Lo­cal fra­ter­nity hon­ors Turner for ser­vice, lead­er­ship

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES jclinkscales@somd­news.com

The Mary­land DeMo­lay, Bowie-Colling­ton Chap­ter of Prince Ge­orge’s County hon­ored Coun­cil­man Todd M. Turner (D) for his ser­vice and lead­er­ship dur­ing a spe­cial “My Gov­ern­ment Day” cer­e­mony held July 21 at the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing in Up­per Marl­boro.

“We are rec­og­niz­ing Coucil­man Todd Turner [of] Ward 4 be­cause he has a long his­tory with Bowie, be­ing first elected to the Bowie City Coun­cil in 2005 and then re-elected in 2007 and 2009. And cur­rently, he still rep­re­sents Bowie as our county coun­cil­man,” Chap­ter Ad­vi­sor Marilyn Hall said in an email. “Bowie-Colling­ton looks at him to be a pos­i­tive role model in our coun­try which is needed for our youth.”

The Or­der of DeMo­lay, now DeMo­lay In­ter­na­tional, is an or­ga­ni­za­tion — founded in 1919 in Kansas City, Mo., by suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man and Mas­ter Ma­son Frank Sher­man Land

— ded­i­cated to pre­par­ing young men to lead suc­cess­ful, happy and pro­duc­tive lives. The or­ga­ni­za­tion aims to open doors for young men ages 12 to 21 by de­vel­op­ing the civic aware­ness, per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity and lead­er­ship skills. Ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site, DeMo­lay has more than 1,000 chap­ters na­tion­wide.

DeMo­lays are re­quired, un­less in ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances, to par­tic­i­pate in oblig­a­tory days where a chap­ter usu­ally holds some sort of pro­gram in ob­ser­vance of such. One of the seven oblig­a­tory days is “My Gov­ern­ment Day,” in which DeMo­lays meet with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in July and learn about how the gov­ern­ment op­er­ates at the coun­try, state or com­mu­nity level based on where their chap­ter is lo­cated, the web­site noted.

As the only chap­ter in the county and one of 11 rep­re­sent­ing Mary­land, Hall said Bowie-Colling­ton un­der­stands that the achieve­ments of civil ser­vants are very im­por­tant be­cause most peo­ple don’t know what they do on a daily ba­sis. Hav­ing oblig­a­tory days isn’t just a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for DeMo­lays, but for those who live within and out­side the com­mu­nity as well, she said.

“One of the virtues of DeMo­lay is to be­come a bet­ter leader and ci­ti­zen. This is one way we can honor our civil ser­vants,” Hall said.

Eight chap­ter mem­bers, along with sev­eral other vis­i­tors, lis­tened to a brief pre­sen­ta­tion from Prince Ge­orge’s County Coun­cil Chair­man Der­rick L. Davis (D) and Turner be­fore they sur- prised him with a plaque and took pho­tos.

Twelve-year-old Corey Bast, the youngest mem­ber who at­tends Ben­jamin Tasker Mid­dle School, said it was a cool ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing been his first time hon­or­ing a coun­cil mem­ber.

“It’s cool to come here and honor some­body [like Coun­cil­man Turner] be­cause I haven’t re­ally done that ever,” said Bast, who has fu­ture plans of be­com­ing a mas­ter coun­cilor of his chap­ter. “As a chap­ter, we want to gain more mem­bers and we’re try­ing to spread the word about DeMo­lay.”

As the old­est mem­ber, 19-year-old Fran­cis Hall said he’s had an op­por­tu­nity to watch some of his younger peers ma­ture. He said it’s not only im­por­tant to set a good ex­am­ple for them, but also en­sure they’re fol­low­ing the right path.

“The Or­der of DeMo­lay is heav­ily built on pa­tri­o­tism and be­ing proud of civil lib­erty” he said. “It’s just good to show how much we ap­pre­ci­ate those who do so much for us.”

Hall, a po­lit­i­cal science ma­jor at Howard Univer­sity who plans on ob­tain­ing a ca­reer in for­eign pol­icy, said DeMo­lay helped ma­ture and teach him about com­rade­ship and pa­tri­o­tism.

“I guess it’s just very im­por­tant lessons that we get from our or­ga­ni­za­tion as it teaches you so much that you take on later in life,” he said. “Be­ing the only chap­ter in the county now I think is very im­por­tant that we keep this go­ing be­cause we don’t want to see it die out.”

Turner said al­though he wasn’t ex­pect­ing an award, he is glad to sup­port and en­cour­age a group of young men who con­tinue to make a pos­i­tive im­pact in the com­mu­nity.

“We’re help­ing th­ese young men de­velop their lead­er­ship skills, be­ing able to work to­gether and achieve what they want to do with re­spect to that,” Turner said. “That kind of ser­vice el­e­ment is a big part of the work that they do and … do­ing th­ese lit­tle things that one rarely wouldn’t think of by tak­ing th­ese po­si­tions and be­ing a group that sup­ports each other, which I think is very im­por­tant for their growth as well.”


Mem­bers of the Mary­land DeMo­lay, Bowie-Colling­ton Chap­ter par­tic­i­pate in a meet­ing with Prince Ge­orge’s County Coun­cil Chair­man Der­rick L. Davis and Coun­cil­man Todd M. Turner July 21 at the County Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing in Up­per Marl­boro in ob­ser­vance...

Chap­ter mem­ber 19-year-old Fran­cis Hall, the old­est mem­ber who is a po­lit­i­cal science ma­jor at Howard Univer­sity, presents a plaque to Turner in honor of his ex­em­plary ser­vice as a civil ser­vant and lo­cal gov­ern­ment leader.

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