Elkridge: Summer's End 5K raises $1,800 for Elkridge Food Pantry and Garden

The sweet smell of success permeated Furnace Avenue Sept. 18 when the Elkridge Food Pantry and Garden raised more than $1,800 to feed the less fortunate in Elkridge with its Summers End 5K Family Run/Walk. The event drew more than 130 participants who registered to help the cause and 100 percent of the money raised directly benefits the food pantry

"We believe in helping your neighbors," said Lori Gerus, who organized the event, "and it takes a lot of people."

The Elkridge Food Pantry operates entirely at the mercy of the local community; it is not supported in any way by the local (or larger) government. This year's attendance was nearly three times the turnout for the inaugural event held in 2010. At the first 5K, the fundraiser was partnered into the Summers End Jam, a community celebration held outside the former Superfresh.

There is no hierarchy in the race results. All participants are winners — there are no losers, nor medals awarded. The entire event was centered around the tagline: "Give Where you Live." And give is exactly what the community did.

As of the morning start time, "Right now, we're over $1,800," said the Rev. John Mackall, pastor of Elkridge-based CrossLife Community Church, the lead sponsor of this year's event. Approximately 12 local students from the Horizon Council were on hand to help with the event, from set up to running post race carnival games for children.

Elkridge's own local band O.R.B. — Local kids Owen Gerus, Bo Oliver and Cooper Gerus — played rock music as runners crossed the finish line, where onlookers cheered and a bubble machine added additional fun and festivity to the event.

Local sponsors provided giveaways, which were raffled off after the race. Primary sponsors included Preston Scheffenacker Properties, Corrigan Sports, Roadrunner Sports, CrossLife Community Church, Mom's Organic Market, Fitness 19, Princeton Sports, Horizon Foundation and Craig Dunklee Screenprinting.

The organizers are truly grateful to these generous contributors to the cause. They certainly have set a wonderful example of the "give where you live" sentiment!

The food pantry is always accepting nonperishable donations at the Elkridge Branch Library entryway. To drop off donations elsewhere, or to volunteer, call 410-693-0058 or email Lori Gerus at algerus@juno.com.

An extra loud shout out to Madeline Ann Lucas, who celebrates her 13th birthday Sept. 29! Finally and officially a teenager! Maddy is an eighth-grader at Elkridge Landing Middle School and the daughter of Pam Poolson and Everett Lucas, of Hanover. Happy Birthday, Maddy!

Take note and don't miss out on the upcoming events in support of the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department. Weekly Bingo has officially returned to the firehouse and will be held every Friday evening, so come out and play!

To kick off the weekly gaming, grab a few friends and enjoy EVFD Bingo Customer Appreciation Night Friday, Sept. 30. Come join the fun, win special prizes and enjoy delicious treats. For more information, call 410-761-6633 ext. 2, or via e-mail to evfdbingo@verizon.net

The EVFD open house will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature station tours, safety information, police demonstrations, face painting and refreshments. For more information, call 410-313-4901.

The EVFD all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast will be held Sunday, Oct. 2 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Cost is $7.00 for adults, $6 for seniors (55+), $5 for children ages 5-12 and free for kids younger than 5. Homemade baked goods will also be available for sale.

The delicious breakfast menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, baked apples, toast, chipped beef, sausage gravy, fruit salad, cold cereal, coffee, hot tea, milk and juices. Parking is available at the Norbel School, 6135 Old Washington Road, about a quarter-mile down the road from the fire station. A shuttle bus will be available and running all morning. For more information, call 410-761-6633 ext. 4 or 410-313-4901.

The Howard High girls cross country team made a grand showing at its tri-meet Sept. 14 against Reservoir and Long Reach. Howard's Hollie Adejumo and Caroline Haden were first and second, respectively, and other top finishers for the Lions were Melissa Pratt, eighth; Anne Kinsey, ninth; Molly Hart, 10th; Bridget Graef, 11th; and Laura Froh, 12th.

