Garrett County Tourism Outpaces Maryland Tourism Growth

 Margot Amelia, Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Tourism, presented an update on the state of Maryland tourism at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Before Hours - Tourism Update on November 18 at Wisp Resort. According to Amelia, there has been considerable growth for Maryland tourism in recent years and Garrett County tourism has steadily outpaced the state’s increases.

During her presentation, Amelia tracked the progress of tourism since 2009. She stated that Maryland has grown tourism sales tax revenues 15.9 percent, while Garrett County has grown tourism sales tax revenues 21.8 percent during the same time period. Maryland has grown visitor spending 21 percent and Garrett County has grown visitor spending 38 percent. Maryland has grown lodging sales 14 percent while Garrett County has grown lodging sales 35 percent. Maryland has grown second home revenue 22 percent and Garrett County has grown second home revenue 39 percent. Maryland has grown hotel tax revenue 22 percent and Garrett County has grown hotel tax revenue 50 percent.

“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. “As evidenced by the numbers in Ms. Amelia’s report, investment in tourism promotion generates a significant return for Maryland. In Garrett County, the Chamber’s effective tourism promotion efforts are generating results even better than the rest of the state. It is imperative that we continue to invest in tourism promotion and keep this engine churning.”

“We enjoy a great partnership with the Maryland Office of Tourism, who is doing a terrific job promoting our state,” said Sarah Duck, Director of Tourism and Marketing of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.  “We look forward to continuing to work with them to keep tourism in Maryland and Garrett County growing.”  

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce reports that tourism is continuing to grow in the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County with a 1.4 percent increase in accommodations sales and a 7 percent increase in admissions & amusement tax in Fiscal Year 2014. Garrett County has also experienced a 7% increase in heads on beds and a 4.9% increase in sales tax collections during calendar year 2014. The Chamber attributes much of the increases to an aggressive marketing plan with concentrated efforts and new ad strategies.

A copy of the full presentation by Margot Amelia is available at the Garrett Chamber’s website, http://www.visitdeepcreek.com/pages/BusinessBeforeHours.


Garrett College Plans Celebration of Rock Rescue Event

At 1 p.m. on Friday, December 5, Garrett College will honor two students, Lee Ware and Callan Hower, enrolled in the Adventure Sports program, who recently played key roles in the rescuing of an eight year old girl who had fallen into a deep, narrow crevice at nearby Table Rock on Canaan Mountain, W.Va. The rescued girl, Ami Layne Wolstoncroft, along with her family, will also be honored for her bravery and her ability to follow her rescuers’ instructions, allowing her to be rescued as quickly as possible. The celebration and reception will occur on ‘Main Street’ of the Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC) on the campus of Garrett College. The general public is invited to attend.

The Wolstoncroft family, visiting from Pittsburgh, Pa., were exploring the Table Rock area when she fell into a one foot wide, thirty foot deep crevice. The girl’s father, Mark Wolstoncroft, was able to cell phone EMS services in nearby Davis, W.Va. A technical rope rescue team from Parsons, W.Va., was also alerted and called into action.

As Mark hiked back to the main road to meet and lead rescuers to his daughter’s location, he met two young men (Ware and Hower), with climbing gear and ropes, and asked if they were the rescuers. By total coincidence, the two Garrett College students were hiking into the Table Rock area to practice their climbing skills. Their rock climbing instructor, Andy Hershey, Adventure Sports Professor and Climbing & Backcountry Programs Coordinator, had suggested there was some good climbing in that area. However, what they encountered when they arrived at the accident site would genuinely test their climbing and rescue skills.

Ware and Hower set up a rope rescue system. Ware, being the smaller of the two, was lowered into the crevice by Hower to the point where he had to remove his helmet, as the walls of the crevice narrowed. After a period of time, and with great cooperation from her, Ami Layne was brought to the surface. By this time, EMS services had arrived and took her to a hospital in Elkins, where she received emergency medical care, requiring several stitches. She is currently healing and doing very well.

“I am happy to bring Ami and all of my family to Garrett College for this ceremony,” says Mark Wolstoncroft. “Because we had to hustle her off to the hospital, we felt like we didn’t have enough time to properly thank both Lee and Callan for their help.”

