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Editorial: Thumbs up for McDaniel fraternity, free books, 'Mary Poppins,' more

Thumbs up: McDaniel College fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to organize a toy and school supplies drive and, after the fraternity brothers delivered supplies to the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster on Tuesday, members stayed to interact with the children — playing games, setting up a train set and helping with homework. Boys and Girls Club of Westminster Marketing Director Erin Bishop said the organization has a very strong partnership with McDaniel and likes to use college students as role models for the kids. The Boys and Girls Club of Westminster facilitates after-school programs and summer camps that focus on academic success, leadership, healthy habits, sports and recreation, and the arts.

Thumbs up: Students, staff and faculty at Carroll Community College received gifts in the form of free books Tuesday during a book giveaway held in the college's cafeteria, that will hopefully keep on giving. For every use of "#GiveaBook" on Twitter and in posts to the GiveaBook, Penguin Random House, and Givington pages on Facebook through Christmas Eve, book publisher Penguin Random House, which has an operation center in Westminster, will donate a book to the literacy nonprofit First Book. Books were handed out Tuesday by Penguin Random House employees wearing elf hats, in an operation resembling Santa's workshop. Recipients were encouraged to post to social media.

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Thumbs up: Lead actors from this year's September Song performance of "Mary Poppins" have garnered nominations for the 2015 Broadwayworld Baltimore Regional Awards. Katie Sheldon, who played Mary Poppins, and Eric Stein, who played Bert, were nominated for Best Actress in a Musical Revue and Best Actor in a Musical Revue, respectively, and are competing against actors from Baltimore-area companies such as Stillpointe Theater, Spotlighters Stage, Silhouette Stages and Charm City Players. This is the first time any cast or crew member from September Song has been nominated for a Broadwayworld Baltimore award. The awards honor shows in the Baltimore region that have opened in the past year. To cast your vote for Sheldon and Stein, visit www.broadwayworld.com/baltimore/vote2015region.cfm. Voting closes Dec. 31. The winner will be announced in early January.

Thumbs up: Eleven artist studios will be inviting the public to stop in this weekend as part of the ninth annual Carroll County Artists' Studio Tour. The self-guided tour, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday, features stops throughout Carroll County, from Taneytown to Woodbine, each hosting between one and three artists selling everything from fine art to stoneware to toys and jewelry. During the tour, artists will describe their processes, show exhibitions of their work in various states of completion as well as sell original pieces. Because the tour is self-guided, guests can visit the sites in any order, or skip several stops entirely. For more information, visit www.ccartists.com.

Thumbs up: The farmhouse at the Carroll County Farm Museum has been decorated for the season, and people are invited to tour the historic building through Dec. 20 to see what the holidays might've looked like for farm families of the 19th century. This year's theme is the 1822 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore, commonly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Each of the farmhouse's rooms is decorated to match the period and the story. A team at the museum also recently restored a 19th-century Cutter sleigh donated to the museum earlier this year, that will be used for photo ops during the holiday tours.

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