Friday, December 23, 2011

WBAL Radio Kids Campaign at Valley View Farms

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

When it comes to Baltimore holiday traditions, there's nothing quite like the tradition of seeing (and hearing) WBAL's Kids Campaign broadcast from Valley View Farms. And being reminded once again of just how generous Baltimoreans really are.

For more than a decade now it is how countless Baltimoreans usher in the Christmas holiday.

And it all benefits the WBAL Kids Campaign!

Once again this year WBAL's Morning News with Dave Durian and Bill Vanko set-up shop in one of the East Coast's best Christmas shops for what has evolved into a Baltimore holiday family tradition.

There's no better time or place to experience the magic of the holiday season in Baltimore.

And how about the many folks who come out to say hi each year at Valley View Farms and support the WBAL Kids Campaign.

In just a couple of hours one morning this year the likes of MRI Global Search, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield and RK&K Engineers donated tens of thousands of dollars. And like I said, that was just in a couple of hours.

That said, think of all the many other companies and organizations who also come-by to make donations over the course of the two days WBAL's Morning News does its thing at Valley View Farms.

Also, how cool is it to see individual WBAL listeners from all walks of life walk up to Dave Durian, Bill Vanko, Keith Mills, Malarie Pinkard, Johnny Goldsmith and the 'Piano Man' Brent Hardesty to give whatever they can to help their fellow Baltimoreans.

Simply put, every penny, nickle, dime and dollar that is donated to the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign at Valley View Farms and over the course of the year goes directly to the benefit young, economically deprived boys and girls in the WBAL Radio listening area as WBAL Radio covers all the administrative costs of the Kids Campaign.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign and to hear the stories of who benefits from the generosity of so many WBAL listeners across the Baltimore-area.

It's also neat each year to see listeners come out to Valley View Farms who renew their friendships with others they only see once a year during these live WBAL Radio broadcasts during the holiday season.

And how about all the great singing groups who get up early in the morning to perform at Valley View Farms on WBAL like from Calvert Hall High School, John Carroll High School and Sum Of Their Parts. Just to name a few.

I've talked to folks over the years who say it just wouldn't be Christmas for them and their families if they didn't come out to enjoy all the fun during the WBAL radio broadcasts at Valley View Farms in the days leading up to the big day.

And how about all the great food and snacks that Royal Farms (their great coffee above), Chef's Expressions and Miss Shirley's brought by this year! Not to mention the great folks at Esskay who have sponsored the broadcasts from Valley View Farms once again.

And if you can't make it out to see and hear all the holiday fun this year and you want to make a donation, you can mail your contributions to:

The WBAL Radio Kids Campaign
3800 Hooper Avenue Baltimore,
Maryland 21211

Thanks to all the generous contributions, hundreds of Baltimore-area boys and girls will have a very Merry Christmas and truly a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Steinbach Nutcrackers

The Steinbach Nutcracker signing occurs on Friday, December 9th this year, from 4-8 pm. Valley View Farms' relationship with the Steinbach family goes back to the early 1990s.

In 2003, we moved many of the nutcrackers out to the greenhouse for some elbow room

Herr Christian Steinbach would visit for a day or two in December to meet and greet admirers of his wooden toy factory's work. Nutcrackers, smokers, small wood carvings and ornaments that had been on display in our International Christmas Shop were brought back by our customers to have them signed by Herr Steinbach.
Herr Steinbach signs a nutcracker as his assistant looks on

But, he did much more than that. Each piece was signed and often contained a personal message. He would stamp or draw little designs on the bottom of the nutcracker and then take the time to fix any minor imperfections he would see in each one. Herr Steinbach would then pose with each collector for a quick Polaroid photo. Dressed in his traditional lederhosen, he was quite the character.

Kathy, Tim and Herr Steinbach delight the audience during a raffle drawing

For the past several years, Karla Steinbach, Herr Christian Steinbach's daughter, has come to Valley View to carry on this tradition. Karla is the 6th generation to head the Steinbach company in Hohenhameln, Germany.

Karla chats with collectors as she signs

She dresses in traditional German clothing as well,and, seated at a desk in the International Christmas Shop, looks at home signing nutcrackers and speaking to today's collectors.

Karla keeps the Steinbach tradition going

It's nice to know that these traditions, much like the art and craft of creating a a nutcracker from the forests of Germany, continue. Stop in if you have the chance, to meet Karla and speak to her about her work. And, if you miss this year's signing, look forward with us, to next year.