Hampstead class adopts pupil's guardsman dad

NEIGHBORS

May 29, 2002|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MEMORIAL DAY might have been more meaningful this year for some fourth-graders at Hampstead Elementary School.

For three months, the pupils in Stacey Gruber's class corresponded with an airman assigned to active duty over Turkey. The airman is the father of Meghan Grimm, one of the members of the class.

"My father was shipped to Turkey to guard the [Iraqi] no-fly zone," said Meghan, the middle child of three. "When something like this happens, you just handle it. We get to talk every day."

Her dad, Sgt. Charles T. Grimm, serves in the 117th Air Refueling Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard. He left in February for a three-month assignment based at Incirlik, Turkey.

His assignment provides direct support to aircraft in a mission named Operation Northern Watch.

Gruber's class decided to adopt Meghan's dad. They sent letters and cards. They packaged bundles of snacks and sent them to him. He responded with many thank-you letters and a gift to the class.

"He hand-wrote a note to every child who had written to him," Gruber said.

Grimm's gift to the classroom was a flag, folded and encased in a triangular frame. The plaque on the frame describes how the flag had been carried on one of the aircraft on March 30 during an aerial refueling mission that Meghan's dad had flown.

The gift is on display in the classroom.

Putting for pooches

A miniature golf tournament Saturday will benefit police and rescue dogs, raising money for the Mason-Dixon Rescue Dogs.

Hampstead resident Shannon Watt, 13, who started the event, has great concern for the safety of dogs trained to work with police and rescue operations.

She said the dogs go where men do not and need protection. She has become known for providing bullet-proof vests for police dogs.

Registration is required for the tournament, which will be held 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Four Seasons Sports Complex on Hampstead-Mexico Road. The cost is $40 per team, or $10 per person.

A rescue dog demonstration will follows. The rain date is Sunday.

Information: 410-374-4968.

Summer playground

The North Carroll Recreation Council will offer Summer Playground for elementary school-age children. Older students who help with the program may earn service learning hours.

The weeklong program features games and arts and crafts from 9 a.m. to noon daily.

Summer Playground will take place at Hampstead Elementary from June 17-21, at Manchester Elementary from June 24-28 and at Spring Garden Elementary from July 8-12.

Ten student helpers are needed at each location.

Information: Julie Koontz, 410-239-0247.

Baltimore Album quilts

North Carroll Senior Center recently held an event featuring Kathy Siuta, local expert on the applique style of quilt stitching, known as Baltimore Album. Siuta displayed the collection of quilts she has made during her decade of learning and creating quilting techniques.

A quilt can take up to two years to complete. Her first quilt, sewn about 10 years ago, was appraised at $10,000 before it was sent to California to be photographed for a book on quilts. Today, the appeal of album quilts has increased their value. Each quilt today is valued at close to $30,000.

This type of quilt was developed in the mid-1800s in Baltimore because the harbor was importing a wealth of patterned cloth. Quilt makers cut the cloth into wreaths and symbols of their own design.

Each design is stitched into a "block," and about a dozen blocks are assembled for the center of the quilt. Garlands or various border motifs encircle the design. The quilting process is done with tiny stitches across the patterns.

Siuta helped found the Baltimore Applique Society in 1992 to encourage friends to visit museums to see quilts, many of which are not displayed because daylight damages the fabric. The group also performs quilt conservation. On occasion, members trace the patterns of old quilts, and create new quilts from the designs.

"People with important quilts donate them to museums because it's a pain to care for them properly," Siuta said. "It's a chore to take care of a 200-year-old quilt."

Siuta, a Cockeysville resident, has been featured in three books and in a national magazine.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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