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Rotary Club ended year with wave of community support

The Hunt Valley Rotary Club, partnering with Boy Scouts of Central Maryland and its 2012 Scouting for Food campaign, recently collected 927 pounds of food.

Half was given to the Assistance Center of Towson Churches, together with $500 in cash. The other half was given to the Hereford Food Bank.

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Club members also raised $740 in cash donations for the Maryland Food Bank.

In addition, the club recently distributed 1,313 dictionaries to third-graders in 23 area elementary schools, and also provided, through Operation Warm, 200 new winter coats to local children in need.

One note for 2012 — the Hunt Valley Rotary has changed its meeting venue, effective Jan. 11, and is now meeting on Wednesdays at noon at the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn, 245 Shawan Road.

For additional information on Rotary membership, events and projects, go to http://www.huntvalleyrotary.com.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the Pride of Baltimore Chorus is offering singing Valentines on Feb. 12, 13 and 14.

The chorus, based in Parkville, has a number of local members. Valentines will be delivered by a quartet singing two songs, and recipients also receive a box of candy. The cost is $50.

Or, your sweetheart can receive a telephone Valentine for $15. To make reservations, contact Char at cbjones@qis.net or call 410-967-8958.

Local students Victoria Malstrom, of Notre Dame Preparatory School, and Kate Ramsdell, of St. Paul's School for Girls, were among the recipients of the Outstanding Youth Awards, given to five youngsters at the Greater Jacksonville Optimists Club's recent Youth Appreciation Evening.

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Others were Stefanie Diehl of North Harford High School, Elisabeth Change of the Science and Mathematics Academy of Aberdeen High and John Connell Jr. of Salem Christian Home School.

This past holiday season, the Jacksonville club, along with counterparts at Towson University, sponsored six families through St. Vincent Villa, and worked with the Baltimore County Police and the Cockeysville, Hereford and Timonium clubs to provide Christmas joy for 110 children through the annual Shop with a Cop activity.

Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, will host a Trail Guide Training program for people who enjoy nature, children and hiking. Volunteers are needed, and the next round of training will take place Feb. 7, 8, 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Cost is $25 per person.

Call 410-887-1815 to register.

In addition, the following events and activities are planned at Oregon Ridge in January. You may also call 410-887-1815 to register for any of these:

• Friday, Jan. 13, 6-8 p.m. — Stars of the Ancient Sky, with Dr. Rommel Miranda from Towson University and the portable StarLab Planetarium. Cost is $4 member; $5 non-members.

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• Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21 and 22, 2 to 4 p.m. each day — Snow Storytime. Hear a story, play in snow and make a craft. Cost is $2 member; $3 non-members.

• Monday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Nature Day Camp for ages 6-9. Cost is $10 member; $15 non-members.

• Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28 and 29, 2 to 4 p.m. each day — Tricky Tracking. Look for tracks of hungry critters. Make a plaster cast of your favorite track. Cost is $2 member; $3 non-members.

I hope the holidays were pleasant and happy for everyone. On a personal note, congratulations are extended to my son, Christian Saarbach on his engagement this past December to Jennifer Ragus. We celebrated at an engagement dinner in Baltimore with family and friends. A spring 2013 wedding is planned in Florida. Best wishes to the happy couple!

Reminder that Monday, Jan. 16, is the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

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