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Community Notes

The Baltimore Sun

Meeting aims to empower youth

Howard County middle and high school students will discuss their concerns and accomplishments today at the second Youth Summit, an event designed to empower youth to work for positive change in the county.

The summit is sponsored by Voices for Change, a collaboration of the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, Howard County Public School System, Howard County Connections, the Columbia Association, and the Department of Citizen Services.

Participants include volunteers from community groups, including the Local Children's Board, HC DrugFree, Leadership Howard County, the Howard County Library and Howard County NAACP Youth Council.

The Voices for Change planning committee includes representatives from its sponsors, as well as youth from Howard County public high schools and Glenelg Country School. Organizers plan to include youth from other private schools in the future.

Summit participants will report on their accomplishments during the past year and plan for the future, said Elise Mellinger, youth program manager for Howard County Recreation and Parks.

During the first year of Voices for Change, participating students have spoken about issues of concern to County Council members, the Local Children's Board and the Board of Education, she said.

Howard County students are welcome to attend an information session about Voices for Change from 9:30 a.m. to noon tomorrow at The Gathering Place, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville.

Information: Elise Mellinger, 410-313-4625 or Meg Mekelburg, 410-964-3030.

Road resurfacing project under way

The Maryland State Highway Administration recently began a $693,000 project to resurface about a half mile along Route 108, between Route 29 and Columbia Road, as well as ramps in the Route 29 interchange.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of June, weather permitting.

Motorists should expect single-lane closures along Route 108 between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Ramps at the interchange between routes 29 and 108 will be closed intermittently. Delays are expected during construction.

Information: 301-624-8100 or 1-800-635-5119.

Open house for search and rescue

Maryland Search & Rescue, a program for youth and young adults focused on lost-person searches in wilderness, will hold an open house for anyone interested in learning outdoor skills and participating in searches from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday.

Training includes hiking, backpacking, land navigation, all-weather camping, rock-climbing, rappelling, radio protocol, search tactics and first aid. The program is run by its youth members.

The event for youth ages 14 to 21 will be held at Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 12430 Scaggsville Road, Highland.

Information: Pamela Paulding, 410-730-0561 or Art Ross, 410-740-2913. Or visit www.msar616.com.

Tax assistance for seniors April 18

Volunteers from the AARP Tax Aide Program will be at the Ellicott City Senior Center from 9 a.m. to noon April 18 and April 25 to help those who want to file for their economic stimulus payment.

This service is for people who do not ordinarily have to file tax returns. To qualify for the stimulus payment, a person must have a valid Social Security number; must not have been claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer; and must have a total of $3,000 or more in earned income, Social Security or railroad benefits, or certain veteran's payments.

The Ellicott City Senior Center is at 9421 Frederick Road, behind the Miller branch library. Information or to schedule an appointment: 410-313-1400.

Dog Day planned at Lake Elkhorn

The Columbia Association will host its second annual Dog Day Afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at Lake Elkhorn in Columbia.

There will be treats and activities for dogs, and face painting, a caricature artist and a craft area for kids. Music will be provided by a DJ.

This free event will feature local businesses and organizations that focus on the health, happiness and well-being of dogs. Some activities will include a pet costume contest and fashion show, raffles and contests.

Information: 410-715-3104.

May spring party to help nonprofits

The Columbia Foundation, the Howard County community foundation, will hold its 26th annual Spring Party at The Spear Center in the General Growth Properties building from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 1. A full buffet, raw bar and beverages from Clyde's of Columbia are planned.

Proceeds will benefit Howard County nonprofit human service, cultural, civic and educational organizations. Tickets are $75. Those who add $25 to the ticket price will contribute $1 to each of 25 agency endowments established, through the Columbia Foundation, by nonprofit organizations.

The foundation, which was founded in 1969, has awarded more than $9 million in grants to Howard County nonprofit organizations. Money for the grant programs comes primarily from income generated by the foundation's endowment, which is supported by more than 250 funds established by Howard County businesses, families and individuals.

According to the foundation's 2006 annual report, which contains its most recently published figures, The Columbia Foundation's assets were $12 million.

Information or to purchase tickets: 410-730-7840 or visit www.columbiafoundation.org.

Giving Circle to hold social

The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County will hold its sixth annual meeting and social from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Spear Center in the General Growth Properties Building in Columbia.

Donors, friends and members of the community are invited to attend. Wine and other refreshments will be served.

Diane Schumacher, Howard Community College athletic director, will talk about "A Celebration of Girls and Women in Sports: Title IX at 35." She will discuss the impact of Title IX on women's athletics. The 1972 legislation was designed to allow women access to education.

The Women's Giving Circle is working to build a community of women in philanthropy, creating a permanent endowment fund and providing grants to institutions and initiatives that address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.

Admission to the meeting and social is $40. General Growth Properties is at 10275 Little Patuxent Parkway. To purchase tickets, send $40 to TCF/Women's Giving Circle, 10227 Wincopin Circle, Suite G-15, Columbia, 21044; or www.womensgivingcircle.org. Tickets will be held at the door.

Information: Colleen Taggart D'Agrosa, 800-642-2542.

