Eldersburg resident aids storm victims

Neighbors

September 28, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HURRICANE FLOYD is beginning to fade from the memories of most Marylanders, but won't soon be forgotten by one Eldersburg resident.

Peggy Faith, a member of the Montgomery County Urban Search and Rescue team, headed south shortly before Floyd's predicted arrival on the East Coast. As part of Maryland Task Force 1, Faith and 61 trained personnel were sent to Shaw Air Force Base near Columbia, S.C.

From there, the team went to Jacksonville, N.C., where it assisted with mostly humanitarian efforts -- helping residents retrieve belongings from flooded homes and businesses.

"There was so much destruction from the flooding," Faith said. "At one point, we had water up to the headlights on our coach buses."

In addition to members trained in logistics, hazardous materials and search and rescue, the team also included four specially trained dogs, one of which was Faith's Australian shepherd, Callie.

Callie is trained to detect human scent. Dogs such as Callie are often used to search for people buried in rubble or missing in natural disasters.

Faith began training Callie for such work when the pup was very young, with obedience training followed by rigorous outdoor training. Search and rescue dogs are chosen for their confidence, energy and physical soundness. Faith and Callie have been deployed with the unit several times in the past three years.

Training centers in Montgomery County and Fairfax, Va., are used to keep the dogs ready for work at a moment's notice. Callie keeps on her toes by training with Faith twice a week in addition to monthly training sessions at one of the centers.

Dixon honored

Maryland Treasurer Richard N. Dixon was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the Maryland State PTA last week during a presentation at Oklahoma Road Middle School.

In making the presentation, Tina Crockett, Oklahoma Road PTA president, thanked Dixon for his interest in the South Carroll area and in Oklahoma Road Middle in particular. Dixon was credited with going to bat for the area to make the school a reality.

School board member Susan Krebs and Gregory Eckles, Carroll's director of secondary schools, were also recognized for their dedication and received wooden replicas of the school presented by school secretary Linda Bankard.

Fall festival

The Sykesville Business Association Inc. will sponsor its 26th annual Sykesville Fall Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Historic downtown Sykesville will be the setting for the day of fun for the entire family. The festival will begin with a breakfast at St. Barnabas Church from 7: 30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The entertainment schedule includes the Liberty High School Lions Pride Marching Band, karate demonstrations by Tri Star Martial Arts and International Karate and Fitness, and a fitness demonstration by the YMCA of Central Maryland, Carroll County Family Branch Extension program.

Main Street will be lined with crafts displays and information tables. Tours of the Town House will be offered throughout the day.

Be sure to take a look around the hot rod, custom and antique car show or maybe catch a hayride.

The Sykesville and Patapsco Railway train displays will be open to visitors, and the Gate House Museum will also be open.

Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Civil War reenactors Art and Carole Twigg will gladly induct volunteers into the Union or Confederate armies for a mock battle beginning at 1 p.m.

The armies will "battle" using flour pouches, and the "wounded" will be treated at a field hospital.

Participants will receive a flag to commemorate the battle.

No admission will be charged for the festival.

Information: Gene Gillispie, 410-795-3322.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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