TopFebruary 2015
In This Issue
Maryland Cuts Behavioral Health Budget
We've Met Our Match Challenge for the Children & Adolescents Center!
Save the Date for Our Fundraiser at The Greene Turtle
The Curious History of Valentine's Day
Employee Spotlight: Edra Oliver and Adrienne Taylor
Food Coupon Drive Continues
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Special Events

Monthly Meetings and Groups

Open Eye Gallery Committee Meeting

Fri., March 6

11 a.m.

At Arundel Lodge.

Held on the first Friday of each month. All are welcome. Email Katerina Evans or call her at (443) 433-5961 with any questions.


NAMI Family Support Group

Thurs., March 12

7 to 8:30 p.m.
At Arundel Lodge.

For more information, email NAMI Anne Arundel.

 Lodge Links 

Mental Health Links

NAMI Anne Arundel County 


On Our Own of Maryland 




Free Quitline to Stop Smoking


Despite Increase in Demand, Maryland Cuts Behavioral Health Budget

The state of Maryland recently cut its 2015 budget for behavioral health providers, and the budget for fiscal year 2016 further cuts funding. Arundel Lodge supports a coalition of nonprofit organizations announcing a campaign to fight state budget cuts for behavioral health. According to an article in TheBayNet: 


Budget analysts say that the cuts by the outgoing and incoming gubernatorial administrations would reduce support to mental health providers by $23 million. 


"At a time when demand is greater than ever before, we are asking providers who treat Marylanders with behavioral health issues to once again 'do more with less,'" said Dan Martin, director of public policy for the Mental Health Association of Maryland. "Children's services will be hardest hit by these cuts. We should be opening doors to help for children and families, not going in the opposite direction."

"One in five children and youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder, but only 20 percent ever receive treatment," said Ann Geddes, director of public policy for the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children's Mental Health. "These kids can't get access to child psychiatrists. Families have to travel for hours or wait for months to get an appointment." 


"Balancing budgets by cutting community mental health care is counterproductive since such care is a cost-effective alternative to emergency rooms and inpatient beds," said Herb Cromwell, Executive Director of the Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland. "What happens when people can't get medications because providers can't afford to hire psychiatrists?" 

Legislative leaders have also been very public about wanting to restore the Governor's education cuts. We understand that the plan is to come up with $140 million via cuts to other areas of the budget. Doing so without restoring mental health cuts is a detriment to the 20% of kids in schools who have mental health needs. 


If you would like to support the effort to help legislative leaders understand that cutting the mental health budget is a gross disservice to our community and its children, please click on the link below and follow the quick and easy format. There will be a pre-written letter that you can customize any way you like.

Behavioral Health Matters



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We've Met Our Gift Match Challenge!


With budget cuts on the horizon that will dramatically affect behavioral health services, especially to children and adolescents, we are proud to know that our community, as well as family and friends from afar, are behind us. Arundel Lodge reached and surpassed the $50,000 matching gift goal for the construction of our Children and Adolescents Center!


Champion donor Beverly Marcus had these words to say: "We feel so proud of our community for the generous contributions received by Arundel Lodge. But we know that more funds are needed to ensure that the best materials, equipment, and the most highly qualified professionals are secured, enabling Anne Arundel County's children and adolescents to obtain the best services available. We encourage others to donate as the center progresses, and to make this vision a reality."


Special thanks to Beverly and Stephen Marcus for their $50,000 match gift and for their continued efforts to champion this important cause. To date, we have raised a total of $105,800.


Arundel Lodge is grateful to everyone who has contributed to help us meet this goal. Thank you to our most recent donors at the Superhero level, Joanne and Brad Zeiger. At the Hero level, thank you to SL Industries, Severn Town Club, Mike Drummond and Linda Coveleskie.


We recently completed construction on the Center. Karen Osborne and Stephanie Simmons of Karen Renee Interior Design have graciously offered to provide design ideas to make the spaces welcoming to kids.


We'll also need to fill the spaces with all of the necessary equipment, including play therapy toys. Play therapy provides children with selected play materials and facilitates a safe relationship to express feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors through play--children's natural medium of communication.


Below is a list of the toys we are seeking. If you or anyone you know is interested in donating toys, please contact Tanya St. John, Development Director, at 443-433-5928 or


Real-Life and Nurturing Toys


Doll families, doll house and doll house items, baby bottles, puppets, plastic animal families, cars, play money, cash register, kitchen sets, play food, medical kit, phone.


