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An ancient African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." A child's village usually starts very small with his or her parents and family members.As a child grows and ages, daycare providers, teachers and coaches are added to that village.The activities provided in our neighborhood build additional homes in that village for many of our children as they make friends.All of us that interact with the children in our community help in their development as human beings and responsible individuals in our society. There are many individuals who volunteer countless hours building our village.

Per merriam-webster.com, a volunteer is a person who does work without getting paid to do it.Our neighborhood is filled with volunteers.I am sure we all "volunteer" for things throughout our lives.At work, people volunteer to help on a project because it is something they are interested in or because it will "look good" to the boss.It shows that we really care about our job.Since raising a family also qualifies as a job, shouldn't we volunteer to do things because we are interested in them (i.e., our husband, wife or kids) and want to show them that we care?

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Recently, the Maryland City Recreation Council learned that many families did not realize that MCRC is a 100 percent volunteer organization.The board members as well as all of the coaches volunteer their time without compensation.Many have children in the program and still pay the same registration fees as everyone else, yet spend extra hours coaching, preparing the fields, training the coaches and organizing banquets.These individuals are true heroes and a huge part of the village in which our children grow up.

Maryland City Recreation Council Mustang Soccer would like to highlight a few of these "volunteers" who go beyond the call of service.They have no children in the program but still feel a strong pull to give back to the community and help our kids.Brothers Bobby and Timmy Maher grew up in Maryland City playing sports with MCRC, along with their friends, Devin Poland and Josh Buell.All continued playing soccer through high school, finished college, found full-time jobs and continue to give back to MCRC Mustangs as soccer coaches.Bobby's wife, Sarah, also coached a team for many years before they even started dating.

Today, MCRC fields two strong U10 Boys' teams because of these five individuals donating their time and talents back into the community.Now in their late 20s and early 30s, they each have full-time jobs throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas and are starting families of their own, yet they still find time to come back to the fields they grew up on to "pay it forward."Please remember to thank them all for their last five plus years of service to our village and we look forward to having them as influential role models for years to come.

You too can get involved!Opportunities to volunteer abound within our community, in the churches, at the school, and in our local recreation council.So, if you are interested in making a difference and paying it forward, please consider volunteering.

Flag football, cheerleading and fall soccer start just around the corner as well as school and there are always lots of opportunities.If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, please feel free to e-mail me at dpws@aol.com and I will put you in touch with the right individual for the program you are interested in helping out.The more volunteers within our community, the larger and more fun our village will be as everyone feels the love of being supported.

Are you an adult who always wanted to learn to swim?If so, mark your calendar for Monday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. as Adult Swim Lessons will begin at the West Arundel Swim Club. Cost is $15 for members and $35 for non-members.For more information, contact the pool at 301-725-9831.Also mark your calendar for Youth Movie Night at the pool for ages 13 -17 on Wednesday, Aug. 12 starting at 6:30 p.m.The movie is still to be determined but enjoy a night out with your friends.Stop by the guard office to make your movie suggestion.

Finally, enjoy a night out with the family and friends, delighting in a true Maryland tradition! Enjoy the third annual Crab and Shrimp Feast, sponsored by Resurrection of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Maryland City Volunteer Fire Department.Enjoy an evening of crabs; shrimp; and a buffet of crab soup, barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, coleslaw, baked beans, hush puppies, mac-n-cheese and desserts. This is an advanced ticket only event; purchase tickets by Wed., Aug. 12 by calling 410-792-7982.The feast includes two ticket options: Option 1, Buffet with Seafood includes half dozen (medium-large) crabs and half pound shrimp for $45 and Option 2, Buffet without Seafood adult $18(14 and over), child $9(age 3 -13). Buffet a la carte add-ons of one dozen crabs for $37 or one pound of shrimp for $17 are available with a paying ticket.

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