Mount Airy's older citizens now have more time for fellowship and fun at the new Mount Airy Senior Center.
The addition of Debbie Schleich to the center's management team last month has enabled the facility at 705 Ridge Ave. to be open an additional 15 hours a week -- from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Miss Schleich, the 30-hour-per-week center manager, recently transferred to Mount Airy from the Westminster Senior Center, where she served as a resocialization aide. She has been working with longtime Mount Airy site manager Jack Shank since Feb. 8.
With the expansion of hours, more activities are being planned at the same time to give patrons choices, said Miss Schleich.
"Participation has increased since we opened the new center. My goal is to service more people in Mount Airy and to provide more programs of interest and activities."
Regular activities include quilting on Monday and Friday mornings, a class on the environment offered by Catonsville Community College on Mondays, exercise on Tuesdays and Thursdays, current events on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., square dancing on Wednesday afternoons, billiards on Thursday afternoons, and crafts on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Recreational games, such as cards and bingo, are offered every day, as are balanced lunches served at noon. Patrons are asked to donate what they can toward the cost of their lunches and to make reservations by 2 p.m. the day before.
Entertainment and special programs continue to be scheduled for local senior citizens at the center.
Miss Schleich said free eye exams will be offered beginning at 12:30 p.m. March 9, and a free tax service is being offered on Wednesdays during the tax season.
A 1988 graduate of North Carroll High, Miss Schleich studied applied arts and design at Catonsville Community College and plans to transfer to Towson State University, where she will major in gerontology. She worked for nearly four years as an activities assistant at Longview Nursing Home in Manchester.
Miss Schleich, who lives in the Hampstead area, said she very much enjoys her new job in Mount Airy. She invited all area seniors to drop by the Mount Airy Senior Center and see the many things it has to offer.
Area residents will soon be able to wrap themselves in a bit of Mount Airy history thanks to a business venture by the owners of a local antique shop and help from several unofficial town historians.
From Mount Airy's original grain mill which burned down decades ago to Hotel Simpson, snapshots and newspaper clippings of town landmarks were collected in preparation for the commission of a custom-designed, 50-by-70-inch country-style woven throw, which will be offered by Ben Gue Antiques.
The 100 percent cotton, machine- washable throw will be a sampler of more than a dozen town buildings as they appeared years ago, said Mr. Lawson, who co-owns the South Main Street craft and furniture shop with Ben Gue.
A sample of the throw, which will sell for $49.95, is expected in two weeks. The first shipment of 240 throws is expected to arrive April 15. The throws will have a cream-colored background with a choice of three colors -- navy blue, cranberry or Williamsburg blue.
Designs on the throw will include the Rockwell House, First National Bank, Pine Grove Chapel, St. James Episcopal Church, the old library, the old fire company, Mount Airy High School, Wildwood Park, Town Hall, the old Rudy Drug Store, the Railroad Station and Twin Arch bridge.
Once word got out about the project, it took less than three
weeks to collect photographs of the town landmarks, said Mr. Gue.
"The biggest challenge was finding pictures clear enough to get the detail from," he said.
Help from long-time Mount Airy residents Betty Ifert, Travis Norwood and Oscar Baker was invaluable in gathering the pictures, said Mr. Gue. "When you talk to those people, they know the history of Mount Airy. They were great."
A company in Pennsylvania was commissioned to make the cotton throws. The graphic artist that company uses to create the artwork for the throws is located in Delaware. The artist was familiar with some of Mount Airy's landmarks because she had lived in the area for 10 years, Mr. Gue said.
"It's been fun," said Mr. Gue, who noted half of the first order of throws has been sold. "The biggest thing is you get to meet people and find out more about the town."
Did Cinderella live happily ever after? Was her prince truly charming? Find out the rest of the fairy tale on March 25, 26 and 27 when the South Carroll High School Stagelighters present James Lapine's play "Into The Woods."
Performances of the comic storybook adventure, which features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will be 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield. More than 20 talented students are putting their hearts and voices into the musical. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens or students. Information: 795-8500.