Scotchtown Hills Elementary physical education teacher Aubrie Santuccio, along with the American Red Cross, is hosting a blood drive to benefit student Marisol Ramirez.

Marisol was born with her small intestine completely blocked. In September 2009, she received a multi-organ transplant. In her short life she has been the recipient of multiple blood transfusions.

The blood drive will be held at the school, 15950 Dorset Road, Feb. 29, from 2 to 8 p.m. Anyone 16 years of age may participate with a parent present. If you are age 17 or older, you may donate at will.

To schedule a donation contact Aubrie at aubri.santuccio@pgcps.org or 301-497-3994. (Email is preferred.) Donating takes about an hour and you could save as many as three lives. Juice, water and snacks will be provided.


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St. Philip's Episcopal Church, located at Sixth and Main streets, will hold its third annual Winterfest/Silent Auction and Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Tickets may be purchased after Sunday services in Wyatt Hall or from the parish administrator in person during office hours.

Tickets at the door will be limited. Last year's event was a sell out. Additional information can be found at the church's website, http://www.stphilipslaurel.org.

Laurel Municipal Pool meeting room at Main and Ninth streets will be the site for a seminar concerning the health and welfare of feral and stray cats. The gathering, set for Feb. 15, will begin at 7 p.m.

Issues such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) to humanely reduce populations, care and feeding, and methods to safely deter cats from where they are not welcome, will be discussed. You can learn more at the group's website http://www.laurelcats.org.

Quick, convenient shopping will become a reality once more at the former High's store, 7707 Sandy Spring Road. A new market, simply named 24-7, should be open in that space by the end of January.

Happy birthday to Barbara Hughes who celebrated her birthday Jan. 16.

Sadly, my family lost my beloved brother, Wally, unexpectedly on Nov. 24. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in Ocean Springs, Miss.

Wally, 57, was a member of Laurel High School's Class of '72 and a 27-year Navy veteran. He loved Baltimore sports teams and could play a harmonica like he was born with one in his hand. It would be impossible to explain in a few sentences what he meant to those of us closest to him.

He leaves three children; eight grandchildren; and a host of cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.