SOS Names Local Residents to Executive Council

SOS Sink or Swim, a local non-profit that has funded free swimming lessons for 2,500 Talbot County children over the past four summers, recently formed an Executive Council to help sustain the program into the future.

“We have been fortunate to attract council members who are enthusiastic about our mission to teach children how to swim and be safe in and around the water,” said SOS President Elizabeth C. “Libby” Moose. “We have received great community support for the program, which has been administered since its inception by the staff of the St. Michaels Community Center.”

This year, SOS is on track to fund swim lessons for 1,100 children, ages 18-months through 18-years, at the George Murphy Community Pool in Easton and the Bay Hundred Community Pool in St. Michaels. Talbot County Parks & Recreation Department has worked closely with SOS and the community center to hire swim instructors and provide pool time for the three, two-week sessions of classes provided each year.

Graduates of the 2017 SOS Sink or Swim Program show off their new T-shirts at the George Murphy Community Pool in Easton.

Moose, a Claiborne resident, was one of the founders of the SOS Sink or Swim when it was started in 2014 by the Miles River Yacht Club Foundation. Originally from North Carolina, her summers growing up were spent on the water. A love of swimming and some exciting boating experiences gave her the idea that, with so many miles of waterfront around Talbot County, everyone should know how to swim. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, SOS’s fiscal sponsor.

The other members of the Executive Council are:

Dick Cooper, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and photographer who has sailed the Chesapeake Bay for 40 years. He moved to St. Michaels in 2006 after a career as a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer. As a boater, he knows the importance of swimming. He joined the SOS Council after writing a magazine story about the program and being impressed by its successful approach to teaching children how to swim.

Bev Pratt, a former law school administrator, worked with the California Partnership for Children, an advocacy and research organization for children’s health and welfare. Her work with SOS Sink or Swim is a natural extension of her past professional experience and priorities. A resident of St. Michaels for 10 years, she also serves on the Christmas in St. Michaels Board and SMASH Executive Committee.

Kelly Simonsen, marketing and communications manager for Easton Utilities, is passionate about most water sports. This interest, combined with her fondness for children, makes SOS Sink or Swim a perfect fit. She hopes to spread awareness about the mission of Sink or Swim and its importance in this region surrounded by so much water.

Mary Tydings Smith is an executive search consultant with 30 years of experience recruiting senior management and board members for foundations, cultural institutions and colleges. From 1992 to 1993, she worked on the Clinton-Gore transition team as a search manager. Earlier in her career, she was an editor and reporter for the Mutual Broadcasting System before joining “The Larry King Show” as a producer. She is a member of the boards of Bowdoin College and the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.

René Stevenson recently retired from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where she served as vice president of constituent services, and was responsible for development, membership, admissions and the Museum Store. Prior to joining CBMM in 2009, she worked in bank administration and in business development at the Nemours duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. She serves as treasurer for SOS Sink or Swim and also serves as board secretary for the St. Michaels Community Center.

Deanna Van Skiver has lived on the Eastern Shore for the past 18 years, since moving from northern Indiana in 1999. The close proximity of water, mountains and metro made Easton the perfect spot. Over the years she established ties of family and friendship, and adopted a quirky collection of pets. She lives in Easton with her husband, Dan, and eight-year-old son, Elliott. She became interested in joining the SOS council after her son’s positive and successful swim-lesson experience in 2016.

SOS Sink or Swim has already started fundraising to support free swim lessons for local children next summer. It costs just $50 to teach a child to swim. To support SOS, visit and click “Donate Now.” Checks can be mailed to SOS Sink or Swim, 606A North Talbot Street, St. Michaels, Maryland 21663.

FC Tred Avon Gearing Up For New Season

FC Tred Avon soccer league is gearing up for the new season. Registration has already started and runs through August 20, 2017. This league is a premier soccer experience for kids in the community.

Len Foxwell, president of the FC Tred Avon Advisory Board, commented Last year’s inaugural season of FC Tred Avon was more successful than any of us could have imagined, and it catapulted the YMCA of the Chesapeake to the forefront of our region’s youth soccer movement.  Now that we are the only recreational soccer program in Talbot County, we will take this program to a far higher level this fall.  With highly-trained coaches and referees, a beautiful new training center in partnership with Talbot County at the corner of Glebe Road and the Easton bypass, state-of-the-art equipment and attractive uniforms; FC Tred Avon is offering the families of the Mid-Shore a travel soccer experience, without the travel, at YMCA prices, and we are making the global game available to everyone”.

