Gracy Back, of West Towson, making name as artist [Towson]

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West Towson resident Gracy Back just wrapped up a display of her artwork at the Walters Art Gallery. Now her artwork is being featured for a benefit walk in Towson in May. As she ponders her next exhibit, she has a few other things on her mind, possibly what might be on the lunch menu at West Towson Elementary, where Gracy, 10, is a fifth-grade student.

Gracy's artwork was selected on April 3 in a schoolwide contest to promote Westy's Walk, an annual fundraising event for the school. Gracy's drawing will be featured on a T-shirt that will be given to participants who raise at least $15.


The benefit walk, sponsored by the school PTA and the Baltimore County Education Foundation, will raise funds for a universally accessible playground on the campus shared between West Towson Elementary and Ridge Ruxton School. The event is on May 10 at the Loyola-Blakefield High School track. Registration is at 1:30 p.m., and the walk begins at 2:30 p.m.

In addition to the walk, which has no defined distance to complete, there will be a silent auction. Additional prize drawings will also be offered for participants who raise $50 or more.


Jeannine Fay ( and Aimee Grable (, Pinehurst residents and parents of two West Towson students, are coordinating the event.

"I'm always somewhat awestruck to see all those people just having fun together in a really easy going way," said Fay, who has worked with the event in the past. "It's a rare event these days when your kids can play and run and get a bite to eat without you having to watch them like a hawk. But at Westy's Walk, you can."

Students in Deirdre Barone's Ascension Lutheran Nursery School in Towson are celebrating Earth Day (April 22) by participating in a month-long collection of gently used shoes for Soles4Souls ( Barone, of Stoneleigh, hopes the effort, which she has worked into classroom lessons, will teach students to celebrate the three "Rs" of environmentalism: Reduce, reuse and recycle.

"Our teachers and staff members wholeheartedly and collaboratively embraced the Soles4Souls shoe collection campaign," said Barone. "We feel it is important for preschool children to embrace environmental education to promote empathy. [This] enables them to be aware that other people have feelings and emotions too."

Calling bingo and basket lovers! Providence Volunteer Fire Co. is holding a Basket Bingo fundraiser on April 19. The event will be held at the Vista Room at Timonium Fairgrounds. Tickets are $15, and doors open at 5 p.m. For tickets and information, contact Karen Lattanzi at 443-850-9554.