Friday was a great day for those of us who live in Cambridge and Dorchester County. What I have mentioned in past Cambridge Matters and has been going on here behind the scenes showed itself at the Annual Awards Breakfast of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation (MSCF).
As I sat and watched the award winners receive their recognitions, I suddenly realized that three of the six people/organizations receiving awards were from Cambridge and Dorchester County and one other person, Dr. James Bell, had spent many years working in the Dorchester County Public Schools leading Student Services, overseeing the multiple grants that the school system sought and was awarded, and helping so many students to succeed.
These MSCF awards and recognitions come from an organization that supports five counties of the Eastern Shore from Dorchester to Queen Anne’s and Kent. The Cambridge and Dorchester winners were recommended by us but chosen by people not associated with Cambridge or Dorchester County. Dr. Bell represented the Mid-Shore Early Learning Center for its award https://mselc.org/. That program has existed for over 30 years, and in recent years he and his wife helped improve its mission. They live in Talbot County, but he committed years of his life to helping the youth of our community.
The Town Watch Award received by Shay Lewis-Cisco is named in honor of a militia of local citizens that protected the Town of Easton during the War of 1812 and “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership and service in the community”. Shay is just that kind of person. I won’t give you all the details of what she has done here, except to say that she is and has been everywhere working on behalf of our children and parents to help improve their lives.
One Mission Cambridge, led by Krista Pettit, received a Special Recognition Award for the work that she has done since moving here in pulling together portions of the Cambridge faith community and volunteers to provide resources and assistance for our most vulnerable people. See https://onemissioncambridge.org/
Chris Branch and Shawn Tucker, both teachers in the Dorchester County Public Schools run the Gentlemen’s Club to help our young men learn appropriate behavior while also exposing them to places, people, and things that they might not otherwise experience. In talking with Shawn after the program, I learned that recently he has been hearing from former students who are now in college thanking him for helping them to have a vision and a life for themselves that they would not have had were it not for the work that the Gentlemen’s Club did with and for them. See https://m.facebook.com/dcpsmd/posts/check-this-out-the-dorchester-county-gentlemens-club-is-open-to-the-young-gentle/3189556574504928/
While the above recognitions should make the recipients and our community proud, it should also be a message to all of us that there is much work to do here and the need for many more of us to step forward as Shay, Krista, James, Shawn, Chris, and others have done and are doing.
Thanks for Reading.
Steve Rideout is the mayor of Cambridge, Maryland.