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Hall of FameJames Rada, Jr.

When Kim Wivell Gerrie was a young girl, she would watch her father when he played softball with different Thurmont-area teams.

“I wanted to step out on the field with him,” Gerrie said.

Gerrie went on to become quite the athlete. She played softball and ran track and field while attending Thurmont Middle School. Then, while in Catoctin High School, she played softball, soccer, and basketball. During her senior year, the softball team had a record of 21-1, losing only in the state championship game.

She graduated in 1990 and went on to Shepherd University to play softball. Although her team had a different coach each year, they still managed to have a winning record each year.

And, now, she will be inducted into the YMCA of Frederick County Alvin G. Quinn Sports Hall of Fame on February 7, 2015. She is one of eight inductees this year.


Her bio for the Hall of Fame reads:


KIM WIVELL GERRIE Record-setting Softball Pitcher

Kim Wivell Gerrie has set softball records at every level she has played. A versatile athlete during her middle school years with blue ribbons in several track events, it was softball where Kim excelled the most. She was a member of the Little League All-Stars that played in the Maryland State Tournament. At Catoctin High she participated on the varsity soccer team for four years, played basketball all four years, and was truly outstanding in her four varsity years playing softball. She was a first team MVAL selection, starting in her sophomore year and repeated every year afterwards. In her senior year she was All-Area Player of the Year. She went on to a record-setting career at Shepherd University, where she was inducted into the SU Hall of Fame in 2007. She still holds five Shepherd pitching records.


“When I walked into the room (the Hall of Fame), it was very humbling to see all of those athletes and coaches on the wall,” Gerrie said.

The other inductees are Troy Barrick, Stan Biggus, Richard Burgee, Stan Goldberg, Chery Poirier, Bill Stup, and Guy Whidden.

The induction banquet will be held at the Walkersville Fire Hall this month. This will be the 39th annual induction ceremony.

by Michele Cuseo


December 2014

 Mayor Meets with New County Executive, Jan Gardner

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs met with Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner to discuss ideas and concerns for the town of Emmitsburg. Briggs stated that Gardner is meeting with town mayors around the county to discuss their concerns and needs in preparation for her new role in Frederick County. Mayor Briggs expressed his concern for the lack of accessibility to programs and services for the elderly in Emmitsburg due to their distance from the city of Frederick. Briggs requested a possible improvement regarding the transportation options provided for senior citizens to get to Frederick for necessary services. 

 Emmitsburg Sustainability Certification

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs and the “Green Team” will be meeting with the state of Maryland officials to further promote Emmitsburg toward a state of Maryland Sustainability Certification. The Green Team, which includes the mayor and five other members, was formed to complete the requirements for the sustainability certification.  Emmitsburg has already accomplished most of the required tasks, which include: an operational farmers market, a State certified green school (Mother Seton), a local business directory and promotion, a community garden, LED street lights, pet waste program, and ordinance and a solar power array (we have completed phase I). The City of Frederick is the only other town in the county with this certification. 

 Mount St. Mary’s University Donating Clock to Town

Mount St. Mary’s has donated a large vintage style clock to be included in the town’s downtown square improvements project.  The clock weighs 1,000 lbs. and has Roman numerals for clock numbers. Mayor Briggs was pleased to accept the donation and believes it will be a great addition for the town square. The placement for the clock in the downtown square area has not been determined yet.

For more information about the Town of Emmitsburg, log onto or call 301-600-6300.


December 2014

 New Town Office Opening

The new Thurmont town office will be located at 615 E. Main Street and will officially be in place by Monday, January 12, 2015. The town office will be closed on Friday, January 9, 2015, in preparation of the move from the old office to the new. A grand opening celebration is tentatively planned, but the date is yet to be determined. 

 Sidewalk Project Request

The town is asking citizens who live along the new sidewalk areas to use Non-Corrosive Salt to melt the ice and snow on these sidewalks to avoid damaging them this winter.  Cement hardens over time.  The new cement sidewalks need more time to harden up and should be fine by next winter.  Further construction on this project has been put on hold until the spring.  


