how difficult things could be as the pandemic hit shortly thereafter.  With schools closed during those unprecedented times, Sherry realized that many children who depended on the schools for breakfast and lunch were going without those meals.  Kountry Kitchen soon began serving up to 125 meals each day to keep those children fed. Kountry Kitchen continues to give back by hosting bake sales and raffles, donating money, gift certificates, food, and their services to many organizations and families in need across Thurmont and the surrounding communities.  Kountry Kitchen makes a positive difference in our community and is well deserving of Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year award.

Thurmont Grangers John and Nancy Wine were also recognized with the 1st Annual Thurmont Grange Gold Award, which honors Grangers who do so much, not only within Grange but also within our community. John and Nancy joined Thurmont Grange in 2017 and have assisted with many community service and fundraising projects, from the dog and cat food collections for Thurmont Food Bank to the Roy Rogers Night bake sales and the Grange booth at the Thurmont Business Expo. Nancy participated in the State Grange Rose Drill, and John has tilled the ground for flower beds around the Grange Hall. John and Nancy each hold a Grange office, and they are always willing to lend a hand. They are also active members of Thurmont Church of the Brethren and volunteers at the Thurmont Food Bank.

Several Thurmont Grangers received awards to recognize their years of membership. Recipients of the 25-Year Silver Star Certificate were Karen Myers, Marsha Hawbaker, Dennis Mathias, Paulette Mathias, Kelly May, and Sue Keilholtz. Roger Troxell, who passed away on May 30, 2023, was also recognized for his 50 years of membership with the Golden Sheath Certificate. Roger joined Thurmont Grange in 1973 and remained an active member on the local, county, state, and even national levels for many years. He was instrumental in the purchase of the Grange Hall and a key player in developing legislative agricultural policy not only in Frederick County but also for the state of Maryland.  Peggy Royer received her 60-Year Membership Seal. During that time, Peggy served on several committees and held various offices. She was the Lecturer, Community Service Chairperson, Secretary, Junior Grange Leader, and even Maryland State Grange Secretary.

Rodman Myers was awarded the 75 Years of Steadfast, Faithful, and Devoted Membership Award. Rodman joined Thurmont Grange in 1949, at the age of 15, and hit the ground running. His list of achievements and contributions to the Grange, community, and agriculture is quite extensive. In 1957, Rodman co-founded the Thurmont Emmitsburg Community Show, which is celebrating its 68th year this year. Rodman and his wife, Jean, were Grange Young Couple of the Year in 1961. He was Maryland State Granger of the Year in 1974 and has served as president of Thurmont Grange, Frederick County Pomona Grange, and Maryland State Grange. In 1991, the Myers family was inducted into the Maryland Agriculture Hall of Fame. In 2013, Rodman received the Wertheimer Fellow Award, and in 2016, he was awarded the Agriculture Advocate Award at the Great Frederick Fair. Rodman has been involved in founding several scholarships; an active member of several agricultural interest organizations; a lifelong supporter of ag education, FFA, and 4-H; an advocate for agricultural legislation; and a farmer, husband, father, and friend. As Rodman prepares to celebrate his 90th birthday, he remains a driving force behind positive change in his community and a constant advocate for agriculture.

The evening ended with additional comments in honor of Rodman, given by Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, Maryland State Grange President Richard Stonebraker, and National Grange Membership Director Amanda Brozana Rios. Thurmont Town Commissioner Bill Blakeslee also read a proclamation presented to Rodman on behalf of the Town.

Thurmont Grange was honored to recognize its members and citizens who strive to make a difference by giving back to our community.

Rodman Myers receives 75 Years of Steadfast, Faithful & Devoted Membership, presented by Thurmont Grange President Niki Eyler.

Roger Troxell’s sister, Margaret Carbaugh, receives the 50-Year Golden Sheath Certificate on Roger’s behalf, presented by Thurmont Grange President Niki Eyler.

Peggy Royer receives 60-Year Membership Seal, presented by Thurmont Grange President Niki Eyler.

Recipients of the 2024 Thurmont Grange Gold Award, John and Nancy Wine, presented by Thurmont Grange President Niki Eyler.

(above) Recipients of the 25-Year Silver Star Certificate are (from left) Helen Troxell, on behalf of Marsha Hawbaker; Sue Keilholtz; Dennis Mathias; Paulette Mathias; Alan Brauer, on behalf of Kelly May; and Karen Myers, presented by Thurmont Grange President Niki Eyler.

(left) Recipients of the 2024 Community Citizen Award, Rob and Sherry Myers, owners of Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, presented by Thurmont Grange President Niki Eyler.

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