Internet provider enjoys benefits of `Blair Witch'

NEIGHBORS

September 09, 1999|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT SEEMS ONLY appropriate that the southern Frederick County town of Burkittsville would select Severna Park's ToadNet as its Web site provider.

Like filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Edward Sanchez, whose movie, "The Blair Witch Project," has put Burkittsville on the map, ToadNet founder and chief executive officer, David Troy, 27, knows what it's like be successful at a young age.

He and his former partner, Ray Mitchell, started their first computer business in 1986 when Troy was 14 and a sophomore at Severn School.

And, like their accomplished filmmaking counterparts, ToadNet has received accolades as one of the region's leading full-service Internet providers, and is recognized as the area's top digital subscriber line provider.

The success of Myrick and Sanchez stems from the phenomenal box office receipts from their movie about three fictional film students searching for a mythical witch in the Burkittsville woods.

Despite the low budget film's unorthodox hand-held camera style, the result was an overnight sensation among critics, which has catapulted the two film makers to the top of Hollywood's A-list.

ToadNet was asked to develop the Burkittsville Web site in response to the movie's surprise success.

The home page has experienced as many as 500,000 visits a day from people with the urge to know "everything" about Burkittsville, from its imaginary witch lore to ingredients in the town's new favorite sandwich "The Burwitch," a terrifying mix of hamburger, fried egg, cheese and country ham, smothered in horseradish sauce.

ToadNet is in the process of being acquired by a company that is ready to inject the local business with enough new capital to increase ToadNet's products and services, and satisfy its need for larger facilities.

Club for newcomers

The Severna Park Newcomers Club invites members and prospective members to its first general meeting of the fall at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Shipley's Choice Clubhouse.

Learn about the club's activities and interest groups, which include day-timer and night-timer book clubs, antiques, bridge, golf, current events, day trips and tours.

General meetings are planned for the third Wednesday of the month.

The October luncheon meeting is at noon Oct. 20 at the Chart House in Annapolis.

Reservations: 410-431-5393.

Club information: 410-421-5511.

Time management

Learn how to escape the time trap by attending the Time Trap/Time Management workshop from 6: 30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the YWCA on Ritchie Highway in Arnold.

Offered by the YWCA and Anne Arundel Medical Center, the workshop is $15 and requires preregistration.

Information: 410-757-5400.

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