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

Thurmont Grange Presents Community Citizen Award

Donna Voellinger, dedicated volunteer at the Thurmont Historical Society, was awarded the Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen Award during a Grange dinner held on November 24, 2014, at the Grange Hall in Thurmont.  In addition to her commitment to the Thurmont Historical Society, Donna is a compassionate and dedicated individual who would help anyone in need, and does so in a variety of roles within her reach. The adage, “If you want something done, you ask a busy person to do it,” seems to fit Donna perfectly. She most often anticipates the needs of others in their time of illness, shut-in, hospital, doctor visits, or bereavement, offering assistance before being asked.  She is always ready to help at her church, especially with the food committee, by serving meals and making potato salad.

As a long-time member of the Thurmont Historical Society, Donna has most recently been serving as president.  Through her efforts and enthusiasm, the Thurmont Historical Society remains strong, and she continues to seek ways to expand its mission to preserve the rich history of Thurmont.  She is also involved with the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium, the Gale House, the Heartly House, Thurmont’s Halloween in the Park, Thurmont Main Street, the Frederick County Historical Society, and some local and state-wide political campaigns.

In earlier years when her children were in Thurmont schools, Donna was very much involved in Little League sports, SHOP, and Safe and Sane.  It was evident that many students and their parents felt comfortable working with “Mrs. V” in accomplishing whatever task was at hand.

It was noted humorously by several at the dinner that Donna has earned a reliable reputation for using her big snow blower to clean her neighbors’ driveways.  Deb Spalding with The Catoctin Banner said, “Donna and her husband were my CYA girls’ basketball coach in middle school. She had an early influence on several of us who earned state semi-final championships in high school basketball for three years.  Donna always smiles when she remembers the first practice, where stand-out Tammy Joy showed her abilities. Donna has had an impact in many areas and in many people’s lives.”

For more information about the Thurmont Grange, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104.

TM Grange Community Citizen of the Year

Donna Voellinger (center) is presented the Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen Award on November 24, 2014, by Helen Deluca (left) and Rodman Myers (right).

Photo by Deb Spalding


EBPA Awards Portier its Extraordinary Service Award

James Rada, Jr.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) awarded Dr. Bonita Krempel-Portier its annual Extraordinary Community Service Award on Friday, December 5, 2014, during the EBPA annual dinner.

“I can’t think of anyone else who has served this community more so quietly,” said Mayor Donald Briggs.

The audience of approximately fifty people gathered in Joann’s Ballroom in the Carriage House Inn in Emmitsburg.

Following dinner and entertainment provided by Knight Time Impressions and the Fairfield High School Show Choir, the audience watched a video of local residents talking about Dr. Portier. They spoke of her kindness and quality care and how she was a role model to those around her of how to serve others.

“People through service bind a community,” Briggs noted.

Portier runs the Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center (EOPCC) on West Main Street in Emmitsburg. The center has 5,700 patients visit a year, and one out of four of the patients seen at the Care Center have no health insurance. Portier also does all of her work at the Care Center for free.         

The EOPCC website notes that, “In 2008, EOPCC donated $29,000 in services for the uninsured alone. This does not include donated medications. Nor does this include services at severely reduced re-imbursements such as medical assistance programs.”

Portier, who was awarded the 2006-2007 Maryland Osteopathic Physician of the Year by the Maryland Association of Osteopathic Physicians, is a 1991 graduate of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore in 1995.

The EOPCC began in Thurmont in 1999, and expanded to a Gettysburg office two years later. The current and permanent site for the EOPCC opened at the end of 2005, where it continues to provide quality health care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

EBPA awards Dr. Bonita Krempel-Portier with its Extraordinary Community Service Award during its annual dinner on December 5, 2014.


Photo by James Rada, Jr.

