Encouraging kids to create while enhancing knowledge of the birds we have here in our own county backyards is a win/win situation. So that's what the Carroll County Bird Club does.
On Saturday evening, April 21, a reception was held at Bear Branch Nature Center for the club's recent "Wild About Birds — Beauty in Carroll's Backyards" youth art contest and show.
According to bird club member, Mary Jewell, the contest was a big success.
"We were thrilled that we had 62 entries and well over 100 attendees at the reception on the 22nd," Jewell said. "There were double the entries from last year. We were amazed at the quality of the artwork and the interest of the Carroll County students in nature and art."
Jewell said the caliber of artwork was so high that the judges had a hard time choosing the winners.
"Judges spent over three hours making decisions," she said. "The artwork was so good. [Judging] was completely blind as the artists' names were not on the labels used by the judges."
First-, second- and third-place awards were given out in four age groups (Kindergarten-2nd grade, grade 3-5, middle school, and high school) with prizes that included ribbons, field guides and other bird books, art supplies and bird feeders donated by Bowman's Home & Garden. Special awards were given for outstanding work by students whose artwork may not have fallen neatly under the criteria judges were using.
First-place winners in each category plus four special award winners were invited to take a free bird drawing art class by renowned nature artist, Ikumi Kaya"ma. That class was held on Sunday, April 30 in a meeting room at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library.
"Fourteen students, including the first prize winners, attended [that class]," Jewell said. "You could have heard a pin drop, such was the concentration level."
Awards went to the following students:
K through second grade —1st place: Kate Welling with "Goldfinch," 2nd place: Liam Brim with "Baltimore Oriole," 3rd place: Caroline Schriver with "Bluebird." Grade 3-5 — 1st place: Cyndi Phelps with "Busy Bluebirds," 2nd place: Camryn Cruz with "The Ovenbird," 3rd place: Cyndi Phelps with "Optimistic Oriole." Middle School — 1st place Maria James with "American Kestrel," 2nd place: Mya Darby with "Baltimore Oriole's Nest," 3rd place: Summer James with "Mandela Finch." High School — 1st place: Julia Walsh with "The Blue-winged Warbler," 2nd place: Fraydi Monroy with "Untitled," 3rd place: Abbey Mandl with "Great Blue Heron." Special Awards — Nolan Branham with "Eastern Screech Owls," Lucie Kelvey with "The Magic Great Horned Owl," Jaymee Swartzbaugh with "Rose-breasted Grosbeak," Ainsley Lundquist with "Pileated Woodpecker Feeding."
Jewell said 13 of their contestants donated their work to be sold at a silent auction during the reception at Bear Branch, raising more than $300.
"All of this money will go directly to the programs at Bear Branch," she said.
The art exhibit will remain at the nature center through May 21. Visit them at 310 John Owings Road, Westminster.
Bull Roast Fundraiser
Live music, good food, games, entertainment and a silent auction all top the fun list for the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow's sixth annual Bull Roast Fundraiser on Friday, May 19, from 6 to 10 p.m. at St. John Catholic Church's John Street Quarters in Westminster.
Come hungry and enjoy all-you-can-eat pit beef, pit turkey, fried chicken, steamed shrimp, side dishes and desserts with soda, beer and wine included in the ticket price.
Enjoy the music of local musician Matt McMullin with a variety of modern standard tunes and popular favorites on his set list.
Lisa Picker, vice president of the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow said those who attend may enjoy a magician, bid on something special in the silent auction, buy a 50-50 raffle ticket or play games of chance.
"Spend as little as $1 for one pull tab or as much as one would care to wager," Picker said, noting that pull tab games and the 50-50 raffle both offer cash prizes.
The variety of silent auction items will make the bidding extra exciting.
"We will have some jewelry items, grilling packages, Orioles tickets, gift cards to popular local restaurants, and many themed baskets such as a 'Sipping Whiskey' basket and a 'Treat Yo'self' Basket [with a mix of wine, spa items, chocolate, and a lunch gift certificate,]" Picker said. "We will also have a basket of cheer which will include probably at least 10 bottles of wine. "
Proceeds of this event will be distributed back into the community by the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow.
Picker said the Rotary Club participates in hands on projects including Dr. Seuss reading to kindergarten and first graders, [gifting] dictionaries to 3rd graders and bell ringing for the Salvation Army. They've also provided financial support locally to approximately 20 non-profits like Target, Change, Inc., ARC, Boys and Girls Club, the Carroll County Public Library, the YMCA, The Shepherd's Staff, the Carroll Community College Book Fair, and the Randy Rager Scholarship to local high school students.
Tickets cost $35 per person and full tables may be reserved. For more information, contact Lisa Picker by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 443-293-3196
The Portico is located next to St. John Catholic Church, 43 Monroe Street, Westminster.
Cash and basket Bingo
The Silver Run–Union Mills Lions Club will hold a Longaberger Basket and Cash bingo on Saturday, May 13, inside the social hall at St. Mary's Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 3978 Littlestown Pike in Silver Run.
The ticket price of $15 includes 20 regular games of bingo with 10 generously filled Longaberger basket prizes and 10 cash prizes.
Purchase cards for special games or take a chance on numerous raffle items.
Bring two or more nonperishable food items for the Silver Run Food Pantry and get a card to play an extra game.
With lots of door prizes and only 125 seats available the Silver Run – Union Mills Lions offers this bingo annually to fund two high school scholarships for local graduating seniors.
For tickets or more information call Tom Berry at 443-789-1775.
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Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Contact her at 443-293-7811 or by email at LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com.