“Short Attention Span Theatre” 10-Minute Play Festival Opens at The Garfield Center This Weekend!

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Short Attention Span Theatre 10-Minute Play Festival Opens At The Garfield Center This Weekend!

Howard Messick, Jen Friedman, and Mark Weining

Join us for an engaging evening of 10-minute plays, designed to hold your attention for just. long. enough. The Play Fest will showcase a range of actors, directors, and authors – featuring original works by local playwrights! Starting this weekend, Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24, at 8:00 pm and Sunday, June 25, at 3:00 pm.  The Festival will continue for two more weekends.

The locally-written works selected for this year’s SAST production are:

Singing in the Shower – written by Howard Mesick*, directed by Jim Landskroener

The Philosophy of Dogs – written by George Smart, directed by Diane Landskroener

John Schratwieser in “How to Talk to a Girl Wearing Headphones”

How to Talk to a Girl Wearing Headphones – written by Adrienne Dawes, directed by Bryan Betley

Spirits – Written by Steven J. Arnold, directed by Sarah Crump

And That’s How I Met Your Mother – written & Directed by Mark Sullivan*

Somewhere Tonight, The Washington Senators’ Last Game Plays On – written by Dwayne Yancy, directed by Keith Thompson

Guru of the Alps – written by Keith Thompson*, directed by Hester Sachse

The Maltese Walter – written by John Minigan, directed by Diane Landskroener

*Many of this year’s selected playwrights are members of the Garfield’s Live Playwrights’ Society, a group that meets monthly with the goal of fostering a community of playwrights, actors, and critics, but the competition is open to all aspiring playwrights in the area. For more info on LPS visit the website. http://liveplaywrightssociety.org/

Featured actors in this year’s play fest are:

Ian Ellison and  Mark Wiening in Singing in the Shower; Dan Guidice, Brad Chaires, Jim Landskroener and Diane Landskroener in The Philosophy of Dogs; Georgia Rickloff, Kirby Powell and Bryan Betley in How to Talk to a Girl Wearing Headphones; Paul Cambardella, Brad Chaires, Mark Wiening, Amanda Fry, Robert Note, John Schratwieser and Jennifer Kafka Smith in Spirits; Mark Wiening, Jen Friedman, Dan Guidice, Robert Note and Tessa Schut in And That’s How I Met Your Mother; Jim Landskroener and Paul Cambardella in Somewhere Tonight, The Washington Senators’ Last Game Plays On; Kirby Powell, Zachary Ryan, Jennifer Kafka Smith and Dan Guidice in Guru of the Alps; Jim Landskroener, Brad Chaires and Melissa McGlynn in The Maltese Walter.

Joining SAST for the 4th year is Hey, Wait A Minute! our one-minute play fest directed by Tia Glomb. HWM will be performed in the Kohl Lobby at 7 p.m. before the Friday and Saturday night performances of Short Attention Span Theatre. The HWM cast features Ian Ellison, John Feldman, Tia Glomb, Jane Jewell, Gracie Jordan, Zachary Ryan, Severin Schut, and Juanita Wieczorack.

With one exception (Rosa’s Eulogy) all works selected for this year’s HWM production are locally written:

Dan Guidice

Behold the Valindoraptordon – written by Mark Sullivan

Rosa’s Eulogy – written by Richard Strand

When in Rome – written by Tia Glomb

Some People Just Like to Look – written by Dwayne Yancy

Blackbeard the Pirate, Superstar – written by Howard Mesick

Ezopen – written by Howard Mesick

Short Attention Span Theatre opens Friday, June 23, and runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through July 9.

Performances are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $15 and $5 for students with ID (plays include some adult content, and may not be suitable for children under 13). Take advantage of the Garfield’s recurring opening night discount and get $5 off when you wear your Garfield t-shirt!  Call 410-810-2060 or visit  Garfield website

National Music Festival – A Musical Feast! – Photo Gallery

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It’s here again!  The National Music Festival has begun its seventh season here in Chestertown, bringing a garden of musical delights for young and old.   Sunday evening saw the opening concert with the Fiddlesticks Orchestra joining the Chester River Youth Chorale to show what they had learned this past year.  The Brass Band added to the fanfare.  Now there are two weeks of concerts and free rehearsals to attend.

On Monday evening, there was the traditional community, meet-&-greet potluck at Dave Keating’s K&L garage.  This potluck, to me, is symbolic of how Chestertown and Kent County has responded to the National Music Festival.  They love it.  Individuals, businesses, organizations, churches – so many have volunteered, helped as cooks, drivers, hosts, provided concert venues, offered discounts, etc.  Sacred Heart Catholic Church made special floral decorations for their doors to welcome the musicians for the concerts held in the church on June 8 & 9.  The hospitality committee ran fundraisers before the festival and are providing beverages and snacks for rehearsals during the festival.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church is opening its parish hall every day and a band of volunteers come into the church kitchen and prepare free lunches for the apprentices.

