Tireless volunteer to be honored Nurse among 'Most Beautiful'

It would not be an uncommon sight to see Donna L. Appenzeller helping an injured child at a recreation league football game, then attending to an accident victim later the same night, and finally counseling a troubled family over the phone.

The 42-year-old Maryland City resident volunteers for everything, from the Teen Club to the civic association to a crisis intervention team. She is a paramedic in her spare time and works full-time as a surgical assistant for a trauma doctor during the day.


Her tireless efforts for the West County community between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Prince George's County is to be rewarded tomorrow when she is to receive the "Maryland's Most Beautiful People" award for Anne Arundel County.

She could be chosen from the winners in Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore for the statewide honor. But Ms. Appenzeller said she doesn't even understand why she won at the county level.


"Beats me," she said in an interview. "It was a real shock. I just do my volunteer work because I enjoy doing it. At first, I just thought I was getting an award with a bunch of other people. Then I found out I was representing Anne Arundel County."

The Maryland City Civic Association recommended Ms. Appenzeller for the award. "She is a very good lady," said Ray Smallwood, the president of the organization, who spent several minutes listing all of Ms. Appenzeller's contributions. "She is involved with everything.

"Who else would take so much time to volunteer?" Mr. Smallwood said. "She is small and petite and we keep saying she will never put on weight because we run her to death."

Ms. Appenzeller, who has lived in Maryland City since she was 12, and still resides in the home she grew up in, is rearing two teen-age children, Jeremy, 16, and Heather, 14.

She said she enjoys her projects so much because they are so diverse. She sees everything from pain to jubilation. "I get all the problems and the rewards," she said. "But the rewards outweigh all the problems."

She has recently cut back on her demanding schedule, however, to join a bowling league. But she still rides an ambulance once a week, operates a countywide counseling center, for which she established a toll-free number, and serves as secretary for the Maryland City Civic Association.

"I enjoy working with the kids," Ms. Appenzeller said.

The awards presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. at St. John's College auditorium in Annapolis. It is free, but tickets are required. Information: the Maryland You Are Beautiful program at 974-3085.