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September/October 2008
InShort
Area Artist Designs Antietam Poster
Clarksburg, W.Va., native and nationally award-winning artist Jay Wilson created the graphic design for the official poster of the 23rd Annual Salute to Independence at Antietam National Battlefield. The poster’s American flag design is reminiscent of the huge flag that is raised over the outdoor concert stage. Jay’s artistic works are in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Wolfsonian Museum, Miami; City and County of Honolulu; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; and the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. He also created and designed the world-famous Hawaiian Tapestry (24-foot wide Glass Mosaic Mural) that graces the walls of the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. The poster was produced by the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in cooperation with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the Washington County Arts Council. Tri-State Printing assisted in the poster’s production.

Mural from the Heart  
During her summer break, Washington County Public Schools teacher Brandy Merchant painted a mural to provide a more child-friendly environment at the Safe Place Washington County Child Advocacy Center. Located in the newly renovated H.W. Murphy Community Health Center, the mural is the second Brandy has created for Safe Place; her first was completed six years ago. “I love the services Safe Place provides for the people of our community, and after seeing the space, I immediately knew that I could transform the plain walls into an inviting environment,” she says. Brandy currently teaches the International Baccalaureate Program at North Hagerstown High School.

Century of Stories
The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts’ new book, One Hundred Stories: Highlights from the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, celebrates 100 outstanding works of art from the museum’s permanent collection. Scholars discuss each work’s place in the career of its creator, in the historical context of its period and in art history. A new Hagerstown resident, Elizabeth Johns — experienced author and professor emerita of the University of Pennsylvania — acted as project manager, working with museum staff to select the works. Thomas C. Newcomer, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees, calls the book a “beautiful publication,” created by a “tremendous team of writers, photographers and a very good publisher.” One Hundred Stories is available at the museum gift shop. Publication was made possible by a generous gift from Jeannette Rinehart in memory of her husband, Theron K. Rinehart. An exhibition featuring all 100 works will be displayed at the museum Oct. 4–Jan. 4.

New Community Center in Cascade
On Sept. 27, Fort Ritchie celebrates the grand opening of its first new building since the closing of the former army post. Also the first “green” (LEED certified) public building in Washington County, the Fort Ritchie Community Center offers a full basketball court, multi-sport room, fitness center, computer/reading room, craft room, meeting rooms, snack bar and locker rooms. The developer of Fort Ritchie, Corporate Office Properties Trust partnered with PenMar Development Corporation to fund the more than 20,000- square-foot facility, which is open to the public. The grand opening event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will feature music by Peterbuilt, contests, crafts, food and more. Visit www.fortritchie.com.

Purse-on-al Best
Breast Cancer Awareness—Cumberland Valley raised more money than ever at its fourth annual Purse-on to Person auction in May. More than 400 people attendees helped to raise over $66,000 for BCA—CV’s support and education programs. “This is great news, and a testimonial to all the hard work of the volunteers, and also to the hundreds of women who attended the event,” says BCA—CV Executive Director Joan Fell. Held in association with the Alpha Sigma chapter of ESA, Purse-on to Person featured a live and silent auction of fabulous bags stuffed with amazing goodies — some of which sold for thousands of dollars each. Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, served as the auctioneer. “The atmosphere in the room was electric as the auction items went up for bid!” Joan says.

Hagerstown Gets Powered Up
More than two dozen electric vehicle owners from across the East Coast brought their high-tech electric vehicles to Hagerstown for the eighth annual Power of DC event, organized by the Electric Vehicle Association. Among other highlights, spectators enjoyed an AutoCross at South End Shopping Center and racing at Mason-Dixon Dragway. David Chen won the AutoCross Solo race in his 48-volt E-cart, while Shawn Lawless’ electric dragster, Juiced Up, received top honors for a 131 mph pass in the drag race. Hagerstown has hosted the Power of DC for the past two years.

Figurehead II Turns 10
Downtown retail store Figurehead II celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. Owner Brenda Goodwyn kicked off the celebration with two days of cake and champagne and a two-week anniversary sale. Brenda says the designer clothing and accessory shop has come a long way in the past decade. “I carry more variety than I used to. I have more sizes and more accessories, such as shoes, jewelry, purses and hats,” she says. “I have learned my clientele better and keep them in mind when I buy.” Brenda credits much of her store’s success to the support of her friends, family, clients and employees. “I’ve made really great friends and it has been a lot of fun.”

Bobbing to the Orchestral Beat
Elizabeth Schulze, the first female music director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, recently achieved another career first — hers was the first bobblehead of a female symphony conductor given away by a professional baseball team. Sponsored by the Hagerstown-Washington County CVB, the first 1,000 fans at the June 7 Hagerstown Suns game received the bobblehead in honor of what will now be known as “Elizabeth Schultz Day” at Municipal Stadium. “I am very proud and pleased to be honored with a bobblehead likeness, especially as it makes me look so good!” Elizabeth says. “Most importantly, I’m glad I could be an opportunity to celebrate the best in entertainment in our fabulous community, both on the field and on the stage.”

