- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
It had gotten to the point where a St. Mary’s resident who wanted to join a throng of people jumping into cold water in mid-winter had to drive more than an hour to find like-minded enthusiasts.
The St. Mary’s Splash, later moving up the Potomac to Charles County and renamed the Shiver in the River, were Special Olympics fundraisers that now remain only in the participants’ memories.
In 2010, Mike Kibler of Breton Bay near Leonardtown traveled up to Anne Arundel County’s Sandy Point State Park for the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge, also benefiting Special Olympics. That event will take place again this Saturday, Jan. 26, but Kibler and his neighbors are gearing up for the third versions of their own cold dip for a good cause that they’ve devised much closer to home.
The third annual Breton Bay Polar Bear Plunge will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Breton Bay Beach at the end of Society Hill Road, followed by a post-plunge party at the Avenmar Community Center off Bretmar Drive.
“It’s community driven,” Kibler said this week. “It’s open to the public, a word-of-mouth kind of thing. It’s always a bit of a surprise on the day of the event, how many people are going to be there.”
About 35 people showed up at 2011’s first effort, he said, and half of them went into the water while the other half watched. Close to 130 people showed up last year, and two-thirds of them took a swim.
“I’m really confident that this year we’ll have at least the kind of turnout we had last year,” Kibler said. “A lot of people like to do this, or have always wanted to try something like this.”
Participation in both the plunge and the party are free, but all attendees are encouraged to make a charitable contribution to St. Mary’s Caring soup kitchen by either bringing a canned food item or monetary donation.
The first year’s event brought in $200 and a couple boxes of food, Kibler said, and last year tallied $400 and more than 100 pounds of canned goods and dry food items. This year’s event is a month away, but $500 already has been received for the soup kitchen that provides hot meals for needy people.
People going to the event also are asked to bring a shareable appetizer, snack or dessert, and beverages of their choice to enjoy around the party’s roaring fire while listening to good music.
And once again, people who aren’t inclined to go into the water in February will be welcome.
“The observers,” Kibler said, “are usually people [who say] ‘I’ll go with you, but there’s no way in the world I’ll go in. I’ll have a dry towel for you.’”
Kibler isn’t one of them.
“I go the whole way under,” he said. “I get totally submerged.”
For more information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toast Robert Burns at Saturday dinner
The Celtic Society of Southern Maryland will host a Robert Burns Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Solomons.
The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail social, the start of the evening’s event held in recognition of Burns, who was born on Jan. 25, 1759, and within his 37-year lifetime earned the title of “The Ploughman Poet,” and in Scotland as “The Bard.” Black tie highland dress is encouraged, but a coat and tie will suffice for men, and ladies can wear formal or dressy cocktail attire, with a show of tartan encouraged. Giving the “Address to the Haggis” will be Peregrine Russell-Hunter, and the Chesapeake Caledonia Pipe and Drums band will pipe visiting dignitaries to their seats. Haggis, neeps, and tatties will be the dinner appetizer.
A silent auction of donated Celtic-themed items will provide funds to further the Celtic Society’s educational contributions to Southern Maryland. The evening will culminate in a performance by the band, a jam session under a heated tent on the hotel patio. For more information and to buy tickets, go online to www.cssm.org or call Bill Reason at 301-904-9845.
Forum next week to discuss health care
The Affordable Care Act taking effect in 2014 will bring changes to the American health care system for Maryland farmers and small businesses, and the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission will host a forum on the subject at 6 p.m. next Monday, Jan. 28, at the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s auditorium on Burnt Store Road in Hughesville.
To register or submit a question for the panel, call Susan McQuilkin at 301-274-1922, ext. 1, or send email to email@example.com.
Sheriff says lock the car
Thefts from motor vehicles are increasing throughout St. Mary’s, the sheriff’s office reports, and the goods that culprits often spot in plain view include purses, wallets, money, cellphones, GPS navigation systems and other electronic devices like MP3 music players.
Sheriff Timothy Cameron (R) advises county residents lock their vehicles, make sure windows are completely up and secured, lock compartments inside of the vehicle such as the glove box and center console, conceal valuable items from plain view, remove the items from the vehicle or secure them in the trunk, and park in well-illuminated areas.
