Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Packin’ it up, in time for school

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J. Adam Fenster⁄The Gazette
Members of the AARP Gaithersburg Chapter packed boxes and backpacks with back to school gear last week. Chapter President Annette Thompson (left) and Betty Wooden were among those who volunteered. The backpacks will go to elementary school students. The boxes will go to teachers.
Up to 80 needy Gaithersburg students will be armed with stationery, pens and pencils, when the school bells ring next week, courtesy of the Gaithersburg chapter of AARP.

Fourteen chapter member stuffed 80 vinyl backpacks with necessary supplies on Aug. 14 at the Upcounty Senior Center in Gaithersburg for the group’s fifth annual School Supplies For Needy Children program.

The backpacks, along with a separate box with supplies for teachers, will go to 20 students in first through third grade each at Rosemont, Summit Hall, Brown Station and Gaithersburg elementary schools.

The supplies were purchased through donations along with a raffle fundraiser earlier this year, said chapter president Annette Thompson.

The schools were identified by the Montgomery County Public Schools as having a high population of needy children, she said. School counselors will deliver the supplies to students, she said.

Education is crucial in helping people improve themselves, said Thompson, a retired college professor.

‘‘It’s the way they can derive satisfaction and success in life,” Thompson said.

Fleet feet wanted

The nonprofit Upper County Steppers Inc. is hosting tryouts for boys and girls ages 10 to 18 for the Junior and Varsity step teams.

Stepping is an activity where participants create a melody through the use of their bodies, and competitive performances often unite elements of dance and theatre. The style was widely popularized by the film ‘‘Stomp the Yard,” released in January.

Upper County Steppers participates in competitions as well as charitable community events throughout the region.

Tryouts are 6-7:30 p.m. on Aug. 29-30 and Sept. 5-7 at the Upper County Community Center, 8201 Emory Grove Road in Gaithersburg.

For more information, call 301-528-9697 or e-mail

Be a new Kid on the Block

The Mental Health Association of Montgomery County is recruiting new volunteers for its ‘‘Kids on the Block” program that performs skits about bullying and other issues for preschool and elementary school children. Volunteers receive a full day of training and rehearse the scripted skits for several weeks before performing in local schools.

No acting experience is needed. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have transportation and be available to perform once per week for a minimum of one year. Call 301-424-0656, ext. 130 or e-mail for more information.

Have a heart

The Inova Blood Donor Services will host a blood drive in a blood donation vehicle at Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center, 582 N. Frederick Ave., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

All donors will receive a thank-you gift, such as a T-shirt, said Sandi Bourget, Inova senior account manager.

Donors must be 17 years old. For more information, call 866-256-6372.

Labor Day recycling

Gaithersburg residents whose recycling day for regular materials is Mondays will have early collection during the Labor Day weekend.

Instead of Monday, Sept. 3, regular recycling will be collected on Saturday, Sept. 1. Bulk recycling for the holiday will be delayed to Sept. 10.

Regular trash and garbage collection for city residents is handled through private contractors. For more information, call 301-258-6370.

Take a break

The City of Gaithersburg is preparing for its 69th Annual Labor Day Parade at 1 p.m. Sept. 3.

The parade will navigate through Olde Towne, including East Diamond and Russell avenues, rain or shine.

Free parking is available in the Olde Towne garage at the corner of Olde Towne and South Summit avenues.

For more information, call 301-258-6350 or visit


Congratulations to Andrew and Ian Levine of North Potomac. Andrew Levine, a junior in the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in College Park, made the spring dean’s list. He is a 2005 graduate of Thomas S. Wootton High School. Ian Levine earned a degree in English at Towson University and is now entering the school’s graduate program for professional writing. He is a 2002 graduate of The Lodge School. The brothers are the sons of Barbara and Spencer Levine of North Potomac.

Congratulations to Hannah Bruckheim, 7, of North Potomac who was named a state finalist in the National American Miss Maryland Pageant held Aug. 2-4 in Reston, Va. A rising second grader at Stone Ridge Elementary School, Bruckheim is eligible to compete in November at the National American Miss Pageant at Disneyland in California. She is the daughter of Meredith Torres-Bruckheim of North Potomac.

Congratulations to Luke Fitzpatrick, of North Potomac, on performing with the Music School Festival Orchestra at the Chautauqua Summer Schools of Fine and Performing Arts in Chautauqua, N.Y. The seven-week summer class combines performance with an education in the theater, dance, visual arts and opera. He is the son of Robert and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick of North Potomac.

Submissions for People and Places must be received by 10 a.m. Thursday. Send submissions to Chris Robinson via e-mail at, fax at 301-670-7183 or mail to The Gaithersburg-Montgomery Village Gazette, 1200 Quince Orchard Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878.