Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Damascus native vies for Miss USA title

E-mail this article \ Print this article

Casandra Tressler, 22, of Damascus was crowned Miss Maryland USA 2008 on Nov. 4 at the Montgomery Conference Center in North Bethesda.

On April 11, she will compete in the Miss USA Pageant, which is being held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The pageant will be broadcast live 9-11 p.m. on NBC-TV.

‘‘I know that nothing in life is easy; however, with perseverance and determination I can truly accomplish anything I set my mind to,” Tressler wrote on the pageant Web site.

She has been in Las Vegas for the past week preparing for the pageant and competing in preliminary events.

Tressler, a 2003 graduate of Damascus High School, graduated from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in December. Her major was political science with a minor in Spanish.

‘‘I know I want to practice criminal law,” she told The Gazette while home for a break in late November. ‘‘I’m thinking along the lines of family court or juvenile court. I’d like to work with kids, I’d like to work with troubled teens. Eventually, I’d like to be a judge.”

Cleaning up thePotomac Watershed

The 20th annual Potomac Watershed Clean Up Day is set for Saturday.

Thousands of volunteers of all ages will pick up trash from different cleanup sites around the region, rain or shine.

Over the past 20 years, volunteers have removed more than 3 million pounds of trash from the watershed.

The Izaak Walton League Wildlife Achievement Chapter invites members and nonmembers to help clean up the Upper Patuxent Watershed between 9 a.m. and noon. Meet at the chapter house at 26430 Mullinix Mill Road in Mount Airy.

All participants are invited to lunch afterwards. For more information, call Meo Curtis at 301-604-3736 or send an e-mail to

For those who want to help clean up the Potomac, a group will be meeting at 9 a.m. at the Upper Magruder Branch Park above Sweepstakes Road in Damascus at 9 a.m.

To sign up for this project, contact Adam Griggs at the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin at

Play ball

Damascus Sports Association will hold its annual Baseball⁄Softball Opening Day celebration 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Damascus Chevrolet, 26100 Woodfield Road.

The Oriole Bird, a moonbounce, a dunk tank, games and music are all part of the festivities.

This year, Damascus will welcome the Clarksburg Sports Association baseball program to opening day and inter-league play. For information, send an e-mail to

Steppin’ high for charity

Upper County Steppers Inc. will hold a charity step competition Saturday at University of Maryland’s Ritchie Coliseum.

‘‘Steppin’ for the Community,” the seventh annual charity step event, is designed to offer cultural and artistic enrichment to the community and youth audiences who might not be otherwise exposed to the art form.

Participants range in age from 5 to 18.

In addition to trophies, more than $3,000 worth of cash and prizes will be awarded. A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to a local community center to help fund its after-school and summer camp programs.

The competition will begin at 6 p.m., and doors will open at 5.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Children 5 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased via PayPal and at Downtown Locker Room in the Lakeforest mall, by calling 301-528-9697 or by sending an e-mail to

For more information visit

Tax assistance available for low-income earners

The Community Action Agency’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax assistance to individuals with low to moderate incomes and is available to help eligible individuals receive the newly passed stimulus payments from the Internal Revenue Service.

To schedule an appointment for free tax assistance at Community Action’s Silver Spring office, call Karen Fisher at 301-565-7451. To become a program volunteer with a certified tax preparer, call 301-565-4670 or e-mail

For additional free tax assistance, go to the Montgomery County Public Libraries Web site at⁄library, click on Spotlight, then Tax Information, or call the American Association for Retired Person’s tax information line at 240-777-2577.

Income Tax preparation help is available for seniors 55 and older Mondays and Fridays by appointment at Damascus Senior Center, 9701 Main St. Call 240-777-6995.

Sign up for summer camps

*Damascus Soccer Club will hold its 10th annual summer camp the week of July 14 at the Maryland Soccer Plex.

Half- and full-day sessions are available for ages 5 and up. Half-day sessions cost $150, while full-day sessions cost $210. Each includes a T-shirt and ball.

Register online at or send an e-mail to Christine Hughes at for more information.

*BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown is accepting registrations for its summer camps, minicamps and workshops for children from age 3 to those in eighth grade. The sessions will be held June 16 through Aug. 1.

The camps, for children in grades two through eight, are intensive two-week sessions consisting of classes in dance, theater, music and visual arts. Each session culminates in a staged performance of an original musical theater production and art exhibition.

The center’s minicamps are one-week sessions for children ages 3-6. Children are exposed to all art forms and use their bodies, voice and imagination to explore fun themes.

BlackRock will conduct two workshops in August. The Young Artist’s Ballet Camp is open for all young dancers in grades one through three. The Wizard Workshop allows children in grades three through five to hone their magic skills.

For more information, call Rene Schecker at 240-912-1053 or e-mail or visit

BlackRock Center for the Arts is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive.

Items appropriate for People and Places must be received by 9 a.m. Friday for consideration. They can be mailed to The Damascus-Clarksburg Gazette, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877; sent by fax to 301-670-7183; or e-mailed to

Vendors wanted for Clarksburg Day

The Clarksburg Historical Society is taking reservations for vendor space for arts, crafts, home businesses and flea markets for this year’s Clarksburg Day, which will be held June 7.

The annual event will feature live entertainment, a pet show, vendors, a variety show, free trolley rides and historical displays.

The daylong celebration will be held in the historic district of Clarksburg near the intersection of Frederick and Clarksburg roads. Vendor spaces will be available at Clarksburg High School, 22500 Wims Road.

For more information, call 301-253-3807.

Items appropriate for People and Places must be received by 9 a.m. Friday for consideration. They can be mailed to The Damascus-Clarksburg Gazette, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877; sent by fax to 301-670-7183; or e-mailed to