Christmas Feast Returns to First Methodist Church



All are welcome at the annual Feast of Love i,held each Christmas at First United Methodist Church in Chestertown

The community is invited to the annual “Feast of Love” dinner at First United Methodist Church on Christmas afternoon, Monday, Dec. 25, at 1 p.m. Any and all that wish to feel the warmth of the season and the best sense of our community are welcome.

First organized in 1984 by Yvonne Arrowood, the feast brings the folks at First Methodist and a score of neighbors from throughout the county to open their doors and hearts on a winter’s day to provide nourishment for body and soul. Assuring that on a day of celebration, no-one need feel alone.  For more than three decades now, it has been a special tradition both for those that come to the meal and for the volunteers to enjoy the fellowship of their neighbors and friends.

Dinner includes roast turkey, vegetables with all the trimmings and enough pies and desserts, (even a birthday cake for the special occasion),  to make the celebration complete. Singing and festive cheer abound as is an honest chance to witness that Chestertown isn’t just a small town but really one big family.

Reservations are not required, but anyone interested in coming please call (410)778-2977, so the organizers know how many to expect. (Additionally, if you know anyone that needs to be personally invited or picked up, the church can try to make transportation available for them with advance notice.)  The church is located at High & Mill Street in downtown Chestertown and the entrance for the dinner is on the Mill Street side of the church.

If you would like to volunteer, you can email or sign up at here with the hostname: “arrowood” and log in: “1225”.

Thanks in advance to the Fish Whistle, Dixon Valve & Coupling, Theresa Smith, Janet Sigler and Lapp Family Bakeries for their help with the meal.

Santa’s Open Charity Golf Tournament Raises $8,600 for Big Brother/Big Sister of Eastern Shore



Santa’s Open Charity Golf Tournament Event Founder & Certified PGA Professional, Bob Baldassari; Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore Executive Director, Jessica Mimms and Ocean Pines PGA Director of Golf, John Malinowski

The event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, raised over $8,600 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore and collected a variety of gifts for area children in need. This year marks the fifth consecutive year the Santa’s Open has been held at Ocean Pines.

Ocean Pines Golf Club PGA Director of Golf John Malinowski was instrumental in bringing the annual tournament to the course. “I had worked with the Santa’s Open for several years prior to my coming to Ocean Pines and was excited to bring the event to this course,” Malinowski said. “I’m proud of how the Ocean Pines community has rallied around the tournament and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore year after year.”

Presented by title sponsor Delmarva Power, this year’s event saw close to 90 golfers and numerous area business participants. Four-person teams competed for first-, second- and third-place low gross; first-, second- and third-place low net and closest to the pin. Awards were presented at a reception ceremony at the Tern Grille at Ocean Pines Golf Club following the tournament.

The team of Ray Wankmiller, Mike Wankmiller, Tim McMahon and Daryl Griffith won first-place gross. Bobby Goroy, Brian Patey, David Bledsoe and Jimmy Sweet won second-place gross and Bill Mears, Jamie Neal, Randy Mears and Zeke Prygocki won third-place gross.

First-place net was won by Jay Graybill, Kenny Reed, Linwood Harmon and Matt Reed. Bryan Clark, George Vogelslang, Joe Sheehy and Neil Baker won second-place net. Third-place net was won by John Allen, Jr., Brandon Phillips, John Petito and Stan Botts.

The closest-to-the-pin contest was won by Steve Lennon, Ray Wankmiller, Tony Hughes and Stan Botts.

Participants in the 25th Annual Santa’s Open Golf Tournament with Santa at Ocean Pines Golf Club. Dec 2, 2017

Tee sign sponsors for the event included Ayres, Jenkins, Gordy & Almand, PA; Canada Dry; The Delmarva Shorebirds; iHeart Radio; the Bank of Delmarva; Eastern Shore Golf Magazine; Pepsi and Sonya Whited.

