Join the St. Peter's Episcopal Preschool community on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., to commemorate the school's 40th anniversary with an Autumn Celebration.

This family-friendly event includes carnival games, food, pony rides, moon bounces, and a visit by the Orioles bird from noon to 1 p.m.

You may remember that St. Peter's Episcopal Church and Preschool suffered a tragic loss in May 2012 when a mentally ill homeless man shot and killed two beloved staff members. The church lost its co-rector, Mary Marguerite-Kohn, and its administrative assistant and former preschool teacher Brenda Brewington.

The man, who used the woods nearby for shelter, was being helped by the women at the church's food pantry when the shooting occurred. The church now supports the homeless through food programs offsite. 

"After the tragedy, the school and church went through many changes and the school is especially happy to have come out on the other side. The school's enrollment is healthy and the families and teachers are happy to celebrate this milestone together," wrote church member April Baer in an email.

The Autumn Celebration will take place immediately following the Ellicott City Fire Department commemorative parade on Main Street from 10 to 11am.  

"We hope that the parade goers will make the short trip up from West Main Street to St. Peters' Preschool for lunch and diversions,"  Baer wrote. 

The church and preschool are  at 3695 Rogers Ave. For more information about the event or the history of this 173-year-old parish, go to http://www.stpetersec.ang-md.org  or email adbaer@verizon.net.

Congratulations to Folly Quarter Middle School staff, students and community.  The school was designated as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School — one of only 11 Maryland schools to hold the distinction this year. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will honor the winners in Washington, D.C., next month. 

If you have important documents that need shredding, the county is sponsoring a free paper shredding event on Saturday, Oct.12, from  9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Park and Ride off of Route 100 Exit 1A in Ellicott City (rain or shine). Howard County residents may bring up to three bags or boxes of paper to be shredded onsite. For more information, contact the Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services at 410-313-6444.

Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Columbia Brass Quintet along with the choirs from five churches on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. at Bethany United Methodist Church in Ellicott City.  The benefit concert is free, but offerings for the American Cancer Society will be taken. 

Two Ellicott City churches, Bethany United Methodist and  Glen Mar United Methodist, are among the church choirs participating. These choirs will be joined by choirs from Glenelg United Methodist Church, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and Linden-Linthicum United Methodist Church. For more information, call 410-531-2324 or 410-796-0290.

Homecoming weekend is Oct 11 -12 at Centennial High School.  To celebrate, the school is inviting the community, especially all future Eagles and their families, to join in the homecoming festivities. On Friday, Oct. 11, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the public is invited to the school's first Fall Carnival sponsored by the Student Government Association.

The front parking lot will be turned into a family friendly festival that includes games, inflatables and music.  Tickets for activities are 50 cents each. On Saturday, Oct. 12,  the PTSA is sponsoring its annual  all-you-can-eat  pancake breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria.  That same day at 1 p.m., cheer on the Eagles football team during the homecoming game against Atholton High school.