Report suspicious activity, people and vehicles to the sheriff’s office by calling 301-475-8008, and in addition to noticing a suspicious person’s appearance, write down the registration tag number of any suspicious vehicles. Responding sheriff’s deputies will file a field information report, and that data is submitted for review and discussion during weekly CompStat meetings at the sheriff’s office. If there’s a crime in progress, call 911.
Maryland adopts new fire safety codes
The Maryland state fire marshal’s office reported this month that the state’s residents now are protected by the most up-to-date editions of two key safety codes, as 2012 editions of the National Fire Protection Association’s codes and standards have been adopted by Maryland’s Fire Prevention Commission as part of an overall revision of the state’s fire prevention code.
Effective in Maryland this month, the fire marshal’s office reports, the updated national codes are widely used across the country to protect people and property in new and existing buildings. The national association’s Life Safety Code, used in all 50 states, mandates building design construction, operation, and maintenance requirements to protect building occupants from the dangers caused by fire, smoke and toxic fumes. The latest edition of the national codes provides requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion.
State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard said through a statement that the latest editions of the widely used codes will allow the state agency to provide the highest level of protection for the people of Maryland.
Code enforcers in Maryland participated in a training program that covers the code’s requirements and ways it can be best utilized, according to the fire marshal’s office. The national association made the training and the associated codebooks available free to the government code enforcement officials in the state. Free training and codebooks helped to reduce costs for Maryland taxpayers, and the training ensured that code enforcers have the latest reference materials.
Play basket bingo Feb. 7
A Longaberger basket bingo will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Mechanicsville firehouse social hall, to benefit the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. games. Every basket will have a Pampered Chef item. For table reservations and more information, call Joyce Downs at 301-884-8829 or 301-481-0906.
Sotterley to host Feb. 9 tours
Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood will continue this year’s 2nd Saturday Series with tours at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, on the topic of “Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom,” a program exploring slavery’s part of Sotterley’s history from the turn of the 18th century, and lasting more than 160 years. Advance reservations are required. Purchase tickets online at www.sotterley.org. The snow date will be Feb. 25.
Food fundraiser set for Feb. 9
The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will hold its monthly Schwan’s Truckload Fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the firehouse located at 13820 Point Lookout Road in Ridge. To guarantee the availability of the items, pre-orders may be made online at www.schwansfundraising.com/orderform.aspx, using Event ID 39903, Ridge VFD Auxiliary, Ridge, MD 20680. Catalogs may be requested through the website. For more information, call 301-872-5671.
Dinner auction set for Feb. 23
Little Flower School in Great Mills will hold its annual benefit auction on Saturday, Feb. 23, beginning with a buffet style dinner. Dan Raley will be the auctioneer, and the event also will include a drawing for a two-carat oval tanzanite ring, set in white and yellow gold, with a retail value of $8,000. Reserve tables by calling 301-994-0404 or sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Updates can be found online at www.lfsauction.webs.com/ and www.facebook.com/littleflowercatholic.
Rotary accepting grant applications
The Leonardtown Rotary Club is accepting grant applications from St. Mary’s non-profit programs and public services agencies, and the deadline for the applications during this award period is March 1.
Awards will be announced in April, as the club continues its practice of a key element of “service above self” by providing grant funds to local agencies and programs in the county that provide humanitarian services to its citizens. The competitive grant process leads to awards typically ranging between $250 and $500, depending on the need expressed in the application and funding availability.
Applications are available on the Leonardtown Rotary website, at www.leonardtownrotary.org, or by sending email to Kathleen Reif, grants program chair, at email@example.com.
Scholarship applications invited
Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) is seeking applicants for Maryland Delegate Scholarship awards for the 2013-2014 school year.
Successful applicants must be pursuing an academic program beyond high school, and either attend or plan to enter a Maryland college or university in the fall. Full- or part-time students may qualify for the awards. Applicants must be a resident of District 29B, and information on legislative district boundaries is available online at mdelect.net or by calling St. Mary’s Board of Elections at 301-475-7844, ext. 1610.
Prior to submitting the scholarship application, the Federal Form for Financial Aid must be completed. Access the form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
To apply for a scholarship, submit a completed application with a short letter stating why the applicant should receive a scholarship, career goals, any special circumstances and a copy of the completed FAFSA application. The scholarship application deadline is Tuesday, April 30. To request an application, contact Bohanan’s district office by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 301-866-4000.