local business

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

race start-3On a crisp beautiful fall morning over 200 runners, walkers, volunteers and sponsors came together for one cause-helping their neighbors in need. Once again Kinder Park provided beautiful scenery for SPAN’s annual Turkey Trot 5k run/walk.

Mother and son Michele and Mark Antal were among the first-time race participants. “We love this park,” Michele said. “We walk it together all the time. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity — it’s for such a great cause.”

Friends Alex Lecouras and Andrew Rutkauskas ran together. Both are 10-year-old fifth-graders at Folger McKinsey Elementary, where they are active in a variety of year-round sports. This was their first time running a 5K. “It was fun,” Rutkauskas said of the race. Both boys received race medals and FroYo House gift cards.

CCSiDogs participated in SPAN Turkey TrotErika Macy of Hanover and Pasadena resident Jenny Thompson ran with the CSSi team. “I thought it was great,” Thompson said. “The rolling hills were a little challenging, but not so much that you couldn’t do it if you weren’t a trained runner. It was a beautiful course.” CSSi, a clinical trial patient recruitment and enrollment firm based in Glen Burnie, supported SPAN with a team of about 15 runners, including dogs Chloe and Pepper. “We’ve done this a few times,” said Chris Trizna, company president. “We’re always looking to support local community causes.”


Michelle Bowers, co-chaired the fundraiser, said that the event is important because it raises awareness for SPAN and emphasizes the importance of supporting a local charity. “It provides a wonderful fun and family-oriented event each year. We have really great support from the community and the volunteers. Volunteers for SPAN coordinated the food and drinks and provided a sizeable donation this year.”

A signature event for SPAN, the Turkey Trot raised an over $6,000. Sponsors included PNC Bank, Pilates on the Bay, Christopher’s Restaurant, Fit4, SunTrust Mortgage, Long & Foster (Severna Park), The Bank of Glen Burnie, Fleet Feet (Severna Park), FastSigns, Friendship Creative Printing, Chick-fil-A (Severna Park), FroYo House (Severna Park and Arnold) and volunteers for SPAN.

Victoria’s Fancy Foods Partners with SPAN


Victoria Stagmer owner of Victorias Fancy FoodsVictoria’s Fancy Foods partners with SPAN To Help Our Neighbors in need by providing fresh fruit and vegetables. Victoria’s Fancy Foods is an independent gourmet grocer and has a full selection of specialty gourmet foods, cheeses, tapenades, smoked salmon, crackers, pate and more. All products are clean, meaning raised or produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth stimulants or artificial ingredients. All animals are humanely raised and pastured in fields. Victoria takes pride in every item she offers to you. Stop in and say hi to Victoria and her staff. Victoria’s Fancy Foods is located at 550B Ritchie Highway, in Park Plaza Shopping Center (Across from Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurant & two doors down from UPS). Thank you to for giving back to our community. Please support all our partnering businesses by shopping local.

Jing Ying

Business Spotlight: Jing Ying

Jing Ying group photoA local martial arts school has been raising money for SPAN for the last 7 years. Jing Ying institute, a Kung FufTai Chi school owned by Nancy and Billy Greer, has organized a silent auction that begins at the end of October, when Nancy begins posting the donated items on the web site, and culminates in December, with a holiday party. In 2011 Jing Ying raised $6,000 and collected over 500 lbs of food for SPAN.

From the time they acquired the ling Ying school in 2004, Nancy and Billy have made fundraising for charity an important part of their program.

Billy: “In 2004 we had taken over ling Ying suddenly, without much planning, to save it. Our whole family had been involved, and we didn’t want to see it close. That first year we were struggling to see if we could keep the doors open, learning the ropes as we went along. When we were planning a cultural activity for the Chinese New Year, the devastating tsunami hit East Asia, so we morphed that New Year’s celebration into a fundraiser. We were really pleased about the support from the community.”

In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, ling Ying raised money for an organization that takes care of developmentally disabled people-The Arc; their homes in New Orleans had been destroyed. That year Billy and Nancy also realized that there was much need in the community surrounding ling Ying.

Nancy. “After hearing the Severna Park Chamber of Commerce talk about SPAN, to us they seemed like the perfect local group to work with.”

Jing Ying’s fundraisers foster a sense of togetherness, not only drawing in residents and local businesses, who make generous donations, but also involving many of their Kung Fu and Tai Chi students-adults and children.
Nancy: “For the students it’s more than learning a physical
art -Kung Fu or Tai Chi. When we do things like the silent
auction for SPAN and other fundraisers, the students bond
together and they feel good about doing something for the
community. “
Billy: “One of our favorite things about the silent auction
for SPAN is that every year we find secret talents in our
students. They might donate items such as their own
artwork, home brewed ale, home made soaps and perfumes,
or hammered silver jewelry.”
Nancy: “I had a table ‘By Kids, for Kids.’ One kid made
some origami designs; another drew a wonderful picture of
the judges at one of our Kung Fu tests.”
In 2010, to celebrate ling Ying Institute’s 10th anniversary, Nancy and Billy wanted to raise $10,000 for charity, and they did. In addition to the silent auction for SPAN, they held a “kickathon” and a Caribbean theme party for CARE to aid victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Billy: “We’re a small organization, but we’re happy for Whatever we can do for the community.”