Ride or stride to benefit Side by Side [Montpelier/South Laurel]

Laurel Leader

Side by Side will hold its fifth annual bike ride on Saturday, April 29 to support its work in Prince George's County elementary schools. The event also has a "stride" option — a 1- to 2-mile nature hike for families. This will be the first time this event has been held in South Laurel.

Bikers will have access to two routes, one 30 miles long, and one 14 miles. The 30-mile event begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 14-miler at 9 a.m. Both rides begin and end at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop in Laurel. The routes cover terrain in and around the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge and Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. There will also be a nature hike, at 9:30 a.m., which passes through forests and around a lake at the nature center.

The entry fee for either bike ride is $25, and the fee for the nature hike is $25 per family. Participants also are asked to solicit sponsors to support their ride or stride.

For more information and to register, go to bikereg.com/side-by-side-ride, or contact Joe Murchison at 202-710-5555 or joe@sidebysidelaurel.org. Have fun, get great exercise and support local schools.

Recently WJLA Channel 7 News teamed up with Prince George's County Police Department to conduct an experiment in Beltsville to expose citizens' vulnerabilities to cunning criminals. An actor would approach residences stating that he was with the water department and needed to check a problem in that home. In 70 percent of cases, the homeowners admitted this person to the home without asking any questions or verifying any identification. As soon as permission was granted, the actor revealed the true purpose of the "visit" and did not actually enter the home. WJLA is planning to air the experiment in late April. This is a good reminder to check identification and/or call the organization to verify. Do not use the number provided by the person at the door. Questions may be addressed to Capt. Susan Smith, assistant commander, PGPD District 6, at 301-937-0910.

The Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad, 14910 Laurel-Bowie Road, is sponsoring an open house and National Volunteer Recruit Day on Sunday, April 23 from noon-4 p.m. at their facility. Attendees can view the various equipment, talk with the volunteers and participate in fun activities such as a moon bounce. The Laurel Squad has served our community since 1952, and has been in the current facility since 1960. Contact Chief Michael Haggerty at Chief49@laurelrescue.org for more information.

Another local institution also has reasons to celebrate: Montpelier Elementary School is celebrating 50 years of educating our South Laurel/Montpelier students. The festivities are scheduled for Friday, April 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the school. Students, parents, alumna and other community members are invited to attend. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen are scheduled to be there. Mark your calendars and join in the fun!

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