Around Town

Spring Brings Easter Celebrations

On Saturday, March 28, FaithPoint United Methodist Church hosted its annual Easter Eggstravaganza, where the community was invited to celebrate the season with food, fun and a reminder about what Easter holiday is all about. Families were entertained by live music, crafts, games, an appearance from the Easter Bunny, and lots of candy and egg hunts throughout the afternoon.

FaithPoint Pastor Chris Bishop explained the work FaithPoint is doing to bring clean water and sustainable farming to the people of Haiti. “Like this brown water is clear again because of the filter,” Bishop said, “Jesus filters out our sins so that we can be clean again.” Children were excited to see the water’s transformation from murky to crystal clear and were happy to try the newly filtered water.

Of the many volunteers who made the event possible, Bishop especially wanted to thank Urbana Middle School’s janitor, Yeseny Abrego. “She was so generous and patient for opening up the school and allowing hundreds of children traipse through the space to have fun.”

For more information about FaithPoint’s water and farming mission work in Haiti, visit

Voltaggio Visits Barnes and Noble to Celebrate New Cookbook

Bryan Voltaggio, well-known chef and co-owner of four popular D.C. area restaurants, including VOLT in downtown Frederick, spent several hours on Saturday, April 18, at the Francis Scott Key Mall’s Barnes and Noble, talking to fans about his new cookbook, “Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends.” When asked, Voltaggio admitted his inspiration comes from three things: the outdoors — saying this is the perfect time of year to cook fresh produce — his co-workers with their creative ideas, and lastly and most importantly, he said, “my beautiful wife,” referring to Jennifer Voltaggio who waited patiently with their young daughters while Bryan and 7-year-old Thatcher both signed books and posed for photographs for close to two hours.

One happy customer was Stephanie Shaw, who is from Frederick. She raved about her family’s visit to Voltaggio’s famous Frederick restaurant, VOLT, a few years ago. “It was supposed to be a Christmas present for my parents until I learned I needed to make reservations several months in advance!” said Shaw. The wait, and the cost, was worth it. “We had a server for each of us at the table,” Shaw said. “Each course was brought out and explained, and we got something to help cleanse our palate before the next course. It was delicious and incredible.” Shaw plans to go back sometime this year. “The first time we dined there was in the spring so now I would like to see what they offer in another season.”

This is Voltaggio’s second publication, but his first solo book. The first book, “VOLT ink.: Recipes, Stories, Brothers,” is an illustrated cookbook that also included stories of his family, and was written with his brother and fellow chef, Michael, with whom he competed in the sixth season of Bravo TV’s Top Chef. Michael, who runs a restaurant in California, won the competition, and Bryan was first runner up.

Urbana Food Bank Families are Showered with Generosity of Neighbors

Jo Ostby, along with her husband, Larry, and many volunteers, work tirelessly to help feed and care for 188 families in great need in the Urbana community. The generosity of the Urbana area residents often brings Jo Ostby to tears. “When we see on the front page of the Frederick News Post that other food banks’ shelves are bare and they have no volunteers, we get on our knees and thank God for our many blessings!” she said.

Donations were especially generous during the Easter season. Ostby posts needs on The Greater Urbana Area Food Bank Facebook page and she said requests are often met within one or two days. Many churches, organizations and individuals call on their own to ask what the food bank needs.

Donations for the recent holiday came from many, including, but not limited to St Ignatius Catholic Church, North Star Community Church, Living Grace Church, Church of the Brethren, and FaithPoint United Methodist Church, plus Girl Scout Troops 81389 and 81850, the Urbana U12 Baseball team and the group Keep it Going in Honor of Adam Taylor, a young man killed in a motorcycle accident in February.

Easter baskets full of goodies were delivered to children who would otherwise have nothing and food and Easter dinners were provided to elderly patrons and families in need. The Food Bank had a booth at the April 25 Urbana High School Hawkfest to raise awareness and solicit donations for neighbors in need.

The Urbana Food Bank accepts many types of donations, including non-perishable foods, plus perishable foods, since they have a couple of refrigerators. Magazines and books — new and used — are gratefully accepted as are cloth and plastic reusable totes. Party leftovers are welcome.

The Food for Students program will continue this summer, to make sure students who receive meals during school session will also receive food in the summer. The Food Bank often works with churches, clubs, teams and neighborhood groups to help feed 150 school age children.

Other donations needed include toilet paper, laundry detergent and other soaps, condiments, baby items, appliances, furniture, household goods and clothing. The Food Bank will help clean out a home if someone is moving away or to assisted living. Tax letters can be provided.

If anyone may benefit from the Food Bank services, would like to join in any efforts, or for any questions or concerns, please contact Jo Ostby, at 240.529.4815 or email Information is also on the Greater Urbana Area Food Bank Facebook page.


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