Other sponsors included breakfast sponsor, PNC Bank, reception sponsor, Real HVAC Services and cheer sponsor Mid-Atlantic Heating & Air Conditioning.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore provide children facing adversity with enrichment and a strong, professionally supported one-to-one relationship that will change his or her life for the better, forever.  Programs inspire children to stay in school, avoid drugs and other risky behaviors while giving them the tools necessary to succeed and pave a better and brighter future.

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore, visit their website or send email to or call 410-543-2447.

For more information about the Ocean Pines community, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at 410-641-7717 or


4-H’ers Conduct 18th Annual Toy Drive


The Kent County 4-H Toy Drive Planning Committee in Fountain Park, Saturday (L to R): Rachel Jones, Stephen Quinn, Cassie Plummer, Paul Myers, Dylan Hill and Megan Moore. 

After winning first prize for their float in the Chestertown Christmas Parade, the 4-H Toy Drive Planning Committee also manned a booth in Fountain Park from 9 a.m. to noon. They will be there again this Saturday at the same time, collecting toys and monetary donations. Please bring new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children age newborn through 18 years old. 4-H requests that toy donations do not portray or encourage violence.

Monetary donations are accepted at the University of Maryland Extension office, 709 Morgnec Road, Chestertown. Checks should be made out to Kent County EAC, with “4-H Toy Drive” in the memo line. The drive continues through Dec. 15.

Kent County 4-H’ers with their winning float in the Chestertown Christmas Parade

The 4-H’ers are partnering with the Chestertown Lions Club, Kent County Public Schools, and Kent County Social Services to collect gifts to include in the Lions’ annual Christmas Basket program. Last year, the 4-H Toy Drive collected $1904.66. Combining that with funds left over from 2015, they purchased toys and gifts for some 400 children in the county.

In addition to the Fountain Park booth, there are drop-off sites in Galena, Kennedyville, Millington, Rock Hall and Worton. Call the 4-H office at 410-778-1661 or click here for more information.

Photo Gallery — Chestertown Christmas Parade



Santa greets the crowd after riding in the Chestertown Christmas parade

Chestertown held its annual Christmas parade Saturday, Nov. 25 – and whoever ordered up the weather deserves a prize!

With clear skies and comfortable temperatures – especially for the end of November – a large crowd was on hand to view the marching units, floats, band — and of course the star of the season, Santa, who rode in style on the back of one of the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company’s biggest trucks.

Here’s a Spy photo gallery of some of the highlights.


Elves from the Downtown Chestertown Association lead off the parade

Even the Grinch is popular at the Christmas parade!

The judge’s choices for parade winners:

Kristin Owen of Downtown CFhetertown Association briefs Councilwomen L:iz Gross,and Linda Kuiper and Mayor Chris Cerino (standing), the parade judges, while announcer Tom Yeager, at left, warms up the crowd.

Marching Band:


1st – Kent County Community Marching Band

2nd – Kent County High School Marching Band


Marching Unit:

1st – Chestertown Christian Academy Cheerleaders

2nd – Rough Riders

3rd – Garfield Center for the Arts (Cast of Miracle on 34th Street)

Other winners —


1st – University of Maryland Extension Kent County 4-H Program

2nd – Main Street Chestertown “Dickens of a Christmas”

3rd – E.L.B. Incorporated

Classic Car:

1st – Jeff Maguire ’67 Mustang

2nd – Rick George ’65 Ford Falcon Futura

3rd – Mike Fisher ’53 Chevy Pickup

Congratulations to all the winners — and thanks to the Downtown Chestertown Association for sponsoring another enjoyable holiday event.


For All Seasons Rape Crisis Grows Outreach in the Community


Ivy Garcia, Director of the Rape Crisis Center and a Spanish Speaking Interpreter at For All Seasons.

