Back to profile

Susan Belford

Stories by Susan

Tease photo

Gomez-Gracia and Sogol Décor: ‘Marvelous May’

International style and design fills “The Haus.”

Looking for exclusive couture for a special occasion? Searching for distinctive home décor items? Seeking fashion or interior design advice? All are now available in Potomac at Gomez-Gracia, located in a little black and white house with black and white striped awnings — and a turquoise door — at 10040 Falls Road, minutes north of the Village. Here in “The Haus” are designer gowns, outfits, one-of-a kind home décor items, jewelry, handbags, paintings, furniture, gift items and more.

Bullis Gives Back

6th Annual 5k Run/2.5 Walk and “Buddy Run” this Sunday.

“Come run … Come walk … Come change a life.” It’s lunchtime in the Bullis cafeteria. Students are mingling and finding their tables, eating while discussing their classes, activities and what to do next weekend. Most students in the cafeteria are planning to spend Sunday, May 4 participating in “Bullis Gives Back” — the run/walk that gives them an opportunity to volunteer to pair up with a “Buddy” from The Diener School, from K.E.E.N (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) or from the Treatment and Learning Centers/Katherine Thomas School (TLC/KTS).

Tease photo

B’nai Tzedek Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Gala honors its founders.

In 1988, the movie “Field of Dreams” inspired viewers with the motto, “If you build it, they will come.” Armed with this philosophy, and encouraged by a few residents who were also passionate about establishing a new synagogue in Potomac, Symcha and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt set off on a mission to create, in Weinblatt’s words, “a place where members grow Jewishly and take their Jewish journey, where they could deepen their ties to Judaism and discover its beauty and relevance.”

Tease photo

Hospice Caring Celebrates 25 Years of Service

Multiple programs for those at life’s end and for the families they leave behind.

In 1989, Penny Gladhill, and six other Frederick Hospice volunteers saw and felt the need for free hospice services in Montgomery County. With enthusiasm and determination, they initiated Hospice Caring — a nonprofit organization that has affected thousands of lives in Montgomery County for 25 years.

Tease photo

Potomac’s Mike Hammer Adjusts as Ambassador to Chile

Strengthening U.S.-Chile ties.

On Wednesday, March 5, Mike Hammer was quietly residing in Potomac with his family where he enjoyed weekend walks to Starbucks and watching his children’s sports activities. However, one day later, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as ambassador to Chile — and life started moving at a breath-taking pace. Three days after the confirmation, he and his family boarded Air Force Two to fly to Santiago with Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden.

Beth Shalom Hosts ‘Guys Night Out’

The 4th annual BBQ, Scotch and Seder Summit took place April 6 at the Beth Sholom Congregation on Seven Locks Road in Potomac.

Dinner Music

Focus Music brings folk and acoustic music to Potomac’s Tami’s Table.

Tami’s Table Café and Wine Bar, located at 12944-E Travilah Road, Potomac is the scene to check out.

Tease photo

‘Tiger Trot’ Aids Fire Department

The hills and valleys of Potomac will suddenly come alive on Sunday, April 13 as more than 400 runners and walkers take to the streets for the 4th Annual “Tiger Trot.” The 5K run/walk, sponsored by the Connelly School of the Holy Child benefits the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department as well as the wellness and fitness programs at the school. This community race draws both elite runners from the area as well as family, friends, neighbors, firefighters and Holy Child faculty. All are welcome to participate in the run and walk through Potomac neighborhoods.

4-Year-Olds Learn About Entrepreneurship

“Camila’s Lemonade Stand” author visits Potomac Nursery School.

“If you could start your own business — any business you wanted, what would you choose?” asked teacher Barbara Haas to her class of 4-year-olds at Potomac Nursery School. The question prompted answers from the children of “I would have a business where I could take care of animals” to “I would want to make delicious food for people.” Some wanted to become home builders, doctors or fire-fighters; others wanted to become lawyers to help other people.

Tease photo

Churchill To Present ‘Urinetown’

Students to perform award-winning musical comedy

Water is one or our most important commodities — and many communities already know and fear the painful sanctions that governments put into place when droughts take place. But what if every drop of water had to be preserved and the U.S. government required all citizens to excrete only in a government-sanctioned urinal?

Spring Days Bring Outdoor Fun

Taking advantage of a sunny Saturday.

Spring is upon us, and when we get a warm day like Saturday — children and adults alike just can’t wait to get outside to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and springtime temperatures.

