Message Wall: Neighbors sharing ideas, help and support

Submitted photo/Neck District VFC
Members of the Neck District Volunteer Fire Company have been working hard to get their 1952 GMC fire engine ready to carry Santa through the area. Santa made his first round Sunday night with Chief Webster, spreading a little cheer throughout the Neck. Santa loved seeing all the children coming out to see him. He and volunteers from the fire company will take another trip through the Neck on the evening of Dec. 23.

CAMBRIDGE — As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to develop, local groups are reaching out to spread the word about their events and schedules. It remains a good idea to check on the status of goods and services before leaving home.
The Banner compiled a list of announcements over the previous week, which follows:

Neck District VFC
“Santa’s helpers have been working hard getting his sleigh ready for his ride through the Neck District,” a statement from the Neck District Volunteer Fire Company said. “If you haven’t heard yet, Santa has agreed to take some time out of his busy schedule to visit the Neck again this year. He will be riding through the Neck District on our 1952 GMC Fire Engine.”
His first trip took place on Dec. 20, with another set for Dec. 23 at 6 p.m., starting at Heather Lane again heading west to Condon Road.

Rescue Fire Company
The Officers & Members of Rescue Fire Company Inc. would like to take a moment to send A Huge “Thank You” for all the local donations we received this year from the community. We would also like to recognize those companies that partnered with the Rescue Fire Company Inc. Christmas Giving Committe, GKD USA, Mid Shore Graphics, Blue Ruin & The Dorchester Santa Toy Drive.
Today after countless hours of planning, shopping, and wrapping the members came together to deliver to 20 families. It was a day filled with a spirit of camaraderie, and teamwork where laughter was shared from goofing around in the station and tears of joy to see the expression on a kids face that someone does care.
To the members that came out to help today “Thank You” all help was appreciated. Please help us wish everyone “A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.

Hogan: Santa and crew can travel
During Thursday’s COVID-19 update, Governor Larry Hogan announced that Santa Claus, non-human elves affiliated with Santa; and reindeer necessary for the propulsion of Santa’s sleigh will be exempt from emergency orders regarding travel.
The order reads in part:
WHEREAS, A state of emergency and catastrophic health emergency was proclaimed on March 5, 2020, and renewed on March 17, April 10, May 6, June 3, July 1, July 31, August 10, September 8, October 6, October 30, and November 25, 2020, to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the state, and the state of emergency and catastrophic health emergency still exists;
WHEREAS, COVID-19, a respiratory disease that spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death, is a public health catastrophe and has been confirmed throughout Maryland;
WHEREAS, Order Number 20-12-17-01 authorizes quarantine and testing requirements for travelers entering the State of Maryland;
WHEREAS, According to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Santa Claus “has a lot of good innate immunity” from COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, Due to this immunity, it is unnecessary for Santa Claus and his affiliated elves and reindeer to comply with the requirements of Order Number 20-12-17-01;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAWRENCE J. HOGAN, JR., GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF MARYLAND, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO TITLE 14 OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY ARTICLE DO HEREBY ORDER:
I. Exemption. The following are exempt from the Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland Number 20-12-17-01, and any orders of the Secretary of Health issued pursuant thereto:
a. The one true Santa Claus who resides at the North Pole (the “Real Santa”);
b. Non-human elves affiliated with Santa; and
c. Reindeer necessary for the propulsion of Santa’s sleigh.
II. Only Applies to Real Santa. This Order only exempts the Real Santa. It does not apply to any of his representatives or contractors, including without limitation, Mall Santas.
III. No Interference By Law Enforcement. No law enforcement officer of the State or any political subdivision shall interfere with the performance by the Real Santa of his appointed rounds.

Dorchester COVID-19 update
We understand there are a lot of questions about COVID-19 vaccination. We are in Phase 1A of Maryland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, which can be accessed at bit.ly/34lWrvX.
Due to limited availability of the vaccine, Maryland has prioritized staff and residents at nursing homes and critical healthcare staff at hospitals. We anticipate receiving the vaccine at Dorchester County Health Department in the coming months and will provide details when vaccine registration is available.
For more information, visit bit.ly/vaxplanFAQs

Offices to close
Dorchester County Offices will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day. All offices will reopen Monday, Jan. 4.

Chamber of Commerce
Mark your calendar for the 2021 Annual Meeting on Jan. 28, 2021 at 6 p.m. The 2021 Annual Meeting will be a virtual meeting and broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube induction of 2021 Chairman Sharon Spedden, introduction of new board members, 2020 year in review, overview of key projects in dorchester county, keynote on resilience, and much more.

Salvation Army
Look for the iconic red kettles either set up outside of stores or smaller kettles on countertops inside shops. Donations help local families struggling with hunger, poverty, or job loss. Call 410-228-2442 x1008 for more info.

Santa Swim and Care & Share Fund
This year’s Santa Swim was canceled because of COVID-19, but you can still donate to the cause to help the Dorchester County’s most vulnerable. Send donations to The Care & Share Fund Inc., P.O. Box 1256, Cambridge, MD 21613.

Talbot Meals on Wheels
There are 125 homebound seniors and disabled individuals in Talbot County who rely on Meals on Wheels four days a week so that they can get the proper nutrition. Meals on Wheels, a national non-profit volunteer community service providing nutritional home-delivered meals at a nominal cost to qualified individuals, is provided through Upper Shore Aging and distributed through the Talbot County Senior Center at Brookletts Place in Easton.
Meals on Wheels recently added an additional new vendor, Sprout of Easton and St. Michaels, to provide the meals once a week on Thursdays for the next 12 months. Delmarva Community Services was already providing meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
“We are so thrilled that we can contract with a local restaurant through this difficult time – it helps them and it helps us. Our residents are getting fresh meals made from local products which are both nutritious and different from the more traditional meals we currently serve,” Manager of Brookletts Place Childlene Brooks.
According to Ryan Groll, owner of Sprout with his wife Emily, Sprout applied for the contract through the Maryland Department of Aging’s Maryland Senior Nutrition Restaurant Initiative because they felt they could provide healthy portions with real nutritional value. The prepared meals had to meet the health requirements of seniors, be packaged appropriately, and be ready to be heated up after their delivery.

Welcome to Hurlock Maryland
Trash pickup will be Dec. 26th, beginning at 6 a.m. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas!

Blackwater Refuge
The Blackwater NWR Visitor Center will be closed Dec. 26 and 27 and Jan. 2 and 3 following Governor Hogan’s order to temporarily suspend state in-person customer service operations for two weeks beginning Dec. 21. The Wildlife Drive and refuge trails remain open daily dawn to dusk. Hunts will continue as scheduled. Check back here for updates or visit our website at fws.gov/refuge/blackwater for more information.