St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Commissioners Announce 2015 Public Forum Schedule

The newly elected Commissioners of St. Mary's County have published their 2015 schedule of Public Forums. The first forum was held on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

Future public forums for 2015 will be held on the following dates:

-- Tuesday, March 10

-- Tuesday, May 5

-- Tuesday, September 1

-- Tuesday, October 6

All forums will be held in the commissioners meeting room, inside the Chesapeake Building, in Leonardtown (41770 Baldridge Street) at 6:30 p.m.

All Public Forums will be televised live on St. Mary's County Government TV 95 (SMCG TV 95) on Metrocast Cable and streamed live for online viewing on the county's website at Click on the LIVE link at the top of the page (note this feature is not available on mobile or Apple devices). The January 13 Public Forum will be rebroadcast on SMCG TV 95 on Sunday, January 18 at 7 p.m.

Anyone wishing to speak at a Public Forum will be allowed up to three (3) minutes to address the Commissioners. Those wishing to provide more detailed comments may do so via email or regular mail.

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County can be reached by e-mail at or by U.S. mail at Commissioners of St. Mary's County, P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.

St. Mary's County Library to Host Veteran's Book Group

The St. Mary's County Library will host a free Veteran's Book Group the first Saturday during the months of February through June. The program will be held at the Charlotte Hall Library (37600 New Market Road, Charlotte Hall, Md. 20622) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

At the heart of the program is a small group of veterans who gather monthly over five months for reading and discussion. The series is presented by the Maryland Humanities Council and the St. Mary's County Library. The program is part of a National Endowment for the Humanities initiative Standing Together: Humanities and the Experience of War, created to promote understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans.

Reading materials will be provided and lunch has been generously donated by Mission BBQ. The program is limited to 15 participants and veterans of all eras are welcome. Participants are expected to attend all five sessions. Those interested should contact Alesha Verdict 301-884-2211, ext. 1005 or via email to to register. Deadline is January 24.

Vietnam veteran, author, and College of Southern Maryland professor Wayne Karlin will lead the discussion. Readings include those from the classics, poetry and memoir, short stories, works by writers such as Phil Klay, Homer, Ernest Hemingway, le thi diem thuy, and Ambrose Bierce. Discussions will be organized into five segments: the need to tell the story, telling the story, the journey of the hero, home front, and homecomings.

"The St. Mary's County Library is honored to partner with the Maryland Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide this very meaningful experience for our veterans," noted Kathleen Reif, Director of St. Mary's County Library. "It is especially appropriate that this series will be held at the Charlotte Hall Library since our neighbor is the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, the only veterans' home in the State of Maryland. It is our hope that this pilot project will become a regular service for our community of veterans."

For more information about the Maryland Humanities Council Veterans Programs and The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), go to

Dads and Daughters can Enjoy an Early Valentine's Day at the Second Annual Daddy Daughter Dance

Fathers seeking a unique way to enjoy Valentine's Day with their daughters can accompany them to the second annual Daddy Daughter Dance.

St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks will host the dance on Saturday, February 7, from 7 - 9 p.m., for girls all ages. The Chancellors Run Loffler Center in Great Mills will be transformed into a fairy tale setting. Each family attending will receive a professional 5x7 photo. Daughters must pre-register as space is limited.

The Daddy Daughter Dance costs $35.00 per couple ($7.00 for each additional daughter.) Additional photos are available for $8.00 each. Dads can spend a special evening dancing with their daughters at this semi-formal event! The dance is a great way for fathers, step-fathers, uncles or grandfathers to create a special Valentine's Day experience for their daughters. Dads and daughters can enjoy refreshments and each other's company.

Registration for the dance can be completed online at or in person at the Recreation & Parks office in Leonardtown. For more information call 301-475-4200 ext. 1800 or 1801.

Nominations Sought for Woman of the Year and Woman of Tomorrow Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Woman of the Year and 2015 Woman of Tomorrow awards sponsored by the St. Mary's County Commission for Women. Nominees will be recognized and winners will be announced at the Commission's annual Women's History Month Banquet on Thursday, March 19, 2015, at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, 44219 Airport Road, California, MD.

The Woman of the Year award recognizes exemplary community service while the Woman of Tomorrow award honors a high school-aged, young woman for exemplary community service. Names of nominees can be submitted for either or both awards. To request a nomination packet, visit the Commission's website at, send an email to or call 301-475-4200, ext. 1680. Deadline to submit nomination forms is January 30, 2015.

Tickets to the banquet are $25 per person and include dinner. Reservations must be made by March 3.

Proceeds from the banquet benefits the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship at the College of Southern Maryland's Leonardtown campus. It supports a non-traditional student who is a single parent or displaced homemaker.

Contact Chairwoman Marta Kelsey with questions at 301-475-4200, ext. 1680 or via email at

Sponsorships Now Available for 2015 Woman of the Year Banquet

The St. Mary's County Commission for Women's 2015 Woman of the Year Banquet: Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives will be held on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with the program beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Attendance at this community event has increased each year and has sold out the past three years. Even more attendees are expected this year due to increased capacity at our new venue, the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, 44219 Airport Road, California, MD. Several opportunities are available for companies & non-profit organizations to participate as a sponsor.

Sponsors may make monetary donations and will be recognized in the program and at the event. Sponsorship commitments must be received by fax or mail prior to February 20, 2015. Sponsorships after that date will continue to be accepted, however recognition opportunities will be limited.

Sponsorship application packets can be downloaded at

For more information, call Kathleen Werner at 301-904-0332, or via e-mail to

Metropolitan Commission Supports Mary Lou Gough Food Pantry

On December 18, 2014, employees of the Metropolitan Commission presented Dennis Cantwell, representative for the Mary Lou Gough Food Pantry, a donation in the amount of $1,345.00. This donation was the result of fundraising efforts by MetCom employees beginning in November and continuing into the holiday season. In addition, employees contributed canned food to the effort.

The Mary Lou Gough Food Pantry is located in Chaptico, Maryland and is administered by Our Lady of the Wayside parish. The Food Pantry serves approximately 50 families per month.

Contributing to a local charity has been an initiative undertaken by Metropolitan Commission employees for many years in conjunction with the annual holiday luncheon. In recent years, several thousand dollars have been donated to organizations including Hospice House, St. Paul's Soup Kitchen and Hunter's Heroes.

Health Department Seeking Contractors to Educate on Hazards of Tobacco Use for Pregnant Women

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking contractors to educate women who are pregnant, of childbearing age, and individuals in their households on the hazards of tobacco use. Funds for this project are from the Pregnancy and Tobacco Cessation Help (PATCH) program, administered through the Maryland Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control. The program’s aim is to enhance local capacity for medical providers and community organizations to engage in health promotion related to tobacco use screening, education, prevention and smoking cessation services offered to pregnant women and others in their households. For more information about this request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at

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