SHS Graduate, Lauryn Moon, Signs with Garrett College

McHenry, MD – Recent graduate of Southern Garrett High School, Lauryn Moon, recently signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball and softball for Garrett College. This fall, she will study mathematics and science in the associate in arts degree program at Garrett College.

She is pictured with her father, Clifford, mother, Jennifer, and brother, Will Moon.

Lauryn Moon Signs

Oakland’s Downtown Jubilee Presented by Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty, a Success - Funds Raised to Benefit Landon’s Library

A crowd of over 1,000 participants joined together for a celebration of small-town charm at the first annual Downtown Jubilee event held on Friday, July 7, 2017. The event, presented by Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty, was held throughout the streets of downtown Oakland, Maryland from 1pm to 7pm not withstanding a severe thunderstorm warning that caused several vendors to pack up early for safety reasons.

The Downtown Jubilee was a first-of-its-kind event held throughout Downtown in a music-festival style. Bands such as Mateo Monk, the Terah Crawford Band, Sarah Twigg, Day Old News, The Masons, Jason Shaw, and the Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers played throughout the day on various stages. In addition, Dr. John Rathgeb, Mr. John Wilson, Mr. Neal Brooks and Mr. Patrick Lee presented history lessons in costume and/or dramatic style at the Transportation Museum.

There were exercise demonstrations, food trucks, raffles and an opportunity for attendees to shop local at many downtown Oakland businesses. The Loch Lynn Church of God and Landon’s Library each hosted a kids’ area with activities.

“For a first-time event, I think this event was a success. We had a great crowd and great feedback from attendees. Hopefully this is just the beginning of what’s possible for Oakland,” said Sarah Myers, event co-organizer and owner of Curb Appeal Marketing.

Total monies raised are still being tallied but donations to benefit Landon’s Library were gratefully accepted from attendees and were requested of for-profit vendors for their participation in the event.
“This shows what can be done when a few very dedicated people get together. All it takes is cooperation, hard work and a passion for what you do,” said Patrick Kane, Owner, Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty.

Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty would like to send special thanks to all of the vendor participants and attendees for a fantastic event and especially to Terah Crawford, Marketing Director, Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty.

About Landon’s Library
Landon's Library is an IRS approved Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization to encourage the importance of books and parents' active involvement in their children's lives. It was established in the most loving memory of Landon Bryant Boal. Learn more at www.LandonsLibrary.com


GRMC Supports Lilly’s Hero’s Journey Art Project to Honor Clinical Trial Participants

Garrett Regional Medical Center, a proud affiliate of WVU Medicine, is pleased to announce support of Eli Lilly and Company Hero’s Journey Art Project, a series of sculptures created to bring awareness to clinical research and honor clinical trial patients.

GRMC partnered with Regina Holliday, a local patient’s rights arts advocate and founder of the Medical Advocacy Mural Project, to give patients and staff at the hospital an opportunity to paint bricks to express their feelings about clinical research and trials. Ms. Holliday spent several hours at GRMC one day encouraging both patients and staff to paint a brick in support of the project. Once completed, the bricks were then sent to artist John Magnan’s studio, where they were assembled into unique sculptures along with bricks painted in other communities. The resulting sculpture will be displayed for the public to see. The first sculpture was revealed on March 10, 2017 at LiveSTRONG Headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Patients and staff at GRMC were invited to paint a brick about how healthcare and especially clinical trials have affected their lives. Sarah Myers was visiting the hospital in support of a family member and took the opportunity to paint a brick in memory of her grandmother, whom she recently lost to dementia.

“I am thrilled to be a part of an art project facilitated by Garrett Regional Medical Center, and Regina. My brick was meant to represent the confusion of navigating the healthcare system as a patient but also the need for more research and trials to support dementia and Alzheimer’s research,” Myers stated.

Increasing awareness of clinical trials is crucial to ensure that science can continue to improve and bring new treatments to patients that need them. Eli Lilly is using art to bring an understanding and attention to these clinical trials and medical research.

"Art is a power tool in medicine,” said Regina Holliday, who coordinated the Lilly project locally. “It helps explain concepts, provides therapy, and it helps create public health policy.”
Garrett County’s participation has already paid off; a brick painted by GRMC Benefits Coordinator Linda Peterson was featured on the Eli Lilly website. More information about the project can be found at https://www.lillytrialguide.com/en-US/heros-journey-art 

Maryland Heritage Area Grants to Boost Cultural Heritage Tourism in Garrett County: Projects Receive Funds from Maryland Historical Trust Heritage Program

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), a state heritage organization, awarded 50 matching grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to Maryland nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions and tourism groups. The grants fund historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs in 13 state-designated Heritage Areas. By supporting capital projects and educational activities, the grants spawn renewed interest in Maryland culture from residents and visitors, boosting tourism-related jobs.
Three grant applications submitted by The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area received funds. Jen Durben, Heritage Area & Groups Director said, “We had diverse applications from throughout our heritage area this year and we are excited to have three projects awarded in another round of very tough competition. More than 100 applications were submitted totaling over $5.6 million in requested funds. Garrett County received a total of $195,000 of the $2.7 million awarded. These grants will allow the recipients to create new resources and expand awareness of heritage here in Garrett County.”

Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the official Management Entity for the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area and provides the 1 to 1 match for the Management Grant. The Garrett County Heritage Area & Groups Director administers the Heritage Area Program and works with stakeholders by offering technical and grant assistance for heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County.

Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area projects funded were:
· Highland Festival of Garrett County, Maryland, Inc. (Garrett County Celtic Festival) ($5,000) – PILOT Chautauqua Event: Celtic Roots
· Mayor and Town Council of Oakland, Maryland ($90,000) – Pedestrian Gateway
· Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area ($100,000) – Management Grant for management services of the certified heritage area with a goal to promote heritage tourism.

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area is a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce which supports heritage tourism in Garrett County through technical assistance and grant opportunities with a focus on heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County. As a state certified heritage area, effort is made to create public and private partnerships to preserve historical, cultural and natural resources focusing on under-utilized resources fostering a greater sense of community pride.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community. The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and additionally to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing. The Garrett County Chamber also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization and Heritage Area Management entity for the County.

Great Ball Event Highlight of Upcoming Mountain Maker Fest

Garrett College is hosting the third annual Mountain Maker Fest on Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at the college’s Career Technology Training Center (CTTC) located in Accident. The program will have a smaller “footprint” and different components this year, with the focus centered on enabling and celebrating “makers” in our mountain region. The maker movement is a huge, global effort comprised of all those that make, fabricate or craft things for sale, fun or as a “do-it-yourselfer.” Makers include artists, craftspeople, techies, woodworkers, metalworkers, Lego enthusiasts, electronic designers, engineers and are represented throughout our region.

The highlight of this year’s event will be an attempt to create the largest-ever Great Ball Contraption in Garrett County (for a short video, visit www.4ruralsuccess.com). All those that wish to participate, young and old, will take part in creating this hopefully record contraption made of Legos and other materials. The effort will be led by Chuck Trautwein and his team of Lego gurus and will take place in the back bay of the CTTC building.

There will also be five courses offered (some free and some with a charge, with all requiring advance registration) on-site throughout the day. One course will provide instruction and activities around basic soldering. Another will cover conductive (as in electricity) paint and art (a very innovative approach to art), while another course will cover entrepreneurial thinking for makers, artists and artisans. Two free courses will be offered to current/future volunteers for the First Lego League (FLL). These courses will cover “Rudiments of FLL” and the “Robot Challenge.”

The third component of this year’s Maker fest will be a one-hour period where various regional makers share their products and processes and answer questions. Presenters for these quick (about 10 minutes each) “show and tell” sessions include fly fishing “ties,” seed bag crafts, knitting art, and others. There will also be a few interactive maker exhibits available in the building during the day for all to experience high- and low- tech efforts. Discussion and questions are welcome and encouraged. In addition, a follow-up meet-and-greet, discussion session is planned after this year’s Mountain Maker Fest event at Smileys from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Admission to the general event is free and all ages are encouraged to attend. For additional information, persons are encouraged to visit www.4ruralsuccess.com or to register for the classes (the rest of the program is setup as a walk-in). Those wishing to participate in the adult maker “show and tell” by sharing their skills, ideas, and creations are encouraged to contact Mike Tumbarello at 301-387-3167 or mike.tumbarello@garrettcollege.edu.

Director of the Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex Appointed to Advisory Council for NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation

Steve Putnam, director of the Garrett College Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex, has been appointed to serve as a member of the 2017-18 Small Programs Advisory Council of NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation.

NIRSA – a national higher education organization based in Corvallis, Oregon – has a stated mission of advocacy for the advancement of recreation, sport and wellness. As part of its mission, NIRSA provides education and developmental opportunities, generating and sharing knowledge while promoting networking and growth for its members. Founded in 1950, NIRSA currently has nearly 4,500 professional, student and business members and serves an estimated 8.1 million students.

According to the NIRSA website, the Small Programs Advisory Council was formed as a result of the Small College and Community College Task Force implemented by NIRSA in 2015. The goal of this task force was to bring the needs of staff at small programs forward as well as to evaluate current and potential resources for that section of the Association’s membership. It has also set the wheels in motion for NIRSA to expand its offerings to meet the unique needs of small program staff.

Putnam, who has been a NIRSA member since 2012, was selected for the Small Programs Advisory Council after a highly competitive nomination process. He previously earned NIRSA confirmation as a Registered Collegiate Recreation Sports Professional (RCRSP).
As part of the SPAC, Garrett and the CARC will host a small program/community college meeting this fall called “Face to Face”. The goal is to recruit more small programs into NIRSA and provide networking opportunities for current members.

“Steve’s appointment is a testament to the high regard in which he’s held within the national college recreation community,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. “This is an honor for Steve as well as recognition of the work he and his staff have done in making the CARC a model aquatic and recreation facility.”

Putnam will join representatives from six other institutions – Roanoke College, St. Edwards University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Stevenson University, Texas A & M University at Galveston, and Seminole State College of Florida – on the SPAC. The council is currently working on a preconference workshop for the 2018 Annual Conference; webinar and professional development opportunities across the country; and retention and recruitment initiatives to strengthen the network of small program NIRSA members.

“I am looking forward to working with all the talented professionals on the advisory council and the opportunity to promote recreation at the small program level for NIRSA. The success at Garrett College and the CARC over the past six years is a testament of what can be done in the promotion of health, fitness, and recreation at the small program level,” stated Putnam. “We have a great staff and all the credit for this success is attributed to their hard work and dedication. This has resulted in Garrett College gaining a piece of the national spotlight in collegiate recreation.”

