Teen collecting cash, signatures for a patriotic cause


October 09, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TIFFANY REINHARDT, 17, a senior at Liberty High School, was like many Americans who watched the tragic events of Sept. 11 unfold, and through their shock and sorrow, felt the need to help in any way they could.

That evening, Tiffany sat with her parents, Rodney and Sharon Harrison, and sister Ashley Harrison, 10. As the television replayed the devastation of the World Trade Center towers' collapses in New York, and the images of the crash sites at the Pentagon and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, the family planned a way to help.

They decided to raise money for the victims' families, and the plan included distributing patriotic lapel pins to those who made a donation. Tiffany also wanted to collect signatures of the donors in a book she called America's Greatest Tragedy.

To assist with donations, Tiffany sought the help of Nora Murray, faculty adviser to Liberty High School's Student Government Association. Murray helped Tiffany establish a bank account in which to deposit donations and provided her with a letter to present to retailers requesting permission for Tiffany to set up a table outside their businesses.

Tiffany and her parents contacted several retailers in the area, and received permission from Safeway, Wal-Mart, Carrolltown Center and Kmart stores to set up a fund-raiser table.

She, Ashley, and her parents stayed up until 3 a.m. several nights and completed 800 lapel pins, consisting of a white star, with red, white, and blue ribbons attached.

The first weekend after the disaster, Tiffany set up at Safeway, for eight hours each day, collecting $1,400. The next weekend she divided her time between the other locations and collected $970. During lunch periods at school she collected $300 from students and teachers.

During the fund-raiser, Tiffany was approached by a Howard County firefighter who stopped at her table to donate and praised her for her efforts.

"He told me that even as interest dies off, I should continue my efforts for as long as I can," she said. She said his words further inspired her.

Tiffany continues to make ribbons, a few at a time, and is dedicated to collecting more money. She intends to send copies of the signatures to each victim's family and is trying to contact the airlines involved, as well as the appropriate people at the Pentagon and in New York. The original signatures will be sent to New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Tiffany hopes to find someone willing to help her reproduce the signatures for the families.

Principal Ronald Laczkowski was impressed with Tiffany's determination. "It's wonderful what someone can do when they put their mind to it," he said.

Tiffany has collected $2,670.91 and hundreds of signatures to date. To make a donation to the 911 Fund, call Liberty High School, 410-751-3560.

College Fair

The Carroll County public schools system is sponsoring a College Fair from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at Westminster High School, 1225 Washington Road, Westminster.

Representatives from 125 colleges will be present. Workshop topics will include financial aid and applying to universities and community college.

The event is designed for high school juniors and seniors. Sophomores are welcome to attend. School guidance departments have information about the event.

Fall fishing tourney

Piney Run Park on Martz Road will hold its annual Fall Fishing Tournament from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The grand prize is $400 and other cash prizes will be awarded. A trophy will be presented for the largest fish of the day.

The first 150 boats registered will be accepted. Registration is encouraged. No limit will be placed on the number of shoreline anglers.

Fees are $15 a person and park entrance fees of $4 for vehicles registered in Carroll County and $5 for others.

Information: 410-795-6043.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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