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Digest

Twins, grandma keep faith for trip

Brooksville Elementary School's black history program, a student performance, is 9 and 10 a.m. Feb. 21. All families are invited.

By MARYAN PELLAND
Published February 15, 2007


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Black history event in Brooksville

Brooksville Elementary School's black history program, a student performance, is 9 and 10 a.m. Feb. 21. All families are invited.

Violinist awarded at competition

Seventeen musicians, ages 16 to 20 competed Jan. 6 in the Imperial Symphony Orchestra young artist competition at Florida Southern College. Christina Adams, 17, a violinist from Spring Hill, was one of three winners.

The Central senior performed the first movement of Violin Concerto in D Minor by Sibelius.

All Pro Dads have breakfast event

Fox Chapel Middle School's "All Pro Dad's Breakfast" is 7 a.m. Feb. 23 in the media center .

Chinese New Year at Wider Horizons

Wider Horizons School celebrated Chinese New Year by treating nearly 150 parents and family members to an all-day extravaganza of culture, food and entertainment.

Preschoolers had a dragon parade. Kindergarten through high school students enjoyed lunch at a local Chinese restaurant.

Meetings merged at West Hernando

West Hernando Middle School has its combined SAC, Title I and PTSA meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the media center.

Challenger PTSA to meet Feb. 22

Challenger's PTSA meeting is Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Math night at Spring Hill school

Spring Hill Elementary's annual Math Night is 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 26.

Nature Coast tech to have car show

Nature Coast Tech is expecting at least 400 visitors at its annual car show from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

There will be music and entertainment.

The featured vehicle is a chopper built by Orange County Choppers.

Proceeds support the school's automotive program.

Contact Kevin Moglia at 797-7088, ext. 264.

Parrott Middle has black history event

Parrott Middle School is celebrating Black History Month with an exhibit in the media center all month, and by hosting a different guest speaker each Friday.

The events will conclude with a program of song, dance and verse on March 15. Call C.Y. Williams at 797-7075, ext. 206.

Adversity either makes people stronger or breaks them. For Grandma Beverly Morris and twin granddaughters Blair and Amanda, their bond of love has overcome adversity - again and again.

And it has paid off with academic success for the 15-year-old Central High sophomores. Blair and Amanda are on the verge of a two-week trip to Washington, D.C., for the Global Leadership program of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council.

They are among 300 outstanding teens invited to spend time talking with and learning from dignitaries and national officials.

The event, scheduled June 10-21, aims to teach young leaders about politics and governments, helping them realize personal potential.

Now, the last hurdle the two Spring Hill girls face is raising the $3,500 each the trip will cost them. So far, their church has contributed a small amount. They are looking for help everywhere they can, because the opportunity is like a dream for the twins, whose lives could have easily gone in a different direction.

The girls were separated from their mother and two brothers, also twins, early in life. Their dad, Billy, attempting to raise them on his own, decided when they were 7 to move from New York to Spring Hill. They blended their family with Billy's parents, Beverly and Bill Morris.

Billy, very athletic, taught the girls to love sports. School was a priority. Religion cemented the family together.

Billy coached a youth basketball team. One afternoon, he banged his knee on concrete. It was a fateful fall. A blood clot formed and ultimately, took 36-year-old Billy's life.

Beverly and Bill assumed legal custody of the twins, who had suffered so many separations in their young lives, and tried to support them the way parents would.

In 2002, Bill Morris died of liver cancer. The trio had only each other for support. They could have crumbled - but they carried on.

They credit their faith for primary support, but a stubborn streak and classic strength of will moved them forward together.

Amanda and Blair carry 4.0 grade point averages. They're honored cadets in the Navy Junior ROTC program and outstanding athletes - playing varsity basketball and volleyball, both freshman and sophomore years.

You'll find them serving at the altar every Sunday at St. Francis Cabrini Church, and they call that, "our most important activity."

Each evening, they allocate an hour to sit with Grandma and discuss the day.

The girls, pretty and engaging, are articulate, excited about life and down-to-earth. Independent, they have personal goals and aspirations, but they've learned to rely upon each other.

"I can't imagine being without my sister," Amanda said as Blair nodded.

Amanda wants to coach college women's sports. Blair wants to be a doctor, to help cure cancer and prevent things like deadly blood clots.

What happens when career goals separate them?

"Won't happen," said Blair. "We'll find a college that specializes in sports and medicine."

They worry about their trip - leaving Grandma for two weeks, flying alone. They're awed by the magnitude of the conference, and concerned about expenses.

It's important for the kids to go, Beverly Morris said. They'll gain independence and get a view of our American system most people never experience. She said, through their faith, the funding will work out. The girls are worried, but ready to get the job done.

"They're hard workers and I'm so proud," Morris said. "We'll pray and hope and work like we always do. It'll happen."

Fast Facts:

How to help

Any person or group wishing to help sponsor Blair and Amanda's trip to Washington, D.C., can contact Beverly Morris in Spring Hill at 200-6945.

ON THE WEB

More school news

Go to www. education. tampabay.com

[Last modified February 14, 2007, 20:16:38]


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