HAMPSTEAD — After two months, the search ends -- Carroll County's most beautifulparents have been located.
"It's an honor, but all foster parentsare beautiful parents," Sue Beverly said upon learning that she and husband, Robert, were picked from 55 nominees as Carroll's choice in Maryland's Most Beautiful Parent Contest.
Robert Beverly gives the credit to his wife.
"I don't think I'm that beautiful," he said. "I'm here."
The couple live near Hampstead with their three daughters.
Since May 1978 they've cared for 25 foster children. Sue said she and Robert were motivated to care for foster children out of concern for others.
"Children are a gift from God," she said. "We're happy for the opportunity."
The Beverlys were nominated by Nancy Brikmeyer and Alan Katz of the Department of Social Services. Katz said the Beverlys manage a whole range of children no matter their age, sex or difficulties.
"Most importantly, they take children on short notice," Katz said. "It takes a specialperson when asked, 'Could you take this child tonight?'
"They're sensitive and able to deal well with children they don't know."
The couple are active in the whole program. Sue is president of the Carroll County Foster Parent Association and trains new foster parents.
Dr. Janet Neslen, county health officer, directed the local project. Carroll Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy served as honorary chairman ofthe committee, which forwarded 10 entries to judges Peter Tabatsko, juvenile master; Marianne Earhart, youth worker; Priscilla Teeter, public health nurse; Dorothy Mangle, director of elementary schools; Juanita Devault, a retired health department worker; Phyllis Dull, Hampstead Elementary teacher; and Carol Olenik of the Springfield Hospital Center.
The sponsors for the project include: Gov. William Donald Schaefer's "Maryland You Are Beautiful" program; the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Children, Youth and Families; and WBFF-TV. The goals were to recognize, honor, and celebrate outstanding parents or adult care-givers; to showcase effective parenting skills and healthy, nurturing environments; and enhance awarenessof statewide resources available to children, youth and families.
The couple will be honored at a county ceremony during which all qualifying nominees receive a certificate of recognition. Then they willreceive a gift from Schaefer at ceremonies in Baltimore honoring grand winners from the 24 jurisdictions.