Putnam has served as CARC director since October 2012. He previously served as director of The Wellness Center in Tucker County, West Virginia. Putnam earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology from West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively.


MACCE Announces Christian as Chamber Executive of the Year

The Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE) has announced that Nicole Christian, IOM, CCE, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, has been selected as the 2016 Chamber Executive of the Year. “Nicole was selected as MACCE’s 2016 Chamber Executive of the Year because of her many notable accomplishments on behalf of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce,” said Paul Frey, MACCE president. Frey also noted, “Nicole’s nomination submission emphasized her ‘… dedication to the advancement of business opportunities to the more than 600 members as well as Garrett County businesses.’”

Particular accomplishments noted in Nicole’s nomination included:

• Growing tourism in Garrett county by approximately 20% since 2012;
• Creating the HR Roundtable;
• Launching and implementing The Deep Creek Experience countywide brand;
• Creating the annual Business & Industry Appreciation program promoting growth and development in Garrett County; and
• Securing more than $800,000 in state and federal grant funds for Heritage Area projects

In addition, Nicole has been an active participant in chamber industry professional development at both the state and local lever, serving on the boards of the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), several state level associations, including the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE), and the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest Institute Board of Regents. She received her Institute for Organization Management (IOM) in 2000, and her Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation in 2004.

Each year MACCE presents an award to the chamber executive who has demonstrated outstanding success in leading his/her chamber of commerce. Criteria include employment at the current chamber for at least three years as well as documentation of proven success in overcoming challenges, in fiscal management, and in achieving the chamber’s program of work.

The Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives is a membership organization consisting of Chamber of Commerce executives, and their counterparts from similar organizations, from throughout the state of Maryland. MACCE supports the continued professional development, training, and education of its members and provides valuable networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.mdchamberexecutives.org.

 Garrett College Foundation Notes Scholarship Awards

The Garrett College Foundation annually presents scholarships to Garrett College students. Following are the names of scholarship recipients for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Alyssa Bahner, a 2017 graduate of Southern High School who lives in Oakland, has been awarded the Caroline A. McNiece Scholarship. She is pursuing her studies in nursing.

Olivia Bennett, a resident of Frostburg and a 2017 graduate of Northern High School, has received the Michael Vaughn Vitez Memorial Scholarship I to pursue her studies in dental hygiene.

Collin Bucher, a resident of Clear Spring and a current student, has been awarded the Garrett College Board of Trustees Scholarship and a Garrett College Foundation Grant. He is pursuing his associate of applied science degree in natural resources and wildlife technology.

Justin Hershberger, a 2017 graduate of Northern High School who resides in Kitzmiller, has received the Daniel Edward Offutt, III Achievement Award Scholarship. He is pursuing his associate in arts degree in general studies.

Samantha Cherry, a 2017 graduate of Northern High School who lives in Friendsville, has been awarded the Civic Club of Oakland: Patience W. Grant Memorial Scholarship and the Josh Fike Scholarship. She is pursuing her associate of applied science degree in natural resources and wildlife technology.

For more information on the Garrett College Foundation, contact the Foundation office at 301-387-3131.


Third Annual Mountain Maker Fest Planned for August 12 in Accident

Plans are underway for the third annual Mountain Maker Fest to be held at the Garrett College Career Technology Training Center (CTTC) in Accident in August. The focus of this year’s event, which is free to all, is on education, sharing of maker products, experiences and fun.

All citizens, visitors and groups are invited to attend this free event and experience, learn and participate in the maker movement. Makers are those in the community that create, invent or make things, either low-tech or high-tech, for fun, profit or as part of a do-it-yourself project. If you make art, electronic components, crafts, jewelry or products for sale, you are a maker.

One new component of this year’s event will involve all in attendance in creating the largest- ever Great Ball Contraption (GBC) in Garrett County history! Perhaps best understood by watching a video on You Tube, GBCs involve a series of channels and mechanisms with little balls that are made to travel up, down and around.  This part of the program will be run by Chuck Trautwein and will involve Lego blocks, gears and other components. The goal is to not only set a record but to involve participants of all ages in building the GBC set-up and hence to provide training and experience in Lego construction and the underlying concepts.

There will also be a variety of free and low-cost workshops this year, including sessions on art design, soldering, entrepreneurial thinking (many makers sell or want to sell their products), as well as a Lego programming class and a mentoring class for First Lego league volunteers.

“This year’s event will be more concentrated and focused, with its goals still being interaction, knowledge sharing, competency building and fun for all ages.  While the event itself will have a smaller “footprint,” we really do hope to bring all in the community together to share their “products,” as well as learn about and experience the maker movement” stated Mike Tumbarello, program co-director and director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

For questions or for more information please contact Tumbarello at 301-387-3069 or mike.tumbarello@garrettcollege.edu or visit www.4ruralsuccess.com for exact times and workshop prices.  

GRMC receives Maryland Wellness at Work Award

 Garrett Regional Medical Center, a proud affiliate of WVU Medicine, has been recognized by The Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work Program for its commitment to improving employee health and well being.

Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB) is a collaborative of Maryland businesses with a shared mission of improving health through worksite wellness efforts.  The goals of Healthiest Maryland Businesses are to raise awareness about the importance of sustaining a healthy workforce, recruit leaders who are champions of healthy workplace practices and policies, assist businesses with worksite wellness programs, and recognize businesses for their commitment and success.

