Saddle Up for the 28th Columbia Grand Prix this Saturday

  • 16 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

This weekend, Howard Bank is excited to be sponsoring the 28th Annual Howard Community College Columbia Classic Grand Prix, held on September 19. The event benefits the HCC Educational Foundation, which provides scholarships to HCC students.

The day-long event, held on Marama Farm in Clarksville, will feature amateur horse riding and jumping, a classic and collector car show, activities for kids, food and drink in the Clyde’s Beer & Wine Garden, a raffle, and the Grand Prix horse race, which starts at 2 p.m.

Howard Bank has been a part of the HCC Grand Prix since our founding; this will be our 11th year sponsoring the event. Tickets are still available and start at $10 for general admission. Visit the event website for more details and to purchase tickets. See you there!

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Howard County Wine Masters is Back!

  • 03 Sep 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

winemasters-e1441389991931This month, Howard Bank is proud to be sponsoring the 13th annual Howard County Wine Masters, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event will be held on September 12 on a private estate in Howard County and will feature delicious food, wine and craft beer, live and silent auctions and music.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease affecting the lungs. CFF supports cystic fibrosis patients through research and funding to help find a cure and provide patients with resources to help them live more full and productive lives. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis.

To purchase event tickets, donate, or learn more about the event, click here.

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How to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

  • 21 Jul 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

You can trim costs on supplies by shopping sales and snagging coupons.

Even though it's early, it's time to start shopping for supplies.
As the excitement of the July Fourth holiday weekend quiets down, you might notice that stores are featuring back-to-school inventory. It's a good thing, because a new survey by Rubicon Project reports that nearly 25 percent of parents

with children in kindergarten through 12th grade have already begun shopping for the upcoming school year.

Start thinking about the items you need now, and you can take advantage of early sales as well as take the pressure off later in the summer when you're trying to enjoy the waning long, sunny days.

Here are a few tips to navigate sales during the next few months and spend less money and time on shopping.

Don't buy what you don't need:

It's so tempting to snatch up shiny new notebooks and folders right away in the beautifully designed display cases you see in stores, but wait before you buy. The first thing to do is dig through last year's backpacks and desks with your kids to find out what supplies are left over. Chances are there are a few things that weren't even opened yet. Take inventory of everything you have, including each child's wardrobe, and then make a list of what supplies and clothing is needed for next year.

Get the list, check it twice:

If you have not yet received a list from your child's teacher with required supplies, contact the school and ask for one. This is especially important for specific items you might need (like certain models of calculators), which you might want to buy early to make sure you get them before a store runs out.
As for the generic supplies, such as folders, notebooks and pencils, consider scheduling a quick shopping trip late in the summer. You can get great bargains as stores try to clear the shelves of these popular items when school is about to start.

Stay home and shop:

If you think you need to head to stores to get back-to-school supplies and great deals, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that you can do most of your shopping from home. Often you can combine additional discounts with sales on school supplies, technology and fall clothing. Visit your favorite coupon website and check for codes that will take an additional percentage off your total or get free shipping on an order. Always search for codes before checking out to make sure you're not missing any deals.

Another way to save money on your online shopping is clicking through a cash back website before you make your purchase to earn a percentage back on your order. You might find that certain stores are offering bonus cash back rates to celebrate the back-to-school season. Loyalty cards can also help stack up on the savings, especially if you're shopping at retailers that are already familiar to you.

If your kids love the annual tradition of heading to the mall or the outlets to shop for school, you don't have to miss out on that fun day together. Check to see if your state hosts a tax-free holiday weekend – they usually occur in early August. Bring along your smartphone and check online before you make any purchases to make sure you're getting the best deal. You can also use a coupon website or mobile app to access coupons for use in the store. If you don't end up buying an item you want in the store, you can purchase it online and find a free shipping offer. That way you can make sure your kids each get a few things they really want without emptying your wallet.
Hopefully these tips will help find yourself breezing through the back-to-school shopping season and saving money in the process. Then, you, and your kids, can focus on learning!