Redner’s grocery store has given multiple cases of water and many restaurants offered discounts.

On Saturday, June 10, musicians will be on hand at the Farmers’ Market in Chestertown.

We’ll be posting pictures here as the festival goes along and adding names.  So come back again or send us your favorite photos from the festival and we’ll post as many as we can.

For more information and schedule of free and ticketed events, see National Music Festival website.

Apprentices in the Arts Administration program make the wheels run smoothly. They keep track of all the details that make up a music festival – from tickets to transportation to setting up the stage.

Apprentices Maria Rusu (viola & Arts Administration – from Romania) & Kelly Harper (Arts Administration – from New York)

Michael Sawzin, NMF Youth Director, with Caitlin Patton, NMF Executive Director, celebrating the beginning of the festival at Decker Theater on Washington College campus.

Conductor and Artistic Director of the NMF, Richard Rosenberg, conducted the world premiere of Rosenberg’s edition of “Transfigured Night” by Schonberg.  First violin on left.

Festival String Orchestra on Tuesday evening, 6th of June, 2017, just after “Transfigured Night”.

Flute and percussion mentors, Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Clarinet mentor, Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Wed evening concert 7th of June 2017

Close up of the floral “logo” on the doors of Sacred Heart Church on High Street.

The doors of Sacred Heart Church on High Street with the NMF logo in flowers!

Caitlin Patton, Executive Director of the NMF with her mother, Bonnie Keating, who, like her daughter, is also a talented singer.

 

 

 

Caitlin & Richard – Wed 7 June 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caitlin & Richard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Last Picture Show at Chester 5 Theatres

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The Chester 5 Theatres movie complex is closing.

The Chester 5 Theatres at Washington Square shopping center in Chestertown closed after the final showing Sunday, June 4.

The last show was Sunday night, June 4, according to an email to the Spy from a movie-goer who learned of the closing while at the theater. The films on display the final weekend were “Captain Underpants,” “Wonder Woman,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Baywatch” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Manager Charlene Fowler, who has been at the theater 18 years, confirmed the closing in a phone call Monday morning. She said business has “dropped off” over the last five years, and the theater was no longer able to turn a profit.

Asked what factors contributed to the downturn in business, Fowler said, “Middletown kind of hurt us.” She said the Westown Movies in Middletown has “more up-to-date” facilities, including slanted seating that gives a clear view of the screen from all seats. Also, she said, the Middletown theater has alcohol sales, which Chester 5 could not compete with. She also cited the presence of restaurants and shopping facilities in Middletown as factors that drew possible viewers away from Chestertown.

“We had our regulars, but we didn’t draw from a very big crowd,” Fowler said. The comparatively small population of Kent County, along with a small number of the younger families who are typically the audience film makers aim their product toward, undoubtedly had an effect on the theater’s ability to draw. With Washington College between sessions, the timing of the closure is not surprising, either.

Alexander, the movie-goer who told the Spy of the closing, said he and his wife were planning to attend the movies on Monday, because they enjoyed the free popcorn that was the theater’s promotion. But checking the website, they saw movie times listed only through Sunday. They decided to go on Saturday. While picking up their tickets, he joked with Fowler that the theater must be closing. She told him she had a meeting with the owners the next morning. Hearing that, the couple decided to return Sunday to see another film they were interested in. After that film, Fowler told them the theater was closing. She said the mall owner was not interested in bringing in another theater to replace it.

Posters for two of the movies shown on the final weekend.

Chester 5 Theatres were a division of P&G Theaters, which also owns the Essex 5 Theatres in Tappahannock, Va. There was no answer to a call to the number listed for the theater manager, but the recorded message listed showings through Thursday, with features much the same as at the Chester 5 Theaters.

Fowler said she had seen declining sales at the theater since its conversion to digital technology about five years ago. She said she wasn’t sure whether options such as Netflix and cable TV movie channels were a factor in the drop in attendance.

With the closing of the Chester 5 Theatres, the Westown Theater in Middletown is the closest movie venue to Chestertown, with theaters in Dover, Easton and Annapolis slightly farther away.

Perfect! Ben Franklin to Appear at Tea Party

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Chestertown Tea Party Festival announced May 21 that Ben Franklin will be attending the May 28 Festival and will kick off events in the Garfield Center for the Arts with his program, Ben Franklin & the Great American Experiment! Meet Ben Franklin! At 11 a.m., he will share fascinating “Behind-The-Scenes” stories of the forming of our great nation. American History gets served up with a dash of humor as told by the wittiest of our Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin. Huzzah!

