20150307_100136James Rada, Jr.

The Thurmont Food Bank did what it does best at the grand opening of its new home on March 7…it fed people.

Food trays of hot and cold foods were spread throughout the Thurmont’s former Town Office, as dozens of people crowded the building to see how it had changed now that it is home to the Thurmont Food Bank.

The biggest change is in the office area that once held the cubicles of Thurmont Town staff. The room is now lined with freezers, refrigerators, and deep shelves. Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin, who manages the food bank for the Thurmont Ministerium, estimated that there is now about fifty percent more storage space.

“The nice thing with having more freezer space is that I can buy ahead when things go on sale, say turkeys, or when it’s hunting season and there’s deer meat offered,” said Joyner-Giffin.

The new freezers were purchased with a grant that former Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee helped the food bank staff obtain.

The Thurmont Food Bank is currently serving about 310 families, comprised of about 1,200 people, in the Thurmont area.

“This new location gives us the ability to serve more, should we have to,” Joyner-Giffin said.

As the ribbon was cut, officially opening the new food bank, Joyner-Giffin gave Mayor John Kinnaird a dollar bill, representing the food bank’s first year’s rent to the Town of Thurmont. Carol Robertson, President of Colorfest, Inc., also gave Joyner-Giffin a check for $500 to help pay the utilities on the building for a couple months.

Many of the people attending the grand opening were volunteers who help fill the orders and serve the food bank clients. Joe Bailey has been helping out at the Thurmont Food Bank for four years.

“I’m passing it forward,” Bailey said. “I want to give back to the people in the community, because helping others is what God tells us we should be doing.”

St. John’s Lutheran Church had been the previous home for the food bank, but after several years there, it outgrew the space. The new location for the Thurmont Food Bank is at 10 Frederick Road. Although the Thurmont Public Works Department still uses the back offices in the building, all of the front offices, including the commissioners’ former meeting room, is part of the food bank.

Hours at the new location are now: Tuesday, 5:00-7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off any time; please place them in the shopping cart in the entryway of the food bank. Both perishable and non-perishable foods can be delivered during food bank hours or on Tuesday mornings from 11:00 a.m.-noon. Please check to be sure all items are not spoiled or expired before donating them.

The food bank is always looking for volunteers to help out. If you would like to help, you can call the food bank at 240-288-1865 or visit www.thurmontfoodbank.com.

Catoctin Mountain Adventures Magazine

If you own or operate a business in the Catoctin Region, from the Mason Dixon line to the Potomac River, you should advertise in the new Catoctin Mountain Adventures Magazine with Byway Guide (CMA). This is a project of E Plus Promotions, publishers of The Catoctin Banner, and operators at E Plus Copy Center in Emmitsburg.

The CMA will be free for readers to pick up in tourist centers, high-traffic areas, and business locations of those who advertise.

The content is appealing to residents and tourists, with rich history articles, fun lifestyle articles, leisure opportunities, a byway guide by town, an event calendar, and fun games all bundled into each vivid, slick issue.  Online, an interactive format will make it easy to learn more about advertisers and content. The first issue will be released at the end of May. Interested advertisers should call as soon as possible to reserve a space.

All are invited to place an event listing in the calendar, from big concerts to local church dinners. Event listings are $25.00 each. For more information, call  301-524-9275. Visit their website at www.catoctinmountainadventures.com.

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.

Vigilant Hose Company’s Seafood Bonanza

The Vigilant Hose Company is holding their annual Seafood Bonanza on April 2-3, 2015, from 11:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m., at the fire hall. Baked goods available, too.

FRCC 2015 Bass Fishing Series

Fort Ritchie Community Center (FRCC) is holding a 2015 Bass Fishing Series, sponsored by Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, on April 11 and May 24, with the championship on June 20 (event winners qualify for championship; must be 18 years of age or older). The cost per event is $15.00 for youth, and $35.00 for adults.

Cut and Dip Fundraiser

Come to the Cut and Dip Fundraiser on Saturday, May 3, 2015, at Gateway Candyland & Liquors in Thurmont. Cut a minimum of eight inches of your hair and donate to Children With Hair Loss (CWHL). Haircuts will be done from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Dipping ice cream proceeds will be donated to Frederick Dialysis Center. In memory of Sterling Bollinger and Bud Sweeney. Event being held from noon until closing.

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.

Emmitsburg Masons Tyrian Lodge’s Open House

Masons Tyrian Lodge, located at 303 East Main Street in Emmitsburg, is holding an Open House on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Thurmont Business Expo Rescheduled

The Thurmont Business Expo that was originally scheduled in March had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather. The new date is Thursday, April 2, 2015. Admission is free for visitors. Stop by the Catoctin High School Gymnasium from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Call 301-471-7313 with questions.

St. John’s UCC Spaghetti Dinner

Mark you calendar for a Spaghetti Dinner, being held at St. John’s United Church of Christ (UCC) Parish Hall in Sabillasville on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The church is located at 16923 Sabillasville Road in Sabillasville. The cost is $10.00 for adults; $5.00 for children, ages 5-12; free for children, ages 5 and under.

Safe Disposal of Medication

Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal on Saturday, April 18, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Maryland.

Annual Ladies Day

Join Catoctin Church of Christ for their Annual Ladies Day on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Guest speaker will be Janet Dill. Registration and light breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m.

Baltimore Work Camp Bingo

Bingo will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., with games starting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $30.00 in advance and $35.00 at the door. Ticket price includes an all inclusive 9 pack and a free spaghetti dinner. Proceeds from this fundraiser will help support high school youth from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St. Anthony Shrine, and St. Joseph parishes to attend the camp, a weeklong service trip where they repair the homes of those in need.

