Magical teen county's 'most wonderful'

Harry 'Buddy' Barton named Washington ty's Most Wonderful Citizen for 2004

Harry 'Buddy' Barton named Washington ty's Most Wonderful Citizen for 2004

October 13, 2004|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Fifteen-year-old Harry "Buddy" Barton III says he performs magic tricks to make other people smile.

Harry, who has been diagnosed with chronic liver disease, travels to various activities and events, where he performs magic to lift the spirits of his audience.

His tricks include making faces of cards disappear and bending nails.

For his service, Harry, of Hagerstown, on Tuesday was named Washington County's Most Wonderful Citizen for 2004. He will go on to the state event, Maryland You Are Beautiful, on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at St. John's College in Annapolis.

"It makes me feel good," Harry, a student at Williamsport High School, said of entertaining others. "They have fun. They like it. I have fun doing it. I love doing it."


Phanessa Shollay, Harry's mother, said she was proud of her son, who was among more than 100 people honored for their community service work during the event at the Venice Inn.

"I knew he was nominated, but I wasn't expecting that," Shollay said of the Most Wonderful Citizen award.

Harry's grandmother, Judith Dominguez, known as "Nana," nominated him for the award. She wrote that her grandson's disease doesn't slow him "when it comes to volunteering his time to helping the young and old alike."

"Good weather can find Harry on his handicap scooter going around the neighborhood showing respect to adults and magic to the children," Dominguez wrote.

Dominguez was the 1989 winner of the Washington County award.

She wrote that her grandson volunteered 46 hours at the Boy Scouts of America summer camp in 2003, has been a mentor for Tiger Scouts Troop 3 at Noland Village, volunteered for the Washington County Health Department as a peer educator/facilitator to help make his community, friends and family aware of the consequences of teenage sex.

Harry also volunteered to put on magic shows for the Boys & Girls Clubs after-school programs and at health fairs and holiday events, his grandmother wrote.

"He never hesitates to bite a quarter in half and make it reappear whole to elderly shoppers in stores to bring a smile upon their face," she wrote. "Harry is truly an unsung hero. Harry has been through many rough times ... but always has a smile and time for someone less fortunate."

Special recognition

Another Washington County resident, Roger Elliott, received the Special Recognition Award at the ceremony. Elliott heads Faith Chapel's Food Pantry.

He was nominated by Faith Chapel's Co-Pastor Jim Davies.

Davies wrote that Elliott, who has had four strokes that have limited his speech and motor skills, is taking classes at Hagerstown Community College to improve his computer skills in software and programming, "because he wants to be a benefit, not a burden to our community."

"I believe he is a true testimony to one not letting adversity and limitations keeping them down and that one can rise above and contribute to the community," Davies wrote.

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