The Rape Crisis Center at For All Seasons provides crisis support to our Mid-Shore’s English and Spanish speaking women, men and children who have been impacted by trauma, rape, and sexual assault. The team of five full time staff members and eight after hours’ staff provide support and guidance through crisis intervention, counseling and education 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  According to Ivy Garcia, Director of the Rape Crisis Center, “Our numbers have grown dramatically since I started at the Center 10 years ago and our agency has continued to work to meet the needs of the community.”

According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, (RAINN), every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted.  Garcia comments that For All Seasons offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week crisis response services for victims of rape and sexual assault in five counties on the Mid Shore, offering both English and Spanish emergency hotlines for the community. She adds, “While we are meeting the needs of the Mid Shore community, we also know that there are still barriers to reporting rape and sexual assault.  We are working to break down the stigma. We have expanded our outreach – working with community agencies to share information about the services we provide so more people will utilize our Center.”

The team at For All Seasons is comprised of trauma-certified advocates who help survivors make the choice that is best for them. This includes ensuring that each survivor is aware of their options for care; believing the survivor’s account of the assault; providing support and listening without judgement; and serving as a support. Specifically, the Rape Crisis Center provides support as survivors receive medical care, legal support, and crisis counseling, regardless of their ability to pay.

In addition to Ivy Garcia, members of the Rape Crisis Center team include Lauren Kirby, Victim Advocate and Outreach Educator; Elizabeth Jaramillo, Regional Navigator for Human Trafficking; Alberto Ardaya, Victim Advocate and Spanish Speaking Interpreter; and Maria D’Arcy, Victim Advocate and Case Manager.

Victims of trauma, sexual assault and abuse are connected to the Rape Crisis Center through the agency’s Rape Crisis hotline, referrals in the community, or by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner teams at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Easton, Cambridge or Chestertown.

When working with victims at the hospital, Advocates provide a comfort kit which includes items such as a change of clothes, personal hygiene items, a notebook for journaling and emergency food, and provide a safety check for the victim returning home. For All Seasons provides hotel stays when necessary to ensure a victim’s safety. For All Seasons then provides follow-up with the victim to offer advocacy services, which can include crisis and long-term counseling, legal support, and connection to law enforcement.

Garcia adds, “We are a victim’s advocate throughout the entire process.  No one has to go through this alone.”

The English Hotline is 410-820-5600 or 1-800-310-7273. Para Español llame o envíe un mensaje de texto al 410-829-6143. For further information, visit

For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons, call 410-822-1018.

“Run Like the Dickens 5K” Dec. 3


Main Street Chestertown invites runners to sprint through the historic district during the “Run Like the Dickens 5K” on Sunday morning, Dec 3.  The race will start at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Cross and High Streets as the final event of the Dickens of a Christmas Weekend organized by Main Street Chestertown. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

The race will take runners on a new route through charming downtown Chestertown. In keeping with the theme of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, the course makes a lap through the historic Chester Cemetery, where participants might well spy a Christmas ghost or two from Dickens beloved novella.

There also will be a Dickens Dash for the Tiny Tim set—children age 12 and under—at 9 a.m., starting on High Street near Court Street (Lawyers Row).

Proceeds from the race will be donated to the Kent County Community Food Bank. Advance registration is $30.  Race Day registration is $35.  To register go to  Race day registration opens at 7 a.m. at High and Cross Streets.

The race will start at the intersection of High and Cross Streets and proceed up High Street to the cemetery, continue onto the rail trail, cut through the parking lot at Stepne Station and do one lap up and back to historic Stepne Farm, across to Wilmer Park, exiting onto Water Street and back to High Street to finish in front of the White Swan Inn.  The course will be clearly marked, with police directing traffic for safety and will have water stops at the start/finish and at the halfway point. Residents are encouraged to be out on the sidewalks along the route to cheer on the runners and help Main Street Chestertown create a fun and festive new holiday tradition.

TCR Event Management group has verified the course and is timing and scoring the event.  There will be awards for men and women for various age categories.