The Wellness at Work Awards serves to recognize Maryland Healthiest Businesses members and highlight wellness initiatives that meet all the components of the CDC’s Workplace Health Model.  Based on this criterion, GRMC was presented with the Bronze Level Award.  GRMC has taken some of the first crucial steps to establish worksite wellness practices and identify a wellness champion in its pursuit of worksite wellness practices that promote a culture of health throughout the entire organization.   Leading the charge for positive workplace wellness practices is GRMC Benefits and Employee Wellness Coordinator Linda Peterson.  Peterson notes that while employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, they also have abundant opportunities to promote individual health and cultivate a healthy work environment. By using effective workplace wellness programs companies can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life which can positively affect direct costs, such as insurance premiums and workers compensation claims.

“I am very happy for Garrett Regional Medical Center to be recognized by Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work with the Bronze Award,” said Peterson. “Garrett Regional Medical Center and our employee wellness program, Better Health for a Better You, are committed to promoting a culture of wellness in our workplace and improve the quality of life of our employees.  I believe it is important to try different strategies, programs and avenues of outreach to encourage our employees to engage in improving their health.  While every outreach is not successful, I believe there are no failures.  Those that aren’t successful are learning opportunities for moving forward.”

Pickleball July Schedule Announced

Pickleball enthusiasts combine efforts with the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division of Garrett College to offer instruction and playing time of this rapidly growing sport.  Pickleball is played at the Oakland Community Center gym (old armory) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on July 3. The Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) will continue to offer play times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. For playing times at the CARC, contact 301-387-3786 or visit online at www.gccarc.com.

Pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping pong and is played with paddles and a plastic ball, similar to a whiffle ball. Equipment, techniques, and rules of the games will be discussed while participants experience a new way to work out and meet new people. Tennis shoes are required but all other equipment will be included.

For additional information or to register, persons may contact Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.


Garrett College receives state approval for computer science degree

 Garrett College has received official state approval to offer an Associate of Science degree in Computer Science.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) recently approved the new program, which the college will be able to immediately implement.  The program was created in response to discussions with Garrett County Public Schools regarding the need for a program for GCPS graduates interested in computer science.

The program is intended for students interested in going on to a four-year college or university to complete a baccalaureate degree in computer science.  College officials said the next step will be to formally articulate the two-year program with those offered at four-year institutions, starting with Frostburg State University.

“Frostburg is a highly respected university and our primary transfer partner,” noted Dr. Qing Yuan, Garrett College’s dean for academic affairs, who developed the program along with Professor Richard Lewis.  “This program will provide western Maryland students with a computer science education option that can transition right into any of FSU’s B.S. computer programs.”

Dr. Yuan said the degree addresses a field with strong projected growth both statewide and nationally.


GRMC Doctor Exemplifies Healthy Lifestyle

Cycling is an outdoor sport that has a lot of enthusiasts in Garrett County and the surrounding area.  Evidence can be seen in the annual Gran Fondo, which attracts a vast number of cyclists to Garrett County every year. Participants consist not only of Garrett County residents, but also riders from across the nation and abroad. 

The health benefits of cycling are well documented, as local Garrett Regional Medical Center physician Thomas Johnson, M.D., can attest.  Not only can Dr. Johnson speak to cycling’s benefits as a physician, but as a local cycling enthusiast who will be participating in the Gran Fondo scheduled to take place this weekend. 

“There’s no stronger medicine than exercise,” Dr. Johnson says. “Exercise is medicine and the best exercise is whatever you do routinely.  No matter what it is, if you do it habitually it’s good for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, joints, and weight - there are no negatives.”

Dr. Johnson cycles an average of 18 miles a day; however, for the ride this weekend he will complete 62 miles over an elevation change of 8,000 feet. And he’ll be joined by over 1000 riders.  Garrett County boasts some of the most superb and challenging cycling in the United States and the Garrett County Gran Fondo is known throughout the cycling community for the challenge and quality of the ride as well as the picturesque mountain scenery.

The Garrett County Gran Fondo is a great ride for all cyclists, from recreational riders to the most experienced.  The event consists of five supported ride options, from a beautiful “Garrett’s Greatest” 25 mile ride over a 3 mile climb to the “Diabolical Double,” the day’s feature event. The Diabolical Double is 125 miles long and includes 16,500 feet of climbing; Dr. Johnson completed this option twice.   The Gran Fondo’s various options are based on cycling experience and provide the opportunity for every cyclist to feel successful.

An important aspect of the Gran Fondo is the fact that it’s not a race, but instead an organized ride that makes each cyclist’s individual goal the focal point. 

“I like to have a goal in mind to prepare for so I can train accordingly,” notes Dr. Johnson. “To have done the ‘Diabolical Double’ is like a feather in the cap - you’re pushing yourself to your limits on that ride. Just to finish it is great, but to beat your personal best time is even better.  And that’s the great thing about cycling and about exercise in general – you can approach it in the way that works for you.”


Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Announces Board and Officers

Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2017/2018 Board of Directors and Officers.

