Credit Union Commits $50,000 to BCPS

At a reception honoring recipients of its 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 “Putting Students First Grant” program, First Financial Federal Credit Union announced a $50,000 commitment to Baltimore County Public Schools over the next five years.
Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, the credit union will award 10 $1,000 grants each year through the 2027-2028 school year.

Putting Students First Grants of up to $500 each were first offered in the 2021-2022 school year through
a partnership between First Financial and The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools.

The Putting Students First Grant program, available to BCPS educators and school administrators, supports student services and curriculum enhancements.

The grants are reviewed, judged, and selected by a joint committee of Education Foundation and First Financial employees.

Recipient schools for 2022
include: Battle Grove Elementary School, Cedarmere Elementary School, Charlesmont Elementary School, Cromwell Valley Elementary Regional Magnet School, Featherbed Lane Elementary School,
Glyndon Elementary School, Loch Raven Technical Academy, Perry Hall Elementary School, Riverview Elementary School, and Western School of Technology and Environmental Science.

“First Financial’s commitment to extend and enhance the Putting Students First Grants brings extra sparks of excitement and motivation to the educators in BCPS,” said Deborah S. Phelps, executive
director of The Education Foundation.

“This opportunity will allow educators to create and design additional innovative, research-based programs. It will provide them supplies and resources to implement the programs contributing to the overall learning environment for our students and allow educators to continuously embrace the total child. The foundation extends its utmost gratitude to First Financial Federal Credit Union for being our ‘Education Champion’ for Team BCPS.”

Founded to serve the financial needs of educators, First Financial is well known for its commitment to enhancing education in the community it serves.
“Seeing the impact this partnership has had within the educational community made it easy for us to decide to continue this initiative,” said First Financial President and CEO Eric Church.

“Recognizing how critical quality education is to our future, we’re proud
to deepen our support of the grant program and extend this partnership for another five years.”

To learn more about First Financial and membership eligibility, visit the credit union’s website or call
Member Services at 410-321-6060, option 5.

Perry Hall Wawa Now Open for Business

-photo courtesy of Delegate Joe Boteler-

The Wawa of Perry Hall held its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 3. The store is located at the intersection of Belair Road and Honeygo Boulevard near the Perry Hall Library. Councilman David Marks was one of the dignitaries at the event.

“The corner of Belair Road and Honeygo Boulevard was zoned for commercial development in 2000. A shopping center was approved two years before my election. Our office persuaded the developer to reject uses that would be more appropriate elsewhere – Lidl located to the Mars supermarket site instead, for example. Surrounding neighborhoods were actively engaged as plans for Wawa moved forward,” Marks explained.

“The Wawa offers more choice for motorists and employs local residents – and is already giving back to the community. Today, the store made a donation to Gunpowder Elementary as it recognized Kirsten Roller for her work on the playground project.”

Baltimore Kettlebell Club Moves to E Joppa Road

-photo courtesy of Delegate Carl Jackson-

The Baltimore Kettlebell Club held their grand opening in Perry Hall on 4132 E. Joppa Rd. Kettlebell Club has been in business since 2011, and they moved into a larger location in the summer and held the traditional ribbon cutting on Saturday.

The ceremony was attended by Delegates Carl Jackson Joe Boteler, Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, and County Councilman David Marks.

“Today, on behalf of myself, Delegate Harry Bhandari and Delegate Joseph Carroll Boteler I presented a citation from the Maryland General Assembly congratulating Baltimore Kettlebell Club on their new location in Perry Hall,” Jackson said. “I also had a chance to workout with some parents and kids as well.”

The Baltimore Kettlebell Club was founded by Dan Cenidoza and his wife Jessica 10 years ago.

“Dan Cenidoza ran a good event, with demonstrations of exercises they do with the parents and the kids, as well as various feats of strength and agility,” Boteler added.

“This has become a popular, family-oriented physical fitness organization – I was amazed at the number of kids today,” Marks said. “We are delighted to have this club in the heart of Perry Hall at the Festival shopping center on Joppa Road.

Country Club Bowling Lanes Has Closed

AMF Country Club Lanes has closed its door. The bowling alley was located at 9020 Pulaski Hwy in Middle River.

The windows have been boarded up and there was an announcement on the AMF website.

“We’re sorry to say that AMF Country Club Lanes has permanently closed. We would like to invite you to keep bowling with us at AMF Perry Hall Lanes,” said a statement on the AMF site.

Pinland Bowling in Dundalk closed in the spring and Edgemere Bowling lanes closed back in 2012. Both of those bowling alleys were duckpin lanes and privately owned.

Country Club Lanes only had traditional tenpin lanes and was owned by corporate giant AMF.

County to Give Grants to Local Organizations

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that Baltimore County and the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) have awarded more than $2.47 million in grants to over 50 local community-based organizations to support their recovery and enhance efforts to strengthen neighborhood resiliency.

“Baltimore County is home to so many dedicated community organizations working every day to create opportunities for our residents and supporting our diverse neighborhoods,” Olszewski said. “Thanks to these new grants, we are proud to provide millions to support the recovery of these organizations, allowing them to continue providing services on behalf of our residents for years to come.”

