A1 A1
Travel mag readers give Hyatt high rank

CAMBRIDGE — Readers of the Condé Nast Traveler magazine gave the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge a high ranking in a recent list of the top 20 resorts in the south.

Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards, with Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina recognized as the second highest ranked resort in the South, after more than 715,000 readers submitted ratings for their travel experiences across the globe.

“We are thrilled to be recognized with such a prestigious accolade as Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards,” said Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay General Manager Joel Bunde. “Our team is dedicated to caring for others so they can be their best and we strive daily to provide unforgettable and meaningful experiences that our guests will cherish for years to come. We are honored by this recognition as it is a testament to the premier experience we provide on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore.”

Situated on 342-acres on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Hyatt provides what it calls, “a spacious coastal getaway.” The resort has 400 rooms, including 58 suites. Guests can enjoy a variety of experiences including waterfront walks along the Choptank River and through the on-site Blue Heron Rookery, water sport activities throughout the summer months, and a unique educational experience at the property’s oyster farming exhibit. The resort is also home to premier golf at its River Marsh Golf Club, therapeutic treatments at Sago Spa and Salon, locally-inspired dining experiences, and a 150-slip marina with both fixed and floating docks.

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are a long-running and prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The Hyatt was narrowly edged out of first place by Primland in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. Primland scored a 99.32, and the Hyatt came in just .18 points lower with a score of 99.14. The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island in South Carolina scored third with a ranking of 98.32. The list of top 20 resorts in the South is available online at https://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/united-states/south-u-s-top-resorts.

“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, U.S. editor of Condé Nast Traveler. “The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next.”

The magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards are created by tabulating the rankings its readings submitted. The questionnaire contained lists of candidates in various categories, who the participants then rated on categories like rooms, service, food, design, location, activities, facilities and value.

Overflow Café nominated for World magazine Hope Award

CAMBRIDGE — To many locals, Overflow Café is more than just a sandwich shop. It’s a church, a community center, an affordable restaurant — and a place for people to heal and find support. It has been a community bedrock for seven years, but with a recent nomination to a national contest, the Christian ministry has now won some recognition for its services.

The popular World magazine named Overflow Café, an outreach ministry of Sunnyside Alliance Church, a top five finalist in its annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion contest.

Readers of World nominated more than 100 ministries that offer challenging, personal, and spiritual help to those they serve. Each year, World journalists select five finalists from those ministries. The public then votes to decide the overall winner.

“Overflow Café’s work to bridge economic and cultural divides within the Cambridge community is inspiring,” said World reporter Charissa Koh in a news release. “We chose them as a finalist for the Hope Awards because of their unique, relationship-based model. The time they invest in true connection, affordable meals, and resources is reshaping their neighborhood and bringing hope to everyone who walks through the café’s door.”

The winner of the contest will receive a $10,000 grand prize; runners-up each receive $2,000. Those interested in voting should go online to: https://world.wng.org/content/2020_hope_awards before the contest ends on Oct. 17.

The tiny sandwich shop at 400 Muir St. in downtown Cambridge is bigger than it looks, World reported.

“The Overflow Café provides a place for Christians to build friendships and make disciples,” World magazine wrote in a profile piece it ran in September. “It creates opportunities for reciprocal relationships, which sets it apart from traditional ministries to the poor.”

Low-cost meals — a breakfast sandwich is just $1.50, and the highest-priced sandwich is $5.50 — provide financial relief, while casual, monthly worship services in a back room bring religion and hope to those who would otherwise not find it.

It’s a community hub that even hosts open mic nights and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but the outreach ministry is something even more to its owners: a place for those on the “margins” to gather and feel accepted, said Dudley Parr, the director who helped establish Overflow Café in 2013.

“I say people on the margins, because you can have most of what you need and still feel marginalized,” he said. “We want to be a diverse community, and our thoughts are on, ‘how do we bless the community?’ The answer to that is we’re going to connect to those who feel disconnected. People assume we are here and have a listening ear. So, that’s what we do.”

Parr said he is “humbled” by the nomination, but surprised, too. He hadn’t even known about World magazine.

Parr is focused on helping the community, he said, and is less concerned about awards. Still, he could use the money. Cafe revenue and funding from Sunnyside Church supplement all operating costs. The Parrs live in a donated house and drive donated cars.

On any given day, Parr and his wife, Anna, are working at the cafe, serving customers, giving advice to troubled residents, and lending an ear to those who need it. It’s all part of “seeing people and accepting them for who they are,” Anna Parr said. She added that the one thing she hopes this award leads to is more services like hers.

“We don’t do this because we want to be noticed,” she said, “but this (model) is necessary in other places, too.”

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and unemployment rose, the owners saw a need and opened dinner hours at the cafe, from 5 to 8 p.m. They offer pay-what-you-can dinner meals — over $7,000 worth of them since the spring — that have assisted struggling residents to not only get fed, but also to reconnect.

“One of the hard things with COVID is we got disconnected,” said Anna Parr. “We don’t have that (same) relational aspect, and this was a way to continue to serve the community and open a channel back up for people to be seen and heard again. It’s given us the opportunity to reach those people who feel disconnected.”

