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Highland/Fulton: Volunteers are the driving force behind the success of Neighbor Ride

Just the other day, I received an e-mail from Colleen Konstanzer, a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish, in Fulton. Colleen also works for Neighbor Ride, the volunteer-based transportation service that provides rides for seniors for doctor's appointments, grocery store trips, outings, religious services, etc.

The nonprofit group is celebrating seven years of helping Howard County seniors, launching Nov. 17, 2004 with the mission to decrease isolation and improve the quality of life for Howard County's older residents. To date, Neighbor Ride's dedicated team of volunteers has coordinated and provided mor than 46,000 trips.

Demand for Neighbor Ride's transportation service has increased sharply in recent months, with monthly trips provided topping 1,200 in both October and November. Volunteers are truly the driving force behind Neighbor Ride and new drivers are especially needed now, as demand reaches all-time highs.

Volunteering as a Neighbor Ride Driver is an incredibly flexible and rewarding service opportunity. Daytime, evening and weekend volunteers are needed and drivers may choose to provide rides that are convenient to their homes, offices and daily routines. No set schedule is required.

Cal Neighbor Ride's volunteer coordinators at 410-884-RIDE (7433) or email for more information. You can also go to Neighbor Ride's web site at I couldn't have said it any better.

The beautiful benches that were a gift the school from the Class of 2011 are now on display in the school's atrium. The Class of 2011 also commissioned The National Art Honor Society to paint the school's logo on the Atrium floor. Principal Pat Saunderson wrote that "these special gifts will be appreciated for many years to come."

The Reservoir High School theater department is putting on the musical, "Little Women." It is an adaptation of the book by Louisa May Alcott, based on her family's experiences during the Civil War. The musical follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War America. You're guaranteed a night filled with laughter, tears and a lifting up of the spirit.

Dates for the show are Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 17-19 with performances beginning at 7 p.m. The will also be a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 19. Ticket prices: $12 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. The matinee prices are: $10 for general admission and $6 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at

For more information, give the school a call at 410-888-8850.

Lime Kiln Middle School Students of the Week for the week ending Nov. 2 were: Katharine Siglin, Bryce Kelley, Emem Akpan, Ryan Olsen, Amber Minnick, Alexis Sutton, Juliet King, Jack Morris, Ian McKibbin and Willow Greenfield.

The second annual Fulton Elementary School Turkey Trot will be held on Monday, Nov. 21 for grades 3, 4 and 5 and Tuesday, Nov. 22 for kindergarten and first and second grades.

What is a turkey trot, you ask? Students will jog around a designated course. When each participant finishes the course, they will be given a certificate with a number on it that will be used to total class points. The points on each certificate are random. The emphasis of the Turkey Trot is not to come in first, but to demonstrate to the community the importance of having a strong and healthy heart.

The event also involves a food drive, which is going on now through Nov. 22. This part of the Turkey Trot will show the community that Fulton Elementary students not only know the importance of having healthy hearts, but also having giving hearts. Each student is asked to bring in non-perishable food items which will help Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a program with FISH of Howard County.

It's important to get all the donated food to the school by Nov. 22 because that is the day the foodstuffs will be picked up. Each class will be able to add five points to their class score for each item donated. The class in each grade with the highest average score (the total of points accumulated from the run and food drive, divided by the number of students in the class) will receive the Turkey Trot Award. Pretty cool.

Well, that's all for this week. Commit a random act of kindness. Look in on your neighbors. Say a prayer for our troops who are serving in harm's way and remember their families, too.

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