Cash Bingo at Lewistown Fire Hall

The Thurmont Middle School PTA is holding a Cash Bingo on April 26, 2015, at the Lewistown Fire Hall. Doors open at 12:30 p.m., with games beginning at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 in advance and $30 at the door. Come out to support Thurmont Middle School students!

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.

Emmitsburg Lions Club Chicken BBQ and Yard Sale

The Emmitsburg Lions Club is holding a Chicken BBQ and Yard Sale on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Chicken BBQ sale will begin at 11:00 a.m., and run until they are sold out. The yard sale will start at 6:00 a.m.; yard sale spaces are available.

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!

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield is hosting many events in April, including a breakfast with the Easter bunny, a meat shoot, cash bingo, and much more!

Turkey & Oyster Supper at Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church

Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church (UMC) will hold a Turkey & Oyster Supper on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 12:00-6:00 p.m. A bake and craft table will also be available to purchase baked goods and craft items. The church is located at 10926 Simmons Road in Emmitsburg.

Acacia Masonic Lodge Open House

Acacia Lodge No. 155 A.F.& A.M., located at 12 East Main Street in Thurmont, will host an Open House on Saturday April 11, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The public will have an opportunity to discover the history of Freemasonry and tour the 100-plus year old Lodge building. Stop by and find out more about their Lodge and Freemasonry, and what they do for our community. Thurmont Masonic Lodge is also announcing their annual Mary & Robert Remsberg Memorial Scholarship Award for all graduating high school seniors within the Catoctin High School district.

Thurmont Lions Club Sandwich Sales

Thurmont Lions Club has five upcoming Sandwich Sale events, the first being held on April 25, 2015, featuring pit beef, pit pork, pit turkey, and pit ham sandwiches. All events are held from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. or until they are sold out.

Rocky Ridge Fire Company’s Cash Bingo

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company will hold a Cash Bingo, featuring regular games, special games, door prizes, and more.

Thurmont’s Anytime Fitness Newly Remodeled and Expanded

by Joseph Kirchner

Spring has sprung, and, for most of us, that means it’s time to shake off the winter blues and get in shape. Have you put on a few extra pounds? If your response is yes, then joining a quality gym might be the answer for you. Fortunately, Anytime Fitness in Thurmont has everything you need and all you could ask for in a gym membership.

First, Anytime Fitness (the world’s largest 24-hour gym chain) offers the benefit of Anywhere Club Access. With this benefit, you can visit thousands of Anytime Fitness centers for the price of a standard gym membership. Traveling? With almost 2,000 gyms nationwide, you are likely to find an Anytime Fitness gym close by.

Dale Collis, a happy Anytime Fitness member said, “You can go almost anywhere in the country and you will find two or three Anytime Fitness gyms there.” He exercises primarily right here in Thurmont, but has used his Anywhere Club Access in Waycross, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada; among others.

Have you ever joined a gym with very limited hours that did not fit your schedule? At Anytime Fitness, you will enjoy the convenience of a 24-hour gym, a benefit which fits your very busy lifestyle. Simply use your private security-access key twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, at any Anytime Fitness location. So, now you can’t use the all-too-handy excuse that “the gym is not open!”

Without top-notch equipment, even the benefits mentioned above would hardly matter. At Anytime Fitness, you will find amazing amenities, including the best fitness equipment available. If cardio is your main emphasis, you’re in business; Anytime boasts treadmills, elliptical machines, a Concept 2 Rower, Expresso stationary bikes (the very best available), and a stair climber (coming soon). If strength training is your goal, you will find everything you want: free weights (with three full stations of Power-rack systems), a Smith machine, dumbbells from 2-100 pounds, kettle bells, TRX bands, weighted balls, and a full 16-station circuit of top-of-the-line Nautilus equipment.

George Puvel (club owner) gave this writer a comprehensive tour of the beautifully remodeled gym and proudly asserted, “We are excited to offer a new group exercise room as a part of our recent expansion.” Now Anytime Fitness offers free, unlimited classes—a wonderful benefit! Without additional cost, you can take Pilates, yoga, abs and interval classes, as well as the ever-popular Zumba classes. Moreover, tanning is available, and you will have access to single-use bathrooms with private showers.

Perhaps you require a little instruction or motivation to keep you on track. No problem here, because Anytime has certified, experienced personal trainers to guide you in reaching your fitness goals. The area’s best trainers are invested in your health and make it a point to treat you individually. Moreover, at Anytime Fitness the atmosphere is friendly and supportive—you will definitely enjoy working out here!

The following is a quick review of Anytime Fitness: Anywhere Club Access, 24-hour access, the very best cardio and strength equipment, free unlimited classes, tanning, private bath, the area’s best trainers, a congenial atmosphere, a beautifully remodeled club, and a really supportive environment. Truly everything you could ask for in a gym. Also consider that the Thurmont location ranks in the top one-and-a-half percent of all Anytime Fitness locations (based on corporate evaluations), and the membership is quite affordable. What are you waiting for? Call or visit Anytime Fitness, and they will be happy to give you a tour of their wonderful facility. Ask about the free seven-day pass. Now you have no more excuses not to get in the best shape of your life!

Anytime Fitness is located at 130 Frederick Road in Thurmont. Their staffed hours are Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. For more information or for a tour, call 301-271-0077. Also, check them out on Facebook.

Anytime Fitness2

Melissa Borns is shown in the newly remodeled and expanded club excersie room, featuring group exercise classes, which are included in the membership price.

Anytime Fitness1

Pictured from left are Bette Troxell, Chet Tippen (trainer), George Puvel (owner), Jason Blough (manager), and Melissa Borns (trainer).

