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.

Spills and Thrills: Talbot Mentors—and Mentees—on Ice

When asked what he likes about ice skating, ten-year-old Jacob doesn’t miss a beat. “That I glide,” he says as he skates off to join his buddies on the ice. How about  seven-year-old Aiyonna? “If I fall down, I can get up quickly,” she shares. Between glides, spills come with the territory as just about everyone is finding out. As John says to his mentee, ten-year-old Xavion, “See that? The little girl in the pink sweater who was skating so well. . . all of a sudden—bam, and she’s down.  Even experienced skaters hit the ice.” It’s been 55 years since mentor John has been on the ice. Tonight, the Talbot Mentors goal of expanding horizons is playing out for mentors as well as mentees. A good time is being had by all.

Group photo of mentors, mentees and TM staff

Whenever Talbot Mentors sponsors a special event for mentors and mentees, energy runs high. Lifted spirits are contagious when the bottom line is FUN! At the ice skating party at the  Talbot County Community Center, a group of three dozen mentors and mentees has gathered to lace up skates and take to the ice.

Bre’Asia’s takeaway? “I like it. It’s fun. I want to do it again!” Lori, Bre’Asia’s mentor, explains that the 11-year-old had expressed some concern about getting out on the ice. It would be her first time. “I think having her sister come along helped with her confidence,” Lori says. “Plus Bre’Asia knows so many of the kids here through Talbot Mentors. I was amazed at how quickly she learned and was able to skate by herself.”

And what about mentor Lori, who says she wasn’t sure she’d even “lace up”? “I’m glad I was able to make it around the rink a few times,” she says. “It was exhilarating to be surrounded by so many people smiling and laughing—and it was a good way to get some exercise.: All in all,” she says, “it’s a good, healthy way to spend time together.”

Mentors (left to right) Sheila Buckmaster, John Schreiner, Lori Yates

There they go, around the rink. A pack of three Talbot Mentors boys in an impromptu race. A mentor and her mentee gliding together. A pair of girls holding hands. Just off the ice, a group of skaters dig into some French fries. A few feet from the kids, Talbot Mentors Executive Director Gerson Martinez points his camera toward the ice and clicks away as familiar faces come into view.

“I’m thrilled that so many of our mentors took advantage of this great opportunity to spend valuable time with their mentees. With the support of community partners like the Talbot County Community Center, we’re able to sponsor events like these that give many of our mentees a brand new experience, and enable all of us to strengthen the bonds between our mentors and mentees. I’m so excited for an even bigger Ice Skating night next time.” says Martinez.

“We had two mentees, both elementary-school age, talk about how they have never been ice skating before and always wanted to try it,” says Rachel White, the Talbot Mentors staffer who coordinated the skating event. “One was so excited and went out with no hesitation and loved everything about it. The second one was very nervous, so she decided to stand and watch. After a while she was convinced to try it. After one lap around she was smiling–and clearly having the time of her life.” Talbot Mentors paid for skate rentals and the 6:30–8:30 session—for mentees and mentors.

One mentor who had been at last year’s skating event with his mentee said that this is their favorite way to spend time together. “It’s challenging and we have a lot of laughs. It’s a great night out.”

Mentors and staff come away so gratified by the overwhelmingly fearless mentees. New to the ice or experienced, the kids embrace the challenges and forge ahead. There’s nothing better than watching the pairs try skating and to see the smiles as they learn together.

“The faces and sounds of all the children—that’s the best part of it all,” says Bre’Asia’s mentor, Lori.

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

Our next New Mentor Info Session is open to the public and will be held on Monday, February 12th at 4:30pm at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, 114 S Washington St #101, Easton, MD 21601.

Special Workshop: How to Control a Threatening Situation in Church of Synagogue

Do you know how to respond to an active shooter in your church or synagogue? There’s a meeting on February 7th at 7:00pm at the Presbyterian Church of Easton on Responding to Active Shooters. While the need to respond to a situation with an active shooter is unlikely, it is something we should be prepared for should the need arise.

A review of best practices should you be confronted with a threatening situation will be led by the Easton Police Department. The Easton Police Department is offering the training to open the conversation in faith community on safety practices.

Ministers, rabbis, faith leaders, church administrators, sextons, building managers, board leaders/trustees, and those who lead usher teams may find this of particular value. All members of the community are welcome. The church is located at 617 N. Washington St, Easton. If there are questions about the training, please contact the Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity at taclexcom@gmail.com.”

