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Freedom Fund event to hear Ulman

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman will deliver the keynote address at the 28th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet sponsored by the Howard County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The banquet is being held at 6:30 p.m. today at the BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road.

The theme is "Valuing Our Vote/Voting Our Values."

The county executive will celebrate the accomplishments of the local branch and thank its members for the investment they are making in the future of the county.

'A Winter's Feast' slated for Sunday

Friends of the Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway Inc. and Patapsco Valley State Park will sponsor "A Winter's Feast," a family program that includes a picnic in a shelter, songs and stories about winter, and winter activities, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday in Hollofield Pavilion No. 300 of the park.

Hot drinks, hotdogs and hamburgers, potluck side dishes and desserts will be served, and guitarist and singer Sam "Muleman" Miller will provide music. Visitors can roast marshmallows and share memories, play games and take a short hike to the Patapsco River. Each family is asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share. Boy Scout Troop 432 will grill burgers.

Registration begins at 2:30 p.m. Music begins at 3 p.m., and food is served at 4 p.m. The cost is $5; $15 a family. Registration is requested. Vegetarian burgers can be requested at the time of registration.

Information: 410-480-0824.

Red Cross asking for blood donations

The Red Cross is appealing for blood donations, having reported that the blood supply reached a crisis level this week.

Type O positive, O negative and B negative are urgently needed. The short supply has forced hospitals in the region or cancel or delay procedures such as transplants and other surgeries.

Eligible donors should call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule an appointment to donate blood. Platelet donors should call 1-800-272-2123.

Chinese Feast to aid program at HCC

Hunan Manor Restaurant of Columbia will hold a Chinese Feast to benefit the Howard Community College Silas Craft Collegians program.

The buffet dinner will be held from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $40 a person, including beverages, dessert, tax and gratuity.

Proceeds will provide scholarships for the Silas Craft program, a learning community designed to encourage recent high school graduates to live up to their potential. The program includes mentoring and peer reinforcement and leads to an associate of arts degree.

Hunan Manor is at 7091 Deepage Drive.

Information: 410-772-4450, or events.

Mahalia Jackson tribute set Sunday

The Oakland Mills Community Association and its Music and Arts Committee will present "A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson," featuring jazz singer Lavenia Nesmith, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place.

The one-woman musical drama portrays the gospel singer's life in monologue and song.

Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Tickets are available at The Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Coalition for Compassion, an interfaith community service organization.

Information: Ben Hunter, 410-730-1129.

Coffee chat set for March 14

The Board of Education will hold a "Coffee & Conversation" session from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 14 in the media center at Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane.

County residents can drink coffee and chat with board members. The meetings are held around the county.

Information: 410-313-6682.

Sports Hall of Fame nominations sought

Nominations are invited for Howard County's Community Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the county's Department of Recreation and Parks.

The honor recognizes those who have gained prominence or made substantial contributions as athletes, coaches, managers, officials or behind-the-scenes contributors to community recreational sports in the county.

Nominees must have been Howard County residents or have been involved in community sports in Howard County during the time they made a contribution to community sports.

Nomination forms are available from the Department of Recreation and Parks (410-313- 4711), at library branches or online at www.howardcounty Nominations must be postmarked by March 15 and mailed or delivered to Recreation and Parks Community Sports Hall of Fame, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia 21046-1677.

The Howard County Community Sports Hall of Fame is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at Department of Recreation and Parks Headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia.

Happy Wanderers walks are Sunday

The Freestate Happy Wanderers, which meets in Savage, will hold noncompetitive 5K and 10K walks Sunday at the Severna Park Elks Lodge, 160 Truck House Road, in Severna Park.

An all-you-can-eat breakfast will be served at the lodge for $6. Breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Walkers can begin any time between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and finish by 1 p.m.

Information: 410-437-2164 or 301-717-3604 before 8 p.m., or

Skate-A-Thon to aid Leukemia Society

The Maryland chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will sponsor a Lace Up for Leukemia Skate-A-Thon from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel.

Recreational and experienced skaters of all ages are invited to skate laps for pledges. Registration is to begin at 2:30 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Maryland chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help fund research and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Information: Vince Fiduccia, 410-527-0220, Ext. 21.

Boating safety classes scheduled

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer three basic boating safety classes this month and next. The one-day classes will be taught by Howard County resident John Galleazzi.

The classes, which satisfy the Maryland requirement that anyone born after July 1, 1972, complete a boating safety course before operating a vessel in Maryland waters, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 24, April 7 and April 14.

Registration is required. Classes will be held at 22 Walker Ave., Pikesville. The cost is $35, with a discount for additional family members or groups.

Information and directions: 410-336-7734.

Help is available finding child care

Free assistance is available to Howard County parents seeking state-licensed child-care centers, family child-care providers, programs for school-aged children and preschools.

The service, called LOCATE: Child Care, is available from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays at 410-313-1930. Trained child-care counselors are available to assist parents in identifying child care best suited to the parents' needs, preferences and ability to pay.

A service of the Department of Citizen Services' Howard County Child Care Resource Center, the program also helps parents find programs for which they can qualify, such as subsidized health care, subsidized child care and tax credits.

Information: 410-313-1940, or

Beekeeping course to start Tuesday

The Howard County Beekeepers Association will offer a short, practical beekeeping course at 7 p.m. Tuesday and March 13, 20 and 27 at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship.

Discussion will focus on handling bees safely, their importance for the food supply, pollination and honey production. Family participation is encouraged.

Information: Allen Hayes, 410-489-2835, or Wayne Esaias, 301-854-3180.

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