Maryland volunteers honored for their service

Awards for 21 recipients include gifts to agencies

youths get scholarships

April 23, 1999|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

Illnesses robbed Marie Kopp of memories of the first 30 years of her life. But the past 25 years have had an unforgettable consistency -- community service virtually every day.

For the past quarter-century, the 89-year-old Southwest Baltimore woman has shown up to volunteer five days a week at Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake -- maintaining a list of 60,000 donors and sending out bulk mailings to keep the organization humming.

Kopp was one of 21 volunteers recognized for their service in the 16th annual Maryland J. C. Penney Golden Rule Volunteer Awards this week. Sixteen of the awards included a $1,000 donation to the agency where each recipient volunteers. Five youth winners received $500 grants for their programs with $500 post-secondary scholarships. Thirty-five finalists earned $250 each for their groups.

Kopp's memory of much of the first half of her life has been obliterated by malaria and amnesia, ailments that caused her to be hospitalized for about 10 years. She recalls getting out of a hospital in Sykesville about 1969.

"I remember in the '40s and all," she said yesterday, taking a break from her work at the Goodwill offices on Southwestern Boulevard in Arbutus. Everything before that is "very hazy."

After such a long sickness, Kopp was ready for something to do. She worked for a time, then began to receive medical assistance. But she needed something to fill her days, and she wanted to help others. When several women from Goodwill visited the boarding house where she lived in search of volunteers -- 25 years ago -- she raised her hand.

Save for three days when she was sick with the flu, Kopp has put in four hours a day, five days a week, every week since. "I kept coming and coming. I feel that I'm needed, or else I wouldn't come," she said.

Said Lisa Rusyniak, the agency's vice president for marketing and development: "Marie is really an invaluable asset to Goodwill. We would have a very difficult time tracking all the correspondence and the donations if not for her organizational skills and reliability as a volunteer."

The winners will go to the J. C. Penney National Golden Rule Volunteer Awards, where they have a chance to win a $10,000 grant for an organization.

The other $1,000 Maryland winners included Cecil Calliste Sr., of Silver Spring, for work with Adventist Community Services; the Hoffman family, on behalf of Walkersville Volunteer Rescue Company; Edward Hargadon, for work with the Charles Village Civic Association; Rose Katz and Goldie Freedman, who have served 25 years with the Jewish Social Service Agency's Kosher Meals on Wheels program in Rockville; Martin Resources Volunteers for running an after-school program in West Baltimore.

Also, Heather Metzger of Millersville, for designing the "Drug Free Me" program for Mothers Against Drunk Driving; John Parlett Jr., of Mechanicsville on behalf of Christmas in April; Ari Schloss, who works with College Park Volunteer Fire Department; Diane Ulman of Ellicott City, who founded the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults; Cherby Worthington of Baltimore, for service to Edmondson-Westside Band Boosters; Mary Beach of Dickerson, Montgomery County, for work at the Banner School; Juliska Slota, for service to Severna Park Elementary PTA; Jacqueline Brewster, who serves Charlesmount Elementary School in Dundalk; Yuko Floyd, for work with Malcolm Elementary School in Waldorf; and Cathy Loyd, for service to Ronald McNair Elementary School in Germantown.

Youth winners were Sara Austin, 18, for work at Hospice of Charles County; Justin Beall, 14, for work at Crownsville Psychiatric Hospital Center through the Volunteer Center of Anne Arundel County; Jessica Bernstein, 17, for work at the Jewish Convalescent and Nursing Home in Pikesville; Rhonda Calliste, 18, of Silver Spring, for work with Lord's Lunch Program; and Scott Tucker of Smithsburg, 15, for work with the American Cancer Society.

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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