School's ribbon-cutting survives a hitch or two

NEIGHBORS

October 21, 2002|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE ORIGINAL plan was to have Ravens quarterback Chris Redman cut the ribbons on a new multimedia center and playground at the Norbel School in Elkridge.

But that plan had to be changed because the school, like others in the region, is not letting children on the playground because of the sniper shootings in the region.

Then the plan was for Redman to show up about 12:30 p.m. to have lunch with a group of students before cutting ribbons in the multimedia center. But that plan had to change, too, because last-minute obligations kept Redman from arriving before 1:45 p.m.

Despite the changes, the event was a success, said Krys Renzi, the school's advancement assistant. "As hectic as it was, with all the schedule changes and everything, we were blessed that everything went as well as it did," she said.

About 220 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including about 150 students, staff and teachers from the private school, which is for average and above average students with specific learning disabilities, language-based disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Six lucky students - Josh Rosenthal, Nick Lamana, Donovan Todd, Dara Hoffman, Ali Drenner and Mattia Ippolito - were chosen to sit on stage with Redman.

Also in attendance were parents, grandparents, local officials, representatives of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department and Leroy Merritt of Merritt Properties Inc.

"We invited everybody who has ever been involved in Norbel to come," Renzi said.

Many members of the audience wore Ravens shirts or simply black and purple, the team's colors. Students and staff usually wear black and purple on Fridays during football season, Renzi said.

This was Redman's third time visiting the school. About a year ago, he spent about 90 minutes with the students, demonstrating how to toss a football and answering questions about his life in the National Football League.

In March, he was the featured guest at an auction that raised more than $70,000, which went toward the new playground and basketball court.

"We invited him back at his convenience to come back and open the playground," Renzi explained.

The three-story multimedia center features a rain forest theme, complete with an alligator-style slide (kids pop out of its mouth). It has computers, a game area and a large selection of reading material.

Grief support group

The Ellicott City Senior Center will offer a grief support group starting Thursday. The facilitators will be Jim Easley and Carolyn Luken. The group, SPRING Pretenders, will meet from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. The name is an acknowledgement that people who have lost a loved one often pretend that everything is OK.

Registration: 410-313-1400 or sign up at the center.

Local poet honored

Anne Barney of Ellicott City recently took second place in the Mildred Werba Poetry Contest organized by the Baltimore Writers' Alliance.

Her poem Such Small and Perfect Forms topped more than 120 entries from around the country.

Barney has published three books of poetry: Stolen Joy: Healing after Infertility and Infant Loss (Icarus Books, 1993); Pinned to the Corkboard (Pudding House Publications, 2000); and Nosegay (Pudding House Publications, 2002).

Sunday in the park

Centennial Park will be the place for family-friendly fall activities and entertainment from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Activities will include a trick-or-treat trail, a horse-drawn hayride, a kite-making workshop and sack races.

Seasonal food will be available. The cost is $10 per car, plus fees for some activities.

Information: 410-313-7275. In case of inclement weather: 410-313-4451 the day of the festival.

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