WOMEN FROM all over the United States and 20 other countries will meet in New Orleans next month for the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) International Convention.
And it is there that Westminster's Babs Condon will be installed as director of the Junior Clubs.
Leadership is nothing new to Condon, who is active in the Junior Women's Club of Westminster, the Carroll Garden Club and St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
She also is the adviser for the STARS Juniorette Club of Westminster, as well as a volunteer for Westminster High School, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.
"It is a thrill," Condon said of her installation next month. "I have learned so much from the organization about leadership, public speaking, everything. I've been to the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio, to learn about 'National Issues and Public Forums,' for example. There is so much information thrown out at all the meetings. It's great."
Condon's mother, Barbara C. Peck, is outgoing president of the Maryland Federation of Women's Clubs and will become a GFWC public affairs chairwoman.
Carol Horne from Taneytown is the outgoing state junior director. She will become a district officer for Maryland.
Condon lives with her husband, Jerry, and their sons, AJ and Gregory. The family owns and operates Condon Auto Parts.
More smiles in Ecuador
There are many more smiling children in Ecuador thanks to a charity program that sent 40 people to the South American country to provide comprehensive dentistry.
Many of the volunteer dental hygienists, dentists and assistants were from Carroll County.
"This was the second time I have gone, and it is so rewarding to see children who were missing teeth or had cleft palate smile," said Michele Mirfin, a dental lab technician with the office of Dr. Robert Scott and Dr. Kevin Lawyer in Westminster.
"I made appliances that helped the children eat, talk and breathe better. I also made appliances with teeth for people who were missing their front teeth," she said.
"We pulled a lot of teeth," said Rosemary Hill, a receptionist for the same Westminster office who went to Ecuador this year for her second visit. "Most of the orphans wouldn't have dental care at all if we didn't visit."
The charity program called "Ecuadent" began eight years ago as a Rotary Club project under the auspices of Tammy Fesche, a native of Ecuador and wife of Dr. Marshall Fesche, a dentist for 22 years with Carroll County Dental Associates.
The program still operates in conjunction with Rotary International.
This year, the program reached about 4,000 people. The number grows yearly as donations increase. During a two-week stay, the dentists performed fillings and extractions. The surgical team also performed 55 cleft lip, cleft palate and ear reconstruction surgeries.
The hygienists cleaned children's teeth and gave instructions on how to brush. More than 8,000 toothbrushes were distributed.
Thanks to a donation from a church in York, Pa., the group was able to take portable units for suction, air, water and a drill.
"Those conveniences were awesome and one of the highlights of the trip this year," said Angie Arnold, who works with Carroll County Dental Associates.
"It was an incredible experience to help the little kids," Arnold added. "They are gracious, and you know they are terrified."
"I am thankful for the kindness of American people who are DTC willing to travel, share their knowledge, and leave spouses for no monetary compensation to help," said Tammy Fesche, Ecuadent's executive director. "They are willing to pay their own plane fare and share their knowledge. Luckily, Continental Airlines has been a tremendous help by giving us a reasonable fare."
Fesche also expressed gratitude for donations of toys and clothing for the orphans. "The response from Carroll County has been great and we hope it continues," she said.
The next trip to Ecuador will be in February.
Participants from Carroll County this year also included Kathy McMaster, Cheryl Kane, Dr. Stuart Sheer, Marie Dogh and Tara Ayers.
Common Ground volunteers
If you are looking for a place to "meet a lot of cool people, hear great music, see and experience a variety of artistic traditions," then call Bill or Lisa Spence at Western Maryland College to sign up as a volunteer for Common Ground on the Hill's weeklong summer camp.
The summer program takes place July 5-10 with musicians, artists, dancers and writers from all over the United States.
"You experience all the diversity, but the camp offers a chance to find unity in that diversity. It is an incredible experience for everyone," said Bill Spence, who with his wife coordinates volunteers.
Information/registration: 410-857-2434 or 410 857-2771.
Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 5/18/98