International Festival brings diversity

Neighbors

February 19, 1997|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FROM THE staccato beat of a Spanish "Sevillana" to the gentle rhythm of a Nigerian folk dance, foreign-born dancers and musicians brought a diversity of cultures to the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center on Saturday.

It was the International Festival, sponsored by the Foreign-born Information and Referral Network (FIRN) -- a nonprofit human services agency that helps immigrants in Howard County become self-sufficient.

FIRN's clients and volunteers came together to "share and appreciate each other's cultures," said teen organizer Jessica Lin.

The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Jessica works with FIRN as part of Learn and Serve America, a three-year project that matches high school volunteers with recent immigrants who need help learning English.

Jessica organized the festival with Amanda Herold, a student intern at FIRN. Peter Benson, a native of Britain who lives in Hickory Ridge, played folk music on acoustic guitar, accompanied by John Gorozdos on banjo. Benson led the audience in a rendition of "This Land Is Your Land."

The performance by St. John's Spanish Coro, a chorus that sings for the Saturday evening Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, had some members of the audience dancing.

Also on the program were dances from China and Korea, and musical selections from Vietnam, Ukraine, China, India and Ghana.

The festival ended with a sing-along of "America the Beautiful."

Adult leaders sought

Explorer Search and Rescue Post 616 is recruiting Howard County men and women experienced in backpacking, climbing or wilderness living to serve as assistant leaders.

Also known as the Maryland Search and Rescue Group, Post 616 is led by River Hill resident Peter McCabe.

The group includes about 35 young men and women, ages 14 to 20, and 15 or so adults.

Meetings are every other Monday at the Rose Price House at Oakland. Adult leaders also meet every other Wednesday, and participate in weekend activities once a month.

The group is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, but because its primary service is lost-person search and rescue missions, it is also a member of the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference and the Mountain Rescue Association.

Group volunteers are trained to meet state and national standards. Search and rescue team members also are working on a database to automate recordkeeping in emergency responses.

For information, call the group's voice mail at 992-3945.

Or you may contact McCabe at (301) 596-9994 or Denise Holsberger at 730-1647.

Panel to discuss drugs

A panel discussion on "Warning Signs of Drug Use, What to Do, and Where to Go for Help" will be held at 7: 30 p.m. Monday at Wilde Lake High School.

Panelists will be Joyce Weddington, coordinator of the Howard County Office of Substance Abuse Impact; Debbie Germroth, Howard County resource specialist for safe and drug-free schools; Cathy Scrimger, Howard County adolescent treatment coordinator; and teen-ager Brian Simons. For information, call Kathy Feddor at 730-3438.

Pub Date: 2/19/97

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