Westminster Optimists honor four high school students


November 18, 1996|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

EACH NOVEMBER, Optimists across the nation take time to honor youths who are making a difference in their communities.

Westminster Optimist Club has chosen four young men and women to recognize.

Citing the many community projects each student has been a part of, the organization recognized Westminster High School students Matthew Aversa, Brian House, Christina Lippy and Jerry Strevig.

"Optimist International has been doing this for over 30 years," said Jim Litz, president of the Westminster club. "We have been doing it since the club was founded about 10 years ago. We hear so much about the wrong things kids do in the Westminster area, but we don't hear enough about the good things."

Litz said the youths who are being honored this year were chosen by the club.

"Normally we let the high schools choose, but this year we went ahead and honored our own regular volunteers because they NTC have contributed so much," he said.

"We feel we have to recognize those who are in the background, too," he added. "It doesn't always have to be the A, honor roll students. We have to give credit to all who are out there working to make a difference."

Matthew, Brian, Christina and Jerry have helped with Little League and soccer programs and Optimist Club fund-raisers, selling pizza at Fall Harvest Days and other Carroll County Farm Museum events.

Matthew, Brian, Christina and Jerry will be honored tomorrow at Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers in Westminster. A buffet-style dinner will be served at 7 p.m., then each youth will receive a plaque, certificate and $50 savings bond.

Optimists help needy

Westminster Optimist Club has adopted five families for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Each family was selected by the Neighbors in Need program. The Optimists will provide a Thanksgiving dinner and groceries for the week to each family. During the Christmas season, the club will provide afamily with food, toys and gifts for each child. Donations of canned goods and clothing will be collected at the club's Christmas party.

The unseen United States

Most of us see the United States as a place of plenty.

But few have seen the side of the United States that Jacob Holdt has seen. Holdt, a Danish photographer, spent five years roaming the country, staying with the poorest sharecroppers in the South, spending time with drug dealers and prostitutes, living for a time in poor areas.

But Holdt also mingled with U.S. wealth, living with some of our country's richest families, including the Rockefellers. He did this to highlight the vast contrasts and to capture them on film.

At 7 p.m. today in Alumni Hall at Western Maryland College, Holdt will share those observations. His show, "American Pictures," was created from the more than 15,000 photos he took on his trek, which began in 1970 and continued into the 1990s.

Admission to "American Pictures" will be $3, and proceeds will benefit area charities.

Holdt describes himself as a vagabond. He hitchhiked more than 118,000 miles during his journey, starting with $40. Twice a week, he sold blood to buy film.

Besides taking portraits of the people he lived with, he also took photos of those he followed on the streets. He sneaked into a camp for migrant workers, infiltrated Ku Klux Klan rallies and not only photographed but secretly recorded the meetings. This chilling audio is part of his show, one that combines music with Holdt's analysis in words and pictures of a country he says "most have never known."

"American Pictures" has been shown in more than 200 colleges and universities across the nation. This program, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Western Maryland College department of sociology.

Information: 857-2530.

Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 11/18/96

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