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Baltimore’s Regnum Christi Women Share Christmas Charm
Springhill Center for Family Development All Decked Out

A sitting room all spruced up for the holidays
A sitting room all spruced up for the holidays

The Springhill Center for Family Development is a Regnum Christi center in Baltimore that hosts a wide range of activities and ministries for families, married couples, and children of all ages. Some of its apostolates include FAMILIA, K4J, ConQuest and Challenge, and the Leadership Training Program. The Alpha and Omega Clinic for individual, marriage, and family therapy offers its services there as well. So, the halls of the Springhill Center are usually fairly busy.

But at Christmas time, the stately Springhill mansion gets even busier. For the past three years, the Springhill house has hosted its annual Christmas Decorator Show House, in which local decorators adopt a room of the house and spruce it up with holiday splendor.

This year, one of the Regnum Christi women who helped organize the show was nominated as “Volunteer of the Week” in The Capital, a Baltimore area newspaper. Nancy Smith is not only active in her Regnum Christi section, but also gives her time generously to her parish, her community, and her children’s school. As she herself says, “Time is a gift. I use it positively to help other people.”

To get a glimpse of present and past Christmas Decorator Show House displays at Springhill, visit the photo albums, created by Bob Gibson, at these links:

Springhill Christmas Decorator Show House 2007:
Springhill Christmas Decorator Show House 2006:
Springhill Christmas Decorator Show House 2005:

The following article is taken from The Capital, reproduced with permission.

Volunteer of the Week

Rounding out the Christmas Show House
By LORI PHELAN, Staff Writer

Published November 27, 2007

To help turn the mood toward Christmas, the Springhill Center for Family Development is holding its third annual Christmas Decorator Show House. The two-week event begins Saturday.

The center is housed in the stately 1850 Civil War-era home seen off Interstate 97 in the Crownsville area. The nonprofit organization addresses the needs of the modern day family through quality programming such as marriage preparation classes, parenting workshops, a speakers series, junior leadership program for boys, a "Challenge" program for teenage girls and a moms´ morning out.

A group of about 150 women who are part of the Baltimore women´s section of Regnum Christi, a lay Catholic faith movement oversee the programs.

The group, which owns the property and opened its doors in 2002, has held various
Time to celebrate… and time to give.
Time to celebrate… and time to give.
galas through the years.

"Eventually it seemed they had run their course and we needed to come up with something else," said Nancy Smith, The Capital´s Volunteer of the Week and an integral part of the event planning.
The plan to create a decorator show house seemed a perfect match and the group went to work.

Mrs. Smith is co-chairman for docent scheduling, she oversees the cafe and assists in securing the various vendors necessary along with her mother, Becky Bond.

"Nancy, always with her lovely Southern charm, spends countless hours helping out with every aspect of the Christmas Decorator Show House from organizing the cafe, working with the docents, assisting with the boutique to decorating for the Preview Party," said Kohlhafer, the center´s business manager.

"I do wear a few different hats," admitted Mrs. Smith.

The event usually draws about 1,000 people and raises more than $30,000 each year. Crowds this year are expected to number more than 2,000 during the two-week period.

"The generosity and talent the designers lend to the project each year blows me away," she said.

"And the time and money spent at the house to create everything is just amazing."

She puts in numerous volunteer hours toward the event. "I don´t know how it happens, but the more I´m there, the more time I seem to have. It´s as though God expands my time. I have no other explanation. It´s just amazing," Mrs. Smith said.

Her schedule is full outside the event as well. She works part-time for the Renaissance Festival on the human resources staff and helps with the food and beverage vendors.

It´s a job she´s had for the past two decades and where she first met her husband, Justin Smith, who serves as director of the food and beverage service at the fair.

The Arnold couple have been married for 19 years and have two daughters; Ivy, a ninth- grader at Severna Park High School, and Mary, a fifth-grader at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Elementary School.

Mrs. Smith also volunteers her time at the elementary school and through her church, St. John the Evangelist, in Severna Park. There, she is active with the summer Bible school, religious education programs, Eucharistic ministry and the home health care ministries.

"My time is very full," she said. "Time is a gift. I use it positively to help other people."

The Christmas House Designer Showcase 2007 will be open from Dec. 1-16 at the Springhill Center for Family Development, 1134 Bacon Ridge Road in Crownsville. Times are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday through Friday; and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Other hours are available for organized tours. Admission is $20. For more information, call 410-923-8900 or visit

Send your nomination for "Volunteer of the Week" to Lori Phelan, staff writer, at The Capital, PO Box 911, Annapolis, MD 21404; fax it to her at 410-280-5953; call her at 410-280-5920; or e-mail



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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