Multiple Myeloma Talk on March 3

Mr. Ray Wezik, Director of the Public Policy & Advocacy Program of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), will speak at the quarterly meeting of the Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network (CMMN) on Saturday, March 3rd, at 4:00 PM in the Large Conference Room of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center (114 S. Washington St., Easton). Mr. Wezik’s talk, Multiple Myeloma: Public Policy, Advocacy, and You, is free and open to the public. He will discuss the IMF and its sister organizations’ legislative priorities and how they advocate at the state and federal levels on behalf of myeloma patients and their families on issues such as health care and drug insurance availability, coverage, & costs, myeloma clinical and research funding, the regulation of the development and approval of new treatments, and the availability of financial and other forms of support services for myeloma patients and their families. He also will discuss how members of the myeloma community may become more effective advocates on these issues.  Mr. Ray Wezik’s presentation also should be of interest to health care providers dealing with cancer, and to patients and families experiencing other blood cancers similar to myeloma such as leukemia and lymphoma.

The Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network is an informal Eastern Shore group of individuals and families affected by multiple myeloma, a bone marrow and blood cancer.  Its mission is “to provide ongoing resources of education, support, shared experiences, and hope for persons with multiple myeloma, their families, and friends.” CMMN partners with the University of Maryland’s Shore Regional Health Cancer Center’s Outpatient Oncology Support Program and it is an affiliate of the International Myeloma Foundation.

CMMN’s meetings are informal and last about an hour and a half. In addition to the speaker’s presentation, there is time for sharing and catching-up among members. Parking is available in the Conservation Center’s Washington St. lot and on Washington St. itself. The Center is handicapped accessible. For further information about CMMN, contact Bob Kelly at 410-226-5345 or kellyrf@lemoyne.edu or visit http://chesapeake.support.myeloma.org/

Talbot Community Connections Honors Ruth Sullivan for Service

Talbot Community Connections (TCC) recently honored Ruth Sullivan of Oxford for her years of service on its Board of Trustees. Sullivan served as President of the TCC Board for five years, from 2012 to 2017, and has been a member of the Board since 2004. The Board presented Sullivan with an engraved tray and Delegate Johnny Mautz presented her with a proclamation from the Maryland House of Delegates and Linda Webb, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, presented her with a proclamation from the Governor. Senator Addie Eckardt also presented Sullivan with a proclamation from the Maryland Senate.  Amy Blades Steward was installed as the new President of Talbot Community Connections.

Pictured L-R are Delegate Johnny Mautz, Ruth Sullivan, past president of Talbot Community Connections, and Linda Webb, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services.

The mission of Talbot Community Connections is to raise and distribute funds to answer unmet needs that are fundamental to the safety, security, health and well-being of Talbot County’s vulnerable children and adults. To date, TCC has raised over $250,000 in support of programs of the Talbot County Department of Social Services (TCDSS). Some funds are specifically designated to support the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (TCCAC), a collaborative effort of several Talbot County agencies with the Talbot County Department of Social Services being the lead agency that coordinates care for the child victims of sexual assault and their families.

For further information, visit talbotcommunityconnections.org.

Channel Marker to Host “The Greatest Party on Earth”

Channel Marker, Inc., will celebrate 35 years of service to the community with nothing less than “The Greatest Party on Earth,” Saturday, March 3 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Waterfowl Festival headquarters at 40 S. Harrison Street in Easton. In recognition that fun is good for mental health, the event promises to lift the winter doldrums with the high energy sound of Hot Tub Limo, fortune telling, magic, and a caricature artist.  Enjoy delicious food, wine, and Maryland craft beers featuring RAR Brewing, Evolution Craft Brewing Company, and the Eastern Shore Brewing Company. The event will also honor the family of Dr. David Hill, one of Channel Marker’s great families. Tickets are fifty-five dollars.

Channel Marker staff prepare to celebrate 35 years of service to the community with “The Greatest Party on Earth.”

Proceeds will go toward Channel Marker’s Capital Campaign for the recently purchased Regional Wellness Center, allowing the agency to provide a wider variety of integrated health care services and accommodate the overall health, safety and well-being of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. “Renovations to our new facility will offer the convenience of multiple services all under one roof, including case management, and health and wellness services,” said Debbye Jackson, Executive Director.

