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The Laurel Police Department is offering right-minded citizens in the greater Laurel area an opportunity to rid themselves of unwanted firearms in exchange for Visa gift cards, Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The buyback program will take place at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 601 Eighth St.

"This initiative willhelp us prevent a tragedy in the city of Laurel and the surrounding area," Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin said in a released statement.

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You do not have to be a city resident to participate. The church is working in tandem with the Prince George's County chapter of the NAACP.

Participants are advised to place the unloaded firearm in the trunk of their vehicle. Upon arrival, you should wait to be greeted by a uniformed officer who will give further instructions.

In a posting on social media, Mayor Craig Moe wrote, "This type of grass-roots effort is very successful because it gives residents an opportunity to remove unwanted guns safely from their homes."

Any type of firearms will be accepted, as well as unwanted ammunition. The weapons will be melted down and the by-products recycled.

St. Mark's Young Adult Ministry is holding its third annual Toys for Tots toy drive. Donations of new, unwrapped toys will be accepted through Dec. 13. Gifts can be dropped off at several locations including City Hall, 8103 Sandy Spring Road; the Laurel Police Department, 811 Fifth St.; and the Armory building at 422 Montgomery St. Items may also be delivered directly to the church. If you want further information concerning drop off times and dates, or need more information, call Tanya Johnson, 301-908-8547 or email her at tnicolej89@gmail.com.

American Legion Post 60, 2 Main St., will be the site of a Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 6, 8 to 11 a.m. Tickets may be ordered in advance by emailing LaurelTroop383@gmail.com until Dec. 1. Pre-ordered tickets are $10 each for those older than 10 years of age and $7 for children age 9 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the door at a slightly higher price. Kids age 2 and under are free.

The Department of Parks and Recreation and the city's Civic Improvement Committee will accept nominations of homes and businesses within city limits to receive the Holiday Spirit Outstanding Decoration Award. Nominations must be made before Monday, Dec. 15. You may nominate your favorite holiday decorations by calling 301-725-2000. Winners will be notified by award signs displayed on their property. Good luck!

Congratulations to the St. Vincent Pallotti High School football team, which recently defeated Annapolis Area Christian School to win the MIAA C Conference championship!

Worthy of another mention is the free Thanksgiving Day dinner, noon until 3 p.m., at St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Wyatt Hall, 522 Main St. All are welcome. The annual dinner is a great way to become acquainted with your neighbors and enjoy a day of fellowship and good food.

Keep in mind as temperatures plummet, if you are uncomfortable outdoors, it's probably too cold for your four-legged friends. Bring them indoors.

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