Tease photo

Country Club Manager Honored for Leadership

Bradley Cance, general manager and chief operating officer of the Bethesda Country Club was recently honored by his alma mater, Michigan State University with his selection into the 2013 Hall of Fame "Class of Mentors." Cance was chosen for the coaching and mentoring support he has given to students from the university. He has counseled and guided interns, and assisted future club managers in their searches for employment within the industry. He has also been one of the top two or three alumni in Destination Auction donations each year for 10 years. Cance received the award at the university’s annual Celebration of Leadership, held on Nov. 9, 2013 in New York City.

Tease photo

Makes You Sweat, Makes You Sore — and Wanting More

Megaformer transforms Pilates workout.

Still working on that New Year’s Resolution to get fit and lose weight — but not making much progress? Sculpt Pilates Studio, featuring a new exercise program, recently opened Jan. 25 in Bethesda — with new machines and body sculpting exercises.

‘Blast from the Past 25 – Mixtape’ Opens at Churchill

Production marks silver anniversary.

The 1989 show — the first of its kind in the Potomac area — is a tradition that has continued, offering thousands of students the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Eight Family Adventures To Brighten Winter Days

Some ideas for getting out of the house.

Bundle up with hats and mittens, head out of the house, and take advantage of these cold days with some new adventures.

Local Students Perform in ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’

Musical to be presented by Bravo@Kat.

Bravo@Kat (Kensington Arts Theatre) will present Beauty and the Beast Jan. 31-Feb. 2, at the Randolph Road Theatre, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring.

Holy Child Freshman Wins Junior Grand Prix Medals in Ice Dancing

Lorraine McNamara was 3 years old when she gingerly stepped onto the ice at a local skating rink while her mom was taking a lesson. Eleven years later, she is an accomplished ice dance competitor.

Tease photo

Ring In Holiday Season with Gifts from Potomac Village

So much, so near.

The shopping season is here — and it’s time to find special gifts for everyone on your list. But instead of rushing to the mall, or heading to the outlets, this year, shop in Potomac.

Tease photo

Local Producer’s ‘No Evidence Of Disease’ To Screen in Bethesda

Doctors in rock band honor their patients.

N.E.D. or “No Evidence of Disease” — the words every patient hopes to hear — is the name of a rock band created by six GYN cancer surgeons who deliver a message and hope with each song they play. Bethesda’s Karen Simon has joined with Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, director Andrea Kalin of Washington D.C.’s Spark Media to produce a documentary that chronicles the lives of the doctors as well as the courage and experiences of their patients. The movie descriptor explains: “As music and medicine join forces in the fight for life, surgeons are transformed into rising rock stars, and their patients and loved ones jump on the bandwagon, infusing the struggle for survival with heart, hope and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The doctors, irate because gynecological cancers do not receive the publicity that other cancers receive — or the funding — choose to take on the “Below the Belt” cancers. Their songs are original and they play not only for their own satisfaction, but to honor the courage of their female patients and their devoted families and friends, who join in the fight to make others aware of this “silent killer.”

Tease photo

Join Donna E. Driscoll Walk for Dystonia

Event to raise funds for research.

Donna Driscoll is the voice of courage as she discusses dystonia, the disease she has lived with for nine years. “It’s frustrating and debilitating — but I never give up pushing. I feel better when I am trying.” Driscoll’s life was totally altered by this neurological movement disorder that she now battles on a daily basis. She had always been an active person who played competitive USTA team tennis, taught first grade at Garrett Park Elementary and traveled often to visit grandchildren. Because of dystonia, the Potomac resident has been forced to give up tennis, retire from her teaching position and quit walking her dog. She could not accompany her children and grandchildren to Disney World without a wheelchair and she had difficulty with daily tasks such as grocery shopping and walking up and down stairs. Yearly she vows to beat dystonia by raising funds for research and by increasing the public’s awareness. “Researchers have made strides in the treatment of dystonia, and I am determined to raise enough money to solve the mysteries of this disease and find a cure. Researchers have found new procedures and medicines that improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s — a disorder closely related to dystonia. I always say, ‘Parkinson’s has Michael J. Fox, dystonia has me.” Driscoll continues to increase the knowledge about her debilitating disease by trying to mobilize government officials to grant more funds to dystonia research.

Tease photo

Understanding Disabilities

Wayside’s ‘SNAP’ Week teaches challenges of special needs.

Potomac’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Gym was over-flowing with students, parents and friends cheering the Wayside staff team on as they held their own against the acclaimed wheelchair basketball team The Maryland Ravens.

