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Rotary president hopes to maintain club's momentum

August 02, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

When Christina Trenton started working at W House nine years ago, she was encouraged to get involved in the community.

"I chose the Hagerstown Rotary Club because several board members and their wives were members," she said, noting she was impressed early on with the work done by the service club.

Now, as the president of the club, Trenton will have her turn to continue those good works and perhaps come up with some new ideas of her own for the future.

"I've been so humbled as I was coming up through the ranks by the outstanding members of this club," Trenton said. "They have been very helpful to me and I've learned a lot along the way."

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Executive director of W House - a halfway and transitional house on North Locust Street for women with addictions - Trenton said the Rotary presidents before her have put so much in place already that she feels one of her major tasks will be to keep all that going.

"Our motto is 'service above self' and to that end, our club raised $80,000 for the community last year," Trenton said.

Although she is the first woman president of the Hagerstown Rotary, and believed to be the youngest at age 31, Trenton said she isn't as concerned about that as she is about doing a good job during her stint.

Hagerstown Rotary boasts nearly 200 members and is one of the largest clubs in the region, as well as one of the oldest.

The five Rotary clubs in Washington County worked together last year on the Dictionary Project, through which every third-grader in public and private schools received a dictionary.

"We're going with his project again this year, implementing what is working well," Trenton said. "It's not a competition - we work well together."

Hagerstown Rotary also assists The Salvation Army with bell-ringing at Christmas. And each year, there is an exchange student sent and an exchange student received by the local club, she said.

On a worldwide level, Rotary International is committed to clean-water projects and Trenton said her club might be participating in its own efforts in that area.

Hagerstown Rotary meets Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway.

A Washington County native, Trenton graduated from Boonsboro High School. She earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Hood College and then her master's in social work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.

Before coming to W House, Trenton worked at the Emmitsburg (Md.) Family Center and then spent about 18 months helping Fort Ritchie families with their relocation needs.

About six weeks after she was hired as a social worker at W House, the director retired and Trenton was hired for that position.

"We have a wonderful staff, great board members and volunteers here," Trenton said.

W House has 17 halfway house beds and 10 transitional beds for women who need services while battling addictions.

"Our goal is self-sufficiency," Trenton said.

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