City recreation program helps kids fight those winter blahs CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

Winter is definitely upon us, and with it come the weather elements that sometimes keep us from planning and pursuing the social side of our lives.

While adults are more prone to bearlike tendencies, such as hibernation during the cold months, young people by their very nature still hunger for entertainment.


If this is the case in your household, the Westminster City Recreation Department has just the answer for your young person's social needs.

Open Gym programs for children in kindergarten through fifth grade are available from noon to 4 p.m. each Saturday through March at the Longwell Armory in Westminster.


Organized volleyball, basketball and floor hockey games for boys and girls take place each Saturday.

A game room and other supervised activities are offered during the four-hour open gym period.

Youngsters can participate in the program for two hours or stay for the entire four hours.

Cost per child for a two-hour session is $1; the cost for the entire four hours is $2.

Information: 848-6962 or 876-1313.


So you're a little older now, and hanging out with small fry in a gym is no longer your thing.

Well, thanks again to the Westminster City Recreation Department, there's a Teen Center featuring dances with a DJ two Saturdays each month through March.


The Teen Center, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Longwell Armory on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, is open to middle school students from East Middle, West Middle and St. John's schools.

The Teen Center is chaperoned by high school students, and middle school students have a variety of activity choices, including dancing, games or watching a video.

Carol Donovan, supervisor of recreation and activities, said the hTC Teen Center has been popular among middle school students.

"We have been getting anywhere from 250 to 350 kids on these Saturday nights," Mrs. Donovan said. "This has worked well since the proceeds from the Teen Center go to the groups that are represented by the high school chaperones. This helps them with their fund-raising."

Cost per student is $3.

Information: 848-6962 or 876-1313.



Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., parents are invited to an Open House at the Emory Child Care Center at Emory United Methodist Church in Upperco.

Nancy Diefenbach, who directs the center, said, "This will be an opportunity for parents to see the new center and hear what our goals are for the center.

"The Open House also will provide them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have," she said.

Refreshments will be served.

Information: 833-8384.



It may be January, but students and members of the Westminster High School Prom Fair committee already are planning their March Prom Fair.

The second annual Prom Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the former Greenfelt's in Cranberry Mall on March 27.

Its objective is to provide high school girls from all over the county an opportunity to buy second-hand prom dresses at reasonable prices.

"Girls can come to the Prom Fair and pick up a beautiful dress for $50 or under," said Carol Donovan, chairperson of the committee. "We collect one-time-worn prom dresses. The owner gets 75 percent of what we make on the dress, and 25 percent goes to the junior class at WHS to help pay for the prom. It's a nice way for the owner to recover some of the money they spent and it's a nice recycling project and fund-raiser for the kids."

The dresses are collected the first three Saturdays in March from noon to 2 p.m. at Greenfelt's.


Dresses are priced, and come with the name of the high school and the date the dress was last worn.

In addition to the dress sale, the Prom Fair also will feature numerous types of business people who make prom night a reality.

"We will have tables set up with hairdressers to show girls how to French-braid their hair," said Mrs. Donovan.

"We will also have florists, tuxedo rentals and people who provide a variety of accessories like shoes and jewelry."

Information: 857-5494 or 848-0363.