December 13 – December 26, 2012


champion services travel - group travel

New Harriet Tubman Byway and Centennial Celebration

Surely, there were other Underground Railroad conductors, but there is none more famous then Harriet Tubman.  And, Maryland is celebrating her life 100 years after her death (she did not know her birth date), with a Harriet Tubman Centennial Commemoration.

At the heart of the commemoration is the self-guided driving tour that Maryland has named the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.  The Byway takes contemporary passengers to places where she was born, raised and gathered her passengers for their trips to freedom including points in Caroline County, Maryland.  In Caroline County you can visit the restored James H. Webb cabin (circa 1852), who was a free Black and probably an acquaintance of Ben Ross, Harriet’s free and Black father. 

In Dorchester County, Maryland, notable points included Tubman and other historical sites including the restored Stanley Institute School, a historically Black grade 1-8 grade school, and historically Black Christ Rock United Methodist Church.  African-Americans have been the engine behind both restorations.  HarrietTubman Museum and Educational Center offers programs mostly for the locals and the Heritage Museum is an interesting place to see old farm equipment and tools.

Coming Up:
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference May 31 – June 1, 2013 in Cambridge, Maryland.
Harriet Tubman State Park – Dorchester County, MD, near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge where you can participate in many outdoor activities from biking to kayaking.

Little Known Facts about Harriet Tubman:
Her birth name:  Araminta Ross
Second Husband:  Nelson Davies, whom she married when she was about 49; he was about 27
Senior Advocate:  Started in Auburn, NY, the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in 1908

Underground Railroad Free Press
The free
Underground Railroad Free Press has a short, comprehensive story on Underground Railroad history being celebrated and preserved on the Delmarva Peninsula including Carolina and Dorchester Counties.

Photo Top:
This store is believed to rest on the foundation where, as a child, Harriet Tubman was hit in the head with a weight in Dorchester County, MD. The accident resulted in her having a sleeping sickness that her book discusses.

Photo Bottom: Left - Harriet Tubman, Right - Popular Neck Road in Caroline County, believed to be a road that Tubman must have traveled while living and working with her father in Caroline County, MD.

Surprising Skin Aging Antagonists: Face the Facts

1. Avoid drinking through straws.
Over the long-term, pursing your lips to sip out of a straw causes extra wrinkles around the mouth.

2. Train yourself to sleep on your back. Resting your face on the pillow in the same way every night for years on end leads to wrinkles.

3. Pull down the shade in an airplane. You're much closer to the sun in a plane than on land, so it stands to reason that solar rays, which can penetrate windows, are more intense at higher altitudes.  This may explain why pilots and flight attendants have been found to be at an increased risk for melanoma and
other skin cancers. Plus, the air up there is notoriously dry-and without moisture, skin, like any living tissue, simply shrivels. Drink as much water as you can in flight; avoid alcohol and salty foods,
which are dehydrating. Apply a rich moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before boarding, as sunscreen needs time to be absorbed before it's effective.

4.  Avoid buying beauty creams that contain parabens, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum, dimethicone, and other toxic ingredients.  Talk to your dermatologist before experimenting with a new facial product.

5. Maintain a healthy weight. Packing on pounds can make your skin look plumper on the surface, but carrying excess weight can cause your body's levels of insulin (a hormone made by the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in your blood) and cortisol to rise, which can break down collagen. You'll see increased sagging from putting and keeping on as little as 10 to 15 extra pounds. Loss of facial fat causes sagging and a gaunt, aged appearance.  In addition, repeatedly gaining and losing weight can take its toll on the skin's elasticity, leaving behind stretch marks and jowls.  Maintain a healthy weight with proper diet and exercise.

Other surprising skin aging antagonists to avoid include:

-- Cell phones held against your face - phones get left around on various surfaces and pick up much bacteria that can cause pimples around cheeks and jawline. It's best to use your cell phone in hands
free mode!

-- Central Air Conditioning and Heat - pulls essential moisture from the air and can readily dry out your face skin

-- Glasses & Sunglasses - bacteria can grow on the frame that will sit directly on your facial skin for an extended period of time (simply wipe clean with anti-bacterial cloth before putting glasses on each

-- Chlorine - after a dip in the pool or hot tub, don't just rinse skin with water and think the chlorine is gone. Scrub the face with a sudsy cleanser to remove all chemical residue and be sure to moisturize afterward!

POHGEP Reaches 31% of its Goal

For me, in addition to the holidays, the holiday season means it’s time for me to prepare for my return to The Gambia.

Back in 2001, I visited Nema Kunku port of harlem gambian education partnershipNursery School in The Gambia for the first time. I loved the obedience and eagerness of the young students. I was touched that the amount of money I spent in one day, could educate one of the children for an entire year!

While I provide technical support to the school and others at no cost, I need you to join me with a donation that will provide tuition for one needy child. The yearly school fees are still very, very low: only $30.

We are also now a 501c3 charity, meaning that you can fully deduct your donation from your federal income taxes!

