Nursing one needy horse back to health nearly six years ago forever changed the lives of a Mount Airy couple who founded Days End Farm Horse Rescue.
Kathleen and Allen Schwartz, who work full time without salaries to make the nonprofit organization a success, will sponsor the fifth annual open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Days End Farm, 15856 Frederick Road, Lisbon.
This will be the first open house at the rescue operation's new location on Route 144, where it moved in February.
The free rain-or-shine event, which is the organization's major fund-raiser, will feature family-oriented activities that include pony rides, face painting and games.
Food and tickets to a 50/50 raffle will be sold.
All proceeds and donations from the day will benefit the work of Days End Farm Horse Rescue.
"The whole purpose of it is to raise money to keep us going," said Allen Schwartz. "It lets people know what we're doing in the community."
Tours of the farm, which has an indoor arena, will be featured. Information will be distributed to educate visitors about horse abuse and how it is recognized. Horse and animal care tips will be available, along with information from the Humane Society of the United States.
Fire prevention information and a fire engine will be provided by Howard County Fire Department.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue began in 1989, and achieved nonprofit status in 1991. Helping one horse regain its health opened the Schwartzes' eyes to the lack of provisions for horses identified as abused and seized by animal control agencies.
Mr. Schwartz estimated that nearly 200 horses have been helped by the organization, which is dedicated to finding good homes for its wards. He noted that Days End Farm recently placed several horses in adoptive homes and is home to 32 horses.
Tending and rehabilitating abused horses is an expensive endeavor. "It can run upward to $500 for the first five months a horse is here, depending on the severity of its problem," Mrs. Schwartz said.
The organization raises funds through riding lessons, a foster care program for recuperating horses, a program to help local Girl Scouts earn their Horse Lovers Badges, and occasional grants.
About 95 percent of the organization's operating money comes from public donations, Mrs. Schwartz said.
The all-volunteer effort has grown to include 250 people, 40 to 50 of them regular volunteers.
Mr. Schwartz attributed much of Days End Farm's success to the interest of the Mount Airy and Lisbon communities.
"The support we get from people is phenomenal," he said.
For more information, call (301) 854-5037.
Bethel United Methodist Church will have a strawberry festival tomorrow featuring a bounty of berries served over ice cream. The festival will begin at noon and continue until the berries disappear.
Fried chicken and ham platters will be served. A white elephant table will interest bargain browsers and Jay Hiner's Pipe Creek Bluegrass Band will perform.
The church is at 3001 Hooper Road, near Sam's Creek Road between Taylorsville and Marston. Information: (410) 635-2250.
Pre-1973 street rods, custom cars and street machines and their owners will gather at Winfield Community Fire Department carnival grounds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday during Liberty Street Rods' sixth annual Rod Run.
Admission for adults showing cars is $10 per person and $5 per person for children 9 to 12. The admission fee includes breakfast from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and lunch from noon to 2 p.m.
Spectators will be charged $2 each. Food will be available to purchase from Winfield Fire Department.
Information: (410) 944-0567.
Youngsters in fifth grade and up are invited to search for clues to solve a murder mystery during two summer programs at Mount Airy Branch Library.
"Murder in the Library" will be at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. June 30 for the older patrons of the Children's Department.
Registration is required. To register, call (301) 829-5290 or (410) 795-1010.
Mount Airy Fire Department's next community visits will take place Thursday in the Village Gate and Twin Ridge subdivisions.
Three stops are scheduled for the evening: 6:30 p.m. at Village Gate and Autumn Ridge Drive; 7 p.m. at Deer Hollow and Meadow Green; and 7:30 at Twin Ridge Elementary School.
Volunteers will conduct child-oriented fire prevention talks and show fire equipment. Child-sized firefighter hats and coloring books will be distributed as well as fire prevention literature for adults. Free blood pressure screenings will also be available.
Information: (301) 829-0100.
Congratulations to the new officers at Mount Airy's American Legion Gold Star Post who took their oaths of office during an installation program June 16.
County Commander and Post 191 member William Blatchley installed the following Post 191 officers: Bill Holley, commander; Phil Dorsey, first vice commander; Bob Lowman, second vice commander; Tom Wagner, finance officer; Art Brett, chaplain; Welborn Higgs, historian; and Ed Smith Jr., sergeant-at-arms.
Western Maryland District President and Hampstead Unit 200 member Faye Dell installed the followed Auxiliary Unit officers: Paulette Beall, president; Pat Keaton, vice president; Grace Mason, secretary; Mary Schmidt, treasurer; Joan Collins, chaplain; Joy Smith, historian; Betsy Higgs, sergeant-at-arms; and Executive Committee members Beth Johnson, Janice Jewell and Virginia Smith.
Past Department Commander and Post 191 member Douglas Henley installed the following Sons of the American Legion officers: Brett Beall, commander; William Hill, first vice commander; Paul Renninger, second vice commander; Bob Trueblood, adjutant; Sam Jewell, finance officer; Vinson Smith, chaplain; Fred Griffith, historian; and Scotty Trueblood, sergeant-at-arms.