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West Friendship: Fire department chief among those who saved Virginia woman

As a community we are beaming with pride. West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Miller was among a team of Maryland Wildland Firefighters whose rescue efforts saved the life of a woman in Virginia on July 3. Members from the 20 person Maryland Department of Natural Resources wildland firefighting crews saved the life of an unresponsive motorist on July 3. The firefighting crew was in Virginia on a two-week assignment in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in northwestern Virginia. While the team was returning to base camp following a full day of firefighting, they came upon the nonresponsive motorist who was lying on the road near her vehicle. The crew's paramedics and emergency medical technicians, which included West Friendship Station 3's Assistant Chief Mark Miller, administered emergency treatment to restore her breathing. The woman was later transported to a local hospital. "The heroic actions of this group in rendering emergency medical assistance aid and fighting this wildland fire are highly commendable," said Steven W. Koehn, Department of Natural Resources Forestry Unit Director. Following the roadside emergency incident, the men continued to fight wildfires in the steep and rugged landscape of the Virginia National Forests for a period of ten days with record oppressive temperatures.

See you at the fair. Those are the words of the week as our community prepares for the annual Howard County Fair. This signature event of West Friendship will be in place all week from Aug. 4-11, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. This is the time of year when old friends catch up, politicians hand out leaflets, firefighters spin games of chance, french fries are doled out by the boosters from Glenelg High School, music is strummed by the likes of Art Boone and John Frank, little ones screech with excitement on the fairway rides and 4-H members proudly showcase the projects which they have worked on all year long.

Mitchell and Ellie Feaga are members of the Howard County 4-H Dairy Club. The siblings, Mitchell a soon-to-be seventh-grader at Glenwood Middle School and Ellie a rising fifth-grader at Bushy Park Elementary are fully immersed in prep for the fair. The duo are both showing dairy cows, entering the famed worm race, participating in the pie contest and helping out during the Cow Milking Contest. Ellie Feaga has the honor this year of crowning the 2012 Little Miss as well as dressing her calf in costume for the New Zoo Revue. Ellie is also entering sewing projects and getting in on the runway fever with the Mini Fashion Revue. Mitchell is volunteering during the Skid Loader contest, the Zero-Turn contest, the archery competition and entering his pig, vegetables and straw for judging. Like so many 4-H members in our region, the Howard County Fair signifies a culmination of a years worth of work. Aside from all the fair activities, Mitchell Feaga rallied his fellow Dairy club members to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The club raised more than $4700 by selling "Moo-ving Toward a Cure" T shirts and cups. The kids sold snowballs, cowboy boots filled with candy and glow sticks in an effort to fill the coffer. According to Mitchell, the organization selected a theme of Fighting Cancer across the States. The local West Friendship club jumped on the bandwagon and chose Tennessee as their state. One club member dressed as "Miss Tennessee" during the Relay for Life. The 4-H Relay for Life team included 30 members who "relayed" all night and took turns resting in a tent provided by a donor. The club is grateful to their leader, Rhonda Winkler, who according to Mitchell always encourages the club members to "do our best and always help our community, our country and our world". Mitchell Feaga says that new members to the 4-H Dairy club are always welcome. Interested? Call 410-489-5115.

When incoming Indiana University of Pennsylvania freshman Stephanie Clark starts her first year as a Musical Theater major, she will have had a summer's worth of preparation. The 2012 Glenelg High School graduate will perform a solo in this summer's Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts Teen Professional Theatre production of "Children of Eden". The musical based on the Book of Genesis is a lively show with uplifting spirited music by Stephen Schwartz. Renowned local theater legend and impresario Toby Orenstein is the artistic director of this storied teen theatre. Performances are scheduled for July 26-27 at 7 p.m., July 28, at 2:30 and 7 p.m. and July 29, at 2:30 p.m. The performances will be held at Reservoir High School, 11550 Scaggsville Road ,in Fulton. Questions? Call 410-888-8850. Tickets are $10, $15 and $22.50.

My friend Josie sent out an email forward recently which spoke about the American public's reliance on Chinese goods. The gist of the message was that most American's decry so many products made in China, yet rarely do they stop themselves from purchasing. Just think about all the back-to-school items that are made in China. Aligned with a message first suggested by Diane Sawyer on "World News Tonight," the idea is to take the month of August to "Buy American". The thought behind this is that purchasing American made products will ultimately create new American jobs. The statistic cited is that if every American spent just $64 more than usual on United States made items this year, more than 200,000 new American jobs would be created. Happy to pass on the idea which to simply look before you buy. During the period of Aug, 1 to Sept. 1, participants are encouraged to buy products made in the USA.

Just a reminder. Auditions for the renowned Columbia Pro Cantare are presently being held . The chorus celebrates 36 years in Howard County this season. Works to be performed for the 2012-2013 Season include "Carmina Burana," Handel's "Messiah," Faure's "Requiem" and works from Spain and Latin America. If you would like to audition, call 410-730-8549 to schedule an audition time. Information on the procedure is found at Rehearsals will begin on Sept. 4 and are held every Tuesday at Hammond High School from 7:30 to 10 p.m.


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