Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning

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Photo courtesy of George H. Hammond
Volunteers work in the kitchen at the Original Pancake House in Bethesda to make free breakfasts for the needy on Christmas Day.
The Original Pancake House in Bethesda was officially closed on Christmas morning, but the restaurant still served up more than 275 breakfasts of scrambled eggs, pancakes and bacon.

It was the eighth year that restaurant owner Jeff Bulman opened the café on Christmas morning for free breakfasts for the needy.

‘‘This year was the best year ever,” Bulman said.

With 276 guests from county shelters, this year’s event was the biggest yet, he said.

Bulman, who owns three Original Pancake House restaurants, said he took donations from patrons at the Bethesda and Rockville locations. The funds were used to purchase toiletries and hats and scarves, which were distributed to guests on Christmas morning.

In addition, 50 volunteers cooked and served the food.

Breakfast also featured live Christmas music by symphony musicians who volunteered to play and balloon sculptures.

‘‘Everybody just had a lot of fun,” Bulman said.

He also served free breakfasts on Christmas Day at his Falls Church location.

Seafood through the ages

O’Donnell’s Sea Grille, a family-owned seafood restaurant with roots dating 85 years, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Gaithersburg. The restaurant got its start in Washington and once had a branch in Bethesda, but is now only in the Kentlands at 311 Kentlands Blvd.

To celebrate 10 years at its current location, the seafood hot spot held an essay contest and encouraged visitors to submit their dining memories.

About 100 diners of all ages wrote in, including Thomas and Jeannie Keating of Silver Spring who have celebrated every wedding anniversary at O’Donnell’s and will mark 50 years in February 2009, restaurant spokeswoman Lauren Meley said. Roger Warren of Bethesda captured his memory of being a young paperboy out in the winter cold of Washington and greeted through a doorway by an O’Donnell’s waiter who handed him some of the restaurant’s famous Rum Buns.

First prize went to Richard Warren of Bethesda, whose family has frequented the eatery since World War II and has gathered at O’Donnell’s for special occasions for years. He recalled dinner at O’Donnell’s on his return home from four years of service in the Air Force in 1971, Meley said. Warren and his siblings still gather regularly at the restaurant and bring a special memory — a ring, photo or article of clothing — of their deceased parents to keep the evening special.

Warren’s essay won him a free monthly dinner for two for a year, Meley said.

‘‘We still see a lot of the same faces from Bethesda, but the Kentlands is a great area and we’re really glad to be a part of it,” said Bill Edelblut of Bethesda, grandson of original owner Tom O’Donnell. ‘‘It’s been a great location for us.

Class offers pottery wheel techniques for teens

Young adults interested in learning basic pottery wheel techniques can sign up for an introduction class focusing on the potter’s wheel including wedging, centering, throwing and decorating techniques. The class allows students to throw at their own level.

The six-week classes for middle and high school students meet 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Feb. 14 at Glen Echo Pottery, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo.

Tuition is $108 and includes tools and supplies. For more information, call 301-229-5585 or visit www.glenechopottery.com.

Maryland State Boychoirto hold auditions

The Maryland State Boychoir is now accepting applications for auditions. Auditions will be held Jan. 19 and Feb. 9. All boys, ages 7-17, who love to sing are encouraged to apply. To schedule an audition or for more information, call 410-668-2003.

Previous training or experience is not required. Members of the Boychoir receive outstanding training in voice, as well as musical theory. Additionally, the choir offers boys the chance to sing great music, tour domestically as well as internationally, and to make new friends in a fun and challenging environment.

Now in its 21st concert season, The Maryland State Boychoir serves the State of Maryland as ‘‘Official Goodwill Ambassadors.” The Boychoir performs more than 60 times each year throughout Maryland and surrounding states, and on national and international tours that have taken them to 30 different states in the U.S., Ireland, Wales, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Canada.

Caring volunteers needed at local hospice

Montgomery Hospice, a nonprofit hospice that provides end-of-life services to residents of Montgomery County, is looking for volunteers to help support terminally ill patients and their families and caregivers. Patient Care Volunteers provide patients with in-home visits and everyday support, such as running errands. Bereavement Care Volunteers are also needed to provide emotional support to loved ones of hospice patients who have passed away. Applicants must be interviewed and complete a training session before volunteering at Montgomery Hospice. The next three-day training session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and 29, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 1. The training will be held at the hospice, located at 1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 100, Rockville. To request a volunteer application, contact Terry Stewart at 301-921-4400 or visit www.montgomeryhospice.org.