CSM ex­er­cise classes join in sea­son’s spirit of giv­ing

The Enterprise - - Community -

Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land ex­er­cise classes and the Leonard­town cam­pus com­mu­nity joined in the spirit of giv­ing last week when Geno Roth­back, CSM group fit­ness in­struc­tor, and her Zumba stu­dents de­liv­ered boxes of food, cloth­ing and presents to a St. Mary’s County fam­ily who needs a lit­tle help this sea­son. Af­ter col­lect­ing dona­tions from boxes set up through­out the cam­pus, an abun­dance of of­fer­ings were de­liv­ered Nov. 18 to a Cal­i­for­nia grand­mother who cares for her grand­daugh­ter.

Roth­back be­gan or­ga­niz­ing the col­lec­tions in early Novem­ber af­ter work­ing with the St. Mary’s County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices to iden­tify the fam­ily, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from CSM. She said she started help­ing lo­cal fam­i­lies three years ago as a trib­ute to her late fa­ther-in-law Pe­ter Donchik Sr. of Mel­bourne, Fla.

Donchik, Roth­back ex­plained, spent many years col­lect­ing socks and de­liv­er­ing them to home­less peo­ple through­out the state of Flor­ida.

“He was such an in­spi­ra­tion,” she said in the re­lease, “and I just want to con­tinue to ful­fill his vi­sion of giv­ing to those in need.”

Pamela Herold of Leonard­town has been a Zumba stu­dent of Roth­back’s for more than six years and has par­tic­i­pated in her Thanks­giv­ing tra­di­tion of kind­ness all three years.

“This is re­ally the high­light of my year,” she said, “I am so im­pressed by Geno’s gen­eros­ity and by the gen­eros­ity of the St. Mary’s County com­mu­nity.”

As a CSM in­struc­tor, Roth­back pointed out that she has the ca­pac­ity to reach many peo­ple on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. “This is re­ally a vil­lage of peo­ple who help pro­vide these dona­tions,” she added. “I am thank­ful to CSM for let­ting us leave boxes in the cor­ners of the Leonard­town cam­pus for ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity to par­tic­i­pate.”

Call­ing the St. Mary’s County com­mu­nity’s spirit of giv­ing “ex­tra­or­di­nary,” Roth­back added that she has come to un­der­stand that such giv­ing is a uni­ver­sal sen­ti­ment that knows no lan­guage or geo­graphic bound­aries.

“I am very grate­ful to also have the op­por­tu­nity to travel abroad,” said Roth­back, who just re­turned from a trip to Cam­bo­dia. “And I honor my fatherin-law dur­ing our trav­els as well. One of the things we love to do is visit or­phan­ages and shel­ters in other coun­tries. Be­fore the trip, I pack can­dies or books – even pen­cils for the chil­dren there be­cause a lit­tle bit of kind­ness goes a long way.

“You never know when you could be an in­spi­ra­tion like my fa­ther-in-law was,” she added. “You never know when a book in­spires a child to read, or a pen­cil in­spires a child to write.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Cel­e­brat­ing the sea­son’s spirit of giv­ing, a CSM de­liv­ery team of Leonard­town cam­pus ex­er­cise stu­dents are Melba McLeod, left, Dori Fla­herty, Len­dora Moon, CSM Group Fit­ness In­struc­tor Geno Roth­back, stu­dents Mandy Thomp­son, Pamela Herold, Pamela Wil­liams and Miriam Orengo.

Dona­tions poured in at CSM’s Leonard­town cam­pus to help make the sea­son brighter for a St. Mary’s County fam­ily.

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