Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Hosts First Shot Mentored Turkey Hunt

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is hosting the first ever First Shot Mentored Turkey Hunt on April 21-22, 2018 with Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Wild Turkey Federation. Over 65 aspiring new hunters applied for the 14 openings to be paired with an experienced mentor and learn what’s involved in a supportive environment from scouting, calling and harvesting their first bird. The 14 selected are a mix of women, handicap, youth and new adult hunters that don’t have a support network to help them learn this lifelong endeavor.

Orientation on Saturday April 21 will be at the Environmental Education Building where they will learn about scouting, calling, techniques, and even taste wild game. The next morning at 5am the mentees and mentors will venture on their first hunt at locations across the refuge and at several nearby private locations generously donated by Muddy Marsh Outfitters, Whistling Creek Outfitters, and Tudor Farms-Young Life.

Hunting and fishing contributes significantly to wildlife conservation especially at the state level, with about 59 percent of funding, or $3.3 billion, from hunting and fishing-related activities. But according to a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, only 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, hunt, half of what it was 50 years ago. With nearly a third of current hunters as baby boomers, this decline will dramatically worsen within a decade and threaten the ability to fund conservation.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 29,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwood and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife. To learn more, visit our website at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/blackwater or @BlackwaterNWR.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Easton Rotary’s 7th Annual Flags for Heroes Launched

The Rotary Club of Easton will hold its 7th annual Flags for Heroes event during Memorial Day Weekend. On the heels of six successful years of raising nearly $200,000 and benefitting 30 different local hero-related organizations, the Rotary Club of Easton is again fulfilling its mission of “Service above Self.”

Flags for Heroes provides members of the local community a way to honor their personal heroes including family members, friends, veterans, active members of the armed forces, teachers, firefighters, police officers, or any other individuals who have made a positive impact on their lives.

The 1000 American flags, which stand 8 feet tall, can be sponsored for $50 each in honor or in memory of personal heroes and will be displayed at multiple locations around Easton with the largest displays at the Talbot Community Center and Black & Decker field. The deadline for sponsorship is May 21st.

Over the past six years, with the support of Easton’s mayor, Bob Willey, Easton Utilities, The Star Democrat, Talbot County Government, and countless donors, Flags for Heroes has presented donations totaling nearly $200,000 to 30 local community organizations, many of which provide service to veterans. Among the organizations who received funds were: Talbot Goes Purple, a substance abuse awareness program that engages the community and its youth to stand against substance abuse; Talbot Mental Health Association, which received funding for its Veterans Fund which assists Eastern Shore Veterans in need; Operation Open Arms, an organization that provides service men and women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with vacations to Talbot County; Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, which received funding toward the purchase of life-saving equipment; Talbot Hospice, which received specific funding for veterans, who comprise 20 percent of the patients spending their last days at Hospice House and half of whom are in the low-to-no income category; Easton Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer organization and official auxiliary of the United States Air Force that follows a military-style program for cadets ages 12 to 21 who are interested in enlisting, entering a military academy, or perusing ROTC scholarship opportunities; Easton High School NJROTC; the Easton Police Department; the Easton Volunteer Fire Department; the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, which received full funding to bring the wall to Easton; and many more.

For more information about Flags for Heroes or flag sponsorship, please visit www.flagsforheroes.org or call Jackie Wilson at 410-310-5664 and contribute by May 21st.

CASA of the Mid-Shore Honors Volunteers

On April 18, 2018, Piazza Italian Market hosted its first evening event at their dining room, a cocktail party for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) organization. CASA of the Mid-Shore held this event to thank its many volunteers from Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Kent Counties who stand against child abuse and take action by advocating for maltreated children. Attendees were CASA’s Board of Directors, staff, local judges and magistrates and many CASA volunteers. Each guest was presented with a blue pinwheel, the national symbol for child abuse prevention. Reflecting hope, health and safety, the pinwheels are an uplifting symbol of childhood that mirror CASA’s own goal to advocate for every child’s right to a safe, permanent home.

CASA of the Mid Shore is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide Court Appointed Special Advocates to all children who are under court protection in Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s or Kent Circuit Court due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or their parents’ inability to safely care for them.

