The calendar doesn't say so yet, but summertime is over, especially since school has started. The First Day celebration at Cedarmere Elementary was truly special this year as the new superintendent, S. Dallas Dance, was on hand to greet students, parents and teachers as they arrived. Breakfast was provided for parents as they awaited the welcome-back assembly, and there were several exhibits for the parents to peruse.

Also on hand was Councilwoman Vicki Almond. As a community activist when her own children were in school, Vicki has given countless volunteer hours to support public education. Principal Stephen Coco addressed the standing-room only crowd and welcomed all to a new school year. He also introduced new Vice Principal Arlene Moore and stressed that parental support is very important in a child's education. Cedarmere certainly sees that support, not just with the parents but with everyone who was assembled on the stage to support education. Dr. Dance spoke to the group, as did County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Later that same day, both men would be found at Perry Hall High School where a tragic school shooting had occurred. Prayers are still sent out to the community there.


Volunteerism is alive and well in our community, and these efforts are paying off for women and children in crisis. Ruth's Closet, a boutique in Owings Mills, is hosting the One Great Thing 2012 sale. Proceeds from the event help women and children in abusive situations by supporting the House of Ruth programs which helpvictims begin new lives, free of fear and abuse. Mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 18-Sunday, Oct. 21 for this year's event. Mano Swartz and Bijoux, both founding sponsors of Ruth's Closet, are supporting One Great Thing 2012. There will be furs, specialty coats and winter accessories. Beautiful jewelry, donated by Bijoux, will be available, as well as a selection of decorative home pieces. There will be a preview on Oct. 18 from 5-9 p.m. Richard Swartz will be on hand at the preview to assist shoppers. Tickets are required to attend the preview at a cost of $20. They can be bought at Ruth's Closet beginning today, Sept. 13.

To help this event, residents are encouraged to donate their own great things, buy a ticket to the preview and come to shop and join the email list, and share this information with others. Donations can be dropped off at Ruth's Closet, Greenspring Station (Mano Swartz, Bijoux, Matava and Wee Chic), and The Village at Cross Keys (Jones & Jones, Ruth Shaw and Chezelle). Ruth's Closet, the site of the sale, is located at 9131 Reisterstown Road, in the back level of the Valley Village Shopping Center. Call Terri at 410-261-3027 for information.

Lorena de Leon, an Owings Mills resident, is breathing fresh air into Main Street, USA. She is the owner of the new store Decals, located above Java Mammas at 324 Main Street in Reisterstown. This new venture was inspired by her 12-year-old daughter's desire to decorate her bedroom using cork boards. Instead, de Leon took her daughter shopping and soon realized the choices for wall decorations were few.

After trying online shopping, she realized that people might like to see the actual sizes, colors and materials of the items that were going on their walls. A storefront was needed for this and a vacancy opened when Secrets on Main Street moved to a larger location just north of its original site. Decals opened its doors on May 5, offering a large variety of home décor items, as well as custom decals. From sporting themes to character themes, this shop has it all.

De Leon is full of novel ideas for improving Main Street. Already in the works is Music on Main Street, as a way of enticing residents to attend and shop local.

A happy birthday is wished to the sweetest mother-daughter duo of Vivian Freeman and Erica Wertlieb. Erica celebrates her 27th birthday on Sept. 22 and then joins her mom on the 23rd for her special birthday celebration. Suffice to say that Vivian could pass for Erica's older sister!

Now that the school year has started, I would love to hear about all of your children's accomplishments. Call or email with your special news.