St. Vincent Villa celebrates Olympic sportsmanship

Recently St. Vincent's Villa campus in Cockeysville was the site of a summer camp project and multi-cultural day that showcased the Olympics and the countries that participated in the London Games.

Children and staff from each unit at the Villa chose a specific country and, as a team effort, made large flags for these countries, along with Olympic torches.

Activities included learning about the various athletes who won medals for their athletic feats — including Baltimore's own, Michael Phelps, of course — as well as learning a bit about the country they had chosen.

The Olympic rings were highlighted, and the two weeks culminated in a mini-Olympics field day that saw the children win gold medals and participate in events such as standing jump, javelin throw (with pool noodles) discus throw (Frisbees), a mini-soccer clinic and relay races.

The events were facilitated by high school volunteers and college interns who had worked with the children during the summer, as well as employees from the Towson office of Kaiser Permanente.

Each participant received a bag of snacks, compliments of Kaiser, as well as a participation medal.

On Aug. 23, all the Olympic work and effort of children and staff came together in the second annual St. Vincent's Villa Multi-Cultural Day.

The units entered the Pot Spring gym to the Olympic march music of the countries, and each unit had two flag bearers and a torch bearer to lead the way.

As everyone sat for lunch, an overhead screen showed the actual Olympics opening ceremony with the individual countries, and each unit was able to identify "their" country.

After lunch all the participants and their guests toured the units' displays of art work and learn a bit more about the countries they represented.

It was a wonderful experience for all those who took part. The hallways were decorated with the flags, and a festive atmosphere was enjoyed by all who attended.

If you are looking for fun in September, here are some suggestions, both near and far (but not too far):

• The fall service at Jessop Methodist Church, 14201 York Road, in Sparks, will be held Sunday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. All are welcome, call 410-666-1889 for details. The church holds only four services a year: Christmas Eve, Easter sunrise, a memorial service in May and one in the fall.

The church operates under Epworth United Methodist Church, in Cockeysville. A board of trustees makes sure the church and cemetery are maintained for funerals or weddings.

• On Friday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m., the Historical Society of Baltimore County will host its sixth annual shrimp feast, bull roast, and silent and live auction fundraiser, held at Columbus Gardens, 4301 Klosterman Ave. Tickets are $40 and include an open bar of domestic beer and soda, hot and cold buffet of shrimp, chicken, sausage, beef, wide variety of side dishes and desserts, a chance to bid on auction items (including hotels, weekend getaways and restaurant certificates), and dance to music provided by a DJ.

Go to to purchase tickets online or print a mail-in order form.

• And on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Road, will celebrate its 31st annual Honey Harvest. There will be candle making demonstrations, Civil War reenactments and arts and crafts, food and drinks as well.

And farther down the road, keep the date of Saturday, Oct. 13, open for the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph's Church on Church Lane. Archbishop William Lori, the new head of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, will make his first visit to St. Joseph's in acknowledgment of the parish's 160th anniversary.

He will bless the recent upgrades in the church. A reception will follow. For more information, contact the church at 410-683-0600.

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