“The climbing and rescue skills taught to us by Professor Hershey were absolutely critical,” noted Ware. Hower added, “We study under the best instructors and use the top industry standard equipment, and look what happened. We put these skills to good use, to save a life, and to bring a happy ending to this story.”

Information about the ceremony may be obtained by calling Garrett College at 301-387-3330 or emailing adventuresports@garrettcollege.edu.

GC Awarded 2014 Excellence in Default Prevention Certificate from USA Funds

A “high-touch” personal focus on helping students better understand real-world finances is important to Garrett College. As a result, the college was awarded the 2014 Excellence in Default Prevention Certificate of Achievement from USA Funds. The certificate was presented to the college for their success in improving its official student loan cohort default rate, according to rates recently published by the U.S. Department of Education.

 "The Financial Aid staff have worked hard to earn this certificate. This shows that our students are lending responsibly and learning financial literacy skills that will help them in the future, says Jo Gilman, Dean of Administration and Finance. We are proud to have been recognized by USA Funds.”

“Several years ago, we faced a potentially serious dilemma when our cohort default rate climbed to more than 30 percent, thereby putting the college at risk of losing eligibility to participate in certain federal programs, including the Federal Pell Grant Program. Nearly 85 percent of our students receive financial aid, and we had to take necessary steps to decrease our default rate,” said Cissy VanSickle, Director of Financial Aid.

Garrett College supplements its financial literacy efforts and training with USA Funds Life Skills®, an online financial literacy and student success program designed to help students learn to manage their money and time more wisely while in school and after they graduate.

Program content is organized into user-friendly online courses that cover a wide range of topics and subject matter, including how to pay for higher education, managing student loans, budgeting, and setting financial goals.

“Our goal is to create personal connections with our students through both group and individual financial literacy counseling. We want to engrain in them what they are taking on with a student loan, what can happen to them if they don’t pay back their loans, and how their future job or career and tax returns can ultimately be affected when they do not fulfill their repayment responsibilities,” says VanSickle.

The Financial Aid department also utilizes USA Funds Borrower ConnectTM, a Web-based default prevention tool that uses loan information uploaded from various loan servicers to automate borrower communication via telephone, letter and email campaigns for their default prevention and debt management efforts. “USA Funds Borrower Connect is the solution we needed. It is an easy, easy program, and tells us detailed, precise information about borrowers. We are then able to take that information and target our communications to help those borrowers who are in potential trouble with their student loan,” VanSickle explained.

The reduction in any institution’s default rate means tangible savings to former students as well as to U.S. taxpayers who ultimately pay the costs of student loan defaults. Now, with a default rate of less than 21 percent, VanSickle says this wouldn’t be possible without the combined efforts and support of USA Funds and her staff: Andrew Harvey, Pam Warnick, and Kathy Fauber.

“Each one of our staff members make presentations in First Year Experience classes and during Orientation on money management. Everyone is on board with efforts to reduce the default rate. Staff and faculty alike along with administration are well aware of the importance of these efforts,” VanSickle stated. “Garrett College has great people who all want the same result - successful students who are not burdened with debt.”


Team One recently pledged $10,000 to the Garrett County Memorial Hospital Foundation to help with the Hospital’s new wing construction and renovation project currently underway. Donors to the Hospital Foundation’s Campaign have the opportunity of different naming opportunities based on their level of giving. Team One’s generous gift will be reflected in the naming rights to one of the newly renovated and relocated rooms in the Hospital’s Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Care Unit. Patient’s in the Sub-Acute Unit have progressed from the acute care setting but need additional therapies or treatments before returning home.  The Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Care Unit is just one of the many units that will be relocated and renovated as part of the current project. Additional information can be obtained by calling Garrett County Memorial Hospital at 301-533-4000.

Open House at the Accident Library

The Accident Library invites the public to an Open House on Wednesday, December 17, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. The event is free and includes crafts and holiday snacks. For questions, contact the library at 301-746-8792.

A listing of events and services at the Ruth Enlow Library is available on the website at www.relib.net.


Sunday Sales Referendum Results

The Garrett County Sunday sales referendum votes on Question A & Question B became official on November 14, 2014.

