December 7th  Weekly e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice.
Save The Date: Pizza With Santa

Pizza with Santa will be held on Sat, Dec. 16 from 11am - 1pm at Kahler Hall. This holiday tradition is especially for Harper's Choice residents. Space is limited. The event is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available now at Kahler Hall.

Guests will enjoy pizza, face painting, and hearing Santa read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.' We will be showing The Polar Express starting at 11:30am in the Ballroom. Bring your camera and enjoy a special family photo opportunity with Santa!

We encourage attendees to bring one non-perishable food item per ticket on December 16. Donations will be given to the Howard County Food Bank.
Christmas Caroling Around Stevens Forest
Thursday, December 14th
6:00 p.m. 
Meeting Place:
Parking Lot at Stevens Forest Elementary School 

Join friends and neighbors for the  2nd Annual Stevens Forest Christmas Caroling event! Everyone from everywhere is welcome to participate.  

The carolers will meet up at the Stevens Forest Elementary School parking lot at 6:00 p.m. on Thurs. Dec. 14th and head out for caroling.

Carolers are asked to bring some sort of light/lantern and caroling song books if you have them.  There will be some songbooks for the group to share.

For more information or to leave messages or ask questions, please visit the Facebook page Stevens Forest Christmas Caroling at:

St. Louis Church Concert Series
Thursday, December 17th
4 p.m. 

St. Louis Church is hosting a Christmas Concert on December 17, 4:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Enjoy selections from The Nutcracker Suite, Babes in Toyland, listen to your favorite Christmas songs, and enjoy the holiday season. For more information, visit the concert series website.
Find the Perfect Gift at Columbia Art Center
Gingerbread House Workshop 
Sunday, Dec. 17, 12:30-2:30pm
$20 per house created, $10 per additional child/house

Join us for an activity great for a family or friends and create your own holiday gingerbread house. Students will assemble gingerbread houses in teams using royal icing. Cookie pieces and icing will be provided, but you can bring any additional items to use as decorations. To register, click here

Wisdom from Incarcerated Women: "The Consequences of Bad Choices"
With "Faces" author Betty May
Monday, Dec. 11, 7pm
May will discuss "Faces," a play that is based on the women she met in prison that were sentenced to life behind bars. She will describe their lives, what awaits people in prison, and the difficulties they face upon their release. Finally, she will offer hope in the form of advice and warnings from the incarcerated women, and increasingly popular alternatives to violence.

Due to the serious nature of this content, this program is not appropriate for young children. Parental discretion advised.

For a complete listing of monthly presentations, click here

Wilde Reading Series
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 7-8:30pm
Featured Authors: Alan King and Doritt Carroll
Columbia Art Center presents a free literary reading series featuring local poets and authors, as well as an open mic for interested audience members. No registration is necessary. (Note: Open mic presenters are asked to keep their readings to five minutes or less.) 

Learn more about the authors here

Howard County  Office of Community Sustainability
Home Energy Audits

A good first step to reducing home energy costs is to pinpoint any problem areas. BGE and Pepco both offer home energy audit programs at discounted rates.Their Home Performance with Energy Star programs offer comprehensive energy audits for $100,an estimated $400 value. The audit report will recommend specific upgrades as well as estimates for their cost and payback period. 

In addition to the audit results, customers can realize immediate savings with free LED light bulbs, water heater pipe wraps, showerhead adapters, faucet aerators and power strips. These can be installed the day of the audit with the homeowners permission. All contractors are vetted and approved by the utility companies.

To learn more and sign up directly through the utility companies, use these links for the BGE and Pepco home energy audit programs.

