2018 News & Events

Horses Help Heroes 2nd “Hang With The Horses” Event
Great Escapes Stables
Bowie, Maryland
February 19, 2018

Dean Macy, Founder of the Horses Help Heroes (HHH) and his team held their second “Hang With The Horses” event of the year for military and gold Star families on Monday February 19, 2018. Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Gloria Carothers and Janice, along with military families from around the area, attended the event at the Great Escapes Stables located in Bowie, Maryland. There was a steady flow of Veterans and active duty service members and their families throughout the day. It was a pleasure and honor to meet and spend time with some of our heroes and their families. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children as they petted and rode on the horses warmed our hearts. We were able to assist with helping children get on and off the horses, interact with the horses, feeding one of the horses snacks, and we were also given the opportunity to ride the horses. Janice Chance actually had the pleasure to ride on the horse whose name is the same as her last name “Chance”. It was another successful event thanks to Dean, the Great Escapes Stables, Clarity Riding staff and volunteers that helped to make this an enjoyable day. Although it was raining the sun was shining in our hearts. We also thank the horses Milly, Sonny, Chance and the two ponies Rain and Bucky for providing the fun rides. We are looking forward to the volunteering at the stables and participating in some of the other upcoming scheduled events.

National Salute to Veterans Week
VA Medical Center
Baltimore, Maryland
February 17, 2018

Annually, during the week of Valentine’s Day, we are provided with an opportunity to say thank you to a special group of men and women. More than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services are cared for everyday in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes. During National Salute to Veterans week, the VA invites individuals, Veterans groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars are invited to participate in a variety of activities at the VA medical centers. This year, five members of the Maryland Chapter, Janice Chance, Gina Barnhurst, Lauren Seidler, Deirdre McMahon and Theresa Mills had the distinct honor to spend several hours with our Heroes and their family members to express our thanks for their selfless service and sacrifice to our country. We also rendered what we lovingly refer to as our “Gold Star Mothers Hand Salute” to each Hero. We distributed handmade Valentines cards from school children, balloons, puzzle books, knit hats, socks and toiletries to the patients at the VA Medical Center located on Greene Street in Baltimore Maryland. It was great to spend time with our hospitalized Heroes and their family members. One patient expressed to us “This is just what I needed!” – No sir, this is what WE needed to honor our Heroes! It is truly an honor!

Shopping for the Troops
Walmart/American Legion Post 60
Laurel, Maryland
February 2 & 3, 2018

Lt. Tameka Collins, USNR and her friend, Lt. Brandi Parker, USNR helped the Maryland Gold Star Mothers shop for a total of 6 units/77 Heroes who are currently deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. Janice Chance, Theresa Mills, Paula Davis and Peatoria Perdue (gold star niece) also shopped for supplies including toiletries, food, and Maryland Old Bay seasoning as requested from a Maryland National Guard unit. They also purchased Valentines day treats with special cards that included our personal thanks and gratitude for their service and sacrifices. After our bi-monthly meeting on Saturday February 3rd, several Moms packaged up the goodies and shipped off a total of 17 boxes to our beloved Heroes!

Quarterly Volunteer Award
VA Maryland Health Care System
Baltimore, Maryland
February 2, 2018

Janice Chance was awarded the VA Maryland Health Care System’s (VAMHCS) Volunteer of the Quarter for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 on Friday, February 2, 2018. The Voluntary Service staff surprised Janice during her shift to present her award surrounded by the staff she works with and the Veterans she serves. Janice received this award because despite being very active with the American Gold Star Mothers she still manages to put aside time to serve Veteran patients as a regularly scheduled volunteer. Janice works one day a week as an Emergency Department volunteer at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and participates in special events for our Heroes. She shows compassion and love for all the Veterans she serves and the staff in the Emergency Department has nothing but great things to say about her. The Volunteer of the Quarter award was presented by Susan Kern, Program Manager for Voluntary Service, in the presence of the Emergency Department staff, Voluntary Service staff, and fellow volunteers. Janice was awarded a certificate of appreciation, VAMHCS challenge coin, and the coveted “Volunteer of the Quarter” lapel pin. The celebration continued with cake for Janice and Emergency Department coworkers. Janice was shocked and very humbled by being selected for Volunteer of the Quarter.
– Article written by Mrs. Susan Kern Program Manager VAMHCS & Amanda Andrews Program Specialist VAMHCS.

Towson University Athletics
Military Appreciation Day
Men’s Basketball Game & Major Robert Marchanti Scholarship Kick Off
Towson University Vs Elon
Towson, Maryland
January 27, 2018

Maryland Gold Star Mothers were invited to the Towson University (TU) Tiger Athletics Men’s Basketball game versus Elon in honor of Military Appreciation Day. Before the game and the announcement of the Major Robert Marchanti Endowment Scholarship, the Tiger Athletics Department held a luncheon for the Marchanti family, members of the military, Veterans service organizations and Gold Star family members. Mission BBQ provided the food for the luncheon. Major Robert Marchanti served in the Maryland Army National Guard and was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012. Major Marchanti graduated from TU in 1989.

Tracy Miller, her husband, Paul Arnest, Janice and Charlton Chance, Jeanette Middleton Sudano and her daughter, and Theresa Mills were recognized, along with their Heroes before half time.

Even though Elon beat Towson 83 to 76, it was a very exciting game.

Horses Help Heroes “Hang With The Horses” Event
Great Escapes Stables
Bowie, Maryland
January 15, 2018

On Monday January 15, 2018, Maryland Chapter Gold Star Moms Janice Chance and Kelly Swanson, along with military families from around the area, attended the Horses Help Heroes (HHH) ”Hang With the Horses ” event hosted by Dean Macy, Founder of Horses Help Heroes at the Great Escape Stables in Bowie, Maryland. It is always a great time meeting, talking to, and hanging out with some of our military families. We are looking forward to attending and assisting Mr. Macy and HHH in future events. HHH is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of service connected disabled veterans, their families, and Gold Star Families. We were able to brush the horses, walk alongside the horses while children were riding them, and then we were able to actually ride the horses. Thank you, Dean, Great Escape Stables, and all the volunteers that helped to make this cold day a great success! And thank you to Milly, Sonny, and Chance for the fun rides!

Christmas Extravaganza Fundraiser for Maryland Patriot Guard
Thurmont, Maryland
January 6, 2018

Gold Star Maryland Chapter members were invited by Ann and Ted Nettles, Maryland Patriot Guard leaders, to attend a Christmas Extravaganza Fundraiser that was held on January 6, 2018. Janice Chance, Maryland Chapter member attended this special event that was hosted by Doug Favorite and Don Keeney at their spacious beautifully decorated home. The event was held to raise funds in support of the Maryland Patriot Guard organization. It was an open house-style tour and dinner. The cost was $20.00 per person which included a full course buffet. Doug and Don decorated over 100 trees. The decorated theme trees ranged in size from 1.25 inches to 12.5 ft. and some of the themes included a Waterfall Tree (with working waterfalls), Train Tree (with working trains), Butterfly Tree (with moving butterflies), Patriot Tree and many more. Their front lawn was also decorated with trees and other Christmas decorations with many lights. Based on the smiles, laughter and positive comments, the guests enjoyed the sights, sounds, fellowship, delicious appetizers, variety of food, desserts and holiday drinks. Doug and Don even placed decorated trees in the bathrooms. Attending a fundraiser event in support of a great organization that provides services and support to our veterans, active duty military, their families and Gold Star Families was a great way to start the New Year. Doug and Don are planning to host another fundraiser event next year.