At 1:00 p.m. in the Colonial Village, Mr Franklin will ask Festival attendees,  “Art Thou Smarter Than a 5th Grader in Ben Franklin Trivia?” – an 18th Century quiz show. Both shows are fun for all ages.

Historian & TV Actor, Brian Patrick Mulligan has performed as “Ben Franklin” across the country for over 25 years. As an actor, Brian has also guest starred on “Scandal”, “Castle”, & “The Office”.

For more information call Juanita Wieczoreck at 410-699-1369 or email jmswieczoreck@yahoo.com

 

 

College Announces $150 Million Fundraising Campaign

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Focused on the student experience, the Forge a Legacy campaign is the largest in the College’s history and launches off the momentum of $85 million already raised since 2012.

Washington College has embarked upon the public phase of a $150 million comprehensive campaign, setting the highest fundraising goal in the institution’s 235-year-old history. Aimed fundamentally at the student experience and the value of the liberal arts, the Forge a Legacy campaign will secure for future generations the resources and opportunities necessary to achieve the kind of education that will enable them to be effective citizen-leaders in an ever-changing world.

Posing as “George” are Richard and Karen Fitzgerald. Richard is WC class of 1960. They moved to Heron Point in Chestertown two years ago.  Karen laughingly says that “Richard went to Washington College and never got over it!”

The college launched the campaign May 12 at a riverside reception in Chestertown’s Wilmer Park, with college faculty and staff, alumni and local supporters in attendance. (See photo essay below.)  Attendees were treated to a three-course dinner, featuring local produce. Musical entertainment was provided by pianist Joe Holt, the Washington College Jazz Ensemble and Steel Revolution. College President Sheila Bair, faculty members Michele Volanski, Michael Harvey and Anne Marteel-Parrish, student government President Melat Kiros, and Ann Horner, Edward Nordberg and Lawrence Culp of the Board of Visitors and Governors spoke. The program concluded with a fireworks display over the river.

“This campaign comes at a critical time for our college and our nation,” said Sheila Bair. “What we are doing here today at Washington College—in our interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to education, in our programmatic initiatives that take advantage of our setting here on the Eastern Shore, in our commitment to environmental sustainability, and in our efforts to reimagine how American families can better afford to send their children to this amazing place—this is revolutionary, in the same sense that our college founders set forth a radical new model of higher education more than two centuries ago.”

Focused on four thematic priorities, the Forge a Legacy campaign supports the college’s strategic plan and builds upon the momentum generated by $85 million raised since July 2012, when the preliminary phase of the campaign began. This campaign is slated to close in June 2020.

There were bottles of wine on each table. Two bands provided music throughout the evening.  A large screen projector showed campus pictures.

Four pavilion tents with clear plastic” picture walls” provided lovely views of the Chester River. There were even chandeliers hung from the tent ceiling.

“Already, through the foresight and generosity of individual and corporate donors, board members, alumni, and others, we have taken meaningful strides to build a powerful base for this effort,” said Larry Culp, chair of the college’s Board of Visitors and Governors and the Campaign Steering Committee. “With those funds, we have designed and built new academic buildings, including Barbara and George Cromwell Hall, and created new scholarship and affordability programs like George’s Brigade. We have supported faculty initiatives, such as matching funding to secure two Maryland E-Nnovation grants in two years—one for a new innovation chief at the Center for Environment & Society and the second for a director of the fledgling Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College. Now, we come to the next steps, securing the legacy of this college by empowering the futures of the students who come here to learn, grow, and pursue their dreams.”

As outlined at a May 12 launch rally on the Chester River waterfront for the Washington College community, the campaign’s four priorities are:

Access and Affordability: A keynote of President Bair’s tenure thus far, making Washington College more affordable and accessible to students from all walks of life through scholarships and accessibility programs is the largest component of the fundraising effort. Already, initiatives such as Dam the Debt and George’s Brigade have generated more than $6.5 million in endowed and current use funding. While $31.1 million has been raised so far toward this priority, through Forge a Legacy, the college intends to raise $60 million for student scholarships and support.

Local foods were prepared and served by students.

Faculty Excellence: Ask Washington College students to name the most prized aspect of their academic career and the answer is nearly universal: The one-on-one opportunities with faculty and the close mentoring relationship formed between teacher and student. Supporting faculty excellence, creating more endowed chairs, increasing diversity among the college’s faculty, and ensuring that teachers have opportunities, money, and tools for innovation, creativity, and research are fundamental goals of the campaign. Thus far, $13.2 million has been raised, with a goal of $25 million for new positions across the disciplines.

