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Editorial: Thumbs up to cops contributing to good causes, a lengthy musical career and a lucky town

THUMBS UP: Local law enforcement participated in a pair of recent events that helped a couple of good causes and also allowed the public to see the police in a slightly different light. Last weekend, Carroll County’s most prominent law enforcement officials could be seen in the midst of a 30-hour stint on the roof of the Dunkin in the 140 Village Shopping Center in Westminster, launching the 10th year of Cops on Rooftops. Jeff Spaulding, recently retired Westminster Police Department chief, greeted customers in the drive-through, soliciting donations for Special Olympics. “Police officers in all 50 states and 40-some foreign countries hold events like this to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics. Last year in Maryland our law enforcement raised about $3.2 million. ... This location raised $14,800." Among those who took a shift on the Dunkin’ rooftop were State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo, Sheriff Jim DeWees, Westminster Police Chief Tom Ledwell and Lt. Rebecca Bosley, Westminster State Police barrack commander. It was DeWees’ seventh year on the roof. “We are around these athletes a lot during the year, so getting on the roof of Dunkin’ Donuts once a year to raise money for them is easy to do, especially if you see how they respond to the Special Olympics," the sheriff told us. One customer, Cindy Mann, was happy to donate and felt even more comfortable because of the law enforcement presence. “It’s a good cause,” she told us. “And I like that they have a bird’s-eye view of everything that is going on — to keep us extra safe!” The previous week, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Westminster Police Department partnered with the Shepherd’s Staff, a nonprofit Christian outreach center serving those in need in Carroll County, to ensure that more than 150 Carroll County students will go back to school carrying backpacks stuffed with school supplies, thanks to police officers who volunteered to “shop” with students on Aug. 12 and community members who made donations. It was the fourth annual Shop with a Cop event and, according to a news release from The Shepherd’s Staff, more law enforcement officers than ever participated. “We are just thrilled with the success of the Shop with a Cop event,” Brenda Meadows, executive director of The Shepherd’s Staff, said in the release. Those who would like to donate to the Back-To-School Program, which serves more than 1,300 Carroll County students annually, can contact info@shepstaff.org or go to www.shepstaff.org for more information.

THUMBS UP: Doing pretty much anything for 64 years seems worthy of recognition, so we’re glad St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Sykesville celebrated their recently retired, longtime musical director, Betty Ely May. May joined the church choir at age 12 and began playing organ off and on for the church at 13, she said. She studied music theory and voice at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore on the weekends while she attended Sykesville High School. May graduated from both in 1952, earned a music education degree from Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College in 1957 and taught in the count for 30 years At 85, May decided it was time to pass the torch. “The choir has always been an extension of my family,” May told us. The church celebrated May’s last day as music director June 9. Then, on July 28, May was given the title of music director emeritus. A stained glass window bearing her name and title was revealed during a special worship service that day. Senior Pastor Doug Tzan called May “one of a kind.” He told us: “It’s no exaggeration to say St. Paul’s is the church that it is today because of her leadership.”

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THUMBS UP: There’s an axiom that says it’s better to be lucky than good. We have no idea how “good” Paul Hooper Jr. is, but he sure is lucky. Hooper, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, recently won $5,000 and $10,000 on instant lottery tickets. But that was just a warm-up. On Monday, Hooper turned in a Max A Million scratch-off ticket he purchased at the Liquor Barn in Taneytown that was worth $1 million. “I’m playing with my mad money, using a personal lucky charm and it seems to be working,” Hooper said via a Maryland Lottery and Gaming news release. “Winning big was always my fantasy and then it happened.” Maybe Taneytown is just a lucky place. On Tuesday, the day after Hooper turned in his winning ticket, a 39-year-old Taneytown man won $30,000 on a Diamond Bingo scratch-off ticket he purchased at the Taneytown Sheetz. We would certainly not advise spending too much hard-earned money on the lottery, of course, but for anyone in the mood to buy a ticket, Taneytown seems as good a spot as any.

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