Central Carroll: Westminster Rescue Mission to celebrate 50th anniversary

Robert Massey, left, and Justin Sank carry boxes of food to a recipient's vehicle at the Westminster Rescue Mission in 2015. The Rescue Mission is celebrating its 50th anniversary on May 6.
Robert Massey, left, and Justin Sank carry boxes of food to a recipient's vehicle at the Westminster Rescue Mission in 2015. The Rescue Mission is celebrating its 50th anniversary on May 6. (Carroll County Times file)

Here is an event that offers an evening of history, testimony and transformation with a legendary speaker, a delicious meal and more inspiration that you can shake a stick at.

On Sunday, May 6, the Westminster Rescue Mission will hold a 50th anniversary celebration with keynote speaker, Darryl Strawberry — a four-time World Series champion — from 4 to 8 p.m. at Westminster Baptist Church, 354 Crest Lane, Westminster.


According to Angela Phillips, director of development for the Westminster Rescue Mission, the evening will kick off with Darryl Strawberry at a meet and greet from 4 to 5 p.m.

"This group will predominately consist of our sponsors, but others can buy a VIP ticket," Phillips said. "There are a limited number of tickets for this session which allows for autographs, photographs and a little more intimate setting with the speaker."


The dinner and evening program will take place from 5 to 8 p.m.

"Santoni's is catering a plated dinner that will be served," Phillips said. "We will have both a live testimony from a recent graduate and a collected video testimony with thoughts and voices from about 20 graduates from the past. A second video, later in the program, is being produced to chronicle what we do here, our history and our forward vision. We have some new things coming that we will share."

Look for a meal of a Caesar salad, rolls and butter, grilled Italian marinated chicken, potatoes au gratin, green beans wrapped in bacon, and a cupcake with a chocolate medallion on top featuring their 50th logo on top.

Strawberry, an evangelical born-again Christian, will share his struggles with addiction and how he has managed to find peace in his long-term recovery.

"He has a story, and even though different from the men here, it is also identical," Phillips said. "He had great talent and was blessed to use it at a high level, but he lived through the same struggles that the people here suffer with. He is a firm believer and he shares his victory over addiction through the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He couldn't be telling a story more pertinent to what we are all about. But he is unique in that he won four World Series' with two teams — the Mets and the Yankees. He will also be speaking to the men in our residential program while he is here."

The history of the Westminster Rescue Mission is one of determination and faith. Founded in 1968 by Jimmy Resh, Paul Petry and others, the mission had a goal of providing a faith based, long-term, residential recovery program for men battling alcohol and drug addiction. The first building was opened on West Green Street on Jan. 3, 1969. Reverend Emory and Marie Sell served as the organization's first directors from 1968 to 1973. The Mission operated a thrift store in the Green Street building while men in the recovery program lived on the second floor.

After a number of years in different locations throughout downtown Westminster, the Mission purchased Frank and Ellen Hull's farm off Lucabaugh Mill Road in 1981. In 1985, their residential program and thrift store operations moved to the new campus.

In partnership with the Maryland Food Ban, the Mission in1986 began operating a surplus food redistribution program to serve those experiencing food insecurity. Today, six days per week, food is collected from over 40 locations throughout Carroll County community, filling shelves at the Mission's on-site Food Pantry and providing food to over 30 food banks, youth clubs, senior centers, and other philanthropic organizations. They provide supplemental food to over 600 unduplicated households per month, giving away about one million pounds of food in 2017.

"We are so grateful that we have an opportunity to share the mission, the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ with people who are struggling with addiction," Phillips said. "It is life changing and life saving for these men. We want them to realize that they are loved and that the ugly they see and live is not what they are all about. There is good purpose to their lives and they have good worth. We want them to leave here thinking highly of themselves with confidence and self-esteem, knowing that their recovery is a process they will live daily and that they must be careful and conscious of. Every day, every choice they make is important to their long-term recovery.

For more information about the Mission call 410-848-2222 or stop by the campus at 658 Lucabaugh Mill Road in Westminster.

Tickets cost $50 each or $400 for a table of eight. VIP tickets are $75 and include a reception with Darryl Strawberry from 4 to 5 p.m. For tickets, visit them online at www.westminsterrescuemission.org.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans

VFW Post 467 in Westminster will hold a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans dinner with speaker, Tom Glenn on April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the post, located at 519 Poole Road, Westminster.


Post Quartermaster, Dave Brengle — who also served in the Vietnam War — said the dinner is open to Vietnam veterans only. This is the fifth year for the Post to hold this meal and he spoke of its importance.

"Most of our Vietnam vets were not welcomed home when they got back," Brengle said. "So, we like to have a get together for them - a group of guys who all shared the same experiences. A lot of people were against that war. It is pretty depressing to come home to no welcome. That's when you turn to your family. Family is always proud of your service."

Brengle said the dinner will feature steamed shrimp, fried chicken, crab soup, veggie trays, sides, "and maybe even some oysters on the half shell."

"It is a social afternoon," he said. "Some guys are bringing memorabilia and we will have some on display, too."

Guest speaker, Tom Glenn spent 13 years in Vietnam with the National Security Agency and was one of the last to leave Saigon before it fell. He will recall those days.

Contact Dave Brengle at 410-848-9888 or stop by the post for tickets. Tickets cost $20 each.

This event is only open to Vietnam vets— not their family or others. The ticket deadline is April 21.

McDaniel showcases graduating art students’ work

Works by graduating art students at McDaniel College are highlighted in two Senior Capstone Exhibitions, each inside Rice Gallery, Peterson Hall, on the campus at 2 College Hill in Westminster.

Featuring a variety of media from traditional two and three-dimensional works to digital art and new media, the exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, HeadSPACE opened Tuesday, April 17, and will run through April 27. Students showcasing their works include Amitis Aidun of Gaithersburg, Kristopher Orth of Taneytown, Morgan Shugars of Royal Oak, Leah Sparks of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Monique Staveley of Sykesville.

The exhibit, Impermanence runs from May 1 to May 11, with an opening reception on Tuesday, May 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and a gallery talk at 6 p.m. Students with works in the exhibition are Caitlin Eversmier of Cockeysville, Maura Lampe of Brookeville, Roger McGuinn of Warrenton, Virginia, and Rachel Wojnar of Cumberland.

Rice Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. Call 410-857-2595 for more information or visit www.mcdaniel.edu.


Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her call 443-293-7811 or email loisszymanski@hotmail.com.

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