Four recent graduates receive $5,000 'Amanda Wins' scholarships

Tim Higgins and Daniel Shi are the recipients of the Amanda Post "Amanda Wins" River Hill High School Student-Athlete Scholarships. Tim, a lacrosse player, will be attending the University of Maryland and majoring in biology with the hope of attending medical school.

Daniel, a cross country and track athlete, will attend Columbia University in the fall. He plans to major in aerospace engineering.

Ryan Kostanzer and Breanna Marsh, graduates of Reservoir High School, received the Amanda Post "Amanda Wins" Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County Student-Athlete Scholarships. Ryan will attend Xavier University in Cincinnati majoring in business, while Breanna will attend the University of Maryland majoring in kinesiology.

These $5,000 scholarships are offered by the family of Amanda Post who died in 2009 during her freshman year at River Hill because of complications from a bone marrow transplant.

Rehab programs help

I have advice for athletes and non-athletes who have suffered health problems that may have resulted in surgery, a period of convalescence and possibly a period of depression. Get into some sort of a rehabilitation program and let professionals help you return to your old self.

Using myself as an example, I had triple-bypass surgery in January and then after a period of lying around the house recovering, on the advice of my cardiologist, Dr. Mike Kelemen, I went into the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Howard County General Hospital.

The program, 36 classes involving exercise and lectures, met three times a week and each class turned out to be a great experience that not only made me feel better about myself but also taught me many things about nutrition, exercise, the workings of the heart and how to take better care of myself.

The nurses in this class were tremendous, and I was sad when the last class ended. I want to thank program manager Preeti Benjamin, Tina Jackson, Suzie Jeffreys, Brittany Neigh, Sue Sims, Dianne Schumacher and Cindy Palmer for doing all the things that I desperately needed. I could not have asked for better care.

There are other rehab programs in this county for other physical needs. Seek them out. They are worth it.

Junior Open marks 31 years

The Columbia Junior Open tennis tournament celebrated its 31st anniversary in style last week drawing 122 players to the Wilde Lake Tennis Club. That number represents a significant increase in participation from last year with 24 percent of the participants coming from Howard Community, another significant increase. Long standing tournaments often go through a downturn period but that is apparently not happening with this tournament.

I wondered why nobody has done anything in terms of recognition for the late Peter Finck who meant so much to the tennis community in Howard County. The Junior Open committee answered that by awarding two sportsmanship awards in Peter's name. Grant Davis, of Harper's Ferry, W.Va., and Laytonsville's Olivia Hogan received the awards. I knew Peter for much of his tennis career and he would have been proud of both of these young tennis players

One final note. The Columbia Junior Open is fortunate to have people like tournament director Kevin Knouse, Jack Healey and Jim Lawson who have been at the helm of this tournament for years. They do what they do year after year because of their love of the game of tennis, and this community is better for knowing that they have the best interest of young players first and foremost.

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