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Did you know there’s an enormous, ancient, endangered fish swimming throughout the Chesapeake Bay? If not, the third- and fourth-grade students at Choptank Elementary School have a lot to tell you!

Over the winter, students gathered with school staff and community partners to install a mural celebrating this fish—the Atlantic sturgeon—as the culmination of a yearlong project led by ShoreRivers as part of its Sturgeon Discovery Program.

Crystal Owens, the third-grade science and social studies teacher at Choptank Elementary, was the brains behind this project, combining the needs of the school beautification committee with a desire to amplify student voice.

“My hope is that our students and community are more aware of the amazing wildlife we have living right next to us,” Owens said. “Through our partnership with Shore Rivers, students are learning to educate their community and promote healthy living environments for animals and people alike.”

Nationally-renowned local artist Shelton Hawkins led the design and installation of the mural, compiling students’ own works of art into a large, flowing piece that now decorates the school hallways and gives everyone who walks by a lesson on what the Atlantic sturgeon looks like.

“I think it’s really cool that we took the students’ actual drawings and put them together inside our own little fish river … [I] loved the way it turned out,” Hawkins, who has primarily installed murals on basketball courts. “Seeing the kids’ [smiling] faces was the best part.”

The ShoreRivers Sturgeon Discovery program is a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience that is a part of every third-grade class in Dorchester and Talbot counties. The program was designed to support students in investigating local environmental issues like water quality, pollution and runoff, and endangered species, all through the lens of the Atlantic sturgeon. Healthy, fishable, swimmable waterways will not be possible without the next generation of clean water enthusiasts, so ShoreRivers strives to encourage in students an appreciation for our environment and a dedication to making a difference.

“Even third graders can do their part to foster healthy habitats and show support for our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Owens of the stewardship her students demonstrate.

This project was made possible with funding from the Dorchester Center for the Arts and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bay Watershed Education and Training program. Special thanks go to Principal Laretha Payton, Crystal Owens, Shelton Hawkins, Devon Beck, Sam Peterson, and the faculty of Choptank Elementary School for their dedication to student learning, voice, and stewardship.

Queen Anne’s County Animal Services to Host Community Open House on October 21st

Queen Anne’s County Animal Services (QACAS) is excited to announce their upcoming Open House on Saturday, October 21st, 2023, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This event promises a day of fun, education, and a celebration of recent improvements at the shelter, all while supporting the welfare of animals in Queen Anne’s County.

Event Highlights:

  • Shelter Tours: Explore the shelter’s recent enhancements and learn about QACAS’s dedication to animal welfare.
  • Face Painting: Enjoy creative face painting for all ages.
  • Pet Parade: Witness adorable pets strut their stuff in a charming pet parade.
  • Raffle Prizes: Win exciting raffle prizes.
  • Moon Bounces: Delight your children with inflatable moon bounces.
  • Balloon Artist: Be amazed by the talents of a balloon artist.
  • Informational Tents: Learn about programs and initiatives from some of our partners.
  • Food: Satisfy your cravings with delicious offerings from vendors on-site.

This event is open to the public, and admission is free. Food will be available for purchase from the food vendors.

Take a tour and see the recent improvements to the dog play yards, including enhanced fencing and ground cover, as well as the addition of shading and an agility course.

For more information about Queen Anne’s County Animal Services and to stay updated on available animals for adoption, please visit and search for “Animal Services” or follow them on social media @QACAnimalServices.

About QAC Animal Services: QACAS devotes our efforts and resources to the animals of Queen Anne’s County. Animal Services provides comprehensive medical service and treatment to all animals in our care. They are focused on ensuring all animals physical and psychological needs are met through an extensive enrichment initiative. The thriving TNR (trap neuter release) program is decreasing the spread of disease while helping to control the feral cat population. At QACAS, we are committed to meeting the needs of our community through our humane practices and progressive programs.  

Community Overdose Action – Town Hall Series in Queen Anne’s County

A call to address the opioid and overdose crisis has spurred the collaboration of key organizations to present the Community Overdose Action, Town Hall Series. This critical event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 21, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Kent Island High School Auditorium, located on 900 Love Point Road in Stevensville, Maryland.

The Community Overdose Action, Town Hall Series aims to rally the community’s ideas and insights toward tackling the opioid epidemic. Attendees will be provided a platform to voice their concerns, share their thoughts, and propose strategies to combat the challenge of opioid-related overdoses.

