Shirt tales: Severna Park ranked with Paris, Rome CENTRAL COUNTY--Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville


Paris, London, Rome -- and Severna Park.

The crabs are right up there with the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben on a new shirt being marketed as a fun way to "unify" Severna Park.

"It gives people a little feeling of pride" to have a shirt advertising their community, says Mary Ellen Hostetter, owner of a local store marketing the shirts in cooperation with the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce.

Adding the Anne Arundel county town to the list of Europe's famous capitals is just a touch to make people smile, Ms. Hostetter said. Using the crab symbol was her idea, a way for residents to identify with their Chesapeake Bay heritage.

Says chamber president Linda Zahn: "We'd like to think that any shirt advertising Severna Park gives people a way to identify with who they are. It gives you a sense of community pride."

The shirts, which look appropriately preppy with attached contrasting collars and lettering, make good gifts for someone leaving the area, said Ms. Zahn.

"If you're sentimental, it's like taking a little bit of Severna Park TTC with you," she said.

The store marketing the sweat-shirts and T-shirts, La Petite, is installing a bulletin board for local families to bring in pictures of themselves or friends wearing the shirts elsewhere.

"Some local people mailed the T-shirts to friends in Europe and showed us the pictures," said Ms. Hostetter. "We thought people might enjoy having a community bulletin board."

Chamber members hope such small touches will unify an area that lacks a town center, said Ms. Zahn. "Severna Park is spread out, and something like this can add a sense of belonging," she said.

Ms. Hostetter had the shirts designed for her shop, which caters to women 5 feet, 4 inches tall and under. She's sharing the profits with the Chamber of Commerce, which will receive $6 from the sale of each $25 T-shirt and $8 from each $35 sweat-shirt.

The jaunty shirts were on display in the shop window this week, fitting in with an ancient fishing pole and a set of old golf clubs. They come in women's sizes only in ash gray, teal, pink, black, purple, navy and bright blue. Men have bought the extra-large shirts, said Ms. Hostetter.

The chamber, which raises money for community improvement, represents more than 150 members, including businesses from Severna Park, Millersville, Arnold and Pasadena, said Ms. Zahn. The organization raises money for community improvement and sponsors community events such as the annual July 4th Parade.

Recently, the chamber began sponsoring local artists and souvenirs bearing the community name, such as note cards, mugs, and now the new Severna Park shirts.

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