The auditorium at Van Bokkelen Elementary School in Severn shook with the clapping hands, stomping feet and treble voices of more than 400 students Wednesday, celebrating the kickoff of a new anti-drug program sponsored by the Odenton Kiwanis Club.
Operation "Know To Say No" aims to give kindergarteners through fourth-graders the tools they need to resist peer pressure and other influences to take drugs.
Master of ceremonies Jack Feick got the children motivated by having them chant "Know To Say No." The assembly also featured "Say No," a game similar to "Jeopardy!" in which children answered questions about drug and alcohol use.
The children were awarded T-shirts for their correct answers. Every student at the assembly received a head band and a kit containing a pencil, stickers, coloring sheets and two pledge cards.
The students sign the cards, pledging to lead a drug-free life. They then drop these in a mailbox also provided by the program. One pledge will be sent to President George Bush and the other to Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
A clown was on hand to entertain the children and stress that drugs are nothing to joke about. Commander Mike Langley, a Navy jet pilot, explained "you don't need drugs to fly high."
Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) from Meade High School led the children in a loud and enthusiastic version of "If You're Drug Free And You Know It Clap Your Hands."
It takes a lot of planning to conduct an assembly of this nature. "It's hard to believe that it will all come together so well, but it does," said John Byrnes, the Know To Say No Kiwanis Division chairman.
Support from the principal and other faculty members is very important.
Charles Owens, principal of Van Bokkelen, and guidance counselor Betty Isom were instrumental in pulling the program together. They will be keeping track of the pledge cards and strive for 100 percent participation from the children.
The Kiwanis Club plans to sponsor more of these assemblies at other area elementary schools.
The West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce sponsored its 29th annual Meet Your Neighbor Dinner Oct. 5 at the Fort Meade Officers Club.
Approximately 100 business men and women attended not only to meet their fellow neighbors but also to honor the Policeman of the Year, Fireman of the Year and Business of the Year.
Capt. George Andrews of the Western District presented Officer Stephen McBee from the Western District Police Station with the Policeman of the Year award.
"It is a very tough job to pick one officer, but Officer McBee is loyal, dedicated and totally professional all the way," Andrews said.
McBee has been with the county police department for 11 years, and currently serves in the overlap squad.
This shift runs from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., Andrews said, and "is the busiest shift in the entire county." Since January, McBee has made 35 criminal arrests, 37 drunk driving arrests and given over 500 traffic citations.
"Every officer hopes they can achieve this honor in their career," McBee said as he accepted the plaque.
The next award was presented by Chief Harry Wagner of the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department to Fireman of the Year Charles Edward Scott.
Scott is a resident of Glen Burnie and has been with the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department since August 1988. He holds certificates in several areas, is a certified EMT, is chairman of the fire prevention committee and handles the annual Christmas Party.
The Business of the Year was awarded to Geoff Johnson of the Johnson Insurance Agency. Mr. Johnson started in the insurance business in June 1976. His company handles over 1,500 policies, including over 200 commercial policies. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Life Underwriters Training Council.
He is an active board member and chaplain of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, served as president in 1983 and 1984 and has served on numerous committees. Other community involvement includes teaching Sunday school at his church and lifetime membership in the Greater Odenton Improvement Association.
U.S. Representative Tom McMillen was the guest speaker for the evening.
McMillen discussed the federal budget, its impact on federal workers and the oil crisis. He also congratulated the chamber for its growth and the outstanding job they have done in the community.
The chamber's recent membership drive, chairman Carl Nanny told the audience, "was a success. Since Oct. 11, 1989, the membership has more than doubled."
The President's Award, for achievement during the membership drive, went to Donna Salisbury from Odenton Office Supply. The WAACCOC Chamber Maids, with team captain Jerry Boyer, were named the winning team in the membership drive.
Pianist Riley Eldridge provided the entertainment for the evening.
WAACCOC president Mark Anderson, vice president Ed Griemsman, secretary Billie Clark, treasurer Judy Smiechowski, executive director Marcia Hall and the entire chamber membership are dedicated to the development of the community in business, industry, the professions and in civic affairs.
For further information, call 672-3422.
The Gambrills Odenton Recreation Council will sponsor a Golf Tournament Wednesday, Oct. 17. The entry fee is $60 per person, including a bull roast after the tournament from 3 to 6 p.m. at Jim's Hideaway Restaurant in Odenton. The tournament itself will take place at the Belair Golf Club on Route 197 in Bowie.
Starting time is 10 a.m. All proceeds from this event will help support GORC's children's athletic programs. For more information, call Steve Reinhardt, 987-6174. For reservations, call Hunter Calaway, 987-5534.
The Golden Flame on Route 175 is helping the fight against multiple sclerosis by sponsoring a month of games and events. Come out, play some games, have some fun and support this worthy cause. Some of the events include a Comedy Night at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11; a Pajama Party at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; a Bachelor Auction at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, and a Mini Bull Roast and Atlantic City Day from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21.
All proceeds from the events go to the Maryland Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. For more information, call 674-4000.
Volunteers are needed for the "Meals on Wheels" program in the Odenton area. If anyone can devote 1 hours per week, or every other week, or be placed on a stand-by list, please call area coordinator Gene Murray at 551-9349.
The Gambrills Athletic Club Ladies Auxiliary will present "Oktoberfest: A Family Day" from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Gambrills Athletic Club on McKnew Road. The event will feature authentic German cuisine: roasted chicken, wurst and sauerkraut, German potato salad and more. The Heimatecho German Band will perform, as will the Annapolis Bavarian Dancers. Games will be available for children and adults.
Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $10 for children age 6 to 12, free for children under age 6. Prices include all-you-can-eat food plus beer, sodas and dancing.
All proceeds benefit the Gambrills Athletic Club boys baseball and girls softball teams. For tickets call Gale Appleman at 721-1191.
The Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Association is sponsoring a tag team wrestling event. The tag team champions, The Lords Of Darkness from the World Wrestling Alliance, will appear at the Odenton Fire Hall at 8 p.m.
Oct. 19. During the event, the MAWA will conduct a drawing. Two winners will receive an escorted trip by the Lords of Darkness through the Glen Burnie Jaycee's Haunted House at the former location to T. J. Longhorn's at Harundale Mall on Oct. 27. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $10 for ringside, and can be purchased at Maryland Waterbeds or at the door the night of the event.
The Greater Odenton Improvement Association will have its annual Citizen of the Year and Awards Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Hall in Odenton. Every year the GOIO pays recognition to people who have contributed in some way to the betterment of our community and to one extra-special person who is honored as "Citizen of the Year."
Tickets cost $20 per person, will be sold only in advance and must be purchased by Oct. 15. For information and to purchase tickets, call Hazel Sanner, 674-8215.