Diplomat of the Quarter Awarded to Patty Manown Mash & Ken Witte

 At the bi-monthly Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Diplomats meeting held on Friday, January 29, two of the Committee’s volunteers were awarded Diplomat of the Quarter for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. Patty Manown Mash and Ken Witte were recognized for their commitment to promoting membership, encouraging member involvement, and enhancing goodwill for the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce in the community.

Patty Manown Mash, the Secretary of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is a representative of Pine Lodge Steakhouse, Smiley’s and the Boardwalk Bar & Grill. In addition to volunteering as a Garrett County Diplomat, Patty also serves on the Chamber’s Membership Committee. Patty attended Diplomats’ meetings, delivered packets to new Chamber members, and attended multiple Chamber events during the quarter. 

Ken Witte is a representative of First United Bank & Trust and an active member of the Garrett County Diplomats. Ken attended Diplomats’ meetings, helped distribute packets to new Chamber members and attended multiple Chamber events during the quarter.

The Garrett County Chamber Diplomats serve as greeters at Chamber events, deliver new member packets, attend ribbon cuttings/grand opening/ground breaking ceremonies, and assist with member retention, competing for a chance to be the Diplomat of the Year recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner. This committee is chaired by Sarena Rodeheaver of First United Bank & Trust. If interested in joining, please contact Nick Sharps at 301-387-5237 or nick@garrettchamber.com.


The Garrett Regional Medical Center has been recognized a second time by the American Hospital Association McKesson Quest for Quality Prize;  for its commitment to quality and patient safety and its participation in the American Hospital Association McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.” GRMC received the recognition after submitting a description of its quality improvement processes and measurements of success.

The objection of the prize is to raise awareness of the need for a hospital-wide commitment to highly reliable, exceptional quality, safe, patient-centered care; reward successful efforts to develop and promote a systems-based approach toward improvements in quality of care; inspire hospitals to systematically integrate and align their improvement efforts throughout the organization; and communicate successful programs and strategies to the hospital field.

GC Prepares to Host MD JUCO Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Feb. 11-14

 Garrett College is proud to host the 2016 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MD JUCO) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament February 11-14, 2016, at the Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) Gymnasium. Daily admission for the tournament is $5, and tournament passes are available for $10 at the gate.

Eight men’s and eight women’s basketball teams will be represented and competing in the tournament. A complete list of teams will be announced within the next week, and will be available at www.garrettlakers.com.

The MD JUCO exists to govern and conduct championships for the conference’s 16 varsity sports. Chartered in the late 1960’s, the conference is composed of 16 Maryland community colleges competing in a variety of varsity intercollegiate athletics.

For more information on the MD JUCO Tournament, or for up-to-date tournament schedules, visit www.garrettlakers.com.

February Classes Announced for Garrett Institute for Lifelong Learning (GILL)

The Garrett Institute for Lifelong Learning (GILL) group, operating under Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development, has released their winter class schedule for the month of February. GILL learning experiences are developed by the organization’s members based on group consensus. The topic sessions are coordinated by volunteers who select presenters for each topic identified.

‘Prescription for Trouble’ will be presented by discussion leaders, Kendra McLaughlin and Sadie Liller, on Tuesday, February 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Southern Outreach Center. The Garrett County Health Department will discuss what persons need to be aware of when taking prescription medications, as well as the impact in Garrett County in regards to the new medical marijuana law.

On Wednesday, February 10, a session, ‘Hot Topics’ is scheduled for members at Uno Chicago Grill (downstairs) in McHenry from 12 noon until 2 p.m. GILL members Ann Stuck and Barbara McClosky will lead the group in interactive discussion. This session is an opportunity for participants to get out for lunch and enjoy lively discussion on relevant topics. Participants are responsible for their own lunch.

‘Evaluating Online Resources in the Age of Google’ will be held on Thursday, February 11 from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Garrett College Library. With the advent of technology, people are forced to go online to do research whether it be a life decision or a hobby. However, in using Google, people often experience significant information overload. How can we find reliable web resources? How can we tell if the site is reliable and credible? What can we do to find specific searched for items rather than a million page list that we don’t have time to go through? Attendees will learn the differences between using Google and social media vs. using credible online sources, as well as learn how to evaluate web resources. In addition, participants will learn some strategies for narrowing down specific search terms and finding good, reliable information for free. The session will be presented by Krista McKenzie, Instructional Librarian at Garrett College.

