In search of ordinary people, remarkable accomplishments

Neighbors

April 24, 2000|By William Lowe | William Lowe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IN THIS, my first installment as the community correspondent for Ellicott City and Elkridge, I would like to introduce myself and tell readers my outlook and intentions for the column.

I'm a native of North Carolina and have lived in Elkridge for about two years.

During this time, I have grown increasingly fond of the area and its people. Like the Raleigh-Durham area where I grew up, Ellicott City and Elkridge have experienced much growth in recent years and have an interesting mix of long-term and relatively new residents.

I take on the challenge of writing this column in the hope of becoming better acquainted with the area and the people who live here. My intention is to tell the stories of ordinary people who are doing remarkable things.

I am also interested in exploring the ways in which the history of a region affects a community. My predecessor, Sally Voris, included several stories of this type, and I hope to continue her work in this area.

As a fiction writer, I operate under the assumption that what is revealing and interesting about people is not the same as what is typically considered newsworthy. I have a similar assumption when writing this column. The job of the community correspondent, as I see it, is to report stories that are worthy of telling but might not otherwise be told.

I also recognize that a community is made up of its diverse parts. This makes it important to maintain a balance of coverage and include stories on residents of all ages, races, genders and creeds. It also means featuring stories on people and institutions throughout Ellicott City and Elkridge.

Lastly, I want the column to be a forum for keeping readers informed of community events and accomplishments.

With this in mind, I encourage readers to let me know about anything that might be of interest to others in the communities.

While space constraints may prevent me from reporting everything, I will make a sincere effort to include as much as I can. By keeping an open channel of communication, I invite readers to help share in the development and evolution of this column.

Easter baskets

For the second consecutive year, three Ellicott Mills Middle School pupils have demonstrated that Easter, like Christmas, is a season of giving.

As a community service project, seventh-graders Sarah Reardon, Jaclyn Leaf and Kristin Williams of Cadette Girl Scout Troop 2137 donated 110 Easter baskets to terminally ill children at Washington Children's Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The girls solicited item contributions and cash donations from neighbors, Girl Scout supporters and area merchants.

The Easter baskets were filled with gifts guaranteed to brighten the holiday of any child -- including stuffed animals, crayons, coloring books, stickers and craft kits. The baskets were delivered to the two hospitals Thursday.

Last year, Sarah, Jaclyn and Kristin distributed 26 Easter baskets and hoped to increase that number to 30 this year. The generous support they received enabled the girls to exceed even their own expectations.

Most impressively, Sarah, Jaclyn and Kristin took the initiative on all aspects of the project, with their parents providing little more than transportation and postage.

"I'm just amazed at how much three middle school girls were able to accomplish," said Colleen Reardon, Sarah's mother.

The girls have begun to plan for next year.

Merchants with unsold Easter goods are encouraged to call Sarah Reardon at 410-203-1921 to donate items for next year's baskets.

Educator of the Year

Two teachers at Ellicott City public schools are among the seven finalists for the Howard County Chamber of Commerce's Educator of the Year award. The Ellicott City finalists are Judy Fulmer of Hollifield Station Middle School and Sue Pope of Ellicott Mills Middle School.

The winner will be announced at the Chamber of Commerce's 10th Annual Community Awards Night, which will be held at the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center on Wednesday.

Regardless of the outcome, congratulations go out to Fulmer and Pope.

Geography Odyssey

Third-graders at Worthington Elementary are using the U.S. Postal Service to make geography come alive in their classrooms.

The By Mail Geography Odyssey began with schoolchildren writing a description of Maryland as the first entry in their journals. They then sent the journals to a friend or relative in another state or country.

The recipients were instructed to write a description of their locale and to send the journal on to another person in a distance place.

After several cycles, the journals will be sent back to Worthington next month, and children will share their most interesting entries at a year-end Geography Journal Celebration.

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