Dorchester Center for the Arts Brings Ssuuna to Several Dorchester Elementary Schools

            As part of their service as the county arts council, each year Dorchester Center for the Arts brings performers into the school. While middle school students enjoyed Spanish dancing last week, this week it was four elementary schools that enjoyed a performance by Ssuuna.

          Ssuuna presented “Mujje: Come Together.” A dancer, drummer, singer, songwriter, storyteller, and reggae artist, Ssuuna is a versatile, energetic performer from Uganda with a wide range of performing experience. In addition to having delighted and educated school audiences in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C., about life in East Africa, Ssuuna has performed at the World Bank, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and on numerous college campuses around the country, including Howard University, Louisiana State, George Mason, and M.I.T.

Heritage Area Recognizes Skipjack Race As 2012 Outstanding Project

The Dorchester Skipjack Committee recently was honored by the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area (HCCHA) with its 2012 Outstanding Project Award in recognition of the 2011 Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race.

The all-volunteer nonprofit organization, which owns and operates the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester, last year assumed responsibility for the coordination of the race and made a commitment to keeping it alive and building it as a significant community event. Augmenting the race itself last year were activities at Long Wharf during the race and a Captains and Crew Reception the prior evening, incorporating it into a full weekend of other community events.

In presenting the award to Lou Hyman, Secretary and Race Chairman for the Dorchester Skipjack Committee, HCCHA Management Board Member Tom Bradshaw recalled earlier days when the Cambridge harbor was full of skipjacks. He commended the organization’s volunteers for staging an exceptional event and helping to keep the area’s maritime heritage alive.

Lee Named Vice President of Philanthropy for Shore Health

Graham Lee has joined the senior leadership team of Shore Health System as Vice President of Philanthropy.

A fundraising professional for 36 years, Lee has 25 years of experience in hospital philanthropy. From 1989 to 2002, he was Vice President of Development for the Memorial Hospital Foundation and Shore Health System. During this time he significantly increased the assets in the Memorial Hospital Foundation, enhanced the Foundation’s planned giving program, and created and established relationships with donors, staff and volunteers.

Lee’s other development experience includes leadership positions at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, Baptist Health System in Tennessee, St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Towson and Mid Shore Community Foundation in Easton.

Lee began his professional career in development with the Boy Scouts of America. Most recently, he has been the Chief Development Officer at YMCA of the Chesapeake in Easton, where he led volunteers and donors in a successful capital campaign.

“We are enthusiastic in welcoming Graham back to Shore Health at a time when we are planning for a capital campaign to build the new Regional Medical Center while continuing our work on healthcare services and facilities throughout the Mid-Shore region,” comments Kenneth Kozel, MBA, FACHE, President and CEO for Shore Health System. “This is an exciting time as we reach out to our current donors and build relationships with new friends to our health system.”

Lee and his wife, Brenda, live in Easton. They have three grown children. He is an active member of the boards of Character Counts Mid Shore, the Mental Health Association in Talbot County and Easton Rotary Club.

“My family and I have enjoyed living in Talbot County for 23 years,” Lee says. “I have learned so much from volunteers and donors who support Memorial Hospital, Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the YMCA, and members of the community in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties. I look forward to the opportunity to return to Shore Health, where I will work with members of the leadership team and with volunteers to launch what I expect will be the system’s most successful capital campaign. I plan to do this with support from the Foundation staff and leaders as we continue the growth of philanthropy at Shore Health System and its hospitals.”

2012 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival Offers New Venues

Chesapeake Chamber Music’s 27th annual Festival will run from June 3 through June 17, 2012, crisscrossing the Mid Shore with venues in Easton, Centreville, Queenstown, St. Michaels and Trappe.  The two-week Festival will feature 13 events, including six concerts, five artist recitals and two free open rehearsals. 

Bernice Michael, the 2012 Festival Chairperson, comments, “We have enriched the Festival with daily and nightly performances ranging from early to new music. To showcase world-class chamber music to our growing audience, we offer performances   in an exciting variety of venues. The unique appeal of the Chesapeake draws internationally acclaimed chamber musicians who delight us all. Come join us!”

This year’s venues range from the historically significant St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville to the new Performing Arts Centre at St. Michaels High School; from Queenstown in the north to Trappe in the south, expanding the Festival’s reach to new audiences across the Shore.  The newly renovated St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Liberty Street in Centreville, belongs to one of the oldest parishes on the Eastern Shore, having been established in 1692. On Saturday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m., the oak- vaulted ceiling of St. Paul’s sanctuary, shaped like the inverted hull of an early ship, and the cathedral-style floor plan, will provide the perfect ambiance for enjoying chamber works from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, featuring a Boccherini string quintet, the Brahms Clarinet Quintet and Argento’s Six Elizabethan Songs.  

