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Firefighters to escort Santa through community –

Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department (SSVFD) will again give Santa a ride through neighborhoods in its response area to help him prepare for Christmas Eve.

Santa will ride on the fire department’s 1954 Mack pumper, used primarily as a parade and demonstration piece, accompanied by a variety of other SSVFD apparatus.

Below is the planned schedule.

The fire department reminds the community to keep streets clear so that Santa and his entourage of fire trucks can visit each neighborhood.

Santa also cannot visit streets without a turn-around (i.e. Dead End Streets).

Watch for Santa on the following days between 5:30 and 9 p.m.

Dec. 18 — Ashton Meadows, Ashton Manor, Ednor Acres, Cliftonbrook, Ashton Preserve, Hampshire Greens, Llewellyn Fields, Norwood Village and Ashley Manor.

Dec. 19 — Victoria Springs, Brooke Manor, The Preserve, Sycamore Acres, Norbeck Manor, Norbeck Meadows, Cherrywood and Cherry Valley.

Dec. 20 — Manor Oaks, Goldmine Crossing, Dellabrooke Forest, Town of Brookeville, Bordley Estates, Brinklow, Ashton (North and West), Sandy Spring, The Orchards of Sandy Spring, Bancroft and Arden Woods.

Dec. 21 — Olney Mill, Brookeville Knolls, Tanterra and Olney Village.

Dec. 22 — Williamsburg Village, Cashell Manor, Barnsley Manor Estates, Norbeck Grove, Oatlands, Olney Oaks, Olney Acres, Briars Acres and Olney Springs.

Dec. 23 — James Creek, Brooke Grove, Environ, Hallowell, Lake Hallowell, Highlands of Olney and Olney Estates.


Laytonsville VFD to escort Santa through town


Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department will escort Santa around town this holiday season.

The remaining schedule includes:

Dec. 11 — Glendalough/Goshen School Area/Huntmaster, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 13 — Hadley Farms/Fieldcrest, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 16 — East Village, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 18 — Town of Laytonsville, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Santa’s trek began Dec. 4 in the Sunshine Area/Griffith Rd./Hipsley Mill community and Dec. 11 in the Glendalough/Goshen School Area/Huntmaster.

Santa’s helpers at the fire department remind that Santa might not be able to make it down all streets depending on how vehicles are parked, emergency calls or inclement weather. To check the schedule, visit www.ldvfd.org.


Rockville VFD to continue its Santa escort


Rockville Volunteer Fire Department will continue its long-standing tradition of escorting Santa through its service area.

The neighborhood visits began Dec. 9 and will continue as follows:

Dec. 12 — Lincoln Park, Maryvale and East Rockville.

Dec. 13 — Fallsmead and Hurley Drive

Dec. 14 — Derwood (Indianola area)

Dec. 15 — Horizon Hill

Dec. 16 — Glenora Hills, Dav Road, Hiwood Drive and Dundee

Dec. 17 — Rockcrest and Twinbrook (Richard Montgomery High School side)

Dec. 18 — Silver Rock and Twinbrook (Rockville High School side)

Dec. 20 — Hungerford and Stoneridge

Dec. 21 — New Mark Commons and Rose Hill

The fire department reminds the community that the increased size of its apparatus makes it difficult to travel down some streets.


Santa to ride through county with police escort


The annual Santa Ride to benefit The Children’s Inn at NIH will be held Dec. 12.

A motorcade of uniformed Montgomery County police officers will escort Santa throughout the county, with a stop at Fair Hill shopping center in Olney at 2:30 p.m.

The charity ride is designed to raise money for the Children’s Inn, which provides lodging and services to seriously ill children and their families.

To donate, send a check to: The Children’s Inn at NIH, c/o Santa Police Ride, 7 West Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814.


Community Santa to offer fundraisers


Steve “Santa” Schreurs will offer “Story Time with Santa” on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. to benefit the Engler family of Olney in memory of their son Luke, 7, who passed away on Nov. 27 from brain cancer.

