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Becraft leaves behind a beautiful legacy

Wayne Becraft and his wife, Nancy, were active in the community. Here, they are at a Relay for Life event in 2014.
Wayne Becraft and his wife, Nancy, were active in the community. Here, they are at a Relay for Life event in 2014. (Laurel Leader File)

In sad news, Wayne Becraft passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 11. Becraft was born in Laurel, graduated from Laurel High School and The University of Maryland College Park, and was a very active member in his church, United Methodist Church of Laurel. He married his high school sweetheart Nancy. They have a family of three children. The list of his many accomplishments goes on and on.

Becraft was more recently well-known as a successful Long and Foster real estate agent.

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I asked a dozen people that knew him well how they would describe him. He was known by his neighbors, friends and family for his kindness; he always thought of others especially the lonely and left out.

Becraft has left a beautiful legacy of community service, kindheartedness and love. He will be missed.

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The West Laurel Civic Association’s Winter General Meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the West Laurel Community Building on Brooklyn Bridge and Bond Mil roads. All residents are encouraged to come and find out about the issues concerning our neighborhoods.

Prince George’s County Councilman Tom Dernoga will be the guest speaker. He will be followed by representatives from the Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement. Following that, The WLCA will honor Rush Kester for outstanding volunteer in our community for his work over many years with the West Laurel Recreation Council. Rush volunteered countless hours pulling off the Spring Egg Hunt, Family Swim Night and WLCA Holiday Party.

Of course, his wife, Barbara, was right there with him serving our community, too. Come to the meeting and greet some wonderful people. We are so proud of our lovely community. Barbara Sollner-Webb is the WLCA president along with the other officers and area representatives who work diligently on our behalf to maintain the quality of life we have here. They do it all as volunteers themselves.

The West Laurel Swim Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The swim club first opened in 1969. Since then, generations of families have enjoyed the summer benefits.

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In addition to the traditional summer activities such as adult socials, family splash parties, grill nights and the 5K run/walk, there are special activities being planned for the anniversary including a display photos and memorabilia from the past 50 years. The WLSC is a non-profit membership owned organization managed by an elected board of directors whose aim is to ensure a clean, safe and relaxing swimming facility for all members.

It is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tell the kids to put down the video games and get out in the sun and get some exercise at the pool with friends. My own family has lifelong friends and memories from warm summer fun days at the West Laurel Swim Club. Now that I’m an empty nester, I rejoined so I could get daily exercise, meet old friends or read a good book and relax enjoying the cool water on a hot sunny day. For more information on becoming a member, go to westlaurelswimclub.org

Congratulations to America Proctor, Laurel High School Class of 2020, for being named 2019 Prince George’s County’s Youth Poet Ambassador. America submitted samples of her work and a video of herself reading on of her poems and then was selected as one of 11 finalists. She was the only finalist selected from Laurel. As a finalist, she then had to perform live for the judges and a crowd which took place at the Newton White Mansion in December. Now as the Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador, America will have the wonderful opportunity to work with the organization including professional poets throughout the year to hone her craft and perform at various events.

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