St. Mark’s Welcomes New Pastor

Spastor miket. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville welcomed its new pastor, Rev. Mike Simane, on November 1, 2014. Rev. Simane holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In addition to serving at St. Marks, Rev. Simane also works as a chaplain at Hospice of Washington County.

Pastor Mike, as he likes to be called, lives in Smithsburg, Maryland, with his wife of twenty-five years and two daughters. Pastor Mike enjoys reading and spending time working in the yard.

“There is a peace that comes when you’re mowing the lawn or tending the garden,” said Pastor Mike. Although, he jokes, “It’s not too peaceful shoveling snow.”

Please welcome our new pastor at St. Mark’s. Worship service is at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For more information, please visit

Officers Elected at Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Banquet

An election of officers was held at the November 2, 2014, Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Banquet.

The new officers for 2015 are: President—Ashley McAfee; Vice President—Margo Sweeney; Secretary—Lauren Schur; Treasurer—Ashley Ridenour; Reporters—Caroline Clark, Laura Dutton, Logan Long, and Karianna Strickhouser; Recreation Leaders—Nikita Miller and Jason Baust; County Council Representative—Olivia Dutton.

The Maryland Cooperative Extension Service’s programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, religion, age or national origin.

Dennis E. Black

The weather forecast for Sunday, November 9, 2014, called for a splendid day for anyone wanting to venture out on an antiquing trip. My friend, Larry Hauver, asked me to consider going along with him that day to the first York Antique Bottle Show. I was reluctant to go, with so many things that needed to be done, but he talked me into it—as he usually does. I’m thankful that he did.

There were a fair number of dealers at the York show, with the usual assortment of collectibles being offered for sale, in addition to bottles.  About an hour into the show, I happened to be checking out the display of a bottle dealer (Tom Gordon) from Manchester, Maryland, when I noticed a potential buyer beside me, holding a small Bible that the dealer had for sale. During the conversation between the two, I heard the dealer explain that the Bible belonged to a Frederick County, Maryland, Civil War soldier. That piqued my interest.

After the potential buyer returned the Bible to the dealer’s display case and walked away, I picked up the book and noticed the following inscription on the inside cover:  M.L. Brown, Co D, 6th Regt Md. V.I.   Now I am really curious!  Company D, 6th Regiment, of the Maryland Volunteer Infantry consisted of a group of 112 young Frederick County men, including those from the Hauvers and Mechanicstown Districts (Foxville, Wolfsville, Sabillasville, and Thurmont), who fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. (Ref. History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers – War of 1861-1865.)  My great-grandfather Josiah Edward Wilhide (1844-1915) was a member of Company D.  In addition to being wounded in battle at Winchester, Virginia, he was captured and held as a prisoner at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.

While I examined the small 1863 Bible, the dealer further explained that his research confirmed the existence of a soldier in Company D named “M. L. Brown” from the Foxville area. He had acquired the book online, which had ended up in Indiana. Could this well-worn Bible, most likely carried by this soldier during the Civil War, have belonged to a relative of my brother-in-law, Ed Hatter?  Ed’s mother and John Brown (Brown’s Jewelry & Gift Shop in Thurmont) are both descendants of the Brown family from the Foxville area. I had to get home and further research this with Ed.

Some things simply can’t be explained. After further research that evening, Ed confirmed with much excitement that the Bible belonged to his great-grandfather, Martin Luther Brown (1836-1898), who had, in fact, served in Company D and was wounded in battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Two days after the York Antique Bottle Show, which coincidentally turned out to be Veterans Day, Ed was able to acquire the Bible. The incredible luck of standing in the right place at the right time at a small antique bottle show resulted in a local Civil War soldier’s Bible being returned to his family for safe-keeping—over one hundred years later. What are the odds?

