News & Event
It was a little more than 10 years ago when The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Braddock Heights received a big surprise…a $3 million surprise. In 2009, Marybell Everhart left the vast majority of her estate to The Community Foundation of Frederick County to benefit her church and established The Dr. David Everhart, Jr. and Marybell C. Everhart Charitable Fund.
At the time, church officials and members had no idea of Mrs. Everhart’s plan and were truly overwhelmed when they received the good news that her estate provisions created a fund that distributes 5 percent of its annual market value to the church.
Marybell Everhart and her husband, Dr. David Everhart, Jr., a local dentist, owned a summer home in Braddock Heights and attended services at The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration almost every Sunday. After Dr. Everhart passed away and Mrs. Everhart was no longer able to attend services, several church members continued to visit her and described her as a gracious lady with a keen sense of humor. She had a close relationship with the congregation and was an active member of the Frederick community.
The Everhart Charitable Fund provides an annual grant to the church. To date, almost $2.5 million in grants have been disbursed since the fund was founded. Church officials voted several years ago to use a portion of the grant money for outreach purposes. Thanks to Marybell Everhart’s generosity, the church has supported projects on the local, national, and even international level.
Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County, Heartly House, and The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, among other local organizations, have all received support from The Church of the Transfiguration thanks to the fund. On a national scale, some outreach examples have included sending financial support to North Carolina and other coastal regions following extreme weather events, as well as Puerto Rico. Internationally, the church has provided support for medical clinics in Central America and water purification in Africa, among many other focus areas.
Beyond outreach, the Everhart Charitable Fund has helped the church with its infrastructure projects such as remodeling the fellowship hall, which now serves as a community meeting space for local groups. In addition to continuing its extensive outreach program, the church is now looking at future projects that the annual grants could help support.
By creating the fund benefitting The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Mrs. Everhart placed her trust in her church and the Community Foundation to carry out her charitable intentions for generations to come.
Sometimes legacies are a surprise. The notice from The Office of the Register of Wills stating that the Community Foundation was named as an interested party in the estate of Calvin Murray was routine. As the story unfolded, we learned that Mr. Murray wished to establish a charitable fund supporting two nonprofits: The Howard Chapel Ridgeville United Methodist Church (UMC), and Frederick Memorial Hospital. The surprise? Mr. Murray wasn’t known to us, nor had he let us know in advance that he wished to create funds benefitting his church and the hospital. Even more surprising was the estimated size of the estate – more than $20 million.
We’re always sorry to hear of someone’s death, of course, and establishing a charitable fund with proceeds from the estate is not unusual. A well -respected resident of Mount Airy, Maryland, Mr. Murray was described as a quiet individual who was always in touch with local news. He lived and worked on the family farm his entire life. As a youth, he received numerous awards from 4-H for raising and showing farm animals. His prize cattle awards provided the opportunity to serve as a Maryland delegate to the National 4-H Conference in 1946. He also received top honors for his animal projects from Future Farmers of America. After graduating from high school, he continued working on his family’s farm, and other land acquired nearby.
Mr. Murray and his parents were life-long members of The Howard Chapel Ridgeville UMC, and he participated in the youth group and served the church in his younger years through various volunteer roles. Mr. Murray’s extended family said the bequest to the church was a direct reflection of his parent’s dedication to the church and their very active involvement.
He was kind and cared about others, even those he didn’t know. Mr. Murray decided to name Frederick Memorial Hospital as a grant recipient because he received excellent care when admitted with a health issue. He knew that others in the community might need hospital care but may not be able to afford it, and he wanted to use his resources to help.
Mr. Murray passed away in January 2012. The Calvin Murray Charitable Fund was established, and in August 2014, the first grants were presented to The Howard Chapel Ridgeville UMC and Frederick Memorial Hospital. The church used its initial grant towards an addition to the building and updating other parts of the building to be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act. Representatives from the church anticipated future grants to provide support of mission projects in the Mount Airy, Maryland area, as well as other places in the United States and the world.
Frederick Memorial Hospital used its first grant towards The James M. Stockman Cancer Institute, which was under construction at the time. This state of the art facility that opened in the summer of 2017, now provides diagnosis, treatment, cancer patient follow-up, and support services under one roof. The annual grant now supports other programs and projects at the hospital.
Calvin Murray left a legacy that will positively impact countless people in perpetuity as annually, each entity will receive a grant that will support their programs. Fortunately, he had specified his wishes via his attorney in advance, and we were able to create his fund to carry out his charitable wishes exactly as he wanted. But because we didn’t know of his charitable intentions in advance of his death, we weren’t able to say thank you, and that’s sad.
