St. Vincent de Paul is Growing and That’s Not a Good Thing: Checking in with SVdP President Alex Handy

Perhaps one of the most disappointing parts of Alex Handy’s job as president of Easton’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul is that his organization is still growing. Each year its customers, those seeking food assistance to feed themselves and their families, goes up, not down.

In fact, according to Alex, this has been the trend line since the region started to feel the impact of the recession in 2009. All of which has dramatically changed the size and scope of the Society’s mission since it opened its doors in 1979. That’s just one reason why their annual dining card campaign is so important this year.

The Spy sat down the Alex last week for a check in and to understand more fully the special needs in our community.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about St. Vincent de Paul please go here

Oxford Community Center December Events

Sat. Dec.1, 7:30 – 9:30 PM Oxford Community Center and Chesapeake Music present the Anderson Twins World Premiere Jazz Concert, “Benny Meets Artie With Strings”. A celebration of the work of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The concert features the Anderson Twins with and ensemble of twenty musicians on the main stage. Tickets $50 or $250 Meet and Greet tickets are also available. Meet and Greet includes premium seats, open bar and nibbles with the twins after the show.

Wed. Dec. 12, 5:30 – 7:30 PM Holiday Potluck Dinner Bring a dish and enjoy a holiday production by our after school kids. A wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with your friends and neighbors!

Sat. Dec. 15, 3:00 – 5:00 PM Winter Solstice Concert, “A Winter’s Eve of Revelry”. Performer Moira Smiley will be joined by many new voices to celebrate the season.  Tickets $20, kids under 12 for free. Student and Group Rates available.

Author Gerald F. Sweeney to Speak at St. Michaels Library

Trappe author Gerald F. Sweeney has completed a series of seven novels called The Columbiad that follows one family through the 20th Century. On November 11th, the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War 1, the saga’s final novel, Comes the Electric Circus, will appear.

Comes the Electric Circus is a novel that reflects the tumultuous changes that occurred between the traditional 1950’s and the mind-blowing 60’s. The story of the romance between two young Manhattanites at a time when New York became the world’s capital of finance and the arts, captures the evolution of their love in the midst of the radical developments in the social and intellectual shifts that reshaped America. Working in the lively television and magazine communication business, the couple witnesses conventional, conservative values spin out of control with the advent of the sexual revolution, the Beats, the Boomers, cool jazz, New Journalism, the rise of television and the continued escalation of the Cold War and Space Race. How does the young couple survive the mayhem and maintain their closeness?  The other books in The Columbiad series include Eagles Rising, First Lights, Crashing into Sunrise, Tournament of a Distinguished White Order, Yo Columbia! and Wizard Ho

Gerald F. Sweeney is an Army vet and a Michigan graduate. His business life was consumed by Manhattan’s madcap magazine business where he overworked in various capacities including publisher. Energized by JFK, he made a seven-year detour into government work including a stint on Capitol Hill. Retired to the Eastern Shore after working in Europe, he is blessed with a large family. All library programs are free and open to the public.  For more information you can check the library website at  or call (410) 745-5877.

Gerald F. Sweeney
December 1, 2018
St. Michaels Library at 2:00 pm


Third-Annual Moonlight Madness Returns to Easton November 30

The Easton Business Alliance invites you to enjoy the holiday spirit by bringing the entire family to town during its third-annual Moonlight Madness Shopping Event. The festivities begin Friday, November 30 at 4 p.m. Stores, galleries, and restaurants in downtown Easton will stay open late and welcome holiday shoppers throughout the evening, leading up to the large raffle drawing at 10 p.m.

“This year will be our third-annual Moonlight Madness event in downtown Easton, and it has really become something the entire community can look forward to,” Easton Business Alliance Manager Ross Benincasa said. “We love kicking off the holiday shopping season with all of our local families during the event.”

Moonlight Madness is a family-friendly event and includes pictures with Santa, raffle prizes, music, live entertainment, refreshments, and in-store events and giveaways. Raffle tickets for prizes worth over $1,500 will be given out at participating stores throughout November. It all leads up to the grand prize drawings on November 30 at 10 p.m. in front of the Tidewater Inn. Be sure to shop early and often for more chances to win, as the only way to win tickets is by earning them at your local retailers.

Photo credit: Ted Mueller

“Although the raffle prizes at the end of the night may be a big draw, the real joy we get is seeing the number of families enjoying our local shops and historic district during the Christmas season,” Benincasa said. “Whenever we can hold an event that bring together multiple generations from across the Mid-Shore, we look at it as a win for the community.”

