THE HOLIDAY SEASON is fast approaching, and it's the hope of pupils, staff and parents at Winfield Elementary School that every family in their community will enjoy the festivities without the worry of being able to buy the trimmings that make the holidays so meaningful.
The Winfield school community is doing more than hoping. A lot more.
Under the direction of Danielle Fowler, chairwoman of the Winfield PTA Neighbors in Need Committee, the group has collected and distributed used coats to needy families. They are soliciting donations of food and cash for Thanksgiving and Christmas items and gifts.
It is the goal of the Winfield Neighbors in Need Committee to help those "Winfield families who are less fortunate." According to Fowler, these are typically families who are in a difficult temporary situation, a family emergency or crisis, or need long-term assistance.
The committee identifies these families through recommendations from the school's guidance counselor and teachers. Last year, with donations of food and cash from the Winfield community, and corporate donations, the committee was able to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas food and gifts for nine families.
A cash donation of more than $2,000 from Wal-Mart Corp. enabled the committee to fill each family's holiday wish list. In addition, the group also purchased coats, hats, boots and an outfit for each family member. Wal-Mart donated a percentage of one day's business of two local stores to the committee.
Wal-Mart will repeat its generous donation this year. On Dec. 2, a percentage of the day's business in the Eldersburg and Westminster Wal-Marts will be donated to the Winfield PTA Neighbors in Need Committee. Fowler urges all in the community to shop at Wal-Mart that day.
An undertaking this large requires plenty of help. Fowler is assisted by parent volunteers Anna Vidi, Cindy Howard, Susan Plunkett, Alison Demarest, Susan Peterson, Karen Wibur, Susan Hraft and Mount Airy Middle School pupil Angela Vidi.
Gearing up for Thanksgiving, the committee is accepting food and cash donations Nov. 13-17. Each grade is asked to donate specific food items.
"We collect huge amounts of food," Fowler said. Outside donations are always welcome.
Information: Winfield Elementary School, 410-751-3242.
South Carroll's Stagelighters return to the stage Thursday and Nov. 17 and 18 in the drama club's fall presentation, "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller.
Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. in the school's auditorium, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield.
The play is the story of farmer John Proctor, played by Sean Hopkins, who becomes caught up in the turmoil of the Salem witch trials of 1692.
"The Crucible" is Miller's response to the Senate investigations into communist activity during the 1950s and explores the effects of mass hysteria brought on by fear and prejudice.
The play is directed by teacher adviser Bobbie Baker. Cast members include Tim McLaren, Nicole Sandruck, LaTonya Moss, Jen Clem, Meghan Dimond, Michelle Lambert, Mitchell Hawkins, Marcie Polansky, Meredith Heinen, Jocelyn Petit de Mange, Dan Sager, Andrew Morse, Mallory Sutphin, Steven Schreiber, Anthony Cimino, David Padilla, Grant Dorsey, Jerrod Cannistraci, Ashley Hier, Eric Hamper and Karen Landry.
Tickets are $4 and may be purchased at the door.
Holiday craft shows
A sure sign of the holiday season is the arrival of Christmas craft shows and holiday bazaars. Shopping for gifts at holiday shows is a great way to support local nonprofit organizations.
Fill up on a hearty breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. tomorrow before shopping at the Mount Olive United Methodist Church annual Christmas Bazaar and Pancake Breakfast. The bazaar runs until 3 p.m. Mount Olive United Methodist ison Gillis Falls Road, Mount Airy. Handmade crafts and holiday items will be for sale. Information: 410-795-3426.
The Nancy A. Holt Memorial Craft Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at Calvary United Methodist Church.
A large selection of craft and gift items will be featured for sale. A silent auction will include holiday items, event tickets and gift certificates.
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Victorian Tea Room, and desserts from the bake table will be for sale.
The church is at 403 S. Main St., Mount Airy. Information: 301-829-0358.
Pictures with Santa Claus are sure to be a hit with the children during the Christmas Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at St. Michael's Church, 1125 St. Michael's Road, Mount Airy.
The bazaar will feature homemade desserts, handmade crafts and gifts and door prizes. Information: 410-442-1717.
Cavaliers march on
It's a common theme this season.
Once again, the South Carroll High School Cavaliers Marching Band earned a first-place finish with a season-high score of 94.65 to win the Chapter V Tournament of Bands Championship last weekend at Westminster High School.
In addition, the band swept the specialty awards competition with awards for best marching, best music, best drum major, best auxiliary and best percussion.
The Cavaliers willend their season tomorrow by competing in the Atlantic Coast Championships in Scranton, Pa.
Carnival season continues. Winfield Elementary School is holding its Fall Fair from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the school, 4401 Salem Bottom Road, Westminster.
Sponsored by the school's PTA, the family-style event will feature food, crafts, games, moon bounce, face painting and more. Tickets are four for $1 and may be purchased at the door.
Christy Kureha's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.