Legion to honor youngsters with 'Spirit of Youth Day'

NEIGHBORS

August 12, 1994|By KATHY SUTPHIN

Peeling potatoes, calling bingo numbers and setting up chairs in the banquet hall may seem to be ordinary tasks, but for Mount Airy's American Legion Gold Star "family," these commonplace chores help pass the torch of patriotism to today's youth.

From cash prizes for thought-inspiring contests to paid tuitions for Boys and Girls State, dollars garnered at Post 191 fund-raising dinners, dances and bingo games support a variety of youth-oriented citizenship programs.

The Gold Star family consists of three related veterans service organizations: American Legion Post 191, the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 191 and Auxiliary Unit 191.

Membership requirements differ depending on the organization, but all three groups -- with a total membership of more than 1,200 people -- support local Americanism programs.

On Aug. 21, the first "Spirit of Youth Day" will give members the opportunity to meet the youngsters who have recently benefited from Legion programs.

From essay contest winners of elementary school age to college-bound scholarship recipients, a long list of youngsters and their families have been invited to the Sunday afternoon event that begins at 2 p.m. at the post home on Prospect Road in Mount Airy.

Jeremy Teppig, 17, a soon-to-be South Carroll High School senior, is one of 12 young men sent by Post 191 and Squadron 191 to the 1994 Boys State held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis June 19-25.

His experience at Boys State is a good example of the programs that are supported by Legion groups from all over the nation. Two local service organizations, the Mount Airy Lions Club and the Mount Airy Kiwanis Club, assisted Boys State by supporting one participant each.

During the weeklong program, speakers helped the participants learn more about local, county and state government, and the week culminated in "state" elections. Jeremy, who was first elected as a party chairman, had the distinction of being elected the Boys State lieutenant governor.

Joining Jeremy at Boys State were fellow South Carroll students David Clark, Alvin Cole, Brian Earp, Dimitri Furman, Jason Petroski, Martin Oswiecinka, Andrew Stevens, Matt Taylor and Tom Shaffer Jr.

Linganore High School students Shaun Gallagher and Jacob Lilly also attended the citizenship program.

Girls State was held in Maryland for high school juniors during the same week at Washington College in Chestertown. American Legion Auxiliary Gold Star Unit 191 sponsored the five young women at the program: Gretchen Goodell, Sarah McGinley and Nicole Spencer of South Carroll High School; and Beth Hoehl and Katy Rager of Linganore High School.

Other youngsters who will be recognized at the event include: Rebecca Earley, Post 191 $1,500 scholarship; Heather Young, $1,000 scholarship; Lisa Gehle, $1,000 scholarship; Amanda Horner, Auxiliary Unit 191 $500 Nursing Scholarship; Elizabeth Mariner, Auxiliary Unit 191 $750 scholarship; and Rachel Harrison, Auxiliary Unit 191 $750 scholarship.

The six winners of the auxiliary's most recent Americanism Essay Contest will also be recognized.

First-place winners in the annual competition were Claire Dawson of Mount Airy Elementary and Daniel Wachter of Mount Airy Middle. Second-place winners were Shellie Myers of Mount Airy Elementary and Jennifer Phillips of Mount Airy Middle. Third-place winners were Katie Dulaney of Mount Airy Elementary and Jamie Green of Mount Airy Middle.

The next big event is the annual National High School Oratorical Contest in February, Post 191 member Andrew Mason said.

In this competition, students give prepared orations and speak extemporaneously on the U.S. Constitution. This contest begins at the post level, and winners competing for scholarship money as they move up through various levels. It culminates in a national competition with prizes that range from $12,000 to $18,000.

For information, call Post 191 Oratorical Contest chairman Bernie O'Neill at (410) 795-7071 or (301) 831-5237.

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Class rosters with teacher assignments will be posted on the front doors of Mount Airy Elementary on North Main Street by Aug. 19.

Students entering first through fifth grades who are new to the school should also note that an orientation will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 26. Kindergarten orientation will be held at 1 p.m. that day.

Information: (301) 829-1515 or (410) 795-6899.

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