Community Briefs 07/17/2020

Happy Birthday

Long-time First Presbyterian Church member Dorothy (Dot) Ross turns 100 years old on Friday, July 17.

Ross was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the oldest of six children. Her father owned a small restaurant on the north side of the city.

She graduated from Perry High School with honors in 1938. On Dec. 6, 1941, the day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, she married Chester Ross, the love of her life.

They raised four children (two girls and two boys) in Pittsburgh before moving to Salisbury in 1969, where Chester joined an architectural/engineering firm.

There they became members of the Wicomico Presbyterian Church, where both were actively involved.

Dot also served as a very creative and well-respected pre-school teacher for almost 20 years.

They retired to Ocean Pines in 1997, joining First Presbyterian in Ocean City, where Dot was active in the WOW women’s group and Grace Parker Breakfast activities.

They were married for 57 years before he passed away in 1999.

Dot currently resides at The Woodlands in Ocean Pines and loves hearing from her friends, and is a role model for many.

Optimist Club awards

Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club recently gave away $34,000 in scholarships to several Stephen Decatur High School graduates.

Since the start of the scholarship program in 1989, the club has awarded over $2 million in scholarships.

Students who received scholarships are: Grayson Liam Wolf, University of Maryland College Park, $8,000; Hunter Sabastian Wolf, UMBC, $7,000; Madison Birckett, Penn State University, $5,000; Brandon Manuel, Towson University, $5,000; Prutha Patel, University of Maryland College Park, $5,000; and Matthew C. Wrench, Towson University, $4,000.


Craig Birckhead-Morton, a Snow Hill High School graduate, was selected as a National Honor Society Scholarship semifinalist.

Birckhead-Morton was chosen from nearly 7,000 applicants and will receive a $3,200 scholarship toward higher education.

Birckhead-Morton is an Eagle Scout, he served as a page for the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. and the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. He is also a Ben Carson Scholar.

At Snow Hill High School, Birckhead-Morton was the secretary in the National Honor Society and a member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society.

He was a member of the school’s track team, marching band, legal intern and Future Business Leaders of America. He is also involved in the Appalachia Service Project and Adopt-a-Highway program.

This fall, Birckhead-Morton will attend Yale to study Political Science and Economics.

Attends conference

Lindsay Birckhead-Morton of Snow Hill High School, was one of more than 200 diverse sophomore student leaders representing all Maryland counties during the 41st annual Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Maryland Leadership Seminar held June 19-21.

The three-day virtual seminar brings together a select group of students (HOBY ambassadors) to interact with distinguished leaders in the business, governmental and educational arenas to discuss relevant present and future issues.

Following the seminar, HOBY ambassadors are challenged to return to their respective cities and participate in community service projects where they are to perform at least 100 hours of community service within the year.


Marley B. Rakow, daughter of Steve and Kelley Rakow, of Bishopville, recently graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, New York.

Rakow earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the U.S. armed forces. She also earned a Merchant Marine officer license, qualifying her to serve as an officer on any ship in the U.S. flag merchant marine.

Rakow is a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers. In addition to the rigorous academic and physical requirements for admission, applicants must be nominated by their Congressman or Senator. Rakow was nominated by Sen. Ben Cardin and Congressman Andy Harris.

As part of her four year education, Rakow spent one year training as a cadet aboard ocean going vessels. Rakow will be going to sea aboard merchant ships as a third officer.

Dean’s List

Worcester County residents named to the Dean’s List for their respective schools are: Jillian Griggs of Berlin, Adelphi University; Whitney Van Kirk of Ocean City, James Madison University; and James Church of Ocean City, McDaniel College.

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