Life is always precious and often times way too short, and no one knows this better than the Sinex family.

Owen Sinex left this world Dec. 20, 2012. A student of the Rouse Scholars program at Howard Community College, and graduate of Wilde Lake High School, Sinex lost his long and courageous battle with cancer.


A group of his classmates have organized a coffee house tribute to celebrate his life and to honor the incredible impact he made on everyone, whether complete strangers, friends or family. The event will also help alleviate medical expenses that mounted during his long illness.

The coffee house idea was envisioned and is being spearheaded by Abena Frempong and Brianna Livesay, event coordinators. They have put together an evening of food and entertainment, with a lineup of bands, poetry readings, musicians and other artists Saturday, Jan. 26, 6-11 p.m., at the Gathering Place in Clarksville.

Two of Owen's best friends and classmates, Ben Minnick and Rachel Robbins, have played a huge part in the event planning process. Minnick has been by his friend's side through it all, and has been instrumental in communicating with the Sinex family and coordinating efforts on behalf of the Rouse Scholars. Rachel was Owen's friend all through high school and has put together pictures and video to share at the event. Another friend, Noelle Mineart, is collecting donations for a memorial brick for the HCC campus.

According to the Facebook page, the event is titled "Stealing Stalemate: A Coffee House Event in Honor of Owen Sinex." The page states, "Owen Sinex left this world December 20th, 2012. This day though, did not define his life. Osteosarcoma did not define his life. It was his smile. His humor. His love. The joy he brought to others."

Performances will feature Climbing Mount Sinai, Divine Grace, Kimberly Potter, Ernest Prempeh, Martin Mathews, Riot Mountain, Project Seven, Ben Brady, Lauren Black, Andy Strakna, Daniel Woo and Lizzy Ung.

It will be an evening of food, homemade baked goods and a silent auction. General admission is $10, children 6 and under are free and seniors 65 and older and military are $5. Sounds like a wonderful tribute to a terrific young man.

Have you noticed the hand-written signs posted around Elkridge? Susan Lavin of Elkridge finds these quirky little reminders another reason to smile.

She says, "I have no idea who has been putting up the signs, but the ones I have seen are: 'Honk if you are Happy' (at Ruxton Drive and Montgomery Road), 'Joy, Pass It On' (Montgomery Road near Elkridge Elementary) and 'Pay It Forward' (Giant Shopping Center)."

I agree with Susan on all counts. So now, Elkridge, anyone care to solve the mystery or 'fess up to spreading the smiles? Inquiring minds want to know!

The Howard County Striders held its annual banquet at the Florence Bain Senior Center, Saturday, Jan. 5, acknowledging the accomplishments of their membership.

Kudos to Howard High School senior Danny Rau, who was presented a Junior Runner of the Year award. He received accolades based on his performance this past fall in the cross country season, as both county champ and for taking second place in the state meet, finishing milliseconds behind the winner.

According to Rau's mom, Joan, "This was a very special award for Danny. He has been running and training with the Strider's since 8th grade, and is grateful to all that the program has helped him achieve in his running endeavors and personal goals." Congratulations, Danny!

The Howard High School PTSA hosts the James Munsey Comedy Hypnosis Show, Friday, Feb. 8, at the Howard High School auditorium, 8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City. This fun, family event is a major fundraiser for Howard's PTSA.

A certified stage hypnotist, Mr. Munsey specializes in helping students and their families have fun, relax and create memories in his hilariously entertaining show. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Minors that are non-high school students must be accompanied by an adult to attend the program.


Showtime is 7 pm; drinks and desserts will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Beth Webster at bethweb1@verizon.net, or Carol Hewitt at carolhewitt@comcast.net.

Elkridge Landing Middle School would like to thank the Elkridge-based offices of GP Strategies Corp. Risk Management and Travel for its generous donation to the school's 2012 Holiday Help program.

Fifteen families received all the fixings for a festive holiday meal, including a turkey, bread, milk, eggs and other food items. In the spirit of the season, each family member also received a scarf, hat and glove gift set.

That's all for this week, but please keep in touch and let me know what you'd like to share in this space.