The 2017/2018 Chamber Board of Directors includes Merlin Beitzel of Beitzel Corporation, Tim Bender of Byco Corporation, Mark Boucot of Garrett Regional Medical Center, Brian Branthoover of Halian & Associates Landscapes, Linda Carr of CLS Ventures, Inc.—The Lake-Front Magazine, Laura Fike of Garrett Mentors, Inc., Chris Fredlock of C&S Fredlock Funeral Home, P.A., Steve Green of High Mountain Sports,  Patty Manown Mash of Pine Lodge Steakhouse, Lisa Ratliff of Wisp Resort,  Phil Rodeheaver of My Bank! First United Bank & Trust, Jan Russell of Savage River Lodge and Steve Weeks of Simon Pearce. The Chamber Board of Directors was elected by the Chamber membership.

The 2017/2018 Board Officers were elected by the Chamber Board of Directors. The Board Officers are Jan Russell, Chair; Tim Bender, Vice Chair; Phil Rodeheaver, Treasurer; and Laura Fike, Secretary.

At the Annual Membership Meeting and Dinner last night, the Chamber thanked outgoing Board Chair, and retiring Board Member, Shane Grady of Boal & Associates, P.C. for his leadership of the Chamber for the past year. Retiring Board members, Jim Bailey of GCC Technologies and Judy Devlin of the Book Mark’et & Antique Mezzanine were also thanked for their service to the Chamber.

The 2017 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner was sponsored by 20th Anniversary Sponsor: GCC Technologies, LLC, Gold Sponsors:  Clear Mountain Bank, Mountain Laurel Medical Center and Premier Power Solutions, LLC, Silver Sponsors:  First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union, Phenix Technologies, Inc., Rob Michael, State Farm Insurance Agent and Salt & Pepper Studios: Home of the Walking Gallery. 

The Chamber’s fiscal year begins July 1, 2017 and ends June 30, 2018.


Summer Safety Tips from GRMC Medical Associates of Grantsville

 School is out, vacations are booked and warm weather is right around the corner.  Because we care about your health and safety, Dr. Crable, from Medical Associates of Grantsville has put together a list of tips for a safe and happy summer.

Stay hydrated- Being hydrated is essential for good health and consuming water is necessary to keep a body functioning properly. This is especially important in the summer months when our bodies require an intake of more water to counteract the effects of warmer weather and higher humidity. It is recommended to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.  To avoid dehydration be aware of the heat and temperature and modify your summer activities appropriately. 

Sun Safety and Protection- It’s natural to want to get out and enjoy the sun during warm summer days, but it should also be a priority to take steps to protect your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources like tanning beds are the #1 cause of skin cancer.  Avoid consequences of overexposure to the sun like sunburns, premature again of the skin and damage to the eyes by practicing proper sun protection.  Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, wearing proper clothing, a wide –brimmed hat and sunglasses and limiting direct exposure to the sun are some tips to stay sun safe.

Summer Insect Safety- The warmer temperatures of summer mean more outdoor family time, but warmer temperatures are just as appealing to insects.  Most insect bites in the Garrett County area are irritating but otherwise harmless; however, some insects can transmit viruses and diseases. Ticks are also very prevalent in the area and can transmit Lyme disease, which can be treated if recognized early. To prevent bugs from biting avoid perfumes and scented soaps that can attract some insects, stay away from stagnant water and heavily wooded areas, dress appropriately if you plan to be in a wooded or grassy areas, and be conscious of the DEET concentrations that are used in insect repellants.

Outdoor Activity Safety- Children love playing outside in the summer time and the Garrett Region offers unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. At the playground make sure that all equipment has been carefully maintained, that children can’t reach any moving parts that may pinch or trap them and always supervise children on playground equipment.   To ensure bicycle safety a helmet should be worn at all times and should fit properly and be securely fastened.  

Finally, it’s recommended to always keep a first aid kit handy.  For a list of first aid kit contents from the American Red Cross, please visit www.redcross.org.

And for those problems the first aid kit can’t handle, Dr. Crable and the staff at Medical Associates of Grantsville Urgent Care are able to provide excellent, patient-centered care at the state-of-the-art urgent care center seven days a week. The office can be reached at 301-895-8750, or visit us at 32 Corporate Drive, Grantsville, MD. Walk-ins are welcome.



Nancy Railey Announced as 2017 Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Winner

 The winner of the 2017 Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner held Thursday, June 8 in the Agriculture Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. Martin Heise made the presentation to this year’s winner, Nancy Railey of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations and Railey Design Center.

After graduating from Garrett College, Nancy Railey planted roots and began a family in Garrett County in the 1980s. Nancy took $300, and an idea for renting family cabins, and turned it into a family business that later became Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, one of the largest vacation rental companies in Garrett County.

Nancy became sole owner of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations in 2007. Serving over 90,000 guests through their doors each year, and employing thousands of people over the years, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations has provided over $40 million dollars to the county over 35 years of service. And Nancy has not stopped innovating or growing her hospitality brand. She also created a property services division of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, expanded from vacation homes to the property management of two lakefront condo hotels -  the Suites at Silver Tree and Will o’the Wisp Resort - and founded the Railey Design Center, specializing in interior design for vacation rental and second homes. 

Nancy and Railey Mountain Lake Vacations sponsor numerous events in the county each year including the annual Autumn Glory Festival, Fire on the Mountain July 4th Fireworks Display, the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and the Savageman Triathlon, among others. 

