Woods Memorial church's fundraiser to aid Habitat for Humanity 'building blitz'

Cars spread across the parking lot at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church as WoodsWork volunteers conducted their June 9 car wash to raise money for their mission trip to Harrisburg, Pa. where they'll build three houses in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.
Cars spread across the parking lot at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church as WoodsWork volunteers conducted their June 9 car wash to raise money for their mission trip to Harrisburg, Pa. where they'll build three houses in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. (Sharon Lee Tegler / Correspondent)

It was hard to tell which was wetter – the sudsy red jeep or the cluster of WoodsWork volunteers washing it.

High school students Julia Hoenscheid, Elizabeth Morris, Annabelle Cotton, Himmi Walha, Emily Allgair, Emma Patenaude and Matthew Mangano laughed a lot as they wielded sponges, buckets and hoses. Their team was one of a dozen participating in the June 9 car wash at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church to raise funds for WoodsWork’s 2018 Mission Trip to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Smoke wafted from a barbeque grill and clotheslines of wet towels fluttered in the breeze as youth committee member Annabelle, chairman Izzy Kintzley and adult advisor Vic Marone described the scope of the mission they’ve planned for a year. The car wash and “tool use workshops” conducted the same day were the final pieces of the financial and technical support needed for the church’s nine-day “building blitz” taking place June 21-29.

“We’re building three, two-story houses in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area,” Annabelle said. “Habitat will acquire the building sites, choose the families helped, supply the construction plans and permits and pour the foundations. Woods Church will organize 120 youth volunteers and 44 adult volunteers, provide provisions and arrange for a place to stay.”


Marone said the volunteers would sleep in the gymnasium of a Harrisburg church school and use showers at local YMCAs. When the group boards buses for the trip, it’ll bring its own air mattresses and bedrolls as well as $1,000 worth of food.

Izzy considered Saturday’s car wash “quite an operation”. Though not scheduled to open until 10 a.m., WoodsWork volunteers arrived to set up for the event at 7:30.

By start time, hoses snaked across the parking lot, hundreds of dry towels were positioned near the teams, and clothes lines were suspended between the trees. A soundtrack of catchy tunes kept the energy level high as the first cars appeared.

Within minutes, there was a continuous stream of autos and, by 1 p.m., volunteers had washed 153 cars with two hours to go.

Camille Donaghey, Grace Cambon, Shelby Chasser and Racehl Peters danced to the beat of the music while waiting for their next car to appear. Making a quick mental calculation, Rachel announced the team had washed 15 cars. All four girls said they looked forward to the trip and the fun of working with their friends.

Across the parking lot, a team of adult volunteers and advisors including Sara Kent, Krista Fisher, Karen Weissinger, Hank Bethel, and Ansleigh Cook manned one of the clotheslines and collected donations. Though billed as a “free” car wash, patrons were generous with contributions varying from $1 to $100.

Youthful counterparts Aidan Linehan, Jack Steedman and Aidan Milewski brandished a huge donation jar filled with greenbacks.

“We received scores of fives, tens and ones and a lady named Bev Langley from Century 21 has guaranteed us a donation of 50 cents for every car washed,” said Aidan Linehan.

From a tent nearby, Marone and wife Carol Ann supervised a group dedicated to keeping the kids fed and hydrated on a day that was warmer than usual. Cheeseburgers sizzled on the grill. Ten pounds of homemade pasta salad and ice cold beverages also awaited hungry car washers. Advisor Larry Shin was slicing watermelon – enough to feed an army.

Behind the church, four men with “serious” carpentry skills” arrived at 1:15 p.m. to set up a table saw, hand saw and other equipment for a “tool use session” for 18-year-olds.

Kirk Greubel conducted the Power Tool Safety Workshop assisted byTim Hutcheson. The informative clinic was vital as the teens will build approximately 100 walls. Particularly important were Greubel’s safety tips like always wearing safety glasses and keeping electronic equipment unplugged till ready to be used.

A high point for volunteers Hannah Sloat and Adam Giard was the opportunity to operate the table saw which they pulled off flawlessly.


Hutcheson said WoodsWork mission trips are popular – with70 percent of youth volunteers from the congregation and 30 percent from the community. Hutcheson’s daughter – a mission trip veteran – was so taken with the skills she acquired during her first “build” that she later enrolled in a carpentry course. Several former volunteers were influenced by their WoodsWork experience to pursue careers in architecture or the construction management field.

Talent Machine presents “42nd Street”

Children from Severna Park are part of the 42-member cast of Talent Machine’s summer production “42nd Street” taking place at St. John’s College Key Auditorium in Annapolis July 13-15 and July 19-22. For show times and tickets visit www.talentmachine.com .

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Kristen Zorica from St. John the Evangelist School in Severna Park who was named Elementary School Teacher of the Year by the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

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