Decorated trees highlight the holidays at Savage Mill


November 19, 1999|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE HOLIDAY trees displayed at Savage Mill announce the approach of a new festive season. The trees are decorated by schools and community agencies and highlight the services they offer.

Check out the tree by Bethel Christian Academy of Savage, which won third place in a competition last week.

The names of the school's teachers are written on miniature blackboards tied to the branches.

First-place winner Fidos for Freedom has a tree decorated with glass, plastic and porcelain pooches and dog biscuits -- just the right thing for these helpful dogs.

Fidos for Freedom provides dogs that help the disabled.

St. Elizabeth School, which teaches life skills and academics to developmentally delayed young adults, decorated its all-white tree with rainbow-colored paper hands. On each hand is a message from a student.

"My hands help my sisters with their homework," one reads.

"My hands help the Earth when I compost our garbage," says another.

The St. Elizabeth tree took second prize.

Waxter Children's Center in Laurel was represented by a tree decorated by its Girl Scout troops. Scouting paraphernalia and symbols are draped from branch to branch.

Kathy Branch, owner of Folkways, a quilt and country store at the mill, sponsored a tree filled with pink ribbons and miniature sneakers to highlight the need for breast cancer research.

Branch will participate in the Avon Three-Day Walk from Frederick to Washington in May.

Supporters can purchase a pink ribbon or a sneaker from the tree for less than a dollar -- the money will be donated to breast cancer research.

Savage Mill is at 8600 Foundry St.

Information: 410-792-2820.

Turkey Trot

Debbie Bloome, president of the Lime Kiln Middle School PTA, is going to be busy today.

The newest school in our area opened amid questions of differences in quality and demographics between new and older schools. But while these issues are being debated, the normal business of a school community has proceeded apace.

That meant getting the PTA budget approved, raising funds and planning events.

Today, sixth-graders are participating in the Turkey Trot, a 1 1/2-mile race at the school.

Participants must bring food items to be donated to local food banks as an entry fee.

A turkey will be given to a needy family in the name of the boy and girl from each grade level who finish first.

Seventh- and eighth-graders will run Tuesday.

The Turkey Trot marks the end of the PTA's fund-raising drive. Its magazine sales fund-raiser culminates in a chance to win a Dodge van this afternoon.

As a gimmick to bolster sales, the Antwerpen Dodge Columbia dealership offered one lucky purchaser -- chosen at random -- the chance to putt for a hole-in-one to win the van.

The lucky contestant didn't know he or she had won the privilege until last night.

Bloome said it is an insurance rule. The insurer covering the promotion doesn't want the contestant to get too much practice time before the event, she said, although Antwerpen is hoping the candidate will be successful.

The consolation prize is a weekend getaway package at a Marriott hotel.

Antwerpen also has donated the use of a van to cart the food items collected in the classrooms to local food banks.

Bloome said magazine sales were good for a first-year PTA fund-raising effort.

The school raised about $14,000.

Beautiful rhythm

La Tati, a famed flamenco dancer from Spain, is teaching classes in Washington and staying with Natalie Sager of North Laurel.

Sager had taken one of La Tati's classes in Madrid. Sager dances under the name Natalia Monteleon and has a troupe, Arte Flamenco. She teaches in a new studio next to her home.

Dancer Edwin Aparicio, who teaches at Sager's studio, invited La Tati to conduct master classes in the United States.

La Tati speaks little English. But with the help of Aparicio and Sager, who speak Spanish, and other teachers and students, soon everything was understood.

On Tuesday night, La Tati taught a class in Sager's studio.

Ranged in front of the long mirrors, six women and two men practiced the staccato footwork and exquisitely graceful hand movements of flamenco -- the vigorous folkloric dance of Spain.

Seated in the kitchen, La Tati waited for her hostess to return from grocery shopping before beginning the class. It was a moment of repose in a busy, physically trying schedule.

When Sager returned with dinner, she and La Tati entered the studio, and La Tati began the lesson.

The slight black-haired woman performed a dazzling series of steps, calling the time in Spanish.

The studio erupted in noise as students tapped and stamped their feet to the complex rhythms.

Then La Tati made a few quiet suggestions on how to carry the body and present the face during the dance.

The line of the body must be as long as possible at the end of a movement, she said in Spanish. Do not let the position of your arms obscure your face.

La Tati is best known for her extraordinary footwork, Sager said, and usually says little about presentation.

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