The sweet smell of success permeated Furnace Avenue Sept. 18 when the Elkridge Food Pantry and Garden raised more than $1,800 to feed the less fortunate in Elkridge with its Summers End 5K Family Run/Walk. The event drew more than 130 participants who registered to help the cause and 100 percent of the money raised directly benefits the food pantry

"We believe in helping your neighbors," said Lori Gerus, who organized the event, "and it takes a lot of people."

The Elkridge Food Pantry operates entirely at the mercy of the local community; it is not supported in any way by the local (or larger) government. This year's attendance was nearly three times the turnout for the inaugural event held in 2010. At the first 5K, the fundraiser was partnered into the Summers End Jam, a community celebration held outside the former Superfresh.

There is no hierarchy in the race results. All participants are winners — there are no losers, nor medals awarded. The entire event was centered around the tagline: "Give Where you Live." And give is exactly what the community did.

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As of the morning start time, "Right now, we're over $1,800," said the Rev. John Mackall, pastor of Elkridge-based CrossLife Community Church, the lead sponsor of this year's event. Approximately 12 local students from the Horizon Council were on hand to help with the event, from set up to running post race carnival games for children.

Elkridge's own local band O.R.B. — Local kids Owen Gerus, Bo Oliver and Cooper Gerus — played rock music as runners crossed the finish line, where onlookers cheered and a bubble machine added additional fun and festivity to the event.

Local sponsors provided giveaways, which were raffled off after the race. Primary sponsors included Preston Scheffenacker Properties, Corrigan Sports, Roadrunner Sports, CrossLife Community Church, Mom's Organic Market, Fitness 19, Princeton Sports, Horizon Foundation and Craig Dunklee Screenprinting.

The organizers are truly grateful to these generous contributors to the cause. They certainly have set a wonderful example of the "give where you live" sentiment!

The food pantry is always accepting nonperishable donations at the Elkridge Branch Library entryway. To drop off donations elsewhere, or to volunteer, call 410-693-0058 or email Lori Gerus at

An extra loud shout out to Madeline Ann Lucas, who celebrates her 13th birthday Sept. 29! Finally and officially a teenager! Maddy is an eighth-grader at Elkridge Landing Middle School and the daughter of Pam Poolson and Everett Lucas, of Hanover. Happy Birthday, Maddy!

Take note and don't miss out on the upcoming events in support of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department. Weekly Bingo has officially returned to the firehouse and will be held every Friday evening, so come out and play!

To kick off the weekly gaming, grab a few friends and enjoy EVFD Bingo Customer Appreciation Night Friday, Sept. 30. Come join the fun, win special prizes and enjoy delicious treats. For more information, call 410-761-6633 ext. 2, or via e-mail to

The EVFD open house will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature station tours, safety information, police demonstrations, face painting and refreshments. For more information, call 410-313-4901.

The EVFD all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast will be held Sunday, Oct. 2 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Cost is $7.00 for adults, $6 for seniors (55+), $5 for children ages 5-12 and free for kids younger than 5. Homemade baked goods will also be available for sale.

The delicious breakfast menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, baked apples, toast, chipped beef, sausage gravy, fruit salad, cold cereal, coffee, hot tea, milk and juices. Parking is available at the Norbel School, 6135 Old Washington Road, about a quarter-mile down the road from the fire station. A shuttle bus will be available and running all morning. For more information, call 410-761-6633 ext. 4 or 410-313-4901.

The Howard High girls cross country team made a grand showing at its tri-meet Sept. 14 against Reservoir and Long Reach. Howard's Hollie Adejumo and Caroline Haden were first and second, respectively, and other top finishers for the Lions were Melissa Pratt, eighth; Anne Kinsey, ninth; Molly Hart, 10th; Bridget Graef, 11th; and Laura Froh, 12th.

The Howard High boys team was lead by Danny Rau who finished in 17 minutes, 47 seconds, followed by freshman Ray Smith at 18:35. Runners Steven Eastman, Kirtan Patel and James Oslund all finished in a strong pack in less than 20 minutes. Sophomore Luke Filar and freshman Nolan Dunnigan finished together at 20:26 and 20:30, respectively. Top junior varsity runners Phillip Adejumo and Ryan Land finishing at 20:36 and 20:43, respectively.

And what a great race at the South Carroll Invitational Sept. 17 in Sykesville. According to coach Nathan Ferrell, "The runners had a blast and were very pleased with their performance despite a grueling course!"

South Carroll was a different beast all together with the Howard guys showing up more mentally prepared and with much more agreeable weather. All Howard runners (both JV and varsity boys) finished in less than 30 minutes for the first time all year. Nearly all of the guys shaved minutes off of their times despite a very challenging course which resulted in the Howard boys team finishing 11th out of 22 teams and all of their varsity runners finishing in the top 100.

Top finishers were Rau (17:35) and Smith (slightly less than 19 minutes) followed by the "senior pack" of Steven Eastman, Kirtan Patel and James Oslund, who all came in between 19:11 and 19:30. Teammates Filar and Dunnigan came across the finish line just seconds apart, led by Dunnigan who timed in at 19:46. The Lions' JV runners really showed their stuff led by Land (20:38) who finished the madness of the South Carroll B Race of more than 400 runners, followed by Adejumo, Dave Gillespie and Scott Seeman who all finished in less than 21 minutes. Kudos to all these athletes who improved their run times, especially on this extremely tough course.