Of Westminster, was named Volunteer of...


July 04, 1993

STEVEN HILDENBRAND, of Westminster, was named Volunteer of the Year by the Carroll County Family YMCA at its annual dinner Monday.

He has been a volunteer swim coach for the YMCA swim team for more than 10 years, and helped start the organization's first competitive swim team.

Organization's comments: Mr. Hildenbrand has donated about 1,500 hours to the YMCA swimming program, said Cathie Walsh, the Y's community relations coordinator.

He was named Volunteer of the Year, she said, because he personifies the Y's mission of helping kids succeed in life.

His patient work with younger children "really gave them a good start," Ms. Walsh said. "He also gave them that extra push of confidence" they needed to succeed.

As the smaller kids would stretch to reach the other side of the pool, she said, Mr. Hildenbrand would be "waiting to give them a hug" at the opposite end.

Mr. Hildenbrand also is good with parents, she said, making the time to speak to them about their children.

Volunteer's comments: "It was fun just to see them all progress," said Mr. Hildenbrand, who works with ages 5 to 18, but particularly enjoys helping the younger children. "A lot of times, they really surprise you with what they can do."

A competitive swimmer in high school and at the University of North Carolina, Mr. Hildenbrand said the experience had helped him greatly and he wanted to help pass on what he had received.

Competitive swimming produces self-disciplined, mature young men and women, he said, and the YMCA program is an excellent introduction to competitive swimming.

To improve as a competitive swimmer takes long hours of work over extended periods and teaches the importance of setting goals, he said. "Being disciplined like that is a good lesson for life."

Swimmers develop long-lasting friendships, he said, and because the sport requires the involvement of parents, children are exposed to good role models.

"It becomes a real family endeavor."

Volunteer's background: Mr. Hildenbrand, 47, is assistant Maryland attorney general and works with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

In addition to his volunteer work with the Carroll County Family YMCA, Mr. Hildenbrand referees college and high school swim meets, and assists with a Baltimore-area summer swim league.

K? He and his wife, Pam, have two daughters, Gail and Melissa.

To nominate a Volunteer of the Week, call 751-7900 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations can be faxed to the office at 751-7916.


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