If you thought it would be at least nine months before you had to think about Christmas again, you didn't know about Christmas in April.
This volunteer organization undertakes minor rehabilitation projects and major repairs for some of Anne Arundel County's elderly and disabled people who are unable to get help through normal channels.
Christmas in April is in its 21st year nationally, and its second year in Anne Arundel County. The local organization's president, Brooke Perkins of Eastport, spearheads a drive that identifies the houses and apartments that will be worked on, solicits donations of materials and supplies, enrolls hundreds of volunteers, and raises money to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
This year, the group hopes to work on 20 houses and has a fund-raising goal of $30,000.
Christmas in April's behind-the-scenes work goes on for months. The actual repair work happens on one day, April 24. Volunteers are being recruited to work on homes from Shady Side to Brooklyn Park. Construction, plumbing, or electrical wiring skills are helpful but not required. A desire to help others and an ability to work cooperatively are all that's necessary.
The Eastport Civic Association is among the groups that are sponsoring a house. The average amount spent on each dwelling is $1,500, which can be underwritten by a business, a community group, or by individual donations.
Marilyn Henderson is coordinating volunteers and donations for the event. To sign up or pledge financial or materials support, call her at 268-8242.
Spring gets a send-off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Caritas Society's second annual Flower and Garden Show in the Francis Scott Key Lobby at St. John's College.
The society was founded by a group of women to assist St. John's students who have encountered emergency financial problems, and to bring the college and community together through programs of mutual interest.
Two dozen exhibitions from area nurseries and florists include free-form ponds, indoor and outdoor patio gardens, landscaping displays and floral jewelry. Lectures and demonstrations will be offered on pottery, basketry, roses and flower arranging. An invitational exhibition and sale of paintings with a floral theme by area artists is running concurrently in the Mitchell Gallery.
A new feature of the flower show is a Friday Preview Party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The party includes an auction, and wine and hors d'oeuvres. On Saturday, a "Bloomin' Breakfast" will precede the show from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., featuring Washington Post gardening columnist Jack Eden.
A sponsor ticket costs $50, and includes the Preview Party, Bloomin' Breakfast and flower show admission. A $35 patron ticket includes the Preview Party and flower show. Breakfast tickets, at $15, include the flower show. Reservations are required for the Preview Party and breakfast. Call Martha Breed at 268-4433. Flower show admission is $5.
Also on Saturday, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts plays host to Laurence Luckinbill as "Lyndon."
In his one-man show, he portrays former President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 as he prepares to announce that he will not run for re-election. Luckinbill has received enthusiastic reviews from across the country.
Tickets are $14 for Maryland Hall members, $16 for nonmembers. For further information, call 263-5019.
The William Paca Garden staff is sponsoring a Horticultural Workshop on March 20 to kick off the 20th anniversary of the restored 18th-century colonial garden.
Registration is required by Friday. The $20 workshop fee covers lectures on horticultural techniques and indoor gardening, insects and diseases, integrated pest management, and a demonstration of topiary design and maintenance. Participants will receive topiary starter plants. Lunch is included in the fee.
Reservations may be sent to the Historic Annapolis Foundation, 194 Prince George St., Annapolis 21401. For more information, call 267-7719.