On Thursday afternoons, the excitement is contagious in Sheldon Lebowitz's art classroom at Pinewood Elementary School. For weeks, 40 students in the Art Service Club have devoted their time after school to creating and personalizing gingerbread men-shaped ornaments --- dressed in colorful pajamas — for the school's seventh entry to the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees. Besides featuring ornaments wearing fabric pajamas, the Pinewood Elementary School holiday tree will be adorned with a skirt made from donated pairs of new pajamas intended for children at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

The theme for this year's tree is in honor of Kami's Jammies, a program that provides new sleepwear and themed-pajama parties to pediatric patients in hospitals. Kami's Jammies, part of the Casey Cares Foundation, was started by its coordinator, Debi Katzenberger, as a way to help children on extended stays in hospitals to feel more relaxed in an otherwise sterile environment. Debi's passion for providing comfortable, new pajamas to critically ill children is a tribute to her granddaughter, Kamryn, who while battling leukemia, found joy in being able to replace scratchy, uncomfortable hospital gowns with a symbol of home. Because of Kamryn's legacy, Debi has coordinated giving away more than 25,000 pairs of new pajamas since 2008.

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The members of Mr. Lebowitz's art service club, along with their parents and other adult helpers, will spend an afternoon assembling their tree, and adding lights, tinsel, and the ornaments. The Pinewood students involved in using their creativity to help others are: Brady Altman, Calia Anisiobi, Jason Ballard, Mackenzie Black, Niah Butler, Yisol Chung, Mingni Dong, Kayla Eck, Laura Esslinger, Gillian Estaris, Sadie Evans, Eve Fowler, Robert Furnari, Audrey Gambo, Megan Gioffreda, Hillary Grieveson, Raegan Harrison, Noah Hileman, Cassie Hubbard, Mikayla Jung, Luke Kontos, Alex Lupton, Aidan Maracut, Landon McNeeley, Rebecca Melito, Harrison Morton, Jack Oyler, Maura Oyler, Mayah Paltoo, Kathryn Park, Brooke Reilly, Olivia Sapp, Emma Scholtz, William Scholtz, Conall Sellers, Emma Smith, Addison Varelli, Lucas Wang, Ava Winner, and David Yuan.

The Festival of Trees will be held in the Cow Palace at the Timonium Fairgrounds Nov. 27-29. Trees are priced for the public to purchase. The event raises funds for research, treatment, education, and community programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. For more information, go to www.festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org.

What do a pumpkin, Minnie Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, alligator, doughnut, gangster, and a cowgirl have in common? These were just a few of costumed characters judged winners at the Orchard Hills Community Association's 30th Annual Ghostly Gathering. Among the costumes worn by other winners were the big bad wolf, Incredible Hulk, a waitress, and Silly Tilly. This year's winners were: Brooks Baron, Maisie Baron, Anna Bibo, Clair Bibo, Greta Bibo, Ivo Borja, Lydia Borja, Alexander Boyatzi, Emma Boyce, Julia Cooke, Chase Curtis, Taylor Curtis, Julia DeHoff, Annina Lopez, Nony Lopez, Conor Mcelwain, Cruz Ramgopal, Paul Schaum, Phoebe Schaum, Jennifer Tabet, Ryan Tabet, and Zack Talaber.

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