In addition to the all-night festivities in the shops, Pictures with Santa will be held from 5-8 p.m. at the Bullitt House (102 E. Dover St.) across from the Tidewater Inn. Pictures with Santa are provided for free to the local community by the Easton Business Alliance.

As a new incentive for local shoppers this holiday season, the Country School will be offering free gift wrapping and hot chocolate for your purchased gifts downtown throughout the holiday season. Each Saturday and Sunday Country School students and parent volunteers will be on hand at The Smokehouse (corner of Harrison and Dover Sts.) to wrap your locally-purchased gifts. Wrapping begins on Small Business Saturday, November 24, from 12-4 p.m., and continues each Saturday at the same time and Sunday from 12-3 p.m. throughout the month of December.

For more information on Christmas in Easton and our other events, please visit,, or follow us on Facebook at

About Easton Business Alliance: EBA is a marketing, promotion and events non-profit organization operating as a member of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.  The mission of EBA is to enhance, promote, and preserve the vitality of Easton’s independent merchants which benefit business owners, residents and visitors; and to bring awareness to the Town’s historical roots and lifestyles.

Upcoming Programming at the Library Nov. 26 to 28

Read with Latte, a Certified Therapy Dog, at Easton Library

On Monday, November 26, at 4:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites children 5 and older to bring a book or choose a library book and read with Janet Dickey and her dog, Latte.  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

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

Easton Library to Teach You about Your Credit Score and How to Correct it

On Monday, November 26, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, Laura Heikes will present the last in her series of Financial Literacy lectures, this one on the subject of personal credit scores.  This program is sponsored by Shore United Bank and the library.  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

Contact: Scotti Oliver, telephone: 410-822-1626

St. Michaels Library to Offer Book Art for Teens & Adults

On Monday, November 26, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a program that teaches patrons how to create a “Japanese Bound Book” that can serve as one’s personal journal.  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

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

St. Michaels Library to Screen Oscar-Winning Film

On Tuesday, November 27, at noon, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer show a feature film rated PG-13 on its big, professional screen.  The film won two Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.  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 (including the title of this film which, due to licensing agreements, we cannot publicize here), please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit

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

Easton Library to Offer Sensitive Story Time

On Wednesday, November 28, at 10:30 a.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a Sensitive Story Time for children 5 and under who prefer a calm, comfortable, quiet environment with few distractions.  One caregiver per child is required.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons are asked contact Laura Powell at 410-822-1626 or if they wish to attend this program.

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

Easton Library to Host STEM Program

On Wednesday, November 28, at 4:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will once again host its popular “We are Builders” program.  Children 6 – 12 will have the opportunity to build with LEGOS and Zoobs.   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

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

St. Michaels Fall Events and Tours

The St. Michaels Museum, located on historic 1778 St. Mary’s Square, is now closed until the first weekend in May 2019. The Museum will be open for two days during Christmas in St Michaels weekend, Saturday, December 8th, from 11:00 to 4:00 and Sunday, December 9th, from 12:00 to 3:00. To celebrate Christmas in St. Michaels, there will no admission fee to the museum.

The museum will be decorated for the Christmas season and there will be a small exhibit highlighting objects given to the museum during 2018 such as an early 1860’s school teachers workbook used in a school located on St. Mary’s Square and a tintype collection of a St. Michaels family dating from the mid-19th century.  We also will have photographs taken in St. Michaels during the 1960s and 1970s that show how much the town has changed.

Special Out Of Season Docent Led Walking Tours

Our regular Saturday 10:00 walking tours offered during the May to October season are no longer scheduled during this off-season period. But special tours can be arranged by calling 410-745-6591.

Out of Season Special Tours are $10 Per Person with a minimum of $40 for less than 4 people.

“Frederic Douglass, a Slave in St. Michaels 1833-36”

This tour is a 90 minute walking tour. It features Frederick Douglass and his significant ties to St. Michaels. Two periods of his life are covered: the first period, the three years (1833-1836) he lived in town and nearby farms as a slave. The second period covers his 1877 visit to St Michaels as a famous free man when he met with his former owner Thomas Auld.

“Historic St. Michaels: It’s People, Places and Happenings”

This tour is a 90 minute walking tour. It highlights St. Michaels people, events and historic sites from the last quarter of the 18th century to the early 20th century.

