Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

A fond farewell, but the ‘beat’ goes on

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It has been my pleasure for the past three years to write this column covering the wonderful and varied lives of Potomac residents.

From kindergartners planting trees to spaghetti dinners held in church halls, it was a joy to report the many quiet triumphs and celebrations of this community that might not otherwise find their way into newsprint.

But now I am leaving the Potomac Gazette for a new career challenge, and must say goodbye to my weekly dose of feel-good news and the community I so enjoyed getting to know.

However, here is one final happy news item to leave with you: my colleague, reporter Christina Marnik, is taking over this column starting next week.

Christina, 22, calls Pittsburgh her hometown although she has lived all over the country. She earned a degree in journalism at West Virginia University in Morgantown in 2006 and has covered a variety of Potomac issues over the past year, from environmental to school news.

‘‘It’s a beautiful area and I love the diversity of its people,” she said of the Potomac beat.

And I couldn’t agree more.

‘Club Friday’ membership drive starts Friday

Beginning Friday, membership applications will be accepted at the Potomac Community Center for its popular ‘‘Club Friday”.

The club for children in grades three to six opens the evening of Oct. 5 with activities like basketball, dances, games, crafts, movies and special theme nights.

Applications with a $40 registration fee can be dropped off at the center’s main desk, or mailed in, through Sep. 10.

Forms are available at the center at 11315 Falls Road. For information call 240-777-6960.

A weekend long ‘welcome’ at Har Shalom

Congregation Har Shalom is hosting a ‘‘Welcome to Har Shalom Weekend” on the second weekend of September that promises a variety of festive, spiritual and educational events.

A ‘‘BBQ and Barchu,” at 6 p.m. on Sept. 7 includes a kosher BBQ dinner and a festive outdoor Shabbat worship service at 7 p.m. The event is free for new and prospective members.

The annual Tikkun Olam Shabbat takes place at 9:15 a.m. Sept. 8 along with youth services at 10 a.m. At 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 9 the Men’s Club has its monthly brunch and from noon to 3 p.m. a Youth Groups Carnival and Picnic takes place with games and prizes.

For more information about reserving a seat for these events taking place at 11510 Falls Road, call 301-299-7087 or go to www.HarShalom.org.

Volunteers soughtfor English classes

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County is recruiting volunteer teachers for the new ‘‘English for Daily Living” classes it hopes to offer to adult students. The classes help students develop basic English skills for daily living.

Volunteers should have some experience working with adult learners or other classroom teaching experience. The classes run one to two hours per week for eight to 10 weeks at various locations in the county.

For more information, call 301-610-0030 or e-mail info@literacycouncilmcmd.org.

Calling all cat lovers

The Montgomery County Humane Society is hosting its first ever Cat Adoption Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at its animal shelter located at 14645 Rothgeb Drive, Rockville.

The free event will have over 100 cats and kittens available for adoption, as well as informational seminars, drawings and exhibits.

Experienced cat owners will offer one-on-one adoption counseling and answer questions about cat ownership.

The cats range from exotics such as Persians, Siamese, Himalyans, and Maine Coons to cats of more mundane but equally lovable breeds.

The Gazette wants you to remember that this column is for you. Send press releases, news tips and other information to Christina Marnik by phone to 301-280-3004, by e-mail at cmarnik@gazette.net, by fax to 301-670-7183 or by mail to 1200 Quince Orchard Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878.