News

Not my Child QAC 

A big part of our Golden Anchor awards is giving back to our community-and that’s why every year we donate proceeds from the event to a local charity our readers voted for. This year, you picked Not my Child QAC-a local organization dedicated to fighting the local opiate addiction crisis and supporting families going through loss from the opiate crisis. I got the chance to talk to founder Anthony Reno to learn a little more about why all our readers love Not My Child QAC so much and what you can do to help end the opiate addiction crisis.

In 2017, tragedy struck the Reno family when Anthony’s son, Anthony Jr. passed away from an opiate overdose. In the aftermath of his son’s death, during the thralls of the opiate epidemic, he often saw other grieving parents at the local cemetery. He talked to the mother of another local who passed away from opiate addiction, but wasn’t able to afford a full proper memorial for her son. Anthony decided he would raise money for her, and for other local families, and thus, Not my Child QAC was born.

Anthony says a big part of him wanting to turn Not my Child into a full fledged charity was to help preserve Anthony Jr.’s legacy. “I didn’t want my son’s legacy to be a statistic,” he explained to me, “his name means much more than that.” Since their foundation, Not my Child has raised money for 10 headstones and 10 benches for families on the shore to memorialize their loved ones’ lives.

Anthony believes that his organization has received so much love from the community because all the money they raise goes straight back into fighting the opiate epidemic and helping families in crisis. Not my Child QAC has given to local organizations like Camp New Dawn, the QAC Drug Free Coalition and the United Methodist Church.

Of all the different projects Not my Child QAC has undertaken, Anthony is most proud of helping turn the life around of a local man struggling with addiction. The young man’s insurance wouldn’t cover rehabilitation treatment for his addiction, so Not My Child QAC paid all of his expenses. Now he is clean, and in his 2nd year apprenticeship as an electrician. “He has made it a long way.” Anthony told me. “And it means a lot to me that his family didn’t have to go through what I went through.”

Anthony has a message both for parents and for anyone who might be struggling with addiction. “My son was a great kid and an athlete,” Anthony explained to me. “I never thought it could happen to him, but it did. You have to have hard conversations with your kid, and you have to advocate for them.” His message to any locals who might be struggling from addiction? “There is hope. There are resources available throughout the county…you have to reach out for help, it’s not embarrassing.”

If you would like to learn more about Not My Child QAC  you can go to their website here: https://notmychildqac2-0.com/. Anthony hopes you can make it out to Not My Child’s flagship event, Anthony’s Run, on April 24th in The Narrows.

 

The Randy Thrower Foundation

 A lifelong local, Randy Thrower had a passion for sports and helping others. He was the state champion in track in 2009 and was a member of the 4×200 relay team that won the states in 2012. He loved to help others, always offering a hand to anyone in need, especially at the gym he frequented.
In 2016, tragedy struck when Randy was killed in an automobile crash on the Bay Bridge. At the time, Randy was a student at Chesapeake College and was working at his grandfather’s business, Hunter’s Seafood. His family, and the community as a whole, was devastated.
“Randy cared a lot for people,” his father, Stephen Thrower, told me. “He always helped others… he was just a giver.” To help preserve Randy’s memory and further his goal of helping others, his loved ones founded the Randy Thrower Foundation.
Since its founding, the Randy Thrower Foundation has given out over $40,000 in scholarships to local students attending college. The foundation’s focus is on giving money to those who normally might not receive much in aid. “The straight A students; they get all the grants and loans and money,” Stephen told me. “We try to focus more on those who might not get straight A’s… sometimes we give to the less fortunate, and we also try to give to athletes like Randy.”
The foundation is currently holding off on events, but hopes to begin them soon. If you would like to donate or learn more about the foundation, visit www.randydthrowerscholarshipfoundation.wordpress.com  or contact Melody Thrower at mlynnthrower@gmail.com.
This academic year the foundation awarded four $2,000 scholarships to the class of 2021 seniors.

 

Winners for Kent Island High School
Juliana R. Biggam
Jenna Scalia

 

Winners for Queen Anne’s High School
Taylor L. Walls
Jurnee Shi” Ayr Wilson

Willow Construction Joins For All Seasons Leadership Circle

Our most personal firsthand experiences can often be the impetus behind our philanthropic giving. Such was the case with the owners of Willow Construction, who recently became founding members of the For All Seasons Leadership Circle. Mike Hiner, President, and Andy Cheezum, Vice President, both had experiences in the past with family members having anxiety and realize the extent of the mental health needs in our community.

