Young people are working diligently in school and community


February 18, 1997|By Natalie Harvey | Natalie Harvey,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE 21ST century generation will be in good hands -- today's youth will be in charge.

So many young women and men in Columbia are working diligently in their schools and communities.

Owen Brown Middle School's "Puma News" reports that the Gold Puma Pride solid "A" list includes 10 eighth-graders, three seventh-graders and twenty-one sixth-graders.

Oakland Mills High School's "Quill" lists 30 students with a 4.0 grade-point average.

Caring for others is typical of our younger generation, too.

This month, Oakland Mills Middle School students Sharon Berlin and Kori Johnson are holding a stuffed-toy drive at their school.

During a visit to the offices of Children Of Separation and Divorce in Wilde Lake Village, the girls spoke with a therapist and learned that toys can play a major part in helping children during therapy sessions.

So, they invite everyone to bring a toy to add to their collection, which they hope will provide help for many children.

The new or slightly used toys can be left at the school office, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road, in Oakland Mills village.

The girls' teacher, Sue Ellen MacDonald, noted that students learn about careers -- as well as helping others -- while working on projects.

Helping repair homes

Teen-agers from St. John United Methodist-Presbyterian (U.S.A.) Church and St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church need your help with their Appalachia Service Project.

The project, a home repair and building ministry, addresses the needs of economically disadvantaged people.

This Sunday is the last opportunity to become a stockholder by purchasing a $10 share certificate.

The certificates will be on sale after services at Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake interfaith centers, and the funds will be used to purchase service project supplies.

Each certificate has a photograph of one of the homes repaired by St. John's teen-agers and adults in 1996.

St. John United has been involved in the service project -- which is affiliated with the Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church -- for 18 years.

In 1991, St. John the Evangelist teen-agers and adults joined the group. More recently, other congregations have inquired about becoming a part of it.

Harriet and Ken Katzen joined Ralph Wicke as the first volunteers from our area.

Wicke is still a volunteer with the Columbia group, although he has since moved to North Carolina.

Nancy and Fred Riedel, local directors of the Appalachia Service Project, have received permission from the organization to bring 12 work crews -- 50 teen-agers and 24 adults -- to the mountains to work on homes, by invitation, and share in the owners' lives for a week.

The Rev. Glenn "Tex" Evans founded the project in 1969 while ministering at the Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Ky.

The first year, 50 volunteers repaired four homes in Barbourville, Ky.

Since then, more than 100,000 volunteers have made homes warmer, safer and drier.

Locally, project workers raised funds by selling holiday wreaths -- 1,080 at Christmas -- which they and their families helped decorate.

They also held a cooking utensils and toy drive for residents of Kentucky last fall.

East Columbia teen leaders are Kelly Collins, Alison Deming, Liz Foglia and Kristen Pierce.

Allison, a three-year project veteran who attends Oakland Mills High School, says, "ASP is an opportunity for me to learn a lot about myself and to really discover what matters in life. I always return home with a greater appreciation for what I have that I have taken for granted."

East Columbia is well represented by adults, too -- Mila and Warren Meeks, Carol and Harold White, Alan Baker, Phil Barnes, Jim Bielefeld, Tim Geipe, Donna Hayman, Bob Jackson, Blanche Slanga and, of course, the Riedels and Katzens.

Teens from Atholton, Howard, Centennial, Glenelg, Wilde Lake high schools and Notre Dame Preparatory School work with adults from west Columbia to do their share.

The group leaves for its summer project June 22.

If you miss your chance to buy a "share" at the interfaith centers, call 730-8497.

Scout court of honor

At the February Court of Honor for Boy Scout Troop 75, the young men and their leaders were honored for devotion to duty, leadership and self-improvement.

Assistant Scoutmaster Dick Barnes received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal from Scoutmaster Pat Roth.

Dick spends many hours at camp and meetings, helping the Scouts complete their merit badges.

Twenty-two merit badges, in 11 categories, were awarded -- with special recognition for Quartermaster Phil Browning and Senior Patrol Leader Nick Thomas, who received five each.

Assistant Patrol Leader Marty Oltmanns was given the Silver Medal Award for helping Panther Patrol earn the Baden-Powell Award.

Rank advancement to Tenderfoot was earned by four Scouts; First class by three and Life by four.

Jonathan Barnes added a Gold Eagle Palm to his Eagle Scout rank.

David Moore received his Den Chief Service Award.

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