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Cold outside, warm inside

Fahrney-Keedy residents enjoy Winter Celebration

Fahrney-Keedy residents enjoy Winter Celebration

December 11, 2005|By MARIE GILBERT

marieg@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO -

An early December snow blanketed the landscape along Mapleville Road, coating tree branches and drifting across open fields.

The mantle of wintry white was not only picturesque, it created the perfect backdrop for a special event on Saturday at Fahrney-Keedy Memorial Home.

Billed as a Winter Celebration, activities ranged from Christmas crafts and a visit from Santa Claus to a luminaria-lighted village and a bonfire.

"It's a chance to bring residents, employees and visitors together," said Martha Wolfe, a member of the planning committee. "Everyone has really been looking forward to today."

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Wolfe said the Winter Celebration is one of several activities that have been held this year to mark Fahrney-Keedy's 100th anniversary.

"We held a dinner in March, a summer festival and now we are ending the year with a holiday event," Wolfe said. "We've been working on this since last year and it's been an absolute pleasure."

According to Wolfe, this is the first year for the Winter Celebration.

"We've had a lot of Christmas activities over the years, but nothing like this." Wolfe said. "We wanted to do something different from the ordinary. There's been a great deal of excitement leading up to today."

By early afternoon, a large number of shoppers had made their way into a large room, where tables of food and crafts were set up - and there didn't seem to be a Scrooge among them.

"We've had a lot of activities at Fahrney-Keedy, but I can't remember anything quite like this," said 100-year-old Mary Thurston, who has been a resident at the home since she turned 88. "This is a nice way, a wonderful way, to get everybody together."

Wolfe noted that Thurston and Fahrney-Keedy both are marking 100-year milestones this year.

"Mary was born in February, and Fahrney-Keedy was established in March of the same year," Wolfe said.

The Rev. Louis Emerick, 79, chaplain and resident of Fahrney-Keedy, visited with friends while checking out tables of craft items.

"This is a fun-filled day," Emerick said. "And it's really a shot in the arm for the residents. They get to meet new people, enjoy good fellowship and do a little shopping. It's too bad Christmas only comes once a year."

Emerick said he and his wife had just enjoyed lunch, "and now, I'm waiting for the silent auction. I have my eye on an old-fashioned pineapple fruitcake."

While many people shopped for crafts and food, others made their way down the hall to visit with Santa.

Stacie Griffin of Hagerstown was having little success trying to coax her daughter, Heather, 3, to share her Christmas list with St. Nick. But it was a different story with her son Michael, 5, who memorized his favorite toys before climbing onto Santa's lap.

Wolfe said proceeds from the event will go to the benevolent fund, which supports those residents unable to afford the care they receive.

"We're one big family here," Wolfe said. "From the employees, the residents, volunteers and merchants who supported us today and all through the year, it's all about caring."

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