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Gateway to the Mountains

George Wireman

Chapter 20:  Outstanding Civic Organizations

Thurmont is indeed fortunate in having two very outstanding civic organizations and they have done much to improve the community and help to promote many worthwhile projects which have won for them the respect of the entire community as well as the clubs in the surrounding area.

Thurmont Lions Club

On October 28, 1929, The Thurmont Lions Club was chartered with twenty members. Their membership classification represented a cross section of the many community enterprises, which included a banker, two physicians, two contractors, a canner, manufacturer, undertaker, florist, two salesmen, an agriculturalist, lumber dealer, car dealer, railroad agent, general merchandise dealer, a tourist camp operator, a monument dealer, a farmer and a retired business man.

The first President of the Thurmont Lions Club was Victor M. Birely. Parmelee D. Ewing was Secretary and John M. Creeger was Treasurer. The Frederick Lions Club was the sponsoring club and credit for organizing the local club goes to E. P. Line. Meetings are held at Cozy Restaurant every other Friday.

It is interesting to note that since this club was organized in 1929, there have been only three Treasurers. D. Saylor Weybright, the present club treasurer, has held this position longer than any other member.

Activities of the Thurmont Lions Club are vast and varied as well as outstanding and the community has benefited tremendously by this active and wide-awake organization.

During World War II the Thurmont Lions put on a clothing drive which gained State-wide recognition and produced several tons of clothing for the needy.

Through the years the members have been alert to the needs of the community and by their efforts have met these needs successfully. They have distributed white canes for the blind; purchased eye-glasses for a number of children in the community; conducted an industrial survey of Thurmont; sponsored observances of Memorial Day in 1932; have sponsored the annual Easter Egg Hunt; organized the Conservation and Sportsman's Club and even sponsored a move for the construction of a road from Thurmont to Foxville. The club, as always, has been deeply interested in community betterment and youth programs. There is no question of the fact that the work of this fine civic organization has helped in many ways in making Thurmont a truly outstanding community in every respect.

Thurmont Jaycees

The Thurmont Jaycees is a civic organization of young men between the ages of 21 and 35 inclusive. This active organization, although not quite as old as the Lions Club, is dedicated to two purposes: (1) Improvement and development of the community; (2) Improvement and development of its individual members to train them for business advancement and civic leadership.

On May 19, 1960, The Thurmont Jaycees held their Charter Night celebration at the American Legion Home and since that date, they have completed many worthwhile projects which have made the community a better place in which to live.

Officers for the organization in 1960 included the following: Donald F. Fitzgerald, President; Paul Connolly, Vice President; Charles L. Snurr, Vice President; Herbert F. Martin, Secretary; Glenn L. Nikirk, Treasurer; Robert P. Schildt, Director; Calvin M. Staub, Director; and John Royer, State Director.

Charter members of the Thurmont Jaycees, in addition to the above named, included Herbert Biser, Walter Biser, Earl W. Draper, Albert B. Ecker, Carroll Eyler, Herbert Eyler, Merhle Eyler, Clarence Favorite, Paul Finneyfrock, Jr., Gerald Fitzgerald, Carroll Fraley, Mark Franz, Edward G. Hobbs, Jr., Frank E. Keeney, Kenneth Keeney, Charles Kiser, Charles Lenhart, David W. Long, Frank J. Martin, Edward L. McKissick, Floyd Newcomer, Anthony Nusbaum, Curtis Powell, Joseph Royer, Joseph Scott, Jr., Charles E. Spalding, Ernest Staub, Donald Stitely, Daniel Tressler, Norman Tressler, A. Nevin Trout, Harold W. Wantz, Franklin F. Wilders and Harold R. Williard.

The Thurmont Jaycees, like the Thurmont Lions have been very active and alert to the needs of the community.

In 1967 the Thurmont Jaycees sponsored a "Visitors' Guide," which was designed to provide helpful information to visitors of the community. This project took a lot of work and courage and as a result, has done much in bringing the scenic, recreational and historic points of interest, which Thurmont has to offer, to the attention of the visitor.

The Community Park which is still under development, was first started by the Jaycees and when completed, will serve the community well.

The Jaycees have conducted several community surveys which have been a tremendous help to them in organizing and planning for the future needs of the community. The Thurmont Jaycees are proud of their many accomplishments and the citizens of Thurmont are proud of the Jaycees, who have contributed much to community life.

The Square, Looking North

Chapter Index | Chapter 21: Hammaker Brothers, Inc.

If you have any Information or historical news clippings on events in the Thurmont Area, Please send them to us so we can included them in our archives. E-mail us at: history@mythurmont.net