Joining a host of Columbia companies, organizations and individuals offering programs for the needy during the holidays is Dr. Joseph Del Rosso of the Del Rosso Chiropractic Clinic.
The clinic is sponsoring a program called Angel Tree that targets a small, very select, but often totally forgotten group -- children whose parents who are in jail or prison.
These children are helpless victims of the indiscretions of one or both parents. Many are deposited in foster homes or left behind with a mother who can ill-afford to buy them holiday gifts.
Robert Abbey, the regional director for Angel Tree, says the program will provide new toys to about 8,000 young children in the Maryland region this year.
"Dr. Del Rosso approached us and offered his help," says Mr. Abbey. "He is participating in our "Family Days" holiday program, which works directly with the Maryland House of Corrections. On Dec. 10, all the toys gathered by Dr. Del Rosso and others in the program will be brought to the prison where prisoners and volunteers will work together wrapping them for the kids."
To help make the holidays happy for these children, people are asked to bring unwrapped toys, appropriate for children ages 4 to 8, to the Del Rosso clinic no later than Dec. 9.
As an incentive to bring in a toy, Dr. Del Rosso is offering a free initial visit for new patients, while current patients who bring in a toy and a receipt will receive a credit for chiropractic services equal to the full purchase price of the toy.
For additional information, please call the Del Rosso Clinic at 964- 0837.
The merchants of Wilde Lake Village Center will be hosts for a holiday celebration on the village green on Friday, beginning at 6 p.m.
Everyone is invited to come enjoy a concert by the Wilde Lake Middle School Handbell Choir, and the singing of carols and holidays songs performed by the school's Concert Choir, under the direction of Nellie Hill.
There will also be plenty of cookies to munch on and lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows, courtesy of the Wilde Lake merchants.
River Hill is the newest, and will be the last, of Columbia's 10 villages. Unlike the older villages, it does not yet have a village center to call its own.
As a result, the River Hill Community Association has been without a home.
That all changed recently when the community association moved into its new, albeit temporary, home at Kahler Hall in nearby Harper's Choice.
For hours and additional information, call Sunny McGuinn at 730-7721.
This Thursday and Friday, Running Brook Elementary School will home to the London Brass Rubbings Center, a group of artisans who help perpetuate the ancient art form and teach it to others.
Sue Feldman, the Cultural Arts Coordinator for the school, says that members of the center will be teaching the students about medieval history and folklore.
Each student will also have the opportunity to make a beautiful gift to bring home for the holidays.
"The group will be working with the children on a special art project," says Mrs. Feldman. "They will show the students how to do a brass rubbing. The children should really enjoy it."
Six Wilde Lake High School students have been recognized for their outstanding performance on college level Advanced Placement (AP) examinations.
As AP Scholars, they rank in the top 10 percent of more than 400,000 students who took the exams.
Congratulations to Jeremy Ou and Kevin Scaldeferri, who received AP Scholar with Distinction Awards; Bryan Poltilove, who received an AP Scholar with Honor Award; and Naomi Greengrass, Shamim Sinnar and Neil Zuckerman, who also received AP Scholar Awards.
The National College Board, which oversees the AP Scholar program, awards college credits to those high school students who complete college level courses and receive a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on the exams.
The whole family is invited to an evening of Charity Bingo on Saturday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center.
The event is sponsored by the Wilde Lake Council of the Knights of Columbus and St. John Catholic Church.
The games begin at 8 p.m., but for those arriving early, there will also be four early bird games starting at 7:30 p.m.
Dick Hayden, the grand knight of the Wilde Lake Council of the Knights of Columbus, says that proceeds from the games will go to help needy individuals and families during the holiday season.
"Last year we raised nearly $4,000 from our monthly bingo nights," says Mr. Hayden.
"We were able to help a large number of people, and we have been able to do the same this year, too. Just recently, we made a contribution to the fuel fund, and provided meals for five Columbia families who needed assistance."
The evening promises to fun for everyone. There will be lots of door prizes and refreshments will be available.
For additional information, call 964-1425.