Community Notes


Blood donors urgently needed, Red Cross says

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the Red Cross urgently needs donors of all blood types.

Donors must be in generally good health; at least 17 years old, or 16, with written parental consent; weigh at least 110 pounds; have not received a tattoo within the past year, and not have donated blood within the past 56 days.

To schedule an appointment: 800-GIVE-LIFE. To donate platelets: 800-272-2123, or

Holiday Mart craft show is continuing today

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is continuing its Holiday Mart, a juried craft show, from noon to 5 p.m. today at Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City.

Artisans will show unique hand-crafted gifts and items for holiday decorating. Lunch and snacks will be available to purchase.

Admission is $4 for adults; $1 for children ages 3 to 12.

In case of inclement weather: 410-313-4452.

Cooperative Ministry selling Christmas trees

The Columbia Cooperative Ministry is offering Christmas trees for sale from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 23 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia.

Twenty-five percent of proceeds will go to Heifer Project International, which helps families around the world become self-sufficient.

Information: George Martin, 410-730-7862.

Sharing holiday traditions to be focus tomorrow night

Community Building in Howard County will meet at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Owen Brown Community Association, 6800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

There will be sharing about the holidays - the Christian Advent season, Jewish Hanukkah, Korean New Year's celebration and Muslim New Year, as well as light refreshments. Children are invited.

Information: 410-730-3334.

Library offers chance to see Snicket movie screening

The Howard County Library is holding a drawing for a chance to attend an advance screening of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, starring Jim Carrey.

Five winners from each branch will attend the screening at Loew's White Marsh at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Each winner can bring one guest.

Library customers can enter the drawing at any library branch. Winners will be notified Thursday, and their names will be added to a guest list at the theater.

Benefit book sale to be held at hospital

Howard County General Hospital's Volunteer Auxiliary will sponsor a book sale from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow through Wednesday in the hospital's main lobby, 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia.

The sale will include new books and gifts, and proceeds will benefit the hospital expansion program.

Information: 410-997-4969 or 410-312-9140.

Disaster-preparedness volunteers being sought

The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, in cooperation with the Community Emergency Response Network, is recruiting and referring members of the community to local nonprofit and government agencies seeking volunteers for disaster-preparedness and recovery.

A workshop for community members will be offered from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the center, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia.

Space is limited, so registration is requested.

Information: 410-715-3179.

County budget document honored 10th straight year

Howard County Executive James N. Robey has announced that the Howard County annual budget document has earned the "Distinguished Budget Designation" from the Government Finance Officers Association, a professional organization, for the 10th consecutive year.

The annual capital and operating budget for fiscal 2004 qualified for "distinguished presentation" in four categories: as a policy document; a financial plan; an operations guide; and a communications tool.

The budget shows revenue sources for spending from county, federal and state-shared sources, including property taxes, income taxes, charges and fees. Amounts expended for education, public safety, public works, transportation and other priorities are shown. Also included are a budget calendar, an explanation of the budget cycle and a question-and-answer section for the general reader.

Donations are sought for Holiday Mitten Trees

The Howard County Library invites the community to help decorate the library's Holiday Mitten Trees. Each library branch will have a tree or other display for mittens, hats and scarves, preferably in preschool sizes.

Donations will be taken to local charities after the holidays.

Library branches are open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Information: 410-313-7750.

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