Jo Anne Hare can't find praise high enough for Heidi Eber, Carroll County's most beautiful volunteer for 1994.
"Anything else I would say would just be superlatives, and that's pretty boring reading," said Ms. Hare, director of Rape Crisis Intervention Center of Carroll County, the group that nominated Ms. Eber for the county competition.
Tonight , Ms. Eber will be honored at a banquet in Annapolis for 24 volunteers from across the state. The ceremony, during which Maryland's most beautiful volunteer will be recognized, also honors Gov. William Donald Schaefer's years of service to the state.
"Heidi is an unusual volunteer," Ms. Hare said. "She initially wanted to do direct client work, but she also enjoys fund-raising and special events."
Rape Crisis, and the county government, chose to honor Ms. Eber for work she did putting together three of the group's recent fund-raisers -- a Sunday afternoon gown social, a Yankee candle sale and a celebrity autograph auction.
The work pales in comparison with that of other volunteers from Carroll County and across the state, Ms. Eber insists.
"I was shocked at first, flabbergasted," she said of receiving the county recognition. "To me, it didn't seem I had done all that
But to Ms. Hare and other Rape Crisis workers, Ms. Eber's year and a half of collecting 180 autographed items from celebrities, writing thank you notes and invitations to the function, and finally shepherding the items through the auction process -- all while caring for two preschool children and another on the way -- more than qualifies for recognition.
Ms. Eber, who lives in Hampstead with her husband, Bill, has two daughters -- Paige, 3, and Hannah, 1 month -- and 1-year-old son, Douglas.
The auction, which collected $5,000 in May for Rape Crisis, was the organization's most successful fund-raiser to date, Ms. Hare said.
"In addition to being an outstanding volunteer, she's a beautiful person and a wonderful mother," Ms. Hare said. "She's one of those people who manages to put it all together. Her children are even well-behaved!"
Ms. Eber has a long background of public service, from projects she completed during childhood to working at a women's shelter and soup kitchens while attending Georgetown University in Washington, Ms. Hare said.
A former research analyst with the Department of Defense, Ms. Eber graduated from Georgetown in 1986 with a degree in international politics.
"She is dedicated to serving people in the community where she lives," Ms. Hare said, noting that Ms. Eber came to Rape Crisis in 1991, just after Paige was born.
"We recognized a unique volunteer when she crossed our path and we've kept her busy since," Ms. Hare said. "She is steadfastly reliable, creative and good under pressure."