Keegan Turner will be in the spotlight at D.C. gala [West Friendship]

Sporting a runway outfit compliments of Bloomingdales, young Keegan Turner, a second grade student in Jaime Pickett and Patricia Mack-Preston's classes at West Friendship Elementary, is sure to light up the night during the Global Down Syndrome Foundation "Be Beautiful Be Yourself" Gala at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., on May 7.

Keegan is one of eighteen runway models selected out of more than 80, for the evening which includes a performance by acclaimed singer Leona Lewis and toasts to honorees including Fox News journalist John Roberts, Congressional luminary U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and more.


The evening is a celebration of the triumphs of persons with Down Syndrome. Keegan is excited about the big event and will be joined by his parents Chris and Hayley Turner. Keegan, an avid reader and a huge fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as of driving his power wheel car outside his home and chasing his big brothers Gavin and Atley, is surely a kid at heart.

But for this West Friendship youngster and his devoted parents, the night of May 7 is a night to share as "Be Beautiful Be Yourself". Congratulations, Keegan.

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in West Friendship is celebrating its 41st year as the East Coast's premier gathering dedicated to sheep, wool and well, all things fleecy. Hard to believe that the little lambs, yarn displays and low-key spinning wheel event held the first weekend in May of 1973 has grown to such renown.

The potters from Greenbridge Pottery in Dayton will be at the Sheep and Wool Festival in Barn 4, Booth 9, with wares to include Becky Moy's latest butter mold imprinted pots and peeking sheep bowls and trays. As for me, a stop in the main exhibition hall at Booth A 34 to find West Friendship's Breezy Willow Farm's R.J. Caulder and her heavenly scented soap products is always first on my list.

Now around here we already know that this is the event with more than 1,000 sheep from farms as far as Massachusetts, Michigan and beyond. We also know that weavers, artisans, potters, lamb cooks and wool spinners galore will be in town for the festival.

Local 4-H kids have prepared for months and always assist in the clean up after the festival. Authors from as far as England will be on hand to sign books on a variety of fiber arts, and entertainment will be ongoing throughout the two day event.

As in previous years, members of West Friendship's Living Farm Heritage Museum will assist with parking. I can recall when this sheep and wool festival was a "wee thing" with just a fraction of the vendors compared to the current crop. The festival will be open on May 3, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on May 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with events going on all day.

Be warned. The popularity of this event is a great thing. The traffic around the intersection of Routes 32 and 144 during this weekend have now become as legendary as the festival itself.

The annual St. James United Methodist Church Spring Fling is set for May 10, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bedding plants, hanging baskets, tons of flea market finds, hot breakfast and lunch items in the fellowship hall and the yummy baked goods from the United Methodist Women's bake sale table.

Proceeds from the sale benefit the St. James Camp Hope team. Organizers are taking reservations for those who would like to participate as a vendor. Outdoor yard sale table spaces are available. Interested? Call 410-442-2020 for information.