Letters to the Editor 12/31

January 02, 2002

Letters to the Editor 12/31

All should appreciate James Zeger, 'Mr. GED'

To the editor:

On Sept. 20 (page B1) The Herald-Mail highlighted the congregation of Trinity United Church of Christ in Mercersburg , Pa., for donating $25,000 to the American Heroes Fund. Accompanying the article was a picture and quotes from Congregation President James Zeger.

I would like to pay tribute to Zeger, who, unbeknownst to your readers, is called "Mr. GED" by MCIH prisoners since he teaches the math portion which is so difficult for many to pass. I'd like to also note the CAP Jaycees designated Zeger as Educator of the Year at their recent awards ceremony.

In tribute to Zeger's work, CAP Jaycees President Ahmad Nowrouzi said, "There are a lot of good people who come in here day after day to teach us how we can improve our lives, and be better people. As we have learned, education plays an important part of our life; we always remember our teachers and educatorsMr. Zegerhas been an MCIH teacher for over 32 years, giving decades of hard work on behalf of the inmates. Under his teaching, training and leadership over 2000 GED students have graduated and received their high school diploma. Mr. Zeger has been a positive influence on both students and his aides.


"I have had the privilege of working with him for the past six years and can testify to his compassion, care and understanding. He uses humor to teach and bring a comfortable feeling to the class. He has been a leader in his community and as a faithful man he has organized various charitable activities. He is a lifetime Jaycee and lives the Jaycee creed, 'That service to humanity is the best work of life.' "

Zeger added that instead of presenting him with a plaque, it would be far more appropriate to make a plaque for each and every GED graduate. He urged every student to take to heart just two words from the Jaycee Creed, "we believe," saying, "Take those two words and you can do anything; just believe and you can be in a very negative place and make your experiences positive!"

May I suggest Zeger's words deserve a wider audience? After all, if every struggling student put belief in his heart, he can do anything and will complete his academic programs.

Douglas Scott Arey
MCIH 130196 A-1-A-20

Come wrap with us

Toi the editor:

Have you ever participated in a wrapping party? We would like to invite you to mark your calendar now for the second Sunday in December 2002 and join me at St John's Episcopal church where we wrap gifts for approximately 120 patients at Western Maryland Hospital Center. You will experience the true meaning of Christmas and then join us Christmas day at the hospital to celebrate the reason for the season with many special individuals.

MIHI, Inc. and St John's Episcopal church hosted a Christmas Gala on Christmas Day at the Western Maryland Center where approximately 120 patients each received at least one new gift. St John's and MIHI raise the money each year to purchase and wrap the gifts.

Entertainment was provided by the Morningstar Singers, Phantom Shadow DJ Services and Melissa and Becky Lloyd of Hagerstown. Many family members and volunteers also participated in the Karoke fun.

Food was provided by Phil and Jerry's Meats and More in Smithsburg and by many individuals from our community.

We also thank Waypoint Bank, Valpak Direct Mail, Roy's Quality Car Care, Lehman's Carpet Cleaners, Reliable Furniture, Bella Salon and many other businesses and individuals who contributed toward the purchase of a new washer, dryer and over 100 other gifts.

Sharing is what Americans do best! So celebrate Christmas next year at Western Maryland Hospital Center.

For more information on how you can help or contribute, call MIHI, Inc. today at 301-745-6444.

Mary Besecker
MIHI, Inc. Volunteer

Thanks to all who gave to United Way

To the editor:

I would like to thank the people of Washington County for the generosity that helped the United Way achieve $1.6 million in the 2001 campaign. These funds are a crucial part of the health and human service network in Washington County and will help many of our friends and neighbors in 2002.

Every year, the United Way of Washington County relies on volunteers and donors throughout the community to raise funds to support our 21 member agencies. Every year, volunteers work tirelessly to make the campaign a success and donors respond to the call to give. The United Way is a reflection of our community and its generosity because it is our community that supports and benefits from the campaign.

On behalf of the United Way of Washington County, its members agencies and the more than 40,000 people helped each year, thank you to all of you who contributed to the campaign either in your workplace or directly on your own.

James L.M. Taylor
Executive Director
United Way of Washington County

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