For the winter classes, all sessions are free, but registration is a must. If you are not a GILL member and wish to join in order to register for a session, please contact Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development at 301-387-3069. More information on the Garrett Institute for Lifelong Learning is also available by contacting Sue Fowler at susan.fowler@garrettcollege.edu or www.garrettcollege.edu/GILL.

Pinteresting Projects to be offered at GC

Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development announces the second in a monthly series of crafts and creativity classes, Pinteresting Projects. This class will be held at the College’s Southern Outreach Center (Oakland Community Center) on Friday, February 19, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The class is based on the popular Pinterest website. Participants will receive step by step instruction for several projects using wine bottles to make hanging candle holders and painted glass bottles while enjoying chocolate balloon bowls of fruit and detox infused waters. Materials and supplies will be provided, but participants are welcomed to bring empty bottles, samples of other completed projects, and ideas to share. This class will take participants from the pinning stage to the doing stage. 

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

Vaughn Ripley to Speak at Adventure Sports Colloquium at GC on Feb. 16

 Vaughn Ripley, author of ‘Maximizing Your Life’ is scheduled to give a presentation as part of the Adventure Sports Colloquium Series on Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. in Room 224 in the Continuing Education building at the McHenry campus of Garrett College. The presentation is part of a course for students enrolled in the Adventure Sports program. The general public is also invited and welcome to attend the presentation. Ripley will share his experiences and his journey with those who attend.

Ripley is a published author, certified personal trainer, triathlete, marathon runner, accomplished rock climber, mountaineer, successful businessman, and entrepreneur. He has appeared on numerous television news and radio programs, and has done interviews for newspapers and magazines.

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1967, he is the Chief Information Officer of Emergent, LLC located in Northern Virginia. He was born a hemophiliac and has wrestled with Hepatitis C, which he recently beat after enduring a yearlong battle with medicine. Ripley has also fought and continues to fight for more than 27 years in a battle with HIV and AIDS; he is one of the longest surviving HIV+ individuals on the planet. He and his wife went through many hardships, trials, and tribulations to finally have two children via in vitro fertilization.

Ripley has spent time racing motorcycles on the street and track. He excelled at rock climbing for more than seven years and attempted to climb Mountain Rainer three times. Additionally, he ran in and completed the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon, raising more than $3,500 for AIDS care giving and research. He is a certified personal trainer and adamantly works out to stay healthy, fit, and trim. Along with his adrenaline and fitness related hobbies, Ripley is an avid guitarist with a thirst for musical theory. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, playing the guitar, weight lifting, mountain biking, four wheeling, and dabbling in poker. He lives with his family in Maryland.

For more information on the February 16 Colloquium that is open to the general public, persons may contact the Garrett College Adventure Sports office at 301-387-3330 or www.adventuresportsi.org.


Dr. Wilson Does Not Seek Reappointment to Superintendent Position

In accordance with Section 4-201(b)(2) of the Education Article to the Annotated Code of Maryland, Dr. Janet Wilson has notified the Garrett County Board of Education that she will not seek reappointment as Superintendent so that she may entertain and pursue other opportunities.

Dr. Wilson states, “I have enjoyed working with the Board over the past four years, and I am very proud of the many accomplishments that have occurred during my tenure as Superintendent. Although the school system has faced many challenges along the way, we have all worked together -- teachers, staff, Board, Superintendent and community -- in a collaborative manner to effect positive change and growth for the good of the system and the students that we all strive each day to serve.

I know that I will miss working with the Board and the many dedicated employees who work tirelessly for the benefit of the students of Garrett County, but I also know that this is the right time for a new opportunity. In announcing my decision, I am gratified that I will be leaving behind a school system that is better off than it was when I entered this position four years ago.

I sincerely thank the Garrett County community for giving me their confidence and trust during my tenure and I sincerely wish everyone the best as the school system continues to respond to the ever-changing landscape of education.”

Garrett County Board President, Charlotte Sebold stated. “The Board appreciates the service that Dr. Wilson has provided to our children, staff and community. There is no doubt that she has helped us achieve many accomplishments at a time when Garrett County experienced the largest percentage losses in State aid and enrollment five of the last six years. The Board will be meeting in the near future to discuss how to best address this new challenge of naming a successor.”