Tease photo

Holiday Gift Show to Benefit Area Charities

Shopping takes on a new meaning.

Tease photo

Get Ready for Potomac Day

Games and fun await this fall at Potomac Day.

Documentary Highlights Wounded Warriors Program

Documentary Highlights Wounded Warriors Program

Wounded Warrior J.D. Hartley credits a horse for changing his life. “I was scared at first, but I haven’t had a nightmare since I met Peanut, my horse.

Help Cure Ocular Melanoma on Sunday

This is a personal fight for Harvey Levine of Potomac, coordinator of the concert. His sister Sheila is fighting ocular melanoma – and he is doing everything in his power to raise funds for research.

Tease photo

Providing Programs for Those with Developmental Disabilities

PCR works with other groups to launch similar programs.

In 1994, Joan and Jim Sullivan of Potomac proposed an idea to Father John Enzler and the parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church — an idea that changed and improved services for teens and adults with developmental disabilities in Montgomery County.

Family Adventures Before Summer Ends

Planning end-of-summer activities.

It’s less than one month before the onslaught of the new school year. Homework, after-school activities, athletics and schedules will soon begin and continue for the next 10 months. Right now is the time to be thinking about how to best pack in some end-of-the-summer day-trip activities for your family to enjoy. Here are some innovative, action-packed — but close-by ideas — for finishing off this summer with a bang.

Tease photo

Potomac Family Hosts Fresh Air Fund Child

“Seven days can change a child’s life.”

River Falls resident Gregory Mitchell was a “Fresh Air Fund” child — a “life-changing, character-shaping experience,” he said. Growing up in a single-parent household in the Bronx, N.Y.C. meant that he did not have an opportunity to leave the inner-city — the hot, noisy streets were the only playground he knew. From the ages of 10-13, the Fresh Air Fund provided a two-week summer visit with a large family in New Hampshire.

Churchill’s Selman Brings CYM to Potomac

Leaves school system to devote full time to his company.

Everyone who has seen Winston Churchill High School theatrical productions in the past nine years — “BLAST,” “Peter Pan,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Legally Blonde” or others — has been impressed with the creative set design, professional lighting and innovative sound effects as well as the training and focus of the student technical crew.

Hidden Artwork Being Revealed at Old Angler’s Inn

Restoration is in progress upstairs in the Inn’s front dining room.

When Hurricane Sandy blasted through the Mid-Atlantic last year, Mark and Sara Reges, owners of Old Angler’s Inn received the call that the roof on their historic restaurant was leaking. When they arrived at the Inn, they discovered an amazing surprise. The constant dripping in their upstairs dining room was causing the plaster to peel from the wall — but underneath was a picturesque mural of the C & O Canal, painted by Mark’s grandfather George Reges.

It’s All About Family Ties: ‘Me & 3’

It started with rugelach.

Potomac’s Harvey Bernstein was born to bake. His father and brother were bakers and his mother was an excellent cook. As a young man, he always sought employment in the food industry, performing a multitude of jobs from cook to waiter. However, he listened to his father when he said, “Don’t work with your body, work with your brain” and became an attorney. However, his happiest moments were when he was kneading, rolling and elbow-deep in dough. His specialty was rugelach — a crescent-shaped cream-cheese dough pastry, home-baked for their family holidays and celebrations.

Tease photo

Bezu Revamping: Mix Bar and Grill To Open in August

Menu to offer American and Mediterranean cuisine.

Potomac’s Bezu has long been a favorite of Potomac residents — but if you decide to dine there this week, you will discover it is closed and in the midst of renovation.

Tease photo

McPaw Pet Showcase Design Challenge: Enter Now

Eleven rooms need artistic vision.

The Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-being (McPaw) is looking for creative and artistic visionaries who love animals — and who want to become a part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — the McPaw Pet Showcase Design Challenge.

WILL Interactive Inc. Brings Hollywood to Potomac

Business uses interactive movie experiences for training.

Driving by the Bank of America building on Falls Road every day, one most likely never notices an innocuous black and white sign announcing that WILL Interactive, Inc. resides in that building. The mystery of the name may only momentarily tweak one’s brain.

‘Autism Speaks’ 5k Run/1 Mile Walk Returns July 4

Event raises awareness and funding.

Before watching the July 4 fireworks or chowing down on some mouth-watering barbeque, make it a mission to run or walk in the 13th annual “Autism Speaks” 5K/1 Mile Fun Run. Each year, the Potomac Library is the gathering place for this race which attracts more than 1,400 runners and walkers — all to raise awareness of the plight of children affected with autism and their families, as well as to raise funds to support research and programs for autistic children and loved ones.