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Meet the (New) Guy in Charge of the Columbia Festival of the Arts

  • 27 May 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco


Howard Bank is thrilled to once again sponsor the 28th annual Columbia Festival of the Arts this year, which runs June 12-27, spanning three weekends. Last year, we gave you a rundown of facts about the festival you may have never known. This year, we dove even deeper

and talked to the festival’s Executive Director, Todd Olson. Read more below for an inside look at this year’s festival.

HB: How did you get involved with the Festival of the Arts? This will be your first Festival as Executive Director, right?

todd_olson Todd Olson, Columbia Festival of the Arts Executive Director

TO: I came to The Columbia Festival of the Arts last August after spending the last 11 years as Artistic Director at the American Stage Theatre Company in St. Petersburg, FL. Soon thereafter, the [Festival] staff tested out the notion of moving from one annual festival to quarterly festivals, and loved the idea. So this year’s event will be our last annual festival before we start presenting weekend-long festivals four times a year.

HB: What exactly goes into planning and putting on the show? How far in advance do you start planning?

TO: We’re constantly planning, booking, curating, and selling. We reached out to The Blind Boys of Alabama [a gospel/blues band that’s been together for 70 years since they were children; you may have seen them on The Colbert Report] my first month on the job and they’ll be one of the highlights of our Summer Festival. We already have some themes set for the next four festivals: “British Invasion” in October, “Beyond the Blues” in February, “Viva la Vida” in April, and “Silk Road Stories” next summer.

HB: Where did the Cross Currents theme for this year come from?

TO: Before we even had a theme, we had already booked two incredibly diverse performers: Pilobolus, a modern dance company, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. With the basis of the Festival set in groups with audiences young and old, hybrids became important – artists that were a little of multiple things. The way Hot Club of San Francisco is jazz but electrified by the element of film. Or the way PigPen Theatre is made up of musicians, actors, and authors. Or the way Second City is part standup, part improv, and part sketch comedy. All acts are energized with currents of multiple skills crossing through them.

HB: What value do you see business and brands getting out of participating in the festival, through sponsorships, etc.?

TO: For myriad reasons, businesses want to set up shop in communities where the arts are strong. It has to do with quality of life for their employees and families, and the kind of cultural affluence they want in their customer base. Exceptional companies support not-for-profits in their community, because without any community involvement they might as well set up shop in rural Iowa (I can say that, I was born and raised in Iowa). Businesses want to be in Howard County because there is a cultural richness here.

At Columbia Festival of the Arts we like to showcase the many corporate partners we have, in any way we can. We’re lucky Howard Bank is involved in the Festival again this year. More banks should take Howard Bank’s lead in community efforts.

83886a The Blind Boys of Alabama, all suited-up.

HB: Which event in this year’s festival are you most looking forward to?

TO: I have to say The Blind Boys of Alabama have been on my “bucket list” ever since I heard them on the Original Broadway recording of The Gospel at Colonus. They have won five Grammys, recorded with just about everyone, and are true living legends. Everyone should take advantage of having them in our community for one night to witness a little bit of musical history– they’ll be glad they did.

Are you a HoCo resident/native?

TO: I am. My wife Charlotte and I live in River Hill. Our daughters Corinna and May attend Lime Kiln Middle School, and our son Jonas is finishing up his first year at Atholton High School.


Thanks to Todd for giving us some inside information on this year's festival. Hope to see everyone there in June!


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Infographic: Howard County, From Farmland to Forbes

  • 29 Apr 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

To celebrate the opening of our Harford County bank branches, we gave you the Harford County infographic. Now it's time we celebrate a little hometown pride, with an infographic on Howard County, Howard Bank's founding county. Scroll down to experience the growth of Howard County from establishment through development, from 1851 to today, from farmland to Forbes.

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