“Mental health struggles are important issues that families face, and time is of the essence in seeking treatment. I experienced this firsthand in dealing with this in my own family,” comments Hiner.

“As parents, we often think we can deal with challenges when they come up, but sometimes, we need help. Talking to other parents and becoming more aware of mental health issues here, our company realized the urgency of these needs in our community for mental health services, especially since the pandemic and among our youth,” adds Cheezum.

While Willow Construction has been a donor to For All Seasons in the past, it wasn’t until recently that the business increased its commitment to investing in the agency’s mission and reach on the Mid-Shore. First, through a 2020 renovation project of For All Seasons headquarters building on Talbot Street, where they offered their services at a reduced cost. And most recently, this summer, when Cheezum attended an event where President/CEO Beth Anne Langrell shared For All Seasons’ role in building community resilience.

“We admire Beth Anne’s ability to share the organization’s vision for a healthy community as a whole and the organization’s leadership in finding solutions for our community issues. That night, her talk struck a chord with me, and the business decided to commit to a matching gift for this year, making us a Leadership Circle founding member,” Cheezum states.

Tithing has always been at the core of Willow Construction’s business philosophy and they have supported a number of local nonprofits – mostly with a focus on youth-oriented giving.

Hiner adds, “Willow Construction has built its reputation on more than 48 years of leadership and outstanding service. We’re also proud to be actively engaged in our community, supporting a variety of local causes. We have contributed our time, funding, and materials to building neighborhood relationships and fostering community fellowship.”

“This year, we have been particularly blessed with work, despite the pandemic, and we wanted to share these blessings with For All Seasons.”

“We are thrilled to have Willow Construction as a Leadership Circle founding member and as a business partner. They continue to recognize the importance of mental health services in our community and have stepped up in significant ways to help us in meeting the needs that exist today,” comments Beth Anne Langrell, President/CEO.

For All Seasons’ Leadership Circle is comprised of an exceptional group of individuals and leaders in the business community who give generously and lend their talents, expertise, and connections to the forward momentum of the agency. Members of the Circle are critical partners in For All Seasons’ life-saving work, playing an instrumental role in building the agency’s capacity to meet the demands of the current mental health crisis. Entrance to the Leadership Circle begins with contributions of $10,000 per year and extends into more significant, six-figure gifts. Multi-year commitments are especially impactful for the agency.

For further information on supporting For All Seasons, contact Lauren Weber, Vice President of Philanthropy and Education, at lweber@forallseasonsinc.org or call 410-822-1018.

Choptank Health expands school-based dental health

Choptank Community Health recently added school-based dental services to Kent, and Queen Anne’s County public school student enrollees. Choptank Health’s dental services are already provided in Dorchester County Public Schools, with dental and medical services available to students enrolled in the school-based health programs of Caroline and Talbot County Public Schools.

Choptank Community Health’s Chief Dental Officer Sandra Garbely- Kerkovich, DMD and Community Based Program Director Chrissy Bartz, PAC, MMS oversee the school-based dental program, with Pre-K through 12th-grade students enrolled in each school are eligible to receive care at any location.

Registered dental hygienists provide on-site dental screenings, fluoride treatments, sealant applications, and dental hygiene education. The free dental screenings include examinations of the teeth and all soft tissues of the mouth—along with instruction on brushing and flossing, and education on the importance of eating healthy foods in good oral hygiene.

“Strong partnerships with the area’s local school systems are critical to the impact our School-Based Health Centers have on the wellness of all students,” said Choptank Community Health CEO Sara Rich. “We are thankful for the commitment of each school and county for recognizing the importance of this program in helping to provide access to health care for all.”

Choptank Community Health operates 12 medical school-based health centers, located in each Caroline County Public School and in Talbot County Public School’s Easton Elementary, Easton Middle, and Easton High Schools.

“School-Based Health Centers improve attendance by limiting the amount of time students and staff miss from school and work by providing the care they need, and then allowing them to return to school as appropriate,” says Bartz. “It’s a great service to our students, their parents, our schools, and ultimately our entire communities.”

Each medical health center is staffed by licensed advanced practice clinicians, including Certified Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, and function like a typical doctor’s office. Choptank Health is offering telehealth and curbside visits at the schools for COVID testing, with quarantining protocols and separate well-child spaces on premise.

According to the School-Based Health Alliance, school-based health care is a powerful tool for achieving health equity among children and adolescents who unjustly experience disparities in outcomes simply because of their race, ethnicity, or family income.

