Norma and Jack Norman keep spirit of volunteerism alive


September 30, 1997|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE NATURE CENTER at Piney Run Park is alive with the spirit of volunteerism.

Many of its programs are dependent on volunteers, and two of the center's most active volunteers were recently recognized for their efforts.

Norma and Jack Norman of Sykesville have been faithful volunteers the past four years. The retired couple can be found lending a hand at nearly every event at the Nature Center.

"Jack and Norma are such a terrific couple," said Elaine Sweitzer, a Piney Run naturalist. "They're always ready and willing to do anything that needs to be done. I don't know what we'd do without them."

The Normans were instrumental in the creation of a butterfly garden and with the planting of smaller butterfly and hummingbird gardens behind the center. They enthusiastically gathered grapevines for a wreath-making program.

The couple is busy with the center's annual birdseed sale and preparing for the Apple Festival. In addition to covering the center's busy front desk, the Normans have made the preparation of the quarterly newsletter mailings into a real treat for other volunteers.

"They all chatted, laughed and shared some snacks with other helpers while putting together the newsletters. They really made it fun for everyone," Sweitzer said.

Jack has a lifelong interest in snakes and keeps a private collection of a dozen or so at his home. He has shared his extensive knowledge of snakes with participants in the park's summer Girl Scout camps.

The Normans credit the staff with making the center a pleasant place to volunteer.

"It's such a wonderful place to be," Norma said. "They are so accommodating to the public and so knowledgeable. It's a really nice group to work with."

Wheels for Life

There's really nothing like the feeling you get from helping others.

The young and the not so young can get fun exercise and do a good deed by participating in a bike-a-thon to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

St. Jude's provides leading-edge treatment to children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital's work is supported in large part by donations.

Eldersburg resident Larry Martin is a bike enthusiast who wanted to do something to aid the hospital's cancer research after a co-worker's child was stricken with cancer and successfully treated at St. Jude's.

Martin is a member of several area bike clubs and has put together the "Wheels for Life" to raise money for the hospital.

Riders of all ages are encouraged to come to the London Fog parking lot in Eldersburg from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and ride laps. Shorter courses will be set up for young riders.

Sponsor sheets and information are available by calling Martin at 410-795-8252. Rain date is Oct. 12.

Fall Festival

Sykesville will conduct its annual Fall Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Organizers from the Sykesville Business Association have planned a day filled with sights, sounds and activities for the entire family.

More than 40 food and craft vendors will line Main Street. The Liberty High School band and other bands will perform throughout the day. Also look for hayrides, Town House tours, a Civil War living history display and a car show.

Information: 410-795-1099.

Sock Hop

The Freedom Astros girls soccer team is sponsoring a Sock Hop for grades five through eight from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at the Winfield Fire Hall.

Admission is $4. Refreshments will be available.

Information: 410-781-4205.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears Tuesdays in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 9/30/97

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