All voters in Garrett County voted on Question A for limited off-premise Sunday alcohol sales between the hours of 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM. A favorable vote was reported in the following distrcits and precincts. Swanton, Jennings, Accident, Sang Run, East Oakland, Finzel, Deer Park, Elbow, West Oakland and Avilton. Unfavorable results were reported in Friendsville, Grantsville, Bloomington, Gorman, Pleasant Valley, Bittinger, Kitzmiller, Crellin and Mt. Lake Park.

Question B which would allow for on-premise Sunday sales of an alcoholice beverage with a meal between the hours of 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM was voted in those election districts and precincts who currently are not authorized for Sunday sales with a meal. Favorable votes were reported in Friendsville, Grantsville, Jennings, Accident, Deer Park, Bittinger and Mt. Lake Park. Unfavorable votes were reported in Bloomington, Gorman, Pleasant Valley, Kitzmiller and Crellin.

The change in law will go into effect on December 15, 2014.

The Board of License Commissioners office can be reached at 301-334-1925.

Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Wins at 34th Annual Maryland Travel & Tourism Summit

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce won the Visionary Impact Award from the Maryland Tourism Coalition at the 34th Annual Tourism and Travel Summit held at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland last week. Competing against nominees from other counties in the state, Garrett County collected the Tourism Industry award for their Deep Creek Experience brand.

“The Chamber is honored to accept this award, on behalf of our partners, Garrett County Economic Development, and the other members of our Advisory Committee,  recognizing the Deep Creek Experience brand,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “It is particularly gratifying to be honored by our tourism industry peers at the Maryland Tourism Coalition.”

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Garrett County Office of Economic Development, conducted an 18-month study and launched the county-wide Deep Creek Experience brand for Garrett County, Maryland in January 2014. The brand was created by Garrett-County based design firm, Eloqui, and is used county-wide with the goal of increasing people, jobs and investment in Garrett County. Embracing a sense of nostalgia, the new brand “The Deep Creek Experience” includes the word “Authentic” with reference to all of the activities and items for which Garrett County is known.

The Visionary Impact Award is given to an individual, business, organization, group or coalition that is a member of the Maryland Tourism Coalition and has made a major impact with an important industry project or product that leads a new initiative that works to accomplish a shared goal.   

For more information about the Maryland Tourism Coalition and the annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit, visit mdtourism.org. For more information about the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, please call 301.387.4386 or log onto www.visitdeepcreek.com.


The Board of Governors and the Administration at Garrett County Memorial Hospital were the first in line for this year’s flu vaccinations among the Hospital staff. Hospital leadership threw out a challenge asking all employees to get their flu shot and for Garrett County Memorial to be the only hospital in the State of Maryland that could achieve above 90% compliance without it being mandatory. The Hospital has achieved and exceeded that goal with a 94%.

“I was pleased to share that GCMH is currently at 94% of staff getting the flu shot; and as a team, we did this without making it mandatory.  We are the only hospital in the state that doesn’t fire staff for not getting it, with exceptions for religious and medical exemptions.  This is a great demonstration of our staff being patient centered,” explained Mark Boucot, GCMH President and CEO.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stress that the flu is a highly contagious disease,” explained Linda Danjou, RN, MPH, CIC, COHN-S, the Infection Control and Employee Health Nurse at GCMH. “The flu is a viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs that affect 5% to 20% of Americans each year.  In the United States 36,000 people die from flu complications annually. There are over 200,000 hospitalizations of which, 20,000 are children under the age of 5.  More than 90% of flu related deaths occur in those people over 65 years of age.”

Danjou went on to say that the flu shot helps your body develop antibodies that help protect you against getting sick. The seasonal flu changes from year to year so the vaccine must change as well. This is why a flu shot is needed every year to be protected from the flu virus. It is not too late to get a flu shot. Individuals may contact the healthcare provider of their choice or the Health Department to obtain a flu shot.

Door to HealthCare Western Maryland Begins Enrolling Residents in New Maryland Health Connection

The Door to HealthCare, a program of Healthy Howard, Inc., has begun to help Western Marylanders enroll in health plans through the new and improved Maryland Health Connection, the state's health insurance marketplace. The Door to HealthCare is Maryland Health Connection's official consumer assistance organization in six Maryland counties - Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard and Washington.