Cross Country pic -go with article by AshleyAshley McGlaughlin

On November 8, 2014, Catoctin High’s Cross Country team competed for the 2A State Cross Country Championships at Hereford High School, near northern Baltimore County. The sheer determination, love of the sport, and countless hours practice led the Catoctin Boys’ Cross Country Team to win states for the third year in a row.

“It was perfect cross country weather, low 50s with a little bit of wind,” said Coach Terri Gibbons. It wasn’t just the nice weather that aided this group of young men to win this three-mile race.

Throughout the months of training—beginning in August and ending in November—this team practiced every day for two hours, some staying longer just to help each other out. Running next to a group of people every day really makes a team grow strong.

“A lot of it was just how much of a family we are. At the end of the day, at race time, it’s good to know that the person you’re standing next to has your back just as much as you have theirs,” said Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, who placed fifth in the championship.

Coaches and families were very proud. “They all work hard all the time. The boys team does a very phenomenal job of working together and pumping each other up,” said Coach Gibbons. Winning states not only brings them victory, it gives each team member a feeling of accomplishment, achieved from all of the training and dedication, which will only help them with their future goals.

Zach Gascho, who came in first place, winning the overall championship, said, “I think that all the training that our team has done extremely helped us. We got some great workouts in over the season that I think made us prepared for states. Running has given me a work ethic that makes me set higher goals for myself, and I make sure to work every day to achieve those goals and I plan to continue using this throughout my life.”

Not only did the boys cross country team succeed, the Catoctin Girls’ Cross Country Team also did a phenomenal job in the race, placing seventh overall.

“The girls also do a tremendous job of working together. They do this thing called “little sister, big sister,” where upper classmen and lower classmen have an exchange of gifts once in a while—they even give each other motivational quotes,” said Coach Terri Gibbons.

Even being injured, many players have kept a positive mindset. Sophomore cross country runner, Lilie Perella, said “…all I can hope for is to be injury free next year and just train my butt off for states. Last year, my freshman year was better than this year. I want to make my junior and senior year count.”

Girls who qualified in the 2A Cross Country State Championships: Bella Kreiner, Molly Janc, Julien Webster, Lillie Perella, Sienna Caselle, Courtney Orndorff, Hannah Romsburg.

Boys who qualified in the 2A Cross Country State Championships: Zach Gascho, Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, Demetrius Patterson, Paul Slotwinski, Eric Myers, Andrew Douwes, Keith Gasior.

James Rada, Jr.

Statewide, the biggest takeaway from the November 4, 2014, election was the win of Republican Larry Hogan in a heavily Democratic state to become the next governor of Maryland. Frederick County’s election was a historic one, as representatives were selected for the county’s new form of government.

Voter turnout in the county was 51.36 percent. Among the local voting precincts, voter turnout ranged from 41.06 percent at Thurmont Middle School to 51.78 percent at Woodsboro Elementary School.

The new county officers will be sworn in on December 1, 2014.

Jan Gardner (D) defeated Blaine Young (R) to become the first Frederick County Executive. Gardner won 53.82 percent of the vote, while Young finished with 45.82 percent. Although Gardner had a strong victory overall, she did not win in any of the local districts. Her best showing was at the Woodsboro Elementary polls, where she won 44.59 percent of the vote.

Gardner, who will oversee county operations, establish policies, and propose budgets, will be working with a majority Republican county council. The Republican candidates won four of the seven seats, including the two at-large seats and the District 5 seat. The Council’s job is to initiate legislation for Frederick County. It meets for only forty-five days each year.

Kirby Delauter (R) defeated Mark Long (D), 54.72 percent to 45.13 percent, to win the District 5 seat. Delauter won a majority of votes at all the local polling places, including 67.89 percent of the votes cast at Sabillasville Elementary School.

Republicans Billy Shreve and Bud Otis defeated Democrats Susan Jessee and Linda Norris for the two at-large county council seats. The Republicans also won their contests at all of the local polling places.

Incumbent Sheriff Chuck Jenkins (R) easily won re-election over Karl Bickel (D), 62.79 percent to 37.06 percent. Jenkins performed even stronger locally, where he won between 75 to 83 percent of the vote, depending on the polling place.

