By Nate Harold
For The Diamondback
If you're at a College Park community event, whether it be the Mother's Day 5K or student move-in day at the University of Maryland, you're likely to find Laura Salers there.
Her consistent engagement with the community is why the College Park Community Foundation chose to honor Salers during their fourth annual awards gala at the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center on Dec. 3, said Board Chair Tricia Homer.
The foundation presented Salers, who has lived in College Park for almost 30 years, with their Chair's Award. The honor was created to celebrate a person, business or group that demonstrates service to the community.
"I was very honored and humbled," Salers said. "I was really surprised. I felt there were so many more deserving people."
Salers, who is collections coordinator in the research administration office at this university, has worked with the Girl Scouts in this city for 22 years and is now the "new volunteer specialist."
She also volunteered with the College Park Boys & Girl's Club for 15 years and continues to volunteer with the College Park Lions Club after 17 years with the organization.
"Laura kept coming to mind for me [during the decision process]," Homer said. "For one, we can always call on her whenever we are looking for volunteers."
Salers graduated from this university with a degree in early childhood education in 1986, and her daughter, Julie, also graduated from this university.
Salers said this award is "extra special" because it came from her community and honored her lifetime of service.
"You can always squeeze in a little time to help others, and the feeling you get back is worth it," Salers said.
Mayor Patrick Wojahn attended the awards gala, along with other College Park City Council members. Maryland State Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk and state Sen. Jim Rosapepe also came to the event.
"Laura Salers is a model of the efforts we strive for in College Park that help build a strong community," Wojahn said.