MOUNT AIRY - Mount Airy Middle School students who read for almost four hours one Friday evening to raise money for the Susan Hornick Fund were lauded during an assembly last Monday.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, director of the Maryland Student Service Alliance, congratulated the 139 students who raised a final total of $6,508.26 for the Mount Airy woman suffering from leukemia.
When teacher Jackie Ensor, chairperson for the read-a-thon, held up the oversized check for the school to see, the students burst into applause and cheers.
The Rev. Carol Yocum, of Calvary United Methodist Church, accepted the check on behalf of the Hornick family.
"You are a terrific group of students," Townsend said in a speech that extolled the need for continued community service.
"But what you've started here today doesn't have to end here," the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy added.
Repeating the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible, Townsend told the students that what they did for Hornick was "good for your soul, good for your heart," and part of being an American citizen.
Before leaving, she made the students list other community projects they could work on, and even appointed several students to be in charge of them.
"You've given an example to the community and the rest of the state and country of what you could do," Townsend said. "You are changing your world.