School Safety Patroller Gets Award
Estefan C. "Stephanie" Santos, a 10-year-old school safety patroller from Silver Spring, was recently honored with a AAA School Safety Patrol Lifesaving Award at a ceremony in New Jersey.
Santos was one of six students in the country to receive the award from the automobile association. She was honored for stopping a first-grader who had rushed into traffic at Jackson Road Elementary School and carrying him to safety.
"I was so happy because I saved a life, and I learned that all the schools should have safety patrollers on duty," said Stephanie.
Safety patrollers direct classmates at street crossings and along designated routes to school; assist in school bus loading, unloading and transit; and perform other safety-related functions at the direction of school officials. They are selected based on leadership potential, academic standing and character.
Student Wins Essay Contest
Mihan Lee of Potomac, an 11th-grader at Georgetown Day School, was the winner of the "Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom" essay contest conducted by C-SPAN and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Lee received $1,500 for her essay, "A New Country, A New Century, A New Freedom." In the essay, she tells the story of her family's journey to the United States from Korea.
Lee read her essay at the April dedication of the Lincoln library and museum in Springfield, Ill. President Bush was also on the program.
"It was amazing, it was really unexpected and it was kind of all surreal being up there with the president," said Lee. "I was interested in writing before, but this is great encouragement to keep writing in the future."
Joanne Wheeler, vice president of educational relations at C-SPAN, said of Lee's essay: "It was unanimous among the C-SPAN judges. I think the reason why each of us felt that way is because Mihan's essay contained personal history of her family in 1940s Korea and included her own perspective of what freedom means in the 20th-century United States. We were struck by her sincerity and her passion."
Bone Marrow Activist Saluted
Rocky Twyman of Rockville recently received a Governor's Citation from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R) for his advocacy of bone marrow donations.
"It was just a really thrilling event. It meant a lot," said Twyman. "I'm hoping that the publicity will generate more people to be involved in this program and get tested, but also to do some type of volunteer work because it's greatly needed.''
Twyman was inspired to get involved in the cause when both a colleague and nephew were diagnosed with leukemia. His brother-in-law, Columbus Geer, also was honored.
Since he started volunteering in 1992, Twyman has recruited more than 14,000 people to register with the National Marrow Donor Program, which helps patients who need marrow or blood cell transplants connect with the doctors, donors and researchers who can help them.
MS Society Honors Volunteer
Michael Gresalfi of Boyds was recently recognized by the National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for his contribution to the group.
The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership, innovation and dedication to events sponsored by the National Capital Chapter.
"We walk, bike and run to raise awareness about this disease and to let everyone know that we care, that our goals are important to us, and that MS affects individuals, families and social networks," said Gresalfi. "We know that by our actions, others may be inspired to join us in our unending quest for an ultimate cure to multiple sclerosis."
Gresalfi has participated in four major fundraisers and has biked since 1993 in the MS 150 Bike Tour in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
"Michael Gresalfi is invaluable to the society and is dedicated to helping the 6,000 people living with multiple sclerosis in the Washington, D.C., area," said Jeanne Oates Angulo, the chapter's president. "He is energetic and inspiring, and his support is essential to our mission."
2005 Path of Achievement Awards
The six winners of Montgomery County's 2005 Path of Achievement Award were recently recognized for their accomplishments, enthusiasm and commitment to the community.
The Path of Achievement Award was established in 1998 by County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) to honor older community residents whose dedication to society makes them outstanding role models for young and old alike.
Margaret McRory of Ashton has advocated for affordable housing in Montgomery County for more than 40 years. She has served as an affordable housing consultant to both the Community Ministry of Montgomery County and the County Council.
Lowell and Betty Tripp of Silver Spring have volunteered at the Adventist Community Services Center, managing the food pantry for the past 17 years by receiving, sorting and donating food, picking up donations and making purchases at the Capital Area Food Bank.
Irene Boothe Coleman of Derwood was recognized for her community service, including work as vice chairman of the Montgomery County Committee for Ethnic Affairs, as a member of the family selection committee for Habitat for Humanity, and as a tutor at Dorothy Day Place and Beall Elementary School.
William H. Graham of Silver Spring was honored for his workplace contribution at the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts as an artist and administrator. In 1986 he became chairman of the board and led Olney's transition from a summer theater to a year-round operation.
Robert Silber of Silver Spring was recognized for his work in arts and humanities. He has led the Montgomery County chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society and participated in the President's Men barbershop quartet and Hometown USA, Montgomery County's barbershop chorus.
Celebrating 'Kids That Care'
Three local children were recently honored for their volunteer work at the Kids That Care Day sponsored by PBS and the Mills Corp. at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg.
The Kids That Care program is designed to encourage children to serve their communities and to educate people about the importance of helping others.
The recipients of the 2005 Kids That Care Awards are:
Sara Jacob, 7, of Olney, who with her family raised more than $50,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Center through the Juvenile Diabetes Walk in Washington.
Luke Pierce, 9, of Germantown, who raised $2,012 selling homemade heart pins to help victims of the December tsunami.
Chancellor Agard-Wilson, 12, of Silver Spring, who collected food and clothing to send to Haiti after hurricane damage.
A Tribute to Long-Term Service
Four volunteers at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring were recently honored at a dinner for more than 10,000 hours of service.
Margaret "Jan" Gerardi of Silver Spring has volunteered at Holy Cross for 18 years, logging more than 19,000 hours helping with senior activities in the adult day center.
Lee Edsel of Silver Spring has served 12,500 hours as a hostess for patients and their families in the hospital's surgical waiting room.
Ted Hannah of Silver Spring has logged 11,000 hours in the hospital's emergency center.
Rita Lyons has volunteered 10,500 hours in the hospital's medical library and gift shop.
-- Compiled by KATHRYN LYNCH
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Mihan Lee reads her winning essay at the Lincoln museum dedication in Springfield, Ill.
Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, left, Rocky Twyman's brother-in-law Columbus Geer, Twyman and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Twyman, of Rockville, was honored for advocating bone marrow donations.
Michael Gresalfi, right, with the MS Society's Bruce Pearlman, says he strives to raise awareness of MS.