Westminster charm takes spotlight at charity dinner


WHEN YOU READ about drug busts in Westminster, or watch some of the scary exchanges on the street, it's tempting to conclude that life in this small town is losing its charm.

However, the Westminster Business Association continues to draw our attention to the good things downtown has to offer -- good food, unusual shops, art galleries and pleasant company.

Last month's Fallfest activities included "Midnight Madness," an evening of late-night shopping, music and dancing.

This month, WBA's campaign for downtown charm continues with the third annual Fall Progressive Dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Oct. 24.

The goal of the dinner is to highlight the strengths of downtown Westminster while benefiting a local charity. Participants will enjoy everything from hors d'oeuvres to dessert at these restaurants: Maggie's, Paradiso, Johanssons, Restaurant 1899, Cockey's Tavern and Fat Cat Cafe.

A portion of the proceeds from each ticket will go to Carroll Hospice, which provides support and care for people in the last stages of terminal illness. Reservations are required, and tickets are $50 per person. The cost covers tax and all gratuities.

Tickets are available at participating restaurants and by calling 877-999-4552. Information: 410-848-4370.

Guardian angel appreciated

After I picked up my daughter from her Girl Scout meeting last week, I heard someone frantically honking a horn.

"No one's trying to get my attention," I thought. "Everyone's buckled in safely, and my skirt isn't hanging out of the driver's door. Surely, that honking is not for me."

But it was. In one of the most creative ways to submit a story idea, Westminster resident Dianne Thompson was soon out of her car asking, "Do you write about guardian angels?"

Days before, Thompson was watching her daughter, Carlynn, play soccer at the Deer Park field while her other children, Corinne and Moira, romped on the playground nearby.

Corinne fell off some bars and Thompson quickly realized that not only had she broken her arm, but a trip to the hospital was unavoidable.

She scooped up Corinne, told her husband to look after the other children, then dashed to the car. Enter Jeanne DeCosmo, a nurse and a mother who saw that Thompson and Corinne might need some help.

Jeanne asked a few questions, offered some comforting words and then, with a toss of her belongings to her husband, Jim, offered to ride with Dianne and Corinne to the hospital.

"She stayed with us until 11 p.m., and it was time to go to Johns Hopkins," said Thompson. "While I was filling out paperwork, she comforted Corinne. During the X-rays, she held our belongings, and then she helped me decipher what the X-rays meant. Jeanne kept everyone calm.

"I will always be grateful for the calming peace that she brought to my life that day," Thompson said. "It is heartening to know that there are people who step into our lives when we need them. Jeanne stepped into our lives -- and she didn't hesitate for a minute."

Jeanne DeCosmo is director of Carroll County General Hospital's Learning Center. She and her husband live in Westminster with their children, Rachel, Lindsey and Megan.

Surrounded by lots of Beanie Babies from friends, Corinne Thompson is recovering beautifully.

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 10/11/99

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