The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department's Junior Firefighters will sponsor a Halloween-themed youth dance for ages 9-15 Saturday, Oct. 27, 7-10 p.m., at the fire hall, 6275 Old Washington Road.

Tickets are available at the door for $10 per person with a maximum of 200 tickets sold. Food and beverages, which include pizza, corn dogs, pretzels, nachos, candy, water and sodas, will also be for sale at the dance.

The department does have a "no exceptions" policy on appropriate behavior and dress code for its youth dances, and also enforces a strict adult sign-in/sign-out procedure for attendance.

For more information on the dance, call 410-761-6633 (and select option 5), or go to http://www.ElkridgeVFD.org.

The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department is gearing up for its 22nd annual Holiday Food Drive, a benefit for residents in Elkridge, Hanover and the surrounding communities. Monetary donations are especially helpful at this point as the department plans this year's drive.

Unfortunately, hungry children, struggling families, seniors on low fixed incomes and unemployed "breadwinners" are an ever-growing population and the EVFD is asking for your help. Checks should be made out to the EVFD, and can be mailed to: 6275 Old Washington Road, Elkridge 21075.

As the holidays draw near, donations of perishable and non-perishable 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.

Don't miss the Quarter Auction to benefit H.O.P.E. (For All) this Saturday, Oct. 27, at St. Philip Neri Church, 6405 S. Orchard Road, Linthicum. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the auction begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 (which includes your first paddle) and food will be available to purchase through the Knights of Columbus and Ladies Sodality.

One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the recipients of H.O.P.E.'s community outreach for homeless families and those struggling to stay in a home environment with their children.

The organization provides clothing, furniture, toiletries, school supplies, etc., for those most in need. For more information, contact Sue Wenzlick at 410-850-5680 or wenzlick@verizon.net.

With prizes like Pandora, Coach and Vera Bradley, you don't want to miss the Howard High School PTSA Pandora and Bags Bingoon Saturday, Nov. 10. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the games begin at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 4795 Ilchester Road, Ellicott City, 20143. Tickets are $18 in advance; $20 at the door (if available); and the concessions will be open for refreshments.

You can directly support the bingo if you sponsor a bag or bracelet; fill a bag/purse; make a flat monetary donation to help offset related expenses; donate baked goods, sodas, water, bagged snacks, etc., for concession sales; or solicit support from your employer, or other business owners for donations.

All contributions are tax deductible and will be acknowledged in the event program. For more information, contact Sharon Stencil at 443-803-4105 or via email at SharonL1963@aol.com, or Marie Fiorello at 410-203-0167 or via email at mariefio@hotmail.com 410-203-0167. You can also email bingo@howardptsa.org.

The Elkridge Senior Center always offers great programs. On Friday, Nov. 9, you are invited to participate in the AARP Driver Safety Class, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call the center for program fees; classes are free for all veterans the month of November.

This class will teach (or review) defensive driving techniques, discuss new traffic laws and update attendees on the latest rules of the road. The course was designed for drivers age 50 and older; and course completion certificates will be given out at the end of the class.

There are many ongoing, continuous classes offered at the Elkridge Senior Center. These programs offer physical and mental fitness benefits, and include Computer Training (all levels); Agewell, a low-impact exercise program (Tuesdays and Thursday, 9-10 a.m.); Chair Yoga (Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:30-11:30 a.m.); Line Dancing (Wednesdays, 2-3:30 p.m.); Book Club (second Tuesday of every month, noon-1:30 p.m.); Walking Club (9-10 a.m.); and Wednesday is "Free Bread Day" (Bread pudding for these chilly, autumn days, anyone?). For more details, contact the Senior Center at 410-313-5192 or 410-313-4930.

That's all for this week, but keep those emails coming and let me know what's going on in your backyard