In this league, kids have a superior learning experience while having fun. Everyone is welcome to play. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, there is a place for every child. The Y also offers financial aid so no one is turned away from activities or membership because of an inability to pay. This policy enables the Y to serve all the children in the community.

FC Tred Avon is made up of many partnerships. Len Foxwell commented “My thanks to Abby O’Donnell and the entire YMCA team for their hard work in making FC Tred Avon the fastest-growing youth sports program in our region.  I’m also deeply grateful for our community partners – from our local businesses that sponsor our player’s kits, to the Baltimore Blast, Salisbury University and G.R. Cannon and the staff at Shore FC – for helping us deliver such a quality product to our kids.”

Having Coach Alex Hargrove, University of Salisbury Head Soccer Coach, and G.R. Cannon, former DC United player, participating in our clinics/camps this year and last has amped up the program. When kids can meet and learn from athletes of this degree of competency, they gain skills, knowledge and a greater respect for the game.

We tend to think of fall sports beginning with the school year. The games will run from August 28-October 28. This will enable the Y to end the season before the time change in November. As Maryland has changed the beginning of the school year, parents will have to remember that registration for FC Tred Avon soccer ends August 20, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact the Easton Family YMCA.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits and the largest Human Service organization on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Shore Ys engage over 27,000 members; men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the shore’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  In 2016, the YMCA of the Chesapeake provided over $1,226,000 in assistance to over 12,422 community members, turning no one away due to inability to pay.

Upcoming Programming at the Talbot County Free Library in August


We Are Builders
Thursday, August 3, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. For ages 6 and up. Legos, Zoobs, and other building materials, plus a create your own building table.

Origami! Origami!
Tuesday, August 8, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Ages 8 and up. Led by Chris Eareckson. Registration required.

Minecraft Monday
Monday, August 14, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Ages 6 & up. Beginners and experienced builders may build in creative mode on our MinecraftEdu server. Limited space.

Summer Reading Celebration
Wednesday, August 16, 10:00 – 11:30a.m. Prize drawings, Spiderman, Sherman the Shorebird, refreshments, and more.

St. Michaels

Monday Movies @ Noon (bring your lunch & enjoy the film on a big, professional screen)
Mondays, August 7 & 14, noon. Bring your lunch and enjoy the feature film on the library’s big, professional screen.

Family Crafts
Monday, August 7, 3:00 p.m. Summer crafts.

Mr. Don’s Children’s International Music
Wednesday, August 9, 10:30 a.m. Enjoy the international children’s music of Mr. Don. Free tickets are required and may be picked up at the library’s St. Michaels branch one week prior to the performance.

Family Unplugged Games
Thursday, August 10, 3:00 p.m. Bring the whole family to the library for an afternoon of board games and fun educational children’s games. For all ages (children 5 and under need to be accompanied by an adult).

Puppet Show: The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Thursday, August 17, 3:30 p.m. The adventures of three goats and a troll. Performed by the Library’s own Ms. Carla. For ages 1 to 7 accompanied by an adult.

Hawaiian Luau Party
Tuesday, August 22, 2:00 p.m. Celebrate Hawaiian culture through crafts, music, dance, and food. Pre-registration required. For ages 2 to 12 (children 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult).

Story Time
Wednesdays, August 23 & 30, 10:30 a.m. For children age 5 and under accompanied by an adult.

Coloring for Teens & Adults
Monday, August 28, 3:00 p.m. Explore the relaxing process of coloring.

Teen & Adult Programs


Stitching Time
Monday, August 14, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Patrons are invited to work on their favorite project with a group. Limited instruction will be available for beginners. Newcomers welcome.

Book Discussion: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
Monday, August 21, 6:30 p.m.

St. Michaels

Arts & Crafts
Thursday, August 3, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Free instruction for knitting, beading, needlework and tatting. Bring your coloring books, Zentangle pens, or anything else that fuels your passion for being creative.

Bay Hundred Chess
Wednesdays, August 9 & 23, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Learn and play the strategic game of chess. Beginners welcome.

Memoir Writers
Thursdays, August 10 & 24, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Record and share your memories of life and family. Participants are invited to bring their lunch.

Coloring for Teens & Adults
Monday, August 28, 3:00 p.m. Explore the relaxing process of coloring.

Contact Person: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626, e-mail:

Note: All library programming is free and open to the public.

