Cyclists heading cross country to benefit ill children


April 17, 2001|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SHELLEY SORENSEN likes bicycling, travel, adventures and people. "Carpe diem" is the perfect motto for this Hanover 19-year-old, because she likes to "seize the day." As a young child, Shelley traveled through Europe with her family. When she was 11, she bicycled from Conowingo, in Cecil County, to Ocean City with a group of Girl Scouts.

Now, as a sophomore at Western Maryland College, she still likes to try different things. But last fall, when her friend Steve Sharkey suggested bicycling across the country, her response was, "Are you crazy?"

"Why not?" responded Steve.

Shelley agreed after a minute's thought - she could handle that kind of bicycle trip, and it would be a great adventure.

Still, if they were going to undertake such an expedition, it seemed right to turn it into a project that would help others.

Shelley and Steve decided they would like to help children in some way. So Shelley contacted the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Some of her friends had siblings who had been treated at Hopkins when they were ill, and Shelley says she was impressed with the "terrific care" they received.

Thus, their biking expedition will be a tool to raise money for the children's center.

Since October, Shelley has been spreading the word about her cause on the WMC campus in Westminster. She has had a "huge response" from the students. Shelley and Steve have collected about $750, and the college bookstore has donated Western Maryland apparel the pair can wear on their trip, advertising the groups that have supported the endeavor.

In fact, Shelley found so much support at the college for the work being done at the children's center that she has started a new campus group, Heroes Helping Hopkins. WMC students joining the group will travel to Johns Hopkins to play with the young patients, working on crafts, planning picnics - whatever they can to help brighten the children's hospital stay.

Right now, though, Shelley's primary focus is the bike trip. The journey, which begins May 20, will take them from Ocean City to San Francisco, covering more than 4,100 miles in about 50 days. They will go through states including Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Kansas, camping out along the way.

Unlike larger organized bike trips, they will have no motor escort, so they will be carrying all their clothing and supplies on their bikes.

They expect to see wonderful sights and meet all kinds of people, while raising money for a cause they have come to love. Donations may be sent to: Heroes Helping Hopkins, in care of Shelley Sorensen, Western Maryland College, 2 College Hall, Westminster 21157.

Checks should be made payable to "Western Maryland College - Heroes Helping Hopkins."

Retirees meeting

For more than 20 years, Jack Julius has traveled around the world, delighting audiences with his mime, magic and comedy. He will display his talents at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at a meeting of Crofton Area Retired Persons, at the Seton Parish Hall on Davidsonville Road.

Lunch will be served after the performance.

Membership in CARP is open to area retirees age 55 and older. Annual dues are $10, and the cost of a monthly luncheon meeting is $7.

Information: Patrick Rubilotta, 410-721-2148.

New groundbreaking date

Cardinal William H. Keeler will join the pupils, faculty and staff of the School of the Incarnation in the groundbreaking ceremony at the school's new site on Waugh Chapel Road in Gambrills at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The ceremony had been scheduled for April 1, but muddy conditions forced a delay.

Plans call for the multiparish school - currently holding classes at Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church in Millersville - to move to its new home in the fall of 2002.

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