BRENDA KELLY, the recipient of this year's Richard H. Carter Memorial Award, is not an easy person to track down. Just ask Roger Little, who chairs the Glen Burnie Improvement Association committee that presents the award to the year's outstanding volunteer.
"She's a busy lady," Little said. "I finally had to go over to the Glen Burnie High concession stand to tell her she'd won the award."
Busy lady is an understatement. Kelly donates her time at schools and with community groups throughout Glen Burnie.
When she's not volunteering behind the counter at the GBHS concession stand for the school's Sports Boosters Club, she can be found serving on the board of the Glen Burnie Recreation Association. She is a member of the Glen Burnie Town Center central plaza committee, and the second vice president of the improvement association.
And there are countless other tasks, like helping with the recreation association's annual recital and fund-raising efforts.
Volunteering is nothing new for this mother of two. Her previous volunteer efforts included a decade with the Parent Teacher Association at Richard Henry Lee Elementary, where she held several offices. And for 15 years on Sundays, she taught religious education classes to kindergartners at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.
Originally from Halethorpe, the 43-year-old Kelly moved to Glen Burnie after marrying Patrick Kelly in 1978. The couple live with their children, 21-year-old Bill, a student at Towson University, and 17-year-old Meghan, a senior at Glen Burnie High.
Kelly works a part-time job as a customer service representative at Nighttime Pediatrics North, but according to her husband, she always finds time to help a worthy cause.
"She's a very giving person," he said. "She likes to be involved."
Little echoes that sentiment: "Brenda Kelly was nominated and selected for her outstanding dedication and enthusiastic devotion to helping to make our community a better place to live, work and play."
Kelly will receive the award at Glen Burnie's Memorial Day Parade - traditionally held on the Sunday before the holiday weekend, and taking place this year, rain or shine, on May 20. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at Harundale Plaza and proceed on Aquahart Road to Crain Highway, where it will end at the improvement association building.
Kelly will also be recognized at the association's meeting at 7:30 p.m. June 12.
In addition, a donation of $100 will be made to the charity of her choice - International Multiple Sclerosis.
The annual award is named for another dedicated volunteer. Born in 1926, Richard Carter was a lifelong Glen Burnie resident who attended Richard Henry Lee Elementary and Glen Burnie High. He was a member of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association for more than 40 years, serving in various offices.
He was also a member of the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Company and served a term as the elected president of the Maryland State Firemen's Association.
He raised money for various causes in the community, including the establishment of North Arundel Hospital.
"Mr. Carter was a dedicated volunteer who spent most of his life in service to others," Little said. "His contributions not only made a positive impact on our community, but his humble and unselfish concern for others continues to serve as an example for volunteers to follow."
The other nominees for this year's award were Bob Brocious, Harold Bryant, Joseph Corcoran, Bill Hoenig, Janet M. King, Sharon Maznick, Joseph Merrick, Janet Pogar and James Roloson.