In lieu of the Holly Days event originally scheduled for its second year on December 2, 2023, St. Mary’s CDC and Lexington Park Business Association are spreading that holiday feeling throughout the season through a series of stories we’re calling “Holly Days in the Park.” Our goal is to give you a glimpse into a few of Lexington Park’s many businesses, agencies, and institutions, and all the ways this season is so important to our community.
The Lexington Park Business Association (LexBa) kicks off the holidays with a peek at how local businesses, residents and nonprofits mark the season. During Holly Days, recipes and gifts are swapped, family and friends gather, religions mark the profound significance of the times; and so much more.
An experience that hopefully we’ve all enjoyed during this season is sharing and receiving well wishes with total strangers. These random but pleasant encounters can stretch from Veterans Day through and sometimes well beyond New Years. Just think of the possibilities if we shared glad tidings with strangers every day of the year.
Through it all nonprofits, the library, fire and rescue squads, schools, and countless Lexington Park retail and service providers support the community’s often increased needs. So, how do they do it? How do they push through with the demands and the delights of the season while also supporting their employees or volunteers and the extended families that depend upon them. Here is one of their stories.
Mama Pat, as she’s known, is there with a kind word and something homemade to eat every time there’s a call that’s likely to weaken the soul of a squad member. Pat along with her husband Kim Davidson are the longest living members of the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad having joined in 1977 as a young married couple. When asked she explained that there is an uptick of calls during the holidays for people, some of whom have succumbed to depression and despair, so supporting the Squad’s members and their families is ever more important.
The Rescue Squad serves Great Mills, Lexington Park, and California; St. Mary’s largest commercial and residential areas, making Stations 39 on FDR Boulevard and 38 on Buck Hewitt Road the busiest in the county. Along with the Squad’s 198 volunteers, career responders have become part of the family. Serving and Saving, the Squad’s motto is demonstrated every day.
During Holly Days, the Rescue Squad tours the nearby neighborhoods with ambulances decked out, sometimes better and brighter than Santa’s sleigh. And each year the Squad gathers for its deeply loved family dinner. The station is decorated with tinsel, holly, stockings and more and everyone is gathered, both members, career responders and their families for a feast to fill the belly and warm the heart. However, should a call come in, they don’t hesitate to push away from that table to serve and hopefully save someone who might be in your family.
If someone you know is struggling, the St. Mary’s County Health Hub recently opened right across from St. Mary’s Square on Great Mills Road. According to the Health Department’s website, “the Hub offers walk-in evaluations of mental health and addiction, counseling, primary care, medical services” and many other community resources. Normal business hours are from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. Monday through Friday although the Health Hub will be closed on December 25, 26 and January 1. If you or someone you know is in crisis you can also call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for immediate help.
LexBa wishes you the best of the holidays and we hope that you will look forward to our next edition of Holly Days in the Park. LexBa’s monthly meetings are open to the public and take place at 8 a.m. on the 4th Thursday of the month at various business locations. To learn more about the Lexington Park Business Association email LexingtonParkBA@gmail.com.
Robin Finnacom, 240-298-1133