Happy New Year! I want to start off the year wishing my dear grandson Henry a very happy first birthday on Jan. 11. Henry started off the new year by becoming an official toddler, taking his first confident steps across his parents’ living room on Jan. 1. There is no stopping him now.
Now that the holidays are behind us and Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl are still a few weeks away, it’s time to review our New Year’s resolutions. One that you should consider making is to spend some time volunteering in our community. I know that you visit the historic district and marvel at how far it has come back from the terrible flood of 2016, but that only happened because so many people gave so selflessly of their time and expertise. The B&O Museum, Ellicott City Station, recently sent out a request for volunteers. Now that the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is managing the museum and opening it to all of us with no admission charge, it needs help keeping things going. One fun thing is becoming a historical re-enactor and telling people who visit what it was like during the Civil War or World War II. My son Dave was a Civil War re-enactor there in high school and really learned a lot — not just about history, but also about how to interact with the public and how to work a cash register. The museum also needs behind the scenes help with research, data entry and exhibit planning. To volunteer, call 410-313-1945. And by the way, the LEGO train exhibit continues in the Freight House through Jan. 28. Thousands of volunteer hours went into that display.
Speaking of the Department of Recreation and Parks, I’d like to give a shout out to its director John Byrd who was recently singled out at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) meeting for his outstanding leadership. Our county is so lucky to have him.
The Howard County Historical Society is also looking for volunteers. I have volunteered with them for a few years, editing the newsletter. I can tell you that it is a great group to work with, It is always looking for new and dynamic ways to help people appreciate the rich history we have here in Howard County. You could help with research or exhibit planning, or even with setting up and assisting with the lecture or concert programs. This year, it has begun special children’s programs at the museum, on the first Saturday of the month. It takes a lot of people to make these worthy programs happen and you could be a part of it all. To volunteer, call 410-480-3250.
At Historic Ellicott City Inc. headquarters at Mount Ida, it is busy looking for the next fundraiser decorator show house. This event allows the organization to contribute to repairs, maintenance and programming in Howard County, especially in the historic district of Ellicott City. If you have a home you would like to have considered for a show house, or even if you just want to volunteer for a day during the event, call410-461-6908.
The Howard County Center for the Arts is featuring two new exhibits, “Everyday Relics” and the “Howard County Open,” until Feb. 23. The exhibit reception will be held on Jan. 19 (snow date Jan. 26) from 6 to 8 p.m., and the admission to the exhibit as well as the reception is free. The reception includes the presentation of the $500 Covington Emerging Artist Award to be awarded by HorseSpirit Arts Gallery to an emerging artist participating in the Howard County Open 2018. The exhibits are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 410-313-2787 for more information.