IT'S A WIN-WIN situation. By enjoying a delicious meal at the North County Emergency Outreach Network's Bull and Oyster Roast, you can help others put a meal on their own table.
The 11th annual roast will be from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 4 at the Columbian Center, Ritchie Highway in Severna Park. Tickets are $25, and proceeds support the group's mission of providing food and other emergency support to the needy.
The menu includes pit beef and ham, oysters on the half shell, oyster stew, fried oysters, barbecue ribs, soft drinks and beer. DJ Glen Powell will provide the music.
The North County Emergency Outreach Network was founded in 1989 through the cooperation of various churches and organizations. Through the assistance of volunteers and donations from the community, the center has continued to grow.
The community organization's shelves are stocked by individual donations and by food drives held by school groups, scouting troops and other organizations.
Last year, NCEON reported providing more than $200,000 in food and emergency assistance.
According to president Marsha Frazier, families are the largest group to benefit from the center's services.
"What we see a lot of are the working poor," she said. "It's a really bad situation."
The increasing cost of prescription medication appears to be a factor in more elderly people seeking help. "The cost of the medication takes away everything they have," Frazier said.
About 40 to 50 volunteers staff the NCEON center on Fifth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Frazier, who lives four blocks from the center, has been a supporter of the organization from the beginning. Over the years, she began to take a more active role and was elected president in 1994.
"The other volunteers are like a second family to me," she says.
For tickets to the bull roast, call 410-787-1456, 410-437-8730 or 410-766-6351.
Happy Helpers celebrations
Happy Helpers for the Homeless is holding two celebrations Saturday.
The youth service group's eighth annual birthday party for the homeless begins at 12:30 p.m. at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 160 on Dorsey Road. It will include lunch, cake, entertainment and presents for the guests, such as sneakers, tote bags and sports watches.
The birthday party was begun by Happy Helpers founder Amber Coffman, who decided to give up celebrating her own birthday and use it instead to help the homeless. Coffman, who will turn 19 this month, is a freshman at Pepperdine University in California and will be coming home for the occasion.
After the party, an awards ceremony will recognize some of the young people who have been longtime volunteers of the organization, which helps the homeless in Glen Burnie and Baltimore.
Kevin Kase, vice president of America's Promise, an organization founded by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to improve the lives of needy youths, will present the following awards:
Student Service Award to Andrew Mantini, Sara Yoo, Danielle DeVan, Jason DeVan and Karlyn Dixon.
Gold Medal for Service to Edward Potter, Katrina Diehl, Steve Ludwig, Danielle Reed and Rachel Reed.
Crystal Starburst Award to Gerard Jones.
United Nations Year of the Volunteer Pin to Lindsay Renninger, who has logged 561 hours during eight years with Happy Helpers.
Plaques for distinguished service will be presented to the Leo Zerhusan family, the John Lemmon family and Uniontown Bible Church, which serves as a Happy Helpers branch in Carroll County.
Happy Helpers volunteers prepare and deliver sandwiches to the homeless every weekend and arrange special events, including an annual Christmas party.