CASA volunteers are adults from the community who are screened, trained, and supervised by professional staff members. When a CASA volunteer is appointed by a judge to a child’s case, the CASAs are officers of the court and, as such, are ordered to make assessments and recommendations to the judge regarding the best interest of the child to whom they are appointed. He or she is responsible for taking the time to learn as much as possible about the child. CASA volunteers search for information that might be helpful to the court by talking with parents, teachers, relatives, physicians, therapists, attorneys, social workers, and others. They work closely with all agencies involved with each child. Most importantly, the CASAs get to know the child, and frequently become one of the most consistent adults in the child’s life. Then, the CASAs provide a written report to the court with recommendations as to what is in each child’s best interest.

Over the past 28 years, CASA has grown to the point that they are able to provide a CASA volunteer to close to 100% of the children under the protection of the Talbot and Dorchester County Circuit Courts. They are currently accepting applications from residents of Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties who are interested in applying to become Court Appointed Special Advocates for children under court protection. To learn more about CASA or to support CASA of the Mid Shore, please contact Jane Crawford at 410-822-2866, ext. 6, or visit www.casamidshore.org.

For more information about reserving Piazza’s dining room for evening corporate or private events, please contact Emily Chandler or Jennifer Martella at 410-820-8281.

Upcoming Programming at the Library May 1 to 3

Mr. Wala-Neh Labala

Easton Library Offers Afternoon Chess Academy

On the first and third Tuesdays of every month, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons aged 6 – 16 to come in and learn how to play chess from Mr. Wala-Neh Labala.  Snacks will be served.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but space is limited for Mr. Labala’s class, so patrons need to pre-register by contacting Children’s Librarian Laura Powell (telephone: 410-822-1626, ext. 3022; email: lpowell@tcfl.org).  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Laura Powell, telephone: 410-822-1626

St. Michaels Library to Offer Maker Space

On Wednesday, May 2, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites children 6 and older to come in and enjoy STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) building with Legos and Zoobs!   All library programming is free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Diana Hastings, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Offer Arts & Crafts

On Thursday, May 3, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to bring their coloring books, Zentangle pens or anything else that fuels their creative passion and enjoy an arts and crafts program.  There will be free instruction for knitting, beading, needlework, and tatting.  Patrons may also bring their lunch.  All library programming is free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

Easton Library to Offer Drop-in STEAM Program

On Thursday, May 3, from 3:30 – 4:45 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a Drop-in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program for children 6 and older.  Children will play Minecraft, build with LEGOS and Zoobs, and create cardboard art.  All library programming is free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Laura Powell, telephone: 410-822-1626

CBMM Announces Next Restoration Project

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has officially announced its next major shipyard project—a restoration of the 1912 tug Delaware. The restoration will begin with lofting this winter—following the launch of the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood in October 2018—and start in earnest in January 2019.

“This is a full stem-to-stern restoration,” said CBMM Shipwright James Del Aguila, who will serve as lead on the project. “We’re excited to get started.”

With work taking place in full public view, CBMM’s shipwrights and apprentices will begin work on Delaware’s keel, stem, and horn timber in early 2019, then progress to framing and planking in the latter half of the year. Work on deck structures will follow, with the project anticipated to take two years.

Built in Bethel, Del., by William H. Smith, Delaware once hauled scows on Broad Creek—often laden with lumber—and towed ram schooners to and from Laurel, Del. Occasionally, she carried parties of young people to Sandy Hill for day trips on the Nanticoke River. Donated to CBMM by Bailey Marine Construction in 1991, Delaware is now a member of the floating fleet on display along CBMM’s waterfront campus.

“This is a truly exciting time for CBMM, thanks in large part to the flurry of activity in our shipyard,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “Working on these unique vessels helps us further tell the story of the Chesapeake Bay. We can’t wait to share them with our guests.”

To learn more about this, and other shipyard projects, visit cbmm.org. For details on the progress and relaunch of Edna Lockwood, visit ednalockwood.org.

The St. Michaels Rotary Club Announces Groundbreaking

The Rotary Club of St. Michaels, MD and the Town of St. Michaels will have a groundbreaking on Wednesday, April 18 for the first of four bicycle racks donated by the Club to be erected throughout town over the next couple of months.  It will begin at 9:00am at Muskrat Park.  Speakers from the Rotary Club and Town officials are expected.

In addition to Muskrat Park, the Rotary Club is contributing bike racks to be erected by the town at St. Mary’s Square, and the town’s Fremont Street and Mill street parking lots.  The bases for the racks are composed of bricks carrying personalized individual messages that can be purchased by the public.  The bricks can be engraved with names of individuals, organizations, businesses, dedications or memorials.  They can be purchased online for $100.00 each at www.rotarystm.org.

