Dolores Farr

Petra Foundation Fellow

Every day Dolores Farr helps bring healthy babies into the world. Her work with a program based in Northeast Washington has saved the lives of numerous high-risk parents as well as ensured that the babies they deliver have a chance in life.

Farr, of Kensington, has worked with the Healthy Babies Project since she founded it in 1991. The neighborhood resource center helps mothers- and fathers-to-be who live in areas of Northeast and Southeast Washington, as well as homeless parents from all over the District. Healthy Babies offers family services including nutrition planning, parenting workshops for mothers and fathers, substance abuse treatment referrals, employment skills development and a teenager pregnancy prevention program.

Often, individuals come through the doors of the clinic and have nowhere else to turn. And service coordinators go out into the community to find women who would benefit from the program.

"Many of our patients have suffered from domestic violence, very poor relationships or have been sexually assaulted by family members," Farr said.

Because of her commitment to improving the quality of life in the District, Farr has been selected as a Petra Foundation Fellow. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages individuals who advance the cause of freedom and justice in their communities. Farr was selected along with three other individuals from around the country to receive a $7,500 award, part of which she has chosen to invest in the D.C. Development Family Center, which includes the National Child Daycare, Better Babies Project and the Healthy Babies Project.

"Our nation's infant mortality rate is cause for outrage and shame," said Muriel Morisey, chairman of the Petra Foundation Awards Committee. "Dolores Farr's program demonstrates how dedicated efforts can result in far more healthy babies, even for mothers who face financial, educational and family problems."

Farr, who has been a nurse since 1954, has seen countless incidents of infant neglect and said she has compassion for those who have suffered pain. "Whatever it takes we try to do," she said.

More than 80 percent of the babies delivered through her project have been normal weight and in good health, Farr said. "Many women say the information we've given them has helped them with their second pregnancies to start from the beginning right."

Lauren Manning and Michael Linderman

Presidential Scholars

Lauren Manning and Michael Linderman, both of Northwest Washington, were named the Presidential Scholars for the District. Each year, the president honors one young woman and man from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico based on academic achievement, character and commitment to high ideals.

Linderman, a recent graduate of Sidwell Friends School, and Manning, a recent graduate of Stone Ridge Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, each were presented a medallion by President Clinton at an awards ceremony.

They were selected from 500 finalists.

Reina Samuels and Christopher Williams

Recognized for essays on violence

Two students from Washington were selected as national finalists in the 1999 Do the Write Thing Challenge.

Reina Samuels, an eighth-grader at Garnet-Patterson Middle School, and Christopher Williams, an eighth-grader at Terrell Junior High, were among 78 students from around the country honored for their essays on stopping violence and drug abuse in their neighborhoods.

The initiative is sponsored by the nonprofit National Campaign to Stop Violence, a coalition of organizations working to reduce youth violence. All the young writers got a chance to visit with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill.

They also were honored at a dinner in the Kuwaiti Cultural Center, where they were presented with plaques.

Anthony Chanaka

Honored for 50 Years of Service

Anthony Chanaka, of Northwest Washington, was honored recently for more than 50 years of service to the Music Teachers National Association. Chanaka has taught piano, voice and theory for 62 years. He joined the association in 1943 after graduating from the Washington College of Music.

"Because of dedicated teachers like Anthony, countless individuals have been introduced to the joys of music making, and future generations will continue to be touched by the numerous benefits of music study," association President Joan Reist said.


The Washington Nursing Facility (WNF) was honored recently by the District of Columbia Health Care Association with four Nursing Home Awards for its outstanding employees and volunteers. The 340-bed skilled nursing facility specializes in physical therapy, AIDS and hospice care and wound management.

Joanne Brown was awarded Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year. Jackie Colbert was named Ancillary Staff Member of the Year. Althea Washington was named Volunteer of the Year. Kendall Baptist Church, which provides WNF residents with weekly spiritual services, was named Volunteer Group of the Year.

If you know someone who has received an honor or award for community service, academic achievement, a heroic act or other activities, send us the news to:


The District Weekly

The Washington Post

1150 15th Street

Washington, DC 20071

Include the full name and address of the recipient, the type of honor or award, who presented it and day and evening telephone numbers of the recipient. The column will run the fourth Thursday of each month.

CAPTION: Dolores Farr holds James McGee, the 1-month-old son of Yolanda McGee, 26, at the Healthy Babies Project. The neighborhood resource center in Northeast Washington helps mothers- and fathers-to-be.