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Greater Chestertown Initiative Plans Meeting Around Main Street

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Main Street Chestertown is back. As part of the charge to Chestertown’s Economic Development and Marketing Coordinator Kay Macintosh,the previously dormant Main Street is now organized to begin to develop an agenda to support economic vitality downtown.

The Greater Chestertown Initiative meeting this month will focus exclusively on Main Street at their February 28 meeting from 5:00 to 6:00 on the second floor of Town Hall. Come learn what Main Street Chestertown is all about, how they are getting organized, what they learned from their strategic planning sessions and what role you might play. All are welcome.

The National Main Street, of which Chestertown’s Main Street is a member, describes the efforts of their member organizations: “As we in the Main Street movement know, innovation, collaboration, and the dedication of local leaders and volunteers are helping to revive economies across the country. From the downtown districts of small farming towns in Iowa to vibrant neighborhoods in Boston, the road to improved economic opportunity for all Americans travels through Main Street.” Leading our local efforts are the new officers of Main Street Chestertown: Paul Heckles, President; Bryan Matthews, Vice President; Renee Bench, Secretary; and Jeff Weber, Treasurer.

Sultana to Host Volunteer/Summer Program Open House on March 3rd

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Would you like to serve as a volunteer crewmember on an 18th century schooner, assist with kayaking trips to remote areas of the Chesapeake Bay, or simply help out at a vibrant local nonprofit? Is your child looking for something exciting and educational to do this summer? Do you have a grandchild visiting over vacation that you would like to have the experience of a lifetime? If the answer to any of the above is “yes,” you should make a point of visiting the Sultana Education Foundation’s Volunteer and Summer Program Open House on Friday, March 3rd from 5:00 – 7:00 pm as part of Chestertown’s monthly “First Friday.”

Chestertown_First_Friday_September_9-2-2016-1925Open House visitors will have the chance to speak with Sultana’s staff and current volunteers about the Foundation’s newly expanded Volunteer Program. Beginning this March, Sultana is offering new opportunities for volunteers to assist with the Foundation’s operations, including sailing and maintenance positions on the Foundation’s 1768 schooner SULTANA, assistant trip leader positions with the Foundation’s canoe and kayak programs, and opportunities to volunteer in Sultana’s new Education Center in Chestertown.

In addition to showcasing the Foundation’s Volunteer Programs, Sultana’s March 3rd Open House will give parents and children an opportunity to talk with staff and previous student participants about the Foundation’s Summer Programs. For the summer of 2017 Sultana is offering eight distinct summer programs for students ranging in age from five to 18 years old. These include science and nature-based day camps, multi-day trips on the schooner SULTANA, and kayak-camping trips on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Information about the Sultana Education Foundation’s Volunteer and Summer programs can also be found online at the Foundation’s website – www.sultanaeducation.org.

About the Sultana Education Foundation

Founded in 1997, the Sultana Education Foundation is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing unique, hands-on educational opportunities that promote stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay’s historic, cultural, and environmental legacies. The Foundation is a two-time recipient of the National Maritime Historical
Foundation’s Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education.

Main Street Chestertown to Host Mayor’s Business Forum March 9

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The new Main Street Chestertown organization will host a Business Forum with Mayor Chris Cerino on Thursday evening, March 9, at 7:00 p.m., in the second floor meeting room of Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street.  The agenda will include everything from overall business trends to specific issues such as parking, signage and special events.

“This is an opportunity for me to hear directly from the people who provide the services and jobs we need downtown,” said Cerino. “I want the forum to be a dialogue that can help the Town support our entrepreneurs.”

The president of Main Street Historic Chestertown, Paul Heckles, explained that economic vitality is one of the four main goals of the program and that hosting the mayor’s forum is a natural fit.  “The feedback we get from business owners and other residents will help guide our committees,” he said.

The Main Street program was created in the 1970s by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to offer structured strategies for revitalizing small towns across America.  Today there are more than 2,000 programs, including 28 in Maryland.