In addition to raising funds, Eddie Bishop, event chair, said it’s important to raise awareness of the impact this nonprofit organization has on the community. “Channel Marker offers help and hope for families, youth, and adults on the mid-shore, reducing rates of homelessness, addiction, suicide, hospitalization, and unemployment. I am honored to help celebrate 35 years of service to the community.”

Channel Marker provides mental health services and supports to approximately 400 youth and adults on the mid-shore and reduces the stigma of mental illness through programs that enhance the functioning of individuals recovering from severe mental illness. To purchase tickets to “The Greatest Party on Earth,” be a sponsor, or learn more contact Shakia Linthicum at 410-822-4619, or go to www.channelmarker.org, and click on the “Fun is Good for Your Mental Health” tab.

Community Invited to Tour Hospice Center on February 21

On Wednesday, February 21 at 3:30 p.m., Compass Regional Hospice is hosting an open house to celebrate the opening of the Hospice Center at 100 Brown Street in Chestertown. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony guests are invited for tours until 5:30 p.m. Compass staff will be on hand to answer questions about hospice care and grief support services available in Kent County. Light refreshments will be served.

Compass Regional Hospice leases a unit on the third floor of the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown from University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. After months of renovations, Compass transformed the unit into a comfortable, medically supportive alternative for patients who need around-the-clock care. The staff of Compass Regional Hospice provides all patient care at the Hospice Center. The four-bed residential hospice center is scheduled to open for patient care in the coming weeks.

“Opening the Hospice Center allows us to expand the services we have been providing,” says Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “We are excited to bring a new, and much- needed level of ‘Care on your terms’ to the residents of Kent County.”

Compass Regional Hospice has been providing hospice care and grief support services in Kent County since becoming the sole provider of hospice care in 2014. When the Hospice Center opens, Compass Regional Hospice will staff the facility twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and continue providing hospice care in private residences, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Guerieri adds, “We are grateful to UM Shore Regional Health for helping us to respond to the end-of-life needs of Kent County patients and their loved ones through facilitating the lease with Compass. We also want to thank the many people of our community who have donated their time, materials and expertise to make it possible for us to renovate the unit into the Hospice Center.”

Guests are asked to use the main entrance where they will be greeted by a Compass representative and directed to the Hospice Center on the third floor.

For more information about the February 21 Hospice Center open house or to RSVP, contact Kristen Majchrzak, development assistant, 443-262-4126kmajchrzak@compassregionalhospice.org. To become a hospice supporter in Kent County, contact Kenda Leager, development officer, 443-262-4106kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

 Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the State of Maryland, and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville, Chestertown and Denton. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one through The Hope & Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Wreath Laying Ceremony February 14

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society proudly presents a Bicentennial Wreath Laying Ceremony on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 12 Noon. Decendants of Frederick Douglass and Lyndra Pratt Marshall will lay a wreath in remembrance of one the nation’s most influential men in history, Frederick Douglass. The 60-minute Ceremony will take place at the Talbot County Court House, by the Frederick Douglass Statue, erected in 2011.

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born on February 14, 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland.  Although he was born into slavery, he became one of the most influential men of the 19th century and one of the preeminent writers in American History. His book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, had a powerful impact on the American abolitionist movement.

Douglass became an astonishing orator and his words have inspired leaders from Abraham Lincoln to W.E.B. DuBois to Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama. He lived through the Civil War, the ending of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. In his address on December 7, 1890, he said, “I have seen the dark hours in my life, and I have seen the darkness gradually disappearing, and the light gradually increasing. One by one, I have seen obstacles removed, errors corrected, prejudices softened, proscriptions relinquished, and my people advancing in all the elements that make up the sum of general welfare. I remember that God reigns in eternity, and that, whatever delays, disappointments and discouragements may come, truth, justice, liberty, and humanity will prevail.”  Celebrated internationally as the eminent black intellectual of his time, Douglass’ story will forever resonate.

