COMMUNITY NOTES

The Baltimore Sun

Gangs discussion to be held tomorrow, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will sponsor the second of three gang-summit discussions to address increasing gang activity in the area.

The summit will be held from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow at the east Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

Frank L. Clark Jr., director of the Gang Intervention and Investigation Unit, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, will speak.

He will discuss signs and language that might indicate gang activity in children, how to approach young people to discuss gangs and how to report gang activity without becoming a target for retaliation.

Information: 410-685-9199.

Fire & Rescue Expo scheduled Sunday

The 2007 Howard County Fire & Rescue Expo will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Oakland Mills High School, 9410 Kilimanjaro Road, Columbia.

Many actitivities are planned at the free event, including demonstrations of an auto rescue and a car fire. Food, face painting and a Moon Bounce are planned.

Information: 410 313-5879.

Veterans Service Benefits Fair set

A Veterans Service Benefits Fair, to provide information on benefits available to all veterans, will be held from noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow at VFW Post 7472, 4225 VFW Lane, Ellicott City.

Representatives of the Department of Veterans Aaffairs and Veterans of Foreign Wars State Service Office will be on hand to answer questions.

Health benefits and returning veterans' benefits will be discussed at noon; service benefits will be discussed at 1 p.m.; and disability and death benefits at 2 p.m.

Refreshments will be available.

Information: Al Hernandez, 410-465-1801.

Fire company holding open house

Members of the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the firehouse, 1330 Woodbine Road, Lisbon.

Sparky the Fire Dog, Cappy the 10-foot Firefighter, a children's safety house, an arson dog, face painting, food and other attractions are planned.

Admission is free.

Information: 410-489-4646.

Walk For Paws slated for tomorrow

Animal Advocates of Howard County is planning its Walk For Paws from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at Lake Elkhorn in Columbia.

Contests ("Biggest Ears, Best Tail Wagger"), activities and demonstrations for dogs and people are planned. Dogs are welcome, as are people without dogs. Homeless pets looking for permanent homes will be available.

Proceeds from the walk will help save the lives of cats and dogs.

Information: 410-880-2488, Ext. 4.

Agriculture college open house tomorrow

The University of Maryland's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is hosting an open house tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Central Maryland Research & Education Center, 4240 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City. Hay-wagon tours of the research facility, insect races, horses, cows and calves, a plant clinic, butterfly garden and herb demonstrations and other family entertainment are planned.

A VIP breakfast at 8 a.m. will be hosted by Cheng-I Wei, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman will present a check for $250,000 to Wei for support of the proposed Green Building to be constructed at the college.

Centennial to host band competition

Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City, will play host to a band competition, Marching Under the Stars, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow at the school's football stadium.

The program, being held under the auspices of the U.S. Scholastic Band Association, is scheduled to feature marching bands from 11 area schools, including Long Reach, River Hill, Reservoir and Centennial from Howard County.

Tickets are $8 in advance; $3 for students. Tickets purchased at the gate are $10; $5 for students.

Information: www.centen nialmusic.org.

Trumpeter Stafford to perform tomorrow

Trumpeter Terell Stafford will perform at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Jim Rouse Theatre in a benefit for the Wilde Lake High School band program.

He is to be joined by Wilde Lake High alumnus Alex Brown on piano. Brown, a junior at the New England Conservatory of Music, has been named best jazz soloist by Down Beat magazine and recently joined the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet.

Wilde Lake senior Zach Brown, Alex's younger brother, will be on bass, and Chris Beck will be on drums.

Stafford, who has recorded five albums and performs with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, will give a free master class at 1 p.m. tomorrow for all who hold tickets for the concert.

Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Tickets are available at the school, at www.instant seats.com/events/JimRouse Theatre or at Ellicott City and Cherry Tree Music and Arts centers.

Explorer post plans open house Sunday

Explorer Post 1275, a science and engineering-oriented club for youth ages 14 to 20, will hold an open house at 4 p.m. Sunday at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.

The club offers hands-on activities in astronomy, robotics, computer science, electronics, auto mechanics and other subjects. Trips, parties and other activities are also offered. The program is planned and managed by group members.

Friends and parents are welcome to attend the open house. For security reasons, those who attend must be United States citizens.

Information: John Wolfgang, 301-286-6610 or john.l.wolf gang@nasa.gov.

Leadership group to meet Oct. 12

The Association of Community Services, with support from the Columbia Foundation, is launching a new program in support of leaders of Howard County nonprofit organizations: The Gavel Group - a quarterly session for board presidents.

Each session will focus on an aspect of board leadership and include a brief presentation, an opportunity for questions, and networking opportunities.

The first session will be held at 7:45 a.m. Oct. 12 and will focus on board development. Barbara Lawson, chief executive officer of the Columbia Foundation, will lead the session.

Information or registration: 410-715-9545.

Group set for teens from split families

The National Family Resiliency Center, a private nonprofit organization, is inviting teens in ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades whose parents have experienced a separation, divorce or remarriage to participate in a teen support group.

The group meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 17, at the NFRC Center, Suite 121, 2000 Century Plaza, off Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.

Teens can learn to understand and express their feelings about changes in their family relationships, hear about ways to address problems and learn ways to communicate with their parents and support each other.

Registration is required. A sliding scale of fees is available for group sessions.

Information: Kathy Helt, 410-740-9553 or e-mail, sales@ divorceabc.com.

Immigration talk continuing Wednesday

A public discussion on immigration and its impact on families and employment, held Sept. 20 in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building in Ellicott City, will be continued from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Laurel Woods Elementary School, 9250 North Laurel Road in North Laurel.

The programs are presented in partnership with the Howard County Office of Human Rights, the Howard County Commission for Women, the Howard County Health Department, the Howard County Library and Howard County Gtv.

Information: 410-730-0142.

Resource center aids cancer patients

The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, a service of Howard County General Hospital, provides support and assistance to cancer patients and their families.

Counseling and support services, a lending library, and a fully equipped salon offering free consultations are among its services.

Information: 410-740-5858, or www.cmcric.org.

Neighbor Ride needs volunteer drivers

Neighbor Ride, a volunteer-based supplemental transportation program for Howard County seniors ages 60 and older, has an immediate need for volunteer drivers. Daytime, evening and weekend drivers are needed.

Seniors using Neighbor Ride say the service helps them adjust to no longer being able to drive.

The next driver orientations are to be held at the Neighbor Ride office, 8808 Centre Park Drive, Columbia, at 7 p.m. Wednesday and noon Oct. 19.

Information: 410-884-7433, or volunteer@neighborride.org.

Widows, widowers meet once a month

Howard County Young Widows and Widowers, a support and social group, meets from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month.

The group offers an opportunity to meet new friends in a supportive environment.

Information: 410-740-5858.

Red Cross calling for blood donors

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the Red Cross says the community blood supply remains at crisis level and is urging eligible blood donors to call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a donation. Platelet donors should call 800-272-2123 to schedule an appointment.

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

Information: 800-GIVE-LIFE.

International festival participants sought

Oakland Mills Community Association is seeking participants for its International Fall Festival on Oct. 13 at the village center.

Festival planners are seeking people interested in sharing their ethnic heritage with the community. Representatives of social service organizations, artisans, food vendors, cultural clubs, school groups and entertainers are welcome.

Entertainment is to include performances by the Kinderman; Turner, Dean of Magic; the Fun Drug Rhythm Circle; and a Chinese dragon dance. Information: 410-730-4610.

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