Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Book sale benefits local nonprofit

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The Brave Dave Foundation in Kensington is selling children’s books online to raise money for the nonprofit dedicated to Multiple Sclerosis research.

The organization is named for Dave Gearing, a lifelong Montgomery County resident, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis soon after graduating from law school and was forced to retire from the federal government several years ago.

Tom Branthover, Brave Dave spokesman, said children’s books are something the group stumbled into.

‘‘Dave’s dad was a teacher ... and my daughter is diabetic so we didn’t want to sell candy,” he said. ‘‘The books, really it was nothing we planned or expected it to work and people love it.”

The group runs an annual charity golf tournament in June called the Brave Dave Open, and partnered with Usborne Books to raise additional funds.

Branthover said people can choose from puzzles, books, learning games and kits at⁄SL05827839

For more information, visit or contact Branthover at 301-949-6101 or .

One giant leap ... year?

February 2008 brings around a special event that only happens every four years. No, not the presidential primary, which is scheduled for Feb. 12. We’re talking about leap year, that strange calendar anomaly that makes sure our yearly cycles balance out properly. Do you have a special way to mark Feb. 29? Do you have a birthday that falls on the day and only celebrate every four years? Let us know your leap year traditions. E-mail

Old time Kensingtoncomes to life

Come and enjoy an animated dialogue between Ted Rosche and Emily Robinson, two experts on historic Kensington, and see what life was like in town circa 1900 through slides and letters from Kensington at the turn of the last century.

The Historical Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 12, in the Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St., with coffee served at 7 p.m.

Also, the group will continue an antique toy display at the Kensington Park Library, 4201 Knowles Ave., Kensington. The toys were donated to the town by Isabelle Barr, who ran the Barbelle Creative Center for Children on Capital View Avenue for more than 30 years, before closing it in the 1970s. This is a collection of toys used by the children in her nursery school.

According to Julia O’Malley, Historical Society president, Barr, a Chevy Chase resident who died in 2005, donated her collection of toys to the town with the hope that the children of Kensington could continue to enjoy them.

Healthy hearts around Valentine’s Day

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, according to medical experts, and the Town of Kensington will offer a free heart and wellness clinic just after Valentine’s Day.

The George Washington University Hospital will offer a free health clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 16 at Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St.

Free blood cholesterol and other lipids tests, electrocardiograms, blood pressure checks, body mass index (BMI) calculation, cardiac risk assessment tools and diet consultations will be offered to all.

Participants are asked to fast before attending the clinic to get accurate test results.

Dr. Cindy Tracy, director of cardiac services at the hospital, and other medical professionals will be on hand to answer questions. For more information, call 301-949-2424.

Chinese New Yearon Howard Avenue

A Chinese New Year celebration and free Pooch Photos will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m., Sunday through Feb. 17 at Marco Polo’s Treasures, 4263 Howard Ave., Kensington. Proceeds will be donated to Tara’s Babies Animal Shelter. For more information, call 301-530-3420.

Square dancingin Kensington

Members of the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Kensington can teach anyone to square dance in a weekend, and will prove it from Feb. 29 through March 2.

‘‘It’s a family activity and it’s good for adults as well as for children,” said Lou Mastrobattista, square dancer and event organizer. ‘‘You get to meet a lot of people, make new friends and it’s just great.”

The ‘‘Leap Year Blast” classes will be taught by the Village Swingers, Saturday-in-Style, and Gerrymanders square dance clubs.

The deadline to register for the classes, held at the church at 3101 University Blvd., Kensington, is Feb. 15. Classes run from 7:30-10:30 p.m., Feb. 29 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 1. Tickets are $30, which includes lunch on the second day. The weekend culminates in a square dance from 7-11 p.m., March 2. And all proceeds from the night are used to rent the hall. For more information, call Kenny Farris at 301-490-6279 or Shirley Heintzelman at 301-929-1472.

Help keep Walter Johnson Crew afloat

The Walter Johnson Crew team will host a silent auction at 7 p.m., Feb. 28, at Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda. Crewmembers are soliciting items and services to auction. There will be a wide assortment of items up for bid such as gift certificates for Dream Dinners, spa treatments, math tutoring sessions and more. All proceeds go directly toward buying new boats and maintaining the existing ones. For donation information, contact Anna Stokes at or Marianne Van der Tak at