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A community tradition continues with 97th Women’s Board Picnic and Bazaar -

by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
The Women’s Board Hospital Picnic and Bazaar has always been all about community, but this year — the 97th — emphasis is being placed on the role the community plays in making the event one of the most anticipated summer celebrations.
“It’s evolved over the years, but it’s always been the community that makes it happen,” said Dee Hawkins, who is co-chairing the event with Christine Hill Wilson. “It’s always been the local farmers, the businesses, the families, the elections, the plumbers and others who have put this on for their hospital.”
The Picnic and Bazaar will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 25 on the old hospital grounds at Olney-Sandy Spring Road (Route 108) and Prince Phillip Drive.
The picnic has been celebrated nearly as long as the hospital has been in existence. It began as the Hospital Supper and was held at Sherwood High School, raising $1,000 in 1920.
Throughout the years it continued to grow – in the number of people who attend, the amount of fried chicken and corn on the cob served, and the amount of money raised to benefit MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.
Hawkins said this year the Women’s Board is taking the event “back to its roots.”
“There have always been other organizations involved, but this year, we want to recognize these groups for their participation,” she said. “We just want to go back down the path of a community event, put on by the leadership of the Women’s Board for the benefit of our community hospital.”
Dozens of people pitch in to make the event a success.
For many years, the staff and trainees of Our House residential job training program in Brookeville have helped wherever they are needed.
The Olney Lions and the Sandy Spring Lions help each year with set-up, parking and preparing the corn on the cob. The Silver Spring Leisure World Lions will join this year, running the baked goods table.
Sandy Spring Bank employees will continue their strong participation by volunteering in the chicken and food service tents, and serving as cashiers and in various other areas.
Good Earth Garden Market will again run the Wayside Market, offering fresh produce, and the Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club will run this year’s plant booth.
Project Change, an Olney-based nonprofit organization that promotes positive youth development, will run Kiddie Land, featuring children’s games and activities.
The Women’s Board will operate the book sale, the jewelry booth, the framed artwork booth and the collectible/antiques booth, which will have a special emphasis on “retro” items.
New this year will be the Lions Community Outreach Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit, which will offer vision and glaucoma screening for adults and vision screening for preschoolers.
The Scouterhorn, a climbing wall owned by the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, will also make its debut at this year’s event.
The popular fried chicken will return, along with corn on the cob, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream and other picnic fare.
This year’s raffle prizes will include a Phantom 3 Standard Drone, valued at $800; two nights at 10 Clarke Bed & Breakfast in Frederick and a $200 gift certificate, with a total value of $650; and a Spa Package and/or products from Red Door at Elizabeth Arden, valued at $550. Raffle tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the event.
The Women’s Board began in 1919. It is a volunteer service organization made up of more than 100 members that raises funds to benefit the hospital and a scholarship fund through the gift shop, the thrift shop, and events such as the annual Picnic and Bazaar and Gifts of Light program.
The Women’s Board is working toward fulfilling a $1.5 million pledge for the renovations of the hospital lobby.
Previous donations include $1.75 million for a da Vinci Surgical System, a $1 million contribution towards the Capital Campaign and a $1 million pledge for the hospital’s Cardiovascular Unit.
Hospital President Thomas J. Senker lauded the Women’s Board and the community for their continued support.
“For nearly 100 years, MedStar Montgomery has provided exceptional care in large part due to philanthropic investments made by members of the community who understand the importance of having a best-in-class hospital here in Olney,” he said, adding how much the community looks forward to attending the Picnic and Bazaar.
“We can’t thank the Women’s Board enough for their continued support,” he said.
Gabriel Pinski, the hospital’s vice president of philanthropy, said the event serves two purposes.
“It’s a great community event and something that we, as a community hospital, love,” he said. “It’s also a great way for the Women’s Board to raise money, which they then provide to the hospital in support of our care for the community.”

Entertainment is scheduled throughout the event. The entertainment schedule and other information will be available on the Women’s Board Picnic & Bazaar MedStar Montgomery Medical Center Facebook Page.

Terri Hogan can be reached at terrichogan@gmail.com.

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