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Community Gathers to Shuck 3,000 Ears of Corn for Olney Picnic

Aw, shucks. That’s the popular refrain that went around Olney a few weeks ago as volunteers worked on shedding the silk and husks from approximately 3,000 ears of corn for the 93rd annual Montgomery General Hospital Women’s Board Picnic. The event went on for ten hours on a Tuesday at old Montgomery General Hospital, located at the corner of Md. 108 and Prince Philip Drive. And Olney homeowners and volunteers showed up in droves to help with the community effort.

Many volunteers come from the local Lions Club chapter and MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, who’s vice president of strategic planning, marketing and business development  Nikki Yeager has been instrumental in the cause, as has hospital President Pete Monge, who likes to sit among the crowded throng of silkers and shuckers and get his hands dirty. “This time of year in Olney is always exciting as the Women’s Board hosts the traditional Picnic and Bazaar,” said Monge. “For 93 years now the Women’s Board has gone out of their way in order to benefit our patients.”

Around since 1919, the Women’s Board assists the community through volunteer efforts and fundraising drives. This year they are working on a $1.75 million drive that would go toward a daVinci Surgical System that could be very helpful for Olney medical practitioners.

The 200-plus person Board also started the picnic when it was much smaller, and obviously made up of different members, way back in 1920. It began then as a small dinner held Sherwood High School. This tradition carried on for half a century until Olney saw a population boom in the 1970s that took the picnic outside. “I think people still want the Olney-Sandy Spring area to have a community feel, even though it has grown,” said Dee Hawkins, president of the Women’s Board.

The community certainly is keeping its tight-knit roots through events like the annual corn-shucking bonanza, which is just one of the many unique features that Olney has to offer.

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