La Plata HS alumni cel­e­brate for­mer teacher, do­nate to needy

Hon­ors for­mer teacher with do­na­tion to help home­less

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JamieACIndyNews

La Plata High School’s Class of 1982 came to­gether Satur­day to show some love to a for­mer teacher, as well as sup­port a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ben­e­fit­ting the home­less.

Mae Green, one of the event’s or­ga­niz­ers, said the “Unity Day” cel­e­bra- tion started last year as a way to honor for­mer La Plata teacher Cyn­thia War­ren Baker, a pas­tor of She­bach Evan­ge­lis­tic Min­istries in Wal­dorf.

Baker and her church have been in­volved in host­ing Safe Nights, a pro­gram which pro­vides overnight shel­ter to the home­less dur­ing the win­ter, and Green said she wanted to do some­thing both to honor Baker and to sup­port the home­less.

Baker’s class teamed up with lo­cal Wal­mart stores and other busi­nesses to raise thou­sands of dol­lars worth of sup­plies, such as socks, un­der­wear and more for the home­less, which were do­nated to LifeStyles Inc. of South­ern Mary­land, a non­prof- it or­ga­ni­za­tion that works with the home­less in Charles County.

The Unity Day event, held Satur­day at the school and fea­tur­ing per­for­mances by the La Plata High School Show Troupe and Cham­ber Choir, rec­og­nized Baker on be­half of the Class of 1982.

The oc­ca­sion also hap­pened to be Baker’s 65th birth­day.

“What an honor, I don’t even know what to say,” Baker told at­ten­dees. “Thank you for to­day, thank you for yes­ter­day, thank you from the bot- tom of my heart.”

Baker was in­tro­duced by Maureen Bun­yan, an Emmy Award-win­ning broad­cast jour­nal­ist from WUSA-TV and WJLA-TV.

“All of you have a won- der­ful rea­son to be here to­day, and that is to cel­e­brate some­one who has had such an im­pact on all of you,” Bun­yan said. “Her life has af­fected hun­dreds of peo­ple.”

Sandy Wash­ing­ton, CEO of LifeStyles, said she was very grate­ful for the do­na­tions to ben­e­fit the home­less.

“The first day they showed up, with the first load of items for folks, it was amaz­ing,” Wash­ing­ton said, adding that LifeStyles serves ap­prox­i­mately 1,100 home­less in­di­vid­u­als in Charles County, in­clud­ing ap­prox­i­mately 500 chil­dren. “So when some­body gets it, when some­body de­cides that they want to give back … it makes a big dif- fer­ence.”

Green said one of the goals was to bring to­gether the skills of the mem- bers of the Class of 1982 for a cause they could all rally around.

“We wanted to come to­gether and show unity, with all of this me­dia, this racial di­vide,” Green said. “We wanted to show unity and sup­port for some­one who con­tin­ues to make a dif­fer­ence in our com­mu­nity.”

Green said the class plans to con­tinue rais­ing funds and sup­plies through­out the year, and plans for more Unity Day cel­e­bra­tions in the fu­ture.

Lisa Ship­ley, La Plata High Class of 1982, cen­ter, per­forms “Love’s in Need” with the school’s Show Troupe and Cham­ber Choir for the Rev. Cyn­thia War­ren Baker, the hon­oree of the class’s Unity Day cel­e­bra­tion Satur­day.

The La Plata High School Show Troupe and Cham­ber Choir per­form dur­ing the Class of 1982’s Unity Day Satur­day.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Broad­cast jour­nal­ist Maureen Bun­yan presents hon­oree the Rev. Cyn­thia War­ren Baker, for­mer La Plata High School teacher, dur­ing the Class of 1982’s Unity Day cel­e­bra­tion.

La Plata High School Prin­ci­pal Dou­glass Dolan reads a plaque pre­sented to the Rev. Cyn­thia War­ren-Baker, the hon­oree at the Class of 1982’s Unity Day cel­e­bra­tion Satur­day.

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