Four seats on the Frederick County Board of Education were open in this election. Liz Barrett (15.52 percent), Brad Young (14.20 percent), Colleen Cusimano (13.55 percent), and April Miller (12.92 percent) were the top vote getters.

For the District 4 State Senator seat, Michael Hough (R) won 66.7 percent of the vote to defeat Dan Rupli (D) who earned 33.08 percent of the vote.

The three seats open for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 4 are also all filled by Republicans. Kelly Schulz (30.89 percent), Kathy Afzali (28.49 percent), and David Vogt, III (24.69 percent) defeated Democrat Gene Stanton (15.63 percent). Stanton was the lone Democrat running for the position.

For a complete listing of the 2014 General Election results, including the final results in Frederick County, either by county or polling location, visit the Frederick County Board of Elections web page at You can also find the official final results when they are posted.

BUSINESS -Renovations -photo 3BUSINESS -Renovations -photo 1Georgine Rabenold

Renovations Salon and Day Spa got a makeover. The transformation began over Labor Day weekend 2014, and when the doors reopened that following Thursday, the salon had a fresh, updated new look. The Salon and Spa has been open for nine years.

“It was time for a new look. We want to keep the spa in style, just like our customers,” said owner Claire Bennett.

Renovations Salon and Day Spa offers a complete package of services, from facials to hair coloring to pedicures. In addition, they also offer special occasion services for weddings, homecoming, prom, or any big day in your life. They have a full staff of ten experienced stylists, nail technicians, and even a makeup artist!

Renovations participated in Thurmont Thinks Pink in October. Claire and her staff challenged customers to “think pink” by offering them the choice of a pink glitter nail for $5.00, to get a pink hair flair, or to make a small donation. All proceeds went to The Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

If you haven’t already, come see the new look at Renovations Salon and Day Spa, located at 120 Frederick Road in Thurmont. 

Lindsay Brandt

emma jean store nowA new general store has opened in Creagerstown. However, Emma Jean’s General Store isn’t your everyday store. Yes, it has the usual milk, bread, and eggs, but you may be surprised to learn that it is also an antique store.

Emma Jean Goldberg and her son, Chuck Johnson, had the same kind of store open in West Virginia, but when they had an opportunity to purchase the old building in Creagerstown, they felt it would be a perfect spot to open up a new store. “It’s an authentic 1800s store; it’s the nostalgia of old things, and we are trying to make it as authentic as possible,” describes Emma Jean.

The property was on the market several times; it went to auction, had no bidders, and then eventually went into foreclosure. That’s when a friend of Emma Jean and Chuck informed them about the 118-year-old building. So the pair packed up their West Virginia store and headed to Creagerstown.

While strolling through the store, the sense of history and the feeling of nostalgia are noticeable. The store’s shelving, the 24-foot store counter, and the grand staircase leading up to the antiques are all original to the turn-of-the-century building. The additional pieces of furniture that are now housed in the store come from many types of stores and include seed counters, nail bins, cheese cases, shirt display cases, and bread cases. There is also a selection of furniture from old hardware, mercantile, and general stores. They are hoping that the store will become a tourist attraction.

“I’ve always liked general stores. We take old store fixtures and use them in the house. They just have a look that we prefer. It’s solid furniture. We have a bunch of old ice boxes in the store. We just like the look,” Chuck said.

Some of the many antique items that are for sale include advertising antiques, industrial pieces, an old teller station, antique ice boxes, display cases, a revolving nail bin, displays, vintage mannequins, a workbench, old toys, signs, and milk bottles. Whether you are an avid collector or just like to look at old unique pieces, this store will appeal to anyone who appreciates antiques.

Emma Jean’s General Store is already helping to keep local antique historical items in the community. Emma Jean and Chuck purchased several items from the Cozy Restaurant auction that are now being used to enhance the history of the store. Some items acquired are a lamppost, an enormous Christmas wreath, and holiday angels.

