2017 Chrome City Ride Raises $121,000 for Benedictine Foundation

The Benedictine Programs and Services’ 16th Annual Chrome City Ride broke previous years’ attendance records and raised $121,000 for the school’s Annual Fund. The Annual Fund helps support tuition assistance, program support and capital projects that directly benefit the school’s 200 children and adults with disabilities.

“This year’s Chrome City Ride was spectacular and exceeded all of our expectations,” said CCR volunteer Chairman Howard “Spud” Blake, who added that this year’s fund-raising goal was $100,000. “The weather was beautiful – so many people wanted to come out and enjoy their bikes and cars, and the event itself.

A classic, 1940s Chevy pickup truck gleams in the sunshine. (Photo credit: Devon Bistarkey)

“We have a great group of volunteers – from the CCR committee to the employees at the Benedictine School – everyone worked very hard to make this one of the best events in the history of Chrome City Ride.”

The Benedictine School’s Ridgely campus welcomed 450 motorcycles, 298 cars and 2,000 people for this year’s Chrome City Ride. The bikes and cars gathered at designated registration locations in Seaford, Del., Easton, Laurel, Salisbury, Owings and Annapolis then cruised in convoys to the Benedictine School campus.Chrome City Ride also featured favorites “Rockin’ Elvis” and Big Daddy P and DJ Chris, and a BBQ lunch from Famous Dave’s.

Hot Rod of the Year and winner of this year’s Chrome City Ride Sister’s Choice Award was presented to Ray Bartlett, who customized the sleek ride at Hot Rod Garage in Denton.

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.

Benedictine Elects Fletcher to its Board of Trustees

The Benedictine Foundation has appointed Thad Fletcher of Millersville, Md., its board of trustees..

“Fletcher is highly qualified professional financial manager devoted to the cause of helping people with disabilities,” said Scott Evans, executive director of Benedictine. “His experience, integrity, and commitment are essential to Benedictine’s success,” Evans added.  Fletcher most recently served as a member of the Foundation’s Investment Committee.

Fletcher is a partner at Cooke & Bieler, L.P., where he is responsible for client service and business development. He joined the firm in 2002. Prior to joining Cooke & Bieler, he was a principal with Columbia Partners in Washington, D.C., focusing on public funds marketing and client service. Mr. Fletcher was also a vice president at ASB Capital Management. He was involved in equity research and economic analysis at DRI/McGraw-Hill and Wharton Econometric Forecasting Association.

Fletcher earned an M.B.A. degree in Finance from The Wharton School of Business. He graduated from the Georgetown University with a B.S. degree in Mathematics. While a student at Georgetown, Mr. Fletcher was a member of Sports International Track Club’s indoor mile relay team.

The Benedictine Foundation board of trustees is composed of family and community members with valuable expertise in educational, political, corporate and legal arenas. The mission of the Foundation is to secure the resources needed to assure the success and future Benedictine.

About Benedictine

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.

Williamson Receives Benedictine’s 2017 Sister Jeannette Award

Debbi Williamson (center), Scott Evans (right), executive director of Benedictine, and Patrick “Ben” Denihan, president of the Benedictine board of directors.

Greensboro resident Debbi Williamson was honored with the coveted Sister Jeannette award during the Benedictine Foundation’s annual Spring Benefit weekend, April 28-30, at the Tidewater Inn, Easton.

Williamson, a special education teacher at the Benedictine School, joined the Ridgely-based organization in 1985.

“Debbi is an excellent example of the best of Sister Jeannette and exemplifies the Benedictine values. She truly cares for our students and her coworkers. It shows in every aspect of her work,” noted Scott Evans, Benedictine’s executive director, during the April 29 awards presentation.The award is named for the former director of the Benedictine School, Sister Jeannette Murray, OSB.

“Debbi’s greatest demonstration of her compassionate caring can be seen in her efforts to continue religious education for our students. She volunteers her time, unsolicited, to come in on weekends to lead prayer service for students who want to participate. She has done this for years but has taken more of a lead with it recently as the Sisters of Saint Benedict no longer have a regular priest on campus. Debbi does this quietly without any expectation of reward other than to share her beliefs and our legacy with others,” Evans added.

Williamson was also lauded for her work with campus horticulture. “She helped obtain a grant for the planting of 100 new trees on campus in October 2015 through the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, organizing volunteers, students and the Benedictine Sisters to help plant the trees throughout campus. Over the past couple of months she’s mulched and weeded the trees on her own time.”

“Debbi has touched the lives of many students over her 32 years with Benedictine. She knows many of the adult individuals in our program and their families and reaches out to students who aren’t in her class just to be an added friendly face. She truly embodies the spirit of the Sister Jeannette Award and is a shining example of the core values of Benedictine,” Evans concluded.

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.

Easton Club East Stitchers Donate Blankets for the Children at Benedictine

blanketsAll Volunteers, the Easton Club East Stitchers have been donating blankets to Benedictine for 13 years. The Club made and donated close to 100 beautiful blankets for the children at Benedictine. Pictured with Sister Mary Agnes is Cathi Sciantarelli, Sonia White, Carol Merkley and JoAnn Miller.

