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Winners of the 2013 Philanthropists of the Year awards will be honored at a breakfast ceremony Wednesday at the Portico of St. John Catholic Church in Westminster. This year's winners are: Margo Huffman, youth philanthropist; John Sernulka, nonprofit philanthropist; Barnes-Bollinger Insurance, business partnership philanthropist; Betsy Baker, individual philanthropist; and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fisher Sr., legacy philanthropists. All of these winners work hard to make Carroll County a better place.

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Louis Brown Sr., of New Windsor, and Diane Foster, of Taneytown, were honored Friday at the Carroll County NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet for their contributions to the African-American community and the community at large. Brown was recognized for being the caretaker of Western Chapel Cemetery, a historically black cemetery in the New Windsor area. Foster was recognized for being elected twice to serve as a councilwoman on the Taneytown City Council, as well as being appointed as a trustee on the board at Carroll Community College. One of the guest speakers at the event, Brig. Gen. Linda Singh, grew up near New Windsor and recently became the first female and first black commander for the Maryland Army National Guard.

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East Middle School has again been named a State School of Character by the Maryland Center for Character Education at Stevenson University. East Middle is one of only five Maryland schools to receive this honor and one of only two middle schools to do so. State Schools of Character serve as models and ambassadors of effective character education. They share their successful strategies with other educators and open their campuses as demonstration sites. State Schools of Character hold their designation for three years.

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Nearly 90 athletes competed in the Special Olympics Maryland state kayaking championships at Piney Run Park last weekend. Maryland has the largest Special Olympics kayaking program in the country. More than 65 volunteers were on hand to help with the regatta, including volunteers from regional kayaking clubs and divers from the Gamber fire company.

Although there is no national Special Olympics championship for kayaking, past SOMD athletes have gone on to the World Games.

SOMD is a year-round sports organization dedicated to providing quality sports training and competition opportunities to Maryland's children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or closely related developmental disabilities.

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