West Friendship Elementary's Tiger Trot wins in a walk [Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock]

Although the weather forecast sounded a little iffy at first, the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 23, dawned crisp and clear for West Friendship Elementary School's fourth annual Tiger Trot.

This event functions not only as a walkathon type of fundraiser — the PTA invites students to collect monetary donations in support of the school — but also as a wellness initiative. In fact, the day marks the seasonal end of the school's "Walking Wednesdays" program, in which students hike a marked path during one recess period each week and track their mileage progress.


All students participate in the Tiger Trot during their regularly-scheduled recess, regardless of whether they have chosen to raise funds, and all staff members support the effort by joining in a portion of the walk. They follow the Walking Wednesdays course but supplement with fun exercises like jumping, crawling, balancing and weaving. Of course, these exercises become even more festive with the addition of some lively music, bubbles and encouragement from Tuffy, the Tiger mascot.

Thanks to the generosity of this year's sponsors — Howard County General Hospital, American Radiology, Tony's Pizzeria, Viking Custom Homes, Southwest LLC, Atlantic Forest Products and Breezy Willow Farms — West Friendship's Wellness Committee was able to provide every student with a pair of tiger-striped shoelaces and an apple, plus larger prizes for the top fundraisers.

Principal Carol Hahn lauded the parents, as well, for their involvement: "The PTA volunteers are terrific and encourage the children to walk or sometimes walk with children who need a partner. We are very grateful for our parents!"

The money raised will help fund a wide range of school activities and initiatives. To learn about sponsorship opportunities for next year, email cathymariemorton@yahoo.com or lisa@vikingcustomhomes.com.

This month, the Marriotts Ridge Music Foundation will offer the third installment of its Baugher's Apple and Bake Sale — just in time for Thanksgiving dinner! The order deadline is Friday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m., with pickup scheduled outside the school cafeteria on Friday, Nov. 22, 5-6 p.m. Stock up on family favorites like applesauce and cider, or prep for Thanksgiving with some freshly baked pies and dinner rolls. Check out the order form at http://www.mrhsmusic.net/Fundraising/fall-apple-and-bake-sale.

For more information, email mrhsfruit@yahoo.com.

Need to relax and renew? The Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours will offer two opportunities to do so on Saturday, Nov. 16. First, Sister Bernie Claps will lead "One Day with God: a Day of Quiet, Contemplative Prayer" from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The program costs $30 and includes lunch.

At 1 p.m., Sharon Sirkis will present "A Taste of T'ai Chi Chih." The session runs until 3 p.m. and costs $20.

To register for programs at Bon Secours, call 410-442-1320. The address is 1525 Marriottsville Road, in Marriottsville.

On Thursday, Nov. 14, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church will host its second annual Ladies Night of Shopping from 6 to 9 p.m., in the parish hall, at 2892 Route 97, in Glenwood. Those who live in western Howard County know that shopping usually involves a long car ride, but this event will bring the merchandise close to home and make holiday shopping a little easier.

Some of the vendors will include the Shabby Acorn painted furniture and vintage treasures, Origami Owl custom jewelry, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Pink Papaya natural skincare and aromatherapy, Mary Kay makeup, Willow House/Sarah Blaine designer jewelry, J. Hilburn men's clothier and Revive & Company home décor and gifts.

The evening promises lots of fun, with raffles, refreshments, and some surprises. Bring a friend and come enjoy! Proceeds will benefit the church youth J2A (Journey to Adulthood) summer pilgrimage. Call 240-372-8878 with any questions.