Maureen Littlepath, 78, is one of those customers. She moved to Cambridge a year ago and has eaten lunch and dinner at Overflow Café nearly every day since. She has struggled with mental health issues, and the cafe is the one place she feels accepted.

“The people here help connect each other,” she said. “People have been falling through the cracks, and everyone who comes here needs help in some way. It brings all kinds of people together.”

Overflow Café has had its success stories, including connecting self-described atheists to God, healing those who struggled with alcoholism or drugs and bringing people who were once “lonely” together, said Dudley Parr.

No one at Overflow Café gets turned away. If you can’t afford a meal, Dudley Parr will recruit you to volunteer and earn the meal. The cafe runs entirely on free volunteers.

Some of the volunteers have been so moved by the nonprofit that they have permanently joined the staff.

Diane Jenkins and her husband, Seth, moved to Cambridge from Pennsylvania, after working with the Parrs at a similar cafe and outreach ministry there. The couple felt a calling to join the Parrs when they opened the new cafe.

“I was praying about it, and while I was here, God said this is where I need to be,” Diane Jenkins said. “I wanted to help people. Identity is a big issue for folks, and this is a safe place for people to find who they truly are.”

For all its talk about God, the ministry accepts anyone and everyone, regardless of their denomination. Worship services are casual, opening an avenue for people who otherwise would not feel accepted in a church.

“It’s about giving people a voice,” said Anna Parr. “Everyone here is not ‘churched.’ This is their church. It’s an everyday community relationship.”

Her husband agrees — it’s something a bit more than a church, or a restaurant, or a cafe.

“It’s a cathedral,” he said. “A center of life.”

Cambridge election set for Saturday at Chesapeake College

CAMBRIDGE — In person voting for the Cambridge city election is set for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Chesapeake College at 418 Race Street in downtown Cambridge. According to city officials, more than double the votes cast in the last city election have already been submitted.

City election officials are asking voters to enter the Chesapeake College facility from the rear of the building and exit through the front, a measure designed to protect from the spread of COVID-19. Other preventative measures include social distancing, the use of masks, availability of hand sanitizer, and a temperature check before entry to the building.

As of Tuesday, Oct 13, officials said a total of 2,000 city mail-in ballots had been processed through the Cambridge post office, already more than double to 915 total ballots cast in the 2016 Cambridge election. A total of 8,156 ballots were mailed out to all Cambridge voters who are listed on the Dorchester County voter roll. On Wednesday, city election officials recommended any ballots not yet mailed be delivered to the polls in person on Election Day.

Each voter has a unique barcode to protect the voter’s privacy, which will prevent any voter from voting more than once and ensure every vote is counted, and will give voters that believe they cast a ballot incorrectly a chance to recast their ballot. Only the last ballot will be counted. Voters with questions or concerns may call the voter hotline, 410-228-8970, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

breaking featured
Drinks, cups thrown at Trump supporters at roadside rally; state police investigating

CAMBRIDGE — Drinks and cups were thrown at Trump supporters during a roadside campaign rally on Saturday, Oct. 10 in Cambridge.

The incident could result in assault and speeding charges against the occupants of a car with Pennsylvania tags who allegedly threw the objects at Trump backers who convened along Route 50.

Ted Bryant, chairman of the Victory for Trump of Dorchester County and vice chair of the Dorchester County Republican Central Committee, said a contingent of Trump supporters gathered with signs and banners along the roadway on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Bryant said most of the passers-by were supportive but an opposing group did stop nearby and put up anti-Trump signs.

“They had an ‘f- — Trump’ sign and flags,” Bryant said. “We just let them go.”

Bryant, however, said another car approached the pro-Trump group. “They were cursing at us and giving us the bird and then went away,” he said.

But the car which had Pennsylvania tags doubled back at a fast speed, according to Bryant. “I thought it was originally going to hit a couple of us,” Bryant said. “They threw drinks at us and then their empty cups.”

The contents might have been coffee or iced tea. No one was injured but Bryant said the Trump backers were upset by the incident. “Nobody got hurt,” Bryant said.

He said one of the attendees at the Trump rally was a retired law enforcement officer who called the Maryland State Police.

Bryant was told a state trooper eventually pulled over the car and eventually interviewed those at the rally. A state police official confirmed to The Star Democrat that there was an incident being investigated at the Cambridge rally involving a potential and alleged second-degree assault.

State police said in a statement that the liquid thrown at the Trump fans was coffee and a criminal investigation is underway.

The 2020 presidential campaign between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has been combative and contentious. Campaign signs for both candidates have been vandalized, damaged and stolen throughout the Eastern Shore and other parts of the country.

Biden supporters, who have also held roadside rallies on Route 50, have also reported verbal taunts. Businesses, on both sides of the campaign, have been threatened with boycotts and harassed if they take a political stance.

The Trump rally on Saturday, Oct. 10, was held on Route 50 near the Comfort Inn. Bryant said the event was held on private property with the permission of the owners.

Bryant said U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, also attended the Cambridge event but that was after the incident.