SING Collecting Winter Clothing for Students at GC

 The Garrett College Students In Need Group (SING) is hosting their annual Winter Clothing Drive on Wednesday, February 3 and Thursday, February 4. Every year, SING provides new and gently used coats, hats, gloves, sweaters, boots, and more for students who come to Garrett College unprepared for the winter weather. Donations are welcome and much appreciated by the community.

“The students really benefit from the winter clothing drive. Many of them come from warmer areas of the state and are not used to winter in Garrett County,” stated Lauren Gerald, MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA Member, who works with the Students In Need Group. “Just last week, right before winter storm Jonas hit, two students approached us in need of extra layers. These students had planned on returning home before the storm, but they found themselves stranded when their car caught fire and the trains were closed. Thanks to the winter clothing drive from last year, SING was able to provide them with coats and sweaters to keep warm through the weekend.”

The Students In Need Group is committed to student success by helping students identify and connect with available resources within the College and local community. For more information about the services SING offers Garrett College students, please visit www.garrettcollege.edu/sing. For those interested in donating to the Winter Clothing Drive, items can be dropped off in the 600 Building, Office 620B at the McHenry campus, or by contacting Lauren Gerald at 301-387-3129 or lauren.gerald@garrettcollege.edu.

Nurse at Garrett Regional Medical Center Receives National Board Certification in Surgical Services Management


Garrett Regional Medical Center announced that Elaine D. Geroski, RN, BSN, CNOR , has earned the CSSM® certification and is now 1 of the 97 nurses to hold the credential.


Elaine is in the Senior Director of Surgical Services, which encompasses the operating room, the post-anesthesia recovery room, the outpatient surgery department and central service department.   Elaine is currently working on her master’s of science in nursing with a specialization in leadership and also has a certification in the operating room, CNOR.  Elaine serves on the board of directors for her local chapter of the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN) and will serve as a delegate at the 2016 AORN Surgical Conference and Expo.


Certification recognizes a nurse’s commitment to professional development. It is an objective, measurable way of acknowledging the achievement of specialty knowledge beyond basic nursing licensure.


CSSM® certification validates the scope of practice of the surgical services nurse manager, which differs greatly from the education and training received in the formal nursing education. This credential program, supported by a rigorous eligibility and testing mechanisms, provides a benchmark to ensure that managers are meeting quality standards necessary to perform and excel in their role. 


The CSSM® credentialing program is delivered by the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI).

Established in 1979, CCI also provides the CNOR®, CRNFA®, and CNS-CP® credentials to more than 35,000 registered nurses, making it one of the largest specialty nursing credentialing organizations and the leading certification body for perioperative nurses. The mission of CCI is to lead competency credentialing that promotes safe, quality patient care and that supports lifelong learning

Garrett County Chamber Launches First HR Roundtable

 The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the launch of the new HR Roundtable program exclusively for HR Directors/Managers or those specifically responsible for human resources at your company.

The HR Roundtable will meet monthly to discuss different human resource topics and challenges facing our companies. The first HR Roundtable will be Wednesday, March 2, 8:00 - 9:30 A.M. at the Chamber of Commerce, located at 15 Visitors Center Drive McHenry, MD 21541 and will focus on Employee Benefits. The HR Roundtable is an exclusive member benefit; your company must be a Chamber member to participate. Subsequent meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of every month at the Chamber from 8 am – 9:30 am.

“Human Resources is the driving force behind creating and sustaining a successful company,” said Mike Shamblen, HR Director for Beitzel Corp. and Chair of the Chamber’s HR Roundtable.  “Whatever the HR discipline – talent acquisition, training, benefits, etc. – HR is about fielding the best team and understanding labor laws to get the business results you need. I am honored to have been asked to lead the HR Roundtable for the Chamber and share some of my expertise in this field.”

The HR Roundtable is an idea that was generated during discussion at last year’s Chamber Board retreat after reviewing input from the annual membership survey and examining needs of the business community. The Board felt that since there was no Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter in the local community and workforce is a major concern for our business community, the Chamber needed to step up and provide a way to bridge the gap.

