Today, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced a new program the Guard Card Project to provide free Verizon telephone cards to all deployed Vermont National Guardsmen and women. In partnership with the Vermont National Guard, the USO (United Service Organizations) and Verizon, the Office of the Secretary of State has created a program to engage students in service learning projects that will help guard families by putting a free, 100 minute calling card in the pocket of every soldier who is deployed as a result of the mobilization order announced by Adjutant General Michael Dubie last week.Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said, We are pleased to announce this new program to help our citizen soldiers keep in touch with their families while they are serving overseas. With over 1,500 Vermont National Guardsmen and women to be deployed to Afghanistan beginning next fall, every Vermont community will be impacted. When we learned how many Vermont families would be impacted by this historic deployment, we wanted to organize an effort that would bring our schools and communities together to help support our troops and their families. Missy Shea, Secretary of State s Office Civic Education Coordinator said, Communities across the state will feel this deployment. In many schools students will be impacted when a parent, or another loved one, is deployed. We thought a great service learning project would be to link students with guard families to offer support.Markowitz said, We know through research that students who have had opportunities to practice the skills of civic engagement will be more likely to be active citizens in the future. Our Guard Card service initiative provides this kind of learning opportunity. It is our hope that teachers will use this project to help students learn the meaning and importance of service in our communities.Shea explained that the original concept of the project was for students to provide assistance to guard families either through direct service such as babysitting, stacking wood and mowing lawns, or by raising money to help buy long distance phone cards for each soldier who is being deployed to make it easier for them to keep in touch with their families. Shea explained that when Verizon was approached with the phone card idea, they offered to provide the calling cards for free through a promotional program they had established with the USO. Shea says it was a pleasure working with Verizon. The company does a lot to support the troops. Their partnership with the USO is what s providing these cards. The fact that Vermont soldiers have a back-up way to stay in touch with their families during deployment is incredibly helpful. We very much appreciate the generosity of Verizon and the USO.Major Randall Gates, Director of the Vermont National Guard State Family Readiness Program, and himself a soldier who will be deployed, adds, “This calling card endeavor is a tremendous showing of community support for our soldiers. While some of our soldiers may use other communication technologies such as instant messaging or personal video, all of our soldiers will benefit greatly from these phone cards. The soldiers will be able to use the cards during their out-of-state mobilization training or use them for a call from Afghanistan. We commend Verizon and the USO. Our airmen, soldiers and Family Readiness Program have benefited from the ideas generated by Secretary Deb Markowitz’s office, and we look forward to further collaboration.”Now that the cards have been donated, it opens even greater opportunity for schools to develop other service-learning projects in support of the soldiers and their families. According to Shea, some schools have already been inspired by the Guard Card project to raise money to help pay for the distribution of the cards. Benson Village School 3rd and 4th graders have designed phone card envelopes with special messages for the guardsmen and women. At Cavendish Elementary, students hosted an Ed-u-thon , playing learning games through the night to raise $1,400 they will donate. Beginning this fall, the Office of the Secretary of State will be rolling out the Service-for-Service program to link schools with guard family support efforts in their communities. For more information about the Guard Card or related school-based service learning projects, please contact Missy Shea, Civic Education Coordinator, Office of the Secretary of State.Source: Markowitz’s office.
Versailles, In. — The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office “Mums for Education Program” is in full bloom.The mums were grown by the female Ripley County Jail inmates in order to fund the scholarship program. The scholarships are given to Ripley County students who are pursuing a career in the criminal justice field.The mums come in a variety of colors and can be purchased at the Sheriff’s Office for $5.00 each. Sheriff’s Office hours are Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm.
The Trojans seemed to finally have it in their grasp. The No. 13 USC men’s golf team, 13 months removed from its last tournament victory, was in a great position on the final hole of its title match with New Mexico in the 2010 Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz.Firing · Freshman T.J. Vogel won his singles match 5 and 4 over UNM’s James Erkenbeck Tuesday at the Callaway Match Play Championships. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information The Trojans and Lobos had split the day’s first four matches, leaving USC freshman Martin Trainer and New Mexico’s John Catlin to battle for the deciding point.Trainer was two holes up with two to play but bogeyed the 17th. Catlin made birdie to extend the match. On the par-four 18th, Trainer hit his approach shot to inside 15 feet while Catlin’s second shot left him over 30 feet from the cup.With members of both teams watching around the green, Catlin drained the long putt while Trainer missed his.“Shocked. Absolutely shocked,” USC coach Chris Zambri said about his team’s reaction to Catlin’s putt. “He had about 32 feet, putting straight down a big swell, and if he misses the putt we win, and he made it.”On the first playoff hole Trainer hit his drive into a cactus and made bogey. Catlin made par and gave the Lobos the tournament championship.“I felt like I should have won but I just kind of fell apart at the end,” Trainer said. “It was kind of a miraculous putt on the 18th hole for him but all credit to him.”Trainer’s loss in the final was the only defeat he suffered during the week. He won three straight matches over the first two days of the tournament to help USC reach the final.USC, seeded eighth in the 16-team field, defeated No. 9 Texas Christian University in the first round 4-1 with match victories from Trainer, freshman T.J. Vogel, sophomore Steve Lim and junior Matt Giles.Next up was top-seeded Stanford, ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Trojans squeaked out a 3-2 victory with wins from Trainer, Vogel and Lim.In the semifinals, Trainer, Lim and freshman Stewart Hagestad grabbed wins to help USC beat Colorado State 3-2 and advance to the final.Vogel and Giles won their matches against New Mexico State, but it wasn’t enough.“It’s certainly good preparation for the national championship,” Zambri said, referring to the match play format at the NCAA championship. “You can’t win a national title if you don’t win three matches in match play.”The Trojans were busy over the break as well, finishing in a tie for third at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters held March 12 to 14 in Las Vegas.Vogel turned in another impressive display in the desert, finishing second overall for the second straight tournament. His three round total of four over par was one shot behind tournament winner Jesper Kennegard of Arizona State.“My game is about as good as it has been,” Vogel said. “There are a few things I need to work on short game wise but ball-striking wise I’m at the highest I’ve ever been. I feel really confident.”As a team, USC shot 44 over par, nine strokes behind co-champions UNLV and UCLA.Hagestad shot 13 over and finished in a tie for 21st while Trainer posted a 31st place finish at 16 over par. Lim tied for 37th at 18 over and Giles shot 20 over to finish in a tie for 43rd.With two top-three finishes in the last week, the Trojans are heating up as they move into the stretch run of the season.“This gives us confidence that we can compete with the best, even though we’re young,” Vogel said.Zanbri agreed, saying he had high hopes for his team.“We’re definitely rounding into a team that has a chance to win a national title,” he said. “We can compete with the best teams in the country; there’s no doubt about that.”