“It’s different, almost like a tourist thing,” Chuck said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by people showing up. It was packed for Colorfest. We weren’t ready, but we had to let people know that we were here.”

Along with managing the store, both mother and son are working to get involved with local charities in the area. They hope to get the community into the holiday spirit by hosting Santa! Santa will be visiting the store December 13, 2014, starting at 4:30 p.m. The donations received will go to local charities.

In addition to hosting some community activities, they want to service the community. “In winter time, if people can’t get out, we’ll have things to keep people going,” stated Chuck. “If somebody calls at closed hours, and they say they need some milk or something, of course, come on up and we’ll meet you at the door! If we are here, we won’t turn you away. If we can accommodate the people, this is fun for us.”

Emma Jean’s General Store is located at 8636 Blacks Mill Road in Creagerstown (technically) Thurmont. Call 240-288-8778 for more information.

Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

lawyer farmLindsay Brandt

The season of giving kicked off early at Lawyer’s Farm and Moonlight Maze, located on Creagerstown Road in Thurmont. On Sunday, October 26, 2014, all admission proceeds for the farm were collected to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association in honor of Jan Lawyer, who passed away from brain cancer on December 15, 2013.

Jan was the mastermind behind the property, which includes a farm, maze, sculptures, teepee, and pumpkin cannons that he built himself. The corn maze was one of the first and largest in the state of Maryland.

“When my dad passed away, I had a really hard time dealing with it. But being surrounded by everything that my dad created, and being able to hold a fundraiser in memory of him really gives us the encouragement to get by and to keep working hard. There is a reason why we do it. It’s fulfilling.”

“He was always creative. He could do anything. That’s just how his mentality through life was—whatever he set his mind to, he could accomplish, and he did,” said Jan’s daughter, Taylor Huffman. “I wanted to keep my dad’s memory alive. I wanted to do something that would let people know that this place exists because of this man and his ideas, and his motivations to create a unique place to bring families. We lost a really good man to something as awful as brain cancer, and we aren’t going to give up; we are going to keep raising money for research.”

When Taylor and her husband, Brandon Huffman, set out to have a fundraiser, they set a goal of raising $5,000 for a donation. With an estimated 450 people in attendance that day, they ended up raising $11,350 to donate to the American Brain Tumor Association. About half in attendance came specifically for the fundraiser—friends, family, and locals—but the other fifty percent of business at the farm that day was regular farm customers.

“Everyone had a really good time,” Taylor stated. “A lot of people came up to me and said they were touched. Some people had stories to tell of friends and family who have been affected by brain cancer, so it was really good to gather and talk to everyone.” The Huffman’s hope is to continue fundraising every year.

“We set a high bar,” Taylor expressed, adding, “So we hope that we can keep going up and up.”

James Rada, Jr.

Erik Legg was named the 2014 Thurmont Volunteer of the Year in October 2014. He was chosen from among a group of six volunteers who had been nominated.

“Our community is very fortunate to have such individuals who give of their time freely,” said Colleen Gillen with the Lions Club.

Legg was nominated for his volunteer work throughout the community, particularly with Project Hope, an organization that helps find activities for young people to hopefully give them productive alternatives to drugs and alcohol.

“I lost my friend when I was twenty-one years old,” Legg said. “He died in my arms. That’s when I made the decision to help.”

Legg will have his name added to the Volunteer of the Year plaque that is displayed in the town office. He will receive a gift certificate for two to a local restaurant, and a $400 donation to Project Hope will be made in his name.

Other nominees for this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award were Beth Watson, Nancy Dutterer, Joann Miller, Regina Amery, and Rodman Myers.

“These are individuals with significant contributions to the Thurmont community and are well-rounded volunteers who generously give their time, energy, and skill,” said Joyce Anthony with the Thurmont Lions Club.

