WESTMINSTER — Individuals can have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of others, but it doesn't always come naturally, Susan White-Bowden told agroup of almost 300 volunteers.
"We need to be taught that. We aren't born understanding that," she said Monday night at Friendly FarmRestaurant.
White-Bowden, an author and former television reporter and producer, spoke at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce's annual Service Club Dinner, where 18 countians received "Generous Hearts" awards in recognition of their volunteer work.
White-Bowden, a Finksburg resident, told of her Aunt Ada, who signed her up as a volunteer in the pediatric unit at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore when White-Bowden was in her early 20s.
She said she thought her time could be better spent at home with her three children but realized she was wrong when she saw the impact her weekly visits had on a young burn victim. The boy looked forward to the stories she read him and the laughter she brought.
"When you realize you have that kind of power an anindividual to make a difference in another person's life, you begin to realize your life is of value," she said.
"I know you're wonderful people," she told the audience. "I know you've made wonderful contributions to the community. I also know you are better people because of it."
Winners of the "Generous Hearts" awards were:
* Charles Bennett of the Sykesville Rotary. He is club president and has been involved in housing programs for low- and middle-income families and with Food Sunday.
* Bill Best, a charter member for 17 years of the Deer Park Lions. He was named Lion of the Year.
* Charles Brehm of the Charles Carroll Lions. He has had perfect attendance at clubmeetings since joining in 1975. His son and wife also are involved in club activities.
* Harry C. "Babe" Clagett of the Hampstead Lions. He is club president, was one of the founders of the community park and delivers hospital equipment the club lends out.
* Robert Disinger of the Mount Airy Lions. The incoming club president was named Lion of the Year.
* Thelma Ditman of the Gladys Wimert Lioness. A 10-year charter member, she is chairwoman of the club's public relations committee.
* William Gavin of the Westminster Rotary. As chairman of the Leadership Gifts Campaign, he helped raise $1 million for a new YWCA. He is a past president of the club.
* Bennie C. Hartmann of the Freedom District Lions. A 23-year club member, he has been secretary for the past three years. He volunteers to drive cancer patients to medical appointments.
* Mary Hartmann of the Freedom District Lioness. A member for six years, since the club was formed, she has worked as an officer and chairwoman of several committees. She has been social committee chairwoman for six years.
* Stanley W. Holcombe of the Union Bridge Lions. He is club treasurer, a 13-year member and has been called the "backbone" of the club.
* Richard C. Hosfeld of the Pleasant Valley Lions. A member since 1972, he has helped deliver Christmas baskets to the needy. He served as club presidentin 1988.
* Claude Joseph Hurst of the Optimist Club of Freedom District. A member for five years, he serves as club president. He has served as first and second vice president.
* George W. Lawson of the Hampstead Rotary. He has had perfect attendance at club meetings for 34 years, or 1,768 meetings. He was named Rotarian of the Year for1990-1991 in Hampstead.
* Betty Jean Maus of the Soroptimist Clubof Westminster. She serves as club treasurer and has received a governor's award for volunteerism.
* Edmund J. O'Meally of the Westminster Jaycees. He was named Jaycee of the Year after one year in the club. He served as president last year and helped organize the bike race in Westminster.
* Larry R. Nightingale of the Lineboro-Manchester Lions. An eight-year member, he has served in a variety of club offices and was chairman of the club's annual fund-raiser.
* Frank L. "Jake" Vogt Jr. of the Roaring Run Lions. A 28-year member, he has held a variety of club offices and been involved in holiday food drives.
* Richard M. Warehime of the New Windsor Lions. He has been club secretary for 25 years and has served as president and treasurer. A member for 43 years, he is involved in Christmas gift deliveries.