|THE GIFT OF LIFE
The American Red Cross is urging county residents to give the gift of life this holiday season by donating blood at a local donation center. Blood donations typically decline in December as the holiday season moves front and center, yet the need remains steady.
All blood types are needed over the holidays to help ensure that hospitals have a ready supply. The American Red Cross has donation locations in Ashton, Barnesville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Olney, Rockville, Silver Spring, and Takoma Park from December 17-31. To encourage donations, the Red Cross is offering long-sleeved t-shirts, while supplies last, at most locations. Donors are encouraged to make appointments and save time by completing RapidPass, an online healthy history questionnaire. redcrossblood.org
MEET OUR OLYMPIANS
Montgomery County is celebrating the achievements of local 2016 summer Olympic athletes on December 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building and the public is invited. County Olympians Jack Conger, Katie Ledecky, Helen Maroulis, and Ashley Nee have confirmed their attendance. The Richard Montgomery High School jazz band will also perform at the ceremony which will include gifts and proclamations for the athletes and remarks from the athletes. montgomerycountymd.gov/home.aspx
Eleven years after it opened as the county's premier concert venue, the Music Center at Strathmore is ready to complete its final build-out by adding 5,000-square-feet to the center. The $10 million addition and renovation will enclose the Bou Terrace. The glass-enclosed addition will add 200 seats to increase capacity for pre-concert dining and provide more room for private functions utilizing the rental space. The project is scheduled to be finished in January of 2020 and the state of Maryland is contributing $3 million. strathmore.org
SUPPORT FOR CANCER PATIENTS
Despite all the gains in research and prevention, the numbers on cancer are still staggering.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there were 30,990 new cases of cancer in Maryland, excluding certain skin cancers, in 2016. Nationwide, there were nearly 1.7 million new cases and as of January 1, 2014, there were 14.5 Americans with a history of cancer still alive.
Sadly, the organization estimates that 595,690 Americans - or 1,630 people a day - will die of cancer this year. Because the disease can be so ravaging to patients and families alike, a Bethesda-based charity offers free support programs for those affected by the disease.
Hope Connections for Cancer Support recently released its January calendar and its programs include a discussion on nutrition, two workshops on how to look good and feel better, a discussion on HPV throat cancers, and a symposium on breast cancer. hopeconnectionsforcancer.org
Need a birthday party idea, rainy day or everyday activity for the little tyke or teen in your family? Here are three great MoCo places and businesses that cater to kids and birthdays.
OLNEY GOLF PARK - The golf practice facility in Olney features a kids golf academy, professional golf instructors, golf repair and fitting and excellent facilities, including an island green and a covered, double-deck, heated hitting area. olneygolfpark.com
SQUEALS ON WHEELS PETTING ZOO - Here's a zoo that comes to you. The Potomac-based petting zoo and pony rides business serves the county and beyond by visiting your home, party, event or business with a variety of animals, including the very popular micro mini teacup pigs. squealsonwheels.us
WHITE OAK DUCKPIN LANES - Billing itself as Silver Spring's best kept secret since 1959, the 24-lane facility is a step back in duckpin bowling nostalgia. There is a party room for birthdays and special events, snack bar and video games and patrons can bowl to oldies music. Scores are still kept by hand instead of computer. whiteoakduckpins.com