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In Short

United Way

The Gift Of Song

United Way of Washington County was the recipient of the proceeds from Marlene Young’s holiday CD, “Forever Young at Christmas,” which was her seventh album. Marlene and her husband live in Smithsburg and have been contributing to United Way and their community for many years. “United Way is a good steward of donated funds, and my husband Mike and I have been longtime supporters,” says Marlene.
United Way will use the gift of $5,500 for community impact grants that are awarded locally to health and human service agencies with programs that are focusing on community issues concentrating on the areas of education, income, and health. The CDs were sold in many local stores and online.

“We are fortunate to have Marlene Young, a community-minded and very talented individual partnering with us,” Melissa Reabold, executive director says in a press release. “The motivation behind this gift was ideally expressed by Young: Music is a great equalizer that unites the human spirit much like the United Way's mission and good works mobilizes community caring power to 'Live United' by advancing the common good through meeting human need.”

Performing and Visual Arts

Hagerstown Community College adjunct instructors Jennie Avila and Stephen Wright exhibited paintings, pottery, and handmade drums at an exhibit at the Washington County Arts Council in Hagerstown Jan. 3–28. Both Jennie and Stephen performed music at the exhibit opening, which was titled “Paintings, Percussion, Pots & Performances.” Jennie, who has been teaching at HCC since 2006, is a self-taught guitarist, vocalist, artist, and songwriter who has been singing and performing since she was a child. Stephen is a musician and well-known ceramic artist who makes ceramic drums for professional musicians and art collectors worldwide, and has taught at HCC for the last 27 years.

Congratulation to PIA’s Newest Grads

After 16 months of aviation maintenance training, the fourth group of students to attend PIA’s Hagerstown Branch Campus proudly graduated on Dec. 20. The ceremony took place at the Hagerstown Campus of PIA and presented 12 students with diplomas in Aviation Maintenance Technology. This class included their first female graduate, Lexie Shore, who is also a National Business Aviation Association Scholarship recipient. She is traveling to Texas to participate in Lear 60/60XR Mx training. All graduating students are now equipped with the FAA Airframe and Power Plant Certification, which will qualify them to work within the aviation maintenance industry.

90 Years of Gordon’s

Mayor Dave Gysberts, City Council, and owners John and Cynthia Milsop gathered with a small crowd to recognize Gordon’s Grocery’s 90 years of business. Three generations of the Gordon family have owned and operated the grocery store in the North End of Hagerstown since Harry C. Gordon first opened the doors. It has become a trademark in the neighborhood, recognized for providing high-quality food products, offering friendly service, and making connections with customers. Personal touches like carrying groceries to customers’ cars, wishing a “happy birthday” to regular patrons, and inviting Santa for a visit around the holidays are all at the heart of Gordon’s longstanding success.

Back to Business

The Potomac Playmakers, Inc. is gearing up for the 2014-15 season by forming a new Board of Directors, headed by President Barry Harbaugh. Over the last several years, Potomac Players fell on hard times due to a series of unfortunate events, not the least of which was the recent economic crises. The reformation marks the company’s coming back to life with new board members including local business people with a shared love of theater and plans to continue Playmakers’ history of providing affordable, quality, family entertainment. In order to get the company back on its feet, they have been reaching out to the community to reestablish old associations as well as create new ones, and are happily welcoming all those interested in becoming involved in this new incarnation of the company. All volunteers and patrons interested in this registered 501(c)(3) all-volunteer, community theater company can now check out their updated and revised website at

Ready For The Sequel

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is well-known physician and author Dr. Bruce Foster’s follow-up to his gripping medical thriller This Way to Paradise. To mark the release of Dr. Foster’s second fiction release, Gallery 50 in Waynesboro hosted a publication party that featured music from pianist Sharon Rost, wine, and hors d’oeuvres on Jan. 17. Both books were available at the release party with a special price for the set. A native of Baltimore County, where his novels take place, Dr. Foster has been head of emergency medicine in the Waynesboro Hospital for 25 years and is the medical director of an aeromedical helicopter service and also of all Advanced Life Support ground medical services in southern Franklin County. Outside of the plot twists, the only question left remaining is where he finds the time to write.

Eat Sleep Run Grow

This second annual charity event raising money for further construction of the Women In Need Franklin & Fulton Counties’ new shelter and advocacy center — namely the Shannon Lee Shockey Memorial Family room — was held Jan. 11 at the Wilson Science Center in Chambersburg. The event was established to honor and give a sense of purpose to the tragic death of Shannon Lee Shockey. The goal of Eat Sleep Run Grow is to raise $50,000 over the next 4 years for the center, as well as inspiring women to gain confidence through proper nutrition, fitness, and a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The keynote speaker this year was Leslie Morgan, author of Crazy Love and Mommy Wars. Leslie spoke about her experience as a victim of domestic abuse, and instilling a recognition of “red flags” in relationships. The event also hosted a health and fitness expo with vendor demonstrations and interactive displays on kickboxing, cycling, and running form evaluations to name a few. For more information of this nonprofit organization or to get a jump on next year’s registration, visit

Taking The Plunge

Nearly $29,000 was raised at the Humane Society of Washington County’s 11th annual Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 18 at Greenbrier State Park. The total doubled last year’s and solidified The Polar Bear Plunge as their largest fundraising event. Participants gathered waterside, many in interesting outfits, and took a quick dip into icy water to show their support for the Humane Society. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Washington County. The proceeds allow the nonprofit to continue to shelter animals, fund community spay and neuter programs, and to provide education programs that benefit Washington County residents.

