Company's Summer of Service gets employees involved in community


August 05, 2002|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ABOUT 50 senior citizens at Colonial Landing in Elkridge enjoyed an afternoon of songs, games and food July 25, thanks to the employees of Amerix Corp.

Amerix, founded in 1997, provides technology and technology support to nonprofit credit-counseling agencies. It has about 800 employees at its Columbia headquarters.

In the spring, Amerix launched its Summer of Service initiative, according to Clarky Lucas, the company's public relations specialist. The company came up with three public service projects and encouraged employees to get involved. Last month, the company organized a picnic lunch for Grass Roots Crisis Intervention Center in Columbia. This month, employees will paint a house used by The Arc of Baltimore, a group that helps people with mental disabilities.

The idea was to get employees involved in the community and show them the volunteer opportunities that are available, Lucas said.

As an added bonus for the company, employees from different departments would get to know each other better, she said. "It was basically to engage our team members here at Amerix, to provide them with an opportunity to go off-site and into the community," she said.

For the Colonial Landing event, nine Amerix employees went to the community room of the center and set up a catered lunch of salads, sandwiches, fruit, cookies, pastries, iced tea and lemonade. The volunteers played "Name that Tune" with the seniors, as well as a trivia game that allowed the residents to show off their knowledge of an earlier era.

"It was really nice," said Melinda Meushaw, property manager at Colonial Landing. "They had entertainment and food. The employees really came to be involved with the residents. They jumped right in."

Said Lucas: "It was just an opportunity for our folks to meet the people at Colonial Landing and make their day a little brighter."

Colonial Landing is near Elkridge Senior Center, and the event was open to residents and seniors who visit the center.

The location was chosen partly because it is close to Amerix headquarters, so employees could be attend the event and return for the rest of the workday, Lucas said. Amerix employees who took part are Bob Miller, Lisa Robinson, Felicia Hughes, Liz O'Brocki, Margaret Dabney, Hillary Parker, Danyel Roman, Patrick Cadet and Jen Hamilton.

"You could tell they really wanted to be here," Meushaw said. "I think things like this are really important for people to realize that they can get involved."

Feedback from Summer of Service has been positive, Lucas said. The company will review the initiative in the fall and decide whether it wants to make the event a regular part of the community relations program, Lucas said.

"It went very well," she said. "It has really provided an opportunity not only to go out in the community and have a good time, but for people to meet each other. ... It's been a great team-building experience."

Academic honors

August seems like an ideal time to catch up with some of the wonderful students of higher education who are from this region.

At McDaniel College in Westminster, master's degrees were awarded to Frank J. Brophy, Emily A. Friedberg and Joanne L. Tracey, all of Ellicott City. Students who made the dean's list at McDaniel for the spring semester included Rachelle Giguere, James Graham, Kimberly Martin, Sarah Reitz, Stephanie Smith and Emily Walton, all of Ellicott City. Marriottsville residents who made the dean's list are Kristina Brust and Luke Hoffman.

At Elon University in North Carolina, Hillary Anne Tsucalas, a graduate of Howard High School, was named to the president's list for the spring semester.

At Syracuse University in New York, Jaclyn Taubman of Ellicott City was named to the dean's list in the School of Education. Several students from Ellicott City made the dean's list in the College of Arts and Sciences, including Thomas Breihan, Katherine Kurcz, Michelle Sinclair, Adam Nettler, Ashley Wohl and Brian O'Connor.

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