Visit our website or call 410-745-9561 for more details about arranging a special Frederick Douglass or Historic St Michaels walking tour or to request a special opening of the museum for a private tour. The Museum is located at  201 E. Chestnut Street, one block from Talbot Street.

Join YMCA of the Chesapeake for Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

The YMCA of the Chesapeake is excited to announce the Thanksgiving Day Charity Turkey Trot 5K at six locations across the Eastern Shore November 22, 2018. The locations are Queenstown, Easton, Salisbury, Perryville, Cambridge and Chincoteague Island, with all locations having a start time of 8:30am. Funds raised go directly to the Y’s Early Learning, Summer Camps and Before and After School Enrichment programs.

“When you run with us Thanksgiving morning, you are supporting our mission to work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.  What better way to kick off Thanksgiving than giving back and having fun in the process?” said Robbie Gill, CEO for the YMCA of the Chesapeake.

The race is open to all ages and abilities, everyone (including your pooch) can walk, run or leisurely stroll the 3.1-mile course and soak in the feel-good vibes! Your participation deeply benefits children and families in your local community, so whether you’re trotting solo, on a team or with your family, register now and be surrounded by a community of goodwill Thanksgiving morning. Gobble, gobble!

You can register today at

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 40,000 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 2017, the YMCA of the Chesapeake provided over $1,500,000 in assistance to over 13,000 community members, turning no one away due to inability to pay.

Christmas Love in St. Michaels

As Tiny Tim exclaimed, “God bless us every one”.  At this time of year, the Bay Hundred Area is brimming with blessings and charity from many resources. The St. Michaels Community Center is one that is hosting a large toy drive so that local families will be able to provide presents under the tree for their children on Christmas morning.  We are in need of toys, books, diapers,boys and girls new clothing items and shoes (newborn to youth size 16), These items can be dropped off at SMCC at 103 Railroad Avenue in St. Michaels as well as the St. Michaels Library on Fremont St. and the St. Michaels Police Department, next to the Library on Fremont Street. Collections until December 14.

SMCC is also collecting household goods (laundry detergent, small laundry baskets, cleaning products, toiletries, personal hygiene items, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.) that will be distributed to local families and seniors in need of a little help this winter. These items are being collected at SMCC or St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on Talbot Street in St. Michaels until December 14.

Please check out the following websites for holiday church services and love being shared with our neighbors by local organizations in St. Michaels:

Christmas in St. Michaels:

Town of St. Michaels, MD:

St. Michaels Business Association:

Please be sure to check out all the other Bay Hundred Area churches and organizations from Royal Oak and Newcomb to Tilghman Island for holiday dinners, services and celebrations.

Kids Christmas Craft Week is scheduled for Mon., November 26 through Thursday, November 28.  Monday is Gingerbread houses with K – 2nd. Tuesday is Gingerbread houses with 3 – 5th grades. Wednesday is crafts and “shopping” with K – 2nd and Thursday is crafts and “shopping” with grades 3 – 5. Each day is $10 per student.  Call Amy or April at 410-745-5102 to sign up.

Christmas Train Villages

Once again, SMCC plays host to the Annual Christmas Train Villages, open to the public from December 7 through December 12 from 10am – 3pm daily. Baked goods and crafts will be for sale on Saturday, the 8th (after the parade) and Sunday, the 9th. There is no charge to see the trains. Donations are gratefully accepted.  Fun for all kids of all ages!!!

Neighborhood Holiday Dinner – Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, 11am to 3pm, SMCC, 103 Railroad Ave. Open to all!

Neighborhood Holiday Dinner – Saturday, Dec. 15, 4-7pm, Union United Methodist Church Parish Hall. Open to all!

Validating the Afterlife with Roland Comtois (Medium, Author, Speaker) – Nov. 17, 7-9pm at St. Michaels Inn. Pre-registration is required. He will offer random audience readings. For tickets and information, go to or call Bobbi Parlett at 610-209-5409.

On-Going Activities & Programs for the Community

Every Monday – Aunt Jeannie’s Community Café  – 4pm to  7pm at Union United Methodist Church, Parish Hall on Fremont Street.Jeannie has added an home-cooked dinner to the weekly schedule. Great for busy families and anyone looking for a welcoming place, friendly company and delicious food. Pay “what you can, IF you can”, donations gratefully accepted.

