Former Severna Park High School athletic director Andy Borland, as familiar to residents as the towering oak trees that define the local landscape, will take on a new duty tomorrow -- grand marshal of the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce's Independence Day parade.
The 30th annual event, whose theme is "America's Volunteers," begins at 10 a.m.
"Andy has rolled up his sleeves and done so many projects for his church, the high school," said Linda Zahn, executive director of the Severna Park Chamber, "and because of his work for the new community center, we thought he'd be the right person to be grand marshal."
Since he retired six years ago from teaching and coaching, Borland, 64, has taken on the job of capital campaign chairman for a $3.5 million renovation and expansion of the Severna Park Community Center.
The center is home to an after-school program for middle school pupils, the Holy Grounds Youth Center, the Mary Carter School of Dance, fitness classes, free health screenings and summer camps. Expansion is necessary to meet the demand for activities.
Charged with raising the funds for this undertaking, Borland's personal approach -- he and his committee members send a handwritten thank-you note to every donor -- has helped raise more than $2 million.
Phase 1 of the project, including renovation of the swimming pool and construction of a therapy pool and parking lot, is nearly finished. Construction began last year, and the two pools are already open.
But the campaign is still $1 million shy of its goal. Without the additional money, work cannot continue in Phase 2, which includes a full-size gymnasium, offices, meeting rooms and a large studio suitable for martial arts and dance classes.
"This center is going to be the heart of Severna Park," Borland said.
The Durham, N.C., native moved to Maryland with his wife, Katy, in 1963 to join the staff at Severna Park High School, where he coached track, wrestling and golf before becoming head football coach in 1973 and athletic director in 1977.
He helped to produce a state champion indoor track team, state champion pole vaulter Mike Hampe and numerous football titles, adding up to 43 state titles during his tenure as athletic director.
Borland's personal awards include the Steve Carroll Award for outstanding contributions to the coaching profession from the county coaches association in 1986, being named Anne Arundel County Coach of the Year in 1987 by The Washington Post and being inducted into the Severna Park High School Athletic Hall of Fame last year.
He has also received awards from the Baltimore Touchdown Club, the Annapolis Touchdown Club, the county, Severna Park and then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
Life after work
Borland approached retirement in 1998 the same way he taught and coached -- full speed ahead. For the past four years he's assisted a grandson's Green Hornets football coach -- a man he taught in high school.
After adding an extensive woodworking shop to his house, he is able to pursue his favorite pastime, building wooden toys for his grandchildren and gifts for his three daughters and their families.
But, he'll be out of the workroom tomorrow morning -- waving to the crowd.
"There are a lot of other people [at the center] who have helped me be so honored," Borland said. "There are thousands of people out there volunteering, spending many, many hours in a whole different capacity. It just so happens what I'm doing is out in front."