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Swimmer Matthew Zou to represent U.S. at the Deaflympics in Turkey

Congratulations to Matthew Zou. In July, the 15 year old with a passion for swimming will represent the United States on the Deaf Olympics men's swim team during the Deaflympics games in Samsun, Turkey.

According to his mom Diana Yang, the U.S. swim team will consist of "less than 10 people" from around the country. Zou earned a coveted team spot based on his qualifying times and swimming record. He will be one of the youngest competitors in the men's division, as the age requirement is 15 years old and up.

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"Matthew is excited and honored to be selected into this big event," she remarked.

Since he was 8 years old, Matthew has been honing his swim skills locally as a member of the year-round Columbia Clippers and summer Wilde Lake Wildcats swim teams. During that time, the Centennial High School freshman has qualified to participate every year in the Maryland State championship meets for both short-course and long-course races.

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Matthew's favorite stroke is butterfly. His race of choice — individual medley. Soon, he will be notified of the swim stroke and race he'll compete at in Turkey. Best of luck Matthew!

Calling all gardeners. The Cross Country Garden Club hosts its annual plant and bake sale on Saturday, May 6, from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of club member Betty Anne McGinty's business, Key Press, at 9041 Chevrolet Drive in Ellicott City.

The sale includes hanging baskets, annuals and perennials, along with home-made baked goods. Proceeds from the annual Garden Club fundraiser support projects at Whipps Garden Cemetery, the Howard County Conservancy, the Ellicott City Healthcare Centerand HopeWorks of Howard County. For more information, call Mary Dauber at 410-465-4062.

Rockland United Methodist Church invites the community to its pot luck lunch and pie auction on Sunday, April 30 at 12:30 p.m.

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Worship begins at 11 a.m., followed by the lunch and fellowship. Bring a dish or a pie to share. All are welcome. The church is at 8971 Chapel Avenue in Ellicott City.

On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Dancel Y in Ellicott City host its annual Healthy Kids Day, a free, family-friendly program to celebrate and promote youth fitness and healthy living.

Sponsored by McCormick Flavor for Life, the Healthy Kids Day event includes fitness activities, healthy treats, crafts, face painting and a moon bounce. Contact the Dancel Y in Ellicott City at 410-465-4334 for more information.

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