Also recognized at the ceremony in Community Park on October 25 was the 2014 Police Officer of the Year. Officer D. Armstrong was awarded this honor. He received a plaque, dinner for two at a local restaurant, and a $400 donation made to the charity of his choice, which was Boy Scout Troop 270.

The award ceremony was held as part of the Lions Club annual “Make A Difference” Day.

“This is a great opportunity for the Town of Thurmont to recognize the Volunteer of the Year and the Police Officer of the Year,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

The Lions Club has been sponsoring the day since 2006. Each year, organizations and groups are encouraged to perform a service project during the day.

“Today is the day of volunteerism,” said J.R. Wantz with the Thurmont Lions Club. “Basically, it’s people helping people.”

A couple dozen people, including three members of the Thurmont Board of Commissioners and Police Chief Greg Eyler, attended the afternoon ceremony at the park. Even as the Lions were recognizing volunteers in the community, dozens of volunteers were busy in the park preparing it for the Halloween in the Park festivities that evening.

The Thurmont Lions Clubs had planned on dedicating a Lion drinking fountain at the Community Park and a Lion bench at the Trolley Trail Park, but production problems have delayed the project.

“They will be tangible evidence of what the Thurmont Lions Club gives the town,” Wantz said.

volunteer of the year Legg






Erik Legg awarded 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

volunteer of the year

Officer D. Armstrong awarded 2014 Police Officer of the Year.



Lindsay Brandt

The Emmitsburg Council of Churches went to Africa for two weeks in July 2014 to supply the local communities there with much needed entertainment, medical assistance, and learning opportunities.

Pastor Jon Greenstone was part of the nine-person team, dubbed “Team Kenya 2014,” who started their two-week journey by boarding a plane at Dulles Airport. After several flights, the team finally reached their mission site in the village of Kiminini, which is about fifteen miles from the larger city of Kitale, Kenya. Their trip was focused around four villages in the Kiminini and Khalwenge area.

The team was involved with two schools: Grade 9 at the Lenana Girls High School, and the Pathfinder Academy School. These African children don’t have the luxury of participating in craft sessions during their everyday life, so the team members took it upon themselves to bring a little artistic joy to the children.

Color photos were taken of every student and staff member and then printed and framed on-site for the Pathfinder Academy. The children were able to choose from a variety of colored bandanas; then they were given fabric markers to decorate them however they liked.

Gifts provided by the Emmittsburg Council of Churches included: 284 little dresses that were hand made by Carolyn Weaver, who created different patterns and designs for each dress; 20 quilts that were given to the orphans at Pathfinder; the high school girls of the Lenana were able to decorate their own tote bags; 33 soccer balls from One World Futbols were handed out to the community; and over 100 solar flashlights were given to the students and staff at Pathfinder.

It wasn’t just all fun and games, though. Medical supplies, doctors’ clinics, and informational sessions were held. There were three suitcases full of medications distributed to clinics held at Mitumbe slum, Pathfinder Academy, St. Joseph’s Girls High School, and Khalwenge village. A total of 618 patients were seen by Drs. Calvin Chatlos and Holly Hoffman, with Dr. Kathrin Muegge overseeing the blood sugar and malaria testing stations.

Over 180 pounds of medical supplies from Med Wish and several United States hospitals were delivered to Kiminini Health Center and Mitumbe Health Center.

Four hundred toothbrushes and 288 tubes of toothpaste were given out at Pathfinder Academy and the elementary school at Khalwenge village, along with information on dental hygiene.

Marie Hoffman, who was equipped with an auto-refractor—purchased by Dr. Drew Stoken in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for this and future missions—performed over 300 eye exams. The 180 students who were determined to need prescription lenses will receive them within the next few months, once they are shipped or flown to Kenya.

“Helping Babies Breathe” training was provided at the four different health groups: Mbai, Makwangwa, Kiminini Health Center, and Muthangare. Pediatrician Holly Hoffman provided training to each village, and they were given kits that included an ambu bad, stethoscope, towels, bulb suction devices, hats, cord clamps, and blankets.