The Alliance says school-based health care is also a commonsense idea gaining currency across the country as it places critically needed services like medical, behavioral, dental, and vision care directly in schools so that all young people, no matter their zip code, have equal opportunity to learn and grow. More about the Alliance is at sbh4all.org.

Choptank Community Health System’s mission is to provide access to exceptional, comprehensive, and integrated health care for all. Choptank Health’s vision is to improve the health and well-being of people in the communities served by providing outstanding care experiences while being an exceptional place to work and make a difference.

Parents and guardians can enroll their students in Choptank Community Health’s School-Based Health Centers by calling their school’s health staff or Health Center, with more at choptankhealth.org

Record Enrollment at Gunston Prompts Expansive Facilities Master Plan

Centreville, MD – In June 2021, The Gunston School’s Board of Trustees approved a Facilities Master Plan that aims to expand the school’s current facilities and programming to accommodate robust enrollment growth. The plan includes a STEM Center and Environmental Field Station to support the school’s dynamic science, math, robotics, and environmental programming, as well as a new Athletics Center and Performing Arts Center. Additional upgrades include expanded and upgraded athletic fields, the development of a central campus promenade, as well as parking improvements.
“Our trustees have approved a plan that is equally ambitious and creative,” shared Head of School, John Lewis, “and the plan aims to align the school’s facilities with our needs and strengths, as well as our robust enrollment growth, which has grown nearly 80% since 2010. Our hope is to create one of the premier independent school campuses on the East Coast, anchored by our 35-acres of waterfront property.”
Led by the highly regarded architect Al Rubeling of JMT, the master planning process involved collaboration with every constituent group in the Gunston community — employees, parents, students, alumni, and community partners through surveys, focus groups, and thinking/visioning exercises.
“Al Rubeling led our previous master planning process with great success, and he coordinated a very intensive and inclusive process,” shared Board Chair, Patrick Shoemaker ’03. “Our goal was to create an updated Facilities Master Plan that resonates and transforms as powerfully as the one Gunston completed in 2011.” The 2011 plan resulted in a nearly $6 million renovation and enhancement of the school’s academic classrooms as well as the addition of both Fine Arts and Waterfront Athletic Centers.
In recent years, Gunston acquired an additional 3-acre parcel of adjacent waterfront property, which will anchor the new STEM Center and Environmental Field Station. The plan also reflects the school’s twin strategic goals of significantly enhancing its offerings in Athletics and the Performing Arts. These facilities will serve both Gunston students, as well as the hundreds of children who attend the Horizons and YMCA summer programs hosted on the school’s campus.
Longtime admissions director David Henry shared, “While we currently have an extraordinary campus, talented students, and a deeply committed faculty, our enrollment growth has created some mismatches between the scope of our facilities and the scope of our programs. Simply put, our STEM, Athletics, and Performing Arts programs are outgrowing their current homes.”
Lewis concludes, “Like our previous campus master plan that emphasized classrooms and common spaces with abundant natural light, this updated version aims to take full advantage of our campus setting. Since the times of Plato, it has been well understood that the physical environment is essential to inspiring student learning. At Gunston, we’re continually working to create optimal campus spaces for the educational experience.”
Gunston currently enrolls 235 students from six Maryland counties and Delaware, and 11 international students from Germany, South Korea, China, and Spain. In 2021-2022, the school’s trustees and leadership team will be conducting a feasibility study with CCS Fundraising to determine next steps for bringing the campus master plan to reality

Learn about Japanese boatbuilding this fall 

On Sunday, Oct. 17, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., will host Douglas Brooks—boatbuilder, visiting master, writer, researcher, and winner of the 2014 Rare Craft Fellowship Award—for a demonstration on Japanese boatbuilding techniques and a slide presentation following the arc of his work in Japan apprenticing under seven different master boatbuilders.  
 
During the demonstration, scheduled for 2–4pm in CBMM’s working Shipyard, Brooks will fit two planks in the Japanese fashion. Then, he will use a special set of chisels to cut pilot holes for the nails and edge-nail the planks together. Brooks will discuss the tools and techniques specific to boatbuilding in Japan as well, and how these techniques are completely at odds with methods used in the west.  
 
Following the demonstration, from 4:30–6pm in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, Brooks will give a presentation titled, “Ways of learning: An apprentice boatbuilder in Japan.” Guests may attend the demonstration and talk for $35 per person, or the talk only for $15 per person. A 20% discount is available for CBMM members, with registration for all required to cbmm.org/JapaneseBoatbuilding. 
 
