The Western Howard County Relay for Life is almost upon us. The committee and teams have been working hard to make this a great event that will celebrate cancer survivorship and raise money for the to continue its good work.

The American Cancer Society funds cancer research, which has produced several drugs that have helped to fight the return of cancer in survivors, provided transportation for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and sponsored workshops on how to live with cancer. Of course, the American Cancer Society goes way beyond these few activities.

This year's Relay for Life will be held at the Western Regional Park on Carrs Mill Road on June 8. Open ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m., and onsite fundraising and fun activities will continue until the next morning. The reason for the overnight vigil is to remind everyone that cancer never sleeps. There will be a free survivors' reception on June 8 at 5 p.m. for cancer survivors and their caretakers. You must be registered to attend the reception.

Last year, the Relay raised more than $100,000. That's quite an accomplishment in these hard economic times. If you would like to participate in the dinner or Relay, or if you would like to make a contribution, you can go to http://www.relayforlife.org/westernhoward or call 410-781-4316.


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Stephanie Hastings is a media specialist at Lisbon Elementary School and the coach of the Girls on the Run program. This group of 22 girls is working on a service project to collect 500 pairs of old tennis shoes and sneakers with rubber soles. The shoes will be recycled through the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, which recycles 1.5 million shoes each year.

You can take your old, damaged shoes to the school up until June 1. For more information, call 410-313-5506.

St. Michael's Catholic Church will be holding a community blood drive for the American Red Cross on June 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the church's gym. If you would like to give the gift of life, call 301-829-6067 to schedule your donation.

I'm hearing about more yard sales every week! St. Paul's Episcopal Church will be holding a yard sale/flea market on June 2. If you would like to reserve a space to display your treasures, you can rent a space for $15.00. The church is at 16457 Old Frederick Road. Refreshments will be available to purchase. The yard sale rain date will be June 9. To reserve a space or for more information, call 410-489-4411.

The Howard County Office of Children's Services offers free resource and referral service to Howard County parents who are looking for services and programs in their community for children and teens.

Some of the programs and services include; drug or alcohol abuse, youth development, parenting classes on positive discipline, school readiness, emotional and mental health, difficult behavior and child care programs.

For more information, go to http://www.howardcountymd.gov/children or call 410-313-2273.