If you want even more personalized service, you can talk to a third-party energy coach who will help you navigate the process:

Retrofit Baltimore (part of the non-profit group Civic Works) offers this service by calling 410-929-6139 or emailing and Pepco also offers an energy coach by calling 443-718-4860 or emailing
Home for the Holidays: Coping with Family
December 13
7 PM - 9 PM

Holidays spent with family members who feel toxic can be emotionally draining and even perhaps re-traumatizing. This roundtable discussion, presented by HopeWorks, will be a space to explore tools and tactics for having tough conversations with difficult family members and for caring for yourself during these challenging moments. Join the conversation on December 13, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 300. For more information and to register, please visit HopeWorks website.
The Columbia Figure Skating Club Is Proud To Announce Their Annual  Nutcracker on Ice  performance 
Saturday, December 9, 5:30 and 7:15 pm
and Sunday, December 10, 4:30 and 6:00 pm 

You're invited to come and watch our beautiful Clara in the classical tale of a young girl whose doll comes to life on Christmas Eve and takes her on a magical journey to meet the Nutcracker Prince. A fantasy world awaits her where the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Arabian, Chinese and Russian Dancers, the Harlequins, the Mouse King and Queen, and many more will enchant audiences of all ages!  
Come experience this holiday tradition and prepare to be whisked away by the talents of our competitive and recreational figure skaters.  Regional and Sectional United States Figure Skating qualifying competitors will perform and delight you.  
Tickets are on sale now at our website  ($15 for ages 3 and up, children under age 3 are free; $40 reserved seating to avoid the lines and sit center ice).
For tickets and more information, please visit the Club's website: Connect with us on Facebook ( for updates and highlights as the show preparations are underway.

Women's History Month Essay Contest

The Commission for Women has announced the 2018 essay contest, open to all Howard County middle and high school students. Completed essays are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 22, 2018. Download the essay contest flier . For full contest rules, visit their website .
Academic Calendar Planning Committee

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) invites citizens to take an active role in developing the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar as members of the Calendar Planning Committee. Members of this committee attend six meetings starting in January 2018 to make recommendations to the interim superintendent regarding the HCPSS academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. Meetings are 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on January 10, 18, 24 and 31, and February 7 and 12, 2018. Meetings are held in Boardroom B at the Department of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike in Ellicott City.

Citizens interested in participating on the 2019 - 2020 Academic Calendar Planning Committee may submit a statement of interest online or contact the Office of Administrative Affairs at or 410-313-6679. The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 15.
Give the Gift of Giving

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland: Support senior citizens in the greater Howard County area by participating in one of their holiday service projects. Details on the projects can be found here. For additional ways to help, visit the volunteer website.

Serve Food on Christmas Day: Give back to a family in need during the holidays by serving food on Christmas Day, or any day this month. For more details, please take a look at VolunteerHoward's flyer on holiday opportunities and food insecurity.

Grassroots Crisis Center: Take a moment to read the 2017 holiday wish list. Wish list donated items need to be delivered by Wednesday, December 13 at 6700 Freetown Road in Columbia. Thank you in advance for your donations.

HopeWorks: This holiday season, you can support Howard County's domestic violence shelter by making a donation or volunteering your time at HopeWorks. Take a look at their holiday giving campaign here.

Healthy Families: Help first-time parents in Howard County access resources to promote stability for their families and prevent abuse by donating diapers of all sizes, baby formula and wipes, or gently used baby clothing size newborn through the age of 5. Call 410-715-3716 for more information.

Project Linus of Howard County:
Project Linus provides blankets to children who are seriously ill or traumatized. The organization is looking for donations of hand-made blankets, child-friendly fabrics, acrylic yarn in bright colors, and gift cards to stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Joann's, etc. For more information, please call 410-730-8865.

Have you visited us on Facebook lately?
Please join us on Facebook for up-to-date information about what's happening in and around the Harper's Choice Community.

Architectural Committee Meetings

Please check the calendar on our website for the latest meeting dates.
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require approval of the Village Architectural Committee (AC).
The AC will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 PM to review applications. 

The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date.
Village Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for January 2nd at 7PM. Approved Agendas and Meeting Minutes are/will be available on our website.
Keeping You Informed
This weekly e-Newsletter serves as a recap of news and events we share with our community throughout the week via other social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook  and  Twitter  to receive more regular announcements and information from us.
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Village Manager
Facility Manager
Covenant Advisor
Melanie Jeffers
Event & Community Outreach Coordinator

Your Village Board
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Village Board Member
Erik Avant**
Village Board Member
Alan Klein *
Columbia Council Rep

Village Board Member

* Term expires 4/30/18
** Term expires 4/30/19

5440 Old Tucker Row  Columbia, MD | 410.730.0770 | Email | Website