"After helping to enroll 43,199 residents of Western Maryland in to new health coverage through Maryland Health Connection during the first Open Enrollment period, our staff, partners and stakeholders have been working since April to prepare for this Open Enrollment period," said Christine Hall, Executive Director of Healthy Howard.

The Door to HealthCare has more than 60 trained and certified staff throughout the six counties who will help Marylanders sign up for health coverage through February 15, 2015, the end of this enrollment period. Navigators and Assisters are authorized to enroll Marylanders in the increased number of private qualified health plans as well as in to Maryland Medical Assistance (Medicaid).

"We have been working to connect with populations that we may not have reached before, and to ensure that everyone who wants our free help finding health coverage through Maryland Health Connection can sign up for a plan that meets their needs," said Brian Mattingly, Director of the Door to HealthCare Western Maryland. "Our staff have received extensive training on the new MarylandHealthConnection.gov, and are ready to help Western Maryland get covered."

Door to HealthCare staff are located throughout the region at 24 locations to help residents seeking to enroll, as well as those who need to re-enroll in order to continue receiving financial assistance. These locations include the offices of the Door's 12 funded partners throughout the region, as well as other community locations such as community centers and libraries. Additionally, the Door and its partners will hold four HealthConnectNow! enrollment fairs with Maryland Health Connection, as well as other local enrollment fairs throughout the region before the end of open enrollment on February 15, 2015.

Visit www.doortohealthcare.org for a list of walk-in locations in each county, information on scheduling an appointment for in-person assistance, and dates and locations for enrollment fairs.

Beginning Wednesday, individuals can visit www.marylandhealthconnection.gov or call Maryland Health Connection's Consumer Support Center at 855-642-8572 to enroll in health coverage. Residents seeking free in-person assistance from authorized insurance brokers or navigators and assisters can contact the Door to HealthCare either online at www.doortohealthcare.org or toll free at 855-288-DOOR (855-288-3667).


Deep Creek 2014 Releases Early Summary

Deep Creek 2014 has released an early summary from the International Canoe Federation’s Canoe Slalom World Championships held September 17-21 at Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) in McHenry, Maryland, part of the Deep Creek Lake region of Garret County, Maryland. According to Deep Creek 2014, which organized the event, the competition marked the 25th anniversary of the 1989 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships that were held on the Savage River in Garrett County.

Teams from 42 countries and 393 athletes participated in the competition. The USA Canoe/Kayak team’s Fabien Lefevre captured the gold medal in the men’s C1 (single canoe) competition—the team’s first gold in 12 years—paralleling U.S. athlete Jon Lugbill’s 1989 C1 gold medal. Australia’s Jessica Fox won gold medals in both the women’s C1 and K1 (single kayak) events, a feat never before accomplished. Fox’s parents, Richard Fox and Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi, both gold medalists in 1989, were on hand to watch, along with a multitude of organizers and other athletes from the 1989 championships.

Deep Creek 2014 is in the beginning phases of compiling reports for the event. Daily attendance (including opening ceremonies) was tabulated by Garrett County Emergency Management as follows:

Opening Ceremonies and Wisp Kick Off: 3,450
Thursday Competition: 3,500
Friday Competition: 5,000
Saturday Competition: 6,000
Sunday Competition: 4,000
This includes athletes, staff, volunteers, vendors and spectators.

Eurosport Television in Europe aired the World Championship Semi-finals and the Finals and reported over 13 million live viewers for the episodes. This is one of the highest figures they have reported for a Canoe Slalom event.

NBC Universal and NBC Sports pegged viewership in the United States at just under 1,000,000 viewers for the broadcasts. The episodes featured numerous commercials highlighting Garrett County and tourism to the region.

Simon Toulson, Secretary General of the International Canoe Federation, reported “Deep Creek was a very successful World Championships as an event. Most ICF events are in Europe and this showcased that a well organised and exciting competition can be made outside of Europe. The volunteers and staff were amazing and well trained, nothing was too much trouble. Spectators and athletes had a great experience and the TV figures were very good. We look forward to another event in the future in Deep Creek.”

