State VFW will raise funds to support Grant-A-Wish Foundation

NEIGHBORS

April 11, 1994|By JEAN LESLIE

This year, VFW's state commander and state Ladies Auxiliary president have designated the Grant-A-Wish Foundation as a special project.

As you may know, the Grant-A-Wish Foundation acts as a fairy godmother/godfather to help cheer terminally ill children.

Our local VFW is doing its part this week by holding a Bingo game at the post from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds will be turned over to the Maryland Ladies Auxiliary, which will give the money to the Grant-A-Wish Foundation. The money will go to help Maryland children.

The fun starts with snacks. At 12:45 p.m., a speaker from Grant-A-Wish will talk about some children the foundation has helped.

Bingo starts about 1 p.m. There also will be a raffle, table prizes and money.

Admission is $2 plus cards to play Bingo. You get 5 cards for $1.

VFW Post 8097 at 7209 Montevideo Road welcomes the community this Saturday for a good cause.

For further information, call Betty Heber at 796-5458.

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As of last week, I am a proud graduate of the Master Gardener Training course, which makes me an intern.

Twenty-two others graduated with me, including five other Ellicott citizens. Let me tell you something about my experience: We met six hours a week from Jan. 31 through March 28 in a small conference room, brought together by our common love of our gardens and the land.

Each session was devoted to a topic important to gardeners, such as pruning, perennials, plant diseases and insects. There also was an emphasis on using fewer toxic chemicals.

Some of Maryland's best botanists, horticulturists and entomologists gave three-hour presentations during the sessions. Many were University of Maryland professors.

The speakers also gave us hand-outs expressing their views.

The whole program cost $85, of which $35 will be returned if we volunteer our time in a community project. To advance to Master Gardener, each of us must volunteer 40 hours within the next year.

One of the things we do is run an information table at Ellicott City's Miller Branch Library throughout the growing season. The table is attended each Monday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

A Master Gardener will be on hand to diagnose sick plants and give recommendations for having a healthy garden.

One benefit of the course was meeting new people, some of whom traveled from Frederick, Arnold and Crofton.

Ellicott City/Elkridge graduates include Ginny Baier, Glenda Condon, Sherry Ann Keller, Barbara Langridge and Lori Lease.

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Brent Gauthier recently won his Eagle Scout Award by creating a North American Native Plant Garden in Ellicott City's David W. Force Park.

Brent planned and organized his fellow Scouts in more than 120 hours of work on the project. He planned the garden, which entailed expanding the bordering split rail fence, planting more than 200 different plants native to the Eastern U.S., moving a vTC park bench and rearranging a stone wall salvaged from old Ellicott City.

Brent's project will serve as a model of native plants to benefit people who enjoy horticulture.

Brent, who is the son of Gayden and Janell Gauthier, entered Scouting through Cub Scout Pack 122.

He progressed through the Cub Scouts, graduating as a Webelo with the Arrow of Light. He then joined Boy Scout Troop 944 and reached First Class within one year.

His other awards include the World Crest, the BSA 50-miler award, and a Brotherhood membership in the Order of the Arrow.

His Eagle Court of Honor was celebrated on March 11 at Bethany United Methodist Church in Ellicott City.

He is a junior at Centennial High School, where he is a percussionist in the school's Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble.

*

Do flashing lights near an elementary school prevent accidents

involving the children? Elkridge's Mike Swetz thinks so.

"I came from New York state, where every school has flashers," he says.

Mike's kids attend Rockburn Elementary School, one of the county's newest schools. He feels the posted yellow sign showing a group of children does not grab the motorist's attention.

"My main concern is for the children's safety," he explains. "The school is on a blind turn, and cars fly around it. There is disaster potential for those cars hitting the school buses making the left turn into the school."

In addition, he's concerned that there is no speed limit posted. As chairman of the PTA's safety committee and of the Howard County PTA Council's safety committee, Mike has done his research on flashing lights.

Apparently, flashers are now manufactured with a solar panel to avoid using electric current. An additional feature is a timer which turns on the flashers only when children are present.

He has also inquired about research documenting the effectiveness of flashing lights in preventing child injuries.

Why all the fuss? Along with PTA President Cathy Manning and Rockburn Principal Earl Slacum, Mike has been trying to have flashing lights installed in front of his school, with no success.

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