You can find them almost anywhere -- in your schools, your community recreation programs, at the local library, in your church and the county's parks. But for some reason, they are often overlooked and largely unheralded.
Who are these people?
They are volunteers.
For one Sykesville resident, years of volunteer service in the community was recently acknowledged and lauded. Ellen Alcorn the Carroll County recipient of this year's Maryland's Most Beautiful People Volunteer Award.
Mrs. Alcorn was honored with the award Friday at the New Windsor Conference Center. Although Mrs. Alcorn was "completely surprised" by the award, others in her family were not.
"My husband, son and other family members all knew about the award long before I did," said Mrs. Alcorn. Her son Bill was one of the people who nominated her for the honor.
Mrs. Alcorn is a busy volunteer in the community. She spends three days each week volunteering around the county. She has given more than 2,000 hours of her time to the Carroll County Farm Museum, where she often serves as a tour guide for school children visiting the farm house.
Mrs. Alcorn is also active at the Nature Center at Piney Run Park, where she has volunteered for the past six years. Just recently, she began to volunteer at the Mount Airy Senior Citizens' Center.
Mrs. Alcorn gives a good deal of credit for her voluntarism to her husband.
"I couldn't do it if my husband didn't take care of things at home," she said.
Volunteering has brought a great deal of satisfaction into Mrs. Alcorn's life.
"Volunteering has been a pleasure and I really have gotten just as much as I've given".
Mrs. Alcorn and other nominees for the award were invited to attend a reception with Gov. Parris N. Glendening at St. John's College in Annapolis early in November.
Krell also earns award
Another area volunteer was honored last night at the annual membership meeting of E.S.C.A.P.E. Ministries Inc. April Krell of Eldersburg was awarded the group's Volunteer of the Year Award.
Mrs. Krell has served as treasurer for the community ministry group for the past three years. She received an engraved plaque and her name was added to a wall plaque that hangs in the group's office.
ESCAPE's Volunteer of the Year Award was begun several years ago in memory of Bonnie Main, one of the group's s founders.
E.S.C.A.P.E. Ministries Inc. is offering the entire community a way to serve the needy in Carroll County and the hungry around the world through participation in the sixth annual River Road CROP Walk.
CROP is an acronym for Church Rural Overseas Project, and was started after World War II in response to widespread hunger in Europe.
The 10-kilometer stroll is set to begin Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Main Street in Sykesville. Registration and sign-in will begin at 1 p.m. Walkers of all ages can collect donations which will help fight hunger locally and globally.
Twenty-five percent of the funds collected from the walk will remain in Carroll County and will be used to aid residents through E.S.C.A.P.E. (Enabling Social and Church Advocacy for People Enrichment).
.' Organizing this year's walk is
"The CROP Walk gives middle school and high school students the opportunity to earn student service credit hours and to do a good deed at the same time," Mrs. Deal said.
She also noted that any student who turns in the pledged funds at the time of the walk will receive one extra hour of student service credit.
Calling all duffers
Golfers of all skill levels may participate in the second annual charity golf tournament sponsored by the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Council of the Knights of Columbus, Sykesville.
The tournament is scheduled for Friday at Bear Creek Golf Club in Westminster and will feature a best ball format with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Entrance fee is $55 per golfer.
Proceeds from the tournament will be used to establish a trust fund to help with medical expenses of 3 year-old Austin Comfort, who was severely injured in a 1993 car accident.
Businesses, fraternal organizations or individuals who wish to sponsor a hole for $100 or would like to make contributions may call 795-2550 or 549-2418.