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.
28 Aug 2014 Five new caps for women’s Home Internationals There are five new caps in the England team for the Ladies’ Home Internationals, which take place at Aberdovey Golf Club, Wales, from September 17-19. Three of the newcomers were members of the England team which recently won the Girls’ Home Internationals for the seventh successive year: India Clyburn of Lincolnshire, Alice Hewson of Hertfordshire and Hollie Muse of Lancashire. The other two are Gemma Clews of Cheshire and Bethan Popel of Gloucestershire (Image © Leaderboard Photography). They will joined established internationals Sarah-Jane Boyd of Cornwall, Gabriella Cowley of Hertfordshire and Alex Peters of Nottinghamshire. The reserve is Emma Goddard of Cheshire. The team will be captained by Chris Pascall of Hartlepool, Durham, and the coach is Yorkshire’s Steve Robinson. England were third in last year’s Home Internationals, having won the title for the previous two years. The 2013 champions were Wales who will be defending on home ground. The players: Sarah-Jane Boyd, 22, (Truro, Cornwall) has had a string of high finishes this season: she was runner-up in the British stroke play, which she won in 2012; third in her defence of the English amateur; third in the English stroke play; and runner-up in the English mid-amateur. She also won the Hampshire Rose at the start of the season. Gemma Clews, 19, (Delamere Forest, Cheshire) has won two scratch events this season: the Pleasington Putter and the inaugural Delamere Comboy Trophy. She was third in the Welsh open stroke play, sixth in the English amateur and 12th in the British stroke play. India Clyburn, 17, (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) is the English girls’ champion and had a perfect record at Girls’ Home Internationals winning all six of her matches. She is also the Scottish junior stroke play champion and was runner-up in the Critchley Salver. Gabriella Cowley, 18, (Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire) played in the 2014 Curtis Cup match and is representing England in the World Amateur Team Championship. She was runner-up in this year’s Portuguese amateur championship and helped to win the Nations Cup for England at the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play championship. Alice Hewson, 17, (Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire) won the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale and the U18 prize at the St Rule Trophy where she also helped England win the Nations Cup and was fourth overall. She was sixth in the English girls’ championship and ninth in the English women’s amateur. Last year she was in England’s winning team at the European Young Masters, won the Scottish U16s and the girls’ title at the Telegraph BMW Golf Championship. Hollie Muse, 14, (West Lancashire), has just won the girls’ title at the North of England U16 championship and was runner-up in the English U15 girls’ championship. She was also runner-up in the girls’ event at the Fairhaven Trophies and tied eighth at the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews. She is the youngest-ever Lancashire ladies’ champion. Alex Peters, 20, (Notts Ladies’, Nottinghamshire) was third in both the British stroke play and the English amateur championships; and sixth in the English stroke play. She won The Leveret at the start of the season and topped the 2013 England Golf women’s order of merit, sponsored by Lorrin Golf. Bethan Popel, 19, (Long Ashton, Gloucestershire) helped England win the Nations Cup at the St Rule Trophy, among a string of good results this season which have included fifth place in the English amateur, seventh place in the women’s Welsh stroke play, 12th place in the Helen Holm Scottish stroke play and 11th in the Portuguese amateur. Emma Goddard, 23, (Royal Liverpool, Cheshire) had top five finishes in both the St Rule Trophy and the Welsh stroke play. She was 10th in the English stroke play and 11th in the British, and tied second in the Pleasington Putter.