Photos by Deb Spalding

The Furnace Bar and Grill Now Open for Dining

Deb Spalding

A new restaurant opened on March 8, 2015, in Catoctin Furnace near Thurmont. It’s called The Furnace Bar and Grill, and is located in the former Dale’s Place Bar. The Furnace is visible from Route 15, but you won’t notice any difference from the former business until you walk inside. There, the memory of Dale’s Place ends abruptly when faced with the fact that the interior of the building has been completely renovated. Where a pool table and dividing walls once existed, a new open and airy floor plan welcomes diners. The floors, the bathrooms, the dining room, the bar, and the kitchen have been stripped and replaced with upscale accents.

The renovated interior is a nice surprise, but it is exceeded by the taste of the food. It’s worth your time to try this new dining opportunity. Bring the family!

Sandy Copenhaver stopped in to pick up her to-go order during her lunch break at Renovations and said, “I’m excited to have a new place to eat!”

Greg Martinez, General Manager, is delighted to be part of this new venture. He’s worked with owner Ron Chen, who also owns Liberty Road Seafood near Libertytown, for two years, growing from a part-time cook at Liberty Road to full-time management. When Dale’s Place came available about a year ago, Chen and Martinez dug into the new project and followed it through as it morphed into the exceptional presentation that now welcomes diners.

Furnace Sauce, the signature sauce at The Furnace Bar and Grill, is Martinez’s baby. He’s been working on the recipe for six years. He takes great pride in this “kick it” sauce and his dough. He gives credit to co-workers and to Sue Whitmer who have helped with several recipes on the menu like beer cheese, BLT flatbread, and stuffed jalapenos.  The Furnace Cheeseburger is hand-paddied and fresh. The salads are really good. All menu items feature good sized portions with reasonable prices.

The Furnace presents a pub food menu. The Furnace Dog is a foot-long hot dog stuffed with pickled jalapeno, cheddar cheese, wrapped in bacon then fried. The order is accompanied with a side of Furnace Fries. Martinez said, “If you’re looking to kick back, enjoy a game and have a beer, this is perfect.”

Parties are welcome. Dining groups over ten people should call to make a reservation. There are several television screens and artwork of local landmarks on the walls. “We do everything we can to make sure everyone is comfortable and has a good time,” Martinez added. This summer, an outdoor deck will be open to diners, and entertainment will be scheduled on some weekends.

Martinez is reaching out to local organizations in order to spread the word about the new restaurant and to show their support of the local community.

Visit The Furnace on Facebook or in person at 12841 Catoctin Furnace Road, Thurmont. Call 240-288-8942 for more information. Hours are Sundays to Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

furnace bar and grill pic

The Furnace staff pictured from left are Lauren Silverman, Bev Wyke, Greg Martinez, and Bryan Holland.

Photo by Deb Spalding

Red’s Tavern Under New Management

Visit Red’s new “Team Tavern” in Emmitsburg. They would like to give a special thanks to former managers, Tina and Danny. The Tavern will miss you both!

Red's Tavern

Pictured from left are: (top row) Raeann Wagerman, Sandy Miller, Bryant Hoffman, Raina and Randy Roser, Erin Valentine, and Tyler Hollinger (manager); (bottom Row) Justin Forsythe and Bob “Reds” Hance.

Grace Eyler

On March 7, 2015, members of Guardian Hose Company joined together to celebrate their accomplishments of 2014 during their annual banquet. Invocation was provided by Chaplin Rev. James Hamrick, followed by a home-cooked meal served by GT’s catering. Family and friends mingled until Wayne Stackhouse drew all attention to the podium, where he introduced special guests from other organizations who aided the company throughout the year.

Floral tributes were presented during the memorial service, in memory of Linda Duble, Franklin Keeney, and James Spalding, who all passed in 2014. The entire room bowed their heads while the Chaplin said a pray for the families who lost a loved one.

After the memorial service took place, Chief Chris Kinnaird shared the chief’s report with the audience. Kinnaird started off thanking everyone for their attendance, and for all of their support throughout the year.

“Our company volunteers 364 days of the year; this is our only night off. A huge thanks to Smithsburg and Walkersville Fire Companies for filling in.”

Kinnaird explained that it had been a very busy year. Guardian Hose Company ran 544 more calls than in 2013. Members partook in 528 hours of training, including Fire 1 and 2 classes. It was estimated that Guardian saved an approximate 1.8 million dollars in damage. On the average, eight volunteers respond to a call.

Kinnaird was proud to announce that this year every firefighter will be provided with a “Bail Out Kit,” which includes a 30-foot rope, carabineer, and escape hook. This will enable the firefighter to safely exit from a second-story window. Other expenses incurred included new tools, upgrades, and maintenance to the company’s apparatuses.

“It is better to be over prepared then under,” stated Kinnaird. “That’s a part of our job. We ride around in big tool boxes!” joked Kinnaird.

Guardian runs on three well-prepared engines, but could soon drop down to two apparatuses. The next big expense they foresee will be replacing one of the apparatuses, in roughly two to three years, which will cost approximately $500,000. Another change the fire company foresees will be overnight crews who will stay at the fire house, awaiting any calls that may come in during late hours. This will quicken response time to a call.

Top responders were recognized by Assistant Chief Carroll Brown. This year’s top responders were: Dave Sanders—145 calls; Steve Strickhouser—184 calls; Christopher Kinnaird II-202 calls; Chad Brown—246 calls; and Brian Donovan—278 calls. Top five drivers included Steve Yingling Larry Duble, Mike Duble, Wayne Stackhouse, and Terry Frushour.

Service Awards were presented to Charity Wivell; Cody Wivell; Christopher Kinnaird, II and Chad Brown for five years of service. Ten years of service awards were presented to Matthew Black and James Kilby. Twenty years of service awards were presented to Robert Dailey, Jr.; Blaine Schidlt, Sr.; and Christopher Kinnaird. Thirty five years of service awards were presented to Ray Brown; Donald Doughtery, Jr.; and Larry Duble. Life membership awards were given to Troy Angell and Lori Brown.

