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Nonprofits come together to host buffet, Easter egg hunt

Nonprofits come together to host buffet, Easter egg hunt
Sophomore Sophie Stromberg, left, leads cast members during a dance rehearsal for South Carroll High School's upcoming production of Honk! March 5. The performance will be held at the school 7 p.m. April 8, 9, 15 and 16._- Original Credit: Submitted photo (HANDOUT)

The recent warm weather has signaled the end of winter and the onset of spring.

The change in seasons also heralds the coming of Easter, and two nonprofits are planning an early celebration.

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The Mount Airy fire company and Mount Airy Lion's Club are planning their sixth annual joint Big Country Breakfast Buffet and Easter Egg Hunt.

The event begins with the buffet, which runs from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, March 20 and is held at the company's dining hall at 1008 Twin Arch Road. Though the buffet is a monthly event, the two organizations decided in 2010 to link the March buffet with the annual egg hunt.

Mary Alexander, the organizer of the fire company's buffet and one of many volunteers who will help prepare and serve food during the event, said though the monthly fundraiser has been held for years, the company has recently gone back to a more "home cooking" style.

"I'm not sure about other fire companies but we've gone back to home cooking, and we've gotten some respect by cooking all that stuff from scratch," the Mount Airy resident said. "If you drive through Mount Airy near Twin Arch Road that morning, you'll definitely smell that cooking."

Typical breakfast food will be served, and all ingredients are locally purchased and prepared the day of the event, Alexander said.

"This isn't just about me, we have a great breakfast crew that comes in," she said. "They start at 5 a.m. and this wouldn't be happening without the rest of our volunteers in the fire department."

During the buffet, the Easter Bunny will be circulating among the visitors, which will make for a great time for children in attendance, she said.

Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children ages 5 and younger. It's difficult to estimate how many people will attend, considering the buffet style of the event, but in past months the fundraiser has experienced great success, drawing 500 visitors in December and 300 in January, Alexander said.

All proceeds will be used to support and enhance the fire company's efforts to serve and protect the residents of Mount Airy, she said, including repairing and maintaining its vehicles and purchasing equipment, which includes paying off the remaining debt owed on a recently acquired ambulance.

After a quick hour to let the food settle, the Easter Egg Hunt will begin at noon. More than 8,000 eggs will be hidden by the club on the fire company grounds, and they will be filled with candy and other small prizes.

Children participating in the hunt will be split into three age groups: 3 years old and younger; ages 4 to 7; and ages 8 to 12. Parents will be allowed to accompany the youngest group, but children in the older two groups will be on their own in finding the eggs.

The event is free for the children, and the club has suggested parents bring baskets, as they will not be provided.

For more information about the buffet, visit www.mavfc.org/ or reach Alexander by calling the fire hall at 301-829-0100. To learn more about the egg hunt, visit www.mtairylions.com/easter.htm.

A rain date has yet to be scheduled, but the fire company and club will update their websites if weather postpones the event.

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Production of 'Honk!'

Spring signals more than just April showers and the return of migratory birds. When students return from the winter break, high schools throughout Carroll County begin preparations for their upcoming spring drama productions, and South Carroll High School's planning and rehearsals are well underway.

This year, the school's drama students will be performing "Honk!," a rendition of Hans Christian Andersen's timeless tale of the ugly duckling, but with a twist, said Caitlin Adolph, producer of the performance.

"We've done the show in the Victorian style," Adolph said.

The students will be dressed in Victorian-era clothing in styles that symbolically represent each different animal from the original fairy tale, she said.

"The costumes will represent the animals, so those who are portraying ducks in the book will be wearing bustles, for example," Adolph said. "Young kids will love to come and see the costumes and enjoy the song; it's definitely something that children will appreciate."

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. April 8, 9, 15 and 16 in the school's auditorium at 1300 W. Old Liberty Road in Sykesville. Matinees are also set for 2 p.m. on April 9 and 16.

The story, for those who may not know, tells the tale of the smallest duckling in its brood that undertakes a harrowing sojourn in hopes of finding acceptance, only to eventually find and accept himself for who he is, she said.

"It's a great story about a kid who is different and has to survive in a world where being different means being bullied," Adolph said.

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and younger. The drama club has partnered with the South Carroll Food Pantry for the event, and any attendee who brings canned goods to the door will receive a dollar off their ticket for each can they bring in, up to $5 off per ticket.

Unlike some other productions, the students have taken on a much greater role in its production, from designing the costumes and props to constructing the sets, Adolph said.

"Other than the direction of the play, the kids have really taken on everything else," Adolph said.

The reason for the added responsibility is that the production is going to be submitted as a possible nominee for the Cappies, a national awards program — similar to the Tony's for Broadway — for high school theatre, she said.

Student and teacher critics from other high schools in the greater Baltimore area will be in attendance April 9, Adolph said.

Due to the cost of credit card fees, tickets will be available online, but they may be purchased in advance by sending cash or check — made payable to South Carroll High School — to South Carroll High School, c/o Caitlin Adolph.

Tickets may also be purchased at the door via cash or check.

To find out more about the production or the South Carroll Drama Club, visit www.scstagelighters.org.

Wiley Hayes covers the South Carroll area. He can be reached via email at

phone at 443-286-1606.

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