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St. Joseph Catholic Church on Church Lane is bidding a fond farewell to the Rev. Monsignor Paul Cook as he retires after almost four decades at the parish.A priest for more than 55 years, Father Paul has been the pastor to this congregation of 3,500 families since 1977.During this time, he has ministered to the parishioners in many ways.He has expanded the campus with the addition of a parish center and new school buildings, playground and field.He has mentored more than 50 seminarians when they were assigned to St. Joseph.

In December, the students at St. Joseph School celebrated the legacy of Father Paul with songs, Irish blessings, and scripture readings as a part of a special assembly is his honor.They wanted to pay tribute and express gratitude for all that Father Paul has done for the school.The school's new athletic field was dedicated in his honor and a bronze plaque will be displayed at the field in commemoration.The church is also planning to celebrate the service, of Father Paul to the parish with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, Jan. 25 at noon with a reception to follow.Congratulations and enjoy your retirement, Father Paul!

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Thanks to the Rotary Club of Hunt Valley, more than 80 local kids will have a warmer winter this year.As a part of their annual Coats for Kids campaign, the Rotary Club provided new winter coats for needy kids at local elementary schools.Rotary members, Matt May of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and Don Giocomelli, of UBS Financial Services, organized fundraising drives at their respective companies and were able to provide all the coats along with a monetary donation to Operation Warm with additional funds.The Dulaney High School Key Club also supported this wonderful project.In the words of some of the local recipients, "You have given us a gift. We will be warm." Heartwarming indeed!

The Rotary Club of Hunt Valley is a very active service organization that has been quietly doing good works in our area since 1990.It's a local chapter of a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders who take an active role in their communities. They offer programs for students, like the Four-Way Test, as well as providing dictionaries for all third-graders at area schools.They are working to improve the NCR Trail and collected donations of food and money for the Assistance Center of Towson Churches during a December drive.These folks certainly embrace the motto of the Rotary Club: "Service Above Self."

The Rotary Club holds weekly meetings at noon on Wednesdays at the Hunt Valley Embassy Suites Hotel. Each meeting generally features a speaker representing local interests.Upcoming speakers include Deborah Phelps of the BCPS Education Foundation and Tim Leonard of Towson University Athletics.The club also holds several social, networking, and holiday events throughout the year. For more information, go to http://www.huntvalleyrotary.com.

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