WHEN NICK Langridge returned from James Madison University last summer, he taught swing dancing to his sister, Abby Langridge.
He didn't know what a stir he would cause.
His mother, Centennial High School PTSA President Barb Langridge, jokingly said Centennial students should learn four swing-dance steps before they finish high school. Abby is a sophomore.
Mo Dutterer, drama teacher at the school, agreed to lead an evening of swing dancing from 7: 30 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. Saturday. It will be sponsored by the school's PTSA.
He promises that participants "will learn at least 10 dance steps."
Dutterer and his wife, Barbara Dutterer, will teach the steps.
As instructors for the Department of Recreation and Parks, they teach two line-dancing classes Monday nights at the school.
They instruct 75 adults in one class, 20 couples in the second.
Jodi Shochet -- who serves on the PTSA's hospitality committee and whose daughter, Erin Shochet, is a sophomore at the school -- volunteered her group, the Columbia Jazz Ensemble, to provide the music.
Barb Langridge says she hopes that alumni and their families will attend. She said the dance is a "nice way for husbands to meet their Valentine's Day commitment for just $5."
Students must purchase their tickets at the school before the dance; adults may purchase tickets at the door.
Tickets cost $5 and may be ordered by calling Flo Airey at 410-313-2856.
For middle school students who want to keep on dancing, the Howard County YMCA will hold a Valentine's Day Dance with a disc jockey from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Ellicott City Armory. The cost is $5.
Teens will not be permitted to leave the building without parental escort, and parents must sign their teens in and out.
Time is money
Mindy Markovich, a board member at the YMCA, plans to attend the dance as a chaperon.
Markovich has served on the board for about a year.
She works for a small, nonprofit organization in Ellicott City and says she volunteers her time rather than asking her employer to contribute large sums to the Y.
On Jan. 20, at a kickoff party with board Chairman Steve Adler as host in the Great Room of Historic Savage Mill, Markovich presented the case for this year's Partner With Youth Campaign. The campaign plans to raise $75,000 from corporate and individual donations.
The Partner With Youth Campaign will provide financial assistance to needy families and children.
Columbia-based Amerix Corp. is donating $1,000 to the campaign to sponsor the Valentine's Day Dance.
The donation will pay for the disc jockey, drinks, snacks and publicity.
Entry fees also will support the campaign.
The campaign has raised half of its $75,000 goal. Every board and staff member gave to the campaign.
Eleven of the Y's 21 board members have business or residential addresses in Ellicott City.
They are Mark Bobotek, Mary Chenoweth, Elyse Hyman, Mark Lash, Patrick Madden, Mindy Markovich, Mary Ellen Marsalek, Brian Morrison, Mark Moxley, Allan Waschak and Ken Wilmers.
Some board members have deep ties to Howard County.
Mark Moxley, a 10th-generation Howard Countian, is chairman of this year's Partner With Youth Campaign.
He is construction manager for Security Development Corp. Moxley's family developed the Normandy Shopping Center and Normandy Woods, and his father assembled the land purchases for James W. Rouse when Rouse began planning Columbia.
Moxley's great-uncle, Russell, walked the Ellicott City beat as the first police officer in the county. His great-uncle, Stanley, ran a livery stable in Ellicott City.
His father, James R. Moxley Jr., led the capital funding campaign for the Y's building. His great-uncle, Norman, helped acquire the land for the building, Mark Moxley says.
His cousin, Steve Breeden, was chairman of the board in the early 1990s.
Other board members have recently become involved with the Y.
Markovich grew up in Bowie and moved to Columbia several years ago.
Steve Adler asked her to help with the Partner With Youth Campaign three years ago. After working with the campaign, she was invited to serve on the board last year.
Markovich says the Y is "not just a gym and swim facility." She noted numerous activities the Y provides that are designed to strengthen families.
She serves as co-chairwoman of the Membership/Program Committee with Hyman.
At the kickoff event, Adler praised the YMCA's partnership with the Ellicott City Target as an example of good corporate citizenship.
Target has sponsored the Y's Family Education Series -- a series of seminars related to family matters -- for two years. The store also donates merchandise to the Y for needy families.
Community projects director Cathy Smith works closely with Target's "Good Neighbor" captain, Lisa Garriss. Garriss has been assistant manager at the Long Gate Target store for more than a year and volunteers to coordinate community activities.
Last year, Target recognized 17 employee volunteers with a "Good Neighbor" Volunteer Award. The employees volunteered more than 400 hours in community service. Their efforts ranged from planting a flower garden at the Domestic Violence Center to helping organize the BWI Walk/Run this spring.
Now an Ellicott City resident, Garriss grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D.
On Sunday afternoons, her family went to the local Target to shop.
She wanted to live on the East Coast and moved here in 1984 to be close to her mother's extended family in Baltimore.
Garriss says she "fell into a retail position" -- and found her career. She jumped at the chance to work for Target when the chain moved into the area.
She and Smith talk frequently, and Smith visits Target "almost every day."
The Y won the Howard County Chamber of Commerce 1998 Non-Profit of the Year Award.
Information about the Y: 410-465-4334.
Not long ago
Activities for youths took a different form less than 100 years ago, when relatives of Elkridge resident Burnet Chalmers lived where Ellicott City Fire Station No. 2 now stands.
The family canned the food they raised on their farm and drove it to Baltimore to sell.
Young boys stacked the cans on the hay wagons and climbed on top, and teams of four to six horses pulled the wagons to town, Chalmers said.
They returned to Ellicott City with a load of new cans. Their job was to stack them so well that none would fall off the wagon.
If the cans fell, the boys had to climb off the wagon and restack the load.
A family expression arose to describe the situation. Stated politely, they were "tail-end over tin cans" -- which denoted a person who was not concentrating on work or someone hopelessly in love.
Another tradition -- not quite as long-lived -- is the Elkridge Rotary Club's Bull and Oyster Roast.
The 35th event will be held from 7 p.m. to 11: 30 p.m. Saturday at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie.
The roast will feature an outside beef pit, an oyster bar, music, dancing and games.
Food, beer and setups are included.
The cost is $29. Information: 410-715-1655.
Pub Date: 2/01/99