Local charity benefits from office workers' day off


June 14, 1999|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SHEPHERD'S STAFF'S executive director Kathy Brown knew lots of volunteers were coming last week.

She eagerly created a thorough "to-do" list and threw open the doors of the organization's Carroll Street home to more than 45 volunteers from Long & Foster Realtors' Westminster office.

What Brown didn't know was that these industrious volunteers would not only cruise through her lengthy list, but would also finish tasks of their own.

They mulched the grounds and moved concrete benches for a meditation garden in the back. They crossed the street to Grace Lutheran Church and baked brownies and crispy treats for six hours so Shepherd's Staff would have enough to freeze for future benefits.

They organized the school supplies store, washed windows, vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the bathroom, and much, much more.

Yes, for one glorious day and for the second year in a row, the Christian organization that helps countless families in Carroll County got the pampering it deserves.

"It's a wonderful feeling to give to an organization that touches everyone in the county, and they are so appreciative," said Sharon Williams, a Long & Foster real estate agent who rallied the volunteers for the day.

Long & Foster offices in many states closed their doors for a day and donated services to community organizations, she said.

Throughout the year, this local real estate office has collected items or served as a community drop-off spot during various Shepherd's Staff drives. Their partnership was formed last year after Long & Foster interviewed many nonprofit service organizations and decided to take Shepherd's Staff under its wing.

Last week, volunteers worked on a scrap book, folded fliers, hauled trash to the county landfill and repaired sidewalks. They brought their children and grandchildren, who kicked off their summer vacations by doing a lot of hard work.

"What they did in a day, I couldn't do in one month," said Brown. "Their spirit was so great; they did everything with such joy and generosity. If all businesses would close up for even half a day to help a grass-roots organization that needs a boost, think of what we could do in Carroll County."

"We worked in the kitchen at the church, talked about the real estate market and how good it felt to help other people," said Long & Foster secretary Pat Grimes, who baked all day with Judy Ingram, Tina Zeitler, Shelley Chinskey and Tricia Lenhart.

"Everyone, young and old, gave 175 percent. There were no slouchers," said Williams. "Helping Shepherd's Staff was a good experience for all of us."

Art show winners

Westminster artist Shawn Lockhart's relief printmaking earned "Best in Show" during this month's Art in the Park celebration. Lockhart is $100 richer and can look forward to a solo exhibition of her work at the Carroll County Arts Council gallery. The exhibit is tentatively scheduled for June next year.

Manchester artist Suzanne Mancha's watercolors garnered first place, and her solo exhibition is tentatively scheduled for the Carroll Life Gallery, also in June next year.

Other artists honored during Art in the Park were Marge Wickes of Finksburg, second place; Lynn Ferris of Woodbine, third; Jason Cox of Mount Airy, fourth; Phil Grout and Sherri Stewart of Westminster and Denny Wheat of New Windsor, honorable mentions.

Pub Date: 6/14/99

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