By Lloyd Thompson Taylor
Sights, songs, and spaghetti, the flavors and highlights of Italy make their way to Frederick in a new and exciting way.
Homemade Italian favorites like lasagna, tiramisu, sausages, ices, and beverages along with the traditional and contemporary musical stylings of Sergio Fresco, a musician well known in the greater metropolitan area for his performances and his love of Italian culture await the Frederick community at Crumland Farms, the event site on May 25, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity, with the thought of the greater Frederick family community in mind, has sponsored “Festa Italiana Frederick,” the first of many such events to come. Tuscany, Florence, and Rome are coming to Frederick and invite every member of the community to stop by and take a walk on La Riviera Italienne
Ron Cramer, executive director of the Frederick Habitat for Humanity, is an advocate for involvement and outreach, to those in need as well as the families of Frederick.
“Our organization is excited to produce this event; a first event of its kind in Frederick,” Cramer shared. “At the Frederick Habitat, we are all about supporting families, so this family-friendly activity is right in line with our mission.”
Admission to Festa Italiana Frederick is $5 plus the price of the Italiana cuisine presented. All proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity and their initiatives. Children under the age of 2 are free.
Artistry, celebrity, soccer, and a Spaghetti Sauce Cook-Off all invite the public to take an active role in the Italian culture and cuisine presented for them. Events for children include small craft making, fun games, and a chance to create their own dish. “Top your Own Spaghetti Tent” offers pasta kids of all ages will love with chocolate, gummy bears, and more.
Father Leo Patalinghug, a parish priest with a surprising past, will also be a fixture at the Festa. Father Leo, as a famous cooking show host and founder of a meal-based religious initiative, will publicly prepare an Italian favorite of his and then sign copies of his book, Recipes for Joy.
“Attendees can expect the ambiance of Italy at this unforgettable event. Our goal is to create a true Italian experience filled with the music, smells and sounds that take you from Frederick to Italy in your wildest imagination,” Cramer said.
Questions and additional information can be asked and answered at www.festaItalianafrederick.com.
By Lloyd Thompson Taylor
“We’re powerless to change what we won’t acknowledge.”
These were the words at the very heart of the message given by Sil Lai Abrams, a nationally recognized speaker, writer and domestic violence awareness activist, to the crowd gathered for the Affair of the Heart event at the Holly Hills Country Club on May 14.
Abrams was invited to Frederick to share her story and what programs like the Heartly House mean to her. She was only able to move forward with her life and heal due to the aid of a New York-based program similar to the Heartly House, she stated in her keynote address at the event.
“This is hard work; it’s not sexy,” she said in reference to supporting the programs that help battered women, men and children. There is a great need for assistance in this area, but unlike the arts and other initiatives, domestic violence support is something that no one likes to talk about, she observed.
In addition, backing for such programs has declined over the years, while the downturn of the economy and cuts in government spending have left the Heartly House with less funds available to help a growing population in need of its services.
Board members of the Heartly House joined Abrams in sharing their own stories of working with those affected by domestic violence and the gripping statistics of domestic abuse. The board noted that in the Frederick County area alone, with its population of 230,000, a real need exists for the Heartly House. The organization fields thousands of calls to its hotline and houses hundreds of victims who need shelter and the resources to break free from their abusers.
Olivia White, Affair of the Heart committee member and co-chair of this year’s event, discussed the importance of giving back to the community through time and donations to programs like the Heartly House. She also took the time to acknowledge all of the effort by community leaders and corporations who came together to sponsor the event this year.
Affair of the Heart is an annual fundraising event sponsored by the Heartly House of Frederick, Maryland. The event regularly brings together donors, supporters, and friends of the Heartly House from across Frederick County in order to thank everyone involved in their mission and touch on the importance of such programs in the county and across the country.
”Those who support this cause, do it from the heart,” Abrams said.
For more information on the Heartly House and how to get involved, go to www.heartlyhouse.org.
By Lori Rypka
Noah “Biingo” Gray of New Windsor knows all about working smarter while working harder. His 180-degree health turnaround was rather public and required him to juggle school with an extreme workout regimen.
Noah was chosen to be one of three youth ambassadors for Biggest Loser season 14, which concluded in March. This 13-year-old with a big personality took on an equally bigger task of changing the course of his health and inspiring millions of viewers to get off the couch and get healthy. Baseball, his favorite sport, provided an extra reason for motivation.
From late September 2012 to mid-March 2013, Noah spent his days attending school, doing homework and exercising in the gym.
Dan Strayton, trainer and owners of Health Unlimited of Mount Airy, trained Noah and his family during the season. He said the Gray family was looking for a gym nearby when he first met them. The show’s producers liked that Strayton had worked with and coached kids for years. Plus, he also played baseball in college.
Noah managed to stay on track toward his fitness goal — he ultimately lost 42 pounds — despite a foot injury that benched him for six weeks. His whole family took the challenge along with him; together they lost more than 200 pounds total during the season.
Noah had it a little tougher than most of the contestants on the Biggest Loser Ranch for much of the season. The weight was figuratively on his shoulders to do the fitness work at home week after week.
Diet changes aside, Strayton says the key for Noah was something kids do naturally anyway — playing with friends. Most of Noah’s hours at the gym were spent playing B-Ball or dodgeball with his buddies.
And really, that’s no different than kids’ schedules years ago — come home from school, do homework, play with friends outside, and then go to bed.
Many kids today, including Noah before he got involved in the show, spend hours playing electronics rather than playing in physical sports.
Looking ahead, having a love of sports is an advantage for Noah, Strayton says. His weight loss “will be a lot easier to maintain because he can play sports.”
For a kid who used to spend hours playing video games or watching TV, Noah was pretty proud of himself when he ran a sub-10-minute mile.
But that’s not his only source of pride. Since receiving a surprise jersey on the Biggest Loser live show by coaches of the Maryland Cardinals Baseball Club in Winfield, Noah has been out on the field practicing with the team.
Although Noah admits he’s still not a fan of vegetables, his diet has also undergone a complete transformation, and he’s become more mindful about how he’s fueling his body. At 13, he can make only so many choices about what he eats, but a huge part of Noah’s success was that his parents participated in the lifestyle change, too.
“Kids won’t be successful if the parents won’t do it. Kids can’t do it on their own,” Strayton says.
And, when it came down to it, Noah not only stepped up to the plate, but he hit a home run.