Wayne turned the microphone over to Robert Jacobs to swear in the 2015 Administrative and Operational Officers: President—Wayne Stackhouse; President Emeritus—Donald Stitely; Vice President—Terry Frushour; Secretary—Lori Brown; Assistant Secretary—Tisha Miller; Treasurer—Russell Shantz,  Assistant Treasurer—Pam Fraley; Trustees: Brian Donavan, Jody Miller, Steve Yingling, Joe Ohler and Steve Strickhouser. Operational officers include: Chief—Chris Kinnaird; Assistant Chief—Carroll Brown; Captian—Blaine Schildt; Lieutenants—Sean Donovan, Will Gue, and Chaplin Rev. James Hamrick.

Wayne Stackhouse closed the evening with, “May you take a part of your company’s operation, big or small—it takes us all. Our company’s success will be measured by your efforts. All of your efforts are always appreciated.”

Lori Brown_Life Member

Wayne Stackhouse presents Lori Brown with Life Membership Award.


Operational Officers_GHC

Operational Officers

Pictured from left are: (back) Blaine Schildt and Will Gue; (front) Chris Kinnaird and Charlie Brown.

James Rada, Jr.

Walk into the science classrooms at Thurmont Middle School on Wednesdays after school and prepare to be amazed. Alyssa Malasky (6th grade) and Joey Risser (6th grade) built a rocket nearly as tall as they are that is powered by water. Mikaila Risser (8th grade) builds simple machines and tests what they can do. Anthony Southmuye (8th grade) and Silas Nickerson (8th grade) test their rubber-band-powered car.

Out in the hallway, Kallan Lathan (7th grade), Kariana Strickhouser (7th grade), and Sophia DeGennaro (6th grade) have built two devices designed to use air pressure to launch ping-pong balls at precise distances.

Down in the gymnasium, Isaac Dodson (6th grade) tests his balsa-wood airplanes to see which design stays in the air the longest.

These students are all members of Thurmont Middle School’s Science Olympiad Team. The seventeen students pair off in small teams to train in some of the twenty-three Science Olympiad events. Each student competes in three or four events, and the team as a whole has a team to compete in each event.

“Science Olympiad is a hands-on K-12 program to teach students STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Jilicia Johnson, one of the team’s advisors and a Thurmont Middle School science teacher.

“They get to experience science outside of classroom, and some of them go beyond what they are learning in the classroom.”

Johnson is assisted by fellow teacher, Susan Mize; Jesse Rose, a retired engineer; and Melissa Carter, a Fort Detrick scientist.

Mikaila said she joined the team last year because, “You get to go more in-depth with science and things.”

Her younger brother, Joey, is also a member of the team.

“He wanted to join mostly because I convinced him that it was fun,” Mikaila said.

She and Joey even compete together in an event called Write It, Do It. One team member goes into a room and writes instructions for building what he or she sees. The instructions are then given to the other team member to see if he or she can follow directions to build the original device.

Another event is a lot like participating in an episode of CSI. Sydney Hafler (7th grade) competes in Crime Busters. In this event, she is given a crime scenario, along with evidence that is a combination of liquids, powders, and fibers. She then has to test the materials to identify them and use them to determine who committed the crime.

“For instance, if a powder at the crime is baking powder, then the person is probably a cook rather than a drywaller,” Hafler said.

The team placed fifth out of seventeen teams at the Frederick Invitational in February. The school also placed in fifteen of the twenty-three events. Regionals are held at the University of Maryland in late March; if the team qualifies, it will go on to the state competition at Johns Hopkins University.

“Thurmont Middle School had a team that won the states in 2008, and went on to compete in the nationals at George Washington University,” Johnson said.

Although the students love the thrill of the competition, they are also enjoying the journey to get ready for competition as they test designs and ideas, evaluate what happens, and adjust their designs and ideas and search of the winning entry.


Thurmont Middle School’s Science Olympiad Team members, Alyssa Malasky and Joey Risser, build a rocket that is powered by water.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

John Kempisty, Catoctin FFA Reporter

During the week of February 22-28, 2015, FFA chapters across the nation celebrated National FFA Week. The Catoctin FFA Chapter celebrated every day of the week, hosting events for members and alumni.

On Sunday, the Catoctin FFA chapter ate brunch, along with chapter Alumni, at the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant. After brunch, the chapter sold emblems and popcorn at the Tractor Supply Co. store in Walkersville. On Monday, the chapter gave back to the community, making blankets to donate to the Emmitsburg Women’s Center. On Tuesday, the chapter made and served homemade ice cream in appreciation to the hard-working staff of Catoctin High School. On Wednesday, the members wore their camo to school. On Friday, the members, along with alumni, had fun dancing and playing games at a game night. On Saturday, members went skating at Cosmic skate and had dinner out in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, March 3, students from all over Frederick County traveled to Walkersville High School for the regional Creed Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Agriculture Mechanics competitions. Members from Catoctin competing in the Creed Competition were Mackenzie Hendrickson, Tiffany Lenhart, Stephanie Moreland, and Kaitlynn Neff. The creed involves new members in ninth grade, giving a speech called the Creed, and answering questions from the judges. Catoctin members competing in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition were Hannah Barth, May Cruz, and Ashley Grimes. In the Extemporaneous Speech competition, members were given an agricultural-related topic, and had thirty minutes to prepare a speech about the topic. The members were then judged on the quality and duration of their speech. Members on the Catoctin Agriculture Mechanics team were Dusty Hahn, Johnny Kempisty, Rob Reaver, Daniel Wolf; individually competing were Zach Milbourne and Jimmy Kempisty. The Agriculture Mechanics competition involved members demonstrating their proficiency in small engine knowledge and repair, welding, electrical systems, electric motors, and other agricultural technical systems.

