Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Golfers make a wish come true

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Golfers from around Montgomery County contributed more than $140,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the annual Golf Classic held June 23 at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville.

More than 128 golfers participated in an 18-hole round of golf, followed by a live auction, raffle and performance from Laura Bryna, a country music artist.

Proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc., a nonprofit organization that fulfills the wishes of local children fighting life-threatening medical conditions. Also, the funds will directly benefit local children like 7-year-old Keith and at least 20 others.

Keith, a Make-A-Wish recipient from Bowie, went to Sea World in Orlando, Fla., with his family for a week. Keith has always wanted to be a dolphin trainer, according to Make-A-Wish spokeswoman Mary DuPre. Keith and his family received a behind-the-scenes tour, fed manatees and dolphins and were named honoree trainers.

Garrett Park kid fights the bites

Maggie Hayes of Garrett Park placed first among Maryland sixth-graders in the ‘‘Fight the Bite” contest sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DEET Education Program.

Sixth-grade students from every state submitted posters and advertisements aimed to raise awareness of insect diseases and the ways to prevent mosquito and tick bites.

DEET is a popular insect repellent ingredient and one of several ways people can prevent themselves from insect bites that may carry West Nile Virus or Lyme disease.

The ads will be shared nationally with public health educators and school nurses. The contest sponsors plan to incorporate the posters in future educational materials.

As a state winner, Maggie will receive a $50 savings bond and certificate of appreciation.

Information about diseases spread by mosquito and tick bites, repellent use and other prevention strategies can be found at www.cdc.gov⁄westnile and www.cdc.gov⁄lyme.

Van Hollen honored by Dutch royal court

U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington was appointed an officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, a royal honor from the Dutch monarchy.

The Order of Orange-Nassau was created in 1892 by the Dutch rulers to recognize extraordinary service to society.

All nominations for the Order of Orange-Nassau are evaluated on a national basis by the Civil Honors Advisory Commission of the Netherlands.

Van Hollen, who is of Dutch decent, received the honor during a ceremony at the home of Dutch Ambassador Christiaan Kröner.

Van Hollen co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands. The caucus works to maintain and expend the relations between the United States and the Netherlands.

‘‘We’ve organized efforts on Capitol Hill to make people aware of the strong relationship between the United States and the Netherlands. The Dutch have been big allies of ours, especially in Afghanistan,” Van Hollen said. ‘‘This is something that my family, especially my father, very much appreciated. My family is proud of our Dutch ancestry and it was a nice award to receive.”

Speaker to lecture on founding fathers

Chris Brewer, a historian and speaker, will discuss the core values of the Founding Fathers and how they are relevant to today’s society in a program titled ‘‘Founding Fathers, Founding Brothers.” The program will take place at 7 p.m., on Sunday at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center, 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington.

Believing in the divinity of the country’s beginning, Brewer travels throughout the country speaking on various historical topics, according to Nadine Woodhead, temple spokeswoman.

The event is free and open to the public.

Brewer has lectured at the universities of Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois and more, according to Woodhead.

He has also given lectures at The Royal Military Academy in Sandhurt, England and served as an advisor to the Public Broadcasting System on ‘‘The American Civil War,” and worked on the movie, ‘‘Gettysburg.”

For more information and directions, call 301-587-0144.

Oral traditions, folklore andstars at Kensington festival

The Starrytelling festival, set to take place July 18-19, will feature an assortment of astronomy and storytelling presentations, telescopes and an inflatable planetarium that holds about 70 people.

‘‘It’s meant to introduce families and children to astronomy and space exploration through storytelling mostly,” said Elizabeth Wallace, the event organizer.

Wallace, of Takoma Park, said storytellers will come from as far away as Oklahoma and Maine to be a part of the weekend-long event.

Astronomers from the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club and the National Capitol Astronomers will bring telescopes for looking at the sun during the day and the moon, stars and even Jupiter at night.

Food will be provided by Kensington’s Café 1894 and Whole Foods of Silver Spring.

If the day is successful, it could serve as the starting point for a larger astronomy festival next year. Events all over the world will commemorate Galileo Galilei’s 400th birthday in 2009. The Italian mathematician and astronomer built the first telescope to observe stars, planets and moons.

For more information, visit www.starrytelling.com.

This column is for you. Share your good news! Feel free to send press releases and news tips. Contact Patrick Dunne via e-mail at pdunne@gazette.net, phone at 301-280-3005, fax at 301-670-7183, or snail mail at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.