Owings Mills: Action group needs more volunteers and active members

Homeowner associations, run by volunteers, depend on dedicated residents looking out for the best interests of their community. Many associations have very active members, who plan events that bring neighbors from their homes to meet other neighbors and contribute to worthy causes.

Unfortunately, not every homeowner association has a core group of volunteers willing to regularly attend meetings and devote the time and energy needed to keep the group afloat.

One such group in need of more volunteers is the Tollgate Action Group (TAG), which has been in existence for more than 30 years. Small in number of active members, but representing more than 500 homes, it has managed to keep a slate of officers and address various problems in the neighborhood.

Speeding has always been a major concern, as was the proposed building of a Wawa on the Bennett Bowen property. The residents banded together and fought the zoning change and were successful.

They also wrote a covenant agreement with the developers of Wyndham Commons and scored a 7-acre parcel of woodlands for the community to use . Complete with walking trails and an outdoor learning area, it is an oasis for young and old alike.

The new slate of officers for 2012-2013 was sworn in at the meeting on Sept. 26. Congratulations to Bob Olszewski, president; Susan Lohmeyer, vice-president; and David Newcomer, treasurer. The position for secretary is still vacant at this time.

It was also decided that the meetings will be quarterly on the last Wednesday of the months of September, November, March, and June. It was unanimous to continue the Tollgate Times, the quarterly newsletter.

Meetings are held at 7 p.m. at VFW Post 521, at 214 Tollgate Road.

VFW Post 521 is hosting a Bull and Oyster Roast on Oct. 21 from 2 to 6 p.m. Atlantic Caterers will provide beef, fresh turkey and country ham, as well as oysters, oyster stew, and a variety of side dishes. Add in fresh fruit and cake and you will not leave hungry!

Tickets are available now, and no one under 21 will be admitted to the affair. At only $30 a person, this is the best deal in town, and also supports the local VFW. Call 410-356-6578 for tickets or more information.

The Ladies Auxiliary of this same Post will be hosting its annual Children's Halloween Party on Oct. 27 from noon until 2 pm. There will be lunch, treats, a costume contest and entertainment by Magic Nick. This event is free to all children in the Tollgate community.

Community involvement saw success at the recent County Council meeting where a favorable zoning change will pave the way for Wegmans to come to Owings Mills. The old Solo Cup property is an eyesore at an extremely busy intersection, but the developers of Greenberg Gibbons have plans to improve that stretch of road as the Wegmans is developed.

Such an upscale grocery will improve the area as well as create jobs. Now if only the vacant Franks Nursery and Crafts building on Reisterstown Road could be rehabbed into a viable business suitable for the surrounding neighborhood.

Just a reminder: Mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 18, through Sunday, Oct. 21, for a special event at Ruth's Closet in the Valley Village Shopping Center.

Mano Swartz and Bijoux, both founding sponsors of Ruth's Closet, are supporting One Great Thing 2012. There will be fabulous furs, specialty coats, and winter accessories such as boots, shoes, handbags, scarves and gloves. Beautiful jewelry, donated by Bijoux, will be available as well as a selection of decorative home pieces.

There will be a preview sale for those anxious to shop early on Oct. 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. Richard Swartz will be on hand at the preview to assist shoppers in selecting that perfect-fit fur. Tickets are required to attend this special preview at a cost of $20. If you can't make the preview, stop by over the weekend to check out all the fall merchandise; you won't be disappointed.

A very happy birthday is wished to Jeff Freeman, who celebrated just yesterday, Oct. 3. He no doubt had cake and ice cream, and was showered with birthday gifts from his wife and two daughters. Hoping it was a memorable day to take the sting out of getting another year older!

With fall comes a flurry of activity as children are settled into school and routines, and outdoor activities become more limited. Let me know what your special autumn activities are — I would love to hear from you!

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