Along with sponsoring events, Nancy has also led to the creation of one of the area’s most successful events, the Garrett County Gran Fondo. She single-handedly convinced Greg Safko to create the Garrett County Gran Fondo and was a founding volunteer on the planning committee. Now a successful fundraising event managed by Garrett Trails, the Garrett County Gran Fondo brings thousands of racers to the area in June with the proceeds benefitting the area’s hiking and biking trails.

Nancy has served on the board of Adventure Sports Center International and the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce and on the committees for the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and Chamber’s Marketing Roundtable. Nancy supports local charities and causes year after year, including the Garrett County Humane Society and HART for Animals. Nancy’s innovation, leadership and investments have helped to drive the tourism industry in Garrett County.

“I am very excited to see Nancy receive the 2017 Heise Award and be recognized for her business achievements,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “Nancy is the embodiment of entrepreneurship. Her perseverance and determination, combined with her devotion to this community, are the bases for Nancy’s success. And we are fortunate that Nancy has parlayed that success into numerous contributions to our community. Congratulations Nancy and thank you.”

The Heise award criteria states eligible nominees are “business owners including partners/families that originated, developed, and/or significantly expanded their business.”

Additional criteria for this award includes: having a willingness to take risks with the possibility of losing all, being involved in the community, having high ethical standards, being a member of the Chamber of Commerce and having demonstrated leadership (through one or more of the following):

·         By overcoming a formidable problem that threatened the business’s existence

·         By showing business acumen through embarking on a creative, insightful or overlooked opportunity that makes important contributions to Garrett County’s business environment

·         Through substantive community impact

The Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Committee, comprised of previous winners, recommends finalists and a winner to the Chamber Board of Directors. The Board makes the final determination on the winner. The other nominees for 2017 were: Jim & Shirley Bailey, GCC Technologies, LLC; Don Brenneman, Beitzel Corporation;  Mike Koch & Pablo Solanet, Firefly Farms; and Stuart Thayer, Jr of Sunrise Sanitation Services, Inc.

Past honorees include Jonathan “Smiley” Kessler; Bill Sisler; Olen Beitzel; Johnny Marple; Jim Flanigan, Sr.; Will and Sharon Roszell; Barry Rush; Rob Michael; Dave & Mimi Demaree; Brenda McDonnell; Bill Meagher; Michael Deligatti, Sr.; Jan Russell; Frank Vitéz; Judy Devlin; Skip and Linda Carr; Brian Branthoover and Rob Heilig.

The 2017 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner was sponsored by 20th Anniversary Sponsor: GCC Technologies, LLC, Gold Sponsors:  Clear Mountain Bank, Mountain Laurel Medical Center and Premier Power Solutions, LLC; and Silver Sponsors:  First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union, Phenix Technologies, Inc., Rob Michael, State Farm Insurance Agent and Salt & Pepper Studios: Home of the Walking Gallery.

Brenda McDonnell Announced as 2016/2017 Chamber Volunteer of the Year

The winner of the 2016-2017 Volunteer of the Year award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner, held Thursday, June 8 in the Ag Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds. Jan Russell, Incoming Chair of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year’s winner, Brenda McDonnell of Ace’s Run Restaurant & Pub, Brenda’s Pizzeria and Traders Coffee House.

Brenda McDonnell has served on the Chamber’s Heise Entrepreneurial Spirit Award committee and Legislative Affairs Committee. She has also attended nearly every Chamber HR Roundtable meeting since the inception of the program in 2016.

Brenda has worked tirelessly in her fight for small businesses in Garrett County and throughout the state. She has made calls, sent emails, provided written testimony and repeatedly traveled to Annapolis where she has testified in front of committees all for the purpose of communicating the needs of small businesses to state legislators. Each time Brenda received a Call to Action from the Chamber, she promptly responded and inspired her staff, colleagues and friends to answer the call as well, teaching them how important their voice is in shaping policy and laws. 

“We are delighted to present Brenda McDonnell with the Volunteer of the Year Award as a token of our appreciation for all of the hours she has spent helping the Chamber and Maryland’s small businesses,” said Shane Grady, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Chairman.

“Brenda’s dedication and commitment in supporting Garrett County’s small businesses has been extraordinary,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “We thank her for all of her hard work over the past year.”

The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual member who has provided outstanding service to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce for a particular program year. Brenda was selected from the more than 100 volunteers who help support the Chamber each year.  2011’s inaugural Volunteer of the Year was Bill Meagher of Lakeside Creamery, the 2012 Volunteer of the Year was Bob Carney of Long & Foster, the 2013 Volunteer of the Year was Jim Christie of Thrasher Engineering,  the 2014 Volunteer of the Year was the Branding Study Advisory Committee comprised of Leigh Clarke, Emily Newman Edwards, Jonathan “Smiley” Kessler, Clint McCabe, Paula Yudelevit and designers, Mark & Laura Stutzman, the 2015 Volunteer of the Year was Sarena Rodeheaver of First United Bank & Trust and the 2016 Volunteer of the Year was Jeremy Bittner of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Will o’the Wisp Resort and the Suites at Silver Tree.

The 2017 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner was sponsored by 20th Anniversary Sponsor: GCC Technologies, LLC, Gold Sponsors:  Clear Mountain Bank, Mountain Laurel Medical Center and Premier Power Solutions, LLC; and Silver Sponsors:  First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union, Phenix Technologies, Inc., Rob Michael, State Farm Insurance Agent and Salt & Pepper Studios: Home of the Walking Gallery.

