Good Neighbor Award goes to Heather D'Amore

Neighbors

July 08, 1998|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLUMBIA IS a very special place to live," declared Longfellow resident Heather D'Amore.

"The possibilities for community spirit in this town are so great," she added.

D'Amore was honored with the Nancy Friemanis Good Neighbor Award on Saturday during the 28th Longfellow Friends of the Traditional 4th Parade.

The award is named for a Longfellow resident who was active in the community until her death in 1995.

D'Amore describes herself as a community activist who is involved in the healing arts and committed to living her life so that she makes a difference in the lives of others.

Her varied career includes stress management consulting, massage therapy and wedding photography.

Her community involvement began when she returned to the United States after living in Saudi Arabia. There, she said, women had no voice in public life.

"There are so many ways to get involved in Columbia," she said. "People living here have no idea how fortunate they are."

Soon after moving to Longfellow seven years ago, D'Amore began serving on the Harper's Choice Village Board. She was a member for six years.

Recently, she has been involved in presentations at middle and high schools on drinking and driving.

She is accompanied in her presentations by Joseph Allen, a Longfellow resident who was disabled in an accident with a drunken driver two days before his 21st birthday.

D'Amore estimates that she and Allen spoke to more than 3,000 students during the school year.

D'Amore also donates her photographic skills to nonprofit groups.

She has photographed the Longfellow parade and the Columbia Festival of the Arts.

The grand marshal for Saturday's parade was Padraic M. Kennedy, who is retiring as president of the Columbia Association.

Members of the Columbia Pro Cantare choral group sang the national anthem at the start of the parade. Cub Scout Pack 61 provided the color guard.

Also in the parade were members of the Harper's Choice Challenge Swim Team, Girl Scout Cadet Troop 1689, Brownie Troop 850 and the Starvation Army Band.

The parade included a car decorated in memory of the late Norman Winkler, who served for many years as umpire of the Longfellow softball game that is held each year after the parade.

Joe Mazalewski managed the Hesperus Wrecks softball team, while Tom Forno was in charge of the Eliots Oak Nuts.

Also helping out with the day's events were Longfellow residents Richard Merrill, Ted Kozlow, Jim and Dottie Binckley, Bob Shinskie, Mary Linden, Kevin Schrieber, Paul Rizzo, Lou Berman, Mike and Phyllis Kushner, and Greg and Nancy Thomas.

Jump-rope championships

Two west Columbia youngsters brought home medals last week from the U.S.A. Jump Rope National Championship, which was held in Disney World on June 26-28.

Elizabeth Egan of Longfellow, along with two team members, won a bronze medal for double Dutch freestyle in the 12-14 age group.

Amanda Ramsey of Hickory Ridge and her partner won a bronze medal for pairs single rope freestyle in the 15-18 age group.

The youngsters are members of the Kangaroo Kids Competition Team, a jump-rope group based in Howard County.

On the last day of the tournament, the medal winners competed in the finals against jumpers of all ages.

Amanda and her partner placed fifth in single rope pairs freestyle, while Elizabeth's group placed sixth in double Dutch freestyle.

For Elizabeth, the final day was doubly significant -- it was her 13th birthday.

She was the guest of the day at Hollywood and Vine, a diner the jumpers frequented during their stay.

In other tournament events, Amanda won a fourth-place ribbon in the 15-18 female speed contest.

She and Swansfield resident Marissa Schwartz, along with a third team member, placed fourth in the 15-18 double Dutch speed relay.

Amanda and Marissa were part of a team that placed sixth in the 15-18 speed relay and seventh in the 15-18 double Dutch pairs freestyle.

Amanda placed sixth in the 15-and-up three-minute speed contest for females.

Elizabeth and her teammates placed sixth in the 12-14 double Dutch pairs speed contest.

Elizabeth's brother, Thomas, also participated in the tournament.

Carol Egan, mother of the two jumpers, noted that the Howard County youngsters were somewhat overwhelmed by the competition at this year's tournament -- the third tournament sponsored by the U.S.A. Jump Rope Federation.

"We have usually swept this event pretty well," she said. "Our kids worked hard, but the competition has gotten better."

Egan attributed this to the growth of the sport nationally.

Now that they've seen the national competition, the Kangaroo Kids are preparing for the American Athletic Union Junior Olympics, which will be held in Portsmouth, Va., in August.

Understanding math

If you have trouble with math, it may be because you never learned to think mathematically, according to Dan Carl of the Learning Curve Inc.

Carl will offer classes called "How to Have a Mathematical Mind," starting this month at the River Hill meeting room.

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