“The Chamber is excited to launch the newly created HR Roundtable that will provide a much needed fill for this void in our community,” said Regina Sweitzer, VP of Operations for the Chamber. “Being in the HR field, there are many instances where it would be beneficial to have a network of local individuals on which I can lean and learn best practices. The HR Roundtable will meet those needs for our members.”

For questions, or to participate in the HR Roundtable, contact Regina Sweitzer at 301.387.8739 or regina@garrettchamber.com.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional organization in the region representing more than 600 member firms.  The Chamber is the voice of business while providing networking/promotion opportunities, education & training, cost savings & benefits and community involvement.  

Chamber Hosts Next Business After Hours at Simon Pearce on Thursday, February 11, 2016

McHenry, MD – The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Simon Pearce will be hosting our next Business After Hours on Thursday, February 11 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at their 265 Glass Drive location in Mountain Lake Park. Enjoy delicious food and mingle with fellow Chamber members and Chamber staff at our monthly networking event.  Don’t forget your business card to enter to win prizes.

Simon Pearce offers timeless designs of unmatched quality and versatility in glass, pottery and home décor. Simon Pearce is headquartered in Vermont with stores in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland and manufacturing sites in Vermont and Maryland. Embracing a forward-looking ethos of concept and exploration, Simon Pearce designers and artisans still practice the same principles and techniques that Simon Pearce brought with him after living in Europe.

The cost to attend the Business After Hours is $6.00 for members paid in advance and $10 for non-members and members paying at the door. Register online at visitdeepcreek.com or contact Holly Lane via email at holly@garrettchamber.com  or by calling 301.387.6171 by 12 pm on February 11.



Heritage Quilters of Garrett County have challenged themselves to make healing quilts based on their own interpretations of the plants and animals used in chemotherapies. These quilts will make their debut at the Autumn Glory Quilt Show in October, before being donated to the Garrett Regional Medical Center for display in the new cancer center.

Quilt artist and cancer patient, Judy House created the idea for the Healing Quilts in Medicine Project. She battled cancer for nine years, until her death in 2005. During that time she was leading a group of 37 contemporary quilters from around the country, who were creating art quilts based on the plants and animals used in chemotherapies. These quilts now hang in the oncology area of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Ms. House had expressed her desire to provide cancer patients with something pleasant to look at during the stressful times and difficult moments.  Kendra Thayer, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer said, “ The WVU Cancer Institute at Garrett Regional Medical Center is honored to accept these healing quilts. These quilts will provide hope and comfort to our patients while they are receiving treatment.” 

Numerous other groups have continued Judy House’s legacy by becoming involved in healing quilt projects. The University of Michigan, Auburn University, and INOVA Fairvax Hospital in Northern Virginia are among the medical facilities now displaying healing quilts.

The Heritage Quilters meet at Garrett College on the second Tuesday of the month, March through December at 7 pm. New and experienced quilters are welcome to join.


The Get-n-Go Café & Bakery will no longer be the location for a quick snack of fresh baked goodies; it will soon become the site of a medical service owned and operated by the Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Specialty Physician Services.

Garrett Regional Medical Center purchased the Get-n-Go Café & Bakery from long-standing owners, Kiley and Tracy Royce in December of 2015. “The $300,000 property purchase is part of the Hospital’s strategic plan to enhance the community’s access to specialty medical care,” explained Mark Boucot, GRMC president & CEO.  He further explained, “We will begin renovations as soon as possible to prepare the building for use by a specialty physician practice that is very much needed in the community, although I’m not at liberty to divulge what that is at this point until a contract is signed.”

“With the amazing changes Garrett Regional Medical Center has made to improve healthcare for everyone in the region, we anticipate great things to come as they purchase this property,” said Traci Royce.  “The Get n Go Café & Bakery operated for nearly 20 years by providing an uplifting environment for our community.  Even though it will no longer be a place to eat, we are confident it will remain a place that nurtures the soul as our hospital moves forward in providing excellent health care.”  The iconic sign that is well known for its uplifting, inspirational messages will continue to be part of the community for some time.  Kiley and Tracy Royce went on to explain, “It is by the grace of God that we sold this property when it wasn’t even on the market.  We are excited about the next chapter in our lives.”

