Award named for recipient who died recently


For 25 years, a loosely organized group of Longfellow residents has planned the neighborhood's July Fourth parade, softball game and other festivities, including the presentation of a Good Neighbor of the Year award.

The group has named the award in honor of Nancy Freimanis, an earlier recipient who died recently of Lou Gehrig's disease.

The newly named award went to Pat Barry, the woman who had coordinated Ms. Freimanis' home care with hospice workers and a loyal band of friends and neighbors.

A plaque honoring Ms. Barry, with space for future recipients' names, has been mounted at Kahler Hall, the Harper's Choice community center.

Now the July Fourth committee wants to prepare a second plaque recognizing earlier Good Neighbors. The trouble is, no one kept a list of the names over the years.

"We're a ragtag group," said Bob Russell, who "more or less" heads the committee. "It's not like we have a recording secretary."

Through memory and old parade photos the group has identified several honorees, but the list "still has gaping holes," Mr. Russell said.

If you recall someone who was named a Longfellow Good Neighbor, call Bob Russell at 730-4024.

Young activists

We grow our civic activists young in West Columbia.

This summer, 8-year-old Stephen Spitz appeared before the River Hill village board to lament the lack of contiguous sidewalks along Summer Sunrise, a main artery in the Pointers Run neighborhood.

Stephen lives on Velvet Path, on the north side of Summer Sunrise, and he'd like to walk to friends' homes on Enchanted Solitude Place, also on the north side of Summer Sunrise.

But because sidewalks start and stop on each side of Summer Sunrise, Stephen would have to crisscross the busy street to reach his destination.

And his parents, Karen and Gary Spitz, won't go for that.

The village board has forwarded Stephen's concerns to officials at the Rouse Co., Columbia's developer.

Events at St. John

Members of St. John Baptist Church have been preparing for two events at the Interfaith Center in Wilde Lake.

Sunday is the church's annual Women's Day celebration, with an 11:45 a.m. service featuring the Rev. Arlene Churn of Philadelphia and a 4 p.m. service with the Rev. Marie Phillips Braxton of Baltimore's Adams Chapel A.M.E. Church.

A steering committee, led by Sylvia Cook Groce and Jackie Hilson, is planning the day's activities. Ethel Hill, Pam Collins, Bernadette Taylor, Gertrude Frank, Loretta Teal, Pinnie Ross and Delores Burgess are committee members.

Autumn is the traditional time for revival at St. John, and this year's renewal of commitment begins Monday and runs through Sept. 28.

Each evening begins with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service followed by an 8 p.m. service led by the Rev. C. Dexter Wise of Columbus, Ohio.

Robert Long heads the committee that is coordinating the revival. He is assisted by Freenzela Credle, Milton Credle, James Fitzpatrick, Jackie Leonard, Ray Lipscomb, Johnny Matthews, John West and Pinnie Ross.

Merit semifinalists

Two Atholton High School seniors have been named semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program, something achieved by about one-half of 1 percent of high school seniors.

Stacy Cowley was among Maryland's highest scorers on the qualifying test taken during the junior year. She is the daughter of Thomas Cowley and the late Yvonne Cowley.

Laura Heffernan is the other top-scoring Atholton student. Her parents are Mary Glackin and Kevin Heffernan.

Laura's stepsister Leslie Benfer, a senior at Centennial High School, is also a semifinalist.

About 15,000 high school seniors nationwide become semifinalists and can compete for Merit Scholarship awards worth $26 million.

Family bingo night

Family night bingo has been a tradition in Hickory Ridge for more than a decade, and Friday night the numbers fly again.

Village manager Jane Parrish and assistant Dean Lindblad will begin calling numbers at 7:30 p.m. The last winner collects at 9 p.m.

Parents typically chaperon hordes of elementary and middle school children, Ms. Parrish said. Players compete for fun prizes and small cash stakes.

Bingo cards are eight for a dollar, drinks are 50 cents and snacks are free.

Free roses for neighbors

Gov. Parris Glendening has proclaimed Tuesday "Good Neighbors Day," joining a growing number of states that set aside a day to promote goodwill, caring and leadership in the community.

In honor of the day, Marie Gaydos, manager of Raimondi's Florist at The Mall in Columbia, invites us to stop by the store for a ## dozen free roses.

That's right. The store will give away a dozen roses to anyone who comes in after 10 a.m. Tuesday, until the supply runs out.

The nine Raimondi's stores are splitting 50,000 roses among them, said Paul Raimondi, the company's president. That's $75,000 worth of roses.

The intent is for each recipient to keep a rose or two and give away the rest as tokens of friendship, he said.

6* I already have several people in mind.

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