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Morningside-Skyline column for Nov. 22


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Mary McHale

Published on: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

By Mary McHale

Stephanie Roper Highway honors crime victims’ advocates

Signs are going up on Pennsylvania Avenue (Route 4) changing 5.2 miles of the avenue to Stephanie Roper Highway, beginning at Water Street in Upper Marlboro and ending at Bay Front Road in Bristol, in Anne Arundel County. Gov. Martin O’Malley issued the proclamation on Oct. 20, renaming these five miles in honor of Stephanie Roper and the extraordinary efforts of her parents Roberta and Vincent Roper.

Stephanie, a Frostburg State University art student and La Reine High School graduate, was abducted after her car broke down on a dark road 30 years ago on April 3, 1982. She was raped, tortured and murdered. April 3 has been named Crime Victims’ Advocates Day.

After the Ropers were not permitted to attend the trial of the two men accused of this terrible crime, they put crime victims’ rights on the Maryland and national map by helping organize The Stephanie Roper Committee, now the Crime Victims’ Resource Center, headquartered in Upper Marlboro.

Russell P. Butler, director of the CVRC, announced, “The state of Maryland has appropriately recognized the efforts of the Ropers by renaming part of Route 4 and placing Stephanie Roper’s name on the Maryland State Highway Map.”

Neighbors

Russell Butler, by the way, grew up in Morningside. An attorney, he has worked for crime victims and their families for several years and is currently director of the Crime Victims’ Resource Center, taking over from Roberta Roper who founded and previously headed the organization. 

Condolences to Mary Leonard, of Skyline, on the death of her “last brother,” Frank Lester Evans, on Sept. 9. He lived in Upper Marlboro and was 98 years old.

Jean Glaubitz, former first lady of Morningside, is proud of her great-grandson Dillon Lee, on his scholarship to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

I have been invited to judge the gingerbread houses now on display at Darnall’s Chance House in Upper Marlboro. You can view the edible gingerbread houses Nov. 23-25, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, and Dec. 6-9, and see if I judged well. Hours each day are noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $1. For information, call 301-952-8010.

Colonial Handbell Ringers in concert

Bethany Christian Church invites you to their Holiday Concert, presented by The Colonial Handbell Ringers at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. The concert is free, but donations are always appreciated. Refreshments will be provided after the concert. The church is at 7128 Allentown Road in Fort Washington. For information, call 301-248-4600.

From the Oxon Hill Pantry

The Oxon Hill Food Pantry started back in 1970 as The Interfaith Community Action Council, Inc. (ICAC). It was founded by several congregations and began as a counseling program. But by 1984, the ICAC Board recognized the need to provide emergency food and a pantry was started.

The pantry has moved several times but now is housed at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, located at 4915 St. Barnabas Road. It has provided food for several thousand hungry children and adults. Local churches, schools, civic associations and individuals help support it, including the Skyline Citizens Association.

ICAC, Inc. officers for 2012-2013 are: Sylvia Green, president; Joe Vlcek, vice president; Betty Cottrell, secretary; Albert Herbst, treasurer; and Brenda Garland, assistant treasurer.

Mary Davis handles volunteer scheduling, so call her at 301-292-9210 to get involved. And, indeed, the pantry urgently needs volunteers! Call, if you can help.

The Board is sad to announce the death of Tom Alexander, founder and first treasurer of the Oxon Hill Food Pantry. He was an active member also of Oxon Hill Methodist Church, Boy Scouts, Oxon Hill Lions Club, County Schools, Meals-on-Wheels, and professional chemist organizations. He died Oct. 28. It’s hard to lose someone so dedicated.

One Maryland One Book

The Maryland Humanities Council selected “The Cellist of Sarajevo” as the 2012 One Maryland One Book, a literary activity “designed to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book.” The novel is based on the true story about the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s and a musician who played his cello in a bombed-out Sarajevo square for 22 days in memory of 22 people killed in a mortar attack. It’s a good book.

Morningside memories

Forty years ago, in 1972, the Senior Citizens of Morningside club was organized. Sponsored by the District Heights chapter, it was seeking members from Morningside, Skyline and surrounding areas. Interested seniors could call Louis Benner, Louise Rousseaux or Helen Shaw for information.

Milestones

Happy birthday to Leslie Greene, Nov. 23; Ben Gryskewicz and Mike Waby, Nov. 24; Ray Call, Avanna Williams, Andrew Gryskewicz and Mary Gaither, Nov. 25; Darryl Moss, Nov. 26; Thomas Shipman, Sr., Nov. 28; Devin Kane Blade, Nov. 29; Karen Windsor, Ramona Britt and Patricia Branch, Nov. 30.

Happy anniversary to Gary and Ivy Kline on Nov. 28.

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