Lantern workshops offered for festival

Free lantern-making workshops are being offered at Howard County library branches and at Howard County Center for the Arts in preparation for the "Lanterns of Hope" luminaria procession planned for this year's Comcast Cherrybration on May 3 at Centennial Park.

The event will celebrate the arrival of spring and the blossoming of Howard's County's 1,250 "Blossom of Hope" Kwanzan cherry trees.

The outdoor festival, which is to begin at 4 p.m., will feature music, strolling entertainers, children's activities and educational displays on health, the outdoors and the importance of nature. At dusk, Mother Nature will lead a luminaria parade through the park.

Workshops will be offered from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the central library; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Howard County Center for the Arts; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 19 at the central library; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 20 at Howard County Center for the Arts; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 24 at the east Columbia branch; and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 27 at Howard County Center for the Arts.

Instructions for making a simple lantern are also available online at www.blossomsof hope.com.

"Blossoms of Hope" helps to fund Howard County General Hospital's Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center.

Nine local restaurants are featuring "Pink" Plate Specials this month, to benefit the Claudia Mayer center.

The special dishes can be requested at Aida Bistro & Wine Bar, Alexandra's, Belmont Conference Center, Jordan's Steakhouse, Kelsey's, Rams Head Tavern, Tersiguel's, The Crab Shanty, and Waterside. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Claudia Mayer center.

Information: 410-313-1900.

Tax session set for nonprofits

The Association of Community Services will sponsor "At Risk? Your Tax Exempt Status," a discussion of new IRS definitions and other changes that could jeopardize an organization's nonprofit status, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

Jennine Anderson, partner at UHY LLP, an accounting firm, will discuss how required disclosures and other tax issues can affect the operation of nonprofits.

Lunch can be brought or ordered by faxing the order form available at www.acshoco.org today to 410-715-9547.

Emergencies and older adults

A free one-hour seminar designed to help older adults prepare for unexpected emergencies will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Longwood Senior Center (410-313-7217).

The seminar, "Preparing the Important Document Binder," is sponsored by CERN and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program of Howard County. It includes information on documents that should be ready in case it is necessary to leave home in a hurry.

Those who attend are asked to take key documents, such as a copy of a driver's license, marriage license and deed to the house that they are willing to copy at the workshop to begin to create an "important document binder."

Panel to discuss racism in the U.S.

HoCoPoLitSo (Howard County Poetry & Literature Society) will sponsor a free panel discussion, "Racism in America: 1968-2008: What has changed? What remains to be done?" from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 27 at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia.

Those who attend will be asked to participate in a discussion that includes a decade-by-decade account of racism in America, using a visual presentation, and to examine the state of racism in the nation, with a focus on Howard County.

As part of its commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Maryland Humanities Council has undertaken to engage communities statewide in an examination of race relations today.

Locally, the council has charged HoCoPoLitSo with engaging residents in an evaluation of King's legacy, the state of racial relations, and what has been or could be done to bridge the divide.

Admission is free. Seating is limited, and reservations are encouraged. Information or to reserve a place: 410-772-4568 or e-mail, information@hocopolitso.org. Or visit www.hocopolitso.org.

Inspiration Walk set for April 19

Special Olympics Howard County will hold its seventh annual "Inspiration Walk" at 9:15 a.m. April 19 at Centennial Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Door prizes will be awarded from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. Walkers can choose between a 2.3-mile walk around the lake or a 1-mile fun walk. Drinks, fruit and snacks will be provided. Pledge levels are $25 (walkers get a T-shirt and entry into door prize drawing) and $100 (walkers get an extra ticket for the door prize drawing). Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers. To set up a Web page to solicit pledges: www.Firstgiving.com/somdhc. To make a donation to the walk: www.Firstgiving.com/somdhcdonate.

Columbia festival on June 14

Organizers for the Columbia Festival of the Arts' 5th annual Kinetic Art Parade are seeking 'art that moves' to join the colorful procession through Columbia Town Center that begins at 11 a.m. on June 14.

Entrants are encouraged to be creative. Entrants are also invited to transform themselves into art, and walk in the parade as "live art."

Individuals and groups are invited to enter. Cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 will be awarded. Entrants will have a chance to display their art during the LakeFest activities after the parade June 14-15.

For more information, visit www.columbiafestival.com, call 410-715-3044, or e-mail parade@columbiafestival.com.

Education board to hold coffee chats

The Board of Education will hold Coffee & Conversation sessions at schools throughout the county. These meetings provide community with an opportunity to share a cup of coffee and chat informally with board members.

The next session will be 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on April 26 in the media center at Murray Hill Middle School, 9989 Winter Sun Road in Laurel.

First Spring Fling run planned

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will sponsor its first Spring Fling 10K Trail Run tomorrow at Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge. Check-in time is 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. The race begins at 9:30 a.m. The race, for ages 8 to adult, includes open-field running, stream-jumps and wooded trails. The cost is $17 in advance; $20 at the gate. Pre-registered runners receive a race T-shirt. 410-313-1691. To register: 410-313-7275.

Spring carnival is tomorrow

Waterloo Elementary School will hold its first Waterloo Spring Carnival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

A dunk tank, prizes, a tug of war, inflatables, a silent auction and games are planned.

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