Brandywine residents win 'Perfect Porch' award
June 24, 2004

Race and Joyce Dowling, who sunk about $300,000 into restoring their Brandywine home, recently saw their investment pay off in the form of the county's "Perfect Porch" award.

Top county officials turned out June 4 to bestow the title.

"We're very pleased to win this award," Race Dowling said Thursday. "We've done a lot of work in our neighborhood association and restored our house. As a consequence, the neighborhood is starting to revitalize and people are restoring their houses, so we're seeing a lot of community investment."

The Dowlings have lived in the Victorian house, located at 13907 Cherry Tree Crossing Road, for five-and-a-half years. The house was built in 1907 and is listed as a National Historic Site. It is officially known as the William Early House.

County officials have recognized two other homes for their perfect porches since last September, including one in Upper Marlboro and one in Colmar Manor.

"It was a very beautiful home, the porch had a intergenerational feel, it was aesthetically pleasing, and it had quite a bit of character," said Joe Woods, one of the program organizers, about the Dowlings' porch. "It had that 'come on up, take a seat' effect and, finally, it exemplifies what County Executive Jack Johnson talks about when he speaks of Livable Communities here in Prince George's County."

Patricia Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the county Health Department, said porches are being recognized because they symbolize a time when residents would gather on porches and discuss issues concerning their communities.

"We need neighborhoods that are clean, that are well kept," she said. "Porches demonstrate and instill a sense of community pride."

Community service

Upsilon Tau Omega, the Fort Washington chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, held its second annual Community Awards Reception at Potomac Landing Elementary School June 12.

Seven area residents were recognized for their efforts to better serve their community in the areas of education, the arts, economics, the black family, health and leadership. There was also a special recognition award.

Additionally, four local high school students received college scholarships and six chapter members were honored for their service efforts.

"This awards reception allows members of Upsilon Tau Omega to commend individuals, businesses and organizations, who like our chapter, strive to make a difference in the community through exemplary actions," said Andriae Holt, the chapter's president.

Renton Bean of Fort Washington won the education award for his work as a math tutor at Potomac Landing.

Michelle Lyons of Fort Washington won for her contribution to the arts. The owner of Designs by Michelle, Lyons hosts shows for young designers seeking to launch clothing and jewelry lines. She also hosts workshops on dressing for success, self-esteem and etiquette.

Barbara Jefferson of Fort Washington accepted the black family award on behalf of St. Paul Church's outreach ministries for prisons, health and housing.

Marion Hughes accepted the health award for the Forestville Pregnancy Center. The Center promotes abstinence and provides physical, spiritual and emotional support to pregnant women.

Fort Washington resident June Dillard won the leadership award for her work as the president of the NAACP's Prince George's County branch.

Hubert "Petey" Green of the Prince George's Black Chamber of Commerce won the chapter's economics award. Green lives in Fort Washington.

Kevin DeCosta of Fort Washington received special recognition for his support of the chapter's community service programs.

The sorority also presented scholarships to Dante Barnes of Temple Hills, who graduated from Friendly High School and will attend Howard University, and Kirk Jefferson of Temple Hills, who graduated from Potomac High School and will attend McDaniel College in the fall.

The Upsilon Tau Omega members recognized for their community service include Irene Bullock-Overton, Beverly Franklin, Gwen Mitchell, Cheryl Parker, Traci Savoy and Christine Stevenson.

Multicultural festival

The Greater Baden-Aquasco Citizen's Association will sponsor the first-ever Brandywine Multicultural Music and Arts Festival June 26.

The festival will take place rain or shine in Wilmer's Park in Brandywine.

It lasts from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Attractions include live music such as rock, blues, country, Cajun, folk gospel and a disk jockey who will spin oldies. There will also be food from various cultures, games, ponies, arts and crafts and a moon bounce, and artisans who will display and sell their work.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6­12. Children under age 6 are admitted free. Parking is $1 per car.

College grads

Two local residents were among 339 students who earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Hood College at a May 22 graduation ceremony.

Accokeek resident Miya Peay and Fort Washington resident Kedest Teshome earned Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Lisa Myers, a senior investigative correspondent for NBC News, delivered the commencement address.

Hood College is located in Frederick. It was founded in 1893.