Santa, and possibly a special guest reader, will present “The Night before Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and other stories as time permits.

“Luke’s loss was devastating to his family and community,” Schreurs, an Olney resident, said in an email.

Donations are not required to attend the event, but will be welcomed.

The event will take place in a cozy setting at the house next to the Backyard Naturalist at 17910 Georgia Ave. in Olney. Owners of the Backyard Naturalist have donated the use of the facility.

Participants will be sitting on the floor and are encouraged to bring their own pillow.

To sign up, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4bacaa2ea3f58-story.

Those unable to attend the event can support Luke’s family by donating at www.givinggrid.com/xjiwvr/.

Santa Steven will also offer a photo opportunity from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Olney Antique Village, 16650 Georgia Ave. in Olney.

He said well-behaved pets are welcome to join for the photo.

Donations will be welcome but not required. Proceeds will benefit the Engler family and thee charities: Fisher House (supporting veterans), Susan G. Komen (breast cancer foundation), The City Choir of Washington, Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, Whitman Walker Clinic, National Brain Tumor Society, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Out of the Darkness (suicide prevention), Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance and Make-a-Wish Foundation.


Olney Lions collecting toys


The Olney Kiwanis Club recently turned in its charter, but the toy drive it began in 1984 continues, thanks to the Olney Lions Club.

Toys will be collected at Starbucks on Olney-Sandy Spring Road and Georgia Avenue, Gold’s Gym, SunTrust Bank, Fletcher’s Service Center, Hypnotics Salon, Royal Bagel Bakery, The Karen Rollins Team Office, Graeves Auto and Tire, Sherwood High School and Dempsey’s Restaurant in Ashton.

The distribution of toys will be primarily in Montgomery County, with a focus on families and children in the greater Olney area.

Most of the toys will be distributed through Olney-area elementary schools, Montgomery County Coalition for the homeless, Montgomery County Emergency Services and the National Institute of Health’s children’s ward.


Sandy Spring Lions Club sells trees, wreaths


Sandy Spring Lions Club will sell Christmas trees and handmade wreaths until all are sold at the old Montgomery General Hospital grounds, Olney-Sandy Spring Road and Prince Phillip Drive.

The tree lot will be open 2-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Several sizes of fresh-cut Fraser fir trees will be available.

Proceeds will benefit the Lions Club, which gives back 100 percent of the proceeds to charitable projects, mostly in the local community.


Laytonsville fire department sells holiday trees, greens


The Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department’s Christmas Tree Sale will be held 4-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

at the station, 21400 Laytonsville Road, Laytonsville.

Fraser firs from 6 feet to 9 feet tall will be available, along with wreaths.

For more information, go to www.ldvfd.org or call 240-304-1332. Proceeds will benefit the LDVFD building fund.


Holiday HELP needed


Local non-profit organization Olney HELP is gearing up for its annual holiday program.

Holiday items needed include canned yams, canned peas, canned corn, evaporated milk, muffin mix and brownie mix.

General needs include canned meats (salmon/chicken/ beef stew), small condensed soups (especially tomato and vegetable), Helpers (hamburger, chicken and tuna), canned tomatoes, shelf-stable juice and canned fruit.

Drop-off boxes are located at the Buffington Re/Max Realty Building in Olney, Longwood Recreation Center in Brookeville, Ross Boddy Recreation Center in Sandy Spring, and Oakdale Church in Olney.

In 2019, Olney HELP will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

To learn more or to donate online, go to www.olneyhelp.org.


Spend the morning with Santa in Gaithersburg


A Morning with Santa will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 15 at Casey Community Center, 810 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg.

The event will feature a visit with Santa, hot cocoa, decorating cookies by the fireplace and more.

Admission is $10 for children, $5 for adults and free for children ages 1 and younger. Register online at www.gaithersburgmd.gov.


Ross Boddy to welcome families for Cocoa and Crafts


Ross Boddy Neighborhood Recreation Center, 18529 Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, will host Cocoa and Crafts 1-3 p.m. Dec. 15.

