Elkridge couple Sue and Bill Kratz celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary

Elkridge residents Catherine and William Kratz Sr. celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Oct. 2 at the Ellicott City home of one of their children. More than 50 family members and friends were in attendance to share this special celebration of love.

Catherine (Sue) and William (Bill) were both born in Baltimore. They were married in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 2, 1951 and renewed their 50th wedding anniversary vows in 2001 at St. Augustine's Catholic Church. The Kratz' have five children: William Kratz Jr., of Millersville; Susan Suchocki, of Ellicott City; John Kratz Sr., of Baltimore; Cathy Fischer, of Elkridge; and Robert Kratz, of Ridgely.


Bill and Sue have seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. The couple retired from their family run business and spend time enjoying their grandchildren and playing bingo.

Congratulations to Sue and Bill on such a blessed occasion, and here's wishing them many more years of health and happiness!


Here are a few fun things to pencil into your calendar as soon as you can. If you're life is anything like mine, hectic is a standard and the calendar fills quickly, especially as the holidays approach.

Just a reminder from the folks at Elkridge Landing Middle School: The Howard County School Board is hosting a "Coffee and Conversation" for the local community on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9:30 to 11 a.m., at the school's media center, 7085 Montgomery Road. "Coffee and Conversation" provides community members from across the county an opportunity to chat informally with members of the Howard County Board of Education. So bring your ears and your questions to chat with the board this Saturday.

You will also still have time this weekend to enjoy "The Haunted Experience at Rockburn Branch Park." A night as dark as a witch's cauldron would be the ideal setting as this spooky hay ride takes you through the eerie trails at Rockburn Branch Park (Montgomery Road entrance at Rockburn Elementary School) to a spirited dwelling deep in the haunted wood.

Awaiting you on the "other side" are spine-tingling tales of ghosts, goblins and horror. The final haunted experiences for 2011 are Friday, Oct. 28th, 7-10 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 29, 6:30-10 p.m. and admission is $10 per person. The event is presented by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Elkridge Adult Athletic Association. This annual Halloween event is scary fun for ages 7 and older. Note that the HCRP and EAAA do not recommend this activity for children younger than 7. For more information, email Ann Combs at

The administration at Howard High School would like to share an informative event on the educational front. The school is hosting the fifth annual AD/HD Awareness Event with Debbie Phelps Nov. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Phelps is a master educator and dynamic speaker and will share tips for both parents and educators to help kids of all ages with attention deficits and learning challenges to become academically and socially independent. She is an author, principal of Windsor Mill Middle School in Baltimore County and mother of three, including Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age 9.

Phelps' memoir, "A Mother for All Seasons," will be available for purchase and signing at the event. This event is free and registration is not required.

Howard High is at 8700 Old Annapolis Road, in Ellicott City. For more information, contact Emily Hurd at, or 410-313-1252.


Also at Howard High School, the PTSA Bags and Basket Bingo (featuring Coach, and Vera Bradley bags, plus Longaberger baskets stuffed with lots of goodies) is scheduled for Nov. 5 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 4795 Ilchester Road, in Ellicott City.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and bingo starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance; $20 at the door (if available) and refreshments will be available for purchase. To sponsor a basket or bag, assist with the event, or purchase tickets, email Ann Russo at or call 410-465-8841 or email Ana Barnabe at

Melville Chapel United Methodist Church will be hosting a Pampered Chef party Nov. 6 from noon to 2 p.m. in the fellowship hall at 5660 Furnace Ave. A light lunch will be served and proceeds will benefit the outreach programs of the church.

For more information, call Sue Burke Harrison at 443-875-3516, or via email at This might be just the perfect way to start your holiday shopping.

What's the old saying? "You ain't got a thing if you ain't got that swing?" The Elkridge Furnace Inn is hosting a swing dance party Nov. 12 from 7 to 11 p.m. Guests can learn the basic swing dance moves in the first hour of the event and dance the night away to the live entertainment of Swing band, Lovecraft.

Enjoy sensational hors d'oeuvres, a delicious chef's carving station and decadent desserts prepared by Elkridge's delightful, award-winning Furnace Inn. One house drink is included in the price of the ticket and a cash bar will continue to offer libations and spirits throughout the evening.


Where else can you enjoy live entertainment, dance lessons, delectable food and beverages and have a great time? Bring your friends… this is sure to be a great group night out.

Tickets are $61 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and can be purchased by calling Meredith Cook, director of marketing and special events for the restaurant, at 410-379-9336, via email at, or by going to Don't miss out on all the fun!

Here's wishing you a spook-tacular Halloween! After the tricks and treats, offer a special remembrance for your deceased loved ones on All Souls Day, Nov. 1st. Please keep in touch and let me know what you'd like to share in this space. I always look forward to hearing from the great friends and neighbors of Elkridge and Hanover. Thanks and have a stellar week.