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Local volunteers receive recognition in Annapolis

May 09, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Bernie Noe knew when he retired from Mack Trucks in 1986 that he wasn't going to be the rocking chair type.

Indeed, he had a number of other jobs - working at Lowe's for two years and on the Washington County house-number project for five years.

But for the past two years, Noe, 68, has been active with the Fountaindale Elementary School homework club as a mentor.

"I really enjoy this. ... They are really good kids," Noe said.

It was this project that recently earned Noe a Maryland Governor's Volunteer and Service Award.

Known for his endless patience and love for children, Noe began his work at Fountaindale with the fourth graders last year and has followed them into their fifth grade.

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A mentor/tutor, he helps youngsters get their homework done and encourages them in areas in which they might have some difficulties.

According to Cynthia Dean, who nominated Noe for the award, he serves as a strong role model for the students.

Dean said student comments have been complimentary: "I have learned a lot from him." "He loves to help us a lot." "He uses kind words when he talks to us."

Also attending the awards ceremony in Annapolis as a special honoree was Grace Snively, another Hagerstown resident who practically wrote the book on volunteerism.

"I'm 85 years old, I'll be 86 in June," Snively said proudly.

For more than four decades, Snively has been active in a variety of volunteer positions in her adopted community of Hagerstown.

She said the ceremony in Annapolis where she and Noe received their awards was really special.

"There was a large crowd and even a jazz band playing," she said.

Snively said she got involved in the 1950s with the March of Dimes. That led to the Washington County Health Department when the first polio shots were being given to school children.

"I used to pick up pregnant mothers and take them to the health department for their appointments," Snively said.

Her career as a volunteer really took a turn in 1988 when she first set foot inside a state prison.

"I am on the Community Correctional Services Council," she said. "We want the prisoners to know they aren't all alone."

At least once a month, Snively goes down to the prisons for activities.

A civil rights leader in her community, Snively encouraged many people in the 1950s and 1960s to register and vote.

"Keeping active in my community has kept me going," Snively said.

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