We realize that Mr. Murray’s estate, in its size, is the exception rather than the rule. It’s important to know that no matter the size of your estate, every gift creates impact in the community. If you decide you would like to create a charitable fund with the Community Foundation that becomes active after your passing, we encourage you to talk with your professional advisors and us in advance, rather than to make it a surprise. That way, we understand what you wish to do and the legacy you’d like to leave. And, we can thank you personally for your vision and plans to help Frederick County be its best.
FREDERICK, MD – July 11, 2019: Ausherman Family Trust has shown its support for The Community Foundation of Frederick County’s Forever Frederick County Campaign with a $250,000 gift.
The Forever Frederick County Campaign was announced in June 2019 as a major fundraising effort by the Community Foundation. With a goal of $20 million, the endowed funds created will provide grants that will support the greatest needs in Frederick County, now and in the future.
Ausherman Family Trust is well known within Frederick County for its support of programs and projects that enhance and help build a thriving community. “This campaign gift is significant and generous, and we are very grateful to Ausherman Family Trust’s board of trustees for their support,” said Gordon Cooley, Community Foundation trustee, and Forever Frederick County Campaign chairman. “It sets an inspiring tone as we work towards meeting our campaign goal.”
To date, the Community Foundation has commissioned two independent needs assessment studies. These studies and similar ones in the future will assist its board of trustees in determining where grants are most needed. The 2018 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment provided data that identified the areas of substance use disorder, the aging population, and supporting families with children as current greatest needs. As needs change over time, the Community Foundation will be prepared to assist.
For more information about the Forever Frederick County Campaign, visit www.ForeverFrederickCounty.org. Information about the 2018 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment study can be found at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NeedsReport.
Neither John nor Carol Ford was born in Frederick, but after having lived here for more than 40 years, they consider it their adopted hometown. Even now that the couple, both in their 80s, have moved to New Hampshire to be closer to family, they are pleased to have left behind something that will benefit the community where they spent half their lives: an endowment fund that bears their name at The Community Foundation of Frederick County.
The Fords created their fund in 2004 using a small inheritance from one of Carol’s aunts. Over the years, they have recommended the Community Foundation use the income generated annually by the fund to support local nonprofits whose missions they supported, including Hope Alive and Habitat for Humanity.
The Fords could have contributed directly to these organizations, but because they had great respect for the Community Foundation’s innovative model of charitable giving, they decided to create a donor-advised endowment fund instead.
For the past 15 years, the Fords have continued to contribute to their endowment fund and make recommendations to the Community Foundation as to where to direct its income. After their lifetimes, their daughter will assume this responsibility as the fund’s representative. After their daughter’s lifetime, the Fords’ fund agreement stipulates that income from their endowment become unrestricted.
“Because our community’s greatest needs are continually changing, many donors feel like a group of living individuals in the future will be in a better position to allocate funds than a written directive from the past,” explained Betsy Day, President and CEO of The Community Foundation of Frederick County. “In these cases, an unrestricted endowment fund is most suitable, as they allow the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees to allocate their proceeds to meet the emerging needs of the community.”
“Giving a one-time contribution is certainly one way to support a cause that is close to your heart,” said Carol. “But John and I liked the idea of creating a fund whose income provides for an annual gift--not only throughout our lifetimes but in perpetuity. We trusted The Community Foundation of Frederick County in 2004 when we started our endowment fund, and we continue to trust them implicitly. We feel confident that their staff and Board of Trustees will always do the right thing with the funds entrusted to their care—today, tomorrow, and long after we’re gone.”
In this holiday season, some families, friends, and co-workers have “Secret Santa” exchanges where holiday gifts are given anonymously. Each person has the name of another person in the group and provides a gift for them. It’s a fun way to celebrate the season and make memories.
Based on the “Secret Santa” idea, a donor came to us in 2010 and said he wanted to create a fund to provide small grants that would help people with special situations. He knew that small obstacles sometimes reduced the quality of life, and other aspects of life would improve ten-fold if the smaller obstacle could be overcome. This donor also knew the Community Foundation often received requests of this kind but didn’t always have grant money available.
The Secret Santa Fund was born. Early in its life, the Community Foundation received a request from Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. A resident needed new tires on her power wheelchair. Her insurance would not cover the cost, and she could not pay out of pocket. The power wheelchair was her only means to be independent, navigate the facility, and participate in resident activities. The grant was made, and this resident was again enjoying life.
Several grants have been requested by SOAR Frederick County (Supporting Older Adults through Resources, Inc.). SOAR’s mission is to assist older adults in Frederick County to help meet their essential needs confidentially and respectfully. A Frederick resident undergoing treatment at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore needed reliable, regular transportation. A Secret Santa grant helped purchase a car. Another Frederick County resident had no functioning appliances in his home and was living on prepared foods. His wife was receiving care in a nursing home, and his income was very limited. The Secret Santa Fund assisted with a grant that purchased gently used