The quiet lifestyle of the Bill and Mary Seck family in Ellicott City began changing in the spring of 1989, when daughter Michelle tried out for the Rifle Team of the Cavaliers, the marching unit of the Mount Hebron High School band.
She won a place on the team for that year and the next three years, serving as team captain for the last two years.
Enter Mary Seck, Michelle's mom. Mary began participating by helping to assemble and distribute submarine sandwiches to raise money. In 1990, band director Bob Johnson asked Mary to serve on the Marching Unit Boosters Support Board; in 1991, Mary was parent sponsor for the rifle team; this year, she began service as parent sponsor for the entire Cavalier team of 36 girls.
Meanwhile, Kathryn Seck, a sister two years younger than Michelle, made the team in 1991.
Profound changes took place in the Seck household, reordering priorities to include total family involvement in the Cavaliers. Mary, whose duties include attending football and basketball games to check the girls' uniforms and help them with last-minute details, has gradually become very busy.
"I have always enjoyed it," she says. "It's a nice group of girls, and I never thought of it as a burden." Mary also works half-time as a merchandiser. Bill Seck has put in his hours preparing equipment for shows and helping with fund raising. Joanna Seck, a student at Dunloggin Middle school, goes to games and on Cavalier trips such as last spring's trip to Florida.
One of Mary's most important functions this year is fund raising. The team needs new uniforms and flags. The girls spent Labor Day weekend at Enchanted Forest shopping center, performing and selling candy. Cavaliers and their parents have also worked nights at Orioles concession stands. The end result is that all 36 girls will get new blouses for their uniforms.
Mary feels that much credit goes to Hae Kim, student captain for the Cavalier team. "She's kept me on track," Mary said, laughing. "Rather than the other way around."
The only area school to have a Rifle team, Mt. Hebron is proud of its growth. The Rifle Squad grew in size from seven girls in 1989 to 13 girls currently. Forty freshman girls tried out for the team last spring, making team selection highly competitive. Last fall Mt. Hebron's Marching Band won first place in the Miss America Parade in Atlantic City, and this year it was designated Honor Band in the parade.
If you know of a family, that, like the Secks, deserve recognition, let me know. You can reach me at my home phone, 461-4513 and leave a message if necessary.
The Elkridge Fire House has announced its annual Fire Prevention Weekend this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11. The firehouse on Washington Boulevard will be open to visitors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
There will be free balloons and fire hats for the children, and rides on a real fire truck. Visitors may also tour the station and get suggestions on preventing residential fires.
On Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the fire fighters will stage a mock demonstration of their skills at Elkridge Corner Shopping Center. Members of the Elkridge Fire Station cordially invite all community residents to attend their activities.
Our community can anticipate some high drama this season. Fall plays planned by Ellicott City high schools look particularly exciting.
Howard High School has planned an ambitious production -- Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit," a comedy involving a ghost or two. Director Pat Stackhouse says that technical director Bruce Riegel must execute ghostly jiggling tables and telekinesis on stage. "Blithe Spirit" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, 20, 21.
Mt. Hebron High School's drama coach Tom Sankey has announced his 14-member production of "Godspell", a musical interpretation of the life of Christ. Mr. Sankey will direct the play, and Lynn Broderick is choreographer. It is slated to play at 7:30 p.m. on November 12, 13, 14.
Centennial High School's fall play will be the Broadway musical "Pippin." "Mo" Dutterer will coordinate his entire 42-member musical drama group to act in this promising production, which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12, 13, and 14.
Look for more details on these plays later in the fall.
Welcome to the Frank family, newcomers to Burleigh Manor. Recently having moved here from Orlando, Fla., Brent Frank works in Columbia with Pepsi-Cola. Betty Frank says that she feels new and "doesn't know a soul," so she is working to change that. Betty volunteers at Centennial Lane Elementary School, where their son, Mark, age 9, is in fourth grade. She is also forming a "mom-and-pop" play group for her daughter, Elizabeth, age 3. She hopes to locate a group of neighborhood mothers with preschool children for weekly home play. If you wish to inquire about the play group, please call her at 750-8851.
Betty Frank is an accomplished person in her own right. Formerly a fifth grade teacher, she contacted Good Apple Publications with a teaching idea. Good Apple then had her write a book, "Creative Student Assignment Sheets," which was published.
"It makes learning into a game," Betty says. After her children were born, she stopped teaching and set up a home business hand-painting sweat shirts and tee shirts.
The Boosters Club of Trinity School's Home and School Association are selling fruit to benefit the children's athletic programs. Indian River grapefruit cost $12 for a 20-pound box, and oranges cost slightly more. (These are last year's prices!) The fruit can be ordered until Nov. 16. Pickup will be on Dec. 4 and 5. Call Kathy Graham at 995-0778 for further information or to place an order.