Communities that found a better way

From The Messenger

Klamath County, Oregon. Algoma, Wisconsin. Allen County, Kansas. Williamson, West Virgina. Garrett County, Maryland.

What, you might ask, do these places have in common? What they have in common is that they are all rural communities that have been recognized as Culture of Health Prize winners by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest health-related philanthropic organization in the United States.

These communities have decided that the status quo was not good enough and that they wanted a better future for themselves and their families. They all took different paths to change, but the one thing they all did was to decide, as communities, to try.

Willamson has a lot in common with Madisonville. It’s a coal town that had to adapt to a changing economy. To fight the decline of their community, the residents got together and identified their needs and, just as importantly, their available resources. They formed a community betterment corporation called “Sustainable Williamson” to coordinate their resources and their efforts to improve community healthcare, housing, energy sustainability, education and tourism. If you read the Sustainable Williamson action plan (Google it), it reads almost like you could scratch out “Williamson” and write in “Madisonville.”

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Garrett Community College among those receiving state grant funding

From WCBC Radio

The Hogan administration today announced the Board of Public Works approval of seven capital grants agreements, totaling over $18.1 million, dedicated to essential capital projects at five higher educational organizations. The grants are administered through the Maryland Department of General Services Capital Grants Division. The Board of Public Works is comprised of Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy Kopp.

“Our administration recognizes the critical role of higher education in Maryland’s economy and our citizens’ quality of life,” said Governor Hogan. “These grants will help complete vital capital projects in every region of the state, leading to increased visibility and furthering their institutional goals.”

Five Maryland higher education institutions whose missions inspire and encourage conservation, learning, and performance through community engagement were approved by the Board: the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex Campus and Catonsville Campus; the College of Southern Maryland, Indian Head, Md.; Howard Community College, Columbia, Md.; Frederick Community College, Frederick, Md.; and Garrett College, McHenry, Md.

 

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Children’s pastor celebrates 25 years of teaching in Loch Lynn

From The Garrett County Republican

LOCH LYNN — Children attending Loch Lynn Church of God have been learning from children’s pastor Brenda Bernard for 25 years.

Over those years, she has taught many classes, directed VBS, went on camping trips, served as a counselor at church camp, had overnight lock-ins, went roller skating, ice skating, sled riding, horseback riding and on picnics.

She traveled with children and families to Ocean City for youth conventions, held movie nights, GLOW Nights (a Halloween alternative) and directed Christmas programs and other children’s musicals.

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Taylor-Made celebrates 10 years and a new addition

From The Garrett County  Republican

McHENRY — Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales has been in business in the Deep Creek area for 10 years. Last Friday, the company celebrated that anniversary, as well as the addition of new office space at its location at 35 Towne Center Way, McHenry.

The family owned and operated vacation rental and real estate company began in 2008. It is owned by Jodi Taylor Refosco, her husband, Joe Refosco, and her brother, Chad Taylor.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition was held by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, followed by an open house. Guests at the grand opening celebration included Garrett County Director of Economic Development Mike Hough.

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