Howard County organizations scheduled three separate events last week to honor 99 local volunteers and people deemed outstanding in theircareers.
The celebration began Tuesday night with a "salute to women in non-traditional careers" by the Howard County Commission for Women. The commission honored Westinghouse escalator and elevator repairwoman Cheri Cooper, Air Force Colonel Patricia M. Murphy, Atlantic Research Corporation security operations manager Veronica Wyrwas and police Sgt. Nancy Yeager.
About 40 people, including County Executive Charles I. Ecker and County Council Chairman Paul R. Farragut, applauded the honorees. Three of the honorees spoke, saying they were proud to have been chosen as role models to encourage other women to pursue non-traditional careers.
Thursday night, the Chamber of Commerce honored 13 educatorsand 18 public safety workers at a dinner attended by 500. After dinner, the crowd viewed a slide show featuring snap shots of the 31 honorees.
Friends and supporters often cheered when the face of their nominee flashed across the screen. Individual photographs were displayed on a huge split screen as individual honorees came forward to receive plaques, cheers and applause.
Friday, the Association of Community services, the Columbia Business exchange, the Columbia Foundation, the county government, the Howard County Arts Council and the United Way Community Partnership had a luncheon in which 250 people showed up to honor 64 nominees and winners in six categories for volunteer of the year.
Ecker and television personality Andy Barth presented awards at the luncheon. Ecker proclaimed April "Howard County Volunteer month," and Barth read the names of 64 nominees, asking each tostand as he did so.
Winners were Brian Meshkin of Glenelg High School, outstanding student volunteer; Lawrence and Helen Bory of the Columbia Community Players, outstanding arts volunteers; Rosemary Mortimer of the PTA council and Harts Brown of Mt. Airy, outstanding education and recreation volunteers; Deborah Robinson of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, outstanding human services' volunteer; Peer Counselor Volunteers at the Children of Separation and Divorce Center, outstanding community group volunteer; and the Early ChildhoodLearning Center, outstanding business volunteer.
Chamber of Commerce honorees for Educators of the Year were Kitty Boyan, Clarksville Elementary School; Barry Estadt, Loyola College; Robert Johnston, Mt.Hebron High School; Ciaran Lesikar, Oakland Mills High School; Elizabeth Mascia, Glenelg Country School; Marianne Pfeiffer, Forest Ridge Elementary School.
Also honored were Catherine Phelps, Trinity School; Kathie Smith, Northfield Elementary School; Eugene Streagle, Howard High; Donald Van Deusen, Atholton High; Kevin Wiedel, Elkridge Elementary; Shelly Williams, Owen Brown Middle School; and Carey Wright, Bollman Bridge Elementary.
The chamber honored Charles M. Sharpeas career firefighter of the year, Michael Taylor as volunteer firefighter of the year, John Superson as police officer of the year and Michael R. Ensko Sr. as deputy sheriff of the year.
Police and firefighters also got awards for valor. Detective Donald Guevara was awarded a silver medal, and officers Merritt Bender, David Dixon, Lynn Johnson and Robert Wagner received honorable mention for their arrest of armed cocaine traffickers. Detective Ricky D. Lee was awarded a silver medal for a crack cocaine arrest, and officers John Jacobs and Kevin Burnett were given bronze medals for their handling of a domesticdispute.
Officer Timothy P. Black received an honorable mention for his work in a barricade situation at an Ellicott City bank. Officer Richard Rutledge received a bronze medal, and officers Kelly Smith,Marshall Harding and Michael Martin received honorable mention for their handling of an incident at the Truckers Inn.
Firefighter Karen Fischer received honorable mention for her radio work with a choking victim while serving as a dispatcher.
Runner-up nominees for volunteer of the year at Friday's luncheon were Jennifer Haffner and Charlie Stewart, student category; Catherine McLoughlin-Hayes and RobertMiller, individual arts; Joclyn Alexander, Daniel W. Bennett, Carol Berg, Una Carew, Amelia Cressman, Lee R. Cross, Neil Dorsey, Jane Driver, Amy Forno, Eleanor Greene, Scott Hayek, Mary Hinson, Emily H. Howard, Thora Hushbeck, Hermenzo Jones, Aurelie Laurence, Sonia McGuinn, Robert A. Miller, Robert J. Moon, Ralph Mulloy, Ernie Nichols, Debbie Rhoad, Louis Seidler, Bruce Simpers, Jane H. Stokes, and Nancy Wentworth, individual human services.
Runners-up in the individual education and recreation category were Kathy Bernard, Judit A. Butler, Julie Cleveland, Pennie Close, Delores Garlick, John and Patricia Gick, Deby Keyser, John N. Marshall Jr., Jill McAllister, D. Mark McCoy,Michele Nethken, George Pittman, Marjorie Ramsdell, Pamela Smithson,Connie Turner and James T. Dixon Sr.
Group runners-up were Bollman Bridge PTA, Howard County Library Volunteers, Howard County Striders, NANBPW Columbia Club, Hammond Middle School Executive PTA Board, National M.S. Society Tri-County Branch, Wilde Lake National Honor Society and Maryland Museum of African Art Volunteers.
Business runners-up were Princeton Sports, Hallmark Builders, and Thomas Welsh, Welsh and Associates.