Church volunteers travel to South Dakota to help storm victims


July 06, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WITH THEIR trucks loaded with chain saws, tools and sleeping bags, 24 members of Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster took off on a 30-hour drive Thursday to Selby, S.D., to help a rural community rebuild after a winter storm.

Only about 700 people live in Selby -- ranchers mostly, who let their cattle roam and find shelter in tree berms rather than barns. When a winter storm hit the area more than a year ago, the trees were wiped out, the snow covered the cattle and many froze.

"The community was devastated, and when someone loses their livelihood, it hits the church," said Mel Arbaugh, one of Grace Lutheran's volunteers who left last week. "We were asked to pray for members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Selby and offer financial help. This trip is to help them find closure."

Volunteers will put up fences, clear broken shelters, do miscellaneous carpentry work and whatever else is needed. At night they will sleep in a school gymnasium and cook food provided by Lutheran Social Services and a disaster relief program.

"We joked that we would be living in close quarters and one goal is to be sure we come back as friends," said Arbaugh. "We see ourselves as ambassadors of Jesus, the church and Westminster."

In addition to the tools and sleeping bags, the local congregation will give the Selby community an oak tree indigenous to Maryland.

"My son will be away at science camp, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to go on an adventure," said Laura Heller, another volunteer. "We'll be on the road for four days, and I wish we could use that time to help, but we'll get a lot done."

Benefit play

A sellout crowd for Theatre on the Hill's benefit performance of "The Sound Of Music" raised more than $5,000 for Shepherd's Staff. The Rape Crisis Intervention Center of Carroll County is hoping for an encore.

Carroll County's professional theater company will open its doors for dress rehearsal of "The House of Blue Leaves" on Thursday and give all proceeds to the center.

People who purchase a ticket can attend a reception at 7: 15 p.m. before the 8 p.m. performance, and a champagne toast with the cast afterward.

"It can be a pleasant evening with good friends to help a good VTC cause," said Ruth Gray, president of the board of trustees for the crisis center. "Theatre on the Hill often opens up dress rehearsals to nonprofits. This is the first time we have had the opportunity and we grabbed it."

The Rape Crisis Intervention Center provides free, confidential, 24-hour service to the community and provides educational programs to the public school system. The center, at 224 N. Center St., is funded by grants and donations.

"The House of Blue Leaves," a comedy set in Queens, N.Y., in 1965, is about a zoo keeper who dreams of success as a Hollywood songwriter. Unfortunately, a cast of other characters puts a hold on that dream.

The performance will be in Western Maryland College's Elderdice Theater, which has about 140 seats.

Tickets or information: 410-857-0900.

Flower fun

The award-winning Carroll Garden Club is holding a series of workshops this summer to teach old and new members some of the basics of cutting and displaying plants for shows and use in the home.

Guests are welcome, and the workshops are free. Club members Juanita Adams, Mary Ellen Bay, Sharon Johnson and Joan Mason are leading participants through several flower-arranging and horticulture workshops.

Last week, the workshops began with members and guests touring Johnson's new conifer garden and watching a demonstration on how to pick, groom and condition evergreens for arrangements.

A flower-arranging workshop will be held from 6: 30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Union Bridge Community Center. Participants are encouraged to bring a container, one or more kinds of flowers with some specimens 30 inches tall, and greens or filler material.

Participants should also bring this column -- (actually sheets of old newspaper) -- and a low box to transport the arrangement home.

Information: 410-876-1312.

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

Pub Date: 7/06/98

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