Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007

Make a child’s season brighter

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Photo courtesy of City of Gaithersburg
Gaithersburg's Mayor and City Council were joined by friends and spouses to count down the lighting of the Christmas tree at City Hall on Dec. 1. Sally Katz (from left), Rachael Spiegel, Councilman Ryan Spiegel, Mayor Sidney A. Katz and Councilman Jud Ashman.
All Montgomery County fire stations will serve as drop-off sites for new, unwrapped toys to be used for local volunteer fire department initiatives supporting neighborhood community holiday programs, as well as the regional 2007 Toys for Tots Campaign in conjunction with the U.S. Marines.

Toys will be accepted through Dec. 24. The toys will go to children from infants to 17. Only new, unwrapped toys will be accepted. Toys that may be either used as weapons or considered to be weapons will not be accepted.

Those who wish to make a financial contribution to the Toys for Tots campaign should include only personal checks or cashier checks made payable to the Toys For Tots Foundation. Checks can also be made out to local volunteer fire and rescue departments or the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service ‘‘Safety in the Neighborhood” program.

Basketball tourney

Hit the hardwood during the Montgomery County Conservation Corps’ Winter Basketball Tournament 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Upper County Community Center, 8201 Emory Grove Road, Gaithersburg.

County residents 18-21 are invited to compete for a total of $1,200 in prize money that will be awarded to the top three teams.

Register in advance by calling the Montgomery County Conservation Corps at 301-929-5554. Or visit the corps at 14900 Southlawn Lane, Rockville.


Griffin Woodruff, a 1999 graduate of Watkins Mill High School, was honored Nov. 29 by the Los Angeles Music Awards as its 2007 Alternative Rock Artist of the Year. The vocalist and guitarist performed the song ‘‘Breathe” at the 17th annual awards show. He was accompanied by a nine-piece band. Woodruff, whose stage name is Griffin Layne, lives in Santa Monica, Calif. His songs may be heard at⁄griffinlayne.

Several Montgomery County Police assigned to the upcounty were recognized in a promotion ceremony recently. In the 5th District, Robert D. Lumsden and Peter L. Worden were promoted to Sergeant effective Nov. 11.

In the 6th District, Kevin T. Hart, Neil D. Mohardt and Gary L. Zalewski were promoted to Corporal effective Nov. 11.


Hat and mitten collection

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce collected more than 100 new hats, scarves and mittens to be distributed to families in Gaithersburg this holiday season.

The group collaborated with the City of Gaithersburg Holiday Giving Program.

Looking for loving hearts

Hearts and Home for Youth seeks holiday gifts and clothes for over 150 children from newborn to 21 for its annual WishMakers gift drive, which will collect donations through Saturday at Hearts and Homes for Youth, Inc. 1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 800, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The county nonprofit runs seven group homes and several innovative foster programs designed to help troubled and abused children, as well as runaway youth become productive independent adults. For more information on becoming a WishMaker, contact Jane at 301-589-8444 or visit

Art collection

The City of Gaithersburg will host an art collection featuring works by Olney Art Association members from Thursday-Jan. 27 at the City Hall Gallery.

The art association is designed to encourage study, practice, promotion, exhibition and appreciation of the visual fine arts. The select group of 55 members and 20 associate members includes professional artists and art teachers and keeps a continuous showing of work at the Olney Library located at 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Road and at the Woodlawn Conference Center, located at Woodlawn Manor, a historic mansion operated by the National Capital Park and Planning Commission at 16501 Norwood Road in Sandy Spring.

Artists are welcome to join the association; artists’ work is pre-screened as a prerequisite to full membership. For City Hall viewing hours, call Gallery Director Natalya Parris at 301-258-6394 or visit

MLK essay contest

The City of Gaithersburg is still seeking submissions for the 17th Annual Literary Arts Contest honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Entries are due by 3 p.m. Friday. Students should submit essays to their schools.

The contest asks students in grades one to 12 to submit a poem or essay on the theme: ‘‘If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was alive today, what would you like to say to him?”

Each entrant will receive a certificate of participation and schools will select their top three essays for entry in a citywide contest. The City’s Multicultural Affairs Committee will choose three final winners who will receive a $50 check from The Gazette, and be asked to read their winning essay or poem at the county’s Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Strathmore Music Center on Jan. 21. For more information, contact the City of Gaithersburg Human Services Division at 301-258-6395 ext. 2 or e-mail

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