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Community Notes

The Baltimore Sun

County to launch 3 farmers' markets

The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Agricultural Marketing Program will launch farmers' markets at three locations in the county: the east Columbia branch library, Oakland Mills Village Center and the Glenwood branch library in Cooksville.

The east Columbia library market opens from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, starting tomorrow; the Glenwood branch library market opens from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, starting this week; and the Oakland Mills market opens from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays, starting this week.

The markets, which are to run through the fall, will feature locally grown produce, including seasonal fruit; baked goods; flowers; transplants; organically-grown produce; and specialty items.

Information: 410-313-6500.

Cherrybration event set for Saturday

The second Comcast Cherrybration will be held Saturday at Centennial Park. The outdoor festival, which starts at 4 p.m., will celebrate the arrival of spring and the blossoming of Howard's County's 1,250 "Blossom of Hope" Kwanzan cherry trees.

The "Lanterns of Hope" luminaria procession is planned at dusk.

The event will feature music, strolling entertainers, children's activities and educational displays on health, the outdoors and the importance of nature.

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

Information: www.blossomsofhope.com.

BBB event focuses on identity safety

The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland and its partners invite individuals and small businesses to participate in the first "Secure Your ID" Day from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, at the corner of Aviation Boulevard and Elkridge Landing Road, across the street from the Shell gas station.

Free shredding and advice on securing identity will be offered. Participants can bring up to three boxes or bags of personal documents to shred. The event is being held by Better Business bureaus in communities across the country.

Co-sponsors are BWI Airport, Secured Shred, Equifax and the National Association of Information Destruction.

Information: 410-347-3990 or visit www.bbb.org.

Spring Party for 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. tomorrow.

A buffet, raw bar and beverages from Clyde's of Columbia are planned.

Tickets are $75. Proceeds will benefit Howard County nonprofit human services, cultural, civic and educational organizations. 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.

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

NAMI walkathon set for Saturday

The 2008 Maryland NAMIWalks for the Mind of America walkathon will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Park in Ellicott City. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Family activities are also planned.

There is no fee to participate, but walkers are encouraged to collect donations from family members, friends, co-workers and business associates. The walk is sponsored by national and local companies.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers support, education, research and advocacy programs for the mentally ill in Maryland. About 70 NAMI walks are expected to be held around the country.

Information: 410-772-9300 or visit www.nami.org/walks.

Nominees sought for county awards

The Community Action Council of Howard County MD Inc. is seeking nominations for awards to county resident and organization for their outstanding community service.

One person will be recognized with the Rev. John W. Holland Humanitarian Award, and two organization will receive Community Service awards. The honors recognize hands-on and selfless service to the needy in the county, following the example of the Rev. John Holland, who served on the council's board of 17 years.

Born in Cooksville in 1910, Holland worked to ensure human rights. He served as vice president of the Maryland State Conference of NAACP branches, and as president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for 10 years. He died in November, 1987.

Nominations must be submitted by June 3. The winners will receive their awards at CAC's annual Holland Awards Dinner, to be held Oct. 16 at the Sheraton Columbia Hotel.

The Community Action Council is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and emergency services to low-income Howard County residents.

Information: Deepak Chadha, 410-313-6440.

State Farm gives grant to help FIRN

A local State Farm Insurance office has awarded a grant of $5,000 to FIRN to develop an annotated directory of services for foreign-born residents to help them establish successful lives in the community. The book will be translated into Spanish, Korean and French.

The State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship grant, facilitated through the State Farm office of Fred Weaver, will support updating, translation, printing and distribution of the book.

FIRN offers information and referral, immigration and employment counseling service, interpreting and literary programs to immigrants.

Information: 410-992-1923.

Longfellow plans spring fair Saturday

Longfellow Elementary School's Spring Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the school, 5470 Hesperus Drive, Columbia. There will be carnival games, the Baltimore Ravens mascot, demonstrations, crafts, food and a bake sale. Admission is free.

Information: 410-313-6879.

IRS gives $71,000 for law clinic

The Internal Revenue Service has awarded $71,000 to the Maryland volunteer Lawyers Service to operate its 2008 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Law Tax Clinic.

Volunteer lawyers and students from the law school, under supervision by members of the faculty, will provide free legal assistance to those in need who have IRS tax disputes or need to file back taxes. Maryland residents can receive free help in resolving disputes regarding the Earned Income Tax Credit, discrepancies in reported income, collections, head of household status and other matters.

The clinic operates year round and is accepting new clients. Information or to apply for free assistance: 410-547-6537 or 1-800-510-0050, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Norbel School to hold open house

The Norbel School, 6135 Old Washington Road, Elkridge, will hold an open house for parents of prospective students at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The private nonprofit school serves children in grades one through 12, with average to gifted intelligence who have speech and language disabilities, learning differences, or high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

Information: 410-796-6700 or visit www.norbelschool.org.

Workshop to offer lessons on tools

The Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, will offer an "Introduction to Hand Tools for Women" from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, next week and May 13. Participants will learn to use hand tools to do any home project properly and safely.

Tuition is $30 for Columbia residents; $40 for nonresidents.

"Introduction to Power Tools for Women" will be offered from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, June 3 through June 17. Participants will build a small project.

Tuition is $40 for residents; $50 for nonresidents.

Woodworker Jack Eckstrom will teach both workshops.

Information: 410-730-0075 or visit www.columbiaartcenter.org.

Greene Turtle helps cancer fundraiser

The Greene Turtle, 8872 McGaw Road, Columbia, will contribute 10 percent of its sales May 8 to Howard County's Relay for Life, the annual overnight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Doors open at 11 a.m. for lunch. This year's Relay for Life will be June 6 and 7 at Hammond High School in Columbia. Information: Meaghan Kordusky, 410-313-6592.

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