College Goal Maryland Financial Aid Night at GC to Offer Scholarships

College Goal Maryland, a free event for everyone interested in getting answers and assistance with the financial aid process will be held at Garrett College on Thursday, February 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Room 311 in the Information Technology building at the McHenry campus. In addition to receiving personalized one-on-one help with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), participants in attendance may enter to win one of two scholarships, $250 and $500, provided by the Garrett College Foundation and College Goal Maryland. Scholarships may be used at any college or university. As a general reminder, the state of Maryland requires a processing deadline date of March 1 for the FAFSA for all Maryland residents.

“With the right help, the FAFSA can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes. Each line in the income section is mapped to a line on the IRS form. Estimated results are immediate,” says Cissy VanSickle, Director of Financial Aid at Garrett College. “Finding the funding for a college education is often the first hurdle of earning the degree or certificate that the student is striving for. Our financial aid counselors attend regular training sessions so they can be equipped to help all applicants get the greatest amount possible to defray college expenses and to dispel some of the widespread myths about financial aid.”

Don’t fall for the following myths about Financial Aid (this information is provided by www.studentaid.ed.gov).

“I’m not going to bother filling out the FAFSA because…”

Myth #1: “My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.”

Reality:  There is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors besides income- from the size of your family to the age of your older parent – are taken into account. Your eligibility is determined by a mathematical formula, not by your parents’ income alone. Always remember, when you fill out the FAFSA, you’re also automatically applying for funds from your state, and possibly from your school as well. In fact, some schools won’t even consider you for any of their scholarships (including academic scholarships) until you’ve submitted a FAFSA. Don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get – fill out the application and find out for yourself.

Myth #2: “Only students with good grades get financial aid.”

Reality: While a high grade point average will help a student get into a good school and may help with academic scholarships, most of the federal student aid programs do not take a student’s grades into consideration. Provided a student maintains satisfactory academic progress in his or her program of study, federal student aid will help a student with an average academic record complete his or her education.

Myth #3: “I’m too old to get financial aid.”

Reality: Funds from federal student aid programs are awarded on the basis of financial need, not on the basis of age. Adult students can get financial aid, so be sure to fill out the FAFSA.

Myth #4: “The FAFSA is too hard to fill out.”

Reality: Most colleges require only the FAFSA in order to apply for assistance. Much of the information needed to fill out the FAFSA is found on family tax returns. On the 2016-2017 FAFSA students and parents are urged to use the new IRS Data Retrieval Tool that automatically pulls information from the IRS tax return and places the information in the correct FAFSA fields. In addition to the form's directions there is also online and telephone support available. The FAFSA can be filled out online and saved for future reference.

Remember, College Goal Maryland Financial Aid Night at Garrett College is open to all students and families regardless as to what college they are applying to. More information is available by contacting VanSickle in the Garrett College Financial Aid Office at 301-387-3083 or cissy.vansickle@garrettcollege.edu. To register in advance for the College Goal Maryland event, persons may visit www.collegegoalmaryland.org.

Applications Being Accepted for Second Annual Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition

 Garrett College and the Power of Possibilities team are currently accepting applications for the second annual Power of Possibilities (POP) Business Plan and Innovation Competition.  Applications are available online at www.4ruralsuccess.com and are due by February 11, 2016 at 4 p.m. Entry to the competition is free of charge. The goal of the Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition, according to Sarah Myers, Co-Director of the Power of Possibilities series, is to “create opportunities for those in our community via a multifaceted effort designed to help new entrepreneurs or those considering starting a business to take action and find success.”

“This initiative is about creating opportunity for those in our community and spurring economic development one business at a time. Through the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, we strive to help all small business owners and managers experience success, as well as those seeking to form a business for the first time. This effort complements and supports the College’s credit and non-credit courses and workshops, as well as our coaching and mentoring services for entrepreneurs,” explained Julie Yoder, Dean of Continuing Education & Workforce Development at Garrett College. “The College also operates a small business incubator on campus and partners with Garrett County Economic Development, the Small Business Development Corporation, and other for-profit and public entities on numerous other efforts to spur business formation and success.”

The business plan and innovation competition is somewhat unique in that it is not limited to technology companies, or even for-profit ideas. Competitors will spend almost two months collaboratively working with the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, along with other coaches and mentors from the community to build and hone their idea and a business plan. There will be phone and in-person meet-ups where competitors get to network with other competitors, ask questions and build their competency. Business plans must be submitted for review by a committee of judges by April 16, 2016. Winning entries will be announced at the April 27 POP 2.0! Summit during the awards luncheon. Attendance is free to competitors and winners win cash awards, the prestigious Daniel E Offutt III Innovation medal and access to free space in the College’s on-campus incubator.

