From our family to yours: Happy New Year to everyone! As the New Year begins, we have the chance to reflect on the past and to change or at least "recalculate" our current direction. Ask yourself a few questions to determine your current direction: How much time did I spend with my family and loved ones? What special activities did our family do together last year? How often did I tell my loved ones that I love and care for them? How often did I show this love and care through actions? How did I help out my neighbors and/or community last year? How can I improve in these areas during the new year?

Although we mostly tend to make New Year's resolutions centered on bettering ourselves (lose weight, stop smoking, etc.), this past month has taught us all a lot about the importance of community and family. So why not make this year's resolutions revolve around helping other people instead of ourselves.

Where to start? Get involved in programs that your family enjoys (sports, church, drama, school, etc.). These activities provide a great way to help out in the community and also spend time with your loved ones, showing them how much you care. Let 2013 be the year of community!

Congratulations to the Maryland City Mustang basketball program. The travel teams started their competitive season in December and many teams are off to impressive starts. Thank you to the volunteer coaches: Carlos Hill (co-commissioner and 8U girls, 13U boys and 14U boys), Jim Watters (8U boys team 1), Chris Thompson (8U boys team 2), Arnaldo Echevarria (9U boys), Evan Chestnut (11U boys), John Bussink (12U boys), John Chandler (11U girls) and Jeff Watkins (13U girls). The in-house program resumes practices once schools re-open on Jan. 2, with games starting in January. The in-house Mustangs are still accepting registrations for ages 4-5 and 6-7 teams (age as of Oct. 1, 2012). For more information or to register, please contact my husband, John Venit, at 301-725-7711 or dpws@aol.com. The season runs until the beginning of March at the cost of $50 (including a uniform to keep).


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Finally, don't miss out on the first Maryland City Volunteer Fire Department's Coach and Basket Bingo of the year. Join the MCVFD on Sat., Jan. 5, at 3498 Laurel Fort Meade Road, for a great evening full of chances to win authentic Coach and Longaberger items. The doors open at 5 p.m., so you can get a great seat and purchase some delicious food for dinner. The games start at 7 p.m. and include the regular games, two jackpot games, two King Tutt pull tabs, two prize raffles and a 50/50 cash raffle. Mighty Balls and pull tabs will also be available. Tickets range from $18 to $21 at the door. Get them in advanced starting at $15. For reservations, contact mcvfdbingo@yahoo.com, 301-483-4985 or go to the MCVFD Facebook page. Support our local fire department through this fun fundraiser.