Many years ago, there was a family that appeared in the show barns of The Great Frederick Fair. This family was everywhere!!! But they were calm. Seemingly floating from event to event, show barn to show barn, from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. Never seeming stressed. Always willing to help another kid along the way; tie a shoe or braid their hair or hold their animal while they showed another. This family was amazing.
The years have passed, the family is still involved, some kids have moved on, but the calm remains. Still willing to help whenever the call goes out.
In this year of transition to a new board of directors, one voice answered the call with a resounding “Yes, I can help” whenever we called or send an email request. What animals do you need, one day or two, do we need pens? A steady calm as our organization took on more events and began to spread out.
This year our shepherd of the year will go to a well deserving woman and her family. They have been at just about every even this year. Helping, sharing and teaching – all with a quiet calm about her. At Rose Hill, Farmers Co-op Open House, Ag-week at the Mall, the Czech Embassy and many other smaller events. Her truck opens up and a petting zoo of many species is neatly packed inside with all the provisions they need. This woman and her family are real professionals at this. With a bunny in hand or a lamb by their side, they can be counted on. There was even a time when there was a chicken on a leash on bike handlebars! And one day I remember vividly – as a visitor to the petting area at Rose Hill was putting on a second helping of hand sanitizer – when I looked over at this woman and her child – there was the girl, holding her chicken in one hand and eating a sandwich with the other. Remaining calm and somehow not laughing at the situation.
This year’s Shepherd of the Year Award goes to Charlotte Dutton and Family. Thank you for all you have done to help this year. Oh, by the way – next weekend is the Christmas Market at the Czech Embassy – see you there!