Patty Manown Mash Announced as 2017 Chamber Diplomat of the Year

 The winner of the 2017 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Diplomat of the Year award was announced at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting & Dinner, held Thursday, June 8 in the Ag Heritage Hall at the Garrett County Fairgrounds. Jan Russell, incoming Chair of the Board of the Chamber, made the presentation to this year’s winner, Patty Manown Mash of Pine Lodge Steakhouse. 

As a Chamber Diplomat, Patty attended 7 out of 10 Business After Hours, 3 out of 6 Business Before Hours, 16 out of 24 Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, 4 out of 6 Diplomat meetings, and helped in the distribution of the Community Profile & Membership Directories, achieving a total of 201 points.

“Patty is an exemplary ambassador of the Chamber and our community,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “Patty truly enjoys being a Diplomat and we cannot thank her enough for the time she gives and the encouragement and support she shows to the business community.”

The Diplomats act as greeters at Chamber events, deliver new member packets, deliver membership directories, participate in new member orientations, attend Ribbon Cuttings/Grand Openings/Ground Breakings and present First Dollar of Profit certificates to new businesses.

The Diplomat must be employed by a Chamber Member or the owner of a member business, must have been a chamber member for at least one year and employed with their business for at least  6 months.

The Diplomat of the Year is determined through a points system given for membership packet distribution, Business After Hours Attendance, Business Before Hours Attendance, Diplomat meeting attendance, Ribbon Cuttings, Ground Breakings, Grand Opening & First Dollar of Profit Presentation Attendance, Recruiting New Members and Distribution of the Community Profile & Membership Directory.

This is the second consecutive year that Patty has been honored with this award.

WVU Heart and Vascular Institute expands offerings at Garrett Regional Medical Center

 Patients in the Oakland, Md., region who once had to travel out of town or even out of state for heart and vascular services can now be seen close to home by experts from the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, thanks to the affiliation with Garrett Regional Medical Center.

Recently, vascular surgeon Pamela Zimmerman, M.D., associate professor of surgery and director of the noninvasive vascular laboratory at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, joined the roster of providers traveling to Oakland to see patients, and later this summer, Ghulam Abbas, M.D., chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and director of surgical thoracic oncology at the WVU Cancer Institute’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer, will join as well.

Last September, Luke Marone, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, and Jonathan Lanham, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, began seeing patients at the clinic, located at 13079 Garrett Highway in Oakland.

“We are very pleased with the partnership we established with the outstanding physicians at Garrett Regional Medical Center last year, and we are honored that the demand has been such that it has required the expansion of our offered services in Oakland,” Vinay Badhwar, M.D., executive chair of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, said. “We look forward to further growing this partnership and continuing to provide the Garrett region of Western Maryland with unprecedented access to advanced heart and vascular therapies.”

Vascular surgeons treat conditions of poor circulation in the blood vessels, assisting with inadequate blood flow problems of the veins and arteries in all parts of the body, except the brain and the heart. Some of the conditions a vascular surgeon treats include abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid arterial disease, peripheral arterial disease, and varicose veins.

Dr. Zimmerman is board certified in surgery and vascular surgery. After receiving her medical degree from the East Carolina University School of Medicine, she completed a surgical residency at the State University of New York Upstate University Hospital and a vascular surgery fellowship at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, New York. She joined the WVU faculty in 2006.

Thoracic surgeons treat conditions of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs, including lung and esophageal cancer; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); Barrett’s esophagus; chest wall and mediastinal tumors; swallowing disorders, such as achalasia; mesothelioma; severe emphysema; hiatal hernias; and pleural diseases.

Dr. Abbas completed his residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York and fellowship training in cardiothoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He subsequently obtained advanced training in minimally invasive lung and esophageal surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In 2013, he received his master’s degree in healthcare management from Harvard University. He is internationally recognized for robotic lung sparing surgery for lung cancer and minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. He joined the WVU faculty earlier this year.

“The affiliation with WVU Medicine has been terrific for the community. We are so pleased to have cardiology and vascular services so that people don’t have to travel for academic medical center level of services. Our new doctors are excellent,” stated Mark Boucot, president and CEO of Garrett Regional Medical Center.

The clinic is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call 844-424-0411.

For more information on the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, visit www.mywvuheart.com. 

End of the Line Books  Now open for 2017 Season
Most Books priced $1 or Less

The End of the Line Bookstore is now open for the 2017 season.  End of the Line Books is a not for profit, used bookstore located in the boxcar at the B&O Railway Station East Liberty Street in Oakland, MD.  The bookstore is open now through October 7th on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 AM – 3 PM.


Featuring a full range of novels including current and past current fiction, classics, science fiction, mysteries and romance, End of the Line Books features something for everyone.  Non-fiction books available include history, current events, economics, sports, nature, religion, psychology and self-help books as well as books on home repair, gardening, cooking and more. Children will love the great selection of chapter books, picture books, ones for beginning readers and books to help home schooling families.


You’ll also find a nice selection of reference books and some large print books.  Depending on donations, the bookstore will occasionally feature audio books, CD’s, videos, DVD’s, puzzles and games.  No book costs more than $1.00 and many are less.


