MANY FOREIGN coins dropped into the offering at an international church in the Washington area were not worth converting to United States currency because the exchange rate was so low, but they are pretty valuable to 10-year-old Bryanne Ottey.
She has spent several years studying the coins, and learning about the countries and people where they originated.
Bryanne's grandfather, Bill Williamson, got her started in collecting the coins. He knew someone at the church and offered a nice donation in exchange for the foreign coins. About once a month, he gets a batch of coins and turns them over to his granddaughter.
Bryanne has some of her almost 200 coins on display at the Linthicum Library through this month. It was only natural for her to place her collection in the library because it has been so helpful to her in researching the coins.
"I take a lot of books out of the library. I get books that tell me how much they are worth and I learn something about the country," Bryanne said. She also does her research at local coin shops.
One of the many things she has learned is that her coins from India, with holes drilled in them, are very old. "They were used for necklaces, but they don't do that anymore because it takes away from their value," she said.
Bryanne is in fifth grade at Overlook Elementary School - an "A" pupil and involved in several extracurricular activities. She is on the safety patrol and helps kindergarten children to their buses each day.
She is also in the school chorus and band, and plays all percussion instruments.
Bryanne is the daughter of Jennifer Ottey of Linthicum and Ryan Ottey of Florida.
With spring in the air, the Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights is celebrating. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, its clubhouse and grounds will be the scene of the Spring Fling, a club fund-raiser.
Inside the clubhouse will be an upscale flea market featuring a fashion boutique with gently used clothing and accessories. Outdoors, tables will be filled with attic treasures, glassware, china, books, jewelry and country store items.
Patrons will find flowers and plants from members' gardens and baked goods from their kitchens for sale.
Another table will feature raffle items, including gift certificates from area merchants and restaurateurs, and a basket with five Beanie Babies. The club's cookbook and replicas of the clubhouse will also be available for purchase, and face-painting will be offered for children.
Doughnuts and coffee will be sold in the morning, and hot dogs and soft drinks throughout the day.
The clubhouse is at 110 N. Hammonds Ferry Road. Free parking will be available in the St. John Lutheran Church parking lot, across from the church at 200 W. Maple Road.
Shirley Beck, Alice Arlauskas, Fran Purper and Jean Rock are leading the event, which will be moved entirely indoors in the event of rain.
Information: 410-789-1577 or 410-551-4903.
Take a trip
With the weather turning so nice, thoughts of travel may come to mind - and area groups have several trips planned.
Friendly Thyme Herb Club has scheduled an overnight bus trip May 29-30 to Richmond, Va., to tour historic houses and beautiful gardens. The cost is $235 per person double occupancy, and includes lodging, five meals, admissions, guided tours, taxes and gratuities.
Agecroft Hall, a 15th-century home built in England then dismantled and rebuilt in the late 1920s at its present site, and the 100-acre Maymont country estate on the James River will be visited on the first day. Both have extensive gardens.
The second day will take in another home transplanted to the United States, Virginia House. Designed like an English country estate, it is surrounded by beautiful gardens designed by landscape architect Charles Gillette.
A visit to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens will include lunch in the tea house, and a tour of its historic Bloemendaal House and 15-acre garden. Dinner will be in Fredericksburg, Va., at Market Street Buffet and Bakery.
Reservations or information: Renee Bivans, 410-551-9409.
A June 7 day trip to see mansions and gardens of Frederick is being sponsored by the missions committee of Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church. The all-inclusive cost is $80. The bus leaves at 7:30 a.m. from the church at 200 School Lane and returns at 7:30 p.m.
A local tour guide will take participants to Rose Hill Manor, home of Maryland's first governor; the Historical Society of Frederick County, an 1820s Federal-style mansion and formal sitting garden; the Community Bridge, a plain concrete bridge transformed by a large mural project; and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, oldest dwelling in Frederick, and its historically accurate 18th-century garden.
Lunch will be at the colonial Higgen's Tavern, and "high tea" in Tyler Spit House, a Federal-style mansion.
Any profit from the trip will go toward the missions committee.
Information or reservations: Ruth Syme, 410-761-7672.
Ferndale Roadrunners senior group plans a one-day bus trip to Patty & Johns Restaurant in southern Pennsylvania on May 16. The restaurant is a barn transformed into an exquisite restaurant with more than 300 pieces of art gracing the walls.
The buffet meal includes a tour.
Also included on the trip will be stops at a pretzel factory and grocery outlet.
The cost is $30. The bus will leave at 10:30 a.m. from Ferndale Linthicum Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., and will return at 6:30 p.m.
The Roadrunners also plan a trip to Wildwood, N.J., June 5-8.
The four-day, three-night package costs $210 per person double occupancy and includes bus transportation; lodging; six meals, including a seafood buffet; a boat cruise; a trip to Atlantic City; three shows; and a visit to historic Cape May, N.J.
Information on either trip: 410-761-0484.
Retirees to meet
Patapsco Valley Chapter 3850 of the AARP will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday at St. Christoper's Church, 118 Marydell Road.
Social hour with refreshments commences at noon, and the program begins at 12:45 p.m.
The meeting marks the chapter's 17th anniversary, and charter members will be honored. They include Rachel Clark, Charles Haslup, Alice Heiderman, Hannah McCall and Virginia Moore.
Speaker for the program will be Susan Galli, a master gardener affiliated with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension.
Information: Paul Bagley, publicity chairman, 410-255-2601.