B’nai Abraham Launches Capital Campaign
The B’nai Abraham Board of Trustees recently launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for much needed building renovations. The only synagogue in Hagerstown — and one of the oldest in Maryland — B’nai Abraham was established in 1892, and its sanctuary was completed in 1925 and continues to be the center of the Hagerstown Jewish community. “The soul of the congregation lies within the walls of our sanctuary,” says Rabbi Fred Raskind. “We would lose so much of what makes Judaism a part of this community by looking at alternatives.” Dubbed the “Chai Campaign,” (chai is Hebrew for life) the campaign aims to raise $560,000 over the next five years for renovations including a new roof, a new heating and air conditioning system as well as making the building more accessible by installing an elevator. “Our buildings have so much character and history around them,” says Synagogue President Liz Krell. “We feel that renovations and major infrastructure improvement are the right course of action.” Contributions can be mailed to: Congregation B’nai Abraham, 53 E. Baltimore St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. For more information, call 301-739-7483.

Thompson is Tops
J. Randall “Randy” Thompson, CEO of ThompsonGas, was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 award in Maryland. The awards program recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, personal commitment to the business and the community, and financial performance. Randy was selected by as a finalist from 50 nominations by a panel of independent judges. “I am humbled and honored to be recognized by this prestigious awards program, and look forward to working hard to become the winner for the Baltimore region,” he says. According to LP Gas magazine, ThompsonGas has grown to become the 22nd largest propane company in the United States.

Valuable Volunteer Recognized
The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) named lifelong Washington County resident Merle S. Elliot Volunteer of the Year at an awards ceremony in June. Merle spent the last 28 years in various unpaid volunteer positions, including president and board chairman for Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, Inc. (CHIEF), chairman of the Board of Trustees for Hagerstown Community College, president of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, and Chairman of the Greater Hagerstown Education Committee. He helped develop the county’s first business parks, and tackled projects like the Hagerstown Fairgrounds renaissance, Central Parking Lot development, historic Maryland Theatre expansion and the University of Maryland at Hagerstown plaza. Merle is retired from Smith, Elliot, Kearns & Company — an accounting firm he helped to found in 1963.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC) nominated Merle for the award. “We view Mr. Elliot more as a ‘Volunteer of Lifetime,’ as his foresight, hard work, tireless dedication and leadership to our community has been and will continue to be paramount in the overall betterment of Washington County,” says EDC Executive Director Timothy R. Troxell, 2007–08 MEDA president.

Battlefield Back-And-Forth
A new, free shuttle service transports visitors from Antietam National Battlefield to South Mountain State Park for tours of South Mountain battlefield. “The new South Mountain tours… are one more step forward in the cooperative efforts between the Maryland State Park Service and National Park Service to educate and inform our visitors,” says Antietam Superintendent John Howard. The shuttle operates on weekends, leaving the Antietam Battlefield Visitors Center at 10:30 a.m. and returning at 12:30 p.m. after a tour of the South Mountain Battlefield.

New Site for Nonprofits
Leadership Washington County has unveiled a new Web site for local nonprofit organizations: www.washingtoncountynonprofits.org. Developed by LWC Executive Director Cindy Kalkbrenner and LWC graduate Sam Cool, vice president of Plant Technologies, the site offers a place for nonprofits to exchange information, advertise, collaborate and to, in a word, “cross-pollinate,” Cindy says. “We wanted to create a meeting place for these organizations that, in the long term, will help to increase their individual and collective impact — and we encourage every organization to go to the site, register their nonprofit and publish their schedule of events, their needs, their wants and desires.” The site was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Washington County Gaming Commission and was designed by Axis 80.

Evans Joins MSO
Gregory R. Evans has joined the Maryland Symphony Orchestra as the new director of marketing and public relations. Greg brings more than 30 years of PR experience to the MSO, having worked for such nonprofit and educational industries as The Catholic University of America, Horizon Goodwill Industries and the Antietam Healthcare Foundation, among others. A native of Hyndman, Pa., he earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Shepherd University.

LIFENET in Action
Frederick Memorial Hospital recently became the first hospital in Maryland to use LIFENET technology to successfully diagnose a heart attack in progress. LIFENET allows emergency medical technicians in the field to transmit an EKG print out to emergency room physicians, triggering a “Code Heart” that alerts members of the FMH Interventional Cardiology team to prepare the cardiac catheterization laboratory for the patient’s arrival. “Every moment that blood flow is cut off to the heart, heart muscle is dying. Time is critically important,” says Dr. Mark Turco, medical director of Intervention Cardiology Services at FMH. “LIFENET allows us to shave precious minutes off of the time it takes to open an occluded coronary artery.”

