Patch recognizes people or groups with a People of the Year award for their contributions to Havre de Grace in 2011. Nominees were submitted by Patch readers via a submission form, email or on Facebook.
To listen to the Lewis Lane Singers for five minutes alone is enough to understand the impact Tom Barnes has in Havre de Grace.
Barnes works not only with that segment of performers, but also with the HdG Drama Guild, which he founded in 2006.
Barnes' performers recent wrapped up auditions for a spring musical.
According to Scott Mahala, Barnes' work in creating The Drama Guild was "in an effort to give our kids something to do and teach them about the theater. Since then, he has done much for our children and the community and is loved by the kids and their families."
When Barnes and his singers visit seniors at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, they become celebrities.
"He volunteers a lot of time to help with presentations. He brings the kids in to entertain the seniors and they love when the kids come in," said Terri Glenn, of Harford County's Office on Aging, which manages the senior center.
Managing the performers isn't an easy task. Supported by the Havre de Grace Parks and Recreation Committee, the HdG Drama Guild requires a great deal of time and effort from Barnes and other volunteers.
Barnes' story was a touching one—in which he revealed a series of events that have led to this point in his life. Barnes was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy after being struck by a drunk driver in 1997. The resulting chronic pain prevents Barnes from having a full-time job.
But he's not letting the disorder keep him down.
In a community so rich in volunteerism, arts and entertainment, Tom Barnes stands out.
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