“This competition is perfect for anyone with a business idea, however well-formed at present. We will help them understand how to craft a practical business plan, including market and competitor analysis, product/service concept development, financial and operational plan and go-to-market roadmap” according to Mike Tumbarello, Director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & innovation. “During last year’s competition, a number of individuals brought their respective ideas to fruition, resulting in a number of new businesses that were successfully formed and launched in the Garrett County and surrounding areas.” 


For more information or to discuss business ideas, prospective competitors (must be 16 years of age or older) may contact Tumbarello at 301-387-3167 or Myers at 301-387-3771 at Garrett College or visit www.4ruralsuccess.com to complete and submit the short application.


Parks & Recreation in Garrett County Survey

The public is invited and encouraged to participate in a survey regarding parks and recreation in Garrett County. The survey can be found at https://www.garrettcounty.org/planning-land-development/forms/parks-rec-survey.  In addition, email versions will be sent upon request by emailing Bill DeVore at bdevore@garrettcounty.org  and paper copies of the survey will be made available at the office of the Garrett County Department of Planning & Land Management located at

203 South Fourth Street - Room 210
Oakland Maryland 21550

The State of Maryland requires that counties update Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plans (LPPRP) every six years. Garrett County’s last LPPRP was completed in 2012. The LPPRPs qualify local governments for State Program Open Space (POS) grants and other programs.

The main purpose for this survey is to allow citizens the opportunity to help the County identify deficiencies and opportunities in the level of service provided by existing parks and recreational opportunities in Garrett County.

Surveys will be collected until March 11, 2016. Any questions regarding this survey should be directed to the Garrett County Department of Planning & Land Management at (301)334-1920.


Robert W. Sharps, along with his father, Robert P., and brother, Preston have become the lead Endowment Benefactors for cancer care in the community with their contribution of $250,000.00 to benefit patients at the WVU Cancer Institute at Garrett Regional Medical Center.

According to Robert W. Sharps, “Our families want to support our community’s urgent and critical fight against cancer. We believe that having this local Cancer Care Center will dramatically improve access to care, will encourage those battling this disease to continue their treatments, and will ultimately save lives.”

“The level of dedication and commitment to the health and well being of the region as a whole demonstrated by the generosity of the Sharps Families is such a blessing. Their support is overwhelming and has the potential to touch the lives of so many people suffering with the devastating effects of cancer,” stated Mark Boucot, GRMC president and CEO.  “Robert P. Sharps has also extended his assistance in helping the fundraising team, lead by Daryl and Dorothy Walters, as they continue their efforts to raise a total of $2.1 million,” explained Boucot. Sharps served as past chairman of the Hospital’s Foundation leading many successful fundraisers in addition to being instrumental in the initial creation of the Hospital Foundation in 1987. Preston Sharps currently serves as a member of the Foundation’s Planned Gifts Committee.

Recognition of this generous legacy has been provided on the Endowment Partners Wall at the entrance to the Center and is visible to anyone seeking treatment. The center has capacity for seven patients to be receiving treatments simultaneously, with four of the chairs being private and three of the chairs in an open area. The design provides a homey appearance and warm earth tones with patient comfort and safety as a priority. Kendra Thayer, chief nursing officer explained, “We have a patient and family centered approach to care here at Garrett.  The Cancer Center will be focused on high quality outcomes and excellent patient care and will treat all patients regardless of their ability to pay.”

Boucot noted that the Hospital is truly progressing and growing rapidly to meet the needs of the community.  As Governor Hogan stated during his visit, “This cancer center is an accomplishment that the community should really feel proud of.”  Patients utilizing the new cancer care and infusion center at Garrett Regional can all be assured they will receive the same high-quality level of cancer care that is available at the WVU Cancer Institute in Morgantown, WV, according to Albert Wright, president & CEO of WVU Medicine.

The WVU Cancer Institute at Garrett Regional Medical Center is currently scheduling patients to be seen in January. For additional information call 301-533-4222.

