What could be more public-spirited this time of year than the celebration of all that is good within us?
An example: Tuesday evening, the Taneytown Lions honored three members, Raymond Baker, W. Robert Flickinger and Donald Lawyer with the International Club's highest honor -- the Melvin Jones Fellowship. The award recognizes individuals dedicated to humanitarian service who have helped improve the quality of life for many others. The award is named after Melvin Jones, the Lions Club founder.
Mr. Lawyer has been a member of the Taneytown club since 1958 and has served in numerous offices, including treasurer and district treasurer.
Mr. Flickinger, the Taneytown mayor, has been involved in area recreation councils, parks beautification projects, church programs and the Lions Club since 1972.
Mr. Baker, a member of the organization since 1953, received a standing ovation from club members for his outstanding, consistent dedication over the years.
The Lions also inducted new officers at Tuesday's meeting. Leonard Wantz Jr. is president. Vice presidents are Mr. Flickinger, Donald Woodhams and Richard Koontz. Former Taneytown Mayor Henry Reindollar is secretary, Mr. Lawyer is treasurer, Herbert Bowers is the Lion Tamer and James Storey is the Tail Twister.
Outgoing President Jim Fair commented that it was "a super year for the club." The Taneytown Lions gave more than $11,000 to needy programs, and the "cooperation, enthusiasm and participation were extraordinary," he said. "It's been a team effort, and I really appreciate it."
Since the Lions Club was founded in 1917, it has grown to more than 1 million members in 178 countries. If you'd like to become part of this tradition, call 751-1120.
Congratulations to the hard-working members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Taneytown for nearing the completion of a do-it-yourself paint job on the interior of the education wing.
Duane Dixon organized the effort, and recruited 15 men and women to use their weekends to maintain and upgrade the space.
"You'd get a call at 10 o'clock at night from him that we'd be painting the next day," said church member Claude Elmore.
The job was done over three weekends. It probably didn't hurt that Jim Willet, a professional painter, is a church member who recruited his sons to join the effort.
If your spirit can use a lift during these hot, sticky days, try the summer short course offered at Messiah United Methodist Church in Taneytown. Adults have an opportunity to learn about angels every Sunday in July at 10:15 a.m.
Based on the Rev. Billy Graham's book, "Angels," participants will discuss the fact or fantasy of angels, the presence of guardian angels, children and adult angels, and evil angels as well as good ones.
While the adults are studying this celestial topic, youths will discuss "Life on the Edge" and younger children will watch videos of Bible stories. The church is at 25 Middle St. in Taneytown. Information: 756-6085.
This week's stop on the day trip circuit: A trip to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. We took the kids there last week and spent most of the day exploring the mansion and the grounds, talking to docents and others who re-create life as it was in the 18th century, touring the slave quarters and taking in the view of the Potomac River.
Some things you might learn on the tour: how George Washington died (of strep throat), what Martha did when George was at Valley Forge (she went with him to knit socks, distribute blankets and comfort the soldiers); that George was a farmer, first and foremost, who oversaw the operation of the 8,000-acre plantation, the planning crop rotations and the kitchen gardens.
Admission to Mount Vernon is $7 for adults, $3 for children under age 12.
Getting there is half the fun, once you're on the George Washington Parkway. There's an easy exit off Interstate 495, the Washington Beltway. Take the parkway until it ends at Mount Vernon.
The trip took us two hours, one way.
Mount Vernon information: (703) 780-2000.