Thursday 26

COLUMBIA CHESS CLUB, for players ages 9-17 of all skill levels, some basic knowledge is a prerequisite, sponsored by the Howard County Chess Club, 3-5 p.m. Thursdays, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free. 410-313-7700.

Friday 27

SENIORS CARD PARTY LUNCHEON, bring friends and partners, play poker and bridge and enjoy a buffet lunch, 11 a.m., East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. $3; registration required. 410-313-7680.

Saturday 28

YOUTH ORCHESTRA AUDITIONS, for new youth members for performance in the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Youth Symphonette during the 41st season of the orchestra under the direction of the founder and conductor Angelo Gatto, musicians will learn and perform major symphonic repertoire at a high professional level, call for an audition appointment to be held on Saturdays through Sept. 18 at the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville Campus, Humanities Building Q, 800 S. Rolling Rd., Catonsville. Application fee, $10; registration required. 410-442-5645 or

COLUMBIA GIRLS FASHION PROGRAM, for ages 9-17, learn about self-esteem, your style, how to dress with dignity, body shapes and more, sponsored by the Columbia Association Teen Center, 10 a.m-1 p.m., the Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5800 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. $48; Columbia residents, $40; registration required. 410-992-3726.

Monday 30

ARTHRITIS EXERCISE CLASS, ongoing, exercises and activities designed to increase mobility and function and decrease pain and stiffness, taught by Arthritis Foundation-certified instructors, sponsored by the Columbia Association Athletic Club, 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, 5435 Beaverkill Rd., Columbia. $3; association members, free. 410-730-6744.

COLUMBIA FOOD AND CONVERSATION, for seniors, "The Kitchen Table," a light gourmet dinner, 4:30-6 p.m. Mondays, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way. $2.75; registration required. 410-313-7680.

BATTERED WOMEN SUPPORT GROUPS, for those troubled by a current or past abusive relationship, a confidential drop-in program, 7 -8:30 p.m. Mondays; a program for Hispanic women also available, focusing on furthering education and forming a supportive community, in English and Spanish, 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays, Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, 8950 Route 108, Suite 116, Columbia. Free. 410-997-0304.

ELLICOTT CITY LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for those with English as a second or third language, practice English skills in a group setting, presented by the English Conversation Club, 7:45-8:45 p.m. Mondays, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free, registration required. 410-313-1950.

Tuesday 31

COLUMBIA ARTHRITIS AQUATIC CLASS, ongoing, gentle exercises in warm water to aid in decreasing pain and stiffness, taught by certified Arthritis Foundation instructors, sponsored by the Columbia Association Swim Center, 9:30-10:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia. $3; members, free. 410-313-7000.

WOODSTOCK KIDS NATURE PROGRAM, for children ages 3-5 accompanied by an adult, "Feel the Wind," stories, activities and a nature walk, if weather permits, sponsored by the Howard County Conservancy, 10-11:30 a.m., Mount Pleasant Farm, 10520 Old Frederick Rd., Woodstock. $5; registration required. 410-465-8877.

COOKSVILLE EDUCATION SAVINGS TALK, a financial planner will discuss how to set up education savings accounts for children, 7 p.m. Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; registration required. 410-313-5577.

Wednesday 1

BRIDGE AND PINOCHLE GAMES, a drop-in program, play bridge and pinochle, or bring a favorite table game; bring a bag lunch, coffee, tea and treats available, sponsored by Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays; 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays; Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

COOKSVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, "Wish Come True: A Carson Springs Novel," by Eileen Goudge, sponsored by a group of retired women of the Western Howard County Seniors Book Club, 10 a.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; registration required. 410-313-5577.

LIBRARY AUTUMN BOOKS TALK, topic of discussion will be "Falling for Autumn," facilitated by Howard County Library staff, books will be available for borrowing, 11 a.m., Savage Senior Center, 9525 Durness Lane, Laurel. Free; registration required. 410-880-5975.

SEPARATED & DIVORCED WOMEN'S GROUP, for women who are contemplating or experiencing a separation or divorce, led by a licensed therapist in a safe and confidential environment, sponsored by the National Family Resiliency Center, 5:30-6:45 p.m. Wednesdays, through Oct. 20, location of group will be provided upon registration. Free; registration required. 410-740-0079.

LIONS CLUB MEETING, for those interested in joining the organization, discussion of group activities and fundraising events; sponsored by the Columbia Lions Club, 6:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month, Tiber River Tavern, 3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City. Free; annual membership dues, $80. 410-964-8685.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, "The Gospel According to Larry," a novel by Janet Tashjian, sponsored by the Never Never Land Book Club for Adults, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; registration required. 410-313-7700.

Thursday 2

NEWCOMERS CLUB COFFEE, for all Howard County residents, a social gathering, club offers arts and crafts, a book club, games, sports, trips and more, sponsored by the Newcomers Club of Howard County, 10 a.m., New Hope Lutheran Church, 8575 Guilford Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-961-3545.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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