County Comment: May: A Month of Proclamations

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month Proclaimed


County Comment
May: A Month of Proclamations
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

In Washington County, May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. It's Older Americans Month. History Week is observed, as is Tourism Week.
The May 1st Commissioners meeting saw several proclamations, with Commissioners' President John Barr presenting a proclamation to Carrol Lourie, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition Coordinator and Coalition members designating May as Washington County Teen Pregnancy Prevention month. The proclamation said that Washington County continues to have the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in Maryland with 196 births in 2005. Reducing teen pregnancy continues to be one of the highest priorities for the Teen Pregnancy Coalition and the Commissioners, and one of the ways to help reduce that rate is to shine a spotlight on the problem and the ways in which the Coalition is working to help reduce that birth rate.
That group updated the Commissioners on Coalition activities including development of a Parent Tool Kit designed to help parents know what to say to kids and when to say it. Events for mothers and daughters and fathers and sons are coming up soon, and "Just Say Know" training is scheduled in June.
A major initiative has been the advertising and media contest, designed to let teens have a voice in the prevention effort and Media Awards Night was held on May 2nd at the Maryland Theatre.
Coalition member Dale Bannon told the Board that 501c3 non-profit status is being developed, to allow the coalition to receive funds from the Gaming Commission and the Local Management Board, to continue the group's work.
May was proclaimed Older Americans Month in Washington County. Commission on Aging (COA) Director Susan MacDonald and COA Board of Directors Chair John Kenney accepted the proclamation from Commissioner Barr.
The proclamation stated that there are more than 7,000 county citizens above the age of 60, who comprise a diverse citizenry continuing to contribute to the social and economic well being. Older Americans are productive members of society and the Commissioners asked all County citizens to be aware of the contributions our Elders make to society.
To highlight the Museum Ramble May 5th and 6th, the week of May 1st through 6th Commissioners' President Barr presented a proclamation to James Neville, Director of the Washington County Historical Society and Miller House Museum, Bill Knode, President of the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites, and Tom Riford, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, designating May 1-6 as Washington County History Week and recognizing the Fourth Annual Museum Ramble. The Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites (WCAMHS) and the Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsor the Museum Ramble to provide a sample of some of the more than thirty museums in the county.
Tourism Week was proclaimed the week of May 6th through the 12th as well.
May is also budget month in the County, when budgets for improvements and department operations for the coming Fiscal Year are finalized and taken to Public Hearing. That event is scheduled for May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at Kepler Theater on the Campus of Hagerstown Community College, and is scheduled to be cablecast on ACTV Channel 99.