Unitarians explore the meaning of “Unitarian Universalism”

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On Sunday, February 19 at 10 a.m., Mr. Ron Schaeffer will give a sermon entitled “What It Means to Be a Unitarian Universalist” for the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Dr., Chestertown. It is important that we occasionally ask the questions, “What does it mean to be a Unitarian Universalist? And, why is it important that we discuss this as a congregation?” In a religious denomination that allows the individual to decide what to believe, can we get consensus on our basic values and why we are here? During a time of major change for our congregations, Ron Schaeffer, a long-time UU, explains his view on what Unitarian Universalism means to him.

Special Music for this service will be performed by violinist/violist Nevin Dawson.

Childcare for infants and toddlers will be available during the service. Join us for this thoughtful discussion; all are welcome. For more information call 410-778-3440, or visit us on Facebook.

Workshop for Rural Health Care Businesses offered in Centreville

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Chesapeake Charities will provide capacity-building training for businesses that provide health and fitness services in rural areas. The workshop, “Development Strategies for Rural Health Care Providers” will be held on Thursday, March 2 at the Queen Anne’s County Building, 110 Vincit Street, in Centreville.

Led by Chesapeake Charities’ Grants and Evaluation Specialist, Mary Ann Gleason, and Executive Director, Linda Kohler, the workshop will provide business leaders with new ways to diversify funding resources, improve sustainability and strengthen their businesses. The workshop is funded through the Rural Business Development Grant Program of the USDA and there is no charge for attendance.

“We know first-hand how challenging it is to stay on top of new funding opportunities, but it is critical for success,” said Kohler, “We have put together a very focused workshop for busy managers. It is a small investment of time with potentially big rewards.”

2-Mary Ann Gleason        1-Linda Kohler

Photos: Mary Ann Gleason (left) and Linda Kohler (right)

Course content will include:
– Identifying rural health resources and opportunities
– Addressing new market opportunities in population health and preventive care
– Developing effective strategies to make the case for funding
– Diversifying the funding base to improve sustainability
– Partnering with the community and connecting with local government officials

The workshop runs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon in the conference room at the Queen Anne’s County Building on Vincit Street in Centreville. Online registration is available at http://chesapeakecharities.org/events. For questions, please call Mary Ann Gleason at Chesapeake Charities (410) 643-4020 or send an email to info@chesapeakecharities.org.

Chesapeake Charities is a community foundation with over a decade of success in obtaining funding for local programs and initiatives, and supports a wide range of charitable causes including arts, education, health and human services, animal welfare, and the environment. All of our 75 component funds have a common cause – a passion for making a difference in their communities. Together we have invested more than $9 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005.

Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. For more information, visit our website at chesapeakecharities.org.

WIN has Donated its Dodge Ram Van to the Bayside H.O.Y.A.S., Inc.

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The mission of Women in Need, Inc. (WIN) has expanded over the years and it has supported many initiatives in the county, including the Alley Teen Center from 2007 to 2015, offering tutoring, counseling and after school activities for middle and high school students and activities such as Girl’s Circle and Boys Council. The rise of other services for area youth like the Kent County Community Center and the progressive programs like the H.O.Y.A.S. allowed the organization to focus on new endeavors like Project M.E. (Microenterprise Empowerment) providing support and location space for new start up businesses to gain exposure to the region and customers at its downtown location, Finders Keepers.

WIN HOYASThe van, originally purchased to support the Alley Teen Center and was used for other partnerships such as the Kent Shoreman Basketball team, will be put to use by the H.O.Y.A.S. for travel around the county and for away games throughout the Eastern Shore. It is fitting that it will pass from one youth basketball program to another and we hope it will serve them well as they continue to serve and do good work with the kids of our community. “Our organization is grateful that the citizens of our community and businesses not only appreciate and value what we do as a program, but want to see us grow,” John Queen, founder of Bayside H.O.Y.A.S., Inc.

In addition to the donating to Bayside H.O.Y.A.S, Inc., WIN will also be making its annual contribution of $1,500 to the Samaritan Group Emergency Homeless Shelter program in addition to other planned contributions to HomePorts and other area organizations.

