Meet Local Heroes Making a Difference for Hopkins Kids

September 24, 1997
Media Contact: Melissa Sweeney
Phone: (410)223-1741

Meet local heroes who create and continue Kids Helping Hopkins programs that make the difference for pediatric patients at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Meet Anita Rozenel, a music teacher at Hernwood Elementary, whose love for her student Amanda, a Children's Center patient who later died of cancer, informally created the Kids Helping Hopkins program. In 1994, Rozenel formed a modest group of Amanda's fellow students and their school community to offer support to Amanda and her family. Four years later, this effort has evolved into a program that includes 150 Maryland schools, their students, teachers, parents, and corporate friends. Since KHH began, a total of over $100,000 has been raised for Children's Center patients. In addition to fundraising, KHH students make art work, draw cards, write letters, produce homemade videos, provide books, school supplies, and many other needed items for Hopkins kids.

Meet Carroll Cook, a parent of Alex, a former Children's Center patient who lost his battle with cancer. Cook is also a teacher at Catonsville High School who combines his passion for children's health and education to strengthen KHH programs. Impressed with the innovative way that KHH programs teach youth the values of compassion, respect, and the importance of community service, Cook continues to embrace the KHH programs.

Meet Michael Sperling, a 14-year-old Owings Mills High School student, who, inspired by Carroll Cook has independently initiated fundraising events and other activities that benefit kids at Hopkins. At age 11, Sperling began selling miracle balloons. Now he is a KHH youth leader. Sperling will receive the first KHH Children's Champion award this Thursday during KHH ceremonies.

On Thursday, Sept. 25, at 4:30 p.m., at Cockeysville Middle School, located at 10401 Greenside Dr., the Johns Hopkins Children's Center will honor these heroes and celebrate the third annual kickoff of KHH. The celebration will feature a musical performance by the Catonsville High School Steel Band and special guests speakers including Dr. George Dover, Director and Pediatrician-in-Chief at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and Anthony Marchione, Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools.

If you are interested in this story, please call Anthony Wainwright at 410-223-1724 or beeper at 410-283-1105.

-- JHMI --
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