Elkridge: A merrier Christmas for storm victims, thanks to Junior Firefighters

Putting their lives on the line, firefighters are synonymous with helping others, so it is no surprise that the young men and women of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighters recently made it their mission to bring holiday cheer to some of the folks most adversely affected by Super Storm Sandy.

The Junior Firefighters normally do a gift exchange among themselves at their annual holiday party. However, this year, in response to the devastation that Sandy wreaked on the volunteer firefighters in Toms River, N.J., they sent gifts to the men and women of the Silverton Volunteer Fire Company in Toms River.

Most of Toms River was destroyed, including four pieces of the SVFC's fire apparatus. In addition, 15 members of the department lost their homes and the homes of 12 other members were heavily damaged.

To help ease the pain, the EVFD Junior Firefighters donated over 100 toys and school supplies to the Silverton company. The initiative was coordinated and led by Cheryl Barnett, Cadet Leader.

If you have any questions or would like to offer additional assistance, Barnett can be reached at 410-371-6883 or cadetleader@yahoo.com.

John Mackall, pastor of Crosslife Community Church, has the results from the 2012 Ginger Bread House Contest.

Mackall said, "Everyone seemed to have a great time and the morning of the contest, the fire department hall was filled with graham crackers, candies, and icing 'glue' with plenty of excited kids eager to show off their creativity."

Over 80 families attended, and, at judging time, 71 houses entered the contest. The judges included Patrick Caughy, art teacher at Elkridge Elementary School; Gina Cash, principal, Elkridge Landing Middle; and Dana Isaacson, bakery manager, Green Valley Market.

The Most Delicious Award (the house that looks the best to eat) went to Cole Zeder, 5th Grade at Elkridge Elementary; the Christmas Spirit Award (the house that exudes the most Christmas spirit) went to Elizabeth Cooley, 5th Grade at Elkridge Elementary; and the Engineering Award (the best in construction and creative design) was taken by Claire Concha, 4th Grade at Elkridge. Congratulations to the winners! Crosslife Church would like to offer a public note of gratitude to all participants and attendees, and especially to the EVFD for hosting the event.

The EVFD Junior Firefighters will sponsor a Winter Carnival youth dance for ages 9-15, Saturday, Jan. 19, 7 to 10 p.m., at the fire hall, 6275 Old Washington Road. Tickets are available at the door for $10 per person with a maximum of 200 tickets sold. Food and beverages, which include pizza, corn dogs, pretzels, nachos, candy, water and sodas, will also be for sale at the dance.

The department does have a "no exceptions" policy on appropriate behavior and dress code for its youth dances, and also enforces a strict adult sign-in/sign-out procedure for attendance. For more information on the dance, call 410-761-6633 (and select option 5), or go to http://www.ElkridgeVFD.org.

Mary Holland is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and chairwoman of the Howard County Mission Council. The goal of the Mission Council is to provide information on the many free programs and services offered by ACS.

Holland would like you to know the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery Program provides free transportation to treatment facilities for patients with cancer living in Howard County. Patients must be ambulatory as rides are provided by volunteer drivers who donate their time and personal vehicles. For more information, call ACS at 1-800-227-2345.

That's all for this week, but please keep in touch and let me know what you'd like to share in this space.

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