Of the teams and individuals who competed at the Region 2 judging, those who placed were: Creed Speaking—Mackenzie Hendrickson;  Extemporaneous Speaking—May Cruz; and Agriculture Mechanics—the Catoctin Agriculture Mechanics team, which placed first.

These members will move to compete on the state level at the 85th Maryland State FFA Convention this coming June. Also, the state Agriculture Mechanics competition will be held in April at College Park.

Creed Speaking

Creed Speakers

Pictured from left are    Stephanie Moreland, Kaitlynn Neff, Tiffany Lenhart, Mackenzie Hendrickson, and Mrs. Poffenberger.

Ag. Mechanics

Ag mechanics

Pictured from left are    Coach Jason Green, Zach Milbourne, John Kempisty, Dusty Hahn, Jimmy Kempisty, Daniel Wolf, and Rob Reaver.

Extemporeneous Speaking

Exemporeneous Speaking

Pictured from left are Ashley Grimes, May Cruz, Hannah Barth, and Mrs. Poffenberger.

The Catoctin High School’s (CHS) Committee for a Safe and Sane Graduation would like to thank everyone who has supported us in any way with our fundraising efforts this year.  We have only a few events remaining and ask for your continued support.

Cornhole Tournament

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, we are holding our first-ever Safe and Sane Cornhole Tournament at the Thurmont American Legion – Pavilion Area.  Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the tournament will start at 10:00 a.m. We are in need of players and sponsors for this event. The cost is $30.00 per player and $15.00 per spectator, which includes lunch, snacks, and drinks. There are several sponsor packages that include high quality, custom cornhole boards. Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place teams. Registration and sponsorship forms can be found on our website at www.catoctinsafeandsane.com/Cornhole%20flier.pdf.  Please contact Cheryl Phelan for more information at bochph@aol.com or 301-524-3106.

Benefit Golf Tournament

The CHS Safe and Sane Graduation committee will be hosting a benefit golf tournament on May 2, 2015, at the Links of Gettysburg, located at 601 Mason Dixon Road in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The tournament is a four-person scramble with a shot-gun start at 1:00 p.m. 

Tournament sponsors and players are needed to help support a safe graduation for the class of 2015.  The tournament cost is $90.00 per player and includes greens fees and cart, three mulligans and one power ball, one raffle ticket, a gift bag, banquet with refreshments, refreshments on the course, and cash prizes. 

Golfers have a chance to win cash prizes for the top teams and games, such as closest to the pin, longest drive, pot ‘o gold, putting contest, and a $10,000 hole-in-one prize. A number of prizes will be raffled off during the banquet. 

Sponsorship opportunities include numerous hole and cart sponsorships, as well as banquet sponsor and beverage sponsorship opportunities. The committee is also seeking an event sponsor, which includes a complimentary foursome, one hole sponsorship, and two cart sponsorship. 

For more information on how to sign up to play or sponsor this event, contact Tina Ridenour at 240-346-7662 and/or tinaridenour@gmail.com or Lori Zentz at 301-788-0990 and/or lorizentz@gmail.com.

Raffle Tickets for Steamed Crabs

The CHS Safe and Sane committee is currently selling raffle tickets for steamed crabs, courtesy of Trout’s Supreme Seafood. The tickets are $5.00 a chance, and ten lucky winners will receive a bushel of crabs! Please contact Shannon Wetzel to get your tickets at shanypany328@yahoo.com or 301-748-7068.  Winners will be drawn on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., during the Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling.

Baccalaureate Save the Date

Baccalaureate is on Sunday, May 31, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., at Toms Creek United Methodist Church in Emmitsburg.  More information to follow.

 Parents of 2015 graduates: The committee is starting to work on the Memory Room for the Safe & Sane night event. They are asking all parents to submit three to four photos of their graduate for inclusion in a slideshow. We would like every senior to be represented. Please send photos to Carie Stafford at ontheedge4life@gmail.com or via USPS: 115 East Hammaker Street, Thurmont 21788. Photos must be received by May 1, 2015. If you would like to make a “brag” poster of your senior for display in the Memory Room, please submit to front office no later than June 1. Please contact Carie Stafford for questions on the Memory Room at ontheedge4life@gmail.com or 240-258-8208.

For a full listing of their events and to receive current information, please “like” them on Facebook – Catoctin High Safe and Sane 2015, or visit their website at www.catoctinsafeandsane.com.

Their next planning meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., in the CHS Media Center. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Safe and Sane write-up --Ott House

Lauri Harley, manager of the Ott House Pub, presents check to Cheryl Phelan, CHS Safe & Sane chairperson, for the Safe and Sane fundraiser, held at the Ott House on February 28, 2015. The Ott House generously donated proceeds in the amount of $2,395.

TMS Leo Club’s Coat and Blanket Drive

Leo Keera Irons, TMS Leo Public Relations Officer

The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) Leo Club sponsored a coat and blanket drive during the month of January.  It was a huge success!  Their objective was to help individuals—young and old—who do not have the basic resources needed to keep warm and healthy during the cold weather. With the support of the Thurmont community, the Leo members collected 237 items that included blankets, coats, scarves, hats, and gloves. The TMS Leo Club’s school advisors, Ms. Stecyk and Mr. Hand, along with the front office staff, put boxes outside their doors for the donations.