Every Monday and Wednesday – Food Distribution – to assist St. Vincent de Paul’s Food Bank, SMCC distributes food every Monday and Wednesday at 103 Railroad Avenue from 12:30 – 3pm. Anyone needing food assistance is welcome to stop by, once a week, to collect 2 bags of fresh veggies, fruit, bread, cheeses, meat and/or desserts.

Every Wednesday – Senior Gathering – Every Wednesday from 10:30 – 12:30, anyone over the age of 55 is welcome to join us at SMCC for a healthy meal provided by Upper Shore Aging amid fellowship and fun. Every first and third Wednesday enjoy Bingo, the second Wednesday the YMCA joins us for “Brain Games” and on the fourth and fifth Wednesdays, activities vary from games, movement exercises to art projects. Please join us!

Every Friday – Aunt Jeannie’s Community Café – open for lunch every Friday at SMCC from 11 – 2. Open for dinner every Monday evening at Union United Methodist from 4 – 7pm. All are welcome! No charge, donations appreciated.

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE to the “Rockettes – Christmas Spectacular” bus Trip on Thursday, December 6 with time to shop after the show!  Cost of $179 per person includes round trip bus fare, tip for driver and tickets on the first mezzanine for the 11am show. Make this your special, holiday tradition! Call NOW 410-745-6073

Townsend, Zecher Join CBMM Board of Governors

Gary B. Townsend, Sr., and Linda K. Zecher have been named to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Board of Governors.

Gary Townsend has spent most of his professional career in banking and investments, including seven years as chief examiner of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. After 15 years in government work, he joined Friedman Billings Ramsey & Company as a securities analyst of both bond and equity investments.  In subsequent years, he covered financial institutions such as Wells Fargo & Company, Bank of America, and Wachovia.

In 2007, Townsend co-founded Hill-Townsend Capital, LLC, a long-short hedge fund that focused on financial institution investments. He now manages GBT Capital Management, LLC, which he founded in 2013.

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Townsend holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts in history from George Washington University. He and his wife, Holly, share their time between Chevy Chase and Easton, where they have a home on the Miles River. Holly is currently on the Board of the Avalon Foundation in Easton. Gary spends much of his spare time on the golf course, traveling, and building boats.

Gary B. Townsend, Sr. and Linda K. Zecher

Linda Zecher is currently the managing director of the Barkley Group, a boutique consulting firm focused on digital transformation of enterprise organizations. Prior to founding the Barkley Group, she was as president, CEO and director of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a global education and learning company.

Zecher has also worked as the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector organization, and had a distinguished career providing management expertise and leadership to market leaders in the technology industry. She began her career as a geophysicist with Texas Instruments and later joined Bank of America as vice president of the business services division, where she led the product management, sales, and marketing division for HR and accounting solutions.

Zecher previously served on the U.S. State Department’s Board for Overseas Schools, The Emily Couric Leadership Forum, James Madison University Board of Visitors, the Tandem Friends School Board, the Cradles to Crayons Board, and the Intelligence and National Security Association Board.

She is currently a member of the Hasbro Corporation Board, where she serves on the audit, cyber security, and compensation committees; and the John F. Kennedy Foundation Board, where she serves on the finance committee and chairs the technology committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University and an Honorary Doctorate from Bentley University. She currently lives in Bozman, Md., and has three adult children.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all.

Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit or call 410-745-2916.

Museum’s Shipyard Programs Announced

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. recently announced its Apprentice for a Day Shipyard Programs, taking place now through April 2019.

Programs take place on weekends and select weekdays, and include a variety of programs for every interest and age. Programs include Timber Frame Raising; Electronic Navigation for Non-Technical People; Boating Essentials; Plane-Making; Intro to Woodworking; Lofting; Open Boatshop; Chart Navigation; Three-Strand Rope Splicing; Recommissioning your Outboard; Bronze Casting; and more.

This year, CBMM’s Shipyard will also host special days when the public can help with the restoration of the 1912 river tug Delaware. Participants will work with CBMM shipwrights to learn some of the fundamentals of boatbuilding by taking part in the stem-to-stern restoration of the historic wooden tug. Participants will have the opportunity to work on the project from lofting to her launch.

CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day Shipyard Programs take place year-round, and offer demonstrations, workshops, intensives with visiting master craftsmen, on-the-water experiences, and customized programming.

Participation in each program is limited, with advanced registration needed and more information about each program at CBMM members receive a 20% discount on all registration fees.

For more information, email or call 410-745-4980.