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Susan Belford

Stories by Susan

One to Three Months To Live: Now What?

Potomac resident writes of her triumph over diagnosis.

She returned to Potomac to die — a 30-year-old woman who had been given the diagnosis that she had a lethal non-cancerous cervical spinal cord tumor and would not live more than three months. What is it like to be given this diagnosis — and then survive? How did she wake up each day with the strength and courage to fight the prognosis and still be able to be a wife and a mother to her three young sons?

‘Peter Pan’ Takes Flight at Winston Churchill

Performance opens April 19.

Details “Peter Pan” the musical will be presented at the Winston Churchill High School auditorium on Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased online at www.wchsarts.com or in the lobby box office outside Bish Auditorium, 11300 Gainsborough Road, Potomac. The box office will be open one hour before each performance. Peter, Pan, Wendy, John, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and definitely the notably evil Captain Hook will be journeying by air and sea to the Winston Churchill High School auditorium on Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21.

Benny’s Bar and Grill To Open

New restaurant promises “Best Drink in Town.”

Potomac entrepreneur Benson Fischer will soon be revealing a new concept in dining and entertainment to open this spring in the Cabin John Shopping Center. Benny’s Bar and Grill, debuting in the former Popeye’s location, has been remodeled, expanded and retrofitted into a 240-seat restaurant. Fischer has designed the eatery, resplendent with comfortable leather booths, stonework, retro tin ceilings, open-air seating and a two-sided bar with the latest in mixology machines.

‘Giving Kids the Drive’

Third annual First Tee luncheon to support program.

Thousands of children in Montgomery County have learned to play golf each summer through a junior golf program called The First Tee of Montgomery County. Through this organization, they gain more than learning to putt, chip and drive the ball.

Holy Child’s ‘Tiger Trot’ Returns

School teams with firefighters for 5k Run/Walk.

Runners will assume their positions and leap forward at the sound of the starter’s gun — and walkers will follow behind, enjoying a stroll through picturesque neighborhoods of Potomac. The 2013 Holy Child “Tiger Trot” — a 5k run/walk that spans the hills of Avenel and then circles onto Persimmon Tree Drive and ends back at the Bradley Boulevard school grounds will take place on the morning of April 14.

Making New and Old Residents Feel Right at Home

Potomac Area Newcomers’ Club members “are always on the go.”

“I don’t know how I would have survived if it hadn’t been for the Potomac Area Newcomers’ Club (PANC),” said Dottie White of Potomac. “This organization was a lifesaver after I moved here from New Jersey to be closer to my kids.

Team Saij

Bowl-a-thon to support Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research

“We are in a race against time,” said Vicky Singh with a determined look on her face. “It is imperative that we raise as much money as possible to fund promising research to find drugs to treat and cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) — to save children’s lives.

Gallery Har Shalom Debuts ‘Adding In, Taking Away’

Where creative vision takes shape.

Gallery Har Shalom has opened its exhibit “Adding In, Taking Away” — a showcase of talent by five area artists. Now through April 22, the gallery presents sculpture, woodworking and artwork created with a variety of printmaking techniques.

Cooperative Effort Strengthens Play

Holy Child produces “Beauty and the Beast.”

More than 90 students participated in the cast and crew for “Beauty and the Beast,” presented March 1 and 2 by The Connelly School of the Holy Child. The result was “incredible and amazing,” said director Elsbeth Reaves Fager.

Funding ‘Second Chances’ for Animals

MCPAW supports county’s Animal Services and Adoption Center

"Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms,” stated writer George Elliot. MCPAW (Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being) is doing everything in their power to be certain that as many “agreeable friends” as possible have another opportunity to find loving homes.

The Man Behind Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club

Bethesda’s new venue for music lovers and dancers opened its doors to sell-out crowds on March 1. The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club is bringing first-rate music of all genres to the heart of Bethesda.

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Hatten Inducted Into Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association Hall of Fame

Bethesda Country Club’s director of tennis honored.

Every Bethesda Country Club tennis player knows the welcoming smile and hearty “Good Morning” from Director of Tennis Frank Hatten.

Student Wins DAR Essay Contests

Anna Gray writes of forgotten Revolutionary hero.

Thirteen-year-old Anna Gray discovered the story of unsung hero Sybil Ludington when she googled “Revolutionary War women” — and as Anna explains her choice, “She was the most interesting of the women I had not heard of.”

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New Manager at Potomac Library

Nancy Savas has librarian roots reaching to her childhood.

Nancy Savas, the new Potomac Library manager comes to her new position with a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and knowledge.

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Addressing ‘Learning Differences: What Works?’

McLean Schools hosts “Cecily’s Advocacy Workshop.”

More than 200 parents, family members, and educators flocked to Potomac’s McLean School on Saturday, Feb. 9 to take advantage of the 4th annual “Cecily’s Advocacy Workshop” — a seminar which disseminates information and the latest research on strategies for coping with children with ADD, ADHD and other learning differences.

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Holy Child Offers ‘Minimester, Volume II’

Fourteen topics fill innovative program.

Tea was served and whist was played as if Jane Austen herself were in the room. Links between Harry Potter, World War II and Christianity were explored. Students delved into personal finance, creative writing, performing arts audition techniques — and even visited the “Little Butterfly of the Caribbean” — the island of Guadeloupe.

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Bullis’ Lower School To Launch Combined Class

Combined second and third grade class to start in fall.

The Bullis School is announcing a change to their long-standing tradition of teaching children in grades 3 through 12. In the fall of 2013, a combined 2nd grade/3rd grade class will begin with a small group of eager 7-year-olds.

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Molly Reiner Wins Two Trips to China

“Learn Chinese, Double Your World.”

Potomac’s Molly Reiner has been fascinated with the Chinese language and culture since she was first exposed to Chinese in 4th grade at Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. Her diligent study of the language since 7th grade paid off last April when she competed in the Chinese Bridge Competition sponsored by the Hanban Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland.

Chloupek To Be Honored with ‘Special Love Award’

Gala planned for Feb. 2.

Larry Chloupek is training to run the DC Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on March 16. Not too amazing for many athletes — except that Chloupek has only one leg and he will run the marathon using crutches.

Hang Out at This ‘Bus Stop’

Churchill High to present classic play next week.

The wind is gusting, snow is rapidly piling up and blustery conditions have stranded eight strangers in a Kansas diner in the winter of 1955. What happens next is anyone’s guess as the characters experience frustration, tears and laughter while they forge romantic connections and friendships throughout the night.

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Vienna Residents Support Warrior Canine Connection

Helping to bring the healing power of the best dogs to Wounded Warriors.

Vienna residents Patty Kennedy and Katherine Hutt have a lot in common.

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Aging in Place

Fulfilling the mission of ‘Potomac Community Village.’

Plan to attend informational meeting about aging in place 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at Congregation Har Shalom. Potomac’s Nelly Urbach served as director of the Walter Reed Senior Center in Arlington, Va., for 30 years. While working, she kept “The Village Movement” on her radar — the concept of establishing and managing villages to enable people to remain living in their own homes and communities as they age

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JT Interiors Opens in Potomac

Featuring custom window treatments, art and furniture.

The new JT Interiors is located in the historic Potomac House at 9906 River Road in the heart of Potomac Village.

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Climbing to New Heights

“Trekking For Kids” supports projects in developing countries.

In 2010, Bridgit Fried of Potomac and Cindy Steuart of Bethesda signed up to climb to the base camp of Mt. Everest with a group called “Trekking For Kids.”

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New Theatre for Young Artists To Perform ‘Music Man’

Local students in Bravo@Kat Theatre for young artists’ production.

There may be trouble in River City — but at the new Bravo@Kat Theatre for young artists, there’s only the excitement and thrill of the inaugural performance of Meredith Wilson’s play, “The Music Man.” On Jan. 19 and 20, the Olney Theatre Center’s historic stage will reverberate with familiar tunes from “The Music Man” while 35 young performers from Montgomery County entertain and delight their audience.

‘Taking It Outside’ Presented at Gallery Har Shalom

Opening reception on Sunday.

An opportunity to escape to lovely scenic places captured by talented artists will be presented at the Gallery Har Shalom show “Taking It Outside” which opens Sunday, Jan. 6.

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Pet Supermarket Supports Warrior Canine Connection

Dog-training program helps veterans.

Deb Weber of Weber’s Pet Supermarket in Herndon wants everyone to “Send in the dirty dogs.” Her mission is to help non-profits raise funds—the pet supply store has built three state-of-the-art stainless steel self-service pet bath tubs and thus, during inclement weather, pet owners can scrub their favorite furry friend. The cost per bath is $16—and Weber donates $10 from each bath to help charities with their mission. Warrior Canine Connection will be the charity receiving the funds generated from the pet baths from Dec. 17 through Jan. 5.

She Leads Model Organization of American States

Holy Child’s Andrea Manchester elected assembly’s president.

Andrea Manchester has extensive experience in diplomatic relations, debating, creating solutions and setting public policy — and she is only a junior in high school. In 7th grade, she took part in the Model United Nations in New York City. She was the first Holy Child freshman involved with the Model Organization of American States — and this December, she was elected to the position of president of MOAS at the Model Assembly held at the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington DC.

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Wounded Warriors Train Service Dogs for Vets

Warrior Canine Connection program also helps trainers.

Before Marine Sgt. Jon Gordon became involved in training service dogs for his fellow wounded warriors, he slept little more than 5 hours a week. He seldom spoke with anyone and rarely left his home except for treatment sessions. He had been kicked out of group therapy sessions time after time, and was unable to participate in his young daughter’s life.

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National Multiple Sclerosis Society Honors Pearlman

National Volunteer Hall of Fame inductee’s dedication praised.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, approximately 400,000 Americans have multiple sclerosis. Every week 200 more people are diagnosed with the disease — more than one person every hour — and there is no known cure.

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Combining Taste and Nutrition

Potomac resident expands “Oat My Goodness.”

Potomac’s Shoreh Vojdani was amazed when her daughter’s friends at George Washington University wanted to purchase her home-made granola.

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MCPAW Named Potomac ‘Charity Of The Year’

Still raising funds for new animal center.

Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being (MCPAW) was selected as the Potomac “Charity of the Year” by the Potomac Chamber of Commerce. The organization was recognized for their dedication to providing needed funds for the new Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center.

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Blast 24 To Salute American Bandstand

A tribute by Churchill’s choral director to an icon.

American Bandstand — the TV show that legitimized rock and roll, turned new artists into household names, and made the iconic Dick Clark famous — will be celebrated this December by Winston Churchill High School’s Blast 24: American Bandstand.

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‘Jolly Fat Man’s Run’ To Benefit Operation Second Chance

Annual fun run/walk returns Dec. 15.

For the past 17 years, Capital Crescent Trail enthusiasts have been shocked to see the “Jolly Fat Man” — and a pack of his followers — racing and walking down the trail.

Youth Promotes Awareness of Rocket Attacks in Israel

Project seeks 12,000 rubber bands.

How much is 12,000? While searching for a bar mitzvah project, Mory Gould of Potomac discovered that more than 12,000 rockets have fallen on Israel since 2001.

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Gala To Support Israeli Montessori Schools

Alef Bet Montessori School merges languages and cultures.

On the evening of Dec. 6, the Alef Bet Montessori School will present “Education – Passport to the World” — a gala which will be held at the Potomac home of Amy and Alan Meltzer.

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Old Angler’s Inn ‘Scores’ with Fundraiser

Event benefits brain concussion program.

Despite chilly temperatures, warm hearts gathered at Old Angler’s Inn on Monday, Nov. 5 to raise awareness and support for SCORE (Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery and Education Program) located at Children’s National Medical Center.

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Chrissellene Petropoulos Trains Future Singing Talents

Potomac resident shares system for vocal mastery.

“My voice took me to Europe, where I sang opera, operetta and musical theater and was contracted with the Vienna State Opera and the Kassel State Opera in Germany. Soon I was singing everywhere from Greece, France and Italy to The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. Ultimately, my voice began to fail me,” said Chrissellene Petropoulos, a vocal teacher whose many students come to her for performance training — but they also come for the other lessons she imparts.

Leadership Montgomery Launches New Series

Cokie and Steve Roberts to start “Conversation on Leadership.”

On Monday, Dec. 10, Leadership Montgomery will launch its “Conversation on Leadership” Series with an event at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, from 6-8:30 p.m.

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Muslim Foundation Demonstrates ‘Faith in Action’

Helping the poor.

More than 1,400 residents of Montgomery County received a gift of meat made possible through the efforts and donations of the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation. The group held its annual Zabiha-Qurbani meat donation on Nov. 4.

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Doggie Styles Opens in Potomac Village

From grooming to a slumber party.

The newest business on the Potomac scene is devoted to pets. Doggie Styles, owned by local residents Sam and Eddie Khalaf, offers grooming, day care, training and sleep-overs for a favorite feline or precious pooch.

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Bullis ‘Makes the Day’

Providing Thanksgiving baskets and home-made apple pies for county’s needy.

Bountiful Thanksgiving baskets will make Thanksgiving Day possible for 75 Montgomery County families — due to the generosity of The Bullis School students and their families.

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Upcoming Bazaars and Craft Shows Yield Gift Ideas

Showcasing one-of-a-kind items.

A number of near-by bazaars will be taking place within the next few weeks. Each bazaar has a distinctive feel and offers a variety of items that could never be found at the mall.

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Shop Owners Share Tie to Churchill High School

Gift ideas from Cabin John Shopping Center.

A vast assortment of gifts is available just around the corner at two gift shops — Leila Fine Gifts and Jewels and Occasions Unique Gifts and Gift Baskets.

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Shop for a Cause at WHC Sisterhood Holiday Boutique

Proceeds benefit variety of charities.

Generous Giving is the goal of the members of the WHC Sisterhood as they set the wheels in motion for their 26th Annual Holiday Boutique — and it is also the philosophy of a number of philanthropic vendors who will be selling their wares and donating their proceeds to causes dear to their hearts.

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‘Art for Paws’ Benefits Animal Services and Adoption Center

Art show helps MCPAW raise funds.

The Huckleberry Fine Art Gallery in Rockville provided a colorful backdrop for the Montgomery County Partners in Animal Well-Being (MCPAW) fund-raising art show, reception and raffle held Saturday evening, Oct. 27.

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Bullis School Holds Town Hall Debate and Mock Election

Students depict different political perspectives.

Students and staff at the Bullis School voted on Tuesday, Nov. 6 for the presidential candidate of their choice.

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Locally Grown Produce Enhances Menu

Old Angler’s Inn partners with Potomac Farm Market.

Mark Reges, proprietor of the Old Angler’s Inn and Steve Magassy, owner of the Potomac Farm Market have formed an innovative partnership — one that leads to two local businesses beneficially supporting one another.

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'Unsung Hero'

McLean School's Denise Duffy receives grant.

The McLean School’s Denise Duffy signed up for an ASL class her senior year in college.  The communications major took the class — and “just knew.” After graduating, she enrolled in a master’s program at Gallaudet University and worked as an educational interpreter.

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Ah, Potomac Day

Everyone loves Potomac Day — and this year’s celebration was no exception.