'Alternative' market a chance to give

NEIGHBORS

November 29, 1994|By SHERRY GRAHAM

The holiday season is upon us. Look almost anywhere and you will see signs of the season. Christmas decorations have sprung up overnight, and I've even heard a carol or two.

Evergreens have been cut and are ready for the lights and ornaments that will transform them into a beloved symbol of Christmas. And the shoppers are out in force.

The Alternative Christmas Market at St. Joseph's Catholic Community in Eldersburg gives folks an opportunity to remember the giving side of Christmas.

This holiday event is in its fourth year and provides some wonderful ways to give to others.

Numerous Carroll County charitable organizations will have tables at the market, where shoppers can learn about the organizations' work and make donations. Shoppers are encouraged to purchase specific items in the name of family and friends.

You may decide to buy a night in one of Carroll's shelters for a homeless individual or family. Or maybe you wish to help provide Christmas dinner for 10. It's possible to help pay someone's rent through the organizations represented at the market.

Several Carroll County organizations plan to participate, including SHARE, Roads to Recovery, Resurrection Farm, The ARC, Shepherd's Table, Carroll County Food Sunday, Christmas in April and E.S.C.A.P.E. (Enabling Social and Church Advocacy for People Enrichment) Ministries Inc.

Charities that work in Third World countries will also be represented at the market. Shoppers will be able to offer gifts to the needy in Peru, India, Kenya and other nations.

Another popular way to participate in the market is through the Giving Tree. The items most needed include board games, small radios and cassette players, books, hair dryers and curling irons. Gifts for senior citizens are always welcome. All donations should be new and taken to the market unwrapped. The items from the Giving Tree will be distributed to Carroll families through the Neighbors In Need program.

At the Alternative Christmas Market, shoppers can purchase handmade items from overseas along with jewelry, toys and religious items. Baked goods and doughnuts will be sold. Children can enjoy face painting and the chance to make their own craft project while their parents shop.

The market will be held Saturday and Sunday in the church's gymnasium at 915 Liberty Road. The market is open from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. All are welcome. Information: 795-7838.

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Thanksgiving was made a good deal brighter for 10 Carroll families because of the generosity of students at Liberty High School. On the initiative of junior Lindsey Drager, the students gathered more than 1,000 pounds of food and household supplies.

Lindsey contacted Neighbors In Need and received the names of 10 families who could use a hand during the Thanksgiving holiday. She distributed fliers throughout the school asking students to sign up to help.

Many of the school's groups and clubs -- including the National Honor Society, Students Helping Other People, German Club, Latin Club, Future Homemakers of America, Audio/Visual Club, Student Government Association, Future Business Leaders of America -- and individuals in all grades participated.

Along with the food donations, Lindsey collected cash that allowed her to purchase household items, including laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and dish-washing liquid -- things most of us take for granted but that are often precious to those in need.

The students were also helped in the project by Harvest Fare supermarket, which donated turkeys for the food baskets delivered by Lindsey and her mother. The students are already working on gathering gifts and food to share with three families at Christmas.

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While many give freely of their wealth and material possessions, others give freely of their time and talents. So it is with Mark Strickler and his wife, Margie.

Mr. and Mrs. Strickler have been fixtures in community programs for so many years that it will be hard to imagine Eldersburg without them. The family is moving away because of a job transfer.

D8 The Stricklers have been involved in everything from

basketball to soccer to Scouts and are always in the thick of things -- serving as leaders, coaches and commissioners.

The whole Strickler family could be found at the soccer fields at Eldersburg Elementary School almost any time of day during the soccer season.

You might see one of their sons cutting the grass early in the day or Mrs. Strickler and their daughter taking orders for jackets and later sorting through the piles to find just the right one for an anxious child.

To thank the Stricklers for their time and dedication to the community, a dinner in their honor is planned for Sunday. The dinner will be held at Wilhelm Catering Ltd. in Westminster from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Tickets are $18 per person and include a hot buffet, beer, wine and a disc jockey.

For reservations and tickets, call 781-4285 by tomorrow.

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The drama department at Liberty High School will present the play "Dracula" Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium. The curtain will rise at 7:30 each night.

Tickets are $3 for students and $4 for adults at the door.

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