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Ross twins recognized for volunteer service at personal-care home

| Monday, July 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
Anna (left) and Robyn Madrishin of Ross Township recently earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award and Prudential Spirit of Community Award certificate of excellence for their community service. The twins, 19, are 2013 graduates of North Hills Senior High School in Ross.

In just a month, twins Anna and Robyn Madrishin will be on their own on separate Ohio campuses.

Anna will take up studies at Ohio State University in Columbus, while Robyn will work toward a degree at Ohio Wesleyan University in the community of Delaware. Just 28 miles and 37 minutes apart, both 19-year-olds will pursue careers in science.

“I look forward to getting to be known as Anna instead of ‘one of the twins,'” one said, and her sister agreed.

These recent North Hills Senior High School graduates earned Prudential Spirit of Community Awards certificates of excellence to recognize their community service. They were among the top 10 percent of applicants in the state. Because their applications for that program indicated they had each volunteered for at least 100 hours in the previous year, they also qualifed for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Since age 7, the sisters, daughters of Beth and Keith Madrishin of Ross Township, have visited residents at the Vincentian Personal Care Home in McCandless at least once a week. In the summer, they join the residents more frequently, establishing great relationships with the residents, they said.

“It's so much fun,” Anna said. “They're like our grandparents.”

Driving from their Ross Township home, the teens take part in activities such as playing bingo or cards or riding along on day trips.

Robyn said her video of resident interviews earned her a $10,000 scholarship from her university.

There are strong bonds on both sides. Residents held a surprise 16th-birthday party for them, and one woman attended the girls' confirmation at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Ross.

Through their church, Hiland Presbyterian Church in Ross, Anna and Robyn did mission work in West Virginia, where they repaired an elderly couple's home. They also worked at a homeless shelter for men in New Castle. Their trip to Costa Rica was a bit more difficult because of the bugs, the heat and too few warm showers.

“Go if you can,” recommended Anna, of travel to other countries. “You realize how good our lives are.”

Interacting with the children in Central America was a joy.

“They were appreciative of coloring books and pencils,” she said.

In addition to helping others, the twins spent the past year studying for their Advanced Placement classes, doing competitive Irish dancing, enjoying the outdoors and collecting academic honors. Through it all, they're especially grateful to their parents.

“We say, ‘Thank you,' to our parents for getting us to all our crazy activities and how they showed us morals,” Anna said.

Their mother has promised to continue visiting the care home. The twins will check in with their old friends in the summer.

As freshmen, the girls will be only a road trip away.

“Being a twin is like having a living shadow all the time!” Robyn said. “It has its ups and downs and can be quite smothering, but in the end, we are always there for each other.”

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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