Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

March 08, 2006

Nominations sought for sports `hall'

Howard County Executive James N. Robey has announced that nomination forms are available for Howard County's 2006 Community Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

The awards honor people who have gained prominence or made substantial contributions to community recreational sports in Howard County.

The deadline for nominations is March 15.

Nominees must have been residents of Howard County during the time of their contribution to community sports or have devoted their efforts to projects or activities in the county.

Nomination forms are available at www.co.ho.md.us/RAP, at library branches or by calling 410-313-4711. Forms must be postmarked by the deadline and mailed or delivered to Recreation and Parks Community Sports Hall of Fame, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia 21046-1677.

Benefit basket bingo scheduled for Friday

The Howard County chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland will hold basket bingo at 7 p.m. Friday at the Lodge, 2832 Nine Mile Circle, Catonsville. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The cost is $15 in advance; $20 at the door, and includes 20 games, three specials, two raffles and more than $3,500 in prizes. Proceeds will benefit the chapter, which offers assistance to parents of blind children and people facing complications of diabetes.

Information: 410-715-9596.

Food drive being held through Saturday

Harvest for the Hungry, the U.S. Postal Service, Boy Scouts and other partners are sponsoring the annual Harvest for the Hungry Letter Carrier Week Food Drive through Saturday.

Residents can leave a bag of nonperishable food items by their mailboxes, and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and letter carriers will collect and process it. The food will be delivered to a local food bank. Food can also be dropped off in marked containers at post offices or at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices.

Needed are meats, peanut butter, nuts and seeds; breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables (canned fruits and vegetables and juices); powdered milk and infant formula; and items such as diapers, toilet paper and plastic or paper plates and cups.

Preservation panel to meet tomorrow

The Columbia Association's Woodlawn Slave Quarters Preservation Task Force will meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the association's headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle, above Clyde's restaurant.

The association's board of directors created the task force to recommend a plan for the slave quarters and the site.

The meeting is open to the public.

Information: 410-715-3103.

Scholarship deadline extended

The Columbia Association's board of directors has extended the deadline for the Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award to March 15.

The program provides up to six $2,500 scholarships each year to graduating high school seniors who have shown exceptional effort in serving the community.

Eligible students must attend a Howard County public or private school, live in Columbia or have a parent working full time on Columbia Association-assessed property, maintain at least a C average in school; and have a history of voluntary service to the Columbia community.

Applications must be submitted to Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award, c/o the Columbia Association, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia 21044. Forms are available at high schools, community centers and Columbia Association headquarters. They can also be downloaded at www.columbia asociation.com.

Information: 410-715-3175.

Essay contest deadline is March 15

Howard Transit, the county's public bus system, is celebrating a decade of service this year with an essay contest, open to customers ages 16 and older.

The "Howard Transit -- Real People" contest asks customers to tell in 200 words or less how access to the service has affected their lives. Creativity and a personal touch are encouraged. The contest ends March 15. Winners will be announced in April.

All participants will receive a free one-week pass on Howard Transit, and five winners will receive two airline tickets to anywhere in the United States, or dinner at Toby's Dinner Theatre, Waterside Restaurant, the Melting Pot, or an overnight stay at Henderson's Wharf Inn.

Information: 800-270-9553, or www.howardtransit.com.

County offers help to needy taxpayers

The Howard County Tax Counseling Program is offering free tax preparation services to senior citizens and low- to middle-income taxpayers at the Bain Center and other Howard County locations.

Trained volunteers prepare each tax return in about an hour. Tax returns with complex financial transactions or self-employment expenses in excess of $5,000 are not eligible.

The program is jointly sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, which provides materials and software, and the AARP.

Appointments are available between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays. To schedule an appointment: 410-313-7387. Take tax records and the previous year's returns to the appointment.

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