The 14th Montgomery Hospice Ball, "A Celebration of Life," was held on March 2 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. The Hospice Ball raises money for the hospice organization which serves all residents of Montgomery County, regardless of their ability to pay. Honorary Patrons for the gala were His Excellency João da Rocha Páris, Ambassador of Portugal, and Mrs. Rocha Páris. Among the live auction items was a dinner for eight at the Embassy of Portugal. At the Ball, guests enjoyed a gourmet menu of Portuguese food and wine.

Artist Pat Kelley of Bethesda donated a beautiful oil painting of Óbidos, Portugal, which Robert and Jody Infanger of Potomac bought as part of the Ball's auction.

The next meeting of the Low Vision Support Group will meet on Tuesday, March 26, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville. The guest speaker will be Carol Menichetti, community educator with the Montgomery County Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program. The topic will be "Dealing with Sexual Harassment." Call Anita Cohen at 301-299-7077 or email

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) will hold a free 12-week course for families who have a relative with mental illness. The course will help family members understand and support ill relatives, while maintaining their own well being. Class registry begins in late March. Call Nicole Nadeau at 301-949-5852.

Discovery Creek is offering "Babes in the Woods," a program designed to help parents and newborns get some exercise on the museum's trails, expose the children to nature and provide socializing opportunities with other new parents. A variety of topics will be discussed. Session One meets on April 4, 11, 18 and 25, from 9-10:30 a.m. Session Two meets May 9, 16, 23 and 30, from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Cost is $80 for members and $95 for nonmembers. The museum is located at The Stable at Glen Echo, 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Call 202-364-3111.

The Jewish Social Service Agency offers support groups for families dealing with a variety of health issues. Parents and adult family members coping with children with disabilities or serious medical illness meet on Tuesdays, from 7:30-8:45 p.m.. Meetings are held at the Jewish Social Service Agency, 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville. Call Martha Mervis at 301-990-6880, ext. 316.

In addition, the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), Arc of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Aging and Disabilities Services are co-sponsoring free monthly seminars for family members caring for children or adults with disabilities. "Special Education Services and Resources" is the topic on Wednesday, March 20, from 7-9 p.m. at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. Call Lisa Marino at 240-777-1138.

Support Group for Newly Bereaved Spouses meets weekly for spouses bereaved in the past year. Meets on Tuesdays, 9:30-11 a.m. Call Mary Hull Levyne, 301-816-2680.

Next Step Support and Activities Group is for individuals 50-65 who have been widowed for more than a year. Meets on Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. Call Mary Hull Levyne at 301-816-2680. Group meetings are held at 6123 Montrose Road in Rockville.