The Howard High boys team was lead by Danny Rau who finished in 17 minutes, 47 seconds, followed by freshman Ray Smith at 18:35. Runners Steven Eastman, Kirtan Patel and James Oslund all finished in a strong pack in less than 20 minutes. Sophomore Luke Filar and freshman Nolan Dunnigan finished together at 20:26 and 20:30, respectively. Top junior varsity runners Phillip Adejumo and Ryan Land finishing at 20:36 and 20:43, respectively.

And what a great race at the South Carroll Invitational Sept. 17 in Sykesville. According to coach Nathan Ferrell, "The runners had a blast and were very pleased with their performance despite a grueling course!"

South Carroll was a different beast all together with the Howard guys showing up more mentally prepared and with much more agreeable weather. All Howard runners (both JV and varsity boys) finished in less than 30 minutes for the first time all year. Nearly all of the guys shaved minutes off of their times despite a very challenging course which resulted in the Howard boys team finishing 11th out of 22 teams and all of their varsity runners finishing in the top 100.

Top finishers were Rau (17:35) and Smith (slightly less than 19 minutes) followed by the "senior pack" of Steven Eastman, Kirtan Patel and James Oslund, who all came in between 19:11 and 19:30. Teammates Filar and Dunnigan came across the finish line just seconds apart, led by Dunnigan who timed in at 19:46. The Lions' JV runners really showed their stuff led by Land (20:38) who finished the madness of the South Carroll B Race of more than 400 runners, followed by Adejumo, Dave Gillespie and Scott Seeman who all finished in less than 21 minutes. Kudos to all these athletes who improved their run times, especially on this extremely tough course.

The girls team left the South Carroll Invitational with a 12th place showing out of 20 schools. Of the 134 runners participating in that competition, Howard is justifiably proud of varsity teammates Hollie Adejumo (15th place), Caroline Haden (53rd place), Anne Kinsey (57th), Mellissa Pratt (67th), Bridget Graef (87th), Molly Hart (97th) and Laura Froh (104th).

In other impressive news at Howard High, Saturday, Sept. 24, the 2006 girls cross country and 2006 boys outdoor track teams were inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. 2006 was a very good year for these athletes: the boys were regional and state champions and the Lady Lions took county, regional and state championships. Congratulations to all of these fine athletes.

Do you want to get in shape but don't want to join a gym or shell out a lot of money? Do you want to a dynamic instructor that can motivate and assist you with personal fitness goals and make fitness fun? Perhaps you just want to meet some new people or join the fun with old friends? Or, you just want to feel better about yourself and have more energy?

Well, look no further than the CrossLife Community Church "Get Fit" ministry, a recreational program for the whole community. The goal is to provide affordable, high-quality recreation and fitness to Elkridge and the surrounding communities. Both of these classes are geared toward people of all fitness levels and open to everyone from age 12 and older.

Led by fitness Instructor and Elkridge resident Kathy Oliver, "Walk For You" (for both men and women) demonstrates how to use walking to build aerobic fitness, endurance and strength. Class members will be walking to improve their aerobic conditioning by building up speed and following a program of a variety of interval, heart-rate guided, and endurance workouts.

This class begins Oct. 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. This is an eight-week class is $35 and runs through Dec. 12 at Rockburn Elementary School, 6145 Montgomery Road, with some outside walking at nearby Rockburn Park.

"Yoga Now," led by Linda Randle, will help participants gain balance, flexibility, core strength, overall body control and relaxation skills. This hour-long class is ideal for beginners and experienced yoga enthusiast alike and will assist any athlete who wishes to perform better, no matter what their sport.

Yoga begins Oct. 10 from 7 to 8 p.m. and also runs through Dec. 12 at Rockburn Elementary School, 6145 Montgomery Road. The cost is also $35.

To get more details, go to the church's website at http://www.crosslifeonline.com. To register, call 410-960-6301. Pre-payment will guarantee your seat in the class. Make checks payable to CrossLife Community Church and mail to P.O. Box 8080, Elkridge, MD 21075. Also, online: check out Crosslife's Thursday evening basketball opportunity to get out and shoot some hoops with neighbors and friends!

Remember to practice random acts of kindness and always reach out to those in need. Please keep in touch and let me know what you'd like to share in this space. I always look forward to hearing from the great friends and neighbors of Elkridge and Hanover. Thanks and have a stellar week!

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