In addition to the school-wide support, the Leo Club received support from the JerMae Estates community and Weller Church. Pastor Bob Kells at Weller Church challenged the congregation to make a tower of blankets taller than him! What a success!  The collected items were delivered to the homeless in Frederick County, the Rescue Mission, and the like. The Leo Club would like to extend a huge “thank you” to the JerMae Estates Community, Weller Church, Thurmont Lions Club, students, parents, teachers, and friends for their dedicated support of this heart-warming project. They would also like to thank Lion Joyce Anthony, TLC TMS advisor, for picking up the items, storing them at her house, and delivering them to their destinations along with the help of Lion Gayle DiSalvo, TLC TMS advisor.

TMS Leo Club - blanket drive

Thurmont Middle School Leo Club sponsored a coat and blanket drive in January, collecting 237 items to be donated to those in need.

CHS Leo’s Collect Jeans for Homeless Teens

Catoctin High School (CHS) Leo Club’s “Teens For Jeans” drive ended on January 22, 2015, after collecting 260 jeans for teens experiencing homelessness in our area. They would like to send out a big “Thank You” to all contributors: Thurmont Lions Club (over 42 jeans), Lion Advisor Wendy Candela’s workplace (approximately 60-plus jeans), and all the Catoctin High School students and staff for the remaining jeans! Catoctin High School is also entered in hopes of winning a $5,000 school grant. In addition to the school grant, the school that collects the most jeans will win a private school concert by pop band The Vamps and Aéropostale T-shirts for the entire school.

Over a million young people experience homelessness in the United States every year and one of the most requested items that young people in homeless shelters ask for is a pair of jeans. In the past seven years, young people across the country have collected over 4.3 million pairs of jeans through Teens for Jeans, a clothing drive organized in partnership with DoSomething.org and Aeropostale.

The CHS Leo Club’s donation of 260 jeans were delivered to the Aeropostale store at Francis Scott Key mall; they will be boxing and distributing them to Frederick county area homeless shelters and organizations for teens and young adults.

CHS Teen for Jeans - CollectorsGalore

Pictured from left are Thurmont Lion Advisor Wendy Candela, Leo’s Marah Williams and Lizzy Darr, CHS Faculty Advisor Ms. Herrmann, Leo Alex Bolinger, and CHS Faculty Advisor Ms. Eckenrode.

OKLAHOMA! at Catoctin High School

Catoctin High School (CHS) will proudly present its spring musical, Oklahoma! on April 16-18, 2015.

Catoctin High’s production will star senior Randy Stull as Curly, junior Veronica Smaldone as Laurey, Daniel Miller as Will Parker, and Katelyn Claxton as Ado Annie. Other featured roles are brought to life by the talents of Maddie Wahler (Aunt Eller), Colton Bennett (Carnes), Cameron Hallock (Jud Fry), Sean Miller (Ali Hakim), and Meredith Wilson (Dream Laurey).

The ensemble is completed with Emily Smallwood, Briana Grimes, Mariam Harper, Robbie Doyle, Whitney Grim, Carley Flora, Victoria Hoke, Jessica Late, Justin Cissel, Anthony Robertson, Tyler McNally, Casey Ecker, Chris Reed, Amanda Smallwood, Madi Smallwood, Alexi Baumgardner, Lauren Wotring, Christian Ford, Cole Payne, and Maybelin Cruz,

The play is directed and choreographed by CHS Drama teacher Karen Richardson Stitely, and is under the music direction of CHS Chorus and Band teacher, Ben Zamostny. Maddie Adams is lighting technician, and Jenna Seiss is sound technician.

The show will run April 16, 17, and 18 at 7:00 p.m. There is a 2:00 p.m. matinee showing on April 18 as well.

Please email Karen.stitely@fcps.org to reserve tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door. The cost of tickets are $8.00 for students $8 and $10.00 for adults.


Mid Maryland JV Girls Team Wins Championship

The Mid Maryland JV girls basketball team won their league and tournament championships. They finished with a 19-0 record and an undefeated season.   Team members include Madison Tobery, Chayney Barnhart, Allie Thomson, Kallan Latham, Courtney Eyler, Rachel Fox, Hailey Crawford, Jaida Snider, Phoenix Staub, Madison Flohr, Alana Harris, and Lily Smith. Coaches were Jason Smith, Scott Thomson, and Chris Barnhart.

mid maryland JV girls basketball

The Mid Maryland JV girls team finished their successful season undefeated, and moved on to win their league and tournament championships.

Division 1 – 6th Grade Catoctin Boys Basketball Team

The Division 1 – 6th grade Catoctin Boys Basketball team played in the 2nd Annual Max Exposure Winter Championship on February 8, 2015, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The team won their division championship game in overtime.

D1 Cougars 02082015

by Bob Warden

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

No, its not an article on Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving football games. I wanted to write something for the upcoming 2015 spring turkey season. I figured what better way then to visit with and write about a local Frederick County custom turkey call making company. I bet not many of you knew there was a company that makes and ships custom made turkey calls all over the United States (Idaho, California, Wyoming, and Ohio, to name a few) right here in Frederick County.

I sat down with Bruce Chaney and Dave Hohman of L.J.W. (Let Jakes Walk) Custom Calls at their Thurmont location for a couple of hours of turkey hunting stories and turkey call business stories.

The business was established after many years of hunting, a passion for turkey calling, turkey hunting, and a chance encounter with another call maker named Marlin D. Watkins from Ohio, who after hearing their plight, suggested they start their own custom turkey call business. So with his urging and guidance, L.J.W. was established in 1999. Since then, many others have helped with advice and guidance, such as call makers, Dale Rohm and Scott Basehore, and woodworker, Tom Geasey.