In remembrance of Frederick Douglass on his 200th birthday, Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford and Lyndra Pratt Marshall will serve as guest speakers. Born in the District of Columbia, Rutherford is an accomplished attorney with lifetime experiences in both the public and private sector. He held various Federal posts under President George W. Bush and was chief administrative officer of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011. Lt. Governor Rutherford also served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services under Governor Robert Ehrlich.

Reverend Dartanyon L. Hines will deliver the Bicentennial Ceremonial Invocation.  Over the past 27 years, he has functioned in ministry as a Preacher, Church School and Chief Administrative Officer, Outreach Minister, Youth Minister, Young People Department Advisor, Missionary, Evangelist, Spiritual Counselor, Friend and Brother. Rev. Hines proudly serves the Scotts United Methodist Church and Asbury United Methodist Church.

Lyndra Pratt Marshall is an Oral Historian, and the former Chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collection and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage. Marshall is an internationally renowned genealogist, author, teacher, lecturer, and a partner of the African Ancestory, Inc., the pioneers in DNA Genetic Testing. She is also the owner of GENE-ALL-OF-US, Inc., a Family Heritage Research and Resource Center.

Mikehia Pinkney, a sophmore at Easton High School and a member of the EHS Band, will provide music during the laying of the wreath.  Harriette Lowery, a founding member of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and member of the Society’s board of directors, will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Senator Addie Eckardt will present a proclamation from the State of Maryland.

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society has selected Reverend Wendell Gary, Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Church in Easton, to deliver the Benediction. He was ordained an itinerant deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in April 1996 and ordained as itinerant elder in 1998.  Rev. Gary previously served as associate pastor at Oak Street A.M.E. Church in Baltimore and appointed Pastor of the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Church Hill in 1998. Nine years later, he became the Pastor of Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church in Worton.

“This commemorative ceremony helps us to reflect and remember our nation’s history while providing an opportunity to express our appreciation and pay tribute to one of the nation’s greatest men  – Frederick Douglass  – on his 200th birthday”, said Eric Lowery, President of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society.

For more information on the Frederick Douglass Wreath Ceremony, “Evening with Frederick Douglass on February 17, at the historic Avalon Theatre, and Frederick Douglass Day (September 22), please visit www.frederickdouglasshonorsociety.org or the Frederick Douglass Honor Society Facebook Page.

A full calendar of events featuring all of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial events is available on line at www.fd200.org.

Rebecca Combs Chosen for Prestigious Leadership Maryland Program

Leadership Maryland announced today that Rebecca “Becki” Combs, CFO of Quality Health Strategies, has been chosen to participate in the professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its local business and community leaders. Combs is one of 52 individuals chosen for Leadership Maryland’s 26th class – the Class of 2018, who will complete the eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues.

Following a two-day opening retreat in April, the class will attend five two-day intense sessions traversing the state focusing on Maryland’s economic development, education, health and human services, criminal justice, the environment, and multi-culturalism/diversity. These sessions will be followed by a one-day closing retreat in November and a graduation celebration in December. More than 100 experts representing business, government, education, and the non-profit community will serve as panelists and guest speakers.

“The selection process for the Class of 2018 was very competitive this year, as we had an extraordinary pool of diverse and experienced applicants to choose from,” said Renée M. Winsky ‘05, president and Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Maryland. “The 52 selected participants represent a diverse and broad spectrum of highly-qualified executives from across the state, and we are confident that their Leadership Maryland experience will help them to play an even greater role in our unified effort to shape the future of our state.”

Leadership Maryland is open to senior-level executives with significant achievements in either their careers and/or their communities. Ideal Leadership Maryland members have a desire to learn more about Maryland’s most critical issues and a personal commitment to be a force for positive change in their organizations, their communities, and their state. For more information about Leadership Maryland, please visit www.LeadershipMD.org, call 410-841-2101 or email Info@LeadershipMD.org.  For more information regarding Quality Health Strategies, please visit www.qualityhealthstrategies.org

About Leadership Maryland

Leadership Maryland is a professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its local business and community leaders. Each year, as many as 52 diverse and accomplished executives from Maryland’s public and private sectors are selected to come together as a class for an eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues. The first Leadership Maryland class graduated in 1993, and the organization’s alumni network now consists of more than 1,100 leaders from all industries and regions of the state. To learn more, please call Leadership Maryland at 410-841-2101 or visit www.LeadershipMD.org.

