Community Group, Rotarian Win Volunteer Citations

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Volunteer Spotlight

Robinwood Program Gets Top Penney Award

April 21, 1991|By Jill L. Zarend | Jill L. Zarend,Staff writer

One Annapolis man helped make a house a "home" for troubled youths, while an Annapolis community joined together to make their neighborhood a better place to live.

Both turned out to be winners in the J.C. Penney Co.'s eighth-annual Central Maryland Penney Golden Rule Volunteer Awards.

People Helping People for a Greater America Inc., a program basedin the Robinwood public housing community, won an award. And MauriceF. Ringenbach, a Parole Rotary Club member, was named as a finalist for helping to refurbish a home for neglected children.

State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein presented the awards last week to 16 Central Maryland volunteers -- five winners, one youth winner and 10 finalists. The awards are given to individuals or organizations that a panel of civic leaders decides best exemplify volunteerism.

People Helping People has 30 volunteers. It was awarded $1,000 and a certificate of merit for helping residents in public housing and other at-riskcommunities through a youth-tutoring program and learning center in Robinwood Recreation Center; a math-science program with one-to-one help from tutors helping children learn more about these subjects; and a mentoring program, where adults are paired with teen-agers to provide support and guidance. The group also started the PHP Laminating Co., a small community-based business operated and managed by youths under the supervision of adult volunteers.

People Helping People also organized self-esteem group sessions about individual values, decision-making and goals for children ages 6 to 12 and 13 to 15; produced a community newsletter; scheduled programs and special events; andoperated the intergenerational day-care center "Grandma's House."

Ringenbach, an Annapolis real estate agent, was named a finalist forhis work with the Parole Rotary Club on behalf of the Eastern Point Transitional Home for boys and girls near Annapolis.

Officials hadfound a suitable house that could be converted for use as a group home, but it did not meet required county code standards for housing children. Ringenbach took on the challenge of making the house a "home"for children.

He organized a group of fellow volunteers from the Parole Rotary Club of Annapolis and solicited $50,000 worth of materials and donations. Habitat for Humanity and numerous contractors and builders helped to refurbish the home. The volunteers and young people worked every weekend from May through summer 1990 to finish the project.

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