I wish Elaine Holmes of Union Bridge managed my money.
Through numerous fund-raising events, Mrs. Holmes and her crew on the Town Hall Funding Committee have reduced the principal of the new Town Hall's $200,000 mortgage by $20,000 in just 18 months.
They also have paid for the outside lights and landscaping that enhance the building's driveway, and other finishing touches.
Mrs. Holmes and her hard-working committee of nearly 20 Union Bridge residents have flipped pancakes, fried eggs, baked biscuits, sold Tupperware and done odd jobs to help pay off the building, which was dedicated in September.
"We will try anything to raise money," she said.
The new Town Hall, at Locust Street and Clemson Alley, was a necessary investment for the town -- the old government office lacked accessibility for the disabled.
The new space is an attractive red brick building attached to the old Union Bridge Water Co., circa 1904. Mrs. Holmes said that when she and other interested residents served on a search committee for the new Town Hall site, they would drive around, analyze locations, study other Carroll County town halls and wind up at a restaurant where they would sketch their ideas on paper napkins.
The Locust Street site was a property already owned by the town, and with the old water company building on the corner it became a natural choice.
Now a new project is in the works. The Town Heritage Committee has undertaken the task of transforming the historic water company into a museum. Committee members are collecting artifacts and memorabilia that will make the old building, with its original water pump as a centerpiece, a cornerstone of the town's history.
Meanwhile, the Town Hall Funding Committee keeps working to reduce the debt.
"The people of this town should be very proud of their accomplishments," said Mrs. Holmes, who moved to Carroll from Montgomery County six years ago. "Nine hundred people [Union Bridge's population] can accomplish a big task without outside government grant money.
"A lot of people worked together to make this happen, and continue to work very hard."
Two more fund-raising breakfasts will be held this spring, then the committee will prepare for a gala town picnic, to be held the first Sunday after Labor Day.
The next breakfast is April 23, at the Community Center on Ladiesburg Road. The final breakfast of the spring season will be May 21. Information: 775-7017.
Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, with its collection of art from myriad countries and ages, beckoned Vickie Mastalerz of Union Bridge and Mary Ellen Bay of Uniontown this month.
The women, both members of the Carroll Garden Club, spent a day at the museum arranging flowers in the spirit of the painting they were assigned to interpret, "Madonna and Child," a late-15th-century painting done in Florence by an unknown artist.
The event was "Art Blooms at the Walters," and more than 30 garden clubs participated. The purposes were to interpret and complement the museum's collection of art and artifacts, and to raise money; the event is one of the museum's successful fund-raisers.
L This was the sixth year the Carroll Garden Club participated.
After the arrangements were completed, museum docents and volunteers guided visitors through the galleries and explained the arrangements as they interpreted the paintings.
"The flower arrangements were breathtaking," Ms. Mastalerz said.
For information about the Carroll Garden Club: 876-2354.
Some folks will sacrifice anything to raise money for their communities. For 78 people from Taneytown Lions Club, the "sacrifice" involved an 18-day cruise in the southern Caribbean to places as warm and wonderful as San Juan, St. Thomas, Barbados and Martinique.
The cruise, sponsored by the Lions Club and arranged through World Elite Travel Agency in Hanover, Pa., was a fund-raising event that earned more than $7,000 for Lions charities.
For every passage, $100 was donated to a Lions Club of the passenger's choice. Taneytown Lion Jim Poole organized the event.
The trip had been planned for two years. Last April, the club held a "cruise night" to see what the interest might be. Members thought a handful of people would participate, and were overwhelmed when dozens of people arrived and signed up on the spot. More enthusiasm for the cruise was generated at the Lions' convention last spring.
On March 25, the Costa Classica, an Italian ocean liner, began the cruise and the passengers on board enjoyed days of dining and sunshine.
"We had a wonderful time," said Lions President Jim Fair. "The islands were nice, and we had beautiful weather. And the association with a lot of people you knew added to the enjoyment of it."
Because of complications in the cruise schedule, not all of the Taneytown Lions could travel together, so 30 more people still have their cruise to look forward to later this month.
The Lions Club, a social service group, meets twice a month. Information: 751-1120.
Vickie Wisner of the Taneytown Jaycees is looking for some good candy.
The Easter egg hunt for Taneytown children is around the corner, and she needs the kind of bite-sized candies that will fit into the plastic Easter eggs found at discount stores.
The Jaycees have been sponsoring the hunt for as long as Vickie can remember, and this year's event will be Saturday, rain or shine, from noon to 2 p.m. at Taneytown Memorial Park.
Egg hunting areas will be roped off for children ages 1 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10.
An Easter bunny, Jaycee Larry Crowl, will give out candy to children who don't find as many eggs as they'd hoped.
Children are reminded to bring their own baskets. The event is open to Taneytown youth.
If you would like to donate candy, contact Mrs. Wisner at 751-1558.