National Philharmonic
  The National Philharmonic appears for three concerts at Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda in January 2017.
  On January 14 at 8:00 p.m., the ensemble will perform Bach Double, featuring local musicians as soloists in the concert of Bach masterpieces: Colin Sorgi (violin); Henry Flory (violin); Mark Hill (oboe) and Victoria Gau (conductor).
  On January 28 (8:00 p.m.) and January 29 (3:00 p.m.), the Philharmonic will perform Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Haochen Zhang (piano) and Piotr Gajewski (conductor).
  Tickets are free for youths ages 7 to 17 and available only by calling the ticket office directly at 301.637.2608. Tickets for adults can be purchased online.

(Win four tickets to the concert
on January 14 or January 29. See details below.)

8421 Crimson Leaf Court - Potomac, MD 20854

This classic Colonial is located in the sought after Avenel community and boasts 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, spacious kitchen with breakfast area and granite counters, family room with fireplace, office, full basement and a three-car garage. This home is located on a private cul de sac on a gorgeous and manicured 17,032 sf lot. For sale at $1,599,000. Don't delay, contact us today at 301.340.8700 x101 or 240.422.0765 for more information on this exquisite home! Coakley Realty
  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.

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.

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. 

For the Foodies in Montgomery County

BIBIM - Silver Spring is known for its eclectic selection of ethic restaurants and now it has one more. When Bibim opened earlier this year, it brought authentic Korean cuisine to Sligo Avenue. The first restaurant for Jung Ah-Park, Bibim feaures barbecue, fried chicken and traditional dishes such as soju, bibimbap and kimchi.

COMMUNITY - The two-year project in Bethesda is about to hit full speed and will include breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night service. Community also has a walk-up window where patrons can purchase coffee and donuts. The diner-style restaurant is the latest from restaurateur Mark Bucher who operates The Burger Joint and Medium Rare.

TAPP'D - Craft beer lovers will enjoy the deep selection of tap and bottle beer at Tapp'd in Bethesda where Union Jack owners Johnny Natoli and Gary Oullette converted their former British-themed pub into an American taphouse with loads of space for games like pool, air hockey and skee ball.

Montgomery County is one of the nation's wealthiest counties, yet there is need throughout our region. Support your neighbors by donating to a county-based charity. The issue's charity focus is Giving Together, a Bethesda-based group of committed, like-minded women who volunteer time and pool funds to provide assistance to low-income women and children in the area. The charity's members make decisions on disbursing funds via a rigorous multi-step process of proposal submission, review and membership vote.
This is Gilligan! Gilligan is a blue crowned conure that is only about a year old. He is starting to learn to interact with people, but will need a home willing to help him feel safe and comfortable. Gilligan eats a variety of food, including fresh fruits and veggies, some seed, and he's starting to learn to eat pellets. Please be familiar with conures if you are interested in adopting Gilligan. While he has been well-behaved in his foster home, conures by nature are loud. As he gets settled into his new home, Gilligan will likely find his voice.

Forget online deal-based sites like Groupon and LivingSocial that clog your in box with endless emails and alerts and, worse, make you pay to get your discount. Try our sister publication Premier Values Magazine where consumers can easily redeem discounts at restaurants, beer and wine shops, frame shops, home improvement companies and more.

For example, Il Porto in Gaithersburg is one of the best Italian restaurants in the county with large portions and friendly service. With a coupon from Premier Values Magazine, you can buy a lunch or dinner entree and get a second lunch or dinner entree at half price. Premier Values Magazine is delivered to 162,000 Montgomery County residences. Just take your favorite coupon with you or print one online.

Win four tickets to the National Philharmonic concert on either January 14 or January 29 (see concert information at top of newsletter). Simply email your name, address and telephone number to by January 4. There will be one winner from a random drawing of entries. The winner will be announced on January 6, 2017.


Quote of the Day
"Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings"   Walt Disney