Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Resident is a princess for a week

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A Potomac resident got the chance to be a princess this April during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Christa Taylor Aiken, 21, participated in the Cherry Blossom Princess Program during the festival, in which young women represent their states and act as ‘‘ambassadors” to Washington.

Aiken was representing the state of Delaware, where her family has a summer home.

‘‘I really liked meeting the girls,” Aiken said. ‘‘They’re from every state and they were all so different and ambitious.”

During the festival, which celebrates the blooming of cherry blossom trees near Washington’s Tidal Basin that were a 1912 gift from Japan, Cherry Blossom princesses meet with local, national and international leaders and take part in educational and cultural activities. This year, Aiken, along with other princesses, got the chance to go to Embassy parties and attend the opening of the Newseum.

When Aiken’s mother was her age, she also participated in the program as a representative of Michigan.

During the festival, Aiken attended a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill with her grandfather, former U.S. Rep. William Broomfield, (R-Mich).

‘‘When my mom was a cherry blossom princess, he escorted her too, so I’m keeping that family tradition alive,” Aiken said.

Aiken is a graduate of the Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac and is now a senior at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. For more information about the Cherry Blossom Princess program, visit

Potomac resident named Tutor of the Year

Congratulations to Potomac resident David Taylor, who has been named ‘‘Tutor of the Year” by the Literacy Council of Montgomery County. The group enlists volunteers to help adult learners of English to speak, read and write English.

Award recipients were honored at the group’s annual meeting April 17.

According to Shelley Block of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Taylor was honored because his student has made significant strides in learning the language ever since he started working with Taylor several years ago — including obtaining a drivers’ license, passing a citizenship exam, getting a passport, and applying for a business license.

Several other volunteers were awarded at the meeting. Award recipients included Bethesda resident Ed Schumacher, who received the ‘‘Distinguished Service Award” after donating more than 300 hours of service to the group since 2005. Paula Glaser and Vilma Rioja, both of Rockville, and Kensington resident Kunie DeVorkin were all honored as volunteers of the year, and Chevy Chase resident Roberta Liebman also received the ‘‘Tutor of the Year” award after donating more than 560 hours to the group.

‘‘Tutor Contact of the Year” was awarded to Judy Whiton of Gaithersburg, who provides support for volunteer tutors, and ‘‘Outstanding Student Awards” went to Milton Whitley of Gaithersburg and Bei En Shen of Derwood.

For more information about the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, or to volunteer, visit

Sweet festival at Potomac United Methodist Church

The Potomac United Methodist Church is getting ready for its 18th annual Strawberry and Artisan Festival. Highlights of the festival will include strawberry shortcake and chocolate-dipped strawberries, as well as other edible treats such as hamburgers, hot dogs and Uno’s deep dish pizza. Local artisans — including Linens of Provence, Lemon Twist Clothing, By Invitation, Luxury Leather Design, LookALikes, and Off the Shoulders — will hawk their wares, and attendees can bargain-hunt for used items like clothing and books. The day will also feature a silent auction and activities for children. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Potomac United Methodist Church, 9908 South Glen Road, Potomac, and all proceeds will benefit the church’s outreach programs. For more information, e-mail

North Potomac Citizens Association to hold meeting

North Potomac Citizen Association is gearing up for its Spring Town Hall meeting, which will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m., May 21, in the all-purpose room of Travilah Elementary School, located at 13801 Dufief Mill Road, North Potomac. At the meeting, representatives from Montgomery County Park and Planning will discuss proposed new uses for the 96-acre GE Technology Park on Route 28, the Belward property, and plans for community parklands. Representatives from the Montgomery County Police Department will discuss the County’s speed camera program, and State Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Dist. 15) of Germantown will speak to residents. For more information about the North Potomac Citizens Association,

This column is for you. Send press releases, news tips and other information to Erin Donaghue by phone to 301-280-3007, by e-mail, by fax to 301-670-7183 or by mail to 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.