Farm Fresh in Fayetteville
The new Penn National Farmer’s Market brings locally grown food to the residents of Fayetteville, Pa. Located near Penn National Golf Course, market offerings include boutique cheeses, berries, fruits and veggies, plus free-range chicken, turkey and lamb. “We are going to have what one local grower ordinarily takes to Washington, D.C., to sell right here in our own backyard,” says Patti Nitterhouse, vice president of White Rock, Inc. developers of the Penn National Golf Course Community. “Amidst the region’s bounty, it only makes sense to bring the producing and consuming communities together.” The market is open 2–6 p.m. Thursdays during the growing season.

A Golden Opportunity
National Golden Tissue, Inc. has chosen Hagerstown as the company’s first site of operations. The manufacturer of processed paper products will use 10,000 square feet of the former Berwick Offray building, with plans to employ 110 workers by year’s end. “This is an exciting opportunity,” says Deborah A. Everhart, director of economic development for the City of Hagerstown. “We look forward to their growth.” National Golden Tissue produces hand towels, bath tissue and industrial wipes for both average consumers and larger customers like hotels and restaurants. The company projects an expansion over the next four years that will facilitate employment for up to 500.

Ethical Enterprise
Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade leader, has been named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by The Ethisphere Institute and Forbes Magazine. The annual ranking is compiled in a multi-step evaluation and analysis process involving ethics, investment and corporate citizenship, among a list of others. Founded in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages offers unique, handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor and personal accessories made by artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Locally, Ten Thousand Villages is located at 13625 Pennsylvania Ave. in Hagerstown.
 
Something to Smile About
Dr. Paul McAllister of The Smile Design Centre completed extended training in dental implants under the direction of Dr. Arun Garg, one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of dental implants and bone grafting. Dr. McAllister will receive his Fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists later this year. The Smile Design Centre has made dental implants available to patients, providing them with more options in tooth replacement.

Fahrney-Keedy Certifications
Four employees of Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village in Boonsboro have received certificates in the retirement community’s new Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. Tiffany Waters of Waynesboro, Pa., Misty Shifflett of Williamsport, Trina Hammond of Martinsburg, W.Va., and Samantha Shry of Boonsboro completed the 12- week program, which was created by Fahrney-Keedy Asst. Administrator.
Stephanie Alexander.
 
Serving Seniors for 30 Years
From polyester leisure suits and starched white nursing uniforms to Nintendo Wii’s and multicolored Croc’s, Ravenwood Lutheran Village has spanned three decades serving Washington County seniors. The senior living community celebrated its 30th anniversary in June. “It is our mission at Diakon to respond to God’s call and serve our neighbor, and we have enjoyed serving residents of Washington County and the Tri-State area for 30 years,” says Executive Director Jodi Murphy. “During this time, we have expanded our Independent Living residences, grown to include Assisted Living and Adult Day Services, and continued to improve the quality of care at our Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.”

Voorhaar Joins Cornerstone
Cornerstone Wealth Management Group welcomed Amy Voorhaar to its team as the new business and client service coordinator. Amy will be responsible for all operational aspects of Cornerstone’s new and existing client relationships. She previously served as a branch operations coordinator at Legg Mason (Smith Barney) and also spent time as finance associate with All American Harley-Davidson. “It’s a pleasure to have Amy join our team,” says Scott Ford, Cornerstone president. “She comes to us with outstanding financial experience and skills that will help us serve our clients and strengthen those relationships.”
 
Café Seeks Auto Artifacts
Preparations for a new restaurant are underway, and the owners are seeking donations of artifacts relating to Hagerstown’s automotive past to display in the establishment. Hub Caps Classic Car Café, scheduled to open in spring 2009, will feature a classic cars theme, including a first-floor showroom. Owners have created a bar surround from a ’65 Lincoln Continental, fashioned a ’74 Triumph TR6 into a salad bar, and added many more special touches to the décor. Anyone interested in contributing photos or artifacts of local transportation and automotive history for display should contact Timothy S. Gordon at 301-714-4941.

High-Ranking High Schools
Boonsboro High School and North Hagerstown High School have ranked among America’s top high schools by Newsweek Magazine for the second consecutive year. The 2008 list of the top 1,300 high schools ranks Boonsboro at number 810 and North at 1,038. “We are very proud of the work of students and staff at both Boonsboro and North Hagerstown high schools, says Donna Hanlin, assistant superintendent for secondary education. “The fact that both schools have once again been named by Newsweek as two of the top schools in the country is evidence of our ongoing effort to challenge our students with rigorous curriculum.”

Kaplan Marks Milestone
Kaplan College celebrated 70 years of service in July. Formerly known as Hagerstown Business College, 17,494 students have graduated from HBC/Kaplan since the college’s founding in 1938. Kaplan has a current enrollment of 800 students studying in 18 different programs including legal studies, healthcare, computer and business. As the only school in Washington County where a student can start and finish a four-year bachelor’s degree at the same institution, Kaplan College has seen a 10-percent increase in students since 2000.

   view more articles from the September/October 2008 issue >>

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