Habitat home inspires Deer Park woman to volunteer at home and beyond

From The Garrett County Republican

DEER PARK — Working through Garrett County Habitat for Humanity, Jessica Wilson was able to acquire her own home in Deer Park about 10 years ago.

But the story doesn’t stop there. Wilson said she had such an “amazing experience” through the process that she wanted to help others have homes of their own.

“I enjoy working with Habitat locally and internationally,” she said. “I volunteer when I’m able to. I help with the dinner auction fundraiser Habitat has each year, as well as spread the word of Habitat to anyone who will listen.”

Wilson’s experience began in 2009 when she found herself in a tough relationship that she decided she needed to leave for her health and safety.

“I was a young mother with a young child on my own and nowhere to go except back to my mother’s two-bedroom trailer that she and my younger brother lived in at the time,” she explained. “For a while, my son and I slept on a blow-up mattress in my mom’s living room, pulling our clothes out of Rubbermaid totes at the beginning of each day.”

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SavageMan Set For Sept. 16-18; Volunteers Sought


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SavageMan Set For Sept. 16-18; Volunteers Sought

Aug. 25, 2011

The fourth annual “Tri-To-Win” SavageMan Triathlon Festival will take place on Sept. 16 to 19, with the starting and finishing point located at Deep Creek Lake State Park. Organizers are currently recruiting volunteers to help with the international race.

The SavageMan Triathlon Festival, a charity event that benefits the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, has been touted internationally as “the world’s most beautiful – and most ‘savage’ – triathlon.” Athletes from around the world are already registered for this year’s contest, according to Greg Safko, president of the foundation and lead organizer for the triathlon.

“The most critical ingredient in staging a successful triathlon is the active participation of enthusiastic, energetic and committed volunteers,” Safko said. “And our volunteers are tremendously appreciated by all our athletes, professional and amateur alike, who come from around the world to compete in this ‘Savage Race to Fight a Savage Cancer.'”

All volunteers will receive a complimentary volunteer T-shirt and cap, and will be invited to the post-race party. Volunteers will be advised as to how to obtain the gifts. Complete information and an application can be found online at www.savagemantri.org/volunteers.html.

A number of volunteer positions are available. Some of these include the setup crew, which will work each day from Thursday, Sept. 15, through the end of the weekend event. (Persons may choose a day to work, or be there each morning.) Volunteers are needed for course marking, parking guides, packet pick-up, body marking of the athletes, transition area guides, course support for all three legs of the race, finish line support, Westernport Wall success tracking, a tear-down crew on Sunday, and a clean-up crew on Monday.

Volunteering roles that require training, special equipment, certifications, or specific skills are photographers, medical personnel, kayakers, lifeguards, bikers, and videographers, among others.

For more information, persons may call Dick Zimmerman, the regional volunteer coordinator, at 240-405-4700, or contact organizers by e-mail at volunteers@savagemantri.org.

All race proceeds go to the melanoma foundation, named in honor of the late Joanna M. Nicolay. Her daughter, Denise Nicolay Safko, said the volunteers touch many lives.

“Not only are they and the community supporting the athletes, they are proving a way for many of the participants to honor someone whom they’ve lost, or who is battling cancer,” she said. “It is really an inspiration to me.”

For more information about the organization, persons may visit www.melanomaresource.org.

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Volunteers Sought For Cleanup Effort Near JRL


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Aug. 11, 2011

Volunteers are being sought for the second cleanup of Rt. 46 from the Robert W. Craig Campground to Elk Garden, W.Va., at Jennings Randolph Lake, which is situated between Garrett County and Mineral County, W.Va. The cleanup is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 13, beginning at 9 a.m.

Volunteers are to meet at the gazebo in the Howell Run Picnic Area. The group will start cleaning from both the campground and Elk Garden simultaneously, so everything will be downhill, according to Ranger Norm Dennis, coordinator of the project. He noted that as this is the second cleanup this summer along this same stretch of road, there should be far less trash then the first volunteers encountered.

“The cleanup will probably last about 2½ hours, depending on the number of volunteers we have willing to help give us a hand,” Dennis said. “The Friends of Jennings Randolph Lake really need a good turnout to get the job completed in as little time as possible. Your help will be greatly appreciated by all of the local residents and visitors to the lake by projecting a positive image of the local area.”

Beverages will be provided during the entire cleanup effort. At the end of the project, a barbecue will take place at the gazebo for all volunteers who helped.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Dennis at the lake office at 304-355-2346, or by e-mail at norm.dennis@usace.army.mil, or persons may simply show up at the gazebo Saturday morning.

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Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

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Local nurse volunteers in Haiti


Cindy Mankamyer of Swanton recently returned from Haiti after joining a volunteer medical team with Heart to Heart International, offering medical care in the earthquake damaged areas in and around Port au Prince.
More than two months after the January 12 earthquake, sick and injured people continue to need medical care in the quake-stricken area. While Mankamyer was there, the team of physicians and nurses saw more than 170 patients on just one day at a church-turned-clinic in downtown Port au Prince.

She said there many children sick with malaria, typhoid, and tuberculosis, and some with infected earthquake-related wounds. A number of people had complaints of eye pain, throat pain, and lung congestion, all related to the thick concrete dust that still hangs over the area.

At one point during her two-week stint, Cindy joined a small field team that left Port au Prince and traveled to remote villages, crossing rivers and hiking to mountaintops, to offer medical care to victims who had not seen a doctor since the quake.

“One day, a man with his right arm and right leg in a cast since the January 12 earthquake was carried up the mountain while seated in a small wooden chair,” she said. “He told us how he was crushed under rubble for over an hour until he was rescued.”

The Heart to Heart medical team cut off the casts using a Swiss army knife and a small piece of wood, and then instructed him in some basic physical therapy techniques for his atrophied limbs and stiffened joints.

“The earthquake-stricken areas are devastated,” Mankamyer said. “Families who have lost loved ones and homes are trying to survive in tent cities with little food, no electricity or sanitation, and limited clean water. The Haitian people were very grateful for the medical care, and many of them thanked the ‘blanc’ [“white” in the French/Creole language] doctors and nurses for traveling such a long distance just to help them.”

On her travels to the mountains, Mankamyer spoke with a young Haitian man who described how the quake caused the earth to shake and roll. He and some friends were in a town on the border of the Dominican Republic, more than 40 miles away from the epicenter. He said they were all thrown to the ground. As reports of trapped people came from Port au Prince, he took several friends and drove into the city and spent the next three days and nights digging injured people out of the rubble, and then transporting them to care.

Cindy explained that Heart to Heart rotates volunteers in and out of the area about every 8 to 10 days. The volunteers go not knowing with whom they will serve. The doctors and nurses at the compound with the Garrett County nurse were from Iowa, Kansas City, Missouri, Seattle, Washington, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The two physicians who went on the “extreme team” trek into the mountains were from Iowa and Seattle, Wash. The volunteers, who bonded through their experience, have since created a FaceBook page to stay in touch.

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If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350