Dave and Bruce were both working full-time jobs at the time L.J.W. was started; but in 2003, Bruce retired from Verizon with over thirty-five years of service, and Dave retired in 2008 from Maryland Department of Natural Resources with almost thirty-two years of service. They both started hunting small game and developing a love for the outdoors at an early age: Bruce at twelve, and Dave at eleven. They have hunted turkeys in thirteen states, and this year hope to hunt them in Tennesse, Virginia, Maryland, South Dakota, New York, Maine, and possibly Ohio. Both give many hours of volunteer time to help promote turkey hunting to young (and older) hunters by doing seminars at National Wild Turkey Federation Jakes (6-16 years old) events at Remington Farms, Mayberry Game Protection Association, Woodmont Rod and Gun Club, and American Legion Youth Camp West Mar.

Bruce and Dave are sponsor members of NWTF and are active in the Monocacy Valley Chapter. Bruce was president of the chapter for three years, and served eleven years on the Maryland State Chapter Board of Directors. Dave was past treasurer of Monocacy Valley chapter and past treasurer of the Maryland State Chapter. As you can see, both have devoted a big part of their lives to the wild turkey and turkey hunting, and enjoy passing on their knowledge and expertise to other turkey hunters.Also, in the past three years, their calls have placed nationally in two different catagories: one-sided and double-sided short box calls in the hunting division. This means they placed in the top six call makers in the country in each division. Now that’s a BIG deal, folks! Pretty impresive credentials, to say the least…but back to the calls they make. The calls they make are double- and single-sided short box calls with a Neil Cost design. The bodies of the calls are made from poplar wood, and the bases and lids are Bubinga wood from Africa. Remember, these are custom made calls and each is cut, finished, and tuned by hand.They actually go out and collect the wood themselves for the bodies, have it milled down, then they dry it (which takes a very long time), before it can be made into a L.J.W custom turkey call.

Now, I really wanted to give you a few turkey hunting  tips before I run out of space for this article, so I asked Bruce and Dave for their advice. So, here it is in no perticular order: (1) Leave your turkey calls at home during pre-season scouting— DON’T educate the birds. If you must, use a crow call sparingly to locate birds after they come off the roost; (2) Beginners start with slate, box, or push pull calls (practice, practice, practice at home, and drive everyone in the house crazy); (3) Don’t over call; (4) Have patience. Know your area and the lay of the land; it will help you to know which way they may come and how far away they are; (5) Remember that you are asking a goobler to do something that is not natural. You are reversing nature. In nature, the hens go to the gobbler, and we, as hunters, are trying to get the gobbler to come to the hens; and (6) Most of all: Know Your Target! Be sure of your target and beyond it. During the spring season, you need to IDENTIFY your target. It has to be a bearded bird, so you need to see its beard!

If you are interested in contacting L.J.W., you may call Bruce Chaney at 301-606-2056 or Dave Hohman at 240-446-8129. They may also be emailed at ljwcustomcalls@verizon.net.

Remember, these are custom handmade calls and, as of right now, there is a one- to two-year wait. The average cost is $150. But, believe you me, they are well worth it and sound Grrrreat…(sorry, I couldn’t help myself; that’s from my Frosted Flakes eating days).

In closing, I wish you good luck in your turkey hunting, and please hunt safely and hunt ethically!


Pictured from left are Bruce Chaney and Dave Hohman.

Photo by Bob Warden

DSC00181James Rada, Jr.

Imagine staying in a historic cabin in Catoctin Mountain Park for weeks to walk the trails, watch the wildlife, and be inspired to create.

For the past four years, Catoctin Mountain Park and the Catoctin Forest Alliance have offered artists, sculptors, poets, and writers a chance to get away from the familiar and be inspired by the natural through the Artist-In-Residence Program.

“The artist comes and produces a work that has to be about nature,” said Elizabeth Prongas, committee chairperson for the Artist-In-Residence Program. “They also have to be willing to meet with children and the public at least once to give a workshop or demonstration.”

The program is open to both professional and amateur artists. Each year, four are selected to come and stay at a cabin in Misty Mount or a campground site. The artist coordinates with a park ranger when his or her public meetings are going to be and then the artist is left to be inspired by the park, to paint, draw, sculpt, or write.

“After the residence ends, the artist donates a piece to the Catoctin Forest Alliance,” Prongas said. “After two years, we can sell it as a fundraiser to support the program.”

Invitations to apply for the resident program are sent all over the country, and applications have been received from around the world.

“Making a decision among them is a lot of work, but we somehow muddle through,” Prongas said.

Recently, the Cunningham Falls Visitors Center opened a display area where you can go and see some of the best of the many pieces of art donated to the Catoctin Forest Alliance. Prongas said that she also hopes to display some of the pieces at the Thurmont Regional Library in the future.

The artists coming to Catoctin Mountain Park are: Lisa Kyle, landscape painter (May 3-16); Laura Brady, painter (May 17-30); Anneliese Vobis, sculptor (August 2-15); Linda Johnston, nature artist and journalist (September 6-19).

Watch the Catoctin Mountain Park web page (www.nps.gov/cato/index.htm) for information on when the artists will be holding public workshops.

Entries are now being received for the Lions Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day Art Contest. The contests theme this year is: “The Heart of the Civil War in Emmitsburg.” The contest is open to all Frederick County school-age children in divisions: Division 1—1st-4th grades (ages 6-9); Division 2—5th-8th grades (ages 10-13); Division 3—9th-12th grades (ages 14-18). 

Monetary bonds for first, second, and third places will be awarded in each division. The awards are a $500 savings bond, $100 savings bond, and $50 savings bond respectively. The application submission deadline is 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 2015. Judging for the contest and the prizes will be awarded at the Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day festival in the Emmitsburg Community Park on Saturday, June 27, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. Contest rules and the application submission form is available at www.EmmitsburgEvents.com.

For more information, contact eburgheritagedays@gmail.com or 301-447-6467. Inquiries made by mail should be addressed to the Emmitsburg Lions Club, P.O. Box 1182, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.