New Venue; New Vibes

Taste of Potomac raises funds for Adoptions Together.

A courageous 15-year-old, Arlene Reles, addressed an audience of more than 300 at the 2013 Taste of Potomac benefit for Adoptions Together on Saturday, June 8. The teen told the story of her life before adoption and how it felt to be in foster care.

Tease photo

Sharing in the joy of volunteering

KEEN Sports Day gets volunteers from Au Pair of America

“I loved volunteering at the KEEN Sports Day,” said Camila Souza, who works for a Potomac family through Au Pair of America. “It made me realize that I can make a difference just by giving a high five — or by cheering on these young people as they run bases or learn a new dance. I was there to give him support — but he gave me inspiration.”

Tease photo

On Target

Olympic-style archery program at Connelly School of the Holy Child.

Holy Child’s physical education teacher Leslie Whitaker was astounded when she was notified that a 700-pound box had been delivered to the school and was waiting for her to claim.

Tease photo

‘Girls on the Run’ Empowers Seven Locks Elementary Girls

Creating a lifestyle.

“I would never have become a runner if it weren’t for ‘Girls on the Run,’” said third grade student Amanda Oliver. “I used to hate running and now I love running with my new friends. It’s tough, but it teaches you to keep plugging and always be positive.”

Tease photo

Potomac’s Debi Dreyfuss To Compete in Air Race Classic

National competition challenges female pilots.

Debi Dreyfuss has wanted to fly since she was 6 years old when her uncle took her for a ride in his Cessna 172.

Tease photo

‘Fiddler on the Roof Jr.’ Opens at Randolph Road Theater

Three performances scheduled for June 8-9.

“Fiddler on the Roof” has been capturing the hearts of audiences of all ages since the play first hit Broadway in 1964.

Tease photo

Muslim Foundation Honors Community Service Volunteers

Working to combat hunger.

More than 300 people celebrated the benevolent work of the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation at its annual community cookout at Black Hill Regional Park. The May 5 event honored the many volunteers whose energy and efforts made the MCMF’s 2013 Food Drive and other service projects a success.

Taste of Potomac To Benefit Adoptions Together

Fundraiser event to be held June 8.

Grilled lamb chops from Cava, tuna tartar from Hunter’s Inn, short ribs from Old Angler’s Inn, mini-indulgences from Seasons 52 — to sample the finest of fare, make plans to come to the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center on Saturday, June 8 at 7 p.m. for the Taste of Potomac.

Tease photo

Picnic Honors Volunteers

Montgomery County Muslim Foundation celebrates award.

More than 350 people gathered at Black Hill Regional Park to honor Montgomery County Muslim Foundation (MCMF) volunteers and to celebrate their “2012 Exceptional Partner Award,” presented by Giant Foods and Manna.

Custom Tailor Opens in Potomac Village

Family brings couple across country.

Sung Lee and his wife Jung Park gave up their flourishing alteration business in West Des Moines, Iowa to move to Potomac to be close to their sons.

Tease photo

Potomac United Methodist Church Hosts Strawberry Festival

Annual event returns on Saturday, May 18.

One of the sweetest events in Potomac is back again — the annual Strawberry Festival held each May at the Potomac United Methodist Church — the quaint white church facing Falls Road in Potomac.

Tease photo

Science Building Receives LEED Gold Certification

German School in Potomac earns environmental praise.

“It is important to pass on the lesson of caring for our environment to our young people,” said Waldemar Gries, Head of School for the German School, Washington, located on Chateau Drive in Potomac.

Tease photo

Seven Year Old Uses Technology in Heroic Act

Noah Schnall uses Facetime in an emergency.

Do your children know who to call for help in an emergency? Do they understand how to use a cell phone or an iPad — or Facetime? Have they been told about 911 — how to call and what to say?

Center To Host Cultural Night

Meet new director at dance and cuisine event.

The Potomac Community Center will be celebrating the multi-ethnicity of the community with an inaugural “Cultural Dance and Cuisine” night from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17. The public is invited to an evening of international dance performances representing China, Greece, Russia, India, Latin America and more.

Tease photo

Annual Potomac Spring House Tour Returns

Event to support Congregation Har Shalom’s projects.

Love touring unique homes and looking for ideas of how to enhance your own home? Be certain to mark May 19 or 20 on the calendar for the Potomac Spring House Tour.