It was a whirlwind spending spree -- $11,000 spent in less than an hour -- Tuesday night in Taneytown.
On its annual Donations Night, Taneytown Lions Club gave away the money its members had raised in a multitude of projects and contributions throughout the fiscal year. Benefactors included Carroll Hospice, Literacy Council of Carroll County, Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, Taneytown Little League and Taneytown Fire Department.
The club also has contributed at other times to other organizations in the community, and around the state and nation, through Lions District 22 and Lions International.
What an evening! It lasted exactly 90 minutes, including dinner prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary, camaraderie, election of officers for next year -- departing President Jim Fair received a handcrafted scrapbook of Lions projects and activities -- some business items, and goodwill all around for the 50 Lions and guests who attended to celebrate what the Lions do best, give of themselves.
This small group of men and their wives makes raising money and giving it away look as easy as breathing. Treasurer Donald Lawyer gave checks to grateful recipients such as Gary Myers, president of Taneytown Little League.
Mr. Myers recalled when the baseball program had only one team sponsored by the Lions. Now it has 18 teams and 350 children participating.
Lou Sharon, spokesman for the literacy council, reminded the audience that the council gets no government funding; it relies on contributions. Last year, the council tutored 91 adults with literacy problems and used 8,700 volunteer hours, he said.
Not only do the Lions know how to raise money for service projects and run an efficient, productive meeting, the food prepared for the dinner would be worth a membership. We ate ham, coleslaw, scalloped potatoes, green beans and a chocolate cream pie that had the best melt-in-your-mouth crust I'd ever eaten.
The pie crust was created by Marie Ott. The other cooks who assembled the dinner are Jean Harmon, Virginia Morlock, Dot Lockner, Irene Unger and Lottie Arnold.
Don't forget the Lions Club's community breakfast Saturday starting at 5 a.m. at Taneytown Carnival Grounds. Breakfast will be served until 11:30 a.m. Information: 751-1227 or 756-6781.
March 25 is the day Union Bridge has been waiting for. The Elmer Wolfe Spring Fling will open with a fanfare at the school starting at 10 a.m.
The school band will play, poems will be read, songs will be sung and local politicians will celebrate Maryland Day, as well as the annual rite of spring at the school -- games, crafts, plant sale, food and auction that will last until 2:30 p.m.
Students have been working hard to commemorate the day. Kids in the after-school Art Club have made muslin banners that depict symbols of all the counties in Maryland. The banners will decorate the school's corridors.
Parent committees has been busy creating games, making food, organizing an auction and a book swap, and making arrangements for a Maryland State Police K-9 demonstration and the arrival of Kathleen the Great, a Medieval-style entertainer who will stroll the halls, make balloon sculptures and amuse the crowd.
Spring Fling Chairwoman Vickie Mastalerz says that on Spring Fling day itself, more than 100 volunteer hours will be donated by parents and teachers. Volunteer hours too numerous to count have been logged by the various committees that are working hard to make the event a successful fund-raiser. Proceeds will be used to buy classroom computers.
More about the Spring Fling next week. For information, call 775-7638.
Congratulations to artist Jo Israelson of Union Bridge on her collaboration with the Elk Run Vineyards of Mount Airy.
Even though Ms. Israelson's "Seeds of Change" project, which raises money for hunger awareness, is coming to a close, Carol and Fred Wilson of Elk Run will keep the project alive by donating a percentage of their profits from a new "Sleeping Goddess" wine to food banks around the state.
The "Sleeping Goddess" vintage honors the sculpture of the same name that Ms. Israelson crafted to symbolize the project.
American Indian-style crafts will be demonstrated Saturday by Freebird at SERRV International Gift Shop in New Windsor. The activity is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Don't forget the Indian coffee tray served each Wednesday at the shop from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Call to reserve your favorite coffee flavor -- there are many to choose from -- or just drop in.
Another reminder: If you would like to promote your organization, or share your interesting hobby or career, I'd love to write about it in this Neighbors column. Call 857-1567.