Andy Pyne, Executive Producer for the NBC Sports presentations said, “The crowds were treated to a fantastic competition held over the four days at the Adventure Sports Center International, the only mountain top whitewater course in the world. Our production revealed exhilarating stories of the athletes and the teams as they unfolded. Those challenges and triumphs were aired on NBC Universal and NBC Sports in October.”

Bill Endicott, US Canoe Slalom Team Coach 1989 (winningest coach in history) said, “I found myself saying to people it was ‘A world within a world’. Once I got to Deep Creek and especially to the venue itself, it was like being at the Olympics. It really was!”

Joe Jacobi, CEO USA Canoe/Kayak stated, “The 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Maryland captured the spirit of an incredible sport, a proud community and a proud nation wrapped together to launch a new era of international sports event hosting. These World Championships delivered to the sport stakeholders exactly what they hoped – an outstanding competitive experience, American vision, innovation and hospitality and an appetite for international events in the United States. As lifetime paddler and Marylander, I could not have been more proud of the effort it took to stage these World Championships and the opportunities created going forward.”

“Both September and even more surprisingly, October were record September/October revenue months at Wisp Resort. The 2014 World’s was a major factor and the Adventure Race in early October likewise had the same effect. We are more than pleased with the outcome of both events.” Jerry Geisler, General Manager, Wisp Resort.

"The 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships - Deep Creek 2014 - will be a long lasting legacy event for Maryland Sports as we thrive to continue our efforts to grow the sports market and enhance our platforms in driving more Olympic based and international sporting events to the state and the region. This event provided us an opportunity to establish ourselves as a defined leader domestically for securing and hosting high profile international sporting events." stated Terry Hasseltine, CSEE, Executive Director, Maryland Sports - The Sports Commission for the state of Maryland.

Bob Sweeney, DC 2024 the Olympic Bid Organization, had this to say, “Now that the dust has settled on the World Championships I wanted to tell you what a remarkable few days you organized in Deep Creek 2014 for the state of Maryland. I think you hit a homerun by all accounts.”

Deep Creek 2014 plans to release the full executive summary of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships by mid-January. The Garrett County Office of Economic Development also is compiling a full economic-impact analysis of the event as a part of its annual report. Nestled in the mountains of Western Maryland, Garrett County features high elevations and even higher opportunities for tourism and reinventing rural life through its abundance of resources and natural beauty and its blending of modern conveniences with country living. Visit www.reinventingrural.com  to learn more.
Visit www.deepcreek2014.com  to learn more about Deep Creek 2014.

CARC to Host First Deep Creek Pickleball Tournament

 The Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) and the Garrett County Pickleball Club will hold its first Deep Creek Pickleball Tournament on December 6 & 7, at the CARC Gymnasium.

Men’s and Women’s Doubles will take place on Saturday, with doors opening at 9 a.m. and play beginning at 10 a.m. Mixed (co-ed) play will take place on Sunday, with doors opening at 12 noon and play beginning at 1 p.m. Both days of the tournament will consist of double elimination events for all events containing at least 4 teams. Events with less than 4 teams will use a round robin format.   

Pickleball is a racquet game, played on a court similar to a tennis court but smaller in size.  It was invented in 1965 in Washington state, but has exploded in popularity over the past five years with over 2,000 known places to play in the U.S. It is appropriate for all fitness and skill levels.

Weekly play takes place at the CARC on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Daily and monthly passes are available for non-members, and CARC members play at no additional cost. Members of the Garrett County Pickleball Club are present at the CARC during these times and welcome new participants with instruction and assistance in learning the game.

Proceeds from the December tournament will benefit further Pickleball programming at the CARC. Registration is available online at WWW.GCCARC.COM or by mail (forms available online or at the CARC front desk). For additional information including fees for this tournament, persons may contact Maney Gale, Tournament Director, at 301-387-3086 or at maney.gale@garrettcollege.edu.

