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The Charles County Antique Arts Association will hold its 36th annual collector’s market March 2 in La Plata.

The organization provides an opportunity for collectors of antiques and Americana to learn more about America, people, history and artifacts.

The group provides members with an opportunity to increase their knowledge of contemporary collectibles, architecture and local history through lectures and tours.

The group’s largest fundraiser will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department at 911 Washington Ave.

More than 30 vendors will be there with antiques and collectibles for sale.

A raffle will be held featuring a 14-inch handmade doll, a wooden stool, five Hummel Christmas bells and tickets for eight people to Sotterley Plantation.

There also will be hourly door prizes, a bake sale and food for sale.

Admission is $3.

All proceeds will be donated to a Charles County historical project.

Some of the organizations that have benefited are the Southern Maryland Carousel Group, the Thomas Stone National Historic Site, Friends of Chapman State Park, Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco, Charles County Fire Museum, Charles County Genealogical Society and the Charles County Historical Trust.

The organization meets at 9:30 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month from September to May in the Charles County Social Services building at 200 Kent Ave. in La Plata.

For more information, call 301-934-3153.

Sheriff’s office plans bike ride

The fourth annual Charles County Sheriff’s Office bike ride will be held March 16 on the Indian Head Rail Trail. Inline skaters are welcome, too. Kickoff will be at the Village Green Pavilion at 100 Walter Thomas Road in Indian Head, with check-in at 9 a.m. and a flex-start time of 10 a.m.

The event will benefit United Way of Charles County and Spring Dell Center.

Event backpacks, lunch, snacks and drinks will be provided to participants.

Registration forms are available at, or call 301-609-4844 to have one sent in the mail.

Melson inducted into Spartan Hall of Fame

Solomon Melson of Waldorf was inducted into the Spartan Hall of Fame as part of the Milton Hershey School’s homecoming celebration. Designed to recognize the work and talents of past and present school community members who have brought honor to the school through athletics, visual arts and performing arts, the hall of fame provides inspiration to students and staff.

Members of the Spartan Hall of Fame are graduates or current or retired staff members.

A 1998 graduate of the school, Melson was inducted for his achievement as a player on the 1997 football team that made school history when they became the only undefeated team at the school and in the district that year.

Melson and six of his teammates were named to the Mid-Penn District 3 All Star Team.

The Milton Hershey School was founded in 1909 by chocolate industry pioneer Milton S. Hershey and his wife, Catherine. The school is a private, residential school in Hershey, Pa.

Valen-Tunes Day

The Chesapeake Choral Arts Society will help you step up your Valentine’s Day game with Valen-Tunes phone-a-grams.

On Feb. 14, members of the chorus will call and sing to loved ones down the street or across the country. Songs that will be sung are “Love Me Tender,” “I Love You Truly,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and “To Know Him is to Love Him.” The cost is $7 for one song, $12 for two, $15 for three and four or more is $4 each song. Phones call are not guaranteed and donations are not refundable. The chorus will try to call between 6 and 8 p.m. Feb. 14. To place an order or for more information, go to

LifeStyles will aid in tax preparation

LifeStyles of Maryland will participate in the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and provide free federal and state tax filing assistance to qualified residents in the community.

Both BB&T and PNC banks will support the program by conducting financial education classes and delivering a solution that allows no-fee access for refunds issued to VITA site clients who do not maintain a banking relationship.

PNC Bank also will help provide the ability for tax filers to receive faster refunds on low-fee PNC Visa refund cards usable at 30 million locations.

Once the request for a preloaded card is processed at the VITA site, the card is mailed to the taxpayer within 21 days, with the IRS and state refunds loaded directly onto the card.

The preloaded card provides for faster access to tax refunds and the convenience of monitoring the availability of funds online at or by calling 866-453-5071.

BB&T will assist in providing free financial education classes to serve those who take advantage of the tax service.

The one-hour sessions will be an opportunity to discuss productive ways in which tax refunds can be used, and savings options. BB&T offers a $10 incentive at account opening when clients sign up for a checking and/or savings account.

BB&T also offers a pre-loaded money card or money account for income tax direct deposit.

When clients use it for the tax refund service, they are automatically entered in a drawing for “groceries for the year,” a value worth $12,000.

“BB&T strives to partner with clients in achieving financial success and economic security,” said Tia Dorsey, relationship banker at the La Plata branch, in a news release.

“The support we receive from financial institutions, like BB&T and PNC Bank, in serving as a VITA site enables us to provide an invaluable service and educate taxpayers in our community,” said Sandy Washington, executive director of LifeStyles. “We believe in providing the community this service because we know how easy it is to get a rapid refund or pay extreme rates for getting taxes professionally prepared.”

VITA volunteers also can alert taxpayers to special credits and deductions for which they may be eligible.

Taxpayers who visit a VITA site should bring wage and earnings statements — Form W-2 — from all employers, interest statements from banks — Form 1099 — a copy of their previous year’s tax return if available and other relevant information about income and expenses.

Based on the information provided, tax site volunteers will help determine whether participants are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which are typically households that make $51,000 or less.

Single or married people who worked at some point during 2011 may be eligible, depending on income.

Those who qualify can significantly increase refund amounts by as much as $5,112 for a family of four, according to the IRS. Appointments can be scheduled by phone at 866-293-0623.

“Following the successful expansion of our support for the VITA program last year, this tax filing season, we are committed to working with LifeStyles to increase the use of this service,” Lourdes Montes-Greenan, of PNC’s community development banking group, said in the release. “The success of this initiative will be measured by the level of assistance provided to ‘unbanked’ taxpayers in low-income communities and the ability to help them establish mainstream banking relationships that provide an alternative to high-fee check cashing services.”

Carmel retreat set for March 16

The Restorers of Mount Carmel will hold a miniretreat March 16 at Mount Carmel in La Plata. The retreat will begin with Mass at 8 a.m. and will end by 3 p.m.

It will include Mass, talks, quiet time, confession, the rosary, benediction and exposition, breakfast, lunch and snacks and handouts. The Rev. Thomas Crowley will be the retreat master. The theme will be “Year of Faith, Year of Evangelization.”

The cost is $30, and reservations can be made by calling 301-645-5203. Checks can be made payable to Suzanne Carr and mailed to Carr at 12944 Waldorf Forest Road, Waldorf, MD 20601. For more information, call 301-645-5203.

Mount Carmel is at 5678 Mount Carmel Road in La Plata.