Steven Ochse Chosen for Leadership Maryland Class of 2018

Leadership Maryland announced today that Steven Ochse ’18, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance at Easton Utilities Commission, has been chosen to participate in the professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its local business and community leaders. Ochse is one of 52 individuals chosen for Leadership Maryland’s 26th class – the Class of 2018, who will complete the eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues.

Following a two-day opening retreat in April, the class will attend five two-day intense sessions traversing the state focusing on Maryland’s economic development, education, health and human services, criminal justice, the environment, and multi-culturalism/diversity. These sessions will be followed by a one-day closing retreat in November and a graduation celebration in December. More than 100 experts representing business, government, education, and the non-profit community will serve as panelists and guest speakers.

“The selection process for the Class of 2018 was very competitive this year, as we had an extraordinary pool of diverse and experienced applicants to choose from,” said Renée M. Winsky ‘05, president and Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Maryland. “The 52 selected participants represent a diverse and broad spectrum of highly-qualified executives from across the state, and we are confident that their Leadership Maryland experience will help them to play an even greater role in our unified effort to shape the future of our state.”

Leadership Maryland is open to senior-level executives with significant achievements in either their careers and/or their communities. Ideal Leadership Maryland members have a desire to learn more about Maryland’s most critical issues and a personal commitment to be a force for positive change in their organizations, their communities, and their state. For more information about Leadership Maryland, please visit www.LeadershipMD.org, call 410-841-2101 or email Info@LeadershipMD.org.

About Leadership Maryland

Leadership Maryland is a professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its local business and community leaders. Each year, as many as 52 diverse and accomplished executives from Maryland’s public and private sectors are selected to come together as a class for an eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues. The first Leadership Maryland class graduated in 1993, and the organization’s alumni network now consists of more than 1,100 leaders from all industries and regions of the state. To learn more, please call Leadership Maryland at 410-841-2101 or visit www.LeadershipMD.org.

AAUW Presents “Waterwomen” of the Chesapeake

The Easton Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will present a discussion with two Talbot County “Waterwomen” of the Chesapeake on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 10:00AM-Noon at the Talbot County Public Library in Easton. Judy Bixler, co-owner and captain of the 333 year-old Oxford-Bellevue Ferry and Kelley Phillips-Cox, founder, president and executive director of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center are featured. Both women have very interesting backgrounds and will share with us their current life on the water, their challenges, rewards, bits of information learned on the shore, as well as humorous stories of people and incidents encountered. Time has been allotted for questions and discussion.

This meeting is open to the public.

The Easton Branch of AAUW is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.  For more information about the organization see our web site: aauweaston (MD) branch.  For membership information, call Connie Wolfe, 410-8819-6789 or elaine Wilson, 410-770-5049.

AAUW advances equity for all women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Integrace Bayleigh Chase Participates in National Wear Red Day

Integrace Bayleigh Chase participated in National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 2 to raise awareness for American Heart Month. Residents and colleagues wore red and enjoyed heart-healthy red snacks and smoothies.

About Integrace Bayleigh Chase

Located on a 35-acre campus in historic Easton, Bayleigh Chase is a not-for-profit life plan community that affords residents a lifestyle of flexibility and choice to live life on their own terms. Bayleigh Chase offers independent living options in its villas, cottages and apartment homes, as well as a continuum of supportive living services, including assisted living, neurocognitive support, outpatient and short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and diagnostic and treatment support through the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic. For more information, please call 410-763-7167 or visit www.bayleighchase.org.

Talbot Food Pantries to Benefit from 10th Annual Empty Bowls Dinner

Tickets for the 10th annual Talbot County Empty Bowls Community Dinner scheduled for Sunday, February 25 are selling fast. This popular fundraiser benefits Talbot County food pantries and related organizations committed to eliminating the daily reality of hunger experienced by children, families and seniors.

“Hundreds of people attend the annual Talbot County Empty Bowls dinner every February,” says Susan duPont, co-chair of the event planning committee. “Families and friends come for the soup and the camaraderie while supporting a worthy cause. Yet the dinner and related fundraising activities are only part of the movement to eliminate food insufficiency in our community. The real heroes are the men and women who operate the food pantries that receive the money we raise.”