There will be presentations from state and local government officials, outlining the current state of affairs and the efforts already in place. The Queen Anne’s County Department of Health will be offering Naloxone training and NARCAN at no cost. Queen Anne’s County Goes Purple will have giveaways and Student Ambassadors will be sharing information about the Living Naturally High Clubs in the schools. Following the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to directly interact with these officials during the Q&A session.

To secure a spot at this pivotal event, interested individuals are urged to register in advance by visiting: Admission to the Community Overdose Action, Town Hall Series is open to the public, extending a warm welcome to all who are concerned and wish to contribute to positive change.

For those who wish to provide public testimony during the event, the option is available upon registration. Speakers will be allocated a two-minute time slot, assigned in the order of registration receipt, time permitting.

The Community Overdose Action, Town Hall Series is a collaborative effort made possible by the partnership of the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center, Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff, Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services, Queen Anne’s County Department of Health and Queen Anne’s County Drug Free Coalition.

Join us on September 21 to contribute your voice to the fight against opioid overdoses and make a lasting impact on our community.

Pink Polar Bear Golf Raises Funds over $10,000 For Eleanor & Ethel Leh Women’s Center

CHESTERTOWN, Md. (September 13, 2023) – Members of the Chester River Yacht & Country Club organized and participated in the 12th annual Pink Polar Bear Golf Tournament this summer, raising a record $10,200 to benefit patients served at the Eleanor & Ethel Leh Women’s Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

This year’s event attracted nearly 90 club members and guests. Since 2015, the event has raised over $30,000 to support breast cancer detection at the hospital.

“We call it the Pink Polar Bear tournament because finding breast cancer can be a little like trying to find a polar bear in a blizzard,” said Kelly Bottomley, Manager of Outpatient Radiology Services for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. “Our tomosynthesis mammography technology takes breast images in ‘slices,’ much like a CT scanner, and makes it possible to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. Expanding our diagnostic breast services here though MRI technology puts our capabilities at best-in-class.”

“We are grateful beyond words,” said Maryann Ruehrmund, Executive Director, UM Chester River Health Foundation. “I hope participants will take great pride in knowing that the tournament’s proceeds will be designated for our upcoming campaign hoping to raise $1.3 million for new MRI equipment, including a special coil needed to perform MRI studies of the breast, which will soon be offered at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.”

Opened in 2013, the Eleanor & Ethel Leh Women’s Center was the first facility on the Delmarva Peninsula to offer 3-D digital mammography with tomosynthesis, which can find breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. This capability is now available throughout the five-county area served by UM Shore Regional Health.

The Leh Center performs more than 2,800 mammograms each year, offers bone density evaluation services and consultation and follow-up appointments related to breast surgery. Breast surgery, reconstruction and plastic surgery takes place at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

CUTLINE: Shown are Pink Polar Bear Golf Tournament participants and organizers at the Chester River Yacht & Country Club. (Polar Bear Golf.jpeg)

CBMM set to host Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival

ST. MICHAELS, Md., Sept. 14, 2023 – The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum hosts Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival on Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6-8, welcoming one of the nation’s largest gatherings of small boat enthusiasts and unique watercraft back to its waterfront campus.

Hundreds of amateur and professional boatbuilders and enthusiasts will come from all over the region to display their one-of-a-kind kayaks, canoes, and other traditional small craft at the 40th edition of the annual festival, which runs 10am–5pm all three days.

Public entrance to the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival is included with CBMM’s general admission, which is good for two consecutive days and free for CBMM members.

Head to to learn more about the three-day event. Anyone looking to register as a participant and gain access to the full slate of events can get more info at

A family-friendly fall staple, MASCF invites guests to marvel at the craftsmanship and innovation used in traditional and contemporary small craft, showcased both on land and in the water, while enjoying all that CBMM has to offer across its 18-acre campus. Throughout the weekend, boat owners are encouraged to share their knowledge and boating experiences with guests.

Saturday offers a full slate of MASCF activities. CBMM Shipyard staff and Chesapeake Wooden Boat Builders School instructors will offer boatbuilding and maritime demonstrations that day, and Chesapeake Light Craft will be on site with a selection of vessels from its fleet for guests to demo.

That afternoon, there will be a spirited small craft race on the Miles River. Guests are encouraged to watch all the action from CBMM’s waterfront and docks.