We have included more programs into our mission of connecting Americans with Gambians (see the chart when you click the link below). You can see pictures, financial statements and other information about the programs on our new website at and make a donation to any or all of these groups.

Click Here for More Information

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Free Daily Tickets Drawings
Three Sets of Tickets Still Available

Click Here to Enter Daily Drawing

For free tickets to see Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe you only have to enter the drawings once.  From the available entries, we will randomly select one and post the entry on our homepage under “December 13 – December 26, 2012 Snippets.” 

We will select a winner at 10p every night starting Thursday, December 13.  The winners will have 24 hours (until 10p the following night) to claim the free tickets.  We will continue drawing entries and posting the winners on the homepage until we give away 3 sets of tickets.
We will also announce the winners on Facebook and Twitter.  Winners must be Snippets subscribers and use the e-mail addresses listed in their subscriptions when entering the drawings. Snippets subscriptions are free.

Current winners who claimed their prizes: 
Donald Burch III
3 winners did not claim their prize on time

Mari Lee – won tickets to Legend and Legacies Experience (original winner did not claim her prize on time)

KayCee Drugs Sells Part of Business to RiteAid

After 51 years in business, KayCee Drugs in District Heights, MD is selling its retail pharmacy to Rite Aid. As of December 12, KayCee customer records will be at the Rite Aid at the corner of Old Silver Hill Road and Silver Hill Road.  Pharmacist Bob Gaines added, “Several of our employees will also be transferred there.”

The KayCee store location in District Heights, Maryland will continue to be a medical equipment store.  KayCee LTC, which largely sells to people in long-term care facilities, will also remain open in Lanham, MD.

Over the years, KayCee has transformed as the retail pharmacy business transformed.  It once featured an aquarium, lunch counter and even rented videos when they came onto the market.


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Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Things to Do

 Baltimore/Washington, DC

The Citywide Kwanzaa Planning Committee
Kwanzaa Calendar and Resource Guide

Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration
Prince Georges Community College
Largo Student Center
Fri, Dec 14, 2012, 7p-9p

Millee Spears, Milton Bennett, Eva Thompson,
Janice Ford, Cindy Williams, Lee Hairston and
Idriys Abdullah – Artist Sale

6025 N. Dakota Avenue N.W
Sat, Dec  15, 1p-7p
(202) 678-4499 or (202) 288-2364

BZB Holiday Gift Show
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P St, NW
Washington, DC
Sat, Dec 15, 10a-7p
Also Sat 22 and Mon, Dec 24, free

Kwanzaa Dinner Theatre
Sports and Learning Complex
8001 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD
Contact Sherie McDaniel 301-583-2582
Sat, Dec 16, 4p, $25-$30

Carter G. Woodson Birthday Celebration
Sponsored by the National Park Service
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P Streets, NW
Washington, DC
Wed, Dec 19, 6p-8p, free

Underground Railroad in DC
Lecture by CR Gibbs
Union Temple Baptist Church
1225 W St SE
Washington, DC
Wed, Dec 26, 7p, free


Holiday Shopping Bazaar
Marquette Park Pavilion
1 North Grand Boulevard
Gary, IN,
Thu, Dec 13-Sun, Dec 16, 9a-6p, free

The Other Cinderella
Black Ensemble Theate
4450 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL
through Jan 13, $45-$65

New York City

New Amsterdam Market (Last 2013 Market)
South St btwn Beekman St & Peck Slip
Sun, Dec 23, 11a- 4p

NAACP Latest Hotel Ratings Are Not Good for Blacks

The NAACP released the findings from its Opportunities & Diversity Report Card: Hotel & Lodging IndustryMarriott International received an overall B grade, the highest rating out of all the hotels - with the remaining hotels scoring either a C+ or C. 

The NAACP’s Report Card graded the five largest hotels (Marriott, Wyndam, Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton) against the standard rate of industry inclusion. The letter grades are based on three main criteria: 1) workforce and job advancement, 2) contracting and procurement and 3) ownership (if and where applicable).

The report card reveals that procurement with minority businesses is at unacceptably low numbers throughout the hotel and lodging industry.  Of the corporations graded in this report, who provided significant property data, only 8% of total dollars spent for goods and services went to companies owned by people of color and a dismal 1% went to African American owned companies. 

The report also notes that the corporate leaders in the hotel and lodging industry do not collect diversity data for their franchised properties - - meaning that most leading hotel corporations do not have data on the majority of their properties.

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Michelle Obama's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

In Family Circle’s 2012 Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, the magazine said it was your patriotic duty to bake, taste and vote —more than 9,000 of their readers weighed in.  And the winner was...Michelle Obama! Victory was sweet for our   First Lady and her White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, but just 287 votes separated her from Ann Romney's M&M's Cookies.  Here’s the First Lady’s winning recipe, just in time for Christmas.

From Michelle Obama: Every evening, Barack, the girls and I sit down for a family dinner with good conversation and healthy food. If we want to splurge, these White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, created by the girls’ godmother, is the perfect special treat.

Mama Kaye’s White and Dark
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 375°.

2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.

5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.

6. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


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