Packets of ten different varieties of non-GMO seeds were distributed to 450 families at Biointensive Agriculture workshops at four villages in Kiminini and Khalwenge.

Pastor Jon held worship twice a day with Pathfinder Academy students and was assisted by Merri Sayler, a Methodist Deacon at Trinity UMC of Emmitsburg, and Lisa Riffle of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Thurmont. Bible school was held for the students of Pathfinder Academy, Lenana Girls High School, and at Khalwenge villiage by Phyllis Kelly, Tracy Sebold, Betsy Miller, Lisa Riffle, and Merri Sayler.

Over 400 Bibles were distributed among the men, women, and children of Kiminini and Khalwenge.

The nine members of Team Kenya returned to the United States tired and exhausted, but with new friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

think pink donationFor the month of October, the Town of Thurmont sponsored a “Think Pink” fundraising campaign, during which many businesses and residents contributed to the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital. “Think Pink” resulted in an impressive response. Through the cooperation of residents and businesses in Thurmont, the Town of Thurmont presented the Patty Hurwitz Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital with a check for $5,287.10 at the town’s November 18, 2014, meeting.

Thurmont’s Chief Administrative Officer, Jim Humerick, stated, “To have this type of participation and support from businesses and residents for the first year of our program is phenomenal. This speaks volumes about our community.”

“Thanks to all the ‘Think Pink’ Business participants, the residents, and the Town of Thurmont. Thurmont rocks!” added Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, Vickie Grinder.

John Nickerson

Emmy Award winning producer, Chris Haugh, premiered his highly anticipated film documentary, Almost Blue Mountain City: The History of Thurmont, on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at The Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery near Lewistown. The showing was a great success, and everyone left knowing a lot more about the founding of the original Mechanicstown—now Thurmont—as well as how Thurmont got its name and what the lives of the people who worked and raised families in the area was like over the years. The event was sponsored and organized by Donna Voellinger and the Thurmont Historical Society, with representatives in attendance from the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Main Street Thurmont, the Frederick County Department of Tourism, and more.

It was a beautiful, sunny fall day on the edge of the Catoctin Mountains at historic Springfield Manor, former home of James Johnson, one of the original owners of the Catoctin Furnace. He lived in the house from 1793 to when he died in 1809. The manor provided the perfect setting to learn the history of Thurmont in the film documentary, which was comprised of well-researched documents dating back to the early 1700s, as well as video interviews taken over the past fifteen years from long-time Thurmont residents such as George Wireman, Sterling Kelbaugh, Albert Zentz, and many more. Their reminiscing provided interesting, humorous, and poignant insights into the events that have shaped today’s Thurmont. A recurring theme was the overall sense of community and scenic beauty that have characterized Thurmont since it was founded. Interviewee Margaret (Bruchey) Krone spoke of her arrival in Thurmont that, “We felt that we’d moved into Heaven.”

Fine local wine and excellent fare—served by the Carriage House Inn—were provided during intermission. Chris gave an excellent talk on the making of the program and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and the first-ever awarded “Frederick County Oscar.” It was well deserved! At the conclusion, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, said, “This is a proud moment for the town of Thurmont and it’s an excellent film. I recommend everyone see it at the first chance possible.”

The documentary is a valuable and priceless film that collects and preserves our local area’s history, trials, tribulations, and ups and downs for future generations. The Almost Blue Mountain City DVD will be available for purchase for $25.00 at the Creeger House during the Christmas in Thurmont celebration on Saturday, December 6, 2014, and for the Museums by Candlelight Tour the following Saturday, December 13. Stop by between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on either day.

Director Chris Haugh and Event Coordinator and Thurmont Historical Society President Donna Voellinger are all smiles at the World Premier showing of Chris Haugh’s film, Almost Blue Mountain City.

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.