Henry Lawton, a nominee for this year's Maryland Jaycees OutstandingSenior Citizen award, was responsible for dragging the Arundel Hospice into the computer age.
As a volunteer, he brought the non-profit organization into the 20th century with new data processing and mailing systems. His six-year affiliation with the hospice has left him a member of its board of directors and secretary-treasurer of the Arundel Hospice Foundation.
The Millersville hospice is a non-profit organization catering tothe needs of terminally ill patients and their families.
A retired Westinghouse engineer, Lawton, 68, spends more than 40 hours each week at the hospice.
"It all started on the Fourth of July, when a friend who was a hospice board member asked me if I wanted to be on the Development Committee," said Lawton, who admitted he didn't know what the committee did at the time.
He found there really was no committee, just one other person -- who left shortly after he joined. "That's how I became chairman," Lawton said with a laugh.
He soon realized the hospice was badly in need of automation. He set up its computer system, installing data management, word processing and other programs.
In addition, he began a mass-mailing program to help thehospice raise funds. The overall response has increased significantly, said Beverly Bassford, executive director of the hospice and the one who nominated Lawton to the Glen Burnie Jaycees, who in turn nominated him for the state award.
"It is an honor to be associated with him," she said. "He is one of our most outstanding volunteers. As a result of Mr. Lawton's efforts, the hospice has reached a degree ofautomation that meets our basic requirements and exceeds that of most hospice organizations, even those larger than ours. He has secured our computer, printer and equipment through donations and designed and implemented a complete system for data processing.
"This has made it possible for us to fund-raise with accuracy and timeliness, precisely forecast budget needs and plan patient care based on sound financial backing," she added.
Lawton is an active member of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, the Severn River Lions Club, the Severna Park Elks Club and the Knights of Columbus.
Lawton has lived in Severna Park for 31 years. He and his wife, Dorothy, have four children: Bryan, Linda, David and Douglass.
Lawton is one of twoseniors nominated for the Outstanding Senior Citizen award by countyJaycee chapters. State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein, 77, was nominated by the Severna Park Jaycees.
The award, based on a senior's merits and achievements, is sponsored by Jaycee chapters throughout the state. About 30 nominees are expected this year, said Cheryl France, the award's manager. Ten honorees will be feted at a 1 p.m. reception March 23 at the Holiday Inn on Route 1 in College Park.
The award banquet is open to the public. Tickets cost $12 and include lunch.
Reservations must be made by March 8; call Cheryl France at 529-3886.