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Governor honors Boonsboro service club

May 01, 2006|By KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO

For members of a service club honored by Gov. Robert Ehrlich, the chance to help strangers in need is inspiring. So was the experience of lending a hand to a friend.

"It's kind of neat how they become more aware of being a good citizen," Boonsboro High School Service Club advisor Sally Poole said a day after two of the group's members traveled to Annapolis to pick up a Governor's Service Award.

The club, which was nominated by Poole, was one of 40 recipients across the state recognized for outstanding service to the community. According to a press release, a volunteer panel of judges chose the winners from 228 nominations of groups and individuals.

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On Thursday, Service Club President Maura James, 17, and Mandy Newton, 15, showed off the gleaming silver platter they received during a reception for award winners. Underneath an etching of the Maryland State House appeared the words "Boonsboro High School Service Club."

Established in 2000 by a group of students interested at helping at the REACH (Religious Efforts to Assist and Care for the Homeless) Cold Weather Shelter, the Service Club tries to take on one big community service project a year, Poole said. This year, the group organized a dance marathon to raise funds for a member stricken with aplastic anemia, a bone marrow disorder.

Brittany Neville, the group's treasurer, died Thursday, according to an obituary published Sunday in The Herald-Mail.

The dance marathon raised about $1,200, which was divided between the American Red Cross and Brittany, Poole said. The group also raised about $300 for Brittany through the sale of buttons, she said.

"She felt very loved by you all," Poole said.

Mandy, a freshman interested in taking drama and cinematography courses in college, said she would like the group to help videotape military veterans' stories as part of a Library of Congress project. She said she likes helping others.

"If there's certain things that the community needs help with, I think we should help them," she said.

Maura, a three-year member, said she joined the Service Club as a freshman to help at the cold weather shelter, where she and other students volunteer their time to work in the kitchen.

"I don't think all your education has to come from a textbook. You learn how to interact with people, and you learn how much a simple meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup and a smile can mean to a person," Maura said.

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