Garrett College Launches Power of Possibilities 2.0!
Small Business Events and Competition

Garrett College recently announced the second year of the Power of Possibilities (POP) business plan competition and summit series designed to help small business formation and success in Garrett County and surrounding areas. This year’s effort, termed POP 2.0! is designed to build on the inaugural year’s successes. 

POP 2.0! includes entrepreneurial summits and meet-ups for small business owners or those that want to own a small business as well as those that support small business formation and success. The first meeting of POP 2.0! was held December 14, 2015 at Garrett College and was exclusively for those in the regional small business support ecosystem – including representatives of Garrett County Government, Economic Development, Garrett County Schools, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, Garrett Business HUB, Greater Oakland Business Association, Garrett Arts Council and others, in addition to representatives from the College’s Credit and Workforce Development programs. A number of other state and federal organizations also participated, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, University of Maryland Agricultural Extension, Maryland Department of Commerce, TEDCO, Small Business Administration/SBDC, Tri-County Council and others. A number of private lending institutions were present, including First United Bank and Trust, BB&T, and Clear Mountain Bank.

“The first meeting comprised of key ecosystem players was a success and sets the stage for efforts to unfold during the next year, including our second annual Power of Possibilities Business Plan and Innovation Competition, which is open to anyone wishing to compete for cash and other awards by building and submitting a business plan,” stated Mike Tumbarello, Director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “We are truly working together to help people consider the possibilities and start a small business or grow one they are currently running.”

Work continues on initiatives emanating from that session, including the development of a County and regional ecosystem online support database and potential efforts around some specific opportunities for business creation in Garrett County. “The goal is to continue to build and enhance our support foundation for those that own their own business or want to start one. Last year’s POP effort impacted over 600 individuals that participated in the summits or entered the business plan and innovation competitions, with a number of new businesses resulting” said Tumbarello.

Tumbarello continued, “We plan to begin the second annual POP Business Plan competition in early February and are accepting applications now. The competition is open to anyone over 16 years of age that has an idea for a business, either for-profit or non-profit. All applicants participate in free coaching and mentoring from members of the business community and also get to engage with other new entrepreneurs. Winners will be announced at our April POP 2.0! Summit and qualify for cash awards, the prestigious Daniel E. Offutt III Innovation medal, and other valuable support services and awards.”

POP 2.0! is meant to be truly inclusive and is designed to help any individual or team capitalize on their business ideas by working with other business people in the community to build a strong business and lay the foundation for a strong launch. For more information visit www.4ruralsuccess.com or contact Tumbarello at 301-387-3167.

Recycle Christmas Trees at Garrett County Landfill

The Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling would like to invite Garrett County residents to participate in Christmas tree recycling at the Garrett County landfill location during the months of January and February.

Trees will be accepted for recycling during the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, at the landfill location at 3118 Oakland Sang Run Road, Oakland, Maryland.

Christmas tree recycling is available to Garrett County resident’s FREE-of-CHARGE.  A residential disposal permit is not required to participate in this program or any other recycling program in Garrett County.

Christmas trees may also be recycled at home by placing cut branches and needles under trees and shrubs as a temporary winter mulch -- or by chopping them up and adding them to your compost pile.

Remove all tinsel, garland and ornaments before recycling Christmas trees at home or at the landfill location.

Please remember that a refuse sticker is not required to recycle at any of the seven refuse & recycling sites, including the landfill. If you have any questions, please contact the office at 301 387 0322 or email kmadigan@garrettcounty.org.

Sin City Slayer: A Vegas Murder Mystery Scheduled at GC CARC

 Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Garrett College Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC) will be holding their second annual murder mystery dinner theater on Friday, February 12, 2016.  Last year’s murder mystery event proved to be a big success; therefore, organizers have decided to host this year’s event in the CARC gymnasium where a larger audience can be accommodated. 

The show, Sin City Slayer: A Vegas Murder Mystery, will be performed by Garrett College theater students. “The CARC will be transformed for one extravagant night into the Cosmo Casino, where guests will enjoy casino tables, a “mock tails” bar, photo booth, and the murder mystery,” said Kim Folk, Membership, Corporate & Group Sales Coordinator at the CARC. “It would be a sin to miss this fun and entertaining event!”

