Most people may know Linda as the owner of Rita’s Italian Ice in Stevensville or as a Long and Foster Real Estate Agent from her billboard on Rt. 50 East. What many people may not know is that she devotes many volunteer hours to the Anti-Bullying Committee for Queen Anne’s County, a organization founded in conjunction with the Office of the Sheriff and the Board of Education. Linda, a founding member of the committee, is co-chair for the upcoming 1st Annual Anti-Bullying Day, which will take place in partnership with the county’s public schools on October 9, 2013. Part of the campaign includes encouraging children to say NO to bullying! To emphasize this, one of the activities will involve taking photographs at area schools of students spelling out the word NO!.
Linda’s involvement in the committee was a natural evolution. She has spent many years through Rita’s working with the Sheriff’s Office on projects teaching QAC youth stranger danger, bicycle safety and social media safety. She also has devoted many hours assisting QAC public schools with fundraising projects such as Rita’s Celebrity Scoops, where local teachers scoop Rita’s ice to raise money for their schools. During Celebrity Scoops 100% of the proceeds go to their schools. Three times during the year, Linda works with the Queen Anne’s County Cruisers to raise money for local area schools and to provide the schools with IPADS for classroom use. Her satisfaction from volunteer work comes when she walks into a school and sees students using IPADs or from a smile on a child’s face who tastes Rita’s for the first time or when she sees Ally Fowler smiling and playing with her friends.
Linda has three children in the QAC public school system and clearly sees the importance of giving back to her community that supports her, her family and her businesses in so many ways. She also stresses to her young Rita’s employees that “We are not here just to receive.” Representing Rita’s, her employees scoop ice for many community events and charities such as Relay for Life-benefiting Cancer Research, the Rock n Run-benefiting Special Olympics Maryland, and at local benefits for area residents such Ally Fowler, a young girl who was in need of a heart transplant. She believes many of her employees have learned the importance of giving back and go on to do volunteer work on their own. She is proud of the 98% return rate year after year for her employees and believes that says it all!
Linda wants the community to know that the Anti-Bullying Committee is currently looking for sponsors to cover the cost of t-shirts for all the students and staff for Anti-Bullying Day. If you would like to be a sponsor, contact Stephanie Jones at 410-758-0770 ext 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Austin at 410-643-0297 or email@example.com. For more information on Anti- Bullying Day visit the committee’s facebook site. In return for your sponsorship, your company name or logo will be featured on the shirts.