Watching the construction of the Metro Centre while passing by on Interstate 795 is nothing short of amazing. The new library and Community College of Baltimore are open for business, and the apartments at Metro Crossing are ready for occupancy. After a recent ribbon-cutting event for the complex, attendees were treated to a delicious lunch and a tour of a one and two-bedroom apartments. Designer lighting, stainless-steel appliances, Quartz countertops, and walk-in closets are just a few of the amenities offered. Development continues at the Centre, with the ultimate goal of providing an urban living feel in a suburban locale. This pedestrian-friendly neighborhood also offers a plaza that will host community activities.

On Oct. 4 several food trucks participated in The Gathering at Metro Centre. A portion of the proceeds from the evening 'ssales will benefit Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. This nonprofit provides business, economics and life-skill programs to educate the young. Already this community is giving back.

When Metro Centre is completed, it will have 1.2 million square feet of Class A office space; 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurants; 1,700 residential units; 120,000 sq. ft. of educational facilities; and a 250 guest- room hotel.

With this growth, the Owings Mills Volunteer Fire Company is going to have even more people and property to protect in the community. Financial contributions are crucial to keep the company operational.

A new medic unit was purchased this year and donations are needed to offset the cost. Purchase a Christmas tree from OMVFC, or a holiday raffle ticket; attend the summer carnival or schedule a child's birthday party there. Sending a check works well , too! The address is 10401 Owings Mills Blvd. Owings Mills, MD 21117 and the web site is http://www.omfire.org.

Congratulations to Owings Mills High School on its new million-dollar stadium that has been 20 years in the making. Bleachers can now seat 1,000 and a press box and scoreboard are among upgrades. A new track and sod for the infield complete the project that has been a community effort. Years ago, rolling carts were wheeled onto the sidewalk to dispense drinks and snacks. Eventually a concession stand was built, followed by a fence so that admission could be charged. Thanks go to the state, county, and school system for funding this project, as well as to those who helped raise $35,000 in private donations.

She wasn't crowned Miss America, but Miss Maryland, Christina Denny, of Owings Mills, has made us proud. Denny made it to the Top 10 with her platform Special Deeds for Special Needs. She will pursue a degree in Speech-Language Pathology and hopes to open a preschool for children with developmental delays.

VFW Post 521 hosts a Bull and Oyster Roast on Oct. 27 from 2-6 p.m. Atlantic Catering will provide beef, fresh turkey, country ham, oysters, oyster stew, and an assortment of side dishes. Tickets are available until Oct. 21 in the lounge at 214 Tollgate Road or by calling 410-356-6578.

I hope everyone is enjoying a fabulous fall. It's hard to believe that I began writing this column about the same time sixteen years ago! The people I have met have enriched my life and touched my heart. I have shared birthdays of children who are now adults. I was in touch with all of the wonderful things happening in our schools, both public and private. Community events were shared and anniversaries were celebrated. Get well wishes were expressed over the years and, sadly, condolences. I was out in the community, seeing the difference that residents are making, and learning and broadening my view of the community. The best part was the friendships that I have formed and will always treasure. If this sounds like a goodbye, it is. After all this time, I am relinquishing my beloved column, and deciding where to go from here. A heartfelt thank-you to my readers who have been there to support me, share their special news, and make me feel that I have made an important contribution to the community. It would take pages to name everyone, but you know who you are. I wish you continued success in all that you do, and I leave you with hugs and blessings.