Empty Bowls representative Lori Wadsworth (right) and Beth Eckel, manager of the St. Michaels Food Pantry.

Since the first dinner was served in 2009 Talbot County Empty Bowls has distributed more than $129,000 to Talbot County food pantries.

This year nine food pantries along with Care Packs will benefit from the Talbot County Empty Bowls fundraiser. The ten beneficiaries of the 2018 fundraising efforts are St. Michaels Food Panty; Union United Methodist Church in St. Michaels; Tilghman Island Food Pantry; St. Vincent de Paul Society of Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church; Asbury Methodist Church in Easton; Scotts United Methodist Church in Trappe; Presbyterian Church of Easton; Easton Church of God Harvest of Hope Food Pantry; Neighborhood Service Center; and Care Packs of Talbot County.

Every penny raised from the Talbot County Empty Bowls dinner ticket sales and donations are split equally among the selected food pantries. The all-volunteer event is also supported by sponsor donations that defray expenses and add to funds distributed to the pantries.

Talbot County Empty Bowls co-chair Susan duPont (right) and Francine deSanctis at Tilghman Island Food Pantry.

To qualify for funding from Talbot County Empty Bowls pantries must show how they use the money.

“Our criteria for pantry selection is simple – we want to ensure that a food pantry is a viable organization with a mission and resources to help those who might otherwise go hungry,” explains Lori Wadsworth, a member of the Talbot County Empty Bowls planning committee and pantry liaison. “We also want to be sure that a pantry is open to anyone in the community who comes for assistance.”

Wadsworth adds, “Even though we may not meet the people who benefit from the fundraiser, the pantry representatives make sure that we know how they depend on the money we raise.”

Beth Eckel, manager of the St. Michaels Food Pantry, explains, “The generous contributions from Empty Bowls allows us to expand the food inventory to include meat as well as occasional fruits and fresh vegetables so that we can offer our clients healthier food choices.”

Asbury Methodist Church in Easton relies on Talbot County Empty Bowls funds to operate a winter soup kitchen, fill bags of food that are distributed at Christmas, and serve dinner to participants in the Fresh Start transitional supportive housing program that helps people recovering from substance abuse. Edith Hayman says, “We are a small congregation and would not be able to finance all of this without the help of Empty Bowls.”

Empty Bowls representative Lori Wadsworth (right) with SVDP volunteers Kathy Weaver and Alex Handy.

With funds from Talbot County Empty Bowls the Tilghman Island Food Pantry has expanded their service to include delivering fruit and snacks to children attending summer camp in Tilghman and working with CarePacks to feed needy families through the summer. Francine deSanctis adds, “We are sometimes contacted by the school and have responded to a few emergency needs.While our community tries to help us, there are many older neighbors who can barely feed themselves. Empty Bowls will always be our light during dark days.”

Since opening in 2008 the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Talbot County has grown from a small storage shed to a 7000-square-foot facility with 300 volunteers. “We are providing food for over 200 families every week, and the numbers are going up all of the time,” says Alex Handy.

Handy credits Talbot County Empty Bowls for creating awareness in addition to raising money. He explains, “The Empty Bowls dinner calls attention to poverty in our community and thereby stimulates lots of other activities in support of the many food pantries in our community. Empty Bowls captures a spirit of community and outreach that has a year-round effect on the people of Talbot County.”

Tickets are available for the 6:30 p.m. seating at the Talbot County Empty Bowls community dinner on Sunday, February 25. The meal will be served in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Hall at 7215 Ocean Gateway, Easton. Each $20 ticket includes a hand-painted bowl, a variety of homemade soups and chili, home-baked cookies, and bread donated by Panera and Olive Garden.

Purchase tickets online at www.mscf.org; click on the “Events” tab at the top of the web page and complete the order form. Checks made payable to Mid-Shore/Empty Bowls can be mailed to Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 102 E. Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601;please include a phone number.

Donations to Talbot County Empty Bowls are also welcome through Mid-Shore Community Foundation online and by check.

Learn more about Talbot County Empty Bowls on Facebook and at talbotcountyemptybowls.org.