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Timonium: Students shine with Optimists honors, community service projects

We love to share good news with our readers about the many outstanding young adults in our community, and this time we have several to boast about.

Six area students were honored at the annual Youth Appreciation Night held by the Optimist Club of Timonium this month.

The following students were recognized: Connor Handzo and Shakara Silas of Dulaney High School; Hanwen Liu and Charlotte Roulet of Towson High School; and Peter Smith and Claire Fitzgerald from St. Joseph School.

Special guests at the awards night included Lynda Whitlock, principal of Dulaney; Terrance Golden, principal, and Isabelle Blevins, teacher, from St. Joseph School; and Thomas Carey, of Towson High.

The Timonium Optimists also recognized two area youngsters as Students of the Month for October and November. Lauren Johnson, from Padonia Elementary School, was honored at the October meeting. She loves working with young children and volunteers at a day care center. She is also active in church and enjoys singing.

Sophie Snoussi, a student at Hampton Elementary, was November's Student of the Month. She is active in Girl Scouts, plays the violin and soccer and swims year round. She also helps other students to read.

Calvert Hall College High School senior Joe Stephan recently coordinated a Senior Service Day for his McMullen Scholar Project. The event took place on Nov. 14, and 288 members of the senior class served at sites throughout the Baltimore area.

Students served at 10 sites ranging from meal and Head Start programs to assisted living homes and park cleanups. Sites included the Samaritan Women's Project, Our Daily Bread, Day Spring Head Start, Gallagher Center, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Moveable Feast, Oak Crest Village, Maples of Towson, Paul's Place and locations related to the Loch Raven Recreation Council.

Stephan said that before coming to Calvert Hall, he was "was completely foreign to the concept of service," but in the classroom he learned a lot about the types and benefits of service and, out of the classroom, he applied that through service opportunities he was afforded.

He became involved with a Head Start program in his sophomore year, then was chosen to attend the Service Immersion Trip to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana, during the winter of his junior year. His experiences on the reservation compelled him to ignite change on a larger scale back home, and his Senior Service Day effort reflects that passion.

Boy Scout Troop 832 of Timonium was recognized at their Court of Awards Ceremony on Nov. 1 for its High Adventure trip to the Boy Scouts' Northern Tier High Adventure Camp in Minnesota. The crew of six Scouts, two adult advisers and a guide were awarded the "mileage patch" for canoeing and portaging 141 miles over eight days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the Superior National Forest.

The crew consisted of Scouts Clayton Cuddington, Matthew Hall, Gabriel Lee, Benjamin Miller, Elijah Meyer and Nicholas Myers; and adult advisers Bob Ashe and Bryan Miller; and guide Tyler Stinson.

Members of the Timonium Optimists are selling 2013 Entertainment Books as one of the club's annual fundraisers. The books are $30. Don Imwold notes that the book is not just about restaurants, but also services and recreational and admission discounts. To purchase a book, see any Optimist member or call Imwold at 410-828-7552.

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