30 Years of Hagerstown SCORE

This year Hagerstown’s SCORE Chapter is celebrating their national organization’s 50th anniversary as well as the local chapter’s 30th anniversary of offering free expert counseling for startup and continuing small businesses. The celebration was held at Oak Hill Interior Design’s showroom, which is owned by Vickie Hrabal, who won SCORE Hagerstown’s 2012 Small Business Award. The anniversaries mark the beginning of the organization’s new initiative “Proud to be a SCORE # Small Biz.” SCORE Chapter President Bob Jones explains the program as “our way of letting the buying public know that these selected merchants have partnered with SCORE in a mentoring relationship, which helps build another successful business in the city of Hagerstown. Shoppers will be able to identify SCORE merchants by the SCORE #Small Biz decals displayed at each location.”

“We are pleased to partner with SCORE Hagerstown in promoting their mentoring and educational programs for local small businesses,” adds Downtown Manager Andrew Sargent. “Most of the SCORE services are free, and their guidance is a great tool that can provide direction to existing businesses or set a new business on a pathway to success.”

A New Place For Laughs

Rock Gap Casino Resort is now home to the newest location of Bonkerz Comedy Club, which has over two-dozen clubs across the country and has been operating and subsequently expanding for over 30 years. The new location had their soft opening on Jan. 23 with comedians Carmen Vallone and L.A. Lycan. The official grand opening took place on Feb. 6 with James Yon and Sally Brooks taking helming the mic. The plans for the new venue are to host nationally recognized comedians to do stand-up shows every other Thursday. For tickets or information on forthcoming shows, you can call the box office at 301-784-8573.

All-USA Academic Team Nominees

Two Hagerstown Community College students were recently nominated as part of USA Today’s All-USA Community College Academic Team — a program that annually recognizes exceptional students at the nation’s community colleges. This year’s HCC nominees were Samantha Baldwin, of Boonsboro, and Amanda Ray, of Sharpsburg. Samantha is a double major in English and secondary English education and will graduate in fall 2014. After graduating, she plans to transfer to Hood College to get a bachelor’s degree in English and a teaching certificate so that she can teach high school English. She ultimately wants to obtain her master’s degree and teach college-level English. Amanda is a biology major and will graduate in spring 2014. She plans to pursue medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming an ophthalmologist.

The All-USA Academic Team program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Each year, faculty and staff are allowed to nominate two students from each community college for the All-USA Academic Team. Students must meet a variety of criteria, including having a GPA of 3.5 or above and taking an active part in community service work through their school.

Expanding Coordinated Care

THP-Meritus has been selected as one of 123 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, all of which will be providing approximately 1.5 million more Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States. The ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe and timely.

The new ACOs include a diverse cross-section of health care providers across the country including providers delivering care in underserved areas. Approximately one in five ACOs includes community health centers, rural health clinics and critical access hospitals that serve low-income and rural communities. Affordable Care Act provisions should have a substantial effect on reducing the growth rate of Medicare spending. Growth in Medicare spending per beneficiary hit historic lows during the 2010 to 2012 period and this trend has continued into 2013. Projections by both the Office of the Actuary at CMS and by the Congressional Budget Office estimate that Medicare spending per beneficiary will grow at approximately the rate of growth of the economy for the next decade, breaking a decades-old pattern of spending growth outstripping economic growth.

Transfusion Accreditation

Chambersburg Hospital’s transfusion services was recently awarded an accreditation as a result of an assessment by AABB, who are an international nonprofit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. During the assessment, AABB noted that Chambersburg Hospital staff was “very welcoming and friendly,” that staff was “organized and knowledgeable about AABB requirements,” and that the facility was a “pleasure to visit.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the quality care and services we provide to our patients and also for having a friendly and personable staff,” says Denise Misner, medical technologist at Chambersburg Hospital. “We strive every day to make the patient’s experience as comfortable as possible.” The independent AABB assessment process factored in quality and operational systems of the facility, including compliance with standards, code of federal regulation and federal guidance documents.

Sculpting Away at 42 West ARTS

Waynesboro native Denny Bingaman demonstrated the three stages of his sculpting process over three session at 42 West ARTS Co-op in Waynesboro on Jan. 11, 18, and 25. Denny, who began photographing wildlife 30 years ago, and has subsequently logged some 65,000 images, now uses his photographs as reference for his pieces. His clay works are used to render rubber molds for cold cast bronze, copper, and other metals. After casting, a patina is applied, and finished off with steel wool, and is waxed.

New Year’s Babies

Chambersburg Hospital welcomed a baby boy as their first baby born in 2014 in the wee hours of New Years Day. Everett Don Russell was born at 10:47 p.m. to parents Renesha Hilton and Ryan L. Statts, both of Chambersburg. He weighed 6 lbs. 8.3 oz. and is 20 inches long. Waynesboro Hospital welcomed a baby girl as their first baby born in 2014. Seven Davis was born at 9:14 a.m. on Jan. 3 to parents Jessica Brechbiel and Steven Davis, both of Greencastle. She weighed 9 lbs. 4.9 oz. and is 21 inches long.

Acknowledging Altruism

Karen Kiley, a former member of the Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village Board of Directors in Boonsboro, was honored as a distinguished volunteer at a ceremony at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon at Hollow Creek Golf Club in Middletown in November. The Western Maryland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising praised area volunteers for their work in the community. Karen was presented a medallion and certificate at the event for her service nine years of service on the board of directors and her tenure as chair of the finance committee and board of treasurer.

President and CEO of Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village Keith Bryan commended Karen’s commitment at the luncheon. “She worked diligently to help secure Fahrney-Keedy’s financial future and immersed herself in all areas of dedicated support,” adding, “Her service benefited all who live, work and volunteer at Fahrney-Keedy. She exemplifies the Board member’s role and is a blessing to Fahrney-Keedy.”