Basic Information:

Chestertown Run Like the Dickens 5K

Sunday, December 3, at 8 a.m.

Through Downtown Chestertown

Registration 7 a.m. at High and Court Streets

Dickens Dash for Kids 12 and under

9 a.m., High and Court Streets

Benefitting: Main Street Chestertown

Click here to register.

 Price:  $30, Race Day $35

The “Dickens of a Christmas” weekend is made possible largely through the support of our local sponsors, including our top level “Scrooge” sponsors: The Kent County Arts Council, The Peoples Bank/FAM&M, Cross Street Realtors, Radcliffe Corporate Services, and Price Rentals.  Other sponsors include “Marley” level donor Kent School, five “Fezziwig” sponsors (Chesapeake Bank & Trust, Chester River Packet/Occasions Catering, Mimi’s Closet, and Todd’s Body Shop), and“Cratchit” level sponsors that include Gillespie & Son, Pam Duke Law, Dixon, LaMotte Company, Bad Alfred’s Distillery, David A. Bramble Inc., and Gunther McClary Real Estate.

Lockdown at Middle School Wednesday Morning


According to a message from Kent County Public Schools central office at 10:13 a.m. Wednesday, a student on a bus going to Kent County Middle School this morning received an anonymous text message alleging a gun threat. The student called 911 from the bus to report the threat, Emergency dispatchers contacted the school, and students were held on the bus while law enforcement responded.

Authorized personnel and law enforcement scanned all students and their property, and searched the building and the bus to ensure no contraband was brought into the school. Students were sent to their homerooms and sheltered in place while the search was completed. No contraband was found. However, according to the central office, police will maintain a presence at the building for the remainder of the school day.

Parents were informed of the situation and those who wished to pick up students and take them home were allowed to do so.


Corn on the Curb! – UPDATED


Photo Credit – James Dissette

Editor’s note — this story has been updated with details not available at press time Tuesday. 

A grain truck en route from Rock Hall to Church Hill overturned around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, trying to navigate the roundabout at High Street and Morgnec Road, near the new Royal Farms store. The truck flipped on its side and spilled its load of corn by the roadside. The arrow on the yellow pedestrian sign in the above picture is pointing directly at the green cab of the truck as it lies on its side.

Traffic was rerouted through an adjacent parking lot due to hydraulic fluid leaking from the overturned truck. Because the crash site is close to Radcliffe Creek, containment booms were placed to prevent any leaking fluids from entering the watercourse. However, diesel fuel spillage was minimal, according to the Chestertown Fire Company. The southeast corner of the circle remained blocked as State Highway crews and a private crew sent by the truck’s owner conducted the cleanup and removed the damaged vechicle, which took about four hours all told.

According to emergency personnel on the scene, there were no injuries.

Photo credit – James Dissette

The Maryland State Police, the Chestertown Police Department, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, the Kennedyville Volunteer Fire Company and the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company  responded.

See a more detailed report from the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company here.

Corn on the Curb!      Photo credit – James Dissette

Library Book Sale This Weekend – Members’ Reception Thursday


Kent County Public Library front entrance – Chestertown Branch

Come join us for the annual Holiday Book Sale at the Chestertown branch of the Kent County Public Library on High Street!

  • Thursday, November 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Members’ Night
    Non-members may join the FOL at the door for only $10 per person / $20 per family. Light snacks and beverages will be served.
  • Friday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 18, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – $5 Box Day!

On Sunday’s Box Day, you bring the box and fill it up for just $5 per box!  That way we don’t have to pack the books away. It’s win-win. The special books and items are half-price on Sunday.

Cash or check only. All proceeds benefit the Kent County Public Library by subsidizing the purchase of new items and supporting community outreach programs.

If you’d like more information about the sale, visit , e-mail or find us on Facebook!  If you’d like to volunteer or join our board, we’d love to hear from you.