Wisp Resort Announces the Inception of Benefit Day
Garrett Lakes Arts Festival named inaugural recipient of the 2014 Wisp Benefit Day

 Wisp Resort announces the inception of Benefit Day, an annual philanthropic event to benefit a non-profit organization each year within the Garrett County community.  The 2014 Benefit Day is slated for the day before the official opening day of the 2014.2015 Winter Season. The date is weather dependent but is anticipated to be the first or second Friday in December.  All proceeds from Benefit Day ticket sales will go to the named benefactor.  Tickets are $20 per person for adults and children 6 and older or 38” tall and include all-mountain lift ticket access for skiing and snowboarding, unlimited snow tubing and a mountain coaster ride.  Tickets will be sold on-site at Wisp Resort, online at wispresort.com and through participating partners.

Garrett Lakes Arts Festival has been named the inaugural recipient of the 2014 Wisp Benefit Day.  “Wisp Resort has been collaborating with GLAF for many years in their efforts to bring arts and entertainment to Garrett County.  One of Wisp’s goals is to help foster continued high quality musical and cultural events and GLAF is a great resource. We are pleased to use our first Benefits Day as a major GLAF fundraiser,” stated Jerry Geisler, Wisp Resort’s General Manager.  Garrett Lakes Arts Festival is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting cultural and artistic activities in Garrett County.  Mary Callis, Executive Director of GLAF commented “The Garrett Lakes Arts Festival is proud to partner with Wisp Resort to showcase the beauty of Garrett County along with the enchantment of high quality performing arts.”

Entertainment throughout the day will feature members of the brass section of The Maryland Symphony and a winter scene painting party with Wisp’s artist in residence, Rebecca McClive. “GLAF appreciates Wisp Resort’s dedication to preserving the quality of life in Garrett County through the arts,” Ms. Callis added.

Wisp Resort is a four season mountain resort by the shores of Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland.  Wisp offers skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, golf, lift-served mountain biking and a variety of other mountain recreation activities.  The ski resort has 14 lifts and 34 trails on 172 acres, more than 90% of which is lit for night skiing.  Wisp has a state of the art snowmaking system which is generally acknowledged as the most advanced in North America capable of covering virtually all trails with as much as a foot of snow in 24 hours under ideal snowmaking conditions. www.wispresort.com

2015 Residential Refuse Permits

The Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling announces that the 2015 Residential Refuse Permits will be on sale beginning October 1st 2014. The 2015 permits will be valid immediately and will expire at the end of 2015.

Purchasing on-line is the fastest way to renew and there is no additional charge for using your credit card on-line. A permit purchased on line goes in the mail to you the next business day. To order your permits after October 1st go on-line at www.garrettcounty.org under the Solid Waste and Recycling tab.
Residents can purchase their 2015 permit by mail or in person at the Landfill on Oakland Sang Run Road or the Garrett County tax office. The current fee is $50.00 and payment at either location can be made using cash, check, or money order.

Applications are not mailed out but are available at all collection sites, on-line, the Grantsville Library, the Garrett County tax office, and the Landfill office. Purchasing early will help customers avoid lines and delays at the end of the year. If you need more information or have questions contact the Solid Waste & Recycling office at: 301-387-0322

Joan Crawford Lecture Series Offered at GC

Garrett College has announced the Fall 2014 schedule for the Joan Crawford Lecture Series which will be held on the McHenry campus beginning Wednesday, Sept. 17. Created in memory and honor of Joan Crawford, who dedicated her life to serving Garrett College and the community, this sequence of presentations is offered free of charge each year and is open to the public.

Coordinated by Beth Luers, Professor of Humanities at Garrett College, the lectures are scheduled are scheduled at 12 noon or at 7 p.m. and last approximately one hour. “We have an interesting mix of presentations lined up for the fall ranging from scientific experiments conducted in the Antarctic, hospitals during the civil war, presidential campaign memorabilia, the constitution, and we will also hear from voices from the Holocaust to the clear voice of Halina Silber who was #16 on Schindler’s List. I hope both students and the community will join us,” Luers said.

The schedule of lectures is as follows:

Wednesday, December 10, “Expedition Antarctica” presented by Laura K.O. Smith from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 511

For more information on the Joan Crawford Lecture Series persons may contact Beth Luers at 301-387-3020.