Upcoming Programming at the Library February 22

Easton Library to Hold Board Game Night for Teens

On Thursday, February 22, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will host a board game night for teens.  Teens are invited to bring their own tabletop card and board games or use the library’s Catan, Ticket to Ride, Chess, and more!  This program is for grades 6 – 12.  Light refreshments will be served.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in 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

United Fund Accepting Applications For 2018-19 Campaign Year

The United Fund of Talbot County (UFTC) will be accepting applications until April 16, 2018, from qualified non-profit agencies in Talbot County requesting funds from its 2018-19 campaign.

To qualify, agencies must be registered 501 (c) 3 organizations; grant requests should seek to fund programs or initiatives that address the health and human services needs of individuals and families in Talbot County, and must demonstrate the agency’s fit with the United Fund charter to benefit underfunded and underrepresented Talbot County residents.

Any first time applicants who wish to be considered as potential participants in the upcoming campaign are requested to submit a one-page document no later than March 1, 2018 that explains how their agency fits with the United Fund mission, and how the services they provide their clients are different from those provided by other agencies serving the Talbot County community.

Agencies accepted to participate in the 2018-19 campaign must also agree not to fundraise during September, October, and November when the United Fund’s campaign is underway. For an application, write the United Fund of Talbot County office at P.O. Box 741, Easton, MD 21601; request an application on-line at uftc@unitedfund.org or call 410-822-1957.  All applications must be received at the United Fund office by April 16, 2018.

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.

Small Boats, Big Fun at CBMM May 19, 20

Small boats and big fun are in store for guests of all ages as the Model Guild of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the Washington Ship Model Society host the 12th Maritime Model Expo on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 at CBMM in historic, waterfront St. Michaels, Md.

In addition to numerous indoor and outdoor maritime exhibitions along 18 acres of waterfront, the Maritime Model Expo offers CBMM guests pond demonstrations, model races, special exhibits, family activities, food, and more.

During the expo, children will have the opportunity to build, paint, decorate, and then sail their own small model in a small pool. For $3.00, they can select and build a sailboat or rubber-band powerboat, assisted by a CBMM Model Guild member.

Radio-controlled (R-C) steamboat modelers will sail model boats in a large, temporary pond located on Fogg’s Landing, while R-C model sailors race and sail their craft along Fogg’s Cove. Steam-powered and sailing models will be demonstrated throughout the weekend. On Sunday, CBMM’s Model Sailing Club will race five-foot R-C skipjack models on CBMM’s Fogg’s Cove.

The pond will be used throughout the event for model steamboats and other R-C models—including sailboats, submarines, electrically driven models with modest motors, and self-steered pond sailing models. Exhibits in the Van Lennep Auditorium will include a collection of models by Washington Ship Model Society members and other highly acclaimed modelers as well.

The two-day event is open to the public and free for CBMM members or with general admission. On Sunday, May 20, the Maritime Model Expo will be combined with CBMM’s Community Day, with the event and museum open to the public, free of charge. For more information about the 2018 Maritime Model Expo, contact Model Guild Director Bob Mason at 410-745- 3266 or bobmason@atlanticbb.net. For more information, visit bit.ly/chesapeakefestivals or call 410-745-2916.

Upcoming Programming at the Library February 12 to 16

Easton Library to Offer Needlework Program

On Monday, February 12, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will once again offer its popular Stitching Time program.  Patrons are invited to work on their favorite project with a group.  Limited instruction will be available for beginners.  Newcomers welcome.  All library programming is free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Chris Eareckson, telephone: 410-822-1626

St. Michaels Library to Offer Story Time

On Wednesdays, February 14 & 28, at 10:30 a.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a story time program for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in 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 Host Bay Hundred Chess

On Wednesdays, February 14 & 28, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to come in to learn and play the time-honored strategic game of chess.  Beginners welcome.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in 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

St. Michaels Library to Offer Minecraft

On Wednesdays, February 14 & 28, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites children 5 and older to explore the world of Minecraft on the library’s computers.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in 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

Learn About the Events Planned for the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial

On Thursday, February 15, at noon, the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will host a “Lunch & Learn” panel that will bring you up to date on all the activities and programs planned locally and across the state in celebration of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial.  This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.  Patrons are invited to bring their lunch.  Coffee and dessert will be provided by the Friends.  All library programs are 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: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626

St. Michaels Library to Offer Family Crafts

On Thursday, February 15, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a craft program in which children will learn how to make a “Fold & Cut” book from a Maryland map.  All library programs are 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

