January 2018
Welcome to SMCR's New Monthly Newsletter
A Note from Our Executive Director, Bonnie Elward

Happy New Year! 

SMCR is excited to embark on our 5th year of providing inclusive social, recreational and educational opportunities for individuals with developmental differences. We are thankful for all the blessings of the past year. In 2017, we continued to grow membership and participation in our programs, celebrated and raised funds with our 2 nd annual successful DragonBoat Festival, and expanded our programs into Calvert County. Additionally, we continued to strengthen our relationships with many wonderful partner organizations and providers as we work together towards the common goal of providing meaningful inclusive experiences for all. In 2018, we will continue to offer more programs and to expand our reach to increase membership and volunteerism.
As always, our members are our top priority. We value their voice and we strive to provide experiences that will enrich their lives and the life of the community.. At the end of 2017, we conducted a broad survey to see how we are doing and how we can improve. We are excited to analyze and address the results of the survey. We will keep what works and add and adapt in response to the results. Stay tuned for new programs on the horizon!
In 2018 we will also be increasing our social media presence as well as sending a monthly newsletter and event flyers via email. Hopefully, this will help to enhance communication and increase awareness of our activities. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun!
As always, our goal is to provide inclusive, social,recreational and educational, free or low-cost programs where individuals with developmental differences can contribute their unique gifts and develop their potential. As we build bridges with all members of our community, we celebrate the gifts of each individual and enable all participants to discover that our similarities are always greater than our differences. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2018 to you and yours!

In Gratitude,
Dancing the night away at the Winter Gathering
A Special January Event
"A Winter Gathering"
On January 20th, SMCR and Helpful Hooves Equine Therapy presented "A Winter Gathering" at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Solomons. Our evening featured the phenomenally talented Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir.

Everyone enjoyed dinner and refreshments, photo props, engaging music, lively conversation, and dancing.

Thank you to all who participated to make this night a memorable one!
Upcoming Programs-Mark Your Calendar!
St. Mary's County Programs

January 26th-Game Night at Patuxent Presbyterian Church, California 6:00-8:00pm-Free
February 2nd-Movie Night at Knights of Columbus Hall, Leonardtown 6:00-8:00pm-Free
February 16th-Bowling -Esparanza Lanes-Lexington Park 6:00-8:00pm-$12.00 for 2 games and shoe rental
Calvert County Programs

January 27th-Movie Night at St. John Vianney Family Life Center, Prince Frederick 6:30-8:30pm (Movie starts at 7:00pm) Lite dinner available for $5.00

February 2nd-Game Night at Jesus the Divine Word, Huntingtown 6:00-8:00pm-Special BINGO Night-Free

February 17th-Bowling -Lord Calvert Bowl, Huntingtown 6:00-8:00pm-$7.00 for 2 games and shoe rental
Join Us on Tuesday, February 6th
for a Special Fundraiser
Ashley Collins, one of our amazing volunteers and a student at St. Mary's Ryken High School has organized a special fundraiser for SMCR on February 6th at The Greene Turtle in Prince Frederick. No coupon or flyer is needed. Dine all day from 11:00am until 2:00am and a portion of the sales will be donated to SMCR. Thank you to Ashley and our friends at The Greene Turtle for their generosity! We look foward to seeing you there!

See below to learn more about Ashley in our Volunteer Spotlight!
Volunteer Spotlight
Ashley Collins
Ashley is a senior at St. Mary's Ryken High School. There she dances, plays tennis, and is president of the National Honor Society. She is very involved with her youth group and loves volunteering. Ashley took time out her busy schedule to answer a few questions about volunteering with SMCR.
What kinds of things have you done with SMCR?
With SMCR I have participated at the Art to Heart events at St. Mary’s Ryken, modeled in the fashion show for two years, danced at the dragon boat festival, attended the joy prom, and volunteered at game nights in Calvert.
Why do you like volunteering with SMCR?
 I love volunteering with SMCR because it provides a fun and friendly environment to participate in activites that will brighten someone's else's day.
Can you share a story or standout moment?
My experience volunteering with SMCR has inspired me to pursue a career in which I will be able to help those with developmental differences to attain the best possible quality of life. In the fall, I will be attending college as an Occupational Therapy major and I could not be more excited to begin this new chapter. 
What is one word you would use to describe your experience with SMCR?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
 In five years I will be finishing a 5-year graduate program to receive my masters in Occupational Therapy. 

Wow! We are so honored that Ashley has chosen to spend her time supporting SMCR and our members. If you happen to bump into her at one of our events, please let her know how grateful we are to have her as a part of our volunteer team!
Would you like to be a volunteer like Ashley?
We have many different types of volunteer roles available, but our greatest area of need is to have volunteers join us in participating in our inclusive programs, socializing, and having fun, right alongside our members.
Please contact Caryn Fossile at 410-610-0375 for more information.
Meet our Board of Directors
Bruce Dale
Bruce Dale is Chairman of the SMCR Board of Directors. In his youth, Bruce loved cars and baseball. With the encouragement of his father and brother, Bruce channeled his love of cars and mechanics toward an engineering degree. He attended the University of Maryland and went on to earn a Ph.D from Purdue University. In 2007, Bruce established the Mickey Dale Family Foundation Scholarship in Engineering. In honor of his late wife, this foundation provides a helping hand to engineering students who otherwise might not be able to afford an education.

Bruce lives in Lexington Park with his wife Mary Ann. They have five children and ten grandchildren. Below Bruce tells us a little about himself and his role with SMCR.

What is your role with SMCR?
I try to keep us focused on our mission and what we need to do to grow our program for adults with developmental differences. Mainly this means trying to help Bonnie Elward be as efficient as possible and remove roadblocks that slow her down.
What about SMCR’s mission and work really motivates you?
The members have been a joy to meet and get to know. And their caregivers are remarkable people who deserve a special place in heaven. I'm still in the learning stage with SMCR but it's been a joyous ride so far.
Name one of your favorite books or movies and explain why it’s a favorite.
Anything by CS Lewis or Timothy Keller. They have such remarkable insight in to what Christianity means on an everyday level.
If you were to tell one person "Thank You" for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?
I was blessed with wonderful parents but my father, in particular, always had higher expectations for me than I had for myself. I would have taken the easy roads if it had not been for my fathers guidance and persistence. He put me and helped keep me on a course where my life has become very fulfilling. He believed strongly in the value of education, integrity, and hard work.
Be sure to look for us on Facebook

If you are on Facebook, please be sure to like our page. You can find us by searching for Southern Maryland Community Resources, or clicking on the link below.
Countdown to Spring
Look for more information next month on our Countdown to Spring Fashion Show. In the meantime, be sure to keep Sunday, March 11th open for this special afternoon.
Dragon Boat Festival 2018
Would you believe that we are already hard at work planning our 3rd Annual Solomons Island Dragon Boat Festival on August 17th and 18th?

Cedar Point Federal Credit Union is once again our generous event sponsor. Stay tuned to future newsletters for more details, but, it's not too early to register a team or volunteer on a committee to help with planning this incredible event.

Visit our Dragon Boat website by clicking below or call Caryn at 410-610-0375 to volunteer.
Thank you for reading our January newsletter. We always value your input, so please contact us with suggestions and ideas!
SMCR, Inc.| 240-434-9757 | [email protected] | www.somdcr.org