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Jaycees helping to break prison cycle

March 11, 2006|By Charles Wright Sr.

To the editor:



On Nov. 7, 2005, the CAP Jaycees held its annual event at the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown. First and foremost we would like to thank Warden Nancy L. Rouse, Assistant Warden D. Kenneth Horning, and the MCI-H administration for allowing us the ability to raise funds that help the institution and surrounding communities in Maryland. We also thank all of our outside volunteers and Jaycee representatives who helped us to meet our goals through the year.

We extend a special thanks to Michele Harris (a past president of Maryland Jaycees) and Maryland Jaycee President Scott Fessler for providing us with information and a link from the outside that gave us motivation and energy to remain on course.

Through everyone's collective cooperation and financial assistance (our annual institutional walk-a-thon) we were able to present the Washington County Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill with a donation in the amount of $4,000. Connie Pauley, the president of Washington County, was in attendance to accept the donation on behalf of NAMI.

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We also donated $500 to Prisoners Against Teen Tragedy (PATT), an institutional organization aimed at ending the cycle of criminal behavior by youth. The money goes towards a scholarship fund they have set up with schools in the Maryland region.

We also presented Community Corrections Services Committee (CCSC) with a certificate of merit on behalf of all the work they have put in over the years to facilitate the programs and other support for incarcerated men in the Hagerstown region. Mr. and Mrs. Carl Howe accepted this on behalf of CCSC.

Every individual member of the CAP Jaycees who had participated in yearly workshops such as Cage Your Rage, Stocks & Bonds, AIDS Awareness, Leadership Dynamics, Job Resume and Interview Skills and several other workshops were given achievement awards. Awards were also offered for write-up and speak-up participants throughout the years. Those two workshops (write-up and speak-up) are the backbone of the Jaycees. They provide the arena of self-development that allows for Jaycees members to become leaders in their own right.

Letha Grimes, the 30th commander of the Maryland Militia, an exclusive group within the Jaycees that honors those who have worked hard on behalf of the Jaycees, gave us an introduction to the significance of being in the Maryland Militia. Michele Harris and Scott Fessler were the presenters who helped induct two of our members into the prestigious group called the Maryland Militia. Those two were George Kenneth Smith, who is a founder of the CAP Jaycees and Ahmad Nowrouzi, who has been an active member since 1995.

We were able to close out our program with a very inspiring message that came from Keith Daye. An advocate for the homeless from Baltimore City, he talked about having faith in ourselves so we can overcome the "giants" (obstacles) that have led us to prisons, institutions, and unfortunate circumstances.

It was a joyous evening to commemorate all who have helped the Jaycees meet our goals and projections for the year. We thank all who were a part of the process. We ask that all who support the men at MCI-H to continue to help us serve humanity, because that is the best work of life!

Charles Wright Sr.

CAP Jaycees

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