Community offers poured in to help hospital during blizzard WEST COLUMBIA


Although the recent snowstorm caused more than a little disruption in the lives of most people, there are some members of the Columbia community who deserve special accolades.

I received calls from John Walker, the director of community relations at Howard County General Hospital, and Pam Karwan, the assistant vice-president of public relations and marketing at HCGH. Both wanted to express their thanks to the hundreds of citizens who contacted the hospital offering help during the recent blizzard.

"It was wonderful to see the community respond like that," said Mrs. Karwan. "It's very obvious that the people out there realize the importance of the hospital, not only as a source of medical help, but as an integral part in the day-to-day life of the community."

When the snow began falling hard, the phones at HCGH began to ring. "We received over 250 calls," John Walker said. "About 175 were from people with four-wheel-drive vehicles offering to transport doctors, nurses and other staff to and from the hospital. Many others offered to come to the hospital and help the staff in any way they could."

Although only about 50 of the four-wheel vehicles were used by HCGH, others were referred to St. Agnes Hospital and Loring Nursing Home.

Mr. Walker noted that no help was needed inside the hospital because most of the staff volunteered to stay and do whatever was necessary. He was particularly pleased that the hospital's snow emergency plan worked as well as it did.

For those interested in such statistics, Mr. Walker said there were 16 births during the storm, 11 on March 13, and five on March 14.

"Actually, that's about average," he said. "However, because many people spent several days snowed in, I suspect the maternity unit might face a real test about nine months from now."


I'm not usually a contest nut, but I recently received a promo letter that began with the statement, "We're looking for a few good grannies!" Well, it got my attention.

It seems that far from Columbia, in a town called Wenatchee, the Washington State Apple Commission has begun a nationwide "Search For Granny Smith" to promote Granny Smith apples.

I figured that since Columbia, and Howard County, has some of the best grandmothers in the world, they should be given the opportunity to win.

The letter says the apple commission is looking for "grannies who are involved in their community, movers and shakers, as well as cookie makers, from any part of the country, and any race or ethnic group."

Seven grannies, and the people who nominated them, will receive an expense-paid trip to the "Granny Finale" on May 1 at the Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee, Wash.

Those who wish to nominate a grandmother should write, in 100 words or less, why your grandma should be considered. And, don't forget to enclose a photo. Send to: Granny Smith, P.O. Box 18, Wenatchee, Wash. 98807. All nominations must be received by April 16.


Good jobs are hard to come by these days, and job seekers often need help, especially those entering the job market for the first time.

To this point, Harper's Choice resident, Dana Martin, has written a book designed to help recent college graduates find jobs with the federal government.

The book, aptly titled "Fed Jobs for College Grads" was published by Simon & Schuster and has sold quite well, according to the Columbia author.

Before sitting down to write her book, Mrs. Martin worked as a recruitment specialist for the federal government.

She has turned her insider knowledge into a volume filled with information on how to secure a well-paying government job.

"In today's unstable economy," Mrs. Martin says, "the federal government offers the best chance for job security. Even with the planned cutbacks in the federal payroll, job opportunities abound."

Dana Martin's book is available in Columbia at Cover to Cover, B. Dalton and Encore bookstores.


Is yoga for you? You can find out at Slayton House, in Wilde Lake Village Green, on Monday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Yoga instructor Alan Goldberg is offering a one-hour introduction class to yoga and relaxation. It costs $10.

Mr. Goldberg's class will teach basic breathing techniques, simple postures to release tension and increase ease of movement, and a "guided full body relaxation and visualization designed to enhance the intuitive knowledge of body and spirit." Whatever that might be, it sounds interesting.

For more information, call 730-3987.


Hey, Mom and Dad! Bring your 2- and 3-year-olds to "Twist and Shout" at the Howard Country Central Library.

No, it's not to see a special performance by the Isley Brothers or the Beatles. It's a program of music and movement activities to be enjoyed by the children and the parents.

The special program will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday; April 1; and April 3.

Reservations may be made in person, or by calling Children's Librarian, Jo Puckett, at 313-7880.


The Slayton House Theatre presentation of the Josephine Baker film "Zou Zou," which was canceled because of the snowstorm, has been rescheduled for April 2.

Call 730-3987 for reservations or additional information.

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