Elkridge: To provide gift cards, Elkridge Food Pantry needs your help

Tis the season to be jolly, and here's your chance to make the holidays more joyful for our friends and neighbors most in need.

The Elkridge Food Pantry would like to give each of their families in need a gift card for a store such as Target or Walmart, whereby the parent(s) would be able to personally choose gifts for their children.

If you, your church group, class or organization would like to contribute to this initiative, you are asked to make a monetary donation to the food pantry.

Checks should be made payable to the Elkridge Love Mission and mailed to 5660 Furnace Ave., Elkridge MD 21075. It is very important to note "Christmas Gift Cards" in the memo line.

Send your donation before Dec. 10 so that the pantry can distribute the gift cards on Dec. 14, which will be the last day it's open prior to Christmas.

Lori Gerus, local activist for the pantry, says, "The Elkridge Food Pantry could not open their doors without the kind generosity of those who give so selflessly on behalf of others. Thank you for supporting our local families in need this holiday season!"

Plan to attend the general meeting of the Greater Elkridge Community Association (GECA) Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department on Old Washington Road at 7:30 p.m.

Guest speakers include local and state representatives, who will present an update as they enter their legislative season; John Byrd, director of Recreation and Parks, will present the latest on Troy Hill, Belmont and our local parks; and Daniel Medinger will discuss his plans to bring a local Elkridge newspaper to fruition.

According to Howard Johnson, GECA president, the association will also present a CSX-MDOT wrap-up to let folks know where the project currently stands and if and how it will have an effect on Elkridge in the future. For questions or concerns, contact Johnson at hlj@comcast.net.

CrossLife Community Church is hosting its fourth annual Christmas Gingerbread House Contest on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Elkridge Fire Hall.

Kids work with supervision by their parents to create their own festive gingerbread house from 10 a.m. until 11:15 a.m., at which time judges from the community will view the houses and pick the best representative in each category; prizes will be awarded.

All materials are provided, and there is no charge for this memory-making event. Light refreshments will be served and the Christmas story will be presented.

Registration is required to guarantee plenty of Gingerbread fixins'; reserve your space no later than Dec. 12 by calling 410-960-6301, or via email to kay@crosslifeonline.com. Walk-ins are welcome if space is available.

Crosslife Church will also be collecting nonperishable food items for the Elkridge Food Pantry. For additional information, go to http://www.crosslifeonline.com and click on Community Event Gingerbread Contest.

Daniels Restaurant and Open Air Bar will host an Oyster Festival on Saturday, Dec. 1; 1-4 p.m., with live music by Ruckus at 5854 Washington Blvd., Elkridge. The menu features raw oysters, fried oysters, oyster shooters and oyster stew.

Kudos to Elkridge resident and local business owner Steve Wecker, who has been honored by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce as Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012.

The Chamber cited the work he has done on behalf of the Howard County Office of Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, Blossoms of Hope and Autism, not to mention the raves on Wecker's restaurants, which include The Iron Bridge (Columbia) and Mutiny Pirate Bar (Glen Burnie). Wecker was also named Howard County Tourism Partner of the Year. Congratulations, Steve.

Try to help the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department with its 22nd annual Holiday Food Drive as they put together gift baskets to make the holidays a little better for those dealing with job loss, illness, homelessness, and abandonment.

Checks should be made out to the EVFD, and can be mailed to: 6275 Old Washington Road, Elkridge 21075. Donations of perishable and nonperishable foods can be brought to the station or given to Santa and Mrs. Claus on their annual neighborhood fire truck visits.

If you have any questions or need assistance with pick-up, contact Joe Slavotinek at 410-984-1796.

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