On Saturday, March 16, 2013, the League of Women Voters and the Commission for Women of Calvert County honored four ladies with awards and on March 19, 2013 the Calvert Board of County Commissioners presented each with a Proclamation. Commission for Women Chair, Margaret Dunkle, introduced each one and gave a small biography of each of the talented awardees.
Ms. Veronica Alston garnered the Service Award at its 11th Annual Awards Luncheon – Looking to the Future, 2013 and Beyond at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Church Street, Prince Frederick. Ms Alston exemplifies the characteristics of a woman who has served her community to improve the quality of life for women and girls in Southern Maryland and beyond. Her passionate devotion to provide shelter for homeless women in transition who have evaded domestic violence; overcome drug and alcohol abuse; and completed parole for incarceration for non-violent offenses makes her an outstanding recipient for this award. The Board of Calvert County Commissioners also recognized Ms. Alston on Tuesday March 19, 2013 with a Proclamation for Service to Community Award for her dedication to service to homeless women in Calvert County.
Veronica Alston founded Ruth’s Miracle Group Home Foundation (RMGH) which is located in Calvert County. RMGH residents volunteer their time to help with community events; such as open house for Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living; USO night at North Beach; Calvert County Veterans Day Celebration for World War II soldiers, and inventory support for the Help Association. This helps build self-esteem and gives women a sense of being part of the community.
The RMGH Board of Directors and Ms. Alston welcome donations and in-kind support. Make donations through PayPal at www.ruthmiraclehome.com or posted mail to Ruth’s Miracle Group Home Foundation, P.O. Box 1623, Lusby, MD 20657. The home has an immediate need for a passenger van in good condition. For more information, contact Ms. Veronica Alston at 410-326-9170 or email email@example.com.
Emma Dodsworth, an eighth grader at Calvert Middle School, was honored by the Commission for Women, as a Woman of Tomorrow Award Recipient. She has done more service for others than many adults achieve over a lifetime. Even as she pursues new opportunities for service, she participates in sports, music, theater, and other extra-curricular activities at Calvert Middle School as well as community events and fundraising for worthy causes. Her goal after high school is to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and become a Coast Guard officer, saving lives, protecting the environment, and guarding our coastline.
Emma has received her school’s Citizenship Award and been appointed to the CMS Parent Teacher Student Association. She serves on the executive council for Calvert Association of Student Councils, where she helps plan events and deal with such important issues as bullying and safety. She was chosen to represent her school at a county-wide bullying summit, as a mentor to younger students and role model for aspiring leaders. She has been selected for the All-County and Tri-County honors orchestras. She has also played sports every season while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.
Close to home, Emma has developed a deep bond with a neighbor’s son who has autism, and she cares for him when his parents must be away. Other neighbors entrust their beloved pets to Emma because she tends them with love and compassion. She has raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Chestnut Land Trust and its trails and buildings, and supported local senior citizens by visiting and playing music at local senior centers, and caring for their homes and animals when they are away. Far from home, she has helped deployed troops by purchasing gifts and writing them personal holiday cards, often making and illustrating them herself. And, through Heifer International, she donated money for the purchase of a goat so that a struggling family in Africa could begin a new life. The BOCC’s proclamation read “for the contributions and committment to Calvert County”.
Amanda Harrison, journalist with the Calvert recorder, received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Advocacy for Women and Girls. Her compelling coverage of the panel discussion at Calvert Library – Title IX: The Rocky Road to Progress for Women and Girls in Education – exemplifies first-rate reporting that both informs and inspires. The June 27, 2012 front-page, above-the-fold article by Amanda – “Title IX Turns 40: Panelists Share Experiences” – recounted the Title IX tales of multiple generations, from Gladys Pedersen Bowers (an ex-Marine and 1950 graduate of Calvert County High School) to Peyton Fort (a seventh grader at Southern Middle School who thanked the panelists “for paving the way so girls like me could do what we love”). Amanda Harrison is a Calvert County native and graduate of Northern High School, with a 2012 bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Her proclamation read “for her coverage of Celebrate Ttitl IX Month 2012, in support of programs that have improved conditions for women in Calvert County”.
Imani Watson, Woman of Tomorrow Award recipient, is a student at Calvert Middle School enrolled in all High Honors classes. She enjoys studying, learning and keeping busy. During the summer she successfully completed classes in Spanish, Keyboarding, Word for kids, Computer Illustration and Money Matters at the College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick Campus. Other achievements include participating in basketball and track; writing poems and poetry; ballet; and participating in Girl Scouts in 1st to 4th grades. She has received perfect attendance school awards. She received an award for poetry published in a book titled “A Celebration of Poets, page number 104.
Imani is an entrepreneur. At the age of 13 she was CEO of Cupcake Couture and created a 2nd business named “Cherished Cellphone Cases by Imani. She enjoys volunteer work at her Aunt Danielle’s church and for the Calvert County Safe Nights to assist with a homeless project. Imani is a writer and curious about her family roots. She assists in researching Black History including a future published book titled “Pieces of Me”—the history of the Calvert County Parker Family. Imani is a member of the local Jr. Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. In January 2013, Imani received a NAACP Youth Achievement Award for her accomplishments.
Imani states that “I’m very passionate about what I do.” She was in girl scouts from the 1st to the 4th grade and also babysits in the evenings. The BOCC gave her a proclamation in tribute to show the admiration and esteem held by the community for Imani.
Margit Miller /Staff Writer/ Editor