ON NOV. 20, Amber Schnaath of Ilchester Elementary School rode to school in high style.
A firetruck from Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department picked her up at home and drove her to school, honking the horn to alert her fellow students to her arrival.
Sparky the fire dog accompanied her, and Amber received a commemorative medal as a souvenir.
Amber was the winner of a drawing at Cider Mill Farm in Elkridge and the unusual ride to school was the prize.
Deep Run artist
Bev Riling, parent volunteer at Deep Run Elementary School, is planning for an artist in residence to be at the school in the winter.
The artist will direct the children in creating murals of the school's past and future.
Trouble is, there's no clear record of the past.
The school that used to be on the property, Waterloo Junior High (later called Waterloo Middle), was bulldozed to make way for Deep Run.
Riling has inquired at the Howard County Historic Society's library and the Department of Education. Neither has produced a satisfactory picture of the old school.
She asks for help from the community: If anyone has old photos or yearbooks with a picture of the old school, please give her a call so the project can proceed. Call (301) 596-4627.
Congratulations to Tracey Renee Goeller, a student at Salisbury State University.
Goeller recently was inducted into the Lambda Psi Chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the national honor society for biology students.
To join, she attained a grade point average of 3.3 and satisfactorily completed courses in biology.
She lives in Ellicott City.
'Nutcracker' on ice
The Columbia Figure Skating Club will perform its annual Holiday Ice Show at 5: 30 p.m. and 6: 30 p.m. Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 at the Columbia Ice Rink.
You're invited to the troupe's presentation of "The Nutcracker." Featured skaters from Ellicott City and Elkridge include Linda Crawford as the Mouse Queen, Russ Rzemien as Uncle Drosselmeier and Russ' daughter Kim Rzemien as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Show skaters from our area include Robbie Auld, Allison Barber, Rebecca Bers, Brittany Boyle, Laura Burrows, Jenny Cheng, Claire Daniels, the Eddy Family -- Kimberly, Sarah, Meryl and Stephen, Mary Kate Franchetti, Sarah Franks, Samantha Huntt, Stephanie Jarrett, Amy Jordan, Katherine Khatibi, Kristie Khatibi, Charmaine Lind, Erin Maskell, Katie Penyak, Alex Rohrback, Caitlin Ryan, Allison St. Cyr, Emily Spiegel, Kaori Tanaka, Julie Tsai, Lauren White, Cara Whitehead, Jessica Whittington, Alicia Williams and Stephenie Wittbecker.
Tickets cost $5. Call 730-0322.
Frances Motyca Dawson will again direct the Columbia Pro Cantare chorus in the annual performance of selections from Handel's "Messiah" at 7: 30 p.m. Sunday.
For the performance, soloists and members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will join the chorus, which includes Ellicott City residents Steve Baughman, Kathie Bowen, Stan Brown, Mary Mauck, Heather Muller, Joan Seitz, Allison Roach, Mark Wynn and Daryl Burns.
The performance will be at Hammond High Auditorium on Guilford Road in Columbia.
Elkridge Furnace Inn will provide intermission refreshments. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, or $17 and $12 at the door. Group rates are available for 10 or
For information, call 465-5744.
One of the little community activities I do is to collect food from schools' Thanksgiving drives for Friends In Self-Help (FISH) of Howard County, a volunteer organization that operates an emergency hot line.
This year, I pulled my station wagon up to Northfield Elementary School and filled it with the fruits of a two-week campaign run by four persistent fourth-grade students of Ginny Snyder, the gifted and talented resource teacher.
These kids ran their food drive like generals.
I gathered an incredible 20 boxes of packaged goods from the school. The kids -- Emily Leuba, Michael Condron, Andrew Skalka and Scott Fry -- said there would have been more, but they gave six boxes to their custodian, whose home had burned.
The rest of the food went to the pantry at Emory Methodist Church, where pantry manager Marie Ash will tend it until local families need it.
If your group would like to help refill FISH's sparse pantries, call 964-8660 and speak to the volunteer on duty.
Social skills for kids
As many as 40 percent of all children have difficulty knowing how to act in social situations.
Northfield Elementary School PTA presents "Last One Picked, First One Picked On," a program to help parents help these children establish and maintain friendships, at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow in the Media Center.
Northfield School is at 9125 Northfield Road in Ellicott City.
Greens for sale
This weekend, Nancy Grabowski of Elkridge will have an Open House Greens sale at her home. Among the items for sale are wreaths, swags and topiary.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5820 Augustine Ave., Elkridge. Howard County Recreation and Parks will have its 24th annual Holiday Mart from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday at Centennial High School. The school's Chamber Choir and poinsettia sale are part of the fun.
Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children ages 3-12 at the door. No strollers or backpacks are allowed.
For details, call 313-PARK.
Historic Ellicott City will conduct its 19th Midnight Madness on Friday, with many stores open until midnight.
Christmas bargains, train gardens and light refreshments in the shops, with Santa arriving at 7: 30 p.m., are in the works.
Stores also will stay open late Saturday and Sunday.
Pub Date: 12/02/96