Student Engagement: Learning by doing is a hallmark of the Washington College education, whether

Doug Gates, WC class of 1959, lives in Chestertown within easy walking distance of the campus.

through study abroad, internships, or independent and faculty-led research projects that put students in the field, in the lab, in the teaching classroom, on the stage, or on Wall Street. These are critical opportunities to get hands-on experience in a field of study and to explore the multidisciplinary possibilities of blending studio art with mathematics, creative writing with biology, business with Hispanic studies—all while still having the college’s support to encourage risk-taking and bold choices. With $29.4 million raised, Forge a Legacy will seek a total of $35 million to continue to support this key pillar of the liberal arts education.

Chestertown town council member Linda Kuiper chats with the WC Goose.

The Learning Environment: Last fall, Washington College opened Cromwell Hall, a new academic building dedicated entirely to the Departments of Anthropology and Environmental Science and Studies. This fall, the college will break ground on the new Hodson Boathouse for its sailing and crew teams, including recreational waterfront access for staff and faculty. The two new buildings illustrate the college’s ongoing commitment to providing students, faculty, and staff with innovative infrastructure that enhances and expands the learning and teaching environment. The college has raised $11.6 million so far toward a campaign goal of $30 million.

Donations to the Forge a Legacy campaign will finance key Washington College initiatives such as scholarships that ensure access and affordability, resources that attract top faculty, programs that drive student engagement, and improvements that will build on the effectiveness of the learning environment. Learn more at https://forge.washcoll.edu/

Emily Dobson (’20) , Jacob Vassalotti (’20), and Rose Adelizza, (’19) set up a mini-recycling center for the event. They also displayed a poster describing the activities of their organization, the Washington college Student Environmental Alliance.

Spy Moment: Chestertown’s Earth Day 2017

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This year marked the 47th annual Earth Day.  Chestertown celebrated in Fountain Park’s Farmers Market and across the street in Memorial Plaza by Emmanuel Church. More than a dozen organizations had booths or displays.  Despite the drizzle, quite a few people came out to celebrate the occasion.

Recycled Art from Bottlecaps – Student-Made “Blue Crab”

Ford Schumann

Ford Schumann of Infinity Recycling reported that  he had sold all his “guess” tickets. Each ticket allowed the purchaser to “guestimate” the weight of two bales of trash – one large, one small.  Tague Hurley was the winner for the smaller bale.  Tague’s guess was only three pounds less than the actual weight of  845 pounds. The best guess for the the larger bale – which was filled with tin cans – came from Colette Hearn who guessed 1200 pounds (real weight 1289 pounds.)  Prizes were gift certificates from local sponsors Figgs Ordinary, Procolino’s, and Play It Again, Sam’s.

Chesapeake bay Foundation table volunteers

There were, of course, recycling bins available and you could bring paper to be shredded.  The ukulele club provided live music.  Some planned activities were cancelled or curtailed due to the rain.  But spirits were high!

Meanwhile in Washington, DC, New York City, and more than 600 cities around the globe, tens of thousands of people honored Earth Day by Marching for Science.  The official Earth Day website said “Thank you to the 150,000 supporters of climate science and evidence-based facts who came out on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day to stand with us for truth. We stood solidly together in the rain as if our lives depended on it. And they do!”

March for Science, Earth Day, National Mall, Washington DC April 22 2017 (photo credit – http://www.earthday.org/marchforscience/)

Except where otherwise noted, photos for this Earth Day article by Peter Heck. Text by Jane Jewell. 

 

Comptroller Franchot Visits Rock Hall, Honors Volunteer Fire Company

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Peter Franchot, the Comptroller of Maryland, paid a visit to Rock Hall Wednesday, April 19 to recognize the 90th anniversary of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company.

Captain Micheal Pinder of Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company holds a certificate from Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (left of PInder) recognizing the company’s 90th anniversary. Other RHVFC members plus Mayor Brian Jones, council members Rosalie Kuechler and Brian Nesspor, Town Manager Ron Fithian and Delegate Jeff Ghrist are also pictured.

Greeting Franchot were Mayor Brian Jones, council members Brian Nespoor and Rosalie Keuchler, Town Manager Ron Fithian, District 36 Delegates Jay Jacobs and Jeff Ghrist, and a good turnout of volunteer firefighters, led by Chief Michael Pinder.

