As we wind down 2018, the Foundation is planning another full year of events

My first year as the Executive Director of the Foundation is coming at the end of this month. This first year has been exciting. While I have lived in the Kentlands for many years, I have learned so much about our neighborhood and my neighbors over the past year.
I have been asked numerous times if I am enjoying my role with the Foundation. The look on the inquisitor’s face is always hopeful—certain the answer will be “yes”—and he or she has been right. I have enjoyed myself.
My enjoyment has come from different areas. I have learned so much about the world of non-profit foundations and the positive role the Foundation plays in the social life of the neighborhood. I have enjoyed working with and meeting so many dedicated volunteers. Volunteers are the heartbeat of this organization. From the Board of Directors to the many individuals who show up at each event and work diligently to make it a success, these volunteers are integral to the core mission of the Foundation. I have enjoyed working with all the volunteers this year. My gratitude goes out to all the volunteers of the past year.
New Foundation programs continue to be vibrant, grassroots ideas. This past year was the start of two new programs. The Kentlands Wine Club is off to a wonderful start with more than 40 members. Meeting monthly on Fridays, the club offers an opportunity for members to share their love and knowledge of wine. In addition, speakers who can add their expertise about wine are frequently featured. Please visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about this new program.
With Meredith Fogle’s leadership, we have launched The Kentlands Community Players, which have held two meetings so far. The Players are planning to perform in the spring. Once more information about the production becomes available, I will pass it on. The Foundation’s website will also be updated to reflect this exciting new program.
The One Main Street Initiative has completed its first phase. The report summarizing the first benchmark in the reinvigoration of Main Street is posted on the online version of the Kentlands Town Crier or viewable directly here. The next stage of creating a viable, cohesive commercial area has begun. Progress reports will be posted by OMSI representatives in the Crier, the Courier and the Leader.
Changes are being planned for the House and Garden Tour. The event had been tentatively scheduled for December 8, but instead is joining the Tree Lighting in Market Square on the December 6. The Artists on Market, a Foundation supported pop-up shop, is having hot cider in its gallery and will be helping kids make snowflakes beginning at 5 pm. In addition, the Foundation is collecting new scarves, hats, gloves, and socks at the Artist Gallery. Please come decorate the tree with your donation to support Gaithersburg’s Holiday Giving program. Pick up a map to the best outside lights in the Kentlands at My Big Finds. The tree lighting begins at 6 pm on December 6. Come and enjoy the entertainment, a visit from Santa, and the tree lighting. This will be a great way to begin the holiday season.
Planning for 2019 has begun for all the Foundation’s programs. Once again, committees are meeting and have drawn up preliminary plans to continue favorites like Kentlands Under the Lights. Mark your calendars for June 15 to join your neighbors and make new friends at the popular community dinner in Market Square. In addition, on June 23 the first classical music concert of the year will occur. Musica Viva: Kentlands will once again be held on the lawn of the Kentlands Mansion. Unlike this year’s initial concert of a 15-piece string ensemble, the first concert planned for 2019 promises to be even more ambitious, consisting of a larger orchestra of 30 to 40 musicians playing brass, percussion, reeds and strings. A second concert, similar in scope to this June’s wonderful performance, is planned for the beginning of September.
And do not forget the 26th Annual Kentlands/Lakelands 5K to be held on August 30, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
The Film Society’s next film will be shown on January 13 at 7 p.m. in the Arts Barn. A comedy, “Like Crazy” follows two women who become friends while patients in a psychiatric hospital in Tuscany. A limited number of tickets can be purchased at the door for $9 each, beginning at 6:15 p.m. on the night of the movie. Tickets can also be reserved by calling 301-529-9951 or be contacting Wine is available prior to the film, and all are welcome to participate in the Critics’ Corner after the movie.
As always, I welcome visitors to the Foundation’s office in the Carriage House. I am in my office on Mondays from 9:30 to noon.