Schoolchildren paint Nordstrom tiles for charities


November 18, 1998|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TWO-HUNDRED-FIFTY children gathered at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City last weekend to decorate ceramic tiles that will be installed in the Nordstrom store slated to open next September at The Mall in Columbia.

Nordstrom and the Columbia Foundation co-produced the event benefit children's charities.

Each participant, working under the direction of sculptor and ceramicist Charles Bigger, paid $35 to paint two 4-inch-square tiles with images related to a sea-life theme.

Marcie Cissel of Long Reach, who brought daughters Stefani and Lauren, said: "For the holidays, we told the girls that one of their gifts would be a gift for charity. We chose this project because the girls could do something fun while contributing to charity."

Bigger, a Seattle artist, asked parents to let the children design and paint their tiles without help.

Kristen Miller, 6, of Clary's Forest decorated one of her tiles with a boat and a fish while her father, Dennis, watched anxiously over her shoulder.

Bigger told the children, "You'll be able to bring your children to Nordstrom years from now and show them the tile you made."

The event raised $8,000, with Nordstrom contributing an additional $2,000.

"It's nice to have the opportunity to work on a project where children are helping children," said Nordstrom spokeswoman Carol Gasper.

The money will be distributed by the Columbia Foundation.

Anne Barney, program assistant at the foundation, said four children's charities have been identified as beneficiaries of the project -- Voices for Children, Children of Separation and Divorce Center, Family and Children's Services and the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Symphony of Lights

Symphony Woods will come alive soon with a drive-through display of more than 60 animated and stationary light creations.

A 15-man crew has been working since Oct. 1 to install the holiday lights along a 1.4-mile driving route.

The event -- Symphony of Lights -- is sponsored by the Howard Hospital Foundation and benefits the hospital.

New this year is an area called Elfin Delight, where metal elves crank up a giant toy-making factory.

For the first time, Symphony of Lights will have the use of a radio frequency so visitors can tune in holiday music on their car radios while driving through the lighted displays.

Several committees working under the aegis of the Howard Hospital Foundation planned and organized the event. Committee members include west Columbia residents Pam Karwan, Al Scavo, Debbie Daskaloff, Janet Henry, Greg Lampf, Janet Oken, Linda Spano, Mary Vandegrift, Lynn Zwerling, Robert Gessler and Brad Canfield.

Symphony of Lights opens Monday and runs through Jan. 3.

Admission is $12 a car or van, up to 11 passengers; $25 for commercial vans and minibuses; and $75 for buses carrying more than 24 passengers.

Tickets can be purchased at the main gate, or in advance for a discounted price.

Information: 410-740-7666.

Pencils for Ponce

Clemens Crossing Elementary School students collected more than 1,000 pounds of school supplies for children in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Ponce -- the second largest city in Puerto Rico -- was hit hard by Hurricane Georges.

Peer mediators at the school -- students trained to use conflict-resolution strategies to help fellow students solve problems -- devised the project.

Assistant Principal Tony Yount, facilitator for the group, encourages the peer mediators to involve the school in a community service project each year.

More than 500 packets -- each containing notebook paper, vTC pencils, pen, crayons, glue stick, ruler, scissors, magic markers and a letter from the child donating the supplies -- were collected.

More than 70 percent of the student body participated.

Clemens Crossing peer mediators include Kelly Brown, Katie Farhang, Katie Healey, Kevin Carlson, Ryan Kemp, Amanda Cooney, Tegan Boales, Sarah Petros, Julie Lustbader, Brittany Berger, Haley Bandier, Kevin Staley, Mike Keefer, Anna Bartels, Hannah Grambling, Amanda Federline, Julian Hough, Samantha Britten, Harrison Waxenberg and Matt Jenner.

After the school supplies were collected, Yount discovered it would cost more than $1,000 to ship the packets to Puerto Rico.

The Maryland Air National Guard has offered to transport the donations in the middle of next month.

Gospel concert, dinner

Harper's Choice Middle School will be the site of the Gospel Choir Concert and Dinner sponsored by Brown's Chapel United Methodist Church of Dayton.

The event is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

John and Pearl Jones of Dayton and Gloria Miles of Harper's Choice serve on the planning committee.

St. Bernadine's Roman Catholic Church Gospel Choir from Edmondson Avenue in Baltimore will perform.

The concert will begin in the cafeteria at 6 p.m.

The 65-member choir performs locally about 10 times a year under the direction of Sandra Brown.

In 1989, the group performed for Pope John Paul II in Rome.

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