Franchot presented the company with a certificate recognizing the anniversary. He said that in addition to their bravery and community services, volunteers represent a large saving to the state, which would otherwise need to pay for firefighters and other emergency services throughout Maryland. In recognition of this, he gave each of the volunteers a brass medallion, a copy of one created to honor his father, a World War II veteran.

Franchot also took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of Rock Hall Restaurant week, April 22-29.

Following his firehouse visit, Franchot boarded the Rock Hall tram for a visit to several downtown businesses, including Hickory Stick, Java Rock Coffee House, Bayside Foods and Haven Harbor Marina. He stayed at the Hickory Stick a little bit longer to find and buy a gift for his wife and then had a cup of coffee at Java Rock across the street.  At each stop he chatted with the business owners and gave them medallions recognizing their contribution to the community and the economy.

Franchot at Haven Harbor Marina, Rock Hall MD . (19 April 2017)

 

Following the tour, Franchot went to town hall, where he and local officials shared a lunch prepared by local restaurants and discussed ways to bring tourist business to the town, both for the Restaurant Week and other upcoming events. Rock Hall has several marinas and is a favorite spot for boaters during the summer tourist season.

36th District Delegates Jeff Ghrist and Jay Jacobs with Franchot at Haven Harbor Marina. (19 April 2017)

For more information on Rock Hall, MD, including – restaurants, marinas, lodging – click here.

Franchot Visits Rock Hall, Honors Volunteer Fire Company

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Peter Franchot, the Comptroller of Maryland, paid a visit to Rock Hall Wednesday, April 19 to recognize the 90th anniversary of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company.

Greeting Franchot were Mayor Brian Jones, council members Brian Nespoor and Rosalie Keuchler, Town Manager Ron Fithian, District 36 Delegates Jay Jacobs and Jeff Ghrist, and a good turnout by volunteer firefighters, led by Chief Michael Pinder.

Franchot presented the company with a certificate recognizing the anniversary. He said that in addition to their bravery and community services, volunteers represent a large saving to the state, which would otherwise need to pay for firefighters and other emergency services throughout Maryland.  In recognition of this, he gave each of the volunteers a brass medallion, a copy of one created to honor his father, a World War II veteran.

Franchot also took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of Rock Hall Restaurant week, April 22-29.

Following his firehouse visit, Franchot boarded the Rock Hall tram for a visit to several downtown businesses, including Hickory Stick, Java Rock Coffee House, Bayside Foods and Haven Harbor Marina. He stayed at the Hickory Stick a little bit longer to find and buy a gift for his wife and then had a cup of coffee at Java Rock across the street.  He looked at the wine selection there but didn’t buy a bottle.   At each stop he chatted with the business owners and  gave them medallions recognizing their contribution to the community and the economy.

Following the tour, Franchot went to town hall, where he and local officials shared a lunch prepared by local restaurants and discussed ways to bring tourist business to the town, both for the Restaurant Week and other upcoming events. Rock Hall has several marinas and is a favorite spot for boaters during the summer tourist season.

 

 

The Ark Sails on Sunday from Kennedyville…

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Amid the fields of corn and soybeans that surround Shrewsbury Parish, on Sunday April 30, the children of that Episcopal church will launch an ark they began building last July.

Fr. Henry Sabetti talks about raising rabbits.

The Vacation Bible School students will present a check for over $5,000 to Asmi Patel, Community Engagement Coordinator for Heifer International at the ten o’clock service. The “Ark” is a partnership with the VBS and Heifer International, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.

Last summer Shrewsbury kids learned firsthand that they could send gifts to children who don’t have enough to eat through the Heifer faith-focused VBS curriculum, Animal Crackers. Shrewsbury wanted to Teach the Children Well by making them aware they are part of a larger family, and show them a way to help others.

Thirty-nine youngsters from three to fourteen, a number from the Latino community, took on the mission with enthusiasm, raising enough money themselves to purchase two goats, two flocks of chickens and a trio of rabbits to help hungry children.

More than ten percent of the world lives with food insecurity. “The need is so great to provide sustainable agriculture through animals,” said The Very Reverend Henry M. Sabetti, rector of Shrewsbury.

Inspired by the VBS kids, parishioners and other friends of the church donated more than was required to fill an entire gift “Ark”. Bees, chicks, water buffaloes, cows, sheep and more are sent two by two, to produce life-giving milk, honey, wool and eggs. Impoverished communities benefit not only with animals, but also with training in husbandry to foster an ongoing income source.

All are welcome this Sunday, or any Sunday, to attend the celebration with a reception in Hughes Hall afterwards. The church is located
12824 Shrewsbury Church Road, Kennedyville. This summer Shrewsbury Parish VBS will host Animal Crackers Redux. For more information, call the parish office at 410.348.5944.