Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Dentist back from goodwill mission

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Dr. Joseph Baptiste, a Silver Spring dentist and president of the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH), led a group of 55 health professionals and volunteers on a goodwill medical mission to Haiti July 18-25.

The group included 16 doctors, two nurses, one public health official, 25 medical students from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and 11 volunteers. The group treated 700 patients in two days during its seven-day visit.

Most of the patients suffered from ailments ranging from hypertension and diabetes to malnutrition and dehydration, according to a news release from NOAH. Baptiste said many of the patients he saw had never been to a dentist before, and many had to have teeth pulled or be briefed on preventative care.

‘‘We feel like we’ve accomplished something, but still, it’s just not enough. There’s still so much to do,” said Baptiste, who left Haiti when he was 13. ‘‘That’s why we have to continue, to provide the best health care we can, and alleviate people of their health problems.”

Baptiste has led the group for 11 years. This year’s trip cost $30,000, with the money raised mostly from private donations. The health professionals were not paid for their services, the release said. NOAH, a nonprofit social policy group founded in 1991, raises money for the trips and seeks donations. The next trip to Haiti will be in January, Baptiste said, adding that the group is in talks with a hospital there about organizing monthly visits for specialists.

Other organizers of the trip included Dr. Bertha Labissierre, a podiatrist from Washington, D.C.; Dr. Henry Paul of New York; and attorneys Malachi Jones, Jean Michele Voltaire, Yvon Aristide and Pascale Jean.

‘‘We’re all drained, but still very pleased with the effort,” Baptiste said.

NOAH also provides items like infant formula, toothbrushes and toothpaste for the goodwill mission.

Farmer wins bigat 50th year at fair

Silver Spring farmer Charles Koiner had another successful year at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, marking his 50th anniversary of showing his vegetables there. Koiner’s vegetable basket won Best of Show, despite the drought. He was also awarded first prize ribbons for his cantaloupe, Chinese cabbage, green and yellow beans, and figs, among many others. Koiner owns Koiner Farms on Easley Street near downtown Silver Spring on about an acre of land next to his home.

Ukrainian festival in town

The Washington Ukrainian Festival will be held Sept. 8 to 9 at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 15100 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring. Doors open noon Sept. 8 and the opening ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Admission and parking is free.

For more information, call 301-593-5316 or 301-384-9192, or visit

Montgomery College will host a symposium, ‘‘Contributors to the Development of the Caribbean,” 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today in the Resource Center, Room 204, on the Takoma Park⁄Silver Spring campus, 7600 Takoma Ave., as part of the 49th anniversary celebration for the Caribbean-American Intercultural Organization.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. David Wilfred, a professor of economics at Howard University and consultant to the World Bank.

For more information, call Suzanne Williams at 301-839-2572, or Carmen Edwards at 301-949-4249.

Guided walking tour

Historic preservation group Save Our Seminary at Forest Glen will lead a walking tour of the Seminary Historic District 1 p.m. Saturday. Reservations are not required. A $5 per person donation is requested. Participants should expect extensive walking on outdoor paths with steps and rough areas.

Visit or call 301-654-3924 or 301-589-1715 for more information.

At the Silver Spring Library

The film ‘‘Zathura” will be shown 3:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the Silver Spring Library’s ‘‘Thursday Afternoons at the Movies” free film series.

An English conversation club will meet 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and Aug. 29. Adults who are new English speakers can practice the language with the help of a leader. The library is located at 8901 Colesville Road. Call 240-773-9414.

Readings at Kefa Café

A free reading by author Meena Nayak of her book ‘‘Endless Rain” will be held 6:30 p.m. Friday at Kefa Café, 963 Bonifant St. Author Kyi May Kaung will read from her book ‘‘With or Without Womb” 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31. Call 301-589-9337.

At the Heliport Gallery

The exhibit ‘‘3 Roads Traveled” will be on display until Friday at Gateway’s Heliport Gallery, 8001 Kennett St., Suite 3. The exhibit features print work from Montgomery College faculty members Nancy McNamara and Maureen Feel-Kohl and student Marie Defeche. Gallery hours are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 301-562-1400.

See a lunar eclipse

The Montgomery College planetarium invites stargazers to a viewing of the lunar eclipse at exactly 4:51 a.m. until sunrise Tuesday. The lunar eclipse will be viewed outside the planetarium as weather permits, or inside the planetarium via a web camera on the Internet in the case of inclement weather. The planetarium is located at 7651 Fenton St. on the Takoma Park⁄Silver Spring campus. Visit http:⁄⁄⁄Departments⁄planet⁄planet⁄LunarEclipse8-28-2007.html for more information, or e-mail planetarium coordinator and astrophysicist Harold Williamsat

Youth chess championship at Fairland Library

The Montgomery County Chess Championship for students kindergarten through grade 12 will be held beginning 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Fairland Library, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. Call Vaughn Bennet at 202-351-2627.

Build, race solar cars

A solar car derby for children ages 8 through 14 will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center, 3300 Briggs Chaney Road in Silver Spring.

The derby includes the assembly of a functional, model solar-powered car that participants can take home. Clean energy information and education materials will be available to connect solar cars with broader energy efforts.

The event will conclude with a race, weather permitting.

Registration is required by Friday. Participation is limited to 15 students, and a parent or guardian must accompany participants. To register, call 240-777-7754 or e-mail .

Health program grants

The deadline for African American Health Program mini-grants is Friday. The AAHP offers mini-grants ranging from $1,000 to $4,900 to community groups for specific health related projects geared to African-Americans in Montgomery County. Call 240-777-1833.

Send Silver Spring news to Agnes Jasinski at The Gazette, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707. The phone number is 240-473-7564. The fax line is 240-473-7501. Items can be e-mailed to