Don Goodliffe, President and Bricks for Bike’s Chair, Aida Leisure

The St. Michaels Rotary Club has been active in the St. Michaels and greater Bay Hundred community for over 77 years.  The Club has long partnered with the Town and other organizations in the Bay Hundred area.  It founded and funded the St. Michaels Nature Trail on the west side of town.  Every year the Club provides significant college scholarships to graduating seniors from St. Michaels High School.  It regularly stuffs CarePacks full of foodstuffs to supplant school lunches and help sustain children in our area over weekends and during summer months. It provides opportunities  to kids who could not otherwise do so to attend summer camp.  It takes part in many other projects every year that support the community.

Every other summer, residents and tourists see Club members in the middle of town selling raffle tickets for a classic 1964 or ‘65 Ford Mustang, a major Club  fundraiser that involves the public in helping the community.  Buying “Bricks for Bikes” is another way those who live in, and those who visit, St. Michaels can participate with the Rotary in helping the community.

The St. Michaels Rotary Club is one of 34,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide as part of Rotary International, whose motto is “Service Above Self”. Like other Rotary Clubs, the Club’s areas of focus are promoting peace and conflict resolution, fighting disease, saving mothers and children, supporting education, providing clean water, and growing local economies.  The St. Michaels Club is part of the largest service organization in the world.

The St. Michaels Rotary Club is holding a “Get to Know Rotary” social for current Club members and those in the community who would like to learn more about becoming involved with the Club. The cocktail reception is Thursday, May 10 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in St. Michaels. Those interested should contact  K. Coale at 410-310-6703 or www.rotarystm.org. for more information.

Memorial Walk to Benefit Talbot Hospice

Talbot Hospice will hold its 3rd Annual Memorial Walk on Oxford Day, Saturday, April 28th at 8 a.m. Check-in, a light breakfast and memorial activity begin at 7 a.m. The public is invited to walk in memory or in honor of a loved one to benefit hospice programs and services in Talbot County. A brief ceremony will be followed by a 0.8-mile walk to the Strand, finishing at 8:30 a.m. with a dove release and another opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed.

“Our Memorial Walk is a wonderful time to honor the lives of our loved ones,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice. “We are grateful to the Oxford Day Committee and the Town of Oxford for recognizing the value of end-of-life care and including Talbot Hospice in this event. We look forward to spending time with our hospice family members”

Registration for adults is $25, students are $10, and children 12 and under are free. The fee includes an adult t-shirt and light breakfast. Check-in and breakfast begin at 7 a.m. To register visit TalbotHospice.org/events or call 410-822-6681. For more information contact Laura Richeson at lricheson@talbothospice.org.

Habitat Choptank and Lowe’s National Women Build Week

For the 11th year, Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s are engaging women nationwide to work together to build Habitat homes during this year’s National Women Build Week from May 5-13.

National Women Build Week, a nationwide initiative created by Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s in 2008, has brought together more than 117,000 all-women construction volunteers to build or repair homes with nearly 5,000 families over the past 10 years. This year, Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to Habitat for Humanity to support the 2018 National Women Build Week, which is set to take place in 300 communities nationwide.

Habitat and Lowe’s encourage all women to volunteer—no construction skills or experience in Habitat builds is necessary.  Since Lowe’s national partnership with Habitat for Humanity began in 2003, the home improvement company has committed more than $63 million to Habitat and helped nearly 6,500 families improve their living conditions.

“We’re excited to partner with Lowe’s to educate, inspire and empower women to advocate and help Habitat homeowners love where they live through building or improving an affordable place they can call home,” said JoAnn Hansen, Executive Director, of Habitat Choptank.  “We want to engage women of all skill levels to join their friends, families and neighbors to build up their communities and volunteer where women will gain invaluable skills to bring back and use in their everyday life.”

Carol Hill Miter practices using a hand saw with the support and oversight of an Easton Lowe’s representative.

“Lowe’s is in the business of helping people improve and maintain their homes,” said James Frison, Lowe’s Director of Community Relations. “Lowe’s Heroes have helped build hundreds of Habitat homes across the country and National Women Build Week is another chance for Lowe’s to reinforce our long-standing commitment to Habitat, Women Build and communities where our employees and customers live and work.”

