Food and toy drive
Fire stations in the area will serve as drop-off sites for nonperishable donations to the Howard County Food Bank through Jan. 13. Also at each station through Friday, Dec. 23, is a toy drive drop box for the Phoenix Sentinels, a chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Firefighters. Information: 410-313-6440, 410-312-5760 or go to cac-hc.org, hcdfrs.org or bridges2hs.org.
Tickets are available for the Columbia Jewish Congregation's annual film series beginning on Jan. 21 with "For My Father." All screenings take place at the Columbia Jewish Congregation, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Room 200. Tickets are $30 for the four-film series, $24 for three, or $17 for two showings. Single tickets will also be available at the door for $9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; screenings begin at 8 p.m. Refreshments and post-film discussion included. Information: 410-381-4809, 410-997-0694 or SBloch@comcast.net.
The League of Women Voters will host its annual luncheon with the county delegation to the Maryland General Assembly beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at Bethany United Methodist Church, 2875 Bethany Lane in Ellicott City. Cost is $15 for nonmembers. For reservations and more information, call 410-730-0142 or email email@example.com.
'Miracle on 34th Street'
Final performance will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St. in Laurel. Tickets are $13, $10 for seniors, students, 18 and younger and active duty military. For tickets and more information, call 301-452-2557 or go to laurelmillplayhouse.org.
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Howard County offers several support groups each month. Sessions include groups for family and friends of adults with a mental illness, groups for parents of school-age children with mental health issues, a group for young adults (18-30) living with a mental illness and a weekly group for adults of any age living with a mental illness. For times and locations, call 410-772-9300 or go to nami.org/sites/namihowardcounty.
Teen advisory committees
The Columbia Association is recruiting youths age 11-19 to become members of its middle school and teen advisory committees. The association is looking for teens who want to make a difference and get involved in their community.
As members of the committee, teens can create and implement events and programs for their peers. Past activities have included the Teen Idol Competition, Teen Role Model Competition, Battle of the Dance, charity fundraisers, Teen Tuesdays concerts at the lakefront, a free college fair and Save the Planet Day. Information: 410-715-5523.
The Howard County Arts Council has announced the availability of the Black Box Theatre for rental. The 98-seat multipurpose performance space is equipped with professional sound and lighting equipment, nearby dressing rooms, padded seats, black stage curtains and a sprung dance floor. A performance grand piano is also available for rental through a separate agreement with the Howard County Music Teachers Association.
All renters of the theater are required to carry a commercial liability insurance policy of $1 million. Other requirements and rental request forms and rates can be found at hocoarts.org. Rental request forms should be mailed to Room Rentals, Howard County Arts Council, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City 21043.
The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has received a $30,000 grant from the National Recreational Trails Program Fund. The grant will be used for the renovation of the Village of Owen Brown's pedestrian pathway system.
The project, scheduled to begin this month, will allow the restoration of the deteriorating East Columbia pathway with new asphalt. Howard County will provide $30,000 in matching funds, along with any remaining funds needed. Renovations will consist of repaving the 3,909-foot pathway that serves the Owen Brown Community Center, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, Owen Brown Village Shopping Center, Cradlerock School, the Howard County Library's East Columbia branch, and the Southwick and Elkhorn housing communities. Anticipated completion date is the summer of 2012. Information: 410-313-2022.
Yard waste collection
Howard County's Bureau of Environmental Services will resume weekly yard waste collections through Jan. 20. Yard waste will be picked up weekly during regular recycling days and should be placed outside by 6 a.m. Allowable yard waste items include grass, leaves, hedge clippings/light brush, small limbs or branches less than 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length, dry seed pods, straw, hay and bamboo. Residents are encouraged to use paper bags or reusable containers.