Last To Fall CoverRichard D. L. Fulton and James Rada, Jr. will be holding a book siging at St. Philomena’s on the Emmitsburg Square  in April.

When were the last U.S. Marines killed in the line of duty on the Gettysburg battlefield? If you said 1863, you’d be wrong.

The year was 1922. Two marine aviators crashed their bi-plane on the battlefield during military maneuvers that summer and died in the accident.

Their story is part of a new book by Richard D. L. Fulton and The Catoctin Banner’s Contributing Editor James Rada, Jr. called The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, & Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg.

“This is a story that Rick, with the encouragement of his wife, Cathe, and I have been wanting to write individually for years,” Rada said. “We finally combined our efforts and put together something that neither of us could have done alone.”

The 176-page book is 8.5 inches by 11 inches and contains more than 155 photographs depicting the march from Quantico to Gettysburg and the simulated battles on the actual Gettysburg battlefield.

“The march involved a quarter of the corps at the time,” Fulton said. “It was part PR stunt, but it was also an actual training maneuver for the marines.”

As part of the march, the marines stayed two separate nights (going to and coming from Gettysburg) on Hooker Lewis’s farm just north of Thurmont. They showed visitors around their camp, visited Emmitsburg and Thurmont, showed movies in camp, and played a baseball game against the Emmitsburg team.

“On their way to Gettysburg, they marched into Emmitsburg and were greeted by Civil War veterans who were still living in town,” Fulton said.

While on the Gettysburg battlefield, many of the marines were willing to hike back into Emmitsburg to enjoy the hospitality there, rather than go into Gettysburg, which was much closer.

The Last to Fall also contains pictures of the marines in Emmitsburg and Thurmont.

“It’s surprising how few people know about this event nowadays,” Rada said. “It involved a large body of marines marching through Washington and Maryland and got a lot of national coverage at the time.”

Rada, Fulton, and Cathe, who served as a research assistant, searched through hundreds of documents and photographs, looking for the details of the march and battles, but the book was meant to tell a story. For that, they went hunting through lots of newspapers in order to piece together the stories of the marines on the march and the people they met along the way.

“What’s really fun is that the marines re-enacted Pickett’s Charge both historically and with then-modern military equipment,” Rada said.

The event was also marred by tragedy when something happened to one of the bi-planes and it crashed into the battlefield, killing the two marines flying it. The pilot, Capt. George Hamilton, was a hero of World War I.

President Warren G. Harding and his wife, along with a number of military personnel, politicians, and representatives of foreign governments, stayed in camp on July 1 and 2 with the marines and witnessed some of the maneuvers.

Richard D. L. Fulton is an award-winning writer, who has worked for many of the local newspapers. He lives in Gettysburg with his wife, Cathe, who was also a big help in tracking down photos of the 1922 march. The Last to Fall is Fulton’s first book.

 James Rada, Jr. is an award-winning writer, who Midwest Book Review called “a writer of considerable and deftly expressed storytelling talent.” Small Press Bookwatch listed Rada’s Saving Shallmar: Christmas Spirit in a Coal Town as “highly recommended.”  He is the author of five historical fiction novels and seven non-fiction history books, including No North, No South…: The Grand Reunion at the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as Civil War Nurses.

The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, & Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg retails for $24.95 and is available at local bookstores and online retailers.

Fulton and Rada will be signing  books at St. Philomena’s on the Emmitsburg Square on Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Buck Reed

Ah…spring! There are many things to look forward to with the changing of the season, not the least of which is a farewell to all this cold weather and snow. Of course we will be experiencing more than a bit of rain in the coming days (we hope, anyway), but at least we will not have to shovel it. And the rain coupled with the warmer weather and sunshine will bring us that wonderful spring produce that makes its way into the markets this time of year only to disappear all too soon. The only lesson to be gleaned from this is to enjoy it while you can.

The first thing to look forward to is the green vegetables. Although spinach, broccoli rabe, and bok choy are, for the most part, available all year long, they are at their best this time of year. These vegetables are uplifting for the spirit—as well as the body—and can be a wonderful addition to your meal as a side dish, or can be easily incorporated into any dish. Salads and slaws are an obvious choice; think about adding them into a soup or stir-fry. Even better, sauté any of these vegetables and serve them with your eggs for a quick breakfast or brunch.

Rhubarb is another vegetable we see in abundance this time of year. I say vegetable, because botanically speaking, it is such, but like the tomato, it had its classification changed to a fruit by a New York court for taxation purposes. My grandmother told me when I was younger that you have to cook rhubarb before you eat it or it could kill you. Maybe the thought that it might kill me made it more desirable to me, and so it became one of the vegetables I looked forward to every year. An easy use is in a pie—strawberry is probably your first choice, but apple works extremely well, also. You can also use it to make a chutney or relish to serve on grilled pork or chicken.

If onions had a monarchy, then ramps would be their king. This wild onion looks like a leek and has a unique garlic flavor. Once cleaned, ramps have to be boiled before they are used in a recipe. They can then be used anywhere onions are called for, but I like to make a compound butter with them. Wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer, you can enjoy them long after they are gone from the store.

And, finally, my favorite spring vegetable has to be baby artichokes. You have to really look out for these; maybe even talk to your produce manager regarding when they expect to see them in. I would love to give you a bunch of ideas for this vegetable, but the only way I eat them is roasted. Just trim them up, cut them in half, and place them in a pan just large enough to hold them. Cover about a third of the way with water and a squeeze of lemon or a splash of wine and roast in a hot oven until tender. Serve warm with aioli.

I know you may find it difficult to find some of these items, but they are well worth the effort of not only looking for them, but also talking to your produce manager about them.

If you need any more ideas or a recipe, please feel free to contact me at RguyintheKitchen@aol.com.