Dunloggin Middle School's Red Ribbon Day was held Thursday at the school. Former Harlem Globetrotter "Spinny" Johnson headlined the day with his basketball trickery and cautions about the world of drugs.
Also, for an hour students attended a session given by local volunteers, in which they learned something about a healthful alternative to drug use. Topics ranged from learning to fly a plane to photography to making a holiday wreath from fresh greens. About 20 workshops were offered by volunteers who had the pluck to teach a middle school audience and the time management skills to fit in volunteer time before the holiday season.
Many of the workshops were offered by parents and neighbors in the Ellicott City area. The Ellicott City volunteers included: Allison Altscher, Bobbie Bjorklund, Arvil Daniels, Chip Harrison, Rick Hubata, Lynn Humphries-Russ, Bill Lamp, Clare Meitl and Ken Wilmers. John Thompson, the manager of Enchanted Forest Bagel Bin, donated refreshments.
Denise and Steve Cofta of Ellicott City announce the birth of a son, Joshua Stephen. Joshua, their first child, was born Dec. 13 and weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces.
Denise and Stephen are Army nurses. Stephen is stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Denise is working on a graduate program.
The grandparents are Albert and Alice Cofta of Massachusetts, and Gary Stanfield of New York.
Oops! Sorry. Last week I lauded Joy Boswell of the Howard County School of Technology, who won third place in the hair-shaping event at the annual National Cosmetology Association Competition.
But I gave her the wrong home school. Joy does not attend Oakland Mills High, she goes to Hammond High School. I'll try to keep you in the right school, Joy.
Last week, I promised to report which Elkridge Elementary School grade won the annual charity chain contest. The children purchased chain links for a dime apiece. When the paper chains were measured, the longest chain was that of the second grade, whose chosen charity was the Muscular Dystrophy Association. (Not, as I said last week, the Leukemia Society.) The total collected for all six grades was $789.40, which was sent to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Perhaps Santa took the high-tech route down your chimney this year, landing a computer in your life. Unless you're already familiar with current software, your gift may leave you feeling befuddled and frustrated.
Software Masters, a computer instruction firm in Ellicott City, can help you. The instructors train people in the use of the major software packages, including word processing, database and graphics programs. Their classes are quite small -- the maximum class size is eight -- and the prices are reasonable, although registrar Gail Rigero told me that the prices will increase in February.
Classes are taught at night and on Saturday, and occasionally in the daytime. All instructors are local people who use computers as part of their working day.
Call Ms. Rigero at 750-0577 to learn more.
1994 is wheezing and gasping to a close, and like many other people, I spend time remembering it.
This has been a year full of local activity for me. My family has lived here in Ellicott City for more than 20 years. But this county is so rich in civic groups, activities and fund-raisers, that I am still doing things for the first time:
* For example, in November for the first time I attended St. John's Antiques Show with fellow Sun employee Jill Kubatko.
Although I had driven past the crowd of cars on Frederick Road at show time, I never before understood how huge and interesting the show is. I even made a purchase, a silver chest, at a very reasonable price.
* I never before had visited a show house such as "King's Gift," which I did this fall. Immaculately decorated with designer touches at every turn, the show house inspired me to greater heights of interior design at home -- and even to wash all my windows.
* I never before had ridden on a bus tour with local historian Joetta Cramm, as I did on the Howard County Recreation and Parks' Western County tour in October. I have five pages of notes, front and back, to prove that I got my money's worth in knowledge.
* I'd never been to Trinity Episcopal Church's ham and crab cake dinner, which I attended this summer (and my stomach thanked me for it).
* I'd never been to a quilt show like the one given this spring by the Faithful Circle Quilting group. I had never before bid in a silent auction, which I did to purchase a lovely black-and-white quilt. I left the show $38 poorer and a beautiful wall hanging richer.
* I had never attended the Howard County Garden Festival, which I did this spring, returning with a lovely 6-foot spruce.
The point is, I believe that it is as important for people to keep stretching and growing as it is for my newly planted spruce. Howard County is a great place in which to do just that.
Because of the holiday production schedule, Jean Leslie's neighborhood column, which usually runs on Monday, appears today.