Acting Out, Aggressive, Scary Toys


Bop bag, toy soldiers, guns (colored plastic, not realistic looking), scary/aggressive puppets and animals (alligator, shark, etc.), rubber knife, foam sword, handcuffs.


Creative Expression and Emotional Release Toys


Play sand, sand tray, art materials (paints, paintbrushes, crayons, paper, etc.), craft materials, clay, musical instruments, magic wand, dress-up clothes.


Children's Books and DVDs


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Save the Date for Our Fundraiser at The Greene Turtle in Edgewater

This March 20, you can help support our programs by eating at The Greene Turtle in Edgewater and presenting the flyer below. The Greene Turtle will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from your purchase to Arundel Lodge.


The Funds for Friends event will run from 11 a.m. on March 20 until closing time at 1 a.m. 



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Happy Belated Valentine's Day: The Curious History of This Holiday


If you look up the history of St. Valentine's Day, you will find a dizzying array of potential truths about its origins.



One story says that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the death of a Roman martyr named Valentinus around A.D. 270. Apparently, Valentinus disobeyed the Emperor Claudius II, who insisted that his soldiers be single men, by marrying the soldiers to their sweethearts in secret.


Others claim that while there are many martyrs in Christian history named Valentine, the church may have decided to place the St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercali, a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.


Yet another theory is that the medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer created Valentine's Day in his poem "Parliament of Foules" around 1375, when he linked the feast day of St. Valentine to the ritual of birds and humans seeking mates on "Seynte Valentyne's day."



Whether or not any of these stories are true, we can agree that traditionally, we think of Valentine's Day as a day of romance and declarations of love. But what if you are not in a romantic relationship and there's no one you've got your eye on? You're not alone and you can still partake.


Valentine's Day is no longer just for couples. It's a great time to go the extra mile and show anyone in your life that you care about how special they are to you. It could be a mother, daughter, father, son, sister, brother, friend, or just someone who has been kind.


And my apologies to the Hallmark company, but sentiments don't need to be provided by way of a store-bought card. You can make your own card, or even write a few words on a sticky note and leave it on someone's desk or car window. Perhaps there's someone you've been meaning to call. If they don't pick up, leave an uplifting voicemail. You can make St. Valentine's Day special for anyone, just by letting them know that they are on your mind. If you missed Valentine's Day, you don't have to wait another is as good a day as any.


P.S. Please share your Valentine's Day story with Tanya St. John.



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Employee Spotlight: Edra Oliver and Adrienne Taylor


This month, we'd like to shine the spotlight on two staff members. We received a letter from a family member of one of the individuals we serve, thanking Adrienne Taylor and Edra Oliver and highlighting their efforts. She writes:

Adrienne Taylor


"This letter is to draw attention to two employees on your staff, Adrienne Taylor and Edra Oliver. They have had such a positive influence on A. The persistency they have revealed in helping A. has been tremendous. For such a long time I have been concerned about A. not taking care of his teeth; worrying about the danger to his health." 


"[Edra and Adrienne] have been instigative in convincing him he needed to make an appointment with the dentist, and this happened...I am so happy to have such a resource from Arundel Lodge and such influential employees as Adrienne and Edra."


Great job, Adrienne and Edra! With staff like you, Arundel Lodge can continue fulfilling our mission to partner with individuals and families to improve their behavioral health through recovery-oriented services.


Edra Oliver

Congratulations also to Edra Oliver for achieving Employee of the Month! Here's what some of her co-workers had to say:


"She is a very caring and conscientious staff person.  She is selfless and does everything she can for the persons served. She's a great person to have on the Bay Ridge team." 


"Edra works tirelessly to make sure that the persons served are well cared for. She takes them shopping, cooks with them, and makes sure they are well." 



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Food Coupon Drive Continues


Thank you to everyone so far who has sent in food coupons to help our residents buy fresh, healthy food. Our staff members assist residents with budgeting for grocery expenses and planning healthy meals, and the coupons you've sent in are helping! 


If you have food coupons you can contribute, please email Edra Oliver or mail them to 2600 Solomons Island Rd Edgewater, MD, 21037, ATTN: Edra Oliver.

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