Girl Scouts share love of sports with less fortunate

During this holiday month, as we celebrate the season of giving, many Elicott City residents are making meaningful changes in the lives of others.

Ellicott City Girl Scouts Erin MacKinnon, Sophia Cangialosi, Shea Donovan and Susannah Offenbacher are on a mission to help other kids who share their love of sports.

As part of their Scout Silver Award project, the Patapsco Middle school 7th graders collected donations of new and gently used sports clothing and gear for the Boys' and Girls' Club of Metropolitan Baltimore.

"We knew we wanted to help kids like us by donating. Our community is really big on sports, so sports gear and clothing were ideal things to collect," said MacKinnon.

For several weeks, the girls placed donation collection boxes in four area schools — Patapsco Middle, Hollifield Station Elementary, Mount Hebron High and St. John's Lane Elementary.

The collection boxes proved to be a successful strategy with a staggering amount of community-donated sports equipment. Once the Scouts finish taking inventory of the donated items, their bounty will be delivered to the Boys' and Girls' Club of Metropolitan Baltimore. Nice work girls!

The Arc of Howard County's Employment Group members, along with other Day Program participants, partnered with Books for Soldiers, to send snacks, books and cards to five units of soldiers stationed overseas

The books were donated by the Arc, as well as the Ocean Pines Branch of the Worcester County Library, Kathy and Louis Pellegrino, Norman and Rae Disney, Ray and Jennifer Kawata, Betty Riston, and Susan Klukas and her co-workers at Re/Max 100 office in Columbia.

"Honoring those who help our country is important. I am glad to organize a project that helps to bring enjoyment and a taste of home to those who are far away," said Jessica Dalrymple, project coordinator.

For more information about the Arc, go to the website at

The recent Ellicott City Jingle Bell Run/Walk, sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic Region, raised awareness and holiday cheer for Arthritis sufferers.

The annual event held at Centennial Lake attracted 1,400 participants who helped raised over $95,000 to fight arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability.

If you missed the event, the foundation is still accepting donations online at

Neighbor Ride helps seniors remain active and independent by providing rides for medical appointments, shopping, social outings, fitness activities, religious services, volunteer commitments and other day-to-day needs.

Colleen Dumais Konstanzer, Neighbor Ride's Community Outreach Coordinator, reminded me, "The demand for our transportation service tends to spike in the winter and spring months."

If you would like help, consider being a volunteer driver.

To volunteer contact Rosemary Noble or Patrice Cerwonka at 410-884-RIDE or For more information, go to .

The Shrine of St. Anthony invites the community to experience the spirit of Christmas during a Saturday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m. Christmas concert in the Shrine chapel.

The performance will include scripture, poems, vocal and instrumental music. Professional actors, vocalists and instrumentalists will perform a repertoire by Caccini, Abt, Schubert, Handel, Cornelius, Busser, Barber and more.

Featured performers include soprano Alina Kozinska, actor Renata Plecha and pianist Ka Nyoung Yoo. Immediately following the show, a wine, cheese and dessert reception will be offered in the Papal dining room.

Tickets are $20 per person and seating is on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Shrine of St. Anthony Fund. For more information, go to or call the office at (410) 531-2800.

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