In preparation for the build week, Habitat Choptank and Lowe’s are hosting “how to” clinics to equip volunteers with knowledge and skills in construction and home interior, basic safety techniques and what to expect when building a Habitat home.Lowe’s will host clinics at its Easton location on the following dates:

Saturday, April 28th at 9am: Household Garden Tools
Saturday May 5th at 9am: Paint and Trim

Habitat Choptank will be offering the following build days for volunteers to get involved for a full day or a half day.  The build days will be hosted at one of the following locations in Talbot and Dorchester County.

Tuesday, May 8th or Wednesday, May 9th in Cambridge
Friday, May 11th or Saturday May 12th in Easton
Saturday, May 12th in Hurlock

To sign up to attend a Lowe’s clinic or volunteer on a job site, please call Nora Skiver, Volunteer Coordinator at Habitat Choptank, at 410-476-3204.

About Habitat Choptank

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 76 families and currently partners with 15 local home buyers. Income qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s inventory of durable and energy efficient houses.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.For more information, to make a donation or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

About Lowe’s in the Community

Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 60-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. In the past decade, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Gives Foundation together have contributed more than $300 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. For the latest news, visit Newsroom.Lowes.com or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

Community Foundation Hosts Workshop

On April 6, Mid-Shore Community Foundation hosted 130 executive directors and board members from the five-county area at Chesapeake College for a CEO/Board workshop.  The workshop was led by Chuck V. Loring of Ft. Lauderdale and Indianapolis-based Loring, Sternberg & Associates, which provides fundraising and governance consulting services to nonprofits. Mr. Loring is also a Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource.

Mr. Loring was invited back after receiving rave reviews at a similar event hosted by MSCF last September.  “Part of our mission is to provide education opportunities for the non-profit organizations in the community,” said Robbin Hill, MSCF Chief Program Officer. “A workshop of this type is cost prohibitive for many individual organizations and we are happy to be able to make it available to them.  We offer a variety of programs but what we kept hearing at the end of the September workshop was, please bring him back!”

The first part of the program focused on governance issues such as building an effective board, legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the board, common pitfalls that impact board effectiveness and trends impacting the non-profit sector.  The second half of the program focused on current trends in philanthropic fundraising, the importance of donor cultivation and stewardship, how board members can be great fundraisers without asking for money, and why legacy giving is the future of philanthropy.

Once again, Mr. Loring received rave reviews.  “This was a unique opportunity for directors and board members to evaluate their board against the standards considered best practices for nonprofit boards,” said Moorhead Vermilye, President of the Board of CASA of the Mid-Shore.

Mid-Shore Community Foundation offers at least two training opportunities for nonprofits each year.  The next program will be in the Fall.

Talbot Hospice Trains 20 New Volunteers

Twenty new Talbot Hospice volunteers completed orientation and comprehensive training in March. This specialized training provides in-depth understanding of the special needs of hospice patients and their families at end of life. The 16-hour training session focuses on an array of topics such as hospice philosophy, listening skills, family dynamics, grief and loss,and patient safety.

Pictured: 19 of 20 new Talbot Hospice volunteers who recently attended the 16-hour spring training session. Seated (l-r): James Steele, Melissa Martelli, Jennifer Brohawn, Cynthia Orem, Sandy Kepler, Leslie Jackson, Carol Koste, Cindy Gerber, Talbot Hospice Director of Finance Amy Stitcher, and Ellen Schiller; Standing (l-r): Eileen Van Dyke, Eunice Roberts, Rose Miles, Gloria Finn, Sue McLaughlin, Colin Perry, Christian Jackson, Simon Arnstein, Royce Ball, Francine Verwiel, and Talbot Hospice Director of Volunteer Services Lori Miller.

According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, volunteers are an integral part of Talbot Hospice, and they enrich the lives of patients, families, and staff each day in a multitude of ways. “Their dedication, compassion, and expertise are priceless, and we thank them for joining our organization. We treasure volunteers as valuable members of our hospice team,” said Dodge.

Talbot Hospice has more than 200 volunteers who contribute an average of 15,000 hours annually doing a variety of jobs such as hands on patient care in Hospice House, cooking meals, gardening, transporting patients to appointments, serving as a companion in a patient’s home, answering the phones, and greeting visitors, to name a few. For more information on volunteering, visit TalbotHospice.org/Volunteer or call Lori Miller, Director of Volunteer Services, at 410-822-6681.