Character Counts honors volunteers at annual luncheon

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Special to The Dorchester Banner/Character Counts Mid Shore
Pictured from left: CCMS Board President Lollie Walters; Delegate Johnny Mautz; Senator Addie Eckardt and the Rev. George Ames.

EASTON – Character Counts Mid Shore (CCMS) hosted its annual volunteer appreciation luncheons in May to honor the hundreds of Character Coaches who teach character lessons based on the Six Pillars of Character throughout the school year. Three separate luncheons were held in each county that CCMS serves. These luncheons provided an opportunity for staff and Board of Trustee members to show their appreciation to the volunteers and school staff who support the Winners Walk Tall program and the Laws of Life Essay Contest.

Each volunteer Character Coach received handwritten letters of appreciation from their students and teachers. Showing appreciation is one of the character lessons that students are taught under the pillar of Caring. “Having an attitude of gratitude is a lesson that students will need to practice throughout their lives,” states CCMS Executive Director Susan Luby. “These expressions of gratitude are priceless gifts that many of the Coaches keep from year to year.”

Every school has a contact person that works directly with Ms. Luby and they were also recognized at the luncheons for being an essential part of the team. “We cannot thank these key people enough for their guidance and commitment to our programs,” says CCMS Board President Lollie Walters.

State Senator Addie Eckardt and Delegate Johnny Mautz; both of whom serve as Character Coaches; attended the Dorchester luncheon to present an Official Citation to long-time volunteer, the Rev. George R. Ames Jr. who has been a Character Coach at Choptank Elementary and then Sandy Hill Elementary. Rev. Ames reflected on his 14 years as a Character Coach and shared stories of many students that continue to recognize him and tell him how his lessons have made a positive impact on their lives. This school year, one student from South Dorchester K-8 School submitted a Laws of Life Essay to CCMS about how Rev. Ames taught him about respect. “I mailed a copy of the essay to one of my family members, and it made her cry,” Rev. Ames told the attendees at the luncheon.

Each volunteer also received a copy of a poem, “Dedicated Hearts” along with a heart shaped carabiner. Retiring school contacts, Sandy Lucas of White Marsh Elementary, Terry Callahan of Easton High School and Lollie Walters of South Dorchester K-8 School were also recognized and were awarded with tokens of appreciation.

Seniors from Easton and St. Michaels High Schools who served as Character Coaches this school year were treated to an Appreciation Breakfast held at the schools and sponsored by Chick-Fil-A of Easton.

The luncheons are partially funded by the PTOs of the schools. CCMS is not funded by the school systems and does not receive financial support from any government entities.

For more information about CCMS, please visit their website at www.charactercountsmidshore.com.

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