Relay for Life brings cancer awareness message to Goucher College

Goucher College will be the staging area for the 2011 American Cancer Society Relay For Life for northern Baltimore County, Friday, June 17 into Saturday, June 18.

The opening ceremony is at Friday at 7 p.m. at the Goucher track.

Participants can register at the time of the event, which will feature walkers from teams mounted by communities in Towson, Cockeysville and Hunt Valley, who will go round the clock to raise money to battle cancer.

Individuals and teams will camp out near the track, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening.

"The event brings communities together to celebrate those who have fought or are fighting cancer, remember those who have lost that battle, and fight back against the disease," said Jim Higbee, a Towson resident who is leading one of the teams.

"It is also important to know, when you are dealing with cancer, that you are not alone, that there are so many other in the same situation, and so many people and organizations willing to help," he said.

The relay also will feature a Luminaria Ceremony, during which glowing luminaria that bear the name of someone who has battled cancer will be displayed.

Luminaria may be purchased for $10 by visiting or by calling the American Cancer Society office at 410-931-6850.

In addition, the opening ceremony will feature the raffling off of a 2011 Fiat 500, donated by MileOne Automotive.

Last year's relay raised $90,000.

The teams have done most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also will hold fundraisers at their camp sites.

This year, organizers expect more than 30 teams, 300 attendees, and more than 60 survivors and their caregivers, according to Molly Schreiber, community manager with the American Cancer Society.

"Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups … people from all walks of life — all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures and by fighting back," Schreiber said in a statement.

Registration is $10 for participants of all ages. All proceeds from registration and raffle go to the American Cancer Society.

—Loni Ingraham

Countywide campaign seeks to curb smoking in cars, homes

County officials last week launched a campaign to urge resident not to smoke in their cars or homes as a means of reducing the chance or second-hand smoke from impacting children.

On June 10, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, county Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch and School Superintendent Joe Hairston kicked-off a county-wide tobacco prevention campaign, Smoke-free Cars and Homes.

The program was developed by the Tobacco Free Baltimore County Coalition, with support from the county Department of Health, and seeks to educate the public on dangers of secondhand smoke.

Officials said the campaign would target some 5,000 parents and guardians of school-aged children, asking them to sign a pledge and receive a kit containing a car window decal, a refrigerator magnet, information on secondhand smoke and quit-smoking resources.

Health officials said secondhand smoke causes asthmatic reactions, ear infections, and throat infections in children.

"Secondhand smoke lingers before fully dissipating, so simply turning on a fan or opening a window will not decrease the risk of exposure," said Branch. "Instituting and maintaining a smoke-free car and home is the best protection for everyone."

The health department will distribute materials, with the help of various groups and staff, at community events, health fairs and health centers. For details, call 410-887-3395.

Staff reports

County, chamber set dates for second Restaurant Week

Baltimore County will host its second Restaurant Week promotion in August, designed to help drum up business in eateries at a traditionally slow time.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced the promotion last week, calling it a collaboration between the county, local restaurants and the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.

The Restaurant Week will be Aug. 12-26.

The county held its first Restaurant Week in January. Participating restaurants reported an increase of 11 percent in restaurant tax collections compared to January 2010.

"The feedback we received from the restaurants that participated in January was very positive," said Keith Scott, Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "Having another Restaurant Week in August just made sense."

During Restaurant Week, restaurants will be asked to offer one- to three-course lunch and dinner menus from $10.11 to $35.11 at $5 increments.

Restaurants that wish to participate can sign up at and fill out the application. The deadline to register is July 1.

Staff reports

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