Girl Scout Troop 1948 from Clarksville Elementary is a very service-oriented troop. The 12 fifth grade girls knew from the start that they wanted to do something to benefit animals and ill children.

Gracie Barrett, Katelyn Chan-Tack, Kennedy Clark, Sophie Dubin, Caitlin Duffy, Tara Lui, Julia McCanna, Annabel McCullough, Tessa O'Connor, Hope Rovansek, Sara Sharp and Tara Tremper donated 50 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to families staying at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore. Inc.

They used some of their cookie profits to plan and lead an activity night of karaoke and crafts for the families staying at the house. Parents and children alike had fun. A diversion from the stress of caring for a sick child can be just the right medicine.

The girls contributed $85 from their cookie sale profits to Frisky's Wildlife Sanctuary in Woodstock. Frisky's is one of the only local, nonprofit places in Howard County that rehabilitates and houses injured or abandoned wildlife.


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If you encounter an injured or abandoned animal in need of help, you can first call Frisky's at 410-418-8899 for instructions on how to safely transport the animals they accept from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Kirk Chan-Tack is the Cookie Parent who coordinated the girls' cookie sale and charity donations.

The troop leaders are Rena Dubin, Radhika Joglekar and Lynn Rovansek.

Are there leftover prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet? Get rid of them before they become a child's introduction to drug abuse or addiction.

As part of National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Sept. 29, the Bain Center in Columbia is one of eight locations in Howard County where you can take back medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

HC DrugFree is hosting a Town Hall meeting and free continental breakfast at the Bain CenterSept. 29, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. for teens and adults to get information. Young children will be entertained by Drug Free Charlie the clown.

This event is sponsored by Proove Biosciences, Inc.

You can get more information by contacting info@hcdrugfree.org.

The River Hill PTSA is pleased to offer its popular and successful SAT Prep Courses to prepare for the December and January SAT exams.

The cost for both Critical Reading/Writing and Math is $295 or $200 for either one. Tuesday/Thursday classes begin Oct. 9 and run from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday classes begin Oct. 13 and run from 9 a.m. to noon.

As a bonus, each student who takes an SAT class through the PTSA is welcome to attend any "end of session" review or Bonus Strategy Sessions to brush up on skills right before the test.

Registration space is limited. To learn more, email Tswygert@verizon.net.

Abby Long happily celebrated her 15th birthday with friends in Arkansas, where she is attending boarding school. Abby loves it there. Belated greetings, Abby. We'll be looking for you back in Clarksville in December.

When autumn leaves begin to fall, it's "Rake and Take" time in Howard County. For Master Gardeners, compost is "black gold." Rake and bag your leaves. Then send an email to phooker9440@gmail.com including your address and phone number to let them know you want to participate. They'll make arrangements to pick up.

The Rake and Take program is sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension Howard County Master Gardeners. All are welcome to participate.

Better yet, why not make your own compost. Howard County Master Gardeners will be happy to help you get started. Compost is a wonderful source of minerals and other nutrients your plants need and it's free for the making. Go for it and have fun.