The "unofficial" start to summer has arrived, with many pool openings, a holiday weekend and more. College and university commencements have taken place while local high schools are preparing for their graduations in the upcoming month.
Senior Leslie Gray, a star athlete and honor roll student at Meade High School, will be graduating Tuesday, June 10. She has matriculated at Meade in the International Baccalaureate program and as of May 23 completed all the requirements of the program and will receive her IB diploma in addition to her high school diploma. Meade High School is one of three International Baccalaureate schools in Anne Arundel County. Keeping herself focused, Leslie ran in the State Championship Finals in the 400 meter race, which was held May 24 at Morgan State University, in Baltimore. This was her fourth advancement to the State Championships, which all started in her sophomore year, when she made it to the State Championships in the 100, 200, 300 and 400 meter races. Along with that, she ran twice in the ever so popular Penn Relays in Philadelphia, once as an anchor in the 4 by100 relay and once as an anchor in the 4 by 400 relay.
Leslie was honored May 21 as Meade's Outdoor Track and Field Most Valuable Player at the 2014 Athletic Awards Banquet. This remarkable young woman has run track throughout high school and this year she became the Anne Arundel County Champion in the 400 meter race and came in third at the Regional Championship.
Residing with her mother and stepfather, my dear friends, Sandy and Scott, this summer will be filled with some fun and relaxation until Leslie heads off to St. John's University, in Queens, N.Y., this fall on an academic scholarship. Congratulations to Leslie and the rest of the Senior Class of 2014.
He may not be a track star but my longtime friend and avid cyclist, Bill Berned, whom I mentioned in a previous column, will be enjoying the scenic sites of New England on his 550-mile trek for the New England 550 Tour de Cure event to help raise money for the American Diabetes Association Saturday, July 12 through Friday, July 18.
The route itself takes six days and will start in Massachusetts, and go through parts of New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Bill's goal is to raise more than $4,000 and as of the last update he was at $3,026. Every dollar raised for this worthy cause helps with critical research, information as well as education about diabetes.
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If you would like to help Bill reach his goal, just log onto tour.diabetes.org; click donate and then type in his name to locate his personal page and make your donation, which is tax deductible. Any amount is greatly appreciated.