Around Hancock

September 18, 2008

Weather cooperated for Canal-Apple Days

It was a glorious weekend, weatherwise, just what the Hancock Lions Club hoped for.

The parade along Main Street was enjoyable and Widmeyer Park was packed with visitors looking for a bargain, a taste of homemade food and the sound of local music.

Canal-Apple Days 2008 - the 32nd year for this festival - has come and gone, but the event shows once again that Hancock can throw a great "party" to celebrate its local heritage.

Special hike set for Sunday

"A Walk to the End of the Earth" is the title for a special hike being sponsored by St. Thomas' Episcopal Youth Fellowship on Sunday.


The Hixon Farm is one of Maryland's historic Century Farms, still in the same family for generations.

Located within sight of the Potomac River, the C&O Canal and the Western Maryland Rail Trail, this distinguished property is among the most picturesque in this part of Washington County.

The route of the hike will take participants through some beautiful countryside, ending with a picnic supper at the Hixon Farm. Plans are being made to have a horse-drawn wagon on the farm for rides around the meadows.

St. Thomas' youth and young people ages 13 and up from other area churches are invited to attend.

Organizers the Rev. Steven McCarty and Tracy Hixon Salvagno ask that participants meet them at 2:15 p.m. at St. Thomas', Church and High streets, to carpool to the hike.

Musical evening

An enjoyable evening of music is planned for Friday, Sept. 26, at the Hancock Community Performing Arts Center.

The Potomac Crossing Consort will be joined by local string players for an hour-long program of American music.

"American as Apple Pie" will feature spirituals, folk music, jazz, ragtime, foxtrot and a final medley of familiar American tunes.

Following the Consort, a group of local string players will perform.

The Potomac Crossing Consort is comprised of five musicians who play a variety of instruments.

There is one cello player and four recorder players. Members also play various percussion instruments, guitar and violin. One piece uses a solo vocal part.

The performance is free and will begin at 7 p.m. There will be time afterwards to meet the performers and take a closer look at the instruments, including several bass recorders.

'Love Your Neighbor'

The eighth annual "Love Your Neighbor Day" sponsored by Hancock Assembly of God will be held in Widmeyer Park on Saturday, Sept. 27, from noon to 4 p.m. Everything is free - food, games, music - all courtesy of the church. A moon bounce, classic vehicle cruise-in, basketball and volleyball tournaments will give everyone plenty to enjoy.

Alumni band

Calling all Panther Band Alumni! New Band Director Scott Benford would like to get a Hancock Alumni Band together to perform at this year's Homecoming football game, which is on Friday night, Sept. 26. Anyone interested should contact him at Check in the basement and attic, clean off the brass, buy a new reed, tune up the flute and let's make music.

Good Samaritan House complete

A dream is coming true this weekend for the Interfaith Service Coalition.

The Good Samaritan House is complete and will be dedicated this coming Saturday at 2 p.m.

Not long ago, the house was a broken-down duplex, which had stood on the corner of High Street and Baptist Road for more than 100 years.

It was not the most graceful house, and the side not used as a residence had fallen into disrepair.

For a few years, the ISC had been looking for a location to build a shelter for local citizens, the only one in this part of Washington County, to be used for temporary emergency housing for families.

The house went up for sale, and the ISC was able to purchase it. Then came the great challenge - to find the funds necessary for a major renovation.

Debbie Cohill, Executive Director of the ISC, and Mark Stahr, her administrative assistant, began applying for grants and making phone calls.

It has been nearly a year, and the house is now finished, thanks to the skilled work of Myers Building Systems, Clear Spring.

The furnishings, also purchased with grant money and donations, are in place. It is a beautiful facility, safe, clean and welcoming.

One side of the house is a two-story apartment for a single or a couple to serve as a caretaker. The other side, including a new wing in back, will house a family or possibly two couples.

The house has a new roof, new heating and cooling system, and is surrounded by a lovely garden.

In the Bible, the story of the Good Samaritan tells about a man who was on a journey and was attacked by robbers. A Priest and a Levite, two religious leaders, saw the man, but did not stop to help. Only a Samaritan - one who was of a different faith, a different culture -s topped to render aid, binding up the man's wounds, taking him to safety and paying for him to stay at an inn until recovered.

Today our "Good Samaritans" are those who stop to help, who provide shelter and safety, who move past positions of comfort to help those "robbed" by events not of their own making.

ISC Board President the Rev. Allan Weatherholt and several other area clergy will lead the ceremony.

Local dignitaries, including Mayor Dan Murphy, Del. LeRoy Myers and School Board Vice President Donna Brightman will also be present.

Mayor Murphy's wife, Debbie, is in charge of refreshments, and local students are invited to help with the set-up and serving.

The public is welcome to this celebration of a new ministry in Hancock - a new way of serving the local citizens and bringing to the town another resource and safety net.

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