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Boonsboro couple honored as 'heroes'

June 26, 2008

Names: Wells and Karen Ridenour

Ages: Wells, 70, and Karen, 66

Reside in: Boonsboro

Where do you volunteer and what do you do there? Both volunteer in their respective churches - Wells at Zion United Church of Christ, and Karen at St. Mary's Catholic Church - and as a docent leading tours at the birthplace of Elizabeth Seton in Emmitsburg, Md.

Both also support the American Red Cross in Washington County, where they recently were honored for being "heroes."

What prompted you to begin volunteering? Karen - "I've been active in my church for 40 years to make a difference."

Wells said he now has time to go to nursing homes and visit church members and others who enjoy the company so much, as does Wells when he meets old friends and makes new ones.

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Your biggest reward as a volunteer? Karen - "When I go to the shrine, I can leave the world behind. I'm working with pilgrims who are seeking comfort and I can help provide that."

Wells said he actually gets teary-eyed sometimes when he encounters people in nursing homes who so look forward to visits.

"It makes me feel good," Wells said.

What impact has volunteering had on your life? Wells said his volunteering is uplifting. Both he and Karen agreed they are glad they are able to do it.

"We both believe in the programs at the Red Cross and at Hagerstown Community College," Wells said.

What keeps you busy when you're not volunteering? Wells enjoys pushing a little white ball around a golf course when he can. Playing cards also is a lifelong love.

Karen is into scrapbooking and reading in her off hours from volunteering.

Both look forward to spending time with their five grandchildren.

Want to volunteer with the American Red Cross in Washington County? Call 301-739-0717.

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