Curiosities and Art Back in Sherwood Village

Aesthetic Alternatives Art Studio in Sherwood will re-open its art and curiosity shop on the north end of the Sherwood Road commercial space on May 26. This unique annex opens as an outlet for not only the art studio’s creations, but also unusual antiques. Shoppers will find an eclectic variety as well as many amusing surprises within the store’s rustic walls. Items such as old medicine bottles from the store’s pharmacy days, children’s toys from long-gone eras,garden art,the studio’s highly collected gargoyle bells, face pots, one-of- a kind jewelry, hand-painted furniture, imported antiques, one-of-a kind creations, antique what-knots and much more can be found in the Shoppe of Curiosities. There will be a little something for everybody, with items ranging from a few dollars on up.

Tresentes Named 2012 Talbot County Foster Parents of the Year

Tragedy has turned to joy for foster parents, Guy Tresente and Martha Reyes-Tresente of Easton, who were named as the 2012 Talbot County Foster Parents of the Year by the Talbot County Department of Social Services.  The Tresentes, who lost their only child, Grace Edyta, at 11 days old and could not have any more children, became licensed as foster parents in 2010.  Guy Tresente, who was exposed to foster care through a high school friend, comments, “We view it as a ministry. I see children as the future.”

Over the last two years, the Tresentes have provided foster care and respite to 10 children.  According to Christine Abbatiello, LGSW, foster care worker for Talbot County Department of Social Services, “They have been instrumental in working with three different sibling groups to keep the siblings together, even when it might mean driving long distances to keep the children in their schools.” She adds, “In addition, Guy and Martha have gone above and beyond to connect with the biological families of their foster children. They have also worked with some of the sibling groups to incorporate as much of their family of origin culture into their foster home.”

Free daily events at CBMM this summer

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St Michaels, MD, is offering a full roster of daily events for museum guests this Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Kid-themed, hand-on activities are offered on Thursdays and Fridays from 2-4pm. Forty-five minute highlight tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays at 11 am and 2pm, with docent interpretation offered every day at Watermen’s Wharf from 11am-3pm.

Stop by the working boatyard Mondays through Fridays at 1:30pm for a demonstration, and learn traditional boatbuilding skills from a trained shipwright. On Saturdays, guests can visit with authentic Chesapeake people who share their stories, from 11am-3pm, or work under the guidance of a master shipwright to help rebuild the skipjack Rosie Parks in the Community Work Days Program, from 10am-3pm. All of these activities are free with museum admission.

For those wanting to get out on the water, the museum’s replica buyboat, Mister Jim, takes passengers on 30-minute scenic cruises along the Miles River. Departing from the Hooper Strait Lighthouse and carrying up to 24 passengers, Mister Jim runs Fridays through Mondays at 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm through the summer. The cost is $10 per person or free for kids 16 and under, with paid museum admission.

Summer sailing classes offered at CBMM

Kids can explore the Miles River and learn maritime skills in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s (CBMM) summer sailing program, where new sailors and old salts gain the confidence to sail a small boat in a fun, safe, and encouraging environment.

Weekly classes are available June 11 through August 3 for participants 8 years of age and older, and offer instruction for sailors at basic, intermediate and advanced sailing levels. The daily classes include limited classroom instruction and three hours of on-the-water experience.

Participants learn sailing and teambuilding skills including water safety, rigging, boat handling and docking. The week ends with a family picnic and awards ceremony, where the students’ accomplishments are celebrated. Pre-registration is needed, with a museum member cost of $200, or $225 for non-members.

Skipjack Offers Free Sails Memorial Day

The Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester will offer free sails from Long Wharf in Cambridge on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. The sails are sponsored by a grant from the Nathan Foundation.

Four sailing times are available, at noon, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. No advance reservations will be accepted. Passengers may sign up on a first-come, first-served basis at the dock on the day of the sails, beginning about an hour before the first departure time. These popular sails usually get fully booked quickly.

The skipjack’s regular public sailing season is now underway, with two-hour public sails being offered each Saturday the boat is in port. Two reduced-rate one-hour sails are offered one Sunday each month, beginning May 20. Passengers may reserve spaces on the public sails online at

Hearthstone Health and Fitness

Hearthstone Health and Fitness, Inc., the new fitness and wellness center in Easton, announces that it opened for business on May 21.

Hearthstone Health and Fitness has taken up residence at 102 Marlboro Avenue in Easton. Hearthstone's owners, Dave and Martha Tuthill of Oxford, have transformed the former Blockbuster Video location into a state-of-the-art facility that will bring together the very best in exercise and nutritional science, fitness equipment and highly qualified expert staff. First and foremost, Hearthstone will provide a superior client commitment to deliver an integrated and complete wellness experience for the individual just starting his wellness journey to the elite athlete looking to improve their performance.

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