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Elkridge: Troop 4877 Brownies earn cooking merit badge and help homeless along the way

Don't you just love when you hear about kids going above and beyond the call of duty, and really looking out for others?

I received word from Dawn Weglein, of Hanover, about the Troop 4877 Brownies from Worthington who took their cooking merit badge project in a direction that aligns with their motto, "lend a hand."

The troop leaders chose a recipe for a cassarole that the Brownies made to give to Our Daily Bread, the largest soup kitchen in the state. On Sept. 29, 16 girls and their families assembled in the kitchen and prepared five large casseroles, which should feed about 30 people. They also spent time educating the girls on hunger and homelessness.

Remember to practice random acts of kindness and always reach out to those in need. Just a gentle reminder that the Elkridge Food Pantry has a drop box in the foyer of the Elkridge Library for your kind contributions of non-perishable goods.

Times have been challenging on many levels, and the economy has taken its toll on plenty of folks, some more than others. In mentioning the kindness of Brownie Troop 4877 and the outreach of Our Daily Bread, and remembering the friends and neighbors that rely on our own Elkridge Food Pantry, please keep in mind the words of Edwin Arlington Robinson: " There are two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give."

Kudos to Brownie Troop 4877 for their merit badge of honor. Thank you, Dawn, for sharing this uplifting story.

Speaking of Dawn, she and her sister, Robin King, serve as coordinators on the Our Daily Bread Casserole Project at St. Augustine's Church. Our Daily Bread is home to the state's largest hot meal program, serving more than 250 million meals to hunry people in Baltimore each year.

Dawn and Robin collect casseroles on the last Saturday of each month between 9 and 10 a.m. in the back parking lot of the church at 5976 Old Washington Road, in Elkridge.

Folks are also encouraged to donate additional supplies to include sugar, tea bags, paper bags, plastic sandwich bags, napkins, plastic spoons and desserts. The drop-off dates for the rest of 2011 are Oct. 29, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.

Elkridge resident Tami Scovitch sent this information to me about the ongoing discussions surrounding the CSX Intermodal issue. According to the notification, "CSX and MDOT will host a second round of public workshops in November. The purpose of these workshops is to provide a project update, share the draft purpose and need statement, preliminary results of environmental studies and coordination and statewide economic benefits and take questions and comments from the public.

According to the notice, "a preferred site will not be presented at the November workshops. Additional studies and public input are required before a preferred site may be identified."

The workshops are scheduled for Nov 15, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Jessup Elementary School, 2900 Elementary School Lane, in Jessup, and Nov. 17, 7-9 p.m., at Elkridge Landing Middle School, 7085 Montgomery Road, in Elkridge. Don't miss the opportunity to stay informed on this controversial issue surrounding our residential neighborhoods.

A reminder to give the gift of life from Ed Parvis of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church Saint Vincent de Paul Society, which is sponsoring a Blood Drive Sunday, Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church hall, 4795 Illchester Road, in Ellicott City. Walk-ins are welcome; appointments are appreciated. To schedule an appointment, call Lori Merl at 410-455-9440. Ed and his colleagues truly appreciate your help in making their drive successful.

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Pam Poolson, of Hanover. Pam is celebrating her special day Friday, Oct. 14, with her husband, Everett Lucas, and daughters, Alex and Maddy Lucas. Happy Birthday, Pam.

Pam and Everett also celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary Oct. 2, so I'd like to shout out belated anniversary wishes to them as well. October sounds like quite the party month for this Hanover household.

Just because it's called the Howard County Office on Aging's 50+Expo, doesn't mean you have to be over 50 to attend… there's fun for just about everyone. This event has been going 13 years strong and showcases more than 140 vendors, including Howard County's programs and services (and other state government agencies), as well as the products and services of local businesses, community organizations and living green initiatives.

I'm strongly urging you to celebrate the many faces of 50-plus Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, in Columbia. This freee event also features healthy aging and life skills workshops, a health fair with plenty of information and screenings, flu shots, pneumonia vaccinations, great food, and all day entertainment.

Free door-to-door shuttle service is offered from the Columbia mall at the lower level Sears parking area. Parking at the school is very limited so take full advantage of this convenient service that brings you right to the front door of the event. The buses will run all day, with the first bus departing the mall at 8:45 a.m. and the last shuttle leaving the event at 4:30 p.m.

Howard County General Hospital will host the onsite health fair and will also present a speaker series on a variety of topics the Howard County Health Department will be handling the flu shots and pneumonia vaccines (adults 50 and older and those younger than 50 with chronic medical conditions must bring Medicare Part B card).

New this year is the "Keeping the Keys" panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. in the Jim Rouse Theatre. Presented by AAA and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education, the discussion will feature experts in the field of driving safety, who will explain how changes in our bodies as we age affect our ability to drive safely and discuss ways to sharpen our focus and improve our memory, as well as new research and tools that are available to help older drivers drive more safely.

Special entertainment at the Jim Rouse Theatre includes two free performances by the Capitol Steps who are back for their 10th year of never-ending political satire with shows presented at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sign language interpreters will be provided.

Tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis once the event opens at 9 a.m. Also, the Café will feature non-stop musical and dance entertainment from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information, go to http://www.howardcountyaging.org/50plusexpo or call the office at 410-313-6410.

That's all for this week… Enjoy the grandeur and breath-taking beauty of autumn. Please keep in touch and let me know what you'd like to share in this space. I always look forward to hearing from the great friends and neighbors of Elkridge and Hanover. Thanks and have a stellar week!

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