It's hard to miss the whimsical statue — an adult frog reading to a baby frog — that greets visitors outside the front entrance of the Miller Branch Library. Another frog statue, equally as clever, sits in the library's Enchanted Garden.
When the library held a contest to name the toads they received approximately 4,000 entries.
One of those entries was from Ellicott City resident Nathan Stitely who is a frequent visitor to the Miller Branch library. According to his mom, while visiting the new branch, he saw the contest information and thought it would be fun to give it a try. He hopes to be a famous cartoonist some day and thought this might be a great way to get his start, by naming the toad.
After checking out books —- mostly about artists and cartoonists such as Charles Schultz (Peanuts), Jim Davis (Garfield) and Don Martin (Mad) — he came up with a clever name to submit to the contest that gives a symbolic nod to the library's street address.
Stitely's entry, Frederick Toad, was the winner for the garden frog statue. When the Centennial High School sophomore is not entering contests, he can be found at Howard County Special Olympics Swim Team competitions, high school Allied Sports Golf matches or drawing cartoons.
Wendy Truitt's contest entry, Miss Ann Phibian, was selected as the new name for the adult frog that sits at the library entrance.
Unlike Frederick Toad and Miss Ann Phibian, whose names was chosen from a single contest entry, the baby frog's new name, Lily, was submitted by multiple people. In fact, twenty-six people submitted the name Lily including Alyssa Ma, Marissa Pannella, Hope Corrigan, Haley Suh, Deana Estes, Natalie Satche, James Drury, Macy Campbell, Annika Huelskamp, Jordan Bentivenga, Hannah Wikner, Bryanna Hoskinson, Nicholas Meshkin, Care Harlin, Angela Kou, Lillia Cavallaro, Amy Mun, Sunny Ji, Laurie Dorsey, Edrea Verghis, Joey Marino, Allen Yuan, Justice Andrews, Olivia Minnich, Clara Havrilla and Adam Yamarik.
Congratulations to all the winners. And a big welcome to our newest Ellicott City residents Frederick Toad, Miss Ann Phibian and baby Lily.
Tonight, Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m., is opening night for the Teen K.I.D.S. Summer Conservatory's production of "Zombie Prom" (think "Grease" meets "Little Shop of Horrors"). Held in the Centennial High school auditorium, the show features a cast of 58 talented middle and high school students in this campy, over-the-top, family friendly musical.
Co-directed by the veteran team of Kurt Boehm (who also serves as choreographer) and Kathryn Carlsen, and musically directed by Brant Challacombe, "Zombie Prom" is set in the 1950s and follows the romance of bad boy Jonny who meets good girl Toffee during a nuclear attack drill. They fall in love but the pressure of parental and societal disapproval force them apart. The show follows their high school courtship through dynamic dance numbers complete with 50s poodle skirts and greased back hair, high energy songs, and plenty of peppy melodrama.
If you miss tonight's performance, the next and final performance is on Friday, Aug. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door. Adult tickets are $10 and student/senior tickets are $7.
The Howard County Department of Citizen Services' Office of Children's Services will hold a workshop for parents, Will You Be My Friend?, an interactive discussion on how to help children learn friendship skills. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at the East Columbia 50+ Center located inside the East Columbia Library. For more information contact, Kim Higdon Henry of Howard County Government's Department of Citizen Services at (410) 313-6531.
The Howard County Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk takes place on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Centennial Park. This is a family (and dog) friendly walk or run around Centennial Lake that raises needed funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research. To learn more about this event and for registration information go to the Walk's website at http://www.kintera.org.