Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007

Urbana family again hosts holiday light showcase

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Tom Fedor⁄The Gazette
Volunteers Billie Homberg of Frederick (left) and Nan Pue of Woodsboro wrap gifts at HeartFields at Frederick, part of Home Instead Senior Care’s ‘‘Be a Santa to a Senior” program Tuesday afternoon. Starting at 2:30 p.m., Friday, volunteers will wrap more gifts at Buckingham’s Choice in Adamstown. To participate, call 301-846-9922.
The Yaglenski family of the Villages of Urbana upped its luminary ante this holiday season by adding new dimensions to its Christmas lights show.

This year the family’s holiday tradition expanded to include an animated lights show choreographed to music, which John Yaglenski said was inspired by Disney theme parks.

The display, which Yaglenski calls Dancing Holiday Light Spectacular, features four light shows choreographed to music, with thousands of lights, animated wire frame figures, a light “pond,“ a mailbox for Santa and more.

‘‘We went all out this year. It’s a lot different. Animating it to the music gives it a whole ’nother dimension,” he said.

The family has been putting up its Christmas lights display since 2002, and has won several awards from the Villages of Urbana homeowners association. Though the prizes are nice — his family received coupons for the Monocacy Crossing Restaurant and Dynamic Auto Care — Yaglenski said he really does it because he enjoys the reaction of visitors and his own children.

A steady stream of visitors comes to his family’s light show daily, but he expects traffic to pick up as Christmas nears.

He said advances in technology made replicating the experience of a theme-park animate light show possible, but not simple. Yaglenski said the display required no less than 40 hours to set up, and a staggering number of extension cords — about 40, 40-foot cords in all.

He said there was so much extension cord surrounding his house that it could reach all the way to the top of the Empire State Building with cord to spare.

The display is located at 9056 Clendenin Way, next door to the Villages of Urbana Community Center. It is lit on weekdays from 6-10 p.m. and 6-11 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 30.

Area woman recognizedby Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers International recently awarded its Jean Nidetch Service Vision Award to local staff member Diana McCarthy.

McCarthy leads a Weight Watchers group at the Landon House in Urbana on Tuesdays, where she encourages others to think about healthy eating and incorporating more activity into their daily lives.

Leslie Macey, a territorial manager for Weight Watchers International, recently praised McCarthy’s leadership in a press release.

‘‘She consistently encourages her members to achieve their weight-loss goals, while energizing her co-workers to do the same,” Macey said.

The Jean Nidtech Service Vision award, named for the founder of Weight Watchers, is awarded annually to exceptional leaders in the organization.

Frederick children‘Shop with a Cop’

Eleven young people from across Frederick County got to browse the Wal-Mart on Monocacy Boulevard with a personal shopper as part of the second annual ‘‘Shop with A Cop” event.

Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Frederick, the event pairs elementary students referred by community liaisons with police officials for the shopping trip.

Victor Hoffman, the group’s treasurer, said the outing is a perfect compliment to the club’s mission of being a friend to youths.

‘‘We think ‘Shop with A Cop’ is great and everyone gets enthusiastic about it,” said Hoffman, a Walkersville resident. ‘‘... It is great that we can reach some kids and really make a difference in their lives and they get a respect for law enforcement.”

This year’s event took place on Saturday.

The children were accompanied by officers from the Brunswick and Frederick police departments, Maryland State Police troopers and deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Each child received a $100 Wal-Mart gift card to purchase gifts for family members as well as a $20 gift card for themselves.

After a long morning of shopping, the officers, children and Optimist Club members all enjoyed lunch at Outback Steakhouse on the Golden Mile where they sat, talked and wrapped their holiday gifts.

‘‘For most of these kids, this was the first opportunity they ever had to buy something for their family members and we were happy to be a part of that,” Hoffman said.

For more information on the Optimist Club of Frederick, visit

YMCA cookbooknow on sale

As part of the celebration of their 150th anniversary, the YMCA of Frederick County has whipped up a cookbook of some classic recipes.

Organization staff and community volunteers produced the cookbook that features hundreds of recipes from main dishes to desserts and creations especially for children.

The cookbook sells for $12 and all proceeds benefit the YMCA’s anniversary celebrations next year.

On Tuesday, the cookbook was part of the YMCA’s annual holiday craft fair and Frederick County artist Yemi Fagbohun, who designed the front cover, was on hand to sign copies.

To purchase the cookbook, visit the front desk of the YMCA at 1000 N. Market St., Frederick, during hours of operation (6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays).

For more information, contact Paula Hoffman at 301-663-5131, ext. 237, or

Do you have an item for News and Notes? Contact reporter Chris Brown, 301-846-2132, e-mail or fax news to 301-846-2124.