Sykesville teen honored for saving child


October 15, 1998|By Geri Hastings | Geri Hastings,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A HERO, according to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, is "one who shows great courage."

During Boy Scout Troop 555's Court of Honor on Friday at Mount View Middle School, 14-year-old Christopher Boyd of Sykesville was honored for his great courage.

In July 1997, just after he completed seventh grade at Trinity School in Ilchester, Christopher saved the life of 4-year-old Jesse Parker.

Gwen Parker, Jesse's mother, wrote to the Scouts National Pike District to recommend that Christopher be considered for an award for his heroism.

In her letter, she described the summer day that could so easily have become a setting for tragedy.

"My family and I were swimming at a nearby pool with some friends, and Christopher was also there," Gwen Parker wrote. "My 4-year-old son was in the water, playing on a raft while wearing water wings to keep him afloat.

"He does not know how to swim."

Parker's letter described how she left the pool area for a moment, leaving her son with three other adults.

"Almost as soon as I had left, I heard my son shriek. That fast he had taken off the wings and fallen off the raft.

"Before any of the adults even noticed what had happened, Christopher had dived into the pool, scooped up Jesse and brought him safely to the side of the pool. He saved Jesse from what could have been a very terrifying experience.

"The rest of the day he kept a very close watch on Jesse, who absolutely adores him now!"

Christopher, who is a freshman at Calvert Hall High School and a member of Troop 555, was presented with a Medal of Merit by members of the executive office of the Boy Scouts' Baltimore Area Council, who had reviewed the facts and made a recommendation to the National Court of Honor.

Christopher was presented with a citation by the court.

He also received citations from County Executive Charles I. Ecker and Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

It was a great surprise for Christopher, who had no idea that he would be honored until the ceremony began.

He says he wondered a little when he walked into the room and saw people there who were not involved with Scouting.

Christopher was thrilled with the awards -- and with the presence of his young friend, Jesse, at the ceremony.

His parents, Debbie and Larry, grandfather Fred Gossage Sr. and Jesse's mother were there, too.

Christopher is a Life Scout and is active in the Order of the Arrow -- a service organization within Scouts. He has earned all the badges required to become an Eagle Scout. He needs only to complete a community service project.

When he does, Christopher will be the first Scout in Troop 555's history to attain Eagle rank.

Happy Hounds 4-H Club

Applause is due to members of the Happy Hounds 4-H Club, who visited Heartlands Retirement Center in Columbia.

Members of the Happy Hounds and other 4-H clubs spoke at the center.

The group's leader, Sandy Melichar -- accompanied by her dog, Angus -- spoke about the club and its activities.

The young dog owners train their pets in obedience and the special skills and patience required for dog shows.

Club member Julia Lemich helped Melichar with an obedience demonstration, which featured Julia's dog, Mac.

Julie also spoke about the Welch corgi breed.

Heartlands residents prepared goody-bags for the young people and invited them to stay for punch and cupcakes.

Country warmth

Experience a taste of country at the Pieceful Quilters Quilt Show from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Glenelg United Methodist Church, 13900 Burntwoods Road in Glenelg.

Exhibits of quilts and other handmade items -- many of them for sale -- a merchant mall and door prizes are planned.

Mennonite quilts will be available for purchase, and an exhibit, called "Continuing Threads Keeping It in the Family: Quilts by Our Grandmothers, Mothers, Daughters, Granddaughters, Sisters, Aunts, and Nieces," will be open.

Four generations of quilts by the Seibert-Mullinix families of western Howard County will be featured, as well as five generations of quilts by the Jay-McTindal-Graydon families of North Carolina, western Howard County and St. Louis.

Diane Janoske of The Quilt Block Inc. in Dayton, who is a vendor at the show, donated the fabric for the queen-sized quilt that will be "offered for adoption."

Admission to the show is $2.

Information: Frances Soshinsky, 410-531-6236.

Talented youngsters

Bushy Park Elementary School fourth-graders Abby Boeh and Katie Hunt and fifth-grader Laura Nolan have been selected to participate in the Howard County Children's Chorus this year.

Violinist Gabrielle Boguslaw, who is in fifth grade, has been selected to participate in the Howard County Enrichment Orchestra.

Chosen as Bushy Park's "Artists of the Month" for October were first-grader Abby Landis, second-grader Stephen Castro, third-grader William Mettle, fourth-grader Megan Gough and fifth-grader Katie Papajika.

Samples of each artist's work are on display in the school.

Come celebrate

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