Panel to Discuss the Women in Frederick Douglass’s Life

On Thursday, February 15, at 6:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, as part of our community’s ongoing celebration of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial, a panel will share what is known about the women who supported the great orator throughout his long life and helped him to achieve all that he did.  All library programs are 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: Dana Newman, telephone: 410-822-1626

Young Gardeners at Library to Learn How to Help Birds Nest

On Friday, February 16, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, the Young Gardeners’ Club will learn how to help birds this spring build their nests.  This program, which is for children in grades 1 – 4, is sponsored by the Talbot County Garden Club.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required to participate in this program.  For more information or to pre-register, please contact Laura Powell at lpowell@tcfl.org or 410-822-1626.

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

CBMM Offers Highlights Tours on Weekends this February

Each weekend this February, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., is offering guided highlight tours of its exhibitions, with the tours offered free for CBMM members or with general admission. CBMM is also offering free weekday admission—including President’s Day—throughout the month of February.

Guided by an interpreter and offered at 1pm every Saturday and Sunday in February, these hour-long tours explore CBMM’s can’t-be-missed exhibitions and objects, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, Edna E. Lockwood restoration and floating fleet of historic Chesapeake Bay boats, Oystering on the Chesapeake, Waterman’s Wharf, and more.

In addition, admission will be free Monday to Friday throughout the month for all CBMM guests. This program is offered through the generous support of Free in February sponsors Shore United Bank and Awful Arthur’s of St. Michaels, Md. CBMM guests visiting in February will also receive a discount card for 15 percent off all meals at Awful Arthur’s, which will be redeemable through March 15, 2018.

General admission is otherwise good for two consecutive days and is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students with ID, $6 for children 6-17, and free for CBMM members and children 5 and under. During the winter months, CBMM is open 10am–4pm seven days a week, with inclement weather closings announced at cbmm.org.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving more than 80,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated in a park-like, waterfront setting along the Miles River and St. Michaels harbor. Charitable gifts to CBMM’s annual fund enable the museum to educate and inspire the next generation of Chesapeake Bay stewards, and can be made online at cbmm.org/donate.

Three Stories of Talbot Mentors

Naturally, all children and adults are unique.  Recognizing the differences and similarities is a skill in which Talbot Mentors is well practiced.  Matching a caring, committed, friendly adult with a child who is in need or at high risk is Talbot Mentors (TM) purpose.

Here are three stories of very different adults who have committed to being a constant presence in multiple children’s lives. (mentees’ names are changed to respect their privacy.)

Left to right: Terry, Merrilie, Jim

Merrilie Ford, a Real Estate agent in Talbot County for 33 years, loves her profession as well as volunteering.  Fifteen years ago, with Character Counts, it was brought to her attention that a 4th grade boy, Mike (TM no longer matches opposite sexes) wanted someone to help him with his passion for singing.  “He was a really grand kid and his mother did a lot with him, especially with music.”  Unfortunately, she had a heart problem and went to a hospital in Baltimore.  Merrilie took Mike to see her and that was the last time he saw his mom.

During their time together, Merrilie and Mike would go frequently to the Academy Art Museum. “We would look at the art, but, mainly we would sit and talk on ‘our talking bench’.”   Coming to her house for dinner she taught him to set the table, and he said this simple thing was very helpful.  Mike, now 24 years old, occasionally emails and talks on the phone.

Merrilie’s second mentee, 12 yr old Sara, now 24, “hit it off” right away and to this day they can talk about anything.  Sara came from a strong family and has a wonderful grandmother.  Merrilie said “it was the normal, everyday things we do in life like going to the post office that Sara thought were fun and informative. The normal everyday living activities some kids just don’t get to experience for whatever reason – may it be lack of transportation, parents don’t have the time, or absence of extended family.”

Merrilie knew Sara loved art, so she took her to Washington, DC to see art galleries and museums. Merrilie asked if she wanted to go to a Mexican restaurant, but Sara announced she didn’t like that kind of food.  Merrilie talked her into trying the best Mexican restaurant in Washington and, consequently, Sara fell in love with Mexican food.  This lesson taught Sara that she has other “choices” and the courage to try new things.  They also took an exciting trip to New York City – lunch on Madison Ave, walking through wall-to-wall people on 57th St and down 5th Avenue, whereupon Sara exclaimed “THIS is New York!”.