The bookstore was started as a way to solve the problem of too little space for book donations to be sold at the local library.  Originated by the recently deceased Marilyn Moors, then president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Elizabeth Huxford of the local Girl Scouts, along with former Oakland Mayor Asa McCain,  End of the Line Books has been recycling books and offering them for re-sale since 2004.


Patrons will notice new signage at the bookstore for this year.  In a cooperative effort between the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, the Town of Oakland and the Garrett Branch of AAUW, new signs were commissioned and produced by Deer Park Signs including a permanent sign at the end of the boxcar.  New promotional literature was also produced highlighting all the historical sites in what is known as Heritage Square in downtown Oakland.


Proceeds from the bookstore go to two organizations.  Girl Scout Troop 55004 serves girls from Brownies through Seniors from six schools throughout Garrett County.   In an effort to serve the community, they have donated thousands of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to local charities and soldiers overseas.  Through their accomplishments they have achieved the highest award a Girl Scout can receive, the Gold Award.  Donations from End of the Line books help fund their activities and service projects.


The Garrett branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the second recipient of funds from the bookstore.  Locally, AAUW provides over $3,000 in scholarships to area women each year which can be used to purchase textbooks, pay toward tuition and more   AAUW is also the sponsoring organization for the newly formed Girls Empowerment Middle School (GEMS) Project.  “AAUW has been working for the past year to develop this mentoring program for middle school girls, specifically 7th graders, which we all remember as being a difficult time in our lives,” stated Linda Carr, Vice-President of AAUW and Mentoring Chairperson.  The program pairs local women with middle school girls who may need a supportive woman role model in their lives.  “We’ve had a wonderful response from guidance counselors and teachers, and we’re getting a good response from the community in terms of volunteer mentors, and we hope to continue growing the program into the 2017 - 2018 school year,” said Carr. 


If you're looking for a good book to lose yourself in this summer, stop by End of the Line Books soon.  Your purchase not only helps to recycle, every penny you spend goes to a good cause.  For more information on the bookstore itself or to volunteer with any of the sponsoring organizations, contact Linda Carr at lindacarr7125@gmail.com .

Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County, Maryland Continues To Experience Record Increases in Tourism

2016 was a record year for tourism in the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County, Maryland with a 3.6% increase in county accommodations sales, a 7% increase in heads on beds, a 2.3% increase in sales tax collections and a 23% increase in visitors to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s website, visitdeepcreek.com. The Chamber attributes much of the increase to the Chamber’s aggressive marketing plan with concentrated efforts and new ad strategies.

And, according to the Maryland Office of Tourism, Garrett County’s increases have even outpaced Maryland’s tourism growth. For the first six months of Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016), Maryland grew tourism sales tax revenues 4.6%, while Garrett County grew tourism sales tax revenues 7.2% during the same time period. Maryland grew lodging sales tax code collections 5.8% while Garrett County grew lodging sales tax collections 9.5%.

Garrett County experienced similar increases in fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). Maryland grew tourism sales tax revenues 6.4% in fiscal year 2016, while Garrett County grew tourism sales tax revenues 7.0% during the same time period. Maryland grew lodging sales tax code collections 6.3% in FY16 while Garrett County grew lodging sales tax collections 9%.

“Tourism is an economic engine for Garrett County and we are pleased to see that this engine continues to churn out additional revenues and business for our community,” said Nicole Christian, president & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber, as the Destination Marketing Organization for the County, is pleased to see that our strategies are proving effective and that our efforts are yielding strong results for our community.”

Garrett County Public Schools Calendar for 2017/18 Approved

Garrett County Public Schools has released the 2017-18 school calendar.  At January’s Garrett County Board of Education meeting, the Board voted for a Pre-Labor Day start of school for students. In September, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order mandating schools to start after Labor Day in Maryland and finish by June 15.  However, his Executive Order allows for school systems to request a waiver to start before Labor Day if certain stipulations are met.

A waiver request was submitted on January 17 to the Maryland State Board of Education for approval of a Pre-Labor Day start.   To be eligible for a waiver, local Board must demonstrate that the school system has met all requirements for at least one compelling justification and has conducted at least one public meeting at which the waiver application was considered and approved. The local Board has demonstrated that Garrett County Public Schools meet the requirements for the compelling justification of emergency school closing. Additionally, the local Board provided evidence of having a public meeting on January 10, 2017 to consider and approve the waiver request.
On January 24, 2017, the Maryland State Board of Education approved the waiver request for Garrett County Public Schools to open for pupil attendance prior to Labor Day for the 2017-2018 school year. This waiver applies to the 2017-2018 school year only and does not exempt the school system from adhering to the requirements set forth in Education Article §7-103 and Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.03.02.12 and 13A.02.01.04.
Highlights of the 2017-18 school calendar are:
Tuesday, August 22:  First day for teachers
Monday, August 28: First day of school for students.
Friday, October 13:  Schools closed for Autumn Glory
November 23-24:  Thanksgiving break
December 23-January 1:  Winter break
Monday, January 15:  Schools closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, February 19:  Schools closed for Presidents’ Day
March 30 and April 2: Schools closed for Easter break
Monday, May 28: Schools closed for Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 29:  Last day of school for students
Wednesday, May 30:  Last for teachers
There are 10 makeup days included in the calendar:  February 19 (with state approval), April 2 (with state approval), May 30, 31, June 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
The 2017-18 school calendar can be viewed