Scott Evans Graduates from Leadership Maryland

Leadership Maryland announced today that Scott W. Evans, Executive Director of the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children, recently completed the professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its local business and community leaders. Leadership Maryland honored Evans, a resident of Church Hill, and the entire Class of 2016 at its 24th annual graduation ceremony held December 6 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

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Benedictine School for Exceptional Children Executive Director, Scott Evans, graduates with Class 2016 from Leadership Maryland.

Evans was one of 49 applicants chosen by a selection committee to complete Leadership Maryland’s eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues. The Class of 2016 reflects a cross-section of the state, including diversity of geographic location, profession, ethnicity and gender.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I congratulate the Class of 2016 for a memorable year, and I encourage each of them to think of this milestone not as the end of their program, but as the beginning of their membership in a very special club,” said Leadership Maryland Board Chairman Eric Brotman ‘09, president and managing principal, Brotman Financial Group. “Each of these individuals is now armed with new relationships and perspectives which will serve them as leaders, and therefore will serve organizations of all types across the state for many years to come.”

About Benedictine

For more than 55 years, the mission of Benedictine has been to help people with developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential. Today, Benedictine provides more than 200 children and adults with special education, vocational training, supported employment and home like residential living options on our main campus and in the community. For more information call 410. 634.2292 or visit www.benschool.org.

Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale Benefits Children with Disabilities

From picking out the perfect tree to shopping for the perfect gift, there are many ways to get into the Holiday spirit this season and now there is a place where shoppers are doing both.

From now until December 22, 2016 all are invited to shop Benedictine’s annual Holiday Sale at “B” Blossoms Garden Center on the school’s campus at 14299 Benedictine Lane, Ridgely, Md.,with business hours, Monday- Friday, 8:00am-7:00pm and Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm. Open to the public all season long, shoppers can browse the center’s selection of live and cut Fraser fir trees, fragrant wreathes, poinsettias and choose from handmade gift items.

garden-centerEach holiday purchase helps to support the mission of Benedictine to help children and adults with developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential.

During the organization’s annual sale,trees available range from 2-foot-tall to 8-foot-tall Fraser firs priced from $38-$76. Assistance with trimming, loading and cutting is available, as well as free delivery to the local areas until December 22, 2016. Fresh selections of white and red poinsettias are available for $7 and $10. Handmade gift items available include soaps, Christmas-scented simmering potpourri, dog treats, candy grams, home décor items, and much more.

Serving individuals with disabilities, “B” Blossoms offers employment experience for Benedictine students and adults. As a vocational training site, individuals gain job experience from administrative skills working at the garden center’s front desk to stocking shelves and green house care and maintenance.

For more information about the holiday sale call “B” Blossoms at (410) 364-9650 or visit benschool.org to learn more about Benedictine.

Knights of Columbus Generously Donates to Benedictine

The Knights of Columbus, Brother Vincent Council 7517 of Smyrna, Delaware, recently presented a generous gift to Benedictine Executive Director Scott Evans at the Benedictine School campus in Ridgely. The $5,500 donation was presented by third degree Knights of Columbus’ member Jack Dingee along with his wife, Katie Dingee.

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Jack, center, and Katie Dingee of the Knights of Columbus, Brother Vincent Counsel 7517, visited Benedictine’s Ridgely campus to present a donation to Executive Director Scott Evans (left).

“We’re driven to give here,” said Dingee. “It’s our mission to do what we can, and do our part to give back to the community.”

For more than 55 years, the mission of Benedictine has been to help people with developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential. Today, Benedictine provides more than 200 children and adults with special education, vocational training, supported employment and home-like residential living options on campus and in the community.

As long-time donors, the Knights of Columbus commit funds raised during community fundraising events which include collecting donations at Acme grocery stores as well as hosting the “Little Barrel” country concert held this past summer.

This year’s donation to Benedictine’s Annual Fund will help to underwrite new school technology including SMART boards to increase classroom learning, sensory equipment for a new Sensory Environment for severally autistic children and training equipment for vocational programs.

Benedictine Elects Officers to its Board of Trustees

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Incoming Benedictine Foundation President, Charles R. “Charley” Mills

Benedictine appointed four members, a part of a distinguished team of volunteers, to its Board of Trustees during its recent annual meeting. Named president of the Board of Trustees is Charles R. Mills of Arlington, VA.; vice-president is Sanford W. Morhouse, of New York; secretary is Brandon Becker of New York; and treasurer is Charles E. Partridge, Jr. of Baltimore.

“Each of these highly qualified professionals has proven to be devoted to the cause of helping people with disabilities,” said Scott Evans, executive director of Benedictine. “Their experience, integrity, and commitment are essential to Benedictine’s success,” Evans added.

All of the Benedictine Foundation’s fund raising, development, marketing and other activities are overseen by the volunteer Board of Trustees. The board is made up of family and community members with valuable expertise in educational, political, corporate and legal arenas. The mission of the Foundation is to secure the resources needed to assure the success and future Benedictine.

