xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Our View: Thumbs up to fun municipal events during pandemic, Maryland Youth of the Year, schools that went above and beyond

THUMBS UP: In addition to the fear of sickness and unprecedented job loss, the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, also placed a lengthy moratorium on fun for most of us. We like the way some municipalities have looked for opportunities to help their residents come together and have a good time. Among the many are two we wrote about this week: Sykesville’s virtual dance competition and a drive-in movie in Taneytown. Sykesville came up with The “Downtown Disco-rona Dance off,” as a way to get people to have some sense of togetherness during the pandemic. Town Council member Stacy Link, who participated, told us there is "no better cure for the corona blues than the little bit of laughter and positivity found at the end of the day, when we scroll through our social media feeds.” Judges crowned age group winners for four weeks and then The Socially Distanced Moms of Howard County earned the grand prize. “Part of the whole thing we were doing was to fight depression and just social loneliness. Then the other portion of it was to support our local businesses during the tough time,” Troy Welsh, host of the dance-off and event coordinator for the Downtown Sykesville Connection, told us. The Taneytown Parks and Recreation department held a free drive-in movie on Friday outside Thunderhead Bowl & Grill, possibly the first of several. They placed a 50-vehicle limit on attendance and had that many registered days in advance. The feedback was so positive they are going to line up another drive-in movie in Memorial Park, according to Parks and Rec Director Lorena Vaccare. “Drive-in theaters are having a renaissance right now as coronavirus social distancing restrictions make them a safe place to go to the movies, at admission rates that are affordable for those struggling with financial burdens,” Vaccare told us, noting the importance of "engaging with, listening to, and supporting our community.”

THUMBS UP: New Windsor resident Steven Zbignewich, 16, had been asked in the past to submit an essay to his Boys & Girls Club of Westminster leadership team to compete for Maryland Youth of the Year and this year he not only participated, he was named Maryland Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the first in Westminster’s history. “My mom burst out into tears, and I was just really happy,” Zbignewich told us. He will receive $2,500 toward a college scholarship. Erin Bishop, marketing director of the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, said each candidate crafts an essay and endures an interview process in an effort to portray the club’s ideals and objectives. Zbignewich serves as the club’s sports and recreation intern, and participates in the Leaders in Training/Junior Staff program. He also participates in the club’s strength and conditioning program, trains with the Run Team, and was a member of the club’s first robotics team. He’s making plans to take part in the Northeast regional competition, where a $20,000 scholarship is at stake, along with a shot at the national competition. But he’s already a winner. “He’s the exact example of what Boys & Girls clubs do that are successful for kids," Bishop told us. “He has blossomed and flourished into exactly kind of citizen that we’re trying to raise for our community.”

Advertisement

THUMBS UP: We were there Wednesday as William WInchester Elementary staff lined up and bid farewell to students who were able to be a part of the parade of vehicles driving by in front of the school, a makeshift farewell assembly especially celebrating the fifth-graders who won’t be returning to William Winchester in the fall. Some of the school’s teachers and administrators had also scheduled quick visits to the homes of some students in the finals weeks of the school year. William Winchester was not the only school to do this and we salute any and all of the teachers and schools who went above and beyond for the students who missed out on so much over the past three months. As always, certain teachers, certain administrators, certain schools did everything asked of them and so much more. Others did the minimum. It was an unprecedented situation so it’s probably unfair to be critical. So we’ll just express appreciation for those who did it right.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement