Joining commuter crowd on highway affords winsome insights GLEN BURNIE

NEIGHBORS

March 03, 1993|By BONITA FORMWALT

Forgive me if I'm not always available to answer your calls. I'm sorry you have memorized the message on my answering machine. It's not that I don't want to speak with you. It's just that . . .

I'm in my car.

In what can only be construed as a temporary lapse of good judgment, I have joined the throng of commuters who fill the highways on the way to work. Every day you'll find us, creeping along the perimeter of Baltimore, not amused in the least by signs demanding we go no faster than 55 mph. Held captive in a Buick, I have made the following observations:

* The most important safety device in your car is a cassette tape player. By avoiding the annoying, insipid morning radio clods you will greatly reduce the chance of driving into a concrete bridge abutment.

* Heat in a car is one of those little necessities that you never notice until it's missing.

* Avoid making eye contact with the drivers you cut off on a merge. They can steal your soul that way.

* If the unemployment rate is so high, just who are all these people on the road at 8 a.m. and where are they going?

Leave a message at the tone, Glen Burnie.

*

There will be bats, gloves and uniforms. Mom will be there with her camcorder. Dad will offer suggestions to the ump. It's baseball as usual at the Marley Area Little League except for one thing. The players are handicapped.

It's the Challenger Division of Little League Baseball and Marley's league is the first of its kind in Anne Arundel County.

"We've talked about this for a couple of years. Part of our field is on the property of the Marley Glen [Special] School. They've helped us and we wanted to do something to help them," explained Bill Winters, executive vice president of the Marley Area Little League.

Because this is their first year operating the program, some concessions have been made that make the local program different from the national. Marley's program is targeted at players ages 8 through 12 with physical or mental disabilities. But the players must be capable of walking the bases. If the program proves successful, the league plans to make the fields accessible to wheelchairs.

Adjustments have been made in the game to make it easier for the players.

"It's set up like a T-ball program with a softer ball for safety purposes," said Winters. "We'll also team every disabled player with a regular player, and that's their buddy. They'll go out in the field together and the buddy will help to make the play."

Winters hopes to draw from the rosters of the other leagues, area Scouting programs and family members of the players to implement the buddy system.

What the Challenger Division needs now are players, coaches and parental support. Depending on the response of the community, Opening Day is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of May.

Registration is scheduled from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturdays through April 10 at the Marley field house behind Marley Elementary School. There is a $20 fee for membership in the league plus an additional registration fee of $5 per child.

For information on the Challenger Division call Winters, 766-6824 or Bruce Mahar, 761-4114.

*

The smell of home cooking will fill the air at Holy Trinity Catholic Church this Saturday as 150 religious education students participate in "Hands Reaching Out."

Participants in this junior high outreach project prepare soup, sauces and baked goods that will be distributed at area shelters and soup kitchens.

The students will hold a dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday to share with the community the fruits of their labor. Invitations have already been issued through various shelters and social service groups.

In addition to Saturday's dinner, the project is expected to supply two area churches with enough food to provide lunch for the needy two afternoons next week. Food will also be distributed to the North County Emergency Outreach Network and various city shelters.

Donations of cooking ingredients are being accepted at the Parish Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For additional information, call 768-3890 or 768-1870.

*

Original, handcrafted gift items are available for sale at the CASOS craft store's spring sale. The sale is scheduled to run through April 1 at the Community Advocates for Senior Opportunities and Services store on the first floor of the Arundel Center North, 101 Crain Highway.

All craft items in the store are handmade by elderly people for purposes of therapy, education and providing financial assistance to those on limited incomes. Eighty percent of the price goes to the elderly. The remaining 20 percent goes into a fund to help needy seniors with medicine, fuel oil and other emergencies.

A nonprofit organization for helping senior citizens, CASOS is currently in its 25th year of service. The organization has 48 hTC groups throughout the county.

For additional information, call 761-1769.

*

Ham and fried oysters top the menu of a smorgasbord being held by the Glen Burnie Demolay and the Rainbow Assembly 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, 19 Crain Highway.

Admission is a donation of $9 for adults and $4 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

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