Community Notes


December 22, 2006

Benefit trip set to Arena Stage

The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County will sponsor a trip to see the August Wilson's play, Gem of the Ocean, at Washington's Arena Stage. The group will attend a matinee performance at 2 p.m. March 3. A bus will leave from the Columbia area at noon March 3.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $70, including transportation. A nonrefundable deposit of $25 is required; the balance must be paid by Feb. 1. Proceeds will be used for the council's school programs for African-American students, Elders in the Schools.

Information or to reserve tickets: 301-854-3746 or 410-489-4766.

Library announces holiday schedule

The Howard County Library will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Information about library hours and closings: 410-313-7890, or

Drug coverage help available at center

The Howard County Office on Aging's Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program will help seniors research, choose and enroll in prescription drug coverage from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia.

Counselors are also available weekdays.

The annual open enrollment for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, Part D, will end Dec. 31.

Information or to schedule an appointment: 410-313-7392.

King breakfast to be held Jan. 7

The Alpha Foundation of Howard County Inc. will hold its 32nd Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast to celebrate King's vision and legacy. The breakfast is to be held Jan. 7 at Martin's West.

Darryl R. Matthews Sr., the fraternity's general president, will speak.

The theme will be "Reviving the Dream: What Would Martin Want Us to Do?"

Tickets are $37, and $23 for children to age 12. Proceeds will help fund scholarships, leadership development and mentoring programs for African-American students in Howard County.

Information: Harvey Moran, 410-992-7459.

Luggage donations for youths sought

The Howard County Board of Social Services is seeking donations of luggage for foster children to use when they move from one placement to another.

The children are sometimes forced to pack their belongings in plastic trash bags, according to Jeffrey Levitt, chairman of the Howard County Social Services Board. The board is spearheading the luggage drive, which is focused on the goal of giving dignity to children despite difficult circumstances.

Luggage can be left at the Department of Social Services, 7121 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, through today. Donations will be accepted between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Information: 410-872-8700, Ext. 8261.

Cold-weather shelter program under way

Grassroots' cold-weather shelter program has begun its fourth season. This year, 15 churches are hosts for the shelter for one or two weeks through March 25.

Last year, participating congregations provided shelter, meals, transportation, clothing, medicine and laundry services for 97 homeless Howard countians and families who were unable to get into the Grassroots shelter.

Grassroots provides the county's only shelter for homeless people and is headquarters for the county's Mobile Crisis Team, which responds to psychiatric emergencies and family crises.

Information: 410-531-6677 or 800-422-0009.

Service group seeks award nominees

Soroptimist of Howard County, a chapter of the international volunteer service organization, is seeking nominations for the Violet Richardson Award, which recognizes a girl, ages 14 to 17, who volunteers in her school or community.

Applications, which are due by Jan. 3, are available from school counselors or from Eileen Singleton, 410-461-5486. The winner will receive $200, and an additional $300 to go to a charity of her choice. The winning application will be entered into the Soroptimist South Atlantic Region competition.

Applications also are being sought for the Woman's Opportunity Award, which helps women who are heads of households and must work to support their families. Applicants must show financial need, be enrolled in a vocational or undergraduate degree program and be motivated to succeed.

The winner of the local competition will receive $1,250; regional awards are $3,000 and $5,000. Applications are due by Jan. 15.

Information: 410-461-5922, or write to Soroptimist of Howard County, 8321 Main St., P.M.B. 101, Ellicott City 21043.

Soroptimist of Howard County meets on the third Thursday of each month.

Information: Karen Trennepohl, 410-750-9413.

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