CBMM members play a critical role in supporting CBMM’s rich legacy of educational programs, fascinating and ever-changing exhibitions, and maintenance of the largest collection of Chesapeake watercraft in the world, including access to exclusive discounts, perks, and programming. To learn more about becoming a CBMM member, visit cbmm.org/membership.

Choptank Transport Golf Event Raises $35K for Heroes

Easton, Maryland – September 15, 2021 – They say the third time is a charm, and as far as charity golf tournaments go, the Choptank Transport Community Foundation’s 10 Better Than Par Heroes Edition event on 9/11 broke the company’s previous two years’ records. As a result, ten nonprofit hero organizations will receive $3,500 each from the third-party logistics company headquartered in Preston,
Maryland. The sold-out tournament at Hog Neck Golf Course in Easton, Maryland, was held on 9/11 to honor those heroes lost in the 2001 attacks. Organizations selected to receive proceeds from the event include: the Preston Volunteer Fire Department, Food For Learning, Eastern Shore Crisis Response (Sante), the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Project K9 Hero, Mid-Shore Meals til Monday, Tunnel to Towers
Foundation, Compass Regional Hospice, Heroes Haven, and Baltimore Station. The 2021 10 Better Than Par charity event was not your typical golf tournament. In addition to the action on the greens, there was a lively cornhole tournament as well as live music by the Rockets, three
food trucks (the Red Chef, That Kitchen and Yo Java Bowl), and an impressive array of silent auction
baskets. Choptank Transport President and CEO Geoff Turner said, “We couldn’t have hoped for better participation, sponsorships, and of course, weather! I think everyone felt after the opening ceremony and the Presentation of Colors by the Maryland State Police, that this event marked a special day for our community and the charities we help.” The all-day event was coordinated by 35 Choptank Transport volunteer staff, all clearly visible in red shirts for any golfers needing assistance. “It was a wonderful, fun day!” said Lauren Smith, chief coordinator of the tournament. “Everyone’s hard work and preparation were well worth it when you know you are recognizing those who put the lives of others before their own.” Sponsors for the tournament included Preston Automotive Group; Provident State Bank; Trucker Tools;
Walmart; PNC Bank; ASG; Tri-Gas & Oil; Heritage Financial Consultants; Wawa; Professional Leasing;
MJH Construction; Shore United Bank; Eastern Shore Smile Solutions; Super Vending; TGM Group; A.W.
Sisk & Son; Salisbury University (Franklin P. Perdue School of Business); Sante; Walmart of Denton; Food
for Learning; Parker Counts; Whitten Insurance; McAllister, Detar, Showalter & Walker; For All Seasons;
APG Media, and Nagel Farm Service.
Choptank is already planning for its 2022 tournament. Since the company’s new office location in Easton
will be well established by then, we hope to have an even bigger event next year.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month All of us can play a role in suicide prevention

Starting a conversation about suicide may be one of the hardest things you have to do in your life. But knowing the gravity of the situation, our ability to reach out to someone who may be contemplating suicide is critical and may make all the difference in the outcome. Helping them understand they are not alone, that depression is normal and treatable, and that help is available are important parts of addressing this issue with a friend or family member.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death today in the U.S. for people ages 10 to 34. According to a recent article by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the only real way to know if someone is at risk is to ask. For All Seasons is promoting a community campaign to “ASK, LISTEN, and SHARE” as we recognize National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Risk factors for suicide

Although there is no single cause for suicide, depression that is undiagnosed or untreated is the most common condition associated with suicide. Suicide often occurs when life stressors and health issues converge, leaving some people experiencing hopelessness and despair.

Warning signs of suicide

A change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors may be warning signs of suicidal thoughts, especially if related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say, what they do, or sudden mood changes.

Suicide prevention tips

We all have a role to play in suicide prevention.  Some tips for dealing with someone who is considering suicide, are:

Be proactive: There are times when you notice that something is off for a friend or family member. Take note of changes in talk, behavior, and mood. Pay attention to your gut.

Talk about it. Start a conversation in a private safe space about how that person is doing. Listen to their story. Focus on showing your support and compassion. Tell them you care about them. Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems, or giving advice. You don’t have to have all the answers. Be direct. Research shows that asking someone if they are having suicidal thoughts will not put the idea into their mind.