Also on Saturday, guests are invited to a special presentation in CBMM’s Shipyard. A weeklong workshop on traditional Japanese boatbuilding, led by author, boatbuilder, and educator Douglas Brooks, concludes with a traditional Shinto launching ceremony to celebrate the completion of a 21-foot Japanese river boat. That evening, Brooks will be the keynote speaker at the dinner for MASCF participants.

Everyone on campus for MASCF will be able to vote for their favorite boat, with the People’s Choice award and others announced among participants on Saturday evening. Limited offerings will be available for the public to see on Sunday.

For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, including the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft

“Claws for a Cause” to benefit UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown

Queenstown, Md. (September 7, 2023) – Final preparations are now under way for “Claws for a Cause,” a crab feast fundraiser set for Thursday, September 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Fisherman’s Crab Deck in Grasonville. The annual event will benefit patient care services at University of Maryland Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.

Tickets are $100 for adults and $20 for children 13 and under. The buffet will feature all-you-can-eat steamed crabs, fried chicken, pork barbeque and assorted sides. The event will also include a silent auction featuring items such as a raw seafood bar feast for 20 and Baltimore Ravens tickets.

“The Claws for a Cause crab feast has become a wonderful tradition in this community, bringing people out to support our emergency center and the quality care we provide,” said Mary Alice Vanhoy, Manager, UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown. “Over the years, the Claws event has raised funds that have enabled us to purchase state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and to make needed equipment upgrades.”

Proceeds from this year’s event will fund the purchase of two electric recliner lift chairs. It will also help fund staff training necessary for Geriatric Emergency Department accreditation for UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.

This year’s event sponsors are Whiting-Turner, Maryland Primary Care, Benedict A. Andrew American Legion Post #296, Kent Island American Legion Post #278, R. Baker & Son, PepUp, DiDonato Property Management, Central Sod Farms, Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty, Shore United Bank, Kathy & Nicholas Deoudes, Tidewater Anesthesia Associates, Laurie Plemons, Chesapeake Investment Planning LLC, Kent Island B.P.O.E. #2576, Sara Jane Davidson, Queenstown Bank, Benoit Development LLC, Kelly Distributors, Arthur B. Cecil, Art & Karen Oertel, Pixel Print & Post and Gary and Sonia Mangum.

Since its opening in 2010, more than 200,000 patients have been treated for acute illnesses, injuries and trauma at UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown. The Center is staffed by board certified emergency medicine physicians, experienced nurses, radiology technicians and medical technologists.

For more information about Claws for a Cause sponsorships, or to purchase tickets, please visit or email

Tidewater Rotary Partners with Chesapeake Conservancy for Bay Bridge 10K to Preserve Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Tidewater Rotary is pleased to announce its collaboration with Chesapeake Conservancy for the 2023 Bay Bridge Run, a 10k race across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Club members will run or walk as part of Chesapeake Conservancy’s Charity Team to raise both awareness and funds for the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the promotion of equitable access for all.

The Bay Bridge Run is a unique mid-distance event that takes place over the bay on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on November 12. The 10k race only happens once a year and is a rare opportunity for participants to walk or run the 4.35-mile-long bridge, which is typically closed to pedestrians.

Chesapeake Conservancy, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, was selected as an official charity partner of the Bay Bridge Run. Their vision includes creating more parks, trails, and public access sites to ensure that the Chesapeake Bay remains accessible to everyone while promoting thriving wildlife habitats. Funds raised through this event will directly contribute to advancing their goals and Tidewater Rotary is excited to partner with them to protect this national treasure.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Chesapeake Conservancy and promote the protection and accessibility of the Chesapeake Bay,” Tidewater Rotary Club President Childlene Brooks said. “Our club has worked on clean-up efforts of local streams and rivers, and this endeavor is a continuation of our efforts to preserve our precious natural resource. We invite our community to support our team by visiting”

Tidewater Rotary, established in 2011, is part of a global network of over 1.4 million volunteers dedicated to the Rotary Motto of “Service Above Self.” Their participation in the Bay Bridge Run demonstrates their commitment to making a positive impact in their community and beyond. Follow the club on Facebook @TidewaterRotary and visit to learn more and join.

Mid-Shore Departments of Social Services Host Regional Crab Feast for Resource Parents

The Departments of Social Services in Caroline, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties recently hosted an appreciation event for area foster parents at the Tuckahoe State Park Lake Pavilion in Ridgely, Maryland. In addition to providing steamed crabs, the event included lunch, a DJ, face painting, and access to the park’s playground and trails.

