xml:space="preserve">
Thumbs up:

Heather Semies, a teacher at Gateway School/Crossroads Middle School, is a 2013 recipient of the Governor's Service Award. Heather Mackie, a math teacher at Gateway School/Crossroads Middle who nominated Semies for the award, explained all that Semies does with students at the school, including installing a pond in front of the school, building and maintaining a greenhouse and starting a partnership with Carroll Springs School, where students are creating a garden and renovating a greenhouse on that school's property. These awards are presented annually by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism in recognition of Maryland residents for their significant volunteer contributions to the life and health of the state and its people during a particular period of time.

Thumbs up:

Gary Weishaar, of Sykesville, was recently inducted into the National MS Society, Maryland Chapter Fundraising Hall of Fame at the 2013 Research Symposium and Volunteers Awards. After his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995, he organized a golf tournament to raise money for the National MS Society. Over the course of 18 years, Weishaar has raised more than $100,000 for the National MS Society. Weishaar credited the many people who have participated in the tournament over the years and those who continually ask each year what else they can do to help. Money raised through the golf tournament goes to transportation services for MS patients or underwrites medications the individuals need, Weishaar said.

Advertisement
Thumbs up:

Determination was the word of the night Oct. 25 for 35 adults who graduated from Carroll Community College's adult education program in the past year. Graduates from a range of ages and nationalities were recognized for overcoming immense obstacles to secure their GED or National External Diploma. Program Director Becki Maurio compared the achievement to dropping a pebble in a pond and creating ripples with far-reaching implications. What each graduate has set in motion, she said, will positively affect their families, co-workers, neighbors and communities.

Thumbs up:

The Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation was established to care for animals in the no-kill shelter at the Baltimore Humane Society. Sarah, 5, died Oct. 10 at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, less than 36 hours after becoming ill at her home in Finksburg. Her parents, Chad and Kendra Orton, said they still do not know what caused her sudden death. They chose the Humane Society because, last May, for Sarah's fifth birthday party, she told her friends and family not to bring any gifts. Instead, she had her guests bring pet food and supplies for the Baltimore Humane Society.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement