Community Notes

Blood donations to help veterans: Area residents who donate blood through Nov. 30 can also participate in the Red Cross’s seventh annual Holiday Mail for Heroes Program. Through this program, the American Red Cross collects and distributes cards that send words of encouragement, gratitude and cheer to members of the U.S. Armed forces, veterans and their families. Local blood drives through Friday will feature cards for blood donors to sign. Following each blood drive, the Red Cross will collect the signed cards and work with Pitney Bowes Inc. to get the cards to their destination. Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS for information on upcoming blood drives or to make a donation appointment.

Ghost tours available: Holiday Ghost Tours of historic Frederick are available every Saturday through December beginning at 7:15 p.m. All tours depart from Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery, 124 N. Market St. Tours costs $10 for adults, $8 for active military and seniors and $5 for children 7 through 12. No reservations are required, except for groups of eight or more. For questions, call 301-668-8922 or go to marylandghosttours.com.

Writer competition: The deadline for the annual Charles and Wilhelmina O’Connor Author Competition is Dec. 31. The competition is open to anyone who resides in Jefferson County or is a member of the Jefferson County Historical Society, has not ever published a book before, and is in the final stages of writing a nonfiction or fiction book, play or children’s book about the history of Jefferson County. The contest offers the winner a professionally published book, an e-book and marketing materials for the promotion of their book. The winning entry will be announced at the end of March 2013. All rules and criteria for submission to the competition may be found on the Jefferson County Historical Society website at jeffersonhistoricalwv.org.

Beekeeping classes available: The West Virginia Eastern Panhandle Beekeepers Association is now accepting registration for its 2013 beginner beekeepers course. Classes will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. every Monday starting Feb. 4 at the West Virginia Fruit Research and Education Center in Kearneysville. Classes end March 11. The course fee is $70. For beekeepers who have completed the beginners course or have at least two years beekeeping experience, a three week advanced class will be offered. These classes will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb 2, 9 and 16. More information and registration forms for classes are available at wvepba.org or by calling 540-247-2482.

Superstorm Sandy relief: The Berkeley County Emergency Ambulance Authority is asking residents to help victims of Superstorm Sandy by donating items in need. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 7. For questions concerning items needed and drop off locations, contact Mary Gump at 304-707-5300.

Volunteers sought: The City of Ranson Convention & Visitors Bureau is currently accepting volunteer members. The CVB is charged with promoting tourism in Ranson and surrounding areas to visitors. Members come to the monthly meetings, give their input, and assist with different events that the CVB hosts throughout the year. For questions, contact Jessica Palencar at 304-724-3862 or email jpalencar@cityofransonwv.net.

Girl Scouts to meet: Girl Scout Troop 40835 will meet at Asbury United Methodist Church in Charles Town on Monday evenings. For questions, call 304-725-5513 or go to myasburychurch.org.

Low-cost veterinarian service offered: Spay Today is the area’s reduced-cost spay and neuter program for dogs and cats. At the time of surgery, initial shots and tests can also be obtained at lower rates. To find vets and more information, go to baacs.org or call 304-728-8330.

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