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Bella Ballet Named Small Business of the Year

Bella Ballet, 347 Kentlands Boulevard, received the 13th Annual Small Business of the Year Award (SBY) on Dec. 5 at the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) Annual Celebration Dinner & Awards Ceremony. GGCC presents this award to the small business that demonstrates success, community involvement and excellent customer relations.

In a statement, GGCC noted, “Bella Ballet is a staple in the Kentlands and surrounding communities. The social impact and positive change that Bella Ballet provides for the community through dance empowers and inspires young women to love who they are, love others, and be a philanthropic member of society. The Bella Ballet team has created a safe space for little girls —ages 1 through 12—and builds ‘confident ballerinas one twirl at a time.’”

Simcha Educational Center Opens

The Simcha Educational Center, located at 15021 Dufief Mill Road, North Potomac, has passed inspection and is now open. It will feature a preschool, religious school and after-school programming, serving children ages 2 through 12th grade. Chabad of Upper Montgomery County transformed the historic Garrett Farm, which was vacant for 10 years until Chabad purchased the property. In addition to the interior renovation, the exterior now offers a bio pond, new playground and ball field.

“We are very excited about this project,” said Rabbi Sholom and Mrs. Chana Raichik, directors of Chabad. “With its iconic design, size of the property, and location at a major intersection, this renovation will enhance the neighboring communities. Instead of a vacant lot subject to vandalism, we are now going to have the sounds of children learning, laughing and playing. We’ve named it the Simcha Educational Center, Simcha being the Hebrew word for happiness.”

Chanukah Wonderland, long located in Kentlands, is now located at Simcha. With free activities for the whole family, Chanukah Wonderland will be open daily through Dec. 26. The Chanukah Fire Truck Parade, with a stop in Lakelands, is planned for Monday, Dec. 23. Visit for more information.

Kara Hibachi & Sushi Coming to Potomac Valley

A new hibachi and sushi restaurant is coming to The Shops at Potomac Valley South. Kara Hibachi & Sushi will be located in the former Potomac Gourmet location across the street from Quince Orchard High School, 12146 Darnestown Road. For updates, visit