Focusing on what viewers want

NEIGHBORS

January 31, 1996|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HOW CAN television best serve the Hampstead area?

Representatives from WMAR-TV, Channel 2, have approached the Hampstead Business Association, and at the association's Feb. 7 meeting, they'll try to find what viewers in our area want.

"They want to find out what they can do to serve viewers," said Todd Winebrenner, president of the association. "In exchange, they might do an informational story, and we're hoping to bring attention to Hampstead.

"I've faxed them info on what we do, who we are, and what we're all about, hoping to get some benefit, some exposure, about Hampstead's problems and its future."

At Dean's Restaurant, after the regular 7 p.m. monthly meeting of the business association, a representative of WMAR will introduce the station's "Talking To" program. Channel 2 has selected the Hampstead Business Association as one of several focus groups in the state.

"They'll have a camera, ask questions they need to, and get feedback," said Mr. Winebrenner. "If we have an interest that works into what they're doing, they might do an informational story. We are hoping to get exposure to the overcrowding, busy roads, any exposure that Hampstead needs to get the bypass and bring attention to Hampstead itself."

Information: Todd Winebrenner, 239-4000.

Personalized books available

"My Good Earth" is a book sure to become a favorite of every kindergarten student at Spring Garden Elementary. In a story about a trip to the zoo, it has the child's name and the names of the child's friends printed as part of the text.

"This book will be read 10 times more often," says Ray Gambrill, owner of All About Me Books, who started the program, specializing in personalized books for young readers, after his son wanted to read them. He immediately launched a free book program for area schools, giving books to every child at Spring Garden.

This fall, his program is available to every school in Carroll and Baltimore counties. Local sponsors are sought to supply the books free. They retail for $9.95.

For the second year, the personalized books were given to students by local merchants. For the second year, Farmers and Merchants Bank and McDonald's of Hampstead jumped at the chance to support the program.

Chris Oswald, vice president of the bank, helped give away books to six kindergarten classes in December.

"Any time we can help sponsor our schools in the local area, and promote reading, it's a win-win situation," he said. "For the bank, it's an opportunity to give back to the community that we serve."

Teresa Breslaw, manager at McDonald's of Hampstead, gave books along with swing manager Debbie Asper. "I have two small children, and I really believe in reading," Mrs. Breslaw said. "This is our second year [in the program], and more than likely we'll support it again."

Information: All About Me Books, 239-7333.

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