Animal rights group celebrates 10 years

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005

Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit animal rights group based in Takoma Park, celebrated its 10th anniversary Saturday with a reception and fund-raiser at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery in Dupont Circle.

About 200 people attended and the organization raised more than $25,000, said Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion Over Killing.

Compassion Over Killing started in 1995 as a high school club and has since grown into a nationwide organization that lobbies for protections for farm animals while promoting vegetarian and vegan diets. The group has four ads running on MTV.

‘‘We estimate that through the two-year campaign, our ad has been viewed ... more than 8 million times,” Meier said.

And while the group has a media relations effort that reaches newspapers across the nation, there also is a sustained effort to promote Compassion Over Killing’s message throughout the Washington, D.C., area.

‘‘The whole general area seems very supportive, and we’ve gotten great feedback from Takoma Park residents, of which I am one, about the work that we’re doing,” she said. ‘‘We’ve been invited into area libraries and we showed a film at the Takoma Park Film Festival this past season. The community has definitely been supportive.”

For more information about Compassion Over Killing, visit or call 301-891-2458.

Discounted steering wheel locks available

To help combat car theft, the Takoma Park Police are offering discounted steering wheel locks at the department’s communications desk, located in the lobby of the lower level of the Community Center, 7500 Maple Ave.

While local automotive retailers usually sell steering wheel locks for between $25 and $45, the police are offering the locks for $10.

Local runners competein national tourney

The top three seventh-grade winning girls from Takoma Park Middle School’s annual Turkey Trot participated in the Amateur Athletic Union’s National Cross Country Championship Dec. 2 in Rock Hill, S.C.

Local winner Saleiha Mayer-Marks and her schoolmates, Sofia Read and Blake Morgan-Gamber, the second- and third-place winners, respectively, competed on a 3 km course at Winthrop University. Mayer-Marks placed 27th with a time of 11:18, Read placed 83rd with a time of 12:02 and Morgan-Gamber placed 115th with a time of 12:18.

The times were personal bests for all three 12-year-olds.

Knitters, unite!

Knit and Crochet Savory, an informal knitting group, will meet 7 p.m. Tuesday at Savory Café, 7071 Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park.

No lessons are offered at the meeting, which is held the fourth Tuesday of each month, but knitters of all skill levels and ages are welcome. For more information, call 301-587-7174, e-mail, or visit for a full list of area knitting groups.

Kiwanis raises fundsfor Camp Friendship

The Kiwanis Clubs of Montgomery County recently hosted a performance of the Vienna Choir Boys at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.

The concert, which raised more than $8,500, benefited the Carol Jean Cancer Foundation of Laytonsville, which operates Camp Friendship, a camp for children with cancer.

At the request of Kiwanis, children from Camp Friendship got to meet the performers and their conductor, Martin Schebesta.

There are about 350 Kiwanis members in Montgomery County, in nine locations throughout the county. The group is part of the Capital District, Division 17.

For more information about the Kiwanis, contact Gary Boswell at 301-340-6300, Ext. 18 or, or Betty Gardiner at 301-325-0599 or

Coat, blanket drive

The fourth annual ‘‘Cover the Community in Kindness” coat and blanket collect is under way. Two companies — Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating — will pick up items for Hearts & Homes for Youth, a Silver Spring based non-profit that assists about 1,000 children a year.

The collection drive continues through February 2006. Last year the companies collected and distributed 205 coats and blankets to the homeless and abused through the Hearts & Homes for Youth organization. In the Silver Spring⁄Takoma Park area, call 301-589-7176 for more information.

Girls’ softball programholding winter clinics

The Takoma Fire fast-pitch softball program, part of the Takoma Park Softball and Takoma Park⁄Silver Spring Babe Ruth League, will hold its winter clinic for the four age brackets in the program, including 10-and-under (10U), 12-and-under (12U), 15-and-under (15U) and 17-and-under (17U).

The clinic sessions begin Jan. 8 and continue each weekend through Feb. 26. Instructors include staff from the Columbia Union College softball team (10U & 12U) and Five Star Athletics (15U & 17U), as well as Takoma Fire coaches.

The clinic sessions are held at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church gym, 310 Tulip Ave., and fees range from $90 (10U) to $200. There are limited spaces and need-based scholarships available. For more information and registration materials, e-mail Ray Scannell at or call 301-270-8127.

Local immigrant organization receives grant

Casa of Maryland, a local immigrant advocacy group, received $15,000 for support of its day laborer centers in Wheaton and Gaithersburg from the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. It also received $50,000 to support workforce-related English classes, vocational training courses and employment placement coaching for the low-income immigrant community.

Area students awarded scholarships in UMUC Plan

The University of Maryland University College has awarded scholarships to more than 160 graduates of Maryland community colleges in the third year of the university’s plan to dispense more than $1 million in scholarship funds to meritorious recipients.

The following are scholarship winners from Montgomery College: Aisha Abba, Jonathan Fitch, Eric Hardiman, Kenneth Nero Jr., Michaela PaVelka and Raymond Rozario, all from Silver Spring, and Elizabeth Anowayi of Takoma Park.

Pre-K coat drive

The Montgomery County Public Schools Prekindergarten⁄Head Start Program is accepting donations to provide students with new winter coats. Send new coats, sizes 5, 6, 6X or 7, or donations to MCPS Prekindergarten⁄Head Start Program, Rocking Horse Road Center, 4910 Macon Road, Rockville, MD 20852. Attn: Lisa Conlon. For more information, call 301-230-0676.

What’s happening in Takoma Park and Long Branch? E-mail me at, or send faxes to 301-562-3262. The postal address is The Takoma Park Gazette, 8650 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910, and my telephone number is 301-562-3268. Please provide at least one week’s notice.