St. Mark School is gearing up to show its Lions' pride in the Catonsville Fourth of July parade.
More than 75 Home and School Association volunteers have been busy planning, building, painting and putting on the final touches for the school's War of 1812-themed float. J.F. Brinker & Sons, a general contractor in Curtis Bay, is donating a flatbed vehicle for the parade.
"We have lots of families, alums and teachers pitching in," said Kelly Reichardt, the association president.
Kindergarten teacher Candie Morea, fourth-grade teacher Gerry Fromm and Michele Taylor, who teaches first grade, were among the school's faculty who shared their skills and abilities working on the float.
Last year, St. Mark's Noah's Ark float won first prize for best religious affiliation award.
Among those accompanying the float in this year's parade will be the three children of Catonsville residents Matt and Megan Regan. The two met as students at St. Mark and later married. Their three children, 9-year-old Garrett, 7-year-old Anna and 6-year-old Abbey will all be students at the school this fall.
Spirit of the Olympics
In the spirit of the 2012 Summer Olympics next month in London, the Rollingwood Swim Club team has adopted its own version of the games, a segment of which takes place each Friday morning during the team's legendary "Friday Funday Practices."
The 13-18 year-olds were divided into three countries: Sri Lanka, The Federated States of Micronesia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Nearly 30 athletes participate in the games in Friday morning.
"This is my eighth year at Rollingwood and it's my favorite summer series yet! Friday mornings in the summer are the highlight of my week," said Colleen Miller.
The goal is to complete the full 36-event schedule of the Summer Olympics, with sport modified for an aquatic environment
But the team members' involvement goes beyond competition. Swimmers researched their countries on their own time, have performed national anthems, created team flags, and even plan to tie-dye T-shirts in their team color.
"The Rollingwood Olympics are more intense than I ever could have imagined," said Jozy Herrick. "My team has fought hard. We are an Olympic and swimming family."
The team of head coach Joe Miller competes in Division I of the Central Maryland Swim League. It is made up of 203 girls and boys, ages 4-18.
Quiet after Sailabration
Among those who had a very hectic week during the recent Sailabration event in Baltimore was Oakdale resident Tim Ertel, a park ranger and member of the Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
Ertel, who said his other titles include music coordinator and historic weapons supervisor, was among those who guided visitors around the national monument and historic shrine.
"As I walked into the quiet serene park yesterday, the fencing, rope lines, spot-a-pots, stages, were all gone," he wrote in an email after Baltimore's spectacular celebration had ended.
He said he thought about what it must have been like a day after the night-time bombardment nearly 98 years ago that marked one of the major victories for the new nation.