Bryan Brothers Foundation Supports Talbot Goes Purple

The Bryan Brothers Foundation recently presented a $10,000 grant to the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary for Talbot Goes Purple, an initiative that empowers our youth and community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.

Pictured are Allen Bryan, Sharon Poore, Jason Bryan of the Bryan Brothers foundation Lucie Hughes of the Tidewater Rotary, Dawn Turner, Rennie Gay of the Bryan Brothers Foundation and Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble.

Talbot Goes Purple promotes education and awareness, including the creation of purple clubs in our high schools, through which students learn that they do not need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges. The project also encourages the ‘new conversation’ between teens and parents, one that includes messages that prescription painkillers aren’t safe to use recreationally.

“We preach to our kids not to text and drive, not to drink and drive – but not many people talk about the dangers of prescription painkillers,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “We’re in the middle of the deadliest drug epidemic in our history – and much of our heroin problem is driven by pill use. Talbot Goes Purple helps start a new conversation about this, while empowering our kids to make good choices.”

The Bryan Brothers “Building Dreams for Youth” Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 charity organization that support youth in Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester and Queen Anne’s counties. The foundation was founded in 2003 and has provided over $1 Million in grants to the area. For more information, please visit

Talbot Mentors Send Kids to Camp

A NASA scientist, a fashion designer, an accomplished equestrian, a competitive basketball player? This summer, Talbot Mentors kids are having a blast as seeds for their futures are sown. Thanks to support from local groups and individuals, dozens of mentees are enjoying summer-camp days—and, in some cases, nights. While most are participating in day camps, a good many are at sleep-away camps. For some it is the first time they are away from home. For everyone it is a time of camaraderie, learning, and just plain good times.

“We got to trot!” says 8-year-old Sierra Watson, whose three days at pony camp outside Preston turned her from total novice to budding rider. She bonded with her horse, Freya, and hopes to get the chance to ride again.

In programs that range from 3 days to 2 weeks, in the mid-Atlantic and beyond—all the way to New York State—campers aged 6 to 16 are being treated to experiences of a lifetime. It’s all in keeping with the Talbot Mentors vision that “mentoring will make a significant contribution to building a Talbot County where all young people have the opportunity to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives…”

Says Talbot Mentors Executive Director Natalie Costanzo, “This is our fourteenth season of providing our mentees with life-changing camp experiences. I’m proud to say that last year Talbot Mentors funded summer camp for 47 kids. This year it’s double that number.” With some campers attending more than one session, the total number of summer camp experiences funded by Talbot Mentors tops 120.

Leadership, all manner of sports, nature, crafts, theater, photography, cooking. The themes of this summer’s camps range wide.

“The volunteers who mentor the kids get to see horizons expand,” says Natalie. “The mentees love to share their camp stories with their mentors,” she continues. “An important facet of mentoring is providing children with opportunities they might not otherwise have.”

Each child’s camp tuition is paid in full by a Talbot Mentors scholarship. Thanks go out to the Bryan Brothers Foundation, Children’s Home Foundation, Women and Girls Fund of the Mid Shore, and more than 75 private donors whose support makes this all possible. The total spent on this year’s camp program: in excess of $20,000.

The funding is changing lives in ways we can only imagine.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit

Woodworker’s Tool-Sharpening Workshop is July 19

CBMM Boatyard Program Manager Jenn Kuhn uses a whetstone to hone a chisel in the CBMM boatshop.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. is hosting a basic tool-sharpening workshop on Wednesday, July 19, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Boatyard. Participation is limited, with advanced registration needed.

If taken care of properly, your edge tools can last generations. By keeping them well-honed, you will find they can cut like new every time. Learn the basic techniques to put a mirror finish on your aging tool collection. This workshop will cover the proper preparation, sharpening, and honing of hand plane irons, chisels, gouges, and other carving tools.

Bring your tools, sharpening stones, or nothing at all, as the Boatyard can provide for demonstration. The cost for the workshop is $20 for CBMM members or $30 for non-members, with pre-registration needed at For more information, visit

Upper Shore Aging Joins Pioneering Fundraising Effort

Everyday, 10,000 people in the United States celebrate their 65th birthday. Many of these seniors across the country are in need of programs that provide meals and proper nutrition education that enhances their quality of life. However, despite the increased need for support, only two percent of funding from the nation’s largest grant makers is specifically focused on seniors.