Incoming Benedictine Foundation President, Charles R. “Charley” Mills, is a partner of Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s Energy Group and Financial Services Practice, Washington, DC. Mills has 30 years of experience in regulatory enforcement and compliance before federal commissions. He is the past chair of the ABA’s Derivatives and Futures Law Committee. Prior to entering private practice, Mills served as a litigator and regulatory attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Recognized by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, Mills was named “Lawyer of the Year for Derivatives Law” in the Washington, D.C.– Baltimore region in 2012. Mills earned his B.A., cum laude, from Occidental College and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught graduate level courses in securities and commodity futures law.

Sanford W. “Sandy” Morhouse, Foundation vice-president, of Counsel, Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP, focuses his practice primarily in the areas of corporate and real estate finance. Morhouse previously chaired the Real Estate and Private Equity Groups with Dewey & LeBoef LLP, and co-chaired its management committee. After receiving his B.A. from Williams College, Morhouse earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Brandon Becker, Foundation secretary, is a partner in the securities department at the law firm of WilmerHale, and focuses on advising broker and other financial market participants on regulatory matters. Becker joined WilmerHale in 1996, went on to become executive vice president of TIAA-CREF in 2009, and later rejoined WilmerHale in 2015. Previously Becker was a lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1976 to 1996. He holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, and an LL.M from Columbia Law School.

Charles E. “Pete” Partridge, Foundation treasurer, is retired as principal, Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, P.C. He received his law degree from University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1974.

About Benedictine
Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age. For more information call 410-634-2112, visit online at www.benschool.org, or like Benedictine on Facebook.

Benedictine ‘Mad Hatter’ Gala Raises Over $270,000

The “Mad Hatter” Spring Benefit Gala for Benedictine Programs and Services drew 370 people to the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Md., on Friday and Saturday evenings, April 29 and 30. The unique event raised more than $270,000 toward Benedictine’s annual fundraising needs totaling $1.5 million to provide education, training, and community integration opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

“I’m overwhelmed and humbled by this outpouring of generosity for the individuals in our programs,” said Scott Evans, Executive Director of Benedictine. “We came here and enjoyed a great party with funny hats, an evening among some of the most caring people anywhere, and we left with significant support for our mission,” he added.

Benedictine’s Spring Benefit Gala is one of the Eastern Shore’s premiere fundraising events. The highlight of the weekend was a live auction featuring vacation getaway packages to New York City, Napa Valley wine country, and a culinary experience in Ottawa, Canada, among others. The original fundraising goal was exceeded by 50 percent.

The opening reception on Saturday evening in the Crystal Room included an opportunity for everyone to create an outrageous hat in the spirit of the Mad Hatter’s theme for the evening. A green screen photo booth allowed guests to pose with family and friends and immediately post their photos to Benedictine’s Facebook page. Then an elegant dinner followed the auction in The Tidewater Inn’s Gold Room, decorated as Alice’s Wonderland. After dinner Benedictine honored Brett Rhodes, physical education and athletics program director, coach, and a designer of the school’s state-of-the-art playground. Rhodes received the 2016 Sister Jeannette Award for outstanding service to Benedictine’s children. The evening concluded with dancing and celebrating in the Tidewater Inn’s Gold Room Garden.

On Friday evening, the night before, the weekend kicked off with a cocktail reception in the Crystal Room specifically to recognize and thank Benedictine’s caring and committed staff.

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, or age.

Benedictine Announces Appointments to Its Board of Directors

Benedictine, an organization that cares for more than 200 children and adults with developmental disabilities, announced the appointments of Victoria E. Brennan, Leonard J. DiPaul, Ed.D, and retired Army Col. William C. Doukas, M.D., to its board of directors.

Ms. Brennan, senior manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers Baltimore Assurance practice, has more than 15 years of professional experience in public accounting. She has served both public and private clients in the healthcare, higher education, and other fields.

Dr. DiPaul, assistant dean of education and human services at Neumann University, Aston, Pa., supervises all graduate education and doctoral programs under the aegis of Neumann’s department of education and human services. He previously served as director of the office for youth and young adults with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Dr. Doukas, an orthopaedic surgeon, recently joined Bay Area Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Glen Burnie, Md. A specialist in shoulder, upper extremities and sports medicine, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an associate member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, and is a board examiner for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Previously he served as staff orthopedist at UHC Orthopaedics in Bridgeport, WV. He served for 24 years in the United States Army retiring as Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. During his military career he served as chair of the Integrated Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the National Naval Medical Center/Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Benedictine’s board of directors oversees the organization’s mission and planning, and supports the executive director in managing resources, monitoring programs and services, and ensuring legal and ethical accountability. All members of the board are volunteers with valuable expertise in educational, legal, political, corporate, and other arenas.

Benedictine’s Executive Director Scott W. Evans, remarked, “All of the professionals who have accepted the call to serve in these vital positions on our boards, are extremely distinguished in their fields. We are greatly blessed by their willingness to participate in the continued success of our organization as we strive to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.”

Providing opportunity to live meaningful, productive lives in communities of choice, Benedictine helps children and adults with developmental disabilities reach their greatest potential without regard to race, color, national origin, or age. For more information please call 410-634-2112, visit online at www.benschool.org, or like Benedictine School on Facebook.