Group helps overcome fear of speaking


January 17, 2001|By Donna Koros Stramella | Donna Koros Stramella,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DOES THE THOUGHT of speaking before a group terrify you? You're not alone. Surveys show that public speaking is one of the five most common fears. But help may be closer than you think.

For 12 years, the Glen Burnie Toastmasters Club has been helping people face their fears. Jerry Dotterweick, club vice president of public relations, says he had passed up promotion opportunities before he joined a Toastmasters chapter more than 30 years ago.

"I wasn't comfortable speaking before management," said Dotterweick, who worked in logistics at what was then Westinghouse in Linthicum. "My boss suggested I join Toastmasters at Westinghouse."

Over the years, Dotterweick belonged to several chapters before settling at Glen Burnie's after it was formed. Although he quickly found the help he needed to feel comfortable speaking before a group, he has continued his membership in Toastmasters, more for enjoyment than for need.

Toastmasters International's tries to help people learn the art of speaking, listening and thinking, skills that Dotterweick said help enhance leadership potential and foster human understanding.

"Toastmasters International training empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams," he said.

The Glen Burnie chapter meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at the North County Area Library at Harundale. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25. Prospective members are welcome.

The group's officers for this year are John Paul Howell, president; Mary R. Jones, secretary; Josi Osborn, treasurer; and Fred Kaminski, sergeant-at-arms. Along with Dotterweick, the other vice presidents installed were Ken Lee, education, and Bridgitte Hammaker, membership.

Information: 410-761-4361 or 410-255-6893.

School employee honored

Point Pleasant Elementary School teaching assistant Judy Anderson has been named employee of the month by the county Board of Education.

Anderson has worked at Point Pleasant, which her children previously attended, since the fall of 1995.

She works with fourth-graders and directs the after-school homework program.

"She is very devoted to the success of children," said Assistant Principal Doris Shaneor. "She'll do anything she can to help a child be successful, and she works in many ways to benefit the whole school."

The Glen Burnie resident was nominated by Principal Bonnie Reese and received a certificate at a recent board meeting.

Healthy shopping

Who knew shopping could be so healthful? Two Glen Burnie shopping spots will offer health information this month.

The Women's Wisdom Expo will come to Marley Station Mall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Women can receive free makeovers, seated massages, fitness assessments, acupuncture and more.

There will be information on topics such as stress management, nutrition and menopause, and drawings for fitness classes, pampering baskets and spa gift certificates.

Sharon Faelton, editor of the book "Women's Wisdom," will speak on its tips about health, relationships and lifestyles.

The event is sponsored by Harbor Hospital. Information: 888-746-2852.

The county Department of Health is setting up nutrition booths at supermarkets around the county as part of its "Learn to Live" cancer-prevention program. Among the stores is the Box & Save at 7931 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. in Glen Burnie, where the booth will be open from 11 a.m. 1 p.m. Monday.

Dietitians will answer questions on nutrition and cancer prevention. Shoppers can take home free, low-fat recipes. Information: 410-222-7979, or visit the Health Department Web site at

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