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This week marked the observance of World Mental Health Day, and the first anniversary of the death of a British Columbia teenager who took a stand amid relentless bullying.

When Amanda Todd expressed her pain in an online video, and took her own life about a month later, a St. Mary’s songwriter recorded and posted a response that he later learned was played at her memorial service.

Kevin W. Loy, a graduate of Leonardtown High School now working at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, plays all the instruments on “The Ballad of Amanda Todd (One Day at a Time),” for his video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjPLIilEETY. Its chorus, sung and displayed on written cue cards, carries the message, “You are a beautiful person. Everything will be fine. Don’t listen to what they tell you. Just breathe, and leave their hatred behind. And try to take things one day at a time.”

Loy, now 30, said he empathized with Todd’s grief, and chose to follow her medium.

“She was giving a demonstration with cue cards of the bullying that she was experiencing herself,” Loy said this week, and he used that same format “kind of in homage to it.”

“I identified with that, going through a period of strife. I went through some of that myself when I was in school,” he said, but “there’s a greater realization to be held from that, ... from that basic struggle.”

That message went across the border when a friend of Loy’s from high school, who was working in British Columbia, told Todd’s uncle about the video, leading to its inclusion at her memorial service. The performance has had other admirers, as well.

“I have gotten some positive feedback on it,” Loy said.

Gather together Saturday on the Square

The annual Praise and Prayer on the Square event, sponsored by the Bread of Life Center for Peace, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 12, on the square in Leonardtown, presenting an opportunity to join together to listen to music and pray for the United States. For more information, call 301-475-9770.

Dance Saturday in Chaptico

A contra dance, sponsored by Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance and featuring caller DeLaura Padovan, will be held this Saturday, Oct. 12, at Christ Episcopal Church’s parish hall at 37497 Zach Fowler Road in Chaptico. Beginners are encouraged to arrive at 7 p.m. to get some instruction in the dances. The dancing will begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be an ice cream social following the dance. For more information and directions, go online to www.smtmd.org.

Eat breakfast with a firefighter Sunday

An all-you-can-eat breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. this Sunday, Oct. 13, at the firehouse on Drayden Road in Valley Lee to benefit the 2nd District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. For more information, call 301-994-9999.

Tractors and trucks to parade on Sunday

The Southern Maryland Power Association Antique Tractor and Truck Parade to be held at 1 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 13, in Leonardtown will treat families to the sights and sounds of yesteryear, as they see the vehicles that helped build the region’s agricultural base and continue to work the land. The tractors and trucks will be on display in the town square after the parade. All proceeds will benefit Christmas in April. For more information, call 301-904-3491 or go online to http://somdapa.com.

Support family advocacy at the wharf

St. Mary’s County Center for Family Advocacy’s Concert and Seafood at the Wharf event, featuring a live performance by Whiskers, will take place Sunday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the wharf in Leonardtown. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on. No coolers will be allowed. For more information, call 301-373-4141 or go online to www.smcfa.net.

Meet Sotterley author on Sunday

The Greenwell Foundation’s Sundays in the Park will host Jeanne Pirtle, education director of Sotterley Plantation and author of “Images of America: Sotterley Plantation,” from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 13, at Rosedale Manor in Hollywood. The newly published book features more than 200 vintage images and memories of the plantation’s past. Rosedale was the home of John Philip Greenwell Jr., who donated his land to the state of Maryland, and began the Greenwell Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization offering inclusive and accessible programs, services and facilities within Greenwell State Park.

For more information, go online to greenwellfoundation.org. More information about the book “Images of America: Sotterley Plantation” can be found online at www.sotterley.org/Museum-Sotterley-Plantation/Sotterley-Plantation-Images-of-America-Jeanne-K-Pirtle.htm.

Sheriff to hold Oct. 16 meeting in Charlotte Hall

St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) and the sheriff’s office’s Citizens Advisory Board, in a continuing effort to strengthen community and law enforcement partnerships, will host a community meeting at 6 p.m. next Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Northern Senior Center located at 29655 Charlotte Hall Road in Charlotte Hall. The sheriff will provide an overview of calls for service, and respond to citizen’s questions.

Eat steak, shrimp and fish Oct. 18 in Avenue

American Legion Post No. 221 at 21690 Colton Point Road in Avenue will hold its monthly dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, featuring New York strip steak, steamed shrimp, fish and burgers. Platters and sandwiches both will be available, for eat-in or carry-out service. For more information, call 301-884-4071 or go online to www.alpost221.webs.com. The full menu can be viewed at http://alpost221.webs.com/steakshrimpmenu.htm.

Play bingo Oct. 19 in Ridge

A bingo game starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Ridge firehouse will feature prizes including televisions, mobile electronic devices, gift cards and recycled asphalt. For more information, call 301-862-4597. All proceeds will benefit the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, St. Mary’s Trinity Church at St. Mary’s City and St. Mary’s Chapel in Ridge.

