Local news briefs

 Jing Ying's silent auction benefits SPAN

ARNOLD - Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi, based in Arnold, is hosting its third annual silent auction and holiday party from noon to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow. The Jing Ying Institute is located at 1195 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., No. 6, just a stone's throw from Chesapeake Academy.

Owner Billy Greer said they planned their first silent auction for December 2004, with the goal of raising money for some new equipment at Jing Ying.

"When the tsunami disaster hit in South Asia that month, we felt the need to do something to help," he said.

He quickly discovered his students had the same desire to help but were unsure what to do.

"So, we decided to get the entire school and local community involved in raising funds. Our experience with that first fundraiser revealed that many students had hidden talents, hobbies, or home businesses that other students enjoyed learning about."

This year's fund-raiser will raise money for the Severna Park Assistance Network - www.SPANhelps.org. SPAN provides financial assistance, food and referral services to those in crisis in Severna Park and surrounding communities.

The Silent Auction beckons with intriguing hand-made projects by students including origami animals, Ukrainian eggs, jewelry, ale, clothing, food, pottery and other crafts.

Other students donated items from their jobs, such as cologne, Bluetooth headsets, games, books, and gift certificates. Businesses have donated items such as audio recordings, books, gift certificates, museum passes, acupuncture treatments, artwork and private lessons.

The holiday party will be preceded by the institute's monthly test at 11 a.m., which will include demonstrations by students and instructors.

Admission is free and the public is welcome. "But we would appreciate donations of canned food items or cash donations for SPAN," Mr. Greer said.

For more information, contact him at 410-431-5200, or e-mail info@jingying.org.

To see a complete listing of the silent auction items, visit the Web site http://www.jingying.org/silent_auction.htm