If you were wondering why you hadn’t heard much recently about the United Way of Frederick County’s Unity Campaign, you weren’t alone. The fundraiser, so critical to so many organizations in the community, typically gets going in mid-September.
But not this year. United Way leaders emphasize it’s not because of the pandemic. The organization announced Monday that they were moving the annual campaign to March.
“Normally, the fall time frame is busy with other activities, particularly when it comes to National Recovery Month,” said Ken Oldham, CEO of United Way of Frederick County. “For a number of reasons, we were looking at the spring, and there is not as much going on in the spring. So, we thought it was going to be a good change. Not to mention, many of the nonprofits we work with need cash flow going into summer. So, there was more opportunity in the spring with less competition.”
Even more encouraging is that the United Way’s pre-campaign fundraising is at record levels and there’s six months to go. Last year, the Unity Campaign raised nearly $600,000 for local nonprofits. We hope that the change will mean even better things for the campaign and the people and organizations it serves.
We’ve always had an appreciation for those who keep track of our history. As they say, it’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.
So we’re happy there is the African American Resources, Cultural and Heritage (AARCH) Society, an important group that keeps track of Frederick County’s African-American history.
“So many times in our history … our African-American history has always been slighted, in a way,” AARCH volunteer David Key told reporter Steve Bohnel for a story in our Tuesday edition. “It’s an important piece of history, yet it’s always been marginalized, and I think having a tangible item to say, this is what it is, you know, makes a big difference ... with a tangible object, there’s no denying.”
And now, AARCH will have a 3,200-square-foot space at 25 E. All Saints St. where they will soon be able to hold and display historical items specific to the local African-American community. And the location holds special significance because All Saints Street was located in what was once an area where Blacks were segregated in Frederick.
But one of the concerns of this group, and likely every other group that takes on the responsibility of keeping track of the past, is that some of our history is simply being thrown away. We all likely have historical treasures in our attics or basements. So, if you think you have something that could tell a bit about the community’s past, give AARCH or other historical groups a call to see if what you have is something of value. You never know when you might have history in your hands.
County officials and members of the public met with state transportation officials in a virtual meeting Wednesday night to go over priorities for Frederick County. And like most years, widening U.S. 15 is at the top of the list.
County Executive Jan Gardner and other county leaders told state officials that U.S. 15 remains the county’s top priority while describing how traffic in the area gets failing grades during both the morning and afternoon peak rush hours. It’s clear the project is needed.
It’s no secret that county officials are disappointed that the state hasn’t stepped up with funds after years of requests. As Gardner pointed out, there have been no dollars coming even for the project’s design or even an environmental assessment.
Despite limited funds that will be available this coming year because of the pandemic, state Transportation Secretary Greg Slater did say that the state will look for opportunities to move the project forward.
But after years of asking, forgive us if we’re a bit skeptical.
We all knew that some businesses wouldn’t survive the pandemic, so that is why it is great to hear that downtown Frederick is still seeing businesses — even restaurants — stay afloat by, in some cases, changing their concept.
While we said goodbye to Maxwell’s Kitchen, we said hello to Maxwell’s Burgers and Shakes, a new concept that adapts to the idea of more people turning to take-out. Frederick’s beloved Volt is apparently transforming into a new restaurant that will be called Thacher & Rye. Downtown will also be welcoming a new neighbor with the upcoming opening of a coffee shop, Market Street Beans and Boba, in October.
It is certainly sad to see some businesses go, and we know there will be more, but we are optimistic that downtown Frederick and the rest of the city and county will get through this together, and with new dining and shopping options.
Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.