Hey Westminster! is thrilled to announce their biggest collaboration with the Kahlert Foundation, to date! $10,000 went to local business owners to help McDaniel College welcome over 550 new students from all over the world to our town.
We’re very excited to share our next Kahlert Foundation + Hey Westminster! collaboration! In July, we partnered to give away $5,000 to the Community Center on Union St here in town.
Not only that, but we were joined in the initiative by the incredible team at https://jfjandsons.com, who donated a whole day of skilled labor to help demo a floor worn out by over a decade of heavy use from community events. Click the video to learn more and be sure to check out https://westminstercommunityofshalom.com.
Health care workers are an incredibly important part of any community. Because Westminster understands this and values this group immensely, we’ve partnered with some AWESOME local businesses to show our appreciation. The flier displayed in the comments below features discounts and perks for healthcare workers good for the entire month of June and the video tribute comes with a BIG HUG from us to all healthcare workers in Westminster and beyond!
We are SO excited to announce our May grant recipient: The Juneteenth Festival in Carroll County!
On June 18, this AWESOME event will bring the community together in downtown Westminster to raise awareness of African heritage throughout our county. Activities will include gospel music, food, vendors, a financial awareness workshop, and a panel discussion: “An Honest Talk About Being Black in Carroll County.” We’re thrilled to support this first-of-its-kind event in Westminster. Admission is FREE.
Congratulations to Audrey Cimino and Thomas Gruel, and their effort to restore the Ellsworth Cemetery, the #HeyWestminster! grant recipient for April 2022.
The Ellsworth Cemetery was founded by six Civil War veterans from Westminster and serves as the final resting place of twenty-six soldiers who served during the war, according to Cimino and Gruel. After learning that many of the headstones in the cemetery had been damaged or destroyed, Cimino and Gruel made it their mission to replace them. “It broke my heart that these people were being forgotten,” said Gruel, who has worked to maintain the cemetery for the last twelve years.
The cemetery is significant to Carroll County because Westminster’s African American residents were primarily buried here during segregation. “This cemetery in Westminster is a treasure and a source of pride,” said Cimino.
One hundred eighty-two unmarked graves have been located in the cemetery. Cimino and Ellsworth hope to provide and repair grave stones for individuals buried in Ellsworth Cemetery. Anyone who would like to contribute to this work can give to the Carroll Community Foundation.
Congratulations, and thank you, to Audrey Cimino and Thomas Gruel, and their effort to restore the Ellsworth Cemetery. They are the #HeyWestminster! grant recipient for April 2022. Thanks for making Westminster awesome!
Congratulations to Gia Koutsokostas and the Charles Street Tot Lot Little Free Library, the #HeyWestminster! grant recipient for March 2022.
Gia Koutsokostas, a McDaniel College student, feels a strong connection to our community, viewing it as her second home. And she wanted to help make it an even better place. “Something that I really wanted to do while I was at McDaniel was make an impact on the community,” says Koutsokostas. That’s an awesome goal, the kind of thing Hey Westminster! can get behind!
To make her mark on Westminster, Koutsokostas had the idea of making reading more accessible to young people. “I was an avid reader growing up, and I love reading to this day,” she says. “So I wanted to make sure the kids and parents in the area were able to have access to reading the way I did when I was growing up.”
Congratulations to Gia Koutsokostas and the Charles Street Tot Lot Little Free Library. Thanks for making Westminster awesome!
Congratulations to Adam Stultz and Around Town Carroll County, the #HeyWestminster! grant recipient for February 2022.
Around Town Carroll County is a podcast and vlog that highlights businesses in our community. “I wanted to take what I knew in video and translate that into a show that really celebrated Carroll County and the awesome business owners that exist within its limits,” says Stultz. We think that’s awesome!
You may have noticed that Around Town Carroll County and Hey, Westminster! do some of the same things — we love to share about the great things going on in our community. Stultz put it well when he said “We want to celebrate where we live and work and highlight the cool individuals that are doing great things in our cummunity. Stultz adds that his goal is to use media to “spread positivity and encouragement.”
You can learn more about Around Town Carroll County by visiting their website. You can also find them on social media. All episodes are available on YouTube.
Congratulations to Around Town Carroll County. Thanks for making Westminster awesome!
Congratulations to The Infinite Love Project! Their “Be Kind” signs initiative is the #HeyWestminster! grant recipient for January 2022.
If you live in Westminster, or the surrounding area, you’ve probably seen signs encouraging you to “Be Kind.” We have these affirmations thanks to Tina Thomas and Eric Hyde Miller of The Infinite Love Project. The pair have created over 4,000 signs and hung over 1,800 signs, according to Hyde Miller.
“Everything functions a little bit better when you’re around kind, empathetic people, and sometimes you just need a reminder — to see a sign,” say Thomas and Hyde Miller. A custom woodworker, Hyde Miller creates the “Be Kind” signs, attempting to use reclaimed and environmentally-friendly materials whenever possible.
The Infinite Love Project intends to use their Hey, Westminster! grant to provide opportunities for local students to paint “Be Kind” signs. These signs would then be displayed around the Westminster community, serving as “a community connector,” says Thomas.
You can learn more about The Infinite Love Project by visiting their website.
Congratulations to The Infinite Love Project. Thanks for making Westminster awesome!
It’s a very deep privilege for Hey Westminster to close out this year with an incredibly special project—the Soni Sunshine Snow 5-0 Sugarplum Spectacular Community Christmas Celebration! Created by our friend (and former HW trustee) Casey Davis, to honor and celebrate his wife Sonia Davis, we joined hundreds of their friends and neighbors on December 4th to revel in the season and to help sponsor a special scholarship for folks fighting cancer.
The joy and poignancy of the wintry event rang all the truer when Sonia said goodbye to her family just a few days later. At her celebration of life remembrance ceremony it was clear that her impact on our community and the testimony of her life was remarkable. We’re honored to have participated in acknowledging her Spectacular Sunshine in a small way.
In a year that has had equal parts joy and loss for so many, we’re grateful for each and every person in our community this holiday season. We join in celebrating Casey, Sonia, and their sustaining love for all, appreciating everyone we’ve had the chance to partner with this year to do awesome things. We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to herald work all around us that truly matters–stories that are saturated with love and care, that speak hope in the midst of the bleakest of seasons.