The free family event will include a gingerbread house-decorating contest, crafts, games, hot cocoa, apple cider and a Winter Wonderland photo area.

All children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Register online at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org (Activity 59071).


Praisner Center to offer An Afternoon with Santa


Praisner Community Recreation Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, will host An Afternoon with Santa from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 16, featuring a child-friendly spaghetti lunch, arts and crafts, cookie decorating and holiday movie.

Bring a camera and take a picture with Santa.

Cost is $5 per person. Register on-site the day of the event; cash only.
Burtonsville church to hold annual Christmas Concert


Resurrection Catholic Church, 3315 Greencastle Road, Burtonsville, will host its annual Christmas Concert with choirs and instrumentalists at 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

No tickets required; a suggested donation of $15 for adults is appreciated.

Go to https://resurrectionadw.org/.


Trolley Museum to offer annual Holly TrolleyFest


National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Road, Colesville, will host Holly TrolleyFest on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. through Dec. 23, featuring Santa aboard street car rides through Northwest Branch Park and toy trains in Santa’s Garden.

Visitors may also tour Street Car Hall with a docent, learn about the role of street cars in developing communities, and see Harold Lloyd in silent film comedies featuring street cars.

The museum will also be open Dec. 29 and 30. Visit www.dctrolley.org or call 301-384-6088 for more information.


Winter Lights Festival underway through Dec. 31


The City of Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival will welcome visitors for its 23rd season at Seneca Creek State Park through Dec. 31.

The festival will be held 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will be closed on Dec. 25.

The park is located at 11950 Clopper Road, a few miles west of the intersection with Interstate 270.

Admission is $12 per car Monday through Thursday and $17 per car Friday through Sunday. Purchase online in advance or by cash or credit card at the gate.

In the spirit of the holidays, a portion of the proceeds from the 2018 festival will benefit local nonprofit organizations including Comfort Cases Inc., Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy, OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of and Services for Individuals with Special Needs) and Unity of Gaithersburg.

The 3.5-mile drive through the enchanted woodland setting of Seneca Creek State Park will take visitors past more than 450 illuminated displays and park trees. Festival favorites will include a Fairytale scene, Winter Woods, Teddy Bear Land, Toyland, Victorian Village and the North Pole.

Winter Lights is sponsored in part by RIO Washingtonian Center, BGE Home, Montgomery Magazine, Washington Parent, 97.1 WASH-FM, and WQER 96.7.

For complete details and admission rates for groups and large vehicles, visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov.


Garden of Lights to open through Jan. 1 at Brookside


Step into a magical winter wonderland illuminated with more than one million colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted flowers, animals and other natural elements at the Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton.

Visit the Conservatory to watch model trains wind through seasonal landscapes, enjoy hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances.

The Gardens will be open through Jan. 1 between 5:30 and 10 p.m. The Gardens will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.

The cost is $25 per car/van Sunday through Thursday; $30 per car/van Friday-Saturday, and $25 in advance at the gift shop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Advanced tickets may be redeemed weekdays or weekends, but do not provide for priority admission.

For more information, go to www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/brookside-gardens/garden-of-lights/.


Linkages to Learning seeks donations of gift cards for teens


Linkages to Learning (LTL) is seeking gift cards to be given as holiday gifts to local teens in need.

LTL is a community school partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Public Schools and non-profit service providers with an integrated focus on health, social services, community engagement and leadership.

To support student learning, strong families and healthy communities, LTL provides social, mental health and other community services in 29 elementary and middle schools with high rates of poverty.

Each holiday season, gifts are provided to children and teens that LTL staff know to be in need. Gift cards for teens can be of any denomination. Suggested stores include Target, Walmart, BestBuy, local movie theaters and restaurants.

LTL’s goal is to collect 500 gift cards for teens. Cards (or donations towards the purchase of cards) should be mailed to Linkages to Learning, 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 310, Rockville, MD 20852.

To have gift card(s) picked up by LTL staff, or for more information, call Haifa Krakaur at 240-777-1291 or email [email protected].

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