St. Mary’s Episcopal funds WHS grad’s trip to China

by Desiree Laws Moore

The members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bridgeville honored Shannon Trammell at a reception on Sunday morning and presented her with a $4,000 check. Trammell was recently nominated to be a delegate to the 2003 International Mission on Business in China. Her only roadblock to accepting the nomination was funding for the 17-day excursion behind the scenes of four major Chinese business. The tuition for the trip is $4,225. The St. Mary’s congregation voted unanimously to pay the tuition of her trip. “I am so excited,” said Trammell with a big smile. “It is really happening for me. I truly feel honored and I am very appreciative. You don’t think about something like this happening to someone you know or even someone in Sussex County. I am just extremely honored.” Since 1958, the churchwomen of St. Mary’s have published a telephone directory for the Bridgeville area and proceeds are invested in an educational fund that is administered by the women. In 2001, virtually all members worked on the telephone book because it has grown in size and the workload has increased. The directory has grown from its initial profit of $439 in 1958 to the most recent profit of more than $2,500. Approximately $12,600 has been donated for educational purposes over the last 45 years. For the past three years the church has donated $1,000 a year to the Bridgeville Library. In 1999 after the devastating floods in North Carolina, St. Mary’s gave $5,000 to the Princeville Montessori School in Princeville, N.C. The school lost everything and was very appreciative of the donation. The women of the Bridgeville congregation were invited to the school’s opening the following year. The Rev. Albert Peters of St. Mary’s, Charlotte Cannon, and other members read about Trammell’s plight in a recent issue of the Seaford Star. Cannon is one of the coordinators of the church’s telephone directory committee and was called the “spark plug” behind spearheading the church funding Trammell’s trip. “The day I met the family was the happiest day of my life,” Cannon explained. “They were just so appreciative that it gave me a wonderful feeling to be able to give this child a present she so deserved. The most beautiful part of all is that she is backed by a wonderful family.” Dr. Kevin Carson, superintendent of the Woodbridge School District and Woodbridge School Board vice president Deborah Stogner also attended the reception to honor Trammell. “This is a great thing for this church and these ladies to do,” said Carson. “This is a once in a lifetime experience for Shannon. The itinerary of places that she will be visiting is incredible. We worked with Mrs. Cannon and everything worked out well for Shannon and the church.” “This is a great opportunity for Shannon,” said Stogner, who is a member of St. Mary’s and was the coordinator of the reception. “For her to have earned the nomination to go is a great accomplishment. Exchange opportunities are wonderful. Although we live in a big world, an experience like this makes the world smaller.” Members of St. Mary’s and members of Trammell’s family attended the reception. Some family members even traveled from as far away as Baltimore to share the day with her. “We would like to thank all of Shannon’s family who attended today,” said Karen Doakes, Trammell’s mother. “From her great-grandmother and grandparents, aunts and uncles, to her cousins, we are very appreciative. We also are grateful to the congregation at St. Mary’s. When the ladies visited our home, I sensed they had very willing hearts and were sincere in seeing Shannon go. We are so happy. She is definitely going now, no question!” In October, Trammell received notification that she was nominated as a delegate on the mission that is sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Forum. he completed a survey last year when she took her SAT test for college entry and indicated that she was interested in business. The SAT/College Boards nominated her for the trip. She was recognized because of her “exemplary leadership, outstanding academic performance, and commitment to a career in business.” In May, Trammell, along with 80 other U.S. students, will explore international business, economics and trade relations in Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Shanghai. During the trip Trammell will be able to meet with foreign ministers and government officials, tour the Great Wall, Tian’anmen Square, and Chinese universities, and be able to observe the Shanghai Stock Exchange and meet analysts and traders. Trammell is a freshman at Delaware State University majoring in hospitality and tourism management and was a member of the marching band. Last year at Woodbridge High School, she was an “A” student as well as senior class president and band president. She was named to the Who’s Who Among American High School Students for two years, belonged to the National Honor Roll and Spanish National Honor Roll, and was treasurer for the Business Professionals of America (BPA). Trammell was also on the debate team sponsored by the Soroptomist Club in Seaford. She is the daughter of Karen and Arthur Doakes of Bridgeville and Andre Trammell of Wilmington. The only additional cost of the trip is the payment of the plane ticket from the East Coast to Los Angeles where the 80 students leave for China. An account has been set up at Wilmington Trust and donations may be sent to Maribeth Toumberlin at Wilmington Trust, 670 N. Dual Highway, Seaford, with a notation: “For the benefit of Shannon Trammell.”

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