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Morgan spearheads building of ramp for boy struck by car

St. Mark's pastor says man is one of a group of retired parishioners giving back to community

St. Mark's pastor says man is one of a group of retired parishioners giving back to community

December 28, 2009|By JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN -- Paul Morgan might be a man of few words, but when the Rev. Anne Weatherholt needs something done, he is one of the parishioners she knows she can count on.

About three years ago, at Weatherholt's request, Morgan organized a work camp for 400 youths that came from all over the country to volunteer on local home-repair projects.

When Weatherholt, pastor of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Boonsboro, learned of the need for a ramp to be constructed, Morgan was the person she called to oversee the project.

The respect is mutual.

Morgan, when asked why he agreed to take on the project, was matter-of-fact.

"Because Anne Weatherholt asked me to," he said.

The ramp project is for the family of David Greeley, 8, a Fountain Rock Elementary School third-grader who was seriously injured when he was struck by a car in August. He is the son of Scott and Tahnee Greeley.

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David has had several extensive surgeries, including a partial leg amputation. The ramp will allow accessibility for his wheelchair, Morgan said.

He had been expected to return home around Jan. 8 from Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, where he has been receiving treatment, but according to the Web site created for him, that date has been pushed back to Feb. 5.

For an update on David's condition, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidgreeley.

David's grandmother, Karen Greeley, is a neighbor of one of St. Mark's parishioners and helped the church with a garden project several years ago. The congregation has been praying for David since his accident, Weatherholt said in an e-mail.

She said Morgan is one of a group of retired parishioners at St. Mark's who can be counted on for projects such as this one.

Work began on the ramp on Dec. 12 with a crew of five to six volunteers. By the end of a second work day a few days later, the posts for the ramp were installed and had been inspected, and the floorboards were in place, Weatherholt said. Once the lower kickboards, rails and spindles are installed -- probably in one more solid work day -- the project will be complete.

"We'll just keep working until it's done," Morgan said.

Weatherholt compared Morgan to the story of the shoemaker and the elves. The shoemaker goes to bed leaving much work to be done, only to wake up in the morning with all the shoes made -- by elves.

"Paul's like the elves, quiet and behind-the-scenes. He gets it done and it's done beautifully," Weatherholt said.

Morgan, 75, grew up near Syracuse, N.Y. He initially moved here for a job with Fairchild Aircraft, followed by a work-related move to Texas.

He and his wife of 56 years, Hazel, returned to the area because they liked it so much. Paul Morgan is a longtime Episcopalian and devoted to serving the church and community, Weatherholt said.

She added that Paul Morgan is one of many local retirees who are using retirement as a time to give back to the community -- "with gratitude and joy" and not expecting recognition -- instead of focusing on themselves.

"The kind of work they do is amazing. It blesses our church, our community, our country. I know if I needed anything, if he could, Paul Morgan would be there in an instant," Weatherholt said.

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