This year WIN will celebrate 20 years serving the Kent County community. For the last 15 years, Karen Dionisio and company have operated the WIN Thrift Store on Philosopher¹s Terrace (next to Dollar General), as the main source of funds used to provided support various programs for those in need. In addition to providing low cost furnishings and goods, the WIN Store also serves the community by providing home essentials to qualifying families for reduced or no cost.

Women In Need, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization that provides client assistance through programs designed to empower individuals to success. For more information contact their administrative office at 410-778-3844 or email: info@win-foundation.org. Donations to the store are accepted Thursday thru Saturday during business hours.

Half Day Retreat in Hillsboro

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On Saturday, February 18, The Retreat House at Hillsboro will be hosting a half-day retreat from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. entitled “Recovering Spirit: The Path to Forgiveness,” led by Reverend Paul Gennett, Jr., pastor of St. Mark’s in Dover, Delaware.

This contemplative session will focus on spirituality using the 12 Steps of AA and other teachings as a guide for exploration and discussion on the subject of forgiveness. The retreat is open to anyone who wishes to expand their spiritual life. Being in a recovery program is not required. Gennett explained, “Many of us struggle with letting go of things that are in the way of our spiritual growth. During this retreat we’ll consider what life might be like without them.”

RHentrance

The Retreat House at Hillsboro on the grounds of historic St. Paul’s Church

The agenda includes discussion and time for quiet reflection and prayer. Continental breakfast and lunch will be offered and to cover expenses, a free will offering of $25 per person will be gratefully accepted at the door. Online registration is requested at https://recoveringspirit2.eventbrite.com.

Located on the grounds of St. Paul’s Church at 22005 Church Street, Hillsboro, Maryland 21641, the Retreat House is open forgroup retreats and meetings, individual hermitages, meditation and any who seek a spiritual connection. A traditional Chartres-style walking labyrinth is always open for walking and prayer. The Retreat House at Hillsboro is a ministry of the Diocese of Easton, MD. For more information contact Francie Thayer, Director, at (410) 364-7042, info@retreathousehillsboro.org, or visit us on Facebook.com/RetreatHouseAtHillsboro.

Unitarians Explore the Impact of “Love” Upon Today’s Political Dialogue

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On Sunday, February 12 at 10 a.m., Rev. Dr. Richard Speck will give a sermon entitled “Love Is All You Need” for the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Dr., Chestertown. As we approach Valentine’s Day, does love have the power to overcome hate? In the face of a country torn between Republicans and Democrats arguing over what the facts are, can love triumph to heal the breach? We’ll explore love and its role in our lives and religion.

Childcare for infants and toddlers will be available during the service. Join us for this thoughtful discussion; all are welcome. For more information call 410-778-3440, or visit us on Facebook.

Tim Kern Sporting Clay Tournament Set for April 1

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The Tim Kern Sporting Clays Tournament will be held at the Hopkins Game Farm in Kennedyville, Maryland on Saturday, April 1st. Each entry into the tournament requires a fee of $45 with all proceeds benefiting the Tim Kern Memorial Foundation. Hopkins Game Farm will be open all week for you to brush up on your skills in preparation for the 11:00 start. Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. (Participants are welcome to shoot the course prior to Noon, please meet us at 1:00pm for lunch.) If you have any further questions, please contact the Hopkins Game Farm at (410) 348-5287.

Following the tournament, everyone is welcome to participate in the post-event party to be held at Hopkins Game Farm. Beer and wings will be provided free of charge to all tournament participants. A $10 donation is required at the door for individuals that do not participate in the shoot. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, please contact the Tim Kern Memorial Foundation at (410) 778-4060 or by e-mail at timkernmemorialfund@gmail.com.

As in previous years, all proceeds garnered from the event will go to support the Tim Kern Memorial Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is simple: to raise community funds by hosting events in the spirit of Tim. Tim Kern attended Chestertown Middle School and graduated from Kent County High School in 2002. A tragic accident took his life in 2006. The Foundation was established by friends and family who shared a bond with Tim. Donations will be made to charities that embody the love for sports, passionate dedication, as well as fun and laughter that was Tim.

Please help make this year’s tournament a success by showing your support through sponsoring a shooting station and participating in the event. Thank you for your participation and we look forward to seeing everyone on April 1st.