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May 18, 2006|by ANNE WEATHERHOLT

Chili and Karaoke

What do Karaoke, cakes and chili have in common? Can't guess? Not much, except that both will be featured in Widmeyer Park this Saturday, May 20! Yes, there will be a Chili AND Karaoke Contest at virtually the same time, 10 a.m., with a "cake walk" included all to benefit the Hancock Arts Council and the Tri-State RE-use Center.

Singers who are interested are asked to register by calling 301-678-6026 for information about fees. Or you can whip up a batch of chili under the eyes of expert Dave Hott? (Yes, that is his real name.) The first-place winner in the Karaoke contest will receive a $75 prize plus the chance to make a two-song CD demo at New Hope Recording Studio. Second prize is $50 and third is $25. Once the chili is hot, bowls will be served to all who wish to purchase a taste! First prize for chili chefs is $250, second prize is $100, third is $50 and best vegetarian is $75 with $50 for best of competition and a sponsorship to the Frostburg District Competition.

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Other activities include a frozen T-shirt contest, a drawing for $1,000 tool raffle and a performance by the New Moon Band. Be sure to bring along a lawn chair for a seat! This is a great way to welcome spring in Hancock.

Children's ministry

Orchard Ridge First Church of God, just east of Hancock, is beginning a children's ministry on Sunday nights. The first session was last week and the second will be this coming Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. "A Place for Kids" is a children-centered, fun ministry involving puppets, live action drama, food, fun, drawings, prizes and giveaways. This ministry will continue right on through the summer until Aug. 20. For more information, call 301-678-7267.

Honor for Rotary

The Rotary Club of Hancock received an impressive honor last weekend. At the 2006 Rotary District Conference in Altoona, the Hancock club was presented with the "Service Above Self" award. This was in recognition of the club's Dictionary Project, which placed a Webster's Dictionary for Students in the hands of every third grader at Hancock Elementary School and at the elementary schools in nearby Fulton County. Melinda Golden, president of the Hancock club, traveled to Altoona to participate in the conference and to accept the honor.

FCA fundraiser

Don't forget the Hancock Middle-Senior High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes fundraiser this Friday, May 19! Come on up to the school for a doubleheader softball game at 4:30 p.m. between the students and faculty/community members. Student admission will be $1, and adults will be asked for a donation. Hot dogs, soft drinks and candy will be sold during the games. This will provide a fun and entertaining afternoon to support this worthwhile organization.

Athletic Awards banquet

The Annual Hancock Athletic Awards banquet is scheduled for Wednesday, May 31, at the Hancock American Legion. This banquet recognizes the student athletes from the past year for the nine sports along with some community awards. The guest speaker this year will be Kelly Rankin. Tickets are now on sale at the school and must be purchased by May 18. Students will pay $5 but the money will be refunded when they attend. Everyone must have a ticket to attend. For information, contact the school's athletic director, Bill Sterner at 301-766-8191.

Spring Concert a success

The Hancock Middle-Senior High School band students presented an outstanding Spring Concert this past Monday evening. Band Director Micah Socks has taken these students to a new level which is musically sophisticated as well as entertaining. The evening began with the Jazz Band rocking the auditorium. This was all the more impressive because five of the members are eighth-graders! They played with great gusto and creativity, buoyed up by two Frostburg State University students on lead guitar and drums. The sixth grade band played their pieces with confidence. The 7th and 8th Grade Band sported an awesome trumpet section. The High School tackled some terrific pieces, including "Pirates of the Caribbean" and an especially beautiful arrangement of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Three Frostburg students assisted with French horns and percussion. Following the concert, the Band Boosters hosted a fine reception in the cafeteria.

All this took place only two days after the band received an "excellent" rating at a "Music in the Parks" competition at Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh. For being one of the smallest high school bands in Maryland, Hancock is beginning to make their mark on the music scene. Coming up are the Band Awards on June 1 and the fourth annual Band Camp in late July.

Any kids out there who like music? Any parents who want their kids to be a part of something not only significant but character building? As Professor Harold Hill, of "Music Man" fame said, "There will always be a band!"

New police chief

Hancock has a new Chief of Police. With the move of Chief Steven McCarty to the Washington County Sheriff's Department, the Mayor and Council decided to elevate Officer First Class T. J. Buskirk to the position, effective this past Monday. T. J., who grew up in the area and has a wife in law enforcement, has been with the Hancock Police Department for nearly five years. His commitment and community-mindedness will carry him far, and we wish him the very best. As this newspaper has been covering, this is National Police Week - a time to salute and give thanks for all the dedicated men and women across our nation who every day step forward, risking all to protect and serve.

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