A GROUP OF 13 children, ages 8 to 15, gathered at Pleasant Valley Fire Department on Tuesday to perform at the Carroll County Agricultural Board banquet.
The program by Carroll County 4-H Performing Arts Club included song and dance, a flute solo and poetry reading.
The audience laughed when Rachel Roby, 8, and Katlyn Howes, 9, wearing matching denim dresses and white cowboy hats, took the stage and announced, "We're going to sing 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me.' "
Rachel seemed a little upset that the crowd had laughed. She did not realize that it was the girls' cute appeal that put smiles on the faces in the audience.
What is so unusual about Rachel and Katlyn and this group of talented young performers? They have been operating without a leader since August.
"We are all really leaders," said Wendy Ramirez, whose daughter Christina has been a member for about four years.
"What we really need is a musical director."
A tight-knit group of volunteers has kept this group intact. Former leaders and group founders Ron and Debbie Zepp had to leave in August because of other commitments.
"We had a parent meeting back in September," said Mary Rasche, whose daughter Angie is club secretary. "We all just decided we did not want this group to fold. The kids wanted to go on to perform."
As the group gathered in the hallway at the Pleasant Valley fire hall to await their entrance, they chattered nervously, shivering as someone opened a door.
"We like getting up there and being the center of attention," said Christina Ramirez. "It's cool how we can do that and be a part of a group, like we do."
Look-a-like sisters Sarah and Kim Leidy performed a dance number in sparkling caps and bodysuits.
Renata Ramonda sang "Someone Else's Dream." Heather Zukowski sang "Everything We Got We Got the Hard Way," with the help of her father, Daniel Zukowski, on keyboard and background vocals.
In a flowing black dress with a red-feathered neckline, Myfanwy Rosenfield Jacob danced to "Heaven Hop," and Angie Rasche read a poem about the true meaning of what is learned in 4-H.
The group numbers, "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "Love Can Build A Bridge," showed the power and unity of this determined group.
"This group needs a leader," Rose Frebertshauser, Ag Board organizer, told the audience. "Go home and ask your friends. LTC Spread the word. Let's find this group a leader."
Anyone interested may call the Ag Center at 848-6704 or Mary Rasche at 756-4280.
Charles Carroll Elementary School in Silver Run has built a house for its mascot, Chippy the Chipmunk.
The house is made from Legos. Each "brick" was placed through a child's effort in reading.
Each child received a "brick" by reading for a specified period during Maryland Reading Month in January.
The chipmunk house literally went up brick by brick.
The completed Chipmunk House is on display in the school library where the children can see it and be proud of their efforts in helping build Chippy a new home.
Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 2/17/97