Troopers at Leonardtown to receive domestic violence award

The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence’s 2013 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon to be held Oct. 25 in Linthicum will include award presentations to six outstanding community leaders, including the Maryland State Police barrack in Leonardtown.

The seventh annual Lethality Assessment Award will be presented for a second year to the troopers at the Leonardtown barrack for their outstanding achievements in consistently screening and reporting an extraordinary high number of high-risk domestic violence victims, and getting them to speak to a hotline worker from a local domestic violence program.

Trick-or-treat, build scarecrows in town

A Trick-Or-Treat on the Square event, St. Mary’s Animal Welfare League pet costume contest and St. Mary’s Craft Guild build-your-own-scarecrow session will all take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, on the square in Leonardtown.

At 3:30 p.m., walk or drive over to the College of Southern Maryland auditorium for an afternoon showing of the movie “Hocus Pocus,” presented by the Friends of the Leonardtown Theater. For more information, call 301-475-9791.

School’s ‘cash bash’ to be held Oct. 26

St. Michael’s School’s Cash Bash in Ridge will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, featuring prize drawings throughout the event, plus live music, food, games and the display of an MiG-21J cockpit. A Vegas Night will be held beforehand at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, with casino games. For tickets and more information, go online to SMSCASHBASH.org, call 240-587-7111 or send mail to P.O. Box 211, Ridge, Md. 20680. Tickets also will be sold at the gate.

Quarter auction to be held Oct. 27 in Ridge

The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will host a quarter auction from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the firehouse located at 13820 Point Lookout Road in Ridge. Doors will open at noon. There is no limit on the number of paddles that can be purchased. For more information, send email to auxiliary@ridgevfd.org or call 301-872-5671.

Take part in new planning for an old war

A Partners Planning Meeting for next spring’s Raiders & Invaders’ Weekend will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the auditorium of Building A at the College of Southern Maryland’s Leonardtown campus. Raiders & Invaders Weekend, set for June 6, 7 and 8 of next year, will feature festival events in Leonardtown and activities throughout the county, as part of the area’s War of 1812 bicentennial event. It’s all part of a Chesapeake Bay region state and regional marketing effort. For more information, call Carolyn Laray, St. Mary’s tourism manager, at 301-475-4200, ext. 1403, or send email to carolyn.laray@stmarysmd.com.

Ark Festival set for Nov. 2 at HSMC

The Ark Festival to be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Historic St. Mary’s City will feature Dr. Ben Carson’s discussion of the foundations of the United States, plus a performance by Tye Tribbett, a three-time Grammy award winning artist. For more information, go online to www.thearkfest.com or call 202-870-6455.

Safety urged at corn mazes

Maryland’s state fire marshal’s office has put out an advisory for Maryland families who enjoy corn mazes that the state’s fire codes are geared toward helping to prevent tragedies at the venues and ensuring a fire-safe environment for everyone.

Requirements such as providing safety instructions to visitors and stationing employees on a platform to monitor conditions in the maze help minimize the risk from fire, the fire marshal’s office reports, as do prohibitions on smoking within the maze and other open flames such as candles, gas-fired lanterns or other devices. Other requirements limiting the number of patrons at any one time within the maze, established fire lanes, public address systems and keeping fireworks displays no closer than 300 feet from the maze are also enforced to enhance a fire safe environment.

Entrepreneurs considering creating a corn maze attraction should contact their local permits office, and are urged to contact their local fire prevention bureau or the fire marshal’s office for a complete list of fire safety requirements before creating their venue.

Get stuffed ham Nov. 12 in Ridge

The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will be selling stuffed ham sandwiches on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the firehouse located at 13820 Point Lookout Road in Ridge. Pre-orders are recommended, and are now being accepted. In order to guarantee an order is filled, it must be turned in no later than Nov. 5, by sending email to auxiliary@ridgevfd.org with the customer’s name, phone number, pick-up day and time, and the number of sandwiches, or by calling 301-872-5671 and leaving a message with the same information. Email orders will receive an electronic confirmation. All pre-orders can be picked up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that Tuesday, or from 6 to 8 p.m. the day before. Baked goods also will be available for sale.

Fall craft fair set for Nov. 17 in Hollywood

An annual Fall Craft Fair sponsored by the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Hollywood firehouse’s social hall.

There will be free parking and free admission. Auxiliary members will be selling lunch items including stuffed ham sandwiches, homemade vegetable soup, chicken tenders, burgers and hot dogs. Stuffed ham also will be sold by the pound, and there will be a bake sale at the event.

Get crafts Dec. 8 in Golden Beach

The Golden Beach/Patuxent Knolls Civic Association will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar and Craft Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Golden Beach firehouse at 29848 Therese Circle, off Golden Beach Road. Bring children to have their picture taken with Santa Claus, who will arrive at 11 a.m. No pets will be allowed. There will be more than 30 vendors, along with door prizes, baked goods and food for sale. Vendors may rent a table for $30. Preregister for a table by calling Kathy Owens at 301-884-8432. Bring a nonperishable food item or a new unwrapped gift to donate to needy families in the area.

jwharton@somdnews.com