Guests will enjoy appetizers while trying their luck at the tables. The dinner menu includes the following: a Caesar’s Palace salad, Chicken Mirage (a penne pasta with chicken breast in a sweet marinara sauce), roasted and grilled vegetables, and assorted bread. There will also be a dessert bar with assorted deserts for guests to choose from after the meal.

Guests are encouraged to dress for the event and prizes will be awarded to the best dressed couple and one individual who guesses the murderer correctly. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. and will end around 9 p.m.

An early bird pricing special is available now through January 15, 2016. For more information on pricing or to reserve tickets in advance, persons may contact the CARC front desk at 301-387-3786. Tickets for the event include appetizers, dinner, dessert, show, and 10 casino chips.

Garrett County Chamber Announces 2016 Legislative Agenda

 The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2016 Legislative Agenda which includes a focus on tourism, economic & community development, education, infrastructure and business climate.

The issues included in the Chamber’s agenda are those items that the Garrett County Chamber believes could have the biggest impact through legislative action.

The top legislative priorities for the Chamber in 2016 will be:

1.       Support a Post Labor Day Start for Maryland Schools

2.       Increase Tourism Promotion Funding to $9.573 million

3.       Support the Creation of the Rural Development Incentive Program & Payment in Lieu of Taxes for State-owned Lands.

4.       Fully Restore Highway User Fees to Local Jurisdictions by 2022.

 “The Chamber’s Legislative Affairs Committee spends several months discussing what issues to include in the agenda and which ones to make our top priorities,” said Shane Grady, Legislative Affairs Committee chair. “With only one Senator and one Delegate representing Garrett County in the Legislature, it is important that we are vocal about our priorities and that we are aggressive with our advocacy efforts in order to make an impact.”

“Our Committee and Board of Directors do a fantastic job developing a legislative agenda that helps me focus on specific issues and provides a guide of legislation for which to watch,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “The legislature will consider more than 3,500 pieces of legislation and our local businesses do not have time to review every bill. Your Chamber will track legislation and provide a periodic update on bills and hearings throughout the session via our General Assembly Update electronic newsletter. We will advocate for bills that positively impact Garrett County and oppose those that do not.”

“I commend those that get involved in the legislative process by contacting their Senator and Delegate, travelling to Annapolis to testify at hearings or submitting written testimony. It is so important for these decision makers to receive input on policy being made.”

Last year the Garrett County Chamber achieved a 70% success rate in advocating for legislative action that resulted in a favorable outcome.

To view the full Garrett County Chamber of Commerce 2016 Legislative Agenda and the 2016 Session dates, please log onto http://www.visitdeepcreek.com/pages/Legislative.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region representing nearly 600 member firms.  The Chamber was formed 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 arrival of the holiday season is the right time to make sure you are prepared for winter weather. Here in Garrett County, the winter season can bring the potential for cold weather and slippery roads and sidewalks.

“Our County could experience winter storms this season,” said John Frank, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management Director. “Preparedness before the snow falls and the temperature drops is essential and helps our community remain resilient.”

 “It is difficult to predict exactly what type of winter weather will affect Maryland in any given year, but history shows us that most of the State will have to deal with some bad weather over the next few months,” said Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Executive Director Russ Strickland. “It’s better to make preparations now so you can avoid the last minute rush for snow shovels, salt, and other winter essentials.”

When cold weather hits, you should check on the welfare of family, friends, and neighbors who are particularly vulnerable to cold, snow, and ice – this may include the elderly and those with access and functional needs. It is also important to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter travel and that you have prepared your pets for bad weather.

Follow a trusted weather source, such as the National Weather Service and local news media, to be aware of any predicted frozen precipitation or severe cold. In addition, The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management recommends taking the following actions prior to the winter season:

  • Build a home preparedness kit that includes winter supplies such as snow shovels, ice melting products, extra warm clothes and blankets, flashlights, and batteries

  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out . If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home and set the thermostat to no lower than 55° Fahrenheit .

  • Check and winterize your vehicle, including all fluids, wiper blades, lights, and systems before the winter season begins. Have a car emergency kit in your vehicle

  • Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines

  • ID your pet with up-to-date name tags and rabies tags; include your cell phone number on the tag

In addition to these tips, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has recently released a winter preparedness video on their YouTube site: www.youtube.com/user/StateMarylandMEMA