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Festive decorations and charitable giving prevail this Christmas season [Maryland City]

Although the weather has turned colder, the hearts of those in the Maryland City area remain warm.The holiday decorations continue to make an impressive appearance on houses throughout the community. It always warms the heart to see the displays with so many themes.

Many local organizations also warm our souls by taking to heart the calling to help others. Our local elementary schools and Girl Scouts collected food for the food pantries. Brock Bridge Elementary collected hats, scarves, mittens and gloves for its warming tree and all items will be donated to needy children.Monarch Global Academy raised over $850 in donations on Veterans Day and used the money to buy calling cards for our active troops to use to call home and talk to their loved ones.The students created special cards for the troops to add an extra smile over the holidays.Many of the churches are creating Christmas Food Baskets for less fortunate families.Resurrection of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, 8402 Brock Bridge Road, requests donations of food items such as canned vegetables, canned meats, instant potatoes, stuffing, canned gravy, canned vegetables, frozen turkeys, chicken, hams, canned fruit, frozen pies or grocery gift cards to purchase food items for the baskets.If you desire to donate, please contact the Resurrection office at 410-792-7982 for more information.As you can see, our community is one of giving people with a true desire to help others. It is so wonderful to see those values being passed down to our children!

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Last week our elementary schools showcased students' musical talents. The beautiful strings and band sounds glistened through the air and the chorus rocked the house.A huge congratulations goes out to the Strings and Band teacher from Brock Bridge Elementary School as well.Mr. Walter Lindberg received an honor that only a few teachers throughout the country achieve.He was awarded National Board Certification! This honor is recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification. We are thrilled to have him leading our students and hope to have him continue with us for several more years.Mr. Lindberg is the first teacher at Brock Bridge to hold this honor.Please congratulate him the next time you see him.

Schools finish out the calendar year, remaining open through Tuesday, Dec. 23.All Anne Arundel County public schools close from Wednesday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 4, with all students reporting back to school on Monday, Jan. 5.Applications for the 2015-2016 school year at Monarch Global Academy for grades K-6 close on Wednesday, Dec. 24. If you have any questions about how to apply, please contact the school at 301-886-8648.

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The Maryland City Recreation Council basketball season jumped into action last week as travel and in-house teams ramped up their competition.The 10 travel teams began their competition within the Anne Arundel County league traveling to various locations within the county.The in-house teams moved competition to the new Maryland City Elementary School gym.All teams are enjoying the competition and chance to learn the fundamentals of basketball.Thank you to all of the coaches who spend countless hours training the athletes to become better players and people.

Finally, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! It feels great to have everyone home and safe after so many months apart.We are grateful to hear David playing the Christmas music on the piano and to listen to Kelli's college stories as they both return home for another family Christmas. Remember to enjoy your family too and take the time to listen to their tales and advice as we move toward the end of yet another year.

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