Reduce access to means of self-harm. A suicidal crisis is temporary and often lasts minutes. Consider what items are a danger to someone who could be suicidal. Remove and/or lock up these items.

Get Help. Encourage them to seek treatment or contact their doctor or therapist or a crisis line and/or mental health services right away. Build in choice. Stay with the person until they have received support.

Follow Up. Continue to check in regularly and be a source of understanding and support.

One of the most important pieces of advice is not to wait for the “perfect moment” to ask about suicide; that moment will never come. Ask anyway. Because suicide is too important to keep secret.

For help, contact For All Seasons 24/7 at 410-822-1018 or the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: Text: 410-829-6143 Toll-Free: 800-310-7273 | English:410-820-5600 | Spanish: 410-829-6143. Persons may also call Maryland Crisis Connect 24/7 – Dial 211 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For further information about For All Seasons activities related to Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, visit forallseasonsinc.org.

For All Seasons provides the highest level of mental health and victim services to children, adults and families across the Mid-Shore. Services are offered in both English and Spanish and include therapy, psychiatry, victim advocacy and 24-hour crisis hotlines.

Source: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/September-2019/How-to-Ask-Someone-About-Suicide

St. Michaels Community Center takes in Christ Church St. Michaels’ food pantry program

The St. Michaels Community Center is helping to centralize food distribution for Bay Hundred residents by consolidating the operations of the St. Michaels Food Pantry with the community center’s food distribution program.

“The St. Michaels Food Pantry and its volunteers and donors have helped to provide meat and nutritious, non-perishable foods for Bay Hundred families in need for more than 60 years,” says Food Pantry Board member Mary Ellen Olcese. “We’re fortunate to have helped the community for so long, and now is a great time to transition the program, because the St. Michaels Community Center is doing a great job as the area’s lead for food distribution.”

“The Food Pantry began in 1961 and was located in the parish hall of Christ Church. We were able to provide twice-weekly food distribution and special holiday baskets for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter,” says Alice Petizon of the Food Pantry Board. “And we will continue to support food distribution in the community in the future.”

“We’re grateful for this opportunity to combine our programs while helping our neighbors who are facing food insecurities,” said St. Michaels Executive Director Patrick Rofe. “We’ll continue to provide take-out meals and grocery pick-up for those in need at the community center on Mondays from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.—including Jeannie’s Community Café for onsite dining—and Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.”

Individuals can support St. Michaels Community Center’s operations by making a tax-deductible donation at paypal.me/smccmd, or drop off non-perishables at the St. Michaels Community Center, located at 103 Railroad Ave., in the historic district of St. Michaels. An outdoor pantry is additionally set up at the community center for anyone in need or wanting to make a donation of non-perishable food items.

The St. Michaels Community Center provides activities and services contributing to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the community. SMCC is dedicated to filling the unmet needs of the Bay Hundred and St. Michaels communities by providing supervised programs for the enrichment of children and teens; activities and services for adults and senior citizens; and affordable recreational, social, and educational activities to the entire community.

Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop, located on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels, help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for people from throughout the Bay Hundred area. More information is at stmichaelscc.org. More about Christ Church is at christstmichaels.org.

Feed a Family 2021

2021 marks the 17th year that FEED-A-FAMILY: Community Food Program, operating in Queen Anne’s County has been providing
food boxes and frozen turkeys for families who need it for various reasons. The program serves folks in Stevensville, Chester, Grasonville,
Queenstown and parts of Centreville.
FEED A FAMILY delivers food and turkeys the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Last year over 800 families benefited from this program
between Thanksgiving and Christmas. FEED A FAMILY is sponsored by local churches and supported through the local community.
We are not affiliated with any county or state agency or receive grants.

This is a great opportunity for one family to help out another family at the beginning of the season of sharing thanks and love. If you
would be interested in helping you could: Choose and fill a Turkey Tag displayed at your local church or business, be on our work or delivery
team, donate grocery store gift cards, or pray for another successful year of serving folks in our area.
Grocery cards or checks could be sent to Christ Church, 830 Romancoke Rd., Stevensville, MD 21666 with memo to FEED A FAMILY.
If you would like to volunteer to help in this year’s Community Food Program, please call Bobbie Bell at 443 333 8975 or email
bellbloomcoach@yahoo.com or check www.feedafamily.net
If you are in need and would like to receive a box of food for Thanksgiving, please call 301 512 8448, 703 967 8674 or 410 827 9230 by
November 14. Delivery will be Saturday, November 20 by 2:00pm