“Our resource parents always enjoy this event with their families. This year, we had approximately 65 family members from across the Mid-Shore in attendance. This is one way that we can say ‘thank you’ to our resource families for their dedication throughout the year,” states Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator for the Talbot County Department of Social Services.

For further information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Talbot County, call the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-820-7371 or visit


Community Group of the Month- Friends of the Library

Our library is a learning hub for locals big and small; beyond books they do everything from arts and crafts to 3-D printing. Locals love our library so much they created The Friends of QAC Library, a non-profit that supports our local libraries. I had the chance to talk to one of their board members, Ashley MacLeay, to learn about their book sales program, what she’s been reading lately and more! 

For those who don’t know… what is Friends of QAC Library?

The Friends of Queen Anne’s County Library is comprised of individuals and organizations who advocate for the library. Friends volunteer their time and talents to build valuable bridges between our library and community. It is a non-profit that generates financial support for library programs, increases community awareness of the library, and encourages greater use of the library and its resources. Friends’ support is crucial to ensuring that the programs our community has come to appreciate will endure into the future and that new opportunities can be realized.

How did you get involved?

I got involved through the Kent Island Library Expansion Capital Campaign. Growing up on Kent Island, I was a young girl when the Kent Island branch first opened, and my mother was a strong advocate for the library. Now that my three sons use the library, and after seeing the new and improved Kent Island Branch, I wanted to continue to lend my experience to expand the many programs and resources available to residents through the library.

Could you tell me about the used book sale program?

Definitely! The Friends have been holding book sales in the county for almost ten years. Proceeds from these sales allow the Friends to provide support to Queen Anne’s County Library for projects and programs developed for our community. Since its inception, the Friends have provided Queen Anne’s County Library with more than $150,000 to support library favorites like the Summer Reading Program, arts programs, and youth STEM events. The Friends have also provided essential funding for major improvement projects, including the Kent Island Branch renovation and acquisition of the County’s Mobile Library.

How can locals support our library and the Friends of the Library?

The Friends of QAC Library is a member-based organization with annual membership fees starting at $25. Current members of the Friends receive discounts, and new members can join at any time at any of Queen Anne’s County Library’s branches or online at We also welcome interested individuals to participate in our fundraisers and donate gently used books to the Friends.

Any recent projects you all have been working on or upcoming projects in the future?

Friends just finished up a successful used book sale in August. This sale offers something for everyone, thousands of gently-used fiction and non-fiction books in all genres and from hundreds of authors. Shoppers were also able to select from a huge collection of DVDs. For the first time this year, we offered pre-owned jigsaw puzzles for sale at the event.

We will be celebrating National Friends of the Libraries Week October 15-21, 2023 with a fun restaurant giveback fundraiser in the county. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks! We will be posting more on our Facebook page soon. 

I’m guessing you’re a reader? Any favorite books you’d like to recommend that can be checked out at our local libraries?

I just finished White House by the Sea : A Century of the Kennedys at Hyannis Port by Kate Storey. It is a well-researched and interesting new nonfiction read that was released this summer. I highly recommend it! The Friends of QAC Library also stocks a Book Nook at each of our branches where you can find many gently used books for purchase. Recent fiction favorites I stocked include It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover. Books purchased at the Book Nook and funds raised go directly back to support the library.

Who is on the board of the organization?

The Friends organization is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Current board members include:

Kerry Harris – President 

Elizabeth Cockey – Vice President 

Joan Moored – Treasurer 

Melinda Smith – Secretary 

Ashley MacLeay 

Debbie Oleisky

Directors develop and implement fundraising plans, conduct community outreach to increase awareness about Queen Anne’s County Library programs and resources (as well as about the Friends of the Library), and work to effectively fulfill funding requests from library leadership.

The Friends look to welcome up to four new Directors to the Board in 2024 and can form committees with additional interested Friends’ members.  if you have experience in social media, graphic design, community outreach or fundraising and are interested in joining the board, please email

If you would like to learn more about the Friends of QAC Library you can go to their website here: You can also see upcoming library events and read about all the services they offer here:

Kent School to Hosts Secondary School Fair

On Wednesday, October 4, Kent School will host a secondary school fair for students in Grades Six, Seven and Eight and their parents or guardians. Kent School’s secondary school fair is open to all families in the area and there is no fee to attend. The event will be held in the M. V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Several independent and area public schools, both day schools and boarding schools are participating including The Gunston School, The Hill School, McDonogh School, Mercersburg Academy, Oldfields School, Pomfret School, St. Andrew’s School, St. James School, St. Timothy’s School, Woodberry Forest School, and Kent County High School.

