Tilghman Goes Purple 2018 – Kronsberg Park & T. I. Firehouse

Sept. 15, 2018
1 – 4 PM

There was fun for the whole family. Free hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, cookies, music from the Bay Hundred Men, Bob & Susan Jones, and DJ “R”.  There were games and demonstrations by the Sheriff’s team, the Maryland State Fire Marshal, and the T.I. Volunteer Fire Company. Families especially enjoyed the live K-9 demonstration. Information tables and volunteers represented Chesapeake Voyagers, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Rising Tide Program, Salt Life, TAYA, PWEC, The Watermen’s Museum, Healthy Tilghman, and various local vendors. 

It was also an opportunity to meet Sheriff Joe Gamble, local church leaders, and Talbot Council Member Laura Price. 

The commitment to helping to stop the nationwide opioid epidemic is clearly full of energy and resources here at the local level. One free purple light bulb per family was given out.  

This free community event was sponsored by Tilghman Island United Methodist Church and Saint John’s Chapel and Healthy Tilghman. 

The Star Democrat, September 21, 2018, By Chris Polk

TILGHMAN — This island went purple Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15, at Kronsberg Park with freebies, games, demonstrations, food, music and the most important of all — information.

“Purple in the Park Tilghman” was a community event sponsored by a coalition of area churches, the Talbot Prays organization, Healthy Tilghman, Pastors Rob and Linda King, and the Tilghman United Methodist Church to help boost and supplement the Talbot Goes Purple initiative, a project of the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary.

Talbot Goes Purple is a month-long campaign this September to make everyone aware that the demon of addiction is among us and can strike anyone. Opioid use in the United States has reached epidemic proportions.

Purple lights at night, purple clothing, purple bracelets and more are the community’s way spreading awareness and showing solidarity in their resolve to push back.

“What we wanted to do today is, we wanted to show the people the resources that were available in the community,” said Linda King, one of the organizers.

More than 150 people visited Kronsberg Park, got freebies, enjoyed entertainment and refreshments, and had a chance to talk to others about a wide variety of things.

Organizations that showed up to hand out information included the Tilghman Area Youth Association; the after-school program Rising Tide from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum; the Gideons; St. John’s Chapel; Chesapeake Voyagers; Bryan Brothers Foundation; Phillips Wharf Environmental Center; Tilghman Watermen’s Museum; peer support groups; and a group of middle school students who practice “random acts of kindness.”

The Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Company had its heavy equipment on display, a favorite for children to tour, and the fire company helped with food preparation.

Food included hot dogs and snacks, ice cream, cotton candy and more. Special cookies were baked for the occasion by chefs at the Wylder Hotel.

The Talbot County Sheriff’s Office hosted a drug detection demonstration featuring K-9 officer “Raven” and her handler, Cpl. Joey Timms.

Deputy Maryland State Fire Marshal Chris Fenzel gave a demonstration of the state’s bomb-disarming and defusing robot, and children got to try out the department’s bomb suit.

The Tilghman United Methodist Church gave out purple light bulbs, water and juice, mugs and other freebies.

There was lots of music and dancing.

DJ “R,” Thomas R. Stanford, kept the park hopping with upbeat music. He inspired the Talbot Goes Purple mascot, a large dancing purple lightbulb, to lead some Talbot Goes Purple cheers.

The person in the dancing purple lightbulb suit was Tina DeAngelis.

A chorus of middle school students sang songs; Bob and Susan Jones did medleys of instrumental music on the saxophone and clarinet; and the Bay Hundred men’s chorus soothed the park with their voices.

“What I like about this is everybody comes out, everybody has a passion for what they do,” said JoAnn Muller, who was one of the founders of Talbot Prays and an organizer of Purple in the Park.

“And it you let them come and share their organization, their passion with everybody else, then everybody in the community knows what every else is doing,” she said.

She said it was one of the steps in the opioid crisis awareness process.

“Some of it is awareness, some of it is prevention, some of it is the recovery community,” she said.

“It’s really connecting people,” Muller said. “And it’s around one problem that we have here in the community.”

Muller said the group volunteering at Purple in the Park Easton earlier this summer wore shirts that said “Why Purple?” to encourage people to ask questions that will start conversation.

Some of them wore the same shirts in Tilghman, which were paid for by Bartlett Tree Experts.

Purple in the Park Tilghman began as a meeting between Muller’s Talbot Prays organization; Pastors Rob and Linda King; Pastor Herb Cain of the Tilghman United Methodist Church; and Mike Flaherty of Healthy Tilghman. Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble was delighted.

“This was a big event for Healthy Tilghman,” Linda King said. “As part of the Healthy Tilghman initiative, we have counseling here on the island. We want to make people aware of that.”

Healthy Tilghman is a group that was launched in April 2016 to address addiction and overdose deaths in the area.

They partnered with For All Seasons Behavioral Health & Rape Crisis Center, and eventually the partnerships included Talbot County Health Department, Mariah’s Mission, Corsica River Mental Health, Mid-Shore Behavioral Health, Tilghman Watermen’s Museum, the St, Michaels Police Department, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center and Chesapeake Voyagers.

A counselor holds regular office hours at the Tilghman United Methodist Church. She also helps with other mental health issues.

Counseling is conducted through For All Seasons, and funded by grants and donations. All inquiries to For All Seasons are kept confidential.

For an appointment call 410-822-1018 during weekday office hours. Their crisis hotline number is 1-800-310-7273.

Photo Credits

Directly above three photos: Cheryl Lawrence

Right, Courtesy of The Star Democrat and Chris Polk

For all others, above: Malissa Kirszenbaum

Event organizers Joann Muller, left of Talbot Prays and the Rev. Linda King are all smiles at Purple In The Part Tilghman on Saturday.