After high school, Sara got an AmeriCorps job at the Talbot Mentors’ office for over a year, and then they offered her part-time employment. Before her job started she and a good friend took a month-long road trip to see the United States – all the way to the West Coast and back.  With the TM job responsibilities and fulfilling her passion for art, she also decided she has enough time to become a Mentor herself to a six-year-old.  Today, Merrilie keeps in touch by asking Sara to help her with things that young people are particularly connected with, like computers.

Yes, Merrilie is looking forward to being a mentor again. “Not having children of my own, rarely seeing my nieces and not having family close by, Talbot Mentors has given me a broader family and a support system.  Mentors and mentees I’ve come to know as friends are some of the nicest people that I wouldn’t otherwise have met.  Mentoring is way for me to have a youth experience in my life and it keeps my finger in the community of kids.”.  Knowing she has a good support system with Talbot Mentors and years of experience, she looks forward to a new mentee.

Ten years ago, Jim Reed, upon retirement as a general contractor, was encouraged by good friends to become a mentor to a child. Jim’s first mentee, Tony, 12, had a father who was only occasionally present in his life. Tony had waited on the TM list for two years before Jim came along.  After five years, Tony’s father returned to the family and it was decided that he no longer needed a Mentor. In time, unfortunately, Tony’s especially close grandfather died and Tony began spiraling downhill.  Jim did his best to meet with him for dinner and talk on the phone.  Recently he ran into Tony’s mom in the store, and she tearfully thanked Jim for being her son’s Mentor.

After Jim and Tony’s “official” match ended, nine-year-old Ricky was matched with Jim and they were together for a total of seven years.  Within the fifth year, Ricky’s father rejoined the family and they moved to the northernmost part of the Eastern Shore.  Heartened to learn that Ricky’s deepest regret about the relocation was “We can’t be mentor and mentee anymore.”  Committed to making the weekly over-an-hour drive, Jim continued their relationship.   Eventually Ricky moved back to Easton and as a teenager he began to get into trouble, both in school and out.  Ricky’s family decided he should live with an out-of-state relative so the official mentor/mentee match was closed.  Today at almost 18, Ricky works full time with a local landscape company and Jim still meets him for dinners.

After the “official” end of this last match, Jim told Natalie Costanzo, then the TM Executive Director, that he was going to take six months off before being matched again.  Within two weeks she reported that she had the perfect mentee for him – “a great ten-year-old.”  Bobby has been his mentee for the past six months and Jim says “We are having a really good time together.”

For Jim “the official mentor/mentee relationships might end at high school graduation, but a good portion of the relationship continues to this day because I have become an adult friend to a young person who can benefit from having one.” Jim swears that “as a mentor, he gets far more from it than the mentees do.”  He feels “it is an excellent use of my time and it has been a pleasure in the long run.”  He also knows each mentor/mentee relationship is unique.

Terry Harwood

At onetime Terry supervised 6,000 employees in the hotel business. Corporate life is stressful. Mentoring is fun.  In 1988 he started mentoring at-risk youth as a trustee at Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore, a hands-on educational enrichment and job training program. Now retired from the corporate world, he is having fun (“being goofy”) as a teammate with youth here in Talbot County.

When he moved to Easton in 2002, Terry first became a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates;a youth leader; and youth care provider. Terry’s first Talbot Mentor match was in 2004-5; four other young men followed over the next 12 years. Terry enjoys remaining a mentor to all of them. When being together with a mentee he enjoys asking the question “What works for YOU and why?” Listening to the answers, he learns what is meaningful for them to do together: activity today, career, school programs, family, teamwork.   Teamwork with his mentees is fostered by meeting with them regularly.  He found he also spent time helping their parents find jobs, helped the mentees with college scholarships, talked about career choices and job applications and interviews.  “Sometimes we just walked around town to see what is behind the doors of businesses.”

As the kids “age out” at 18, Terry has continued their relationships as well as relationships with their parents and advisors. He introduces the concept of “listen, learn and love” as a powerful tool for the mentee to embrace. “Listen to another person. Learn from that person. Love that person by being a teammate in their success.”

By phone or in person, he asks his mentees questions to help them make a plan for the “next baby-step”.  In Terry’s professional experience the “next baby-step” is particularly important. He feels it conveys a learning to help the mentee better his practical, emotional and spiritual life. Terry feels he is doing what the “Lord gives me to do for His children.”

If being a Mentor is of interest to you, or perhaps someone you know, please feel free to contact Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or go to: http://talbotmentors.org/  There are a number of children waiting for a special friend, possibly you.

Written by Meredith Watters on behalf of Talbot Mentors