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The Filipino Americans of Carroll County will hold its annual Valentine's family party from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Westminster American Legion with part of the proceeds going toward the Relief Goods Campaign to help families in the Philippines who were affected by a November 2013 typhoon.

The dinner and fun will include native Filipino dishes, dancing and games for adults and kids. The cost is $5 per person, or $10 per family for members, and $10 per single or $15 per family for nonmembers. Members should bring a main dish to share.

According to Erlinda West with the FACC, those attending are asked to bring canned or boxed non-perishables to help fill boxes to be sent to typhoon-devastated families in the Philippines.

Donations encouraged include staples such as rice, sugar, coffee, dry milk, cereals, hygienic needs and toiletries, gently-used warm weather clothing and footwear, school supplies and small duffel bags or totes.

"Our Valentine's party always features lots of native Filipino dishes such as pansit, a Filipino noodle dish with veggies and chicken or shrimp, lumpia, our crispy, light spring rolls, cassava cake [and] bibingka, a sweet, sticky rice with coconut milk and brown sugar," said West. "Almost always, someone brings fried chicken or maybe spaghetti with meatballs, for our kids' enjoyment."

"We like to think of our Valentine's Day party as a date with the entire family," West said. "And Mom and Dad can have their exclusive date the following day."

The Westminster American Legion is located at 2 Sycamore St. in Westminster.

Please RSVP by Monday by calling Erlinda West at 443-929-6756 or emailing erlindawest@yahoo.com, or Roy Arce at 410-960-4833 or arceacres@yahoo.com.

Donations can also be dropped off at the Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Ave., Westminster. There is a big basket in the lobby that will remain until the end of February.

Red Cross seeks blood donations

An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday behind the Westminster Family Fitness Center, at 11 Longwell Ave. in Westminster.

Eva Minton, who works for the City of Westminster Government and the Westminster Family Fitness Center, said she and co-worker Shelly Fulton schedule appointments with donors to donate blood.

"The Westminster Family Center partners with the American Red Cross," Minton said of the blood drive.

"We encourage everyone for whatever reason to come out and donate blood. You never know when a family member or friend will need blood," Minton said. "There is a constant need for a healthy and reliable blood supply. Donating blood helps save lives," she said.

Call Westminster Family Fitness Center for an appointment at 410-751-5501.

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