CUB SCOUT Troop 459 from Union Bridge shared holiday cheer with residents of Brookfield Manor Resident Care Inc. recently when the Scouts read Christmas stories and played "Jingle Bells" on their trumpets.
The Scouts' visit to the assisted-living home in Middleburg is an annual event that began nearly a decade ago, according to Pat Keeney, the Scouts' den mother. One Scout's mother said that her son didn't have grandparents close by and that it would be nice to pay a visit to elderly people.
"It would give the boys a chance to get to know an older person," Keeney said.
Since then, the boys have visited. The number of Scouts visiting this year was a banner one and included several of the Scouts' sisters.
Annabele Van Buren read "Reindeer Surprise" by Rita Walsh. Heather Oglesby read another Walsh book, "The Perfect Christmas Tree."
Next on the agenda was music, and Scouts Aaron Grimes, Charles Keeney and Shane Weeks played several Christmas songs, including "Jingle Bells," on their trumpets. One song sounded nearly identical to "Love Me Tender," but the boys insisted it was the "Mexican Clapping Song."
Residents then joined the Scouts in the parlor to sing carols.
Trumpeter Charles Keeney said he enjoys visiting the residents. "They can tell you about things that happened long ago," he said. "One lady used to play the cornet when she was young."
Added Shane Weeks, "They're like grandparents to me. One lady was telling me what it was like when she was young. Things were definitely different back then."
The residents seem amused by the attention.
"They seem to be enjoying themselves," said resident Dorothy Winstead, a Baltimore native who was born in 1916. "I just like to listen to them."
Winstead said the boys' visit brought back memories of when she was involved in a girls club similar to Girl Scouts.
Resident Paul Coleman said he also enjoyed the boys' visit and hoped they would be back.
Also visiting were Scouts Tony Van Buren, Keeney, brothers Aaron and Matt Grimes, Logan Oglesby and sister Channon Oglesby, and cousins James and Richard Wetzel.
Toys for Tots needs help
The Marine Corps' annual Toys for Tots Campaign could use donations to give children toys for Christmas this year.
Carolyn Holland, owner of Taneytown Video, where one of the collection boxes is situated, said donations have not been as brisk as expected. She said she hoped that getting the word out in this column would help.
Holland said a member of the Marine Corps stopped by a few weeks ago and asked permission to place the box at the store.
"We're proud to be a drop-off location," she said.
In the same shopping center, donations have been arriving a bit better at Liquor Barn, where a box is situated.
"We're doing pretty well," said owner Jim Coyle. "It's about half-full."
A Taneytown community blood drive will be held from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the main hall of Taneytown Activities Center Building on Memorial Drive.
Child care will be available.
Information: Waneta Sackman, 410-751-1356.
Each year, Taneytown holds a door-decorating contest. This year, the Chamber of Commerce awarded first place to Fine Portraiture by Michele; second place went to Every Bloomin' Thing; and third place to Bow Hunters Den.
In addition to the business winners, Taneytown Heritage Committee awarded prizes for homes. Overall first place went to Dan Schoberg, 73 Trevanion Road, and second place to Barbara Boone, 402 Baltimore St.
Doorway winners are: first place to Gail Beall, 75 Trevanion Road, and second place to Rick and Jamie Eylar, 62 Fairground Ave. Honorable mentions were given to Bobbie Haines, 415 Taney Drive; Delcia Hall, 43 Bancroft Road; and Bill Hackley, 42 Bancroft Road.
About two dozen businesses and homeowners participated, according to Pat Lawyer, who was in charge of the program.
"We had a real good cross-section of places," Lawyer said. "I want to thank everybody for participating."
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.