Red Cross blood drives are always important, but shortages resulting from the Blizzard of '93 make a good turnout for Monday's event in Mount Airy even more crucial.
"The weekend of the blizzard, we were unable to collect," said Red Cross spokeswoman Leni Uddyback, adding that there were many canceled appointments or no-shows after the weekend. "Basically, what we like to do is maintain a three-day level for the different blood types."
In the Chesapeake and Potomac Region, supplies are under the three-day level for O-positive, A-positive, B-positive and A-negative, Ms. Uddyback said. "We're under a one-day's level for O-negative.
"We encourage people to keep their appointments and to schedule appointments if they haven't done so already," said Ms. Uddyback.
Mount Airy's Spring Blood Drive will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Firemen's Activities Building at Route 27 and Twin Arch Road.
"We need as many people to turn out as possible," said Mary Jo Burkett, who co-chairs the annual Mount Airy spring and fall blood drives with her husband, Paul.
While walk-in donors are very important to the blood drives, Mrs. Burkett said advance appointments help decrease the waiting time because nurses are scheduled by the Red Cross based on the number of donor appointments.
Fliers about the event have been mailed to previous donors, and volunteers continue to make calls to encourage blood donations, said Mrs. Burkett.
If you would like to help Mrs. Burkett with the blood drive or would like to schedule an appointment to give the gift of life, call her at (301) 829-2822 or (301) 829-2211.
* Hundreds of plastic eggs filled with candy treats will decorate the fields at Watkins Park April 3 for the annual Mount Airy Easter Egg Hunt.
Boys and girls from infants to age 10 are invited to participate in the free event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Mount Airy-area Jaycees and the Mount Airy Recreation Council. The rain or snow date for the egg hunt is April 10.
The event will include separate hunts organized for children in five age groups. Each of the groups will have seven prize eggs.
Children are asked to bring bags or baskets to collect their treasures, and will be limited to three eggs each to make sure everyone goes home with a smile and an egg. An estimated 600 children attended last year's event.
Free games with prizes will follow the egg hunt, and refreshments will be available to purchase.
The Jaycees' Easter Bunny will visit the event. Instant photos with the holiday hare will be available at $2 each.
Girl Scout Troop 468 has volunteered to help by stuffing 1,800 eggs with candy treats. The Jaycees would welcome other offers of help with this community project.
L Information: Jaycees chairwoman Ruth Muller, (410) 775-0004.
Congratulations to local gourmet Faith Durgin, who has been selected to be one of eight judges at the coming Share Our Strength's "Taste of the Nation" in Baltimore.
The gala event, which will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. on April 27 at the Camden Club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, will feature food booths sponsored by some of Maryland's top restaurants. Participants will enjoy great food, beverages and music while they help a good cause.
"It's a national event where all proceeds are donated to the hungry," said Mrs. Durgin.
Judges for the event will sample fare prepared by some of the state's most talented chefs and then pick their favorite foods, decorations and costumes.
Tickets are $40 per person in advance, $45 per person at the door.
Mrs. Durgin is a free-lance food coordinator for Maryland Public Television cooking shows who has taught "Faith in Cooking" classes in her Berrett home since 1988. A member of the South Carroll Gourmet Club, she is a travel agent and parent volunteer at South Carroll High School.
She and her husband, Barry, have two sons and have lived in the Sykesville area for 24 years.
With sleeping bags, lawn chairs and bean bag cushions in tow, an estimated 280 students, parents and teachers took time out March 11 for the fourth annual Mount Airy Elementary Read-A-Thon.
The after-school event promotes individual and small-group reading as a valuable and enjoyable leisure activity for all ages.
The focus is on fun, and two sessions of the two-hour read-a-thon were held to try to accommodate all schedules, said school reading specialist Phyllis Sonnenleiter.
Guest readers Kathy Chenowith, children's librarian at the Mount Airy branch library, and Joanne Hay, a professional storyteller provided entertaining breaks from the individual and small-group reading.
'It's an activity that continues to be well-attended," she said. "They love it. We get lots of positive feedback from parents."