That’s why Upper Shore Aging is partnering with GIVE65 to help seniors in Talbot County. GIVE65, a program of the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation, is the nation’s first and only crowd-fundraising platform focused exclusively on helping nonprofit organizations raise funds for programs and services benefiting seniors.

The funds from Give65 will be donated to Upper Shore Aging, Inc. to go toward their partnership with the St. Michaels Family YMCA, to fund congregate meals at the new “St. Michaels Senior Center”.

The seniors who participate in the meals program receive a nutritious and balanced meal, but also benefit from the opportunity to socialize with other seniors. Nutrition education is provided to encourage healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.

“Most people don’t realize how many seniors need assistance with proper nutrition,” said Childlene Brooks with Upper Shore Aging. “With GIVE65, we get to raise awareness of this issue in the hopes of engaging our community so we may ease the burdens that many seniors face at a time when they should be enjoying life to the fullest. These important financial gifts will help feed seniors in Talbot County and we’re pleased to partner with the Talbot YMCA and Home Instead Senior Care Foundation to help make that happen.”

Beginning July 11th, anyone who wants to support Upper Shore Aging’s mission, can visit to learn more about the organization and make a secure, online donation. “Our Goal is $10,000!” says Brooks, “The first $5,000 in donations will be matched dollar for dollar! We also have the chance to receive an additional financial award of $10,000 based on how much we raise and how many individual donations are given” she continued. Donations ($10 minimum) are accepted starting at 7 a.m. July 11 until midnight, July 13 (CDT). Donors can also preschedule their donation July 1-10.

“Every gift makes a difference. From $10 to $1,000. And, the best part is, these funds will help at the local, grassroots level,” said Roger H. Baumgart, executive director of the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with Upper Shore Aging, as they are an outstanding example of the efforts being done to make a positive difference for the safety, well-being and independence of seniors. Especially seniors most in need of our help and support.”

Upper Shore Aging was urged to apply for the grant by local Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners, Benjamin & Jenna Marchi. The Marchis say they were inspired to encourage Upper Shore Aging’s successful grant application after seeing firsthand, the joy and satisfaction that the congregant meals program brings to seniors in Talbot County. “These seniors have given us a great community to live in. Its only right that we give back to them when they need it most. We know that folks in Talbot County are very generous and we hope they’ll see the merit in this effort and ultimately participate!” says Jenna Marchi

To support Upper Shore Aging or learn more about GIVE65, visit All donations are 100% tax deductible in the United States.

For more information about Upper Shore Aging’s effort, visit or call 410-822-2869.

Home Instead Senior Care Foundation is proud to present GIVE65 – the first crowd-fundraising platform exclusively devoted to helping nonprofits raise funds online for programs and services that create hope for seniors. At, selected nonprofit organizations across North America are invited to showcase projects and social service programs helping community members age 65 and better. Those who have a desire to help less fortunate, vulnerable seniors can visit to share a secure, online donation in support of the featured nonprofit they choose. By combining technology and generosity, GIVE65 inspires greater charitable giving in support of seniors and those who care for them. Visit to learn more.

Since its founding in 2003, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation has been helping less fortunate and vulnerable aging adults. The Foundation has invested nearly $2 million in nonprofit organizations serving seniors throughout the United States and Canada. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance the lives of aging adults and those who care for them. This mission is made possible, in part, thanks to Home Instead, Inc. as well as generous sponsors and donations from the general public. To learn more about the Foundation, visit

Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 14 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.

United Fund of Talbot County Ends Year Strong

The 2016-17 United Fund campaign, that concluded June 30th, was successful in attracting over 700 individual donors, businesses, and payroll deduction participants who helped support the Fund’s goal of $400,000. By investing in the United Fund, donors enabled 18 partner agencies to deliver the essential programs and services, helping those in need in Talbot County.

“The United Fund serves as the only local philanthropic organization to support many worthy charities in Talbot County. The generosity of our donors helps impact over 20,000 needy individuals and families served by our 18 participating agencies and support some of the greatest needs throughout Talbot County” Ann Jacobs, Executive Director, noted.  It was also noted that three of the United Fund agencies had retired from UFTC support – CASA of Talbot County, Talbot Mentors, and Upper Shore Aging.  “We wish them continued success in their endeavors,” added Jacobs.