According to Tricia Cammerzell, Assistant Head of School for Advancement, “this year, we are delighted to welcome secondary schools from Virginia to Massachusetts. The purpose of the fair is to bring as many secondary schools together in one place at one time so students and parents can get an overview of the wonderful regional options for high school. This is an opportunity for families to speak with admission representatives and decide if they want to delve further into the admission process for a particular school.”

The secondary school process at Kent School is an intentional one that includes an academically rigorous program coupled with faculty support, small class discussions and student accountability. Nancy Mugele, Head of Kent School said, “At Kent School we are proud of the work we do for each student to prepare them for success in their chosen high school. We conduct mock interviews, create classroom situations similar to high school classes and write in-depth recommendations. As stated in our mission, ‘We are research-driven and committed to nurturing our students’ potential for active citizenship in a connected world through academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence.’The secondary school fair is an important tool to help guide students and parents through the discovery, application and enrollment process.”

For more information about Kent School’s Secondary School Fair, please email Tricia Cammerzell, Assistant Head of School for Advancement at or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110. Kent School, located on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown is an independent school serving boys and girls in Preschool through Grade Eight.

CBMM & Temple B’nai Israel to share story of Chesapeake ‘ship that launched a nation’

ST. MICHAELS, Md., Sept. 8, 2023 – The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is partnering with Temple B’nai Israel of Easton on Wednesday, Oct. 11 to present “S.S. President Warfield to Exodus 1947: The Chesapeake Steamship That Launched Israel.”

During this Speaker Event hosted in the Van Lennep Auditorium, CBMM’s Chief Historian Pete Lesher and University of Maryland Distinguished Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Herf share the story of a Chesapeake packet steamship with a symbolic role in the formation of Israel 75 years ago. Light refreshments will be served at 5pm, and the talk will begin promptly at 5:30pm. 

The suggested ticket price is $8 per participant with both in-person and virtual options available. To register and get more information, visit

This program is made possible in part through the generosity of Marlene and Phil Feldman.

“The history of this steamship is familiar to many of us—its story was made famous both in books and in the movies,” Temple B’nai Israel Rabbi Peter Hyman said. “What may be less well known is that Exodusfirst sailed on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. This, for many of us living here, intensifies and makes more poignant our connection to this ship and to the role it played in post-World War II history.”

This program will trace the vessel’s interesting journey to its place in history.

S.S. President Warfield was the largest and last steamboat built for the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, nicknamed the “Old Bay Line.” The luxury liner ran overnight express service between Baltimore and Norfolk beginning in 1928.

Like several other Bay steamboats, President Warfield was requisitioned for service in World War II, and after surviving the war, it was ultimately sold via auction to a Zionist organization seeking to take European Jewish refugees displaced by the war to Palestine.

Despite opposition from the British government that controlled Palestine, President Warfield recrossed the Atlantic Ocean, took refugees aboard in southern France, and headed on.

British naval vessels followed and ultimately stopped the steamship just short of its destination. Amid the melee, new nameboards were revealed, dubbing the vessel Exodus 1947.

The international attention that ensued around the plight of the Jewish refugees ultimately led to the establishment of the State of Israel. While the venerable steamship saw no more use, it was called by some “the ship that launched a nation” and its story inspired Leon Uris’ novel “Exodus.”

CBMM’s collection features two models of the steamship, numerous historic photographs, and several related artifacts, including a brass state room key and a dinner menu from its maiden voyage.

During next month’s program, Lesher will share the history of the vessel through World War II, while Herf, an authority on modern European history, will speak about the international impact of the Exodus 1947incident.

“It’s an extraordinary story, and because of its international dimensions, President Warfield was among the best-known Chesapeake Bay steamboats,” Lesher said. “We think this program will appeal both to those interested in Chesapeake Bay maritime history and 20th century Jewish history, the founding of the State of Israel, and international relations in the aftermath of World War II.”

Find more information about CBMM’s fall series of Speaker Events at and all of its upcoming events at

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