DURING THE election season, I watched Julia Walsh Gouge's red, white and blue elephant ride down the streets of Westminster, and I thought, "That is what small-town politics are all about."
Parents pulling together to push for a new school that is desperately needed are also a big part of small-town politics.
Over the next few weeks there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in the push for a new Westminster high school.
A group called Citizens for Schools has launched an organized, focused campaign to remind planning and zoning officials and the county commissioners that Westminster needs a second high school -- one that has been promised for years.
"If you care about the quality of your child's education, then this is your kind of group," said Vicki Anzmann, who co-chairs Citizens for Schools with Westminster resident Susan Ullrich.
"The construction process and pulling together funding for construction takes so long," Anzmann said. "We have to push now so our elementary school students won't have to go to a school that is larger than the town of New Windsor."
Citizens for Schools will meet with the county commissioners at 7: 30 p.m. Feb. 2 in Room 003 of the County Office Building, 225 N. Center St.
Organizers hope to pack the meeting with parents, teachers, students and business leaders.
"This is all about politics," said C. Scott Stone, a school board member who recently spoke with Citizens for Schools.
"Talk to the county commissioners. Talk to your children about talking to the commissioners. Don't get overwhelmed."
Those attending the Feb. 2 meeting are asked to wear green.
"That is just another way to show the commissioners how many people want the green light on this project," Anzmann said.
Information: 410-876-6847 or 410-876-1925.
If you feel as if you didn't give enough during the holidays, YMCA Chipmunk Preschool is collecting items for Shepherd Staff's community outreach program.
A food drive in November, Easter baskets in April, school supplies in September, and toothbrushes in October are some of the items preschoolers have collected.
The goal of the project is to promote caring, sharing, honesty and responsibility, said Donna Pollhammer, an instructor.
In December, the children created Christmas stockings, and in January, they will collect hats and mittens. February is sock collection month.
Information or donations: 410-840-9582.
The Carroll County Red Cross honored its 1998 volunteers with a dinner and awards ceremony at Cactus Willie's in Westminster.
More than 60 people attended, and Mark Stull, chairman, served as master of ceremonies.
Those receiving awards for their volunteer work in blood services include Ruth Allen, Mary Jane Benstein, Vicky Benstein, Clara Carr, Sean Davis, Elma Donovan, Andrew Essman, Jessica Gardner, Barbara Gifford, Lisa Good, Hattie Helm, Corinne Johnson, Bean King, Marge Libertini, Thelma Lombardi, Flavia Robertson, Viola Ruby, Johnna Suter and Matthew Troyer.
Those receiving awards for their volunteer work in health services include Carolyn Babylon, Barbara Bankard, Mary Jane Benstein, Marlene Bowersox, Marlene Gienow, Paul Hanlon, Corinne Johnson, Chris Letnaunchyn, Dean Leister, Della Leister, Valerie Lyons, Kellie Mendenhall, Fran Newman, James Sihler, Nancy Sihler, Dr. Maria Simonson, Johnna Suter and Rose Yuhas.
Information about volunteer opportunities: 410-848-4334.
Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of the Sun.
Pub Date: 1/18/99