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National Geographic took up a call for action from NBC news correspondent Ann Curry that everyone commit 26 acts of kindness in memory of the 26 people killed in December at an elementary school in Connecticut, and a St. Mary’s school is among the beneficiaries.

A representative of National Geographic Kids is scheduled to arrive today, Friday, at Greenview Knolls Elementary School in Great Mills to read to first-graders in Carol Poole’s classroom, and to donate 26 National Geographic Kids books to the school’s library, along with a copy of National Geographic Kids magazine for each student to take home.

Elizabeth Servello, Greenview Knolls’ principal, said the school promptly responded to an email that National Geographic sent out seeking potential recipients of its generosity, and Greenview Knolls is one of the Washington, D.C., area schools chosen to receive a visit and the books.

“We thought it was a wonderful thing they were doing,” Servello said. The Greenview Knolls response to the offer response included comments about how the deaths in Connecticut had affected the school in St. Mary’s.

“All schools in the county worked with our director of safety and security,” she said, “to review our current policies, that everything was being done for the safety of our students.”

National Geographic wrote back that “they were in the process of collecting school names,” Servello said, “and they would put us up for consideration.”

The school got word on Jan. 14 to expect today’s visitor.

Enjoy GOP happy hour today

The St. Mary’s Republican Club will hold a Happy Hour event from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Friday, at Olde Town Pub on Washington Street in Leonardtown. The event is open to club members and potential members.

Flea market reset to Saturday

The St. Mary’s County Fair Association’s indoor flea market postponed last week due to winter weather will be held from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Feb. 2, at the fairgrounds off Route 5 south of Leonardtown. Spaces and tables can be rented by calling 301-475-9543.

Cats in the zone for fewer litters

Feral Cat Rescue, a charitable organization helping to reduce the feral cat population in St. Mary’s County, currently is offering free spaying or neutering for cats in Lexington Park’s 20653 ZIP code. The service will be provided for both domestic and feral cats. Traps can be borrowed to trap cats. For more information, call 301-475-5059.

Eat buffet to support school

A lunch buffet at the Outback steakhouse in California will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 6, to benefit Little Flower School in Great Mills. To purchase tickets, call 301-994-0404. For more information, go online to

Food fundraiser set for Feb. 9

The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will hold its monthly Schwan’s truckload fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the firehouse located at 13820 Point Lookout Road in Ridge. To guarantee the availability of items, pre-orders may be made online at, using Event ID 39903, Ridge VFD Auxiliary, Ridge, MD 20680. Catalogs may be requested through the website. For more information, call 301-872-5671.

Dance Feb. 9 in Chaptico

A contra dance sponsored by Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance, featuring caller Kim Forry, will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at Christ Episcopal Church’s parish hall at 37497 Zach Fowler Road in Chaptico. The doors will open at 7 p.m., and the dancing will begin at 7:30. Beginners are encouraged to arrive at 7 to get some instruction in the dances. There will be an ice cream social following the dance. For more information and directions, go online to

Eat pancakes Feb. 12 in Leonardtown

A pancake supper to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, will be sponsored by the auxiliary of the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department at the firehouse on Lawrence Avenue. The menu will include eggs, pancakes, country sausage, bacon and home fries. Carry-outs will be available.

Dinner auction set for Feb. 23

Little Flower School in Great Mills will hold its annual benefit auction on Saturday, Feb. 23, beginning with a buffet-style dinner. Dan Raley will be the auctioneer, and the event also will include a drawing for a 2-carat oval tanzanite ring, set in white and yellow gold, with a retail value of $8,000. Reserve tables by calling 301-994-0404 or by sending email to Updates can be found online at and

Play bingo for bags on Feb. 24

The Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary is hosting a Purses and Totes Bingo on Feb. 24 at the Ridge firehouse, located at 13820 Point Lookout Road. Doors will open at 1 p.m., and bingo will begin at 2 p.m. for prizes including Coach, Vera Bradley, Longaberger Sisters and Thirty-One purses and bags. There will be money games, specials, pull tabs, raffles and refreshments. Advance tickets must be purchased no later than Feb. 22, by sending email to or calling 301-872-5671. People purchasing advanced tickets will be entered into a drawing. No children will be admitted unless they have their own ticket and are accompanied by an adult.

Rotary accepting grant applications

The Leonardtown Rotary Club is accepting grant applications from St. Mary’s nonprofit programs and public services agencies, and the deadline for the applications during this award period is March 1.

Awards will be announced in April, as the club continues its practice of a key element of “service above self” by providing grant funds to local agencies and programs in the county that provide humanitarian services to its citizens. The competitive grant process leads to awards typically ranging between $250 and $500, depending on the need expressed in the application and funding availability.

Applications are available on the Leonardtown Rotary website, at, or by sending email to Kathleen Reif, grants program chair, at

Scholarship applications invited

Del. John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) is seeking applicants for Maryland Delegate Scholarship awards for the 2013-2014 school year.

Successful applicants must be pursuing an academic program beyond high school, and either attend or plan to enter a Maryland college or university in the fall. Full- or part-time students may qualify for the awards. Applicants must be a resident of District 29B, and information on legislative district boundaries is available online at or by calling St. Mary’s Board of Elections at 301-475-7844, ext. 1610.

Prior to submitting the scholarship application, the Federal Form for Financial Aid must be completed. Access the form online at

To apply for a scholarship, submit a completed application with a short letter stating why the applicant should receive a scholarship, career goals, any special circumstances and a copy of the completed FAFSA application. The scholarship application deadline is Tuesday, April 30.

To request an application, contact Bohanan’s district office by sending email to or by calling 301-866-4000.

Maryland adopts new fire safety codes

The Maryland state fire marshal’s office recently reported that the state’s residents now are protected by the most up-to-date editions of two key safety codes, as 2012 editions of the National Fire Protection Association’s codes and standards have been adopted by Maryland’s Fire Prevention Commission as part of an overall revision of the state’s fire prevention code.

Effective in Maryland as of last month, the fire marshal’s office reports, the updated national codes are widely used across the country to protect people and property in new and existing buildings. The national association’s Life Safety Code, used in all 50 states, mandates building design construction, operation, and maintenance requirements to protect building occupants from the dangers caused by fire, smoke and toxic fumes. The latest edition of the national codes provides requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion.

State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard said through a statement that the latest editions of the widely used codes will allow the state agency to provide the highest level of protection for the people of Maryland.

Code enforcers in Maryland participated in a training program that covers the code’s requirements and ways it can be best utilized, according to the fire marshal’s office. The national association made the training and the associated codebooks available free to the government code enforcement officials in the state. Free training and codebooks helped to reduce costs for Maryland taxpayers, and the training ensured that code enforcers have the latest reference materials.

Register for April 6 run/walk

The Community Mediation Center of St. Mary’s County will present its 6th annual “We’re Looking for Trouble” 5K run/walk and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday, April 6, at the Three Notch Trail in Charlotte Hall.

Registration will begin at 7:45 a.m. The Kids’ Fun Run will start at 8:45 a.m., and the 5K event will begin at 9 a.m. The race will follow the trail, and will begin and end at the Northern Senior Center, located at 29655 Charlotte Hall Road. Parking will be available at the race site.

Discounted early registration, with an iPod Touch drawing, is under way and will continue until Feb. 28. Discounted preregistration will be available until April 2.

Register online at

In addition, participants can donate nonperishable food and emergency items for Heroes for the Homeland, a non-profit organization made up of law enforcement and emergency services personnel who wish to aid American communities devastated by natural and man-made disasters. Bring an item on race day and be entered in a special drawing.