Announced in May 2021, the Baltimore County COVID-19 Nonprofit Recovery Grant Fund offered grants of $10,000 to $100,000 to Baltimore County community-based organizations to support residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds will be used to support a diverse range of community efforts, such as emergency shelter and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, support for food pantry expansions, installation of ADA compliant bathroom upgrades, mobile vaccination efforts, community financial counseling programs, and much more. Additionally, funds will help cover revenue reductions or operating expense increases that have occurred due to the pandemic.

The Baltimore County COVID-19 Nonprofit Recovery Grant Fund is supported by Baltimore County’s allocation of Maryland Recovery Now funding and is administered through a partnership with BCF.

“Baltimore County’s community organizations have exemplified time and again their ability to respond, innovate and support families’ survival and quality of life needs,” said Shanaysha Sauls, BCF President & CEO. “It was both natural and seamless to partner with County Executive Olszewski’s administration to steward these funds, achieve the program’s goals and do our part to help our region and its residents emerge from this pandemic safely and more resilient.”

Here is a list of some of the Baltimore County Emergency Response Fund awardees in eastern Baltimore County:

  • Baltimore County Sailing Center
  • Bowley’s Quarters Improvement Association, Inc
  • Dundalk Renaissance Corporation
  • Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County, Inc
  • Foundation for Baltimore County Public Library
  • Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum
  • Harford Park Community Association
  • Holy Trinity Episcopal
  • Middlesex Health Center
  • Sparrows Point North Point Historical Society
  • Sussex Community Association Inc

The COVID-19 Nonprofit Recovery Fund is the latest in a series of partnerships between Baltimore County and BCF. In March 2020, the County and BCF launched the Baltimore County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which provided 50 local community-based organizations grants totaling $400,000 to enhance the County’s response to the COVID-19 crisis last summer.

In June 2021, the County and BCF established a fund to support the Baltimore County Summer Youth Jobs Program, providing skills training, coaching and paid work experience at public and private sector organizations for 300 Baltimore County youth.

Pizza Johns Partners With Weis Markets

Pizza Johns of Essex has announced that it will sell its world famous pizza products at selected Weis Markets.

Now 12″ and 16″ bake at home pizzas will be available at six Weis Markets in Eastern Baltimore, along with two stores in Harford County.

Here are a list of stores:
* 7200 Holabird Avenue in Dundalk
* 7848 Wise Avenue in Dundalk
* 168 Orville Road in Essex
* 4126 E Joppa Road in Carney
* 9400 Scott Moore Way in Perry Hall
* 7927 Belair Road in Fullerton
* 550 W Macphail Road in Bel Air
* 924 Pulaski Highway in Havre De Grace

Pizza Johns announced a similar partnership with a Kingsville store last summer,

USWind to Bring Manufacturing Jobs to Area

– photo courtesy of TradePoint Atlantic-

TradePoint Atlantic (TPA) held a press event on Tuesday to announce that they signed a deal with USWind to bring steel back to the Sparrows Point area.

Manufacturing is coming back to Sparrows Point and TPA said this deal will soon create 500 high quality, good paying, permanent union jobs for skilled workers once again.

Gov. Larry Hogan attended the event and said this announcement is both good for the environment and the economy.

“Expanding offshore wind in Maryland will diversify our economy and energy portfolio,” Hogan said.

“Through US Wind’s continued investment, the revitalization of Sparrows Point will be a shot in the arm for Baltimore, and another milestone for the transformative vision for Tradepoint Atlantic Industrial Complex.”

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. said that the addition of 500 union jobs could be a “game changer for the area.

“The legacy of Sparrows Point is built on good jobs for our families, and I’m excited about the prospect of the return of manufacturing to this site,” Olszewski said.

“This is a full circle moment that will strengthen communities across our entire region.”

Chase Bank to Open Location in Dundalk

Chase Bank is coming to Dundalk. Construction is underway in the 1400 block of Merritt Boulevard. It is in the same shopping center as Giant and Big Lot.

It is in the same location as the old Pizza Hut, which was demolished in the spring

According to its website, Chase has 4,700 locations and over 40 banks in Maryland.

Tractor Supply to Open on Philadelphia Rd

The old Mars Supermarket building in Rosedale has a new tenant.

Preparations are being made to open a new Tractor Supply Company in the old building in the Kings Court Shopping Center on Philadelphia Road.

The building has been vacant when all of the area Mars stores closed in the summer of 2016.

Most of the Mars stores in eastern Baltimore County were bought and converted into a Weis Supermarkets but the Rosedale building remained empty for the past five years.

According to MacKenzie Retail, LLC (the owners of Kings Court Shopping Center), Tractor Supply signed a lease to join the center in February. The new store joins Dunkin, Pizza Hut and the Old Philadelphia Inn.

Tractor Supply sells farm and ranch equipment along with home and garden supplies.

There is a “now hiring sign” at the new Rosedale location and potential employees can apply by going to