Elkridge Junior firefighters to sponsor Winter Wonderland dance Jan. 21

The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department's Junior Firefighters will sponsor a "Winter Wonderland" youth dance for ages 9-15 Saturday, Jan. 21 from 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.

The Elkridge Rotary Club is hosting its 48th annual bull and oyster roast Jan. 28 from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at La Fontaine Bleu on Ritchie Highway, in Glen Burnie. This fundraising event includes pit beef, pit ham, Chesapeake Bay oysters and clams and live music by The Great Escape Band.

Tickets are $45 per person; beer, soft drinks and set-ups are included. There is also a silent auction, so if you'd like to donate any auction items for the event, call Bill Accardi at 41-960-9105. For more information or to get tickets, call George Hakers at 410- 925-3839 or email bullroast@elkridgerotary.org.

Your support of this event helps the Rotary Club of Elkridge to fund its work in the local community, the nation and the world.

Here's something that just might fit the bill on those New Year's resolutions we've talked about: CrossLife Community Church is sponsoring its "Get Fit" exercise programs beginning next week. The cost is $40 per session, or $60 for both.

You will need a body length exercise mat such as a yoga mat that will not slip under your feet. "Yoga Now" meets Mondays, 7-8 p.m., at Rockburn Elementary School, 6145 Montgomery Road. This session begins Monday, Jan. 23 and run for eight weeks (no class Feb. 20).

Yoga Now is great for developing balance, flexibility, and core strength.

The second program is "Cross-Core" and this class meets on Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m, and begins Wedesday, Jan. 25 for eight weeks. This is a great way to develop core strength from time-tested yoga and Pilates.

You can sign up by calling 410-960-6301 or online at info@crosslifeonline.com. All class information is also available at http://www.crosslifeonline.com.

The following Elkridge Landing Middle School students were selected by their teachers as Students of the Month for December 2011. These students were chosen because they consistently demonstrate the very important attribute, Kindness. This means that these young women and men showed compassion, were sensitive to others' feelings, and offered to help others whenever they could.

The Students of the Month for sixth-grade are: Kendal Chalabi, Ava Havrilko, Morgan Liberto, Jon Surratt and Peter Walsh. For seventh-grade they are: John Gao, Sydney Kempf, Zach Sauder, Aaron Wales, and Linda Wood. Rounding out the list are eighth-graders Izzy Gifford, Michael Heilman, Audrey McKay, Zyaire Taylor and Vanden Vale. Kindness is one of the finest attributes one can possess. Congratulations!

Cathy Hudson, Elkridge resident and president of the Howard County Citizens Association, would like to thank the membership for their support this past year and asks that you renew your membership for 2012. If you aren't a member of HCCA, please consider becoming one.

As an organization, HCCA reaches out to better inform the citizens of Howard County and to help provide a collective voice to every citizen in the county. As a member, you will receive ongoing communication that will alert you to news, events and even to opinions on various topics that you can't get from other sources.

This past year, in conjunction with the Howard County Health Department and Howard County General Hospital, the HCCA held an informative urgent care services event that offered options for urgent care providers in the county. Post event, they worked with the Health Department to post that list on their website and have created a link on their own for ready access to the information.

This initiative is part of their ongoing focus on the issues surrounding health care in Howard County. Another informative evening was held to provide background information on the General Plan process. This 10-year process has begun and one of the HCCA board members and Elkridge resident, Valerie McGuire, is on the General Plan task force and serves as a voice for the citizens.

There are many other ways in which the HCCA serves the local population of Howard County, including investigating and testifying on proposed legislation. 2012 will be a full year. What will the General Plan look like? How will Howard County come up with the funds to pay for the storm water projects that will be needed to stem our pollution of our waterways? What will be the next steps in the development of downtown Columbia, Wilde Lake, Oxford Square, Route 40 and the CSX intermodal project?

HCCA will need your help as they focus on making certain they each work in the best interest of the citizens. Your involvement is a tremendous asset, so please consider joining by using the online link as noted above.

Please continue to keep all of our brave women and men who are far from home (and their families) in your thoughts and prayers. Commit those random acts of kindness and don't sweat the small stuff. Life is both too short and very fragile; savor each moment of every day. Please keep in touch and let me know what you'd like to share in this space. Thanks and have a stellar week!

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