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Around Hancock

June 19, 2008|By ANNE WEATHERHOLT / 301-678-6888

Cooler weather

After a rainy spring followed by several days of ferocious heat and humidity, the weather in our part of the world has turned unusually cool. At this writing, daytime temperatures are only in the 70s and forecast to stay that way right up to this weekend. Nights are cool -- in the 50s and without need of air conditioning -- reminding me of the years of vacation nights I spent as a child at my grandparents' summer place near Lake Michigan.

Our weather here is a far cry from the flooding and misery being endured by our fellow citizens in Iowa, Wisconsin and adjacent Midwestern states. Our hearts go out to them. Say a prayer for those folks. Then, take a walk on the Rail Trail, stroll through Widmeyer Park with a friend, or just relax on the porch or patio. Breathe in this refreshing air, and give thanks that we live in an area that is more blessed and protected than most. 

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Masons plan special event

One Sunday each June, many Masonic lodges across the nation gather at a local church to worship together and to commemorate John the Baptist, a special saint in Masonry.

This tradition is observed by Hancock's James W. Bowers Lodge 173, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

Members of the local lodge and their spouses will attend the 10 a.m. service Sunday morning at historic St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Church and High streets.

After the service, conducted by the Rev. Allan Weatherholt, the congregation will host these special guests for lunch and fellowship in St. Thomas' Parish Hall. Parishioners Jane Shaw and Linda Mellott are in charge of the menu. St. Thomas' is known for its terrific cooks, so the Masons and parishioners alike are in for a very nice summer feast.

Day camp starts Monday

The Hancock area's 12th annual "Adventures in Friendship" Day Camp begins Monday morning at 8:30. St. Thomas' Episcopal Church hosts the five-day event, co-sponsoring it with the Interfaith Service Coalition. Aimed at young people of middle school age - roughly 10 to 14 years old - the program teaches important life skills to its participants. Today's youngsters live in an increasingly complicated and challenging world. "Adventures" is designed to help them navigate their way through many of life's more difficult twists and turns. Included are teaching about drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco awareness, safety skills, health and nutrition information, CPR instruction and many other important matters.

A host of guest speakers from agencies around the Tri-State area will provide this instruction. These include Hancock Police Chief T.J. Buskirk, Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Steven McCarty, the Rev. Anne Weatherholt, the Rev. Allan Weatherholt and representatives of the Maryland State Police, the Washington County Health Department, the Hancock Rescue Squad and the Hancock Fire Co.

Thanks in part to funding through United Way of Washington County, there is no charge for "Adventures," which includes breakfast and lunch each day. However, parents must register their children in advance by calling Debbie Cohill at the ISC office at 301-678-6605. Registration is limited to 40 young people.

Joseph Hancock Park gets new pavilion

A sizable new pavilion has been completed at the Joseph Hancock Park. This small park, named in honor of our town's founder, is where about six flooded homes were demolished on West Main Street. Its location, adjacent to both the Western Maryland Rail Trail and the C&O Canal, makes the park popular with bicyclists and local residents alike. This improvement to the park certainly adds to its attractiveness and usefulness. Stop by and enjoy.

School on summer food service program

Hancock Elementary School is one of 15 sites in Washington County for the 2008 Summer Food Service Program. This program, operated by Washington County Public Schools, offers free meals to children, five days per week, regardless of income level. Dates for Hancock are Monday, June 23, through Thursday, July 31.

Happy 99th, Regina Heller

Warm and affectionate wishes go out this week to one of Hancock's most distinguished residents. Regina Heller celebrates her 99th birthday Friday.

Mrs. Heller, who, with her son, lives across from us in a large and gracious home on High Street, is a lifelong member of St. Peter's Catholic Church and still attends Sunday Mass regularly. Birthday blessings to this special lady!

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