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Teens honored for anti-smoking efforts

December 06, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" might be a well-known song, but Barbie Barvir and Danielle Grant are determined to keep that phenomenon where it belongs - in music rather than in reality.

"I believe very strongly in the cause of teens not smoking, and so does Danielle," Barvir said as she explained why they decided to work toward that goal as senior Girl Scouts in Shawnee Council.

Their aspirations led them to a coalition called Washington County Teens Rejecting Abusive Smoking Habits (TRASH). The Scouts were rewarded for their efforts with the American Lung Association of Maryland's 2004 Community Youth Service award for Western Maryland.

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"Together, Danielle and I went to schools with a presentation we call 'Toxic Pizza,' which shows kids the bad effects of smoking in a way they can better understand," Barvir said.

In addition to the TRASH group, Barvir and Grant worked on service projects to educate the public about the harmful effects of smoking, as well as secondhand smoke. Part of the message also highlighted tactics used by the tobacco industry to target youth.

Barvir, 17, said she and Grant also participated in Strike Out Tobacco Day at Municipal Stadium, a World No Tobacco Day at Hagerstown City Park and the TRASH statewide event in Baltimore.

The Hagerstown Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc. and 4-H members are among those involved with TRASH.

Barvir is a statewide representative for TRASH, which meets six times a year.

Grant, a North Hagerstown High School graduate, is a pre-med student at Philadelphia University.

"My Scout leader had a contact in the American Lung Association of Maryland," Grant said by telephone from college. So Grant, 18, went to a TRASH meeting and worked with Lung Association representative Lynn Whitall to get a chapter in Washington County.

Grant said the "Toxic Pizza" presentation is very interactive so teens could really get involved in all aspects of their health as it pertains to smoking.

"This is going to help me in presenting things to young people," said Grant, who has chosen pediatrics as her field in medicine.

When Barvir joined the effort, she and Grant became a team.

"I started in Scouting as a Daisy when I was 4 or 5 years old," Barvir said. Her older sisters, Anna and Sylvia, also were active in Scouting and are lifetime Scouts. Barvir said that while she and Grant were not in the same troop, they have known each other for a long time.

Barvir, a Smithsburg High School senior, plans to attend college, but is unsure where or what field she will study.

"I like working with kids," she said.

A community service award for work with TRASH also went to Patsy Campbell and Jane Barvir, staff members of the Shawnee Girl Scout Council office in Hagerstown.

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