Halloween is coming; here’s a safe and fun event for the kids’ calendar.

Westminster Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 467 will hold its first-ever Trunk or Treat on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 4 to 7 p.m.


“In the past we held [our Halloween event] on a Sunday afternoon but always had to limit the number of kids we could have sign up because parents and grandparents would always come to see the kids costumes, and to play games, etc.,” said Kim Cook, president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. “This year, someone suggested that we do this event to see how it goes and to open it up to the public so that we can raise awareness for kids and their parents about Veterans and what we do at the VFW Post 467 in Westminster.”

Anyone can bring their kids to trick or treat, play games, and join in the fun. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate, too, and maybe win the prize for Best Decorated Trunk.

Doc Dockery heads up the event. He said parents can take their kids from vehicle to vehicle or to tables where they can trick or treat.

“Businesses or individuals can set up a trunk and advertise for their company,” Dockery said. “All the big car dealerships, Dodge, Kia, Chevy and Toyota, will be here, and many local businesses have committed to coming. They can decorate their car or a table and bring their own candy for the kids. I challenged all the branches of our armed services to come and ‘out-dress’ the other branches. Local city police, our county police and state police have been invited. We have a little trophy being made for the best decorated trunk, and we’re hoping to get the mayor to come out and award it.”

Food and beverages may be purchased at the event, including hot dogs, chips, apple cider and other beverages.

“Instead of walking down the road and dealing with traffic, kids can come out to the field beside our pavilion and go car to car or to the tables,” Dockery said. “Adults are welcome to come out and dress up for fun. We are planning some games, too.”

Dockery said one of his goals is for the VFW, the City of Westminster, the county, businesses and others to take time to be more in touch with one another.

“Our veterans are a huge part of this community, and more and more are coming each day. We want to show them they have our support and we would like to see their support as well,” Dockery said. “We see our veterans getting older. We need the younger guys to step up and keep the VFW running. The more we spend time with the public so they can see all that we do, the more likely we are to pull in some new members. We want the VFW to offer a family fun environment.”

All kids should have a safe place to celebrate Halloween.

“Veterans take an oath to serve and protect our country, so I think veterans helping and being out with the younger crowds is a great way to make sure they are safe,” Dockery said. “I have an 11-year-old and an 8-year-old, and they love coming up here. We want to see the kids having fun and enjoying themselves.”

For more information, call the VFW at 410-848-9888. The VFW post is located at 519 Poole Road in Westminster.

Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction

Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Finksburg will hold its Semi-Annual Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. inside the church’s community hall.

At the breakfast you’ll find all-you-can-eat pancakes and gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, applesauce, orange juice, and coffee at a cost of $8 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children younger than 6. Carryout is available, too.

Pancake Breakfast Chairman Dan Armacost and a group of church members and friends run the event, with help from dozens of volunteers, and Mount Zion Church’s Pastor Lou Piel is always on hand to greet friends, new and old.


“People come from all over Carroll County and to enjoy the food and the service at Mount Zion Church’s Pancake Breakfast,” Armacost said. “As well as traditional pancakes, excellent sausage and other fare, we offer gluten-free buckwheat pancakes and tableside service.”

Look for the United Methodist Women at the breakfast, too. They’ll have a bake sale waiting, featuring yummy cookies, cupcakes, pies, cakes and more. And they’ll have a silent auction, too, featuring a variety of items and gift baskets.

Silent Auction Chairwoman Diana Fraser said, “There are over 50 prizes and gift baskets that people can bid on during the Silent Auction. And with the holidays just around the corner, it’s not too soon to be shopping for gifts!”

The list of auction items include: a three-day stay in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom Ocean City condo; a gift package with free certificates for a one-night stay, meals, and activities in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; a twin-size handcrafted quilt; a George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine; passes to Earth Treks Climbing Center; two Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages at Liberty Resort; a hot air balloon ride, a biplane ride; passes to the International Spy Museum; passes to the Steam Into History railroad in New Freedom, Pennsylvania; passes to the Fire Museum of Maryland; passes to see the Historic Ships of Baltimore; passes to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum; gift certificates to the Autobahn Indoor Speedway; tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; tickets to the Strasburg Railroad; a children’s birthday pool party; a day of indoor rock-climbing; gift certificates to local restaurants; sports memorabilia; and a list of lovingly made homemade gifts.

“Come for the excellent breakfast but be sure to check out the unique items at the Silent Auction,” Fraser said. “You won’t be disappointed. You can bid on great gift baskets, but also on some terrific experiences.”

In addition to the silent auction, visitors who make a donation to the church’s Community Service Fund will receive tickets for a drawing to win one of three prizes: a high-definition Crosstour Dashboard Camera; a Razor A Kick Scooter; or a six-quart multi-use Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker.

For a donation of $1, receive one ticket, whereas $5 nets six tickets, and for $10 you’ll receive 15 tickets. Or go all out and get 30 tickets for a $20 donation. These three prizes will be drawn at 11 a.m. You don’t need to be present to win.

Funds raised from the Pancake Breakfast will be used for the church’s building fund, while money raised from the Silent Auction will be earmarked for the church’s Community Service Fund. This fund assists families in need in the Finksburg area.

For more information, call Fraser at 410-871-3214 or learn more online at www.mtzionumc-finksburg.org.

Care for your pets at this event

The Carroll County Humane Society is running a special event on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

They are offering free microchipping, $5 rabies vaccines, and 2020 Carroll County dog licenses on sale.


Pets must be leashed or in a carrier and friendly during restraint. This is open to all, regardless of your county of residence.

The Carroll County Humane Society is located at 2517 Littlestown Pike in Westminster.

For more information, call them at 410-848-4810.

Fall Flea Market

Zion United Methodist Church will hold its annual Fall Flea Market on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19, with plenty of shopping and good food available for purchase.

Look for collectibles, toys, housewares, clothing and accessories, jewelry and many other items for sale. The hours are Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Come hungry, because you’ll find plenty of sandwiches, soups and yummy desserts offered for sale. This is a rain or shine event.

For more information, call 410-848-9080.

Zion UMC is located at 2716 Old Washington Road in Shipley. The church is just off Md. 97 at Nicodemus Road.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com .