During this year’s campaign United Fund advocate volunteers personally appealed to over 280 residents and businesses of Talbot County, generating 63% of the total contributions received. This was augmented by payroll deductions, as well as hundreds of individuals who responded to the general direct mail efforts with an additional $113,574+. “It is thanks to the contributions of so many in our community that the United Fund and our participating agencies are able to continue in our work on behalf of those in need,” Jacobs concluded.

State Official Resigns from Trump Election Panel

Luis Borunda, Maryland’s deputy Secretary of State, has resigned from a panel appointed by President Donald Trump to look into possible voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

According to a story in The Hill Monday, Borunda told Gov. Larry Hogan that he has resigned from the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Trump created the panel in an executive order in May, after claiming that millions of people cast illegal votes for Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the election. 

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent letters last week to the 50 secretaries of state across the country requesting information about voters. A number of the states, including Maryland, have already said they will not provide the information, which includes every registered voter’s name, address, party affiliation and the last four digits of their social security numbers.

United Fund of Talbot County Earmarks $236,500 for 2017-18 Member Agencies

The Board of Directors of the United Fund of Talbot County voted at their June meeting to allocate $236,500 to 16 member agencies for its 2017-18 campaign. These agencies qualified by demonstrating how their requests for funds would be used to meet the health and human services needs of the underserved in Talbot County. The original amount requested by the 16 applicant agencies was $325,500.

“This year’s Agency Review Committee continued to exercise due diligence when reviewing each agency application.  The stellar job they did in their reviews and recommendations facilitated the allocation deliberations,” said Chuck Mangold and Leslie Stevenson, Agency Review Committee Co-Chairs. Stevenson noted that “Through a rigorous and comprehensive agency review process, United Fund committee volunteers are able to analyze where funding will have the greatest impact and award grant funding accordingly”.  For the just concluded 2016-17 campaign, the United Fund reached only 87% of its goal. The upcoming campaign has again set a goal of $400,000. “It’s unfortunate we could not satisfy total grant requests due to budget constraints, but we continue to strive toward that goal every year,” noted Mangold. He went on to note, “This year also saw the retirement of three agencies with whom we have had long-term relationships – CASA of Talbot County, Talbot Mentors, and Upper Shore Aging. We wish them continued success in the years to come.” The United Fund of Talbot County is the only local philanthropic organization that for over half a century of fundraising has successfully raised over $14 million to assist non-profit charities in Talbot County.

Left to right, standing: Steve Slack, Kate Mansfield, Butch Townsend, JoRhea Wright, Glenn Klakring. Seated: Leslie Stevenson. Not pictured: Chuck Mangold, Ron Lee.

The agencies selected for the 2017-18 campaign are

BAAM (Building African American Minds). $10,000 to provide programs that enrich the academic and social development of young African American boys.
Boy Scouts in Talbot County. $3,000 to deliver scouting programs to both existing scouting troop units and at-risk youth through its outreach efforts.
Character Counts!. $15,000 to promote character development in the county’s public schools as well as conducting workplace ethics classes in the business community.
Delmarva Community Services. $15,500 to fund adult medical daycare and intervention and travel expenses for medically dependent and frail Talbot County clients as well as general transportation services.
For All Seasons. $15,000 to provide advocacy, therapy and education for those needing low cost, easily accessible mental health services.
Girl Scouts. $3,000 to provide a host of programs for local girls to build character and skills for success.
Imagination Library of Talbot County. $10,000 to expose children birth to age 5 with a literature and vocabulary rich environment, promoting reading readiness through the monthly provision of high quality, age-appropriate books.
Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence. $20,000 to provide advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence.
Neighborhood Service Center. $55,000 to serve the total family, addressing housing, food, utilities, eviction and learning needs of local low-income residents.
Partners in Care. $10,000 to empower older adults to remain independent in their homes using the concept of service exchange to provide transportation and handyman services.
St. Martin’s Ministries. $15,000 to help to feed, clothe and financially assist impoverished clients, building their self-esteem and self-sufficiency.
St. Michaels Community Center. $23,000 to provide services to the Bay Hundred Community, including after-school enrichment programs for local youth and teens.
Talbot Special Riders. $20,000 to provide a year-round therapeutic horseback-riding
program for children and adults with learning and physical limitations.
Talbot Village Connections. $1,000 to provide seed money to support senior citizens with programs and services that enable them to age in place.
Tilghman Area Youth Association. $15,000 to cover scholarship costs for children unable to pay for afterschool programs.
United Needs & Abilities. $6,000 to provide counseling, resources and advocacy for adults with development disabilities.