Church To Honor Older Volunteers

June 15, 1994|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,Sun Staff Writer

Every day, Beatrice Brown, 87, walks down the dirt path from her house, cane in hand, to wait for the bus that takes her to work.

She volunteers 4 1/2 hours a day, feeding and playing with children at the Ruth Easton School for physically and mentally disabled children on Millersville Road. She has only missed two days this year. And as long she can walk, she says, she is going to "keep on rolling."

"Some people ask me, 'Where does a woman my age have to go in the morning?' And I tell them, 'I'm going to my job,' " said Mrs. Brown, who has worked with mentally ill children for over 20 years. "It's not hard work and it's something to do. . . . Sometimes I feel that I'm beginning to get a little tired, but other times I feel like I can just keep on going and not stop."

Mrs. Brown, who lives in the 100 block of W. Earleigh Heights Road, is one of 27 senior citizens who will be honored for their years of community service Saturday in a ceremony sponsored by the Asbury Town Neck United Methodist Church in Severna Park.

"A lot of people wait and give flowers to older people when they're gone. We want to recognize these hard workers while they're still living," said Clara Carroll, a member of the church's nomination committee.

The black-tie affair, called Threescore and Ten Testimonial because all of those to be honored are age 70 or older, will be held at 5 p.m. at the Earleigh Heights Fire Department. A red carpet

will stretch from the sidewalk to the reception hall of the firehouse. Limos are available for those honorees who want to arrive in style, said Jessie Nealy, who organized the event.

"I am just so tickled about going on Saturday," Mrs. Brown said, unveiling the purple and gold gown that she plans to wear. "I've never ridden in a fancy and expensive limo before." Mrs. Brown also cooked meals to help Asbury raise money for its $1 million church. The new building replaces the 105-year-old church.

"It's encouraging when people think about old folks and it makes me feel like my work is worthwhile," she said.

The Rev. George A. White, 98, the oldest person who will be recognized Saturday, also devoted his life to helping others as a church trustee, Sunday school teacher, choir director and leader of the youth ministry.

In the late 1960s, he used his 1968 Chevy Impala to drive neighbors to Annapolis to register to vote.

Although he has retired, Mr. White and his wife, Lillie May, still drive their 1986 Mercedes-Benz to visit sick friends and relatives.

"It's good to know that young folks still respect and realize that it's people like my father that have helped guide the church," said Mr. White's daughter, Gladys Cager, 77.

She also will be honored Saturday for her work with children and the church choir.

"My Dad is always saying, 'For you to live is for Christ to live.' So listen to people and help them because everybody could use it," said Mrs. Cager.

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