            The construction for the new wing at Garrett County Memorial Hospital is well underway.  The $22 million dollar project, which broke ground on June 2, 2014 will have a great impact on the community, bringing new services and new jobs into the community.  Massaro Construction is the firm hired to complete the project and is committed to using as many local sub-contractors as possible to contribute economic growth to the community. This week, Massaro presented costs to hospital administration that will bring the project in over a half million dollars under budget. Earlier this week, the Board of County Commissioners approved a Resolution allowing the County to borrow funds for the benefit of Garrett County Memorial Hospital.  While half of the project will be funded by hospital reserves and community donations, the other half will be borrowed through the county via low interest bonds.  “The support from the County Commissioners and the community donations is really amazing,“ stated Mark Boucot, President and CEO.  Mark went on to say, “Through the efforts of the hospital foundation and Steve Bortz leading the philanthropy efforts of the hospital, we’ve raised nearly $800,000 through contributions and pledges.”

The construction and renovation project will impact traffic patterns on the Hospital campus and inside the facility.  Patients, visitors and vendors are encouraged to watch for directional signage or ask staff for assistance.  Specific changes to date include the access road behind the Hospital is now blocked off to any thru traffic. All deliveries must enter off the Memorial Drive, rear entrance.  The first floor exit door at the north side of the Hospital leading to the Community Services Building and the basement exit door outside the cafeteria are now sealed off.  Signage will be posted at the entrances, lobbies, and other points of access to the Hospital.

“We have always gone above and beyond for our patients and this will be no exception. We want to make sure everyone is aware of the changes. There will also be a large amount of noise created during the construction, however, we will make our patients and visitors feel as comfortable as possible,” explained Steve Peterson, Vice President of Operations. “While, it’s inconvenient now, in the long run the hospital will be poised to serve the community with more services for many years to come,” stated Mark Boucot, CEO.  Anyone with concerns about the project should call the Plant Operations Department at 301-533-4030.


This month, HART for Animals is kicking off “Race to the Finish”, a five-month fundraising campaign with the goal of finishing the HART Animal Center’s Adoption Wing this year. In addition to the recent Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant and the matching funding, HART is still in need of $300,000 to complete the foundation and the interior of building and purchase the equipment and supplies necessary for the care and feeding of over 100 homeless animals. The additional funds are being raised through private donations, fundraising events such as the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival, and private grants.

The ARC grant is part of Garrett County’s Office of Economic Development’s Workforce Training Program and will support 10 new full-time jobs and provide clinical training to Garrett College students enrolled in the veterinary assistant program, which recently debuted at the college. HART was awarded the ARC grant of $250,000, after matching the grant with $250,000 in additional funding. “This funding fills two critical community needs,” said Michael Koch, Garrett County’s Director of Planning and Community Development.  “It provides skills training in a growing field, and delivers essential services to animals living in or visiting our region.”

“This grant will help us towards our mission: a complete facility dedicated to the protection of animals in our region. Our mission is all about saving the lives of our homeless and neglected animals, something we know our entire community embraces and supports,” says Michael Pellet, President of HART. “Through our combined efforts, and continued contributions from our community, we will permanently change the outcome for animals in Garrett County and our region.”

As a community partner, HART makes referrals to area veterinary organizations and supports the efforts of the Garrett County Animal Shelter.  Anchored by funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and private donors, the organization recently opened Phase I of its HART Animal Center.  The 8,000-square-foot space features a full-service veterinary clinic, a pet hotel, grooming services, and retail.  Phase II (4,000 sq. ft.) will incorporate the workforce training project and an adoption wing, courtesy of funding from private donors, ARC, USDA, Garrett County, and the State of Maryland.

The revenue generated from all services supports HART’s operating costs and all its charity programs to achieve its mission of improving the condition of animals in Western Maryland. The organization continues to provide low-cost spay/neuters to those who qualify, as well as transport animals from the Garrett County Shelter to larger adoption organizations and shelters in Maryland and Virginia. Since it was founded in 2003, HART, working closely with the county shelter staff, has rescued and transported over 6,210 animals.

HART for Animals, Inc. is a charitable animal welfare organization founded in 2003 to improve the condition of homeless animals in the Western Maryland region. HART is a 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART or any of its programs, or to donate to the capital fund campaign for the HART Animal Center on Bumble Bee Rd., visit the HART web site at www.hartforanimals.org.