Community Notes

COMMUNITY NOTES

April 30, 2006

CBHC to hold its annual meeting

The public is invited to the 2006 annual meeting of Community Building in Howard County.

The gathering is to be held at 7:30 p.m. May 8 in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City.

CBHC will celebrate its 15 years of volunteer service and the county government's commitment to support implementation of its 2005 Report on the State of Community in Howard County, the first report on the state of community in the county, said the organization's vice president, Jean Toomer.

The group plans to disband as an organization and pass its mission of building a diverse community to county government and community partnerships. Its members will continue to be active in the community.

To read the report: www. communitybuilding-hc.org.

Statements of support from individuals and groups for implementing the ideas in the report are welcome and will be shared with the public. They can be sent to CBHC, P.O. Box 341, Columbia 21045.

Information: Alan Pflugrad, CBHC president, 410-995-6567, or Jean Toomer, vice president, 410-730-3334.

`NAMIWalks' event to be held today

The fourth annual Maryland "NAMIWalks -- Walk for the Mind of America" will be held today at Centennial Park in Ellicott City. Check-in time is 10 a.m. Start time is 11 a.m.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provides education, support and advocacy to individuals with mental illness and their families.

The walk is intended to raise awareness of and funds for NAMI's free educational programs, including lectures, support groups and training for programs for the police and others. The peer-driven organization also promotes a sense of empowerment for those affected by mental illness.

Walkers solicit sponsorships. There is no minimum donation and no registration fee.

Information: 800-467-0075 or 410-772-9300 (Howard County affiliate). Or visit www.nami.org.

Medicare drug plan help is available

Seniors and others who participate in Medicare are invited to meet with a mobile education team for assistance with enrolling in Medicare Part D, the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

People with limited financial resources can be screened for extra help in paying for prescription drugs.

The free, community-based educational program, My Medicare Matters, is sponsored by the National Council on the Aging and the Access to Benefits Coalition.

Enrollment events are planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at Ellicott City Senior Center (410-313-1400 for an appointment) and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 8 at the East Columbia 50+ Center (410-313-7391 for an appointment.)

Those who attend are asked to bring a current list of prescriptions, including dosage strengths and instructions; their Medicare card; any correspondence received from former employers, government agencies or a Medigap insurance provider about the new Medicare drug benefit.

The Ellicott City Senior Center is at 9401 Frederick Road, Ellicott City; the East Columbia 50+ Center is in the east Columbia library building, 6600 Cradlerock Way.

Police promoting, checking seat-belt use

The Howard County Police Department is participating in the 2006 Maryland Chief's Challenge, an intensive education and enforcement campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of using safety belts: saving lives and reducing injury.

The program, which strives to achieve a 92 percent seat-belt usage rate by the end of the year, runs until June 6. The focus of the Chief's Challenge is to enforce Maryland's seat-belt and child safety seat laws. Its goal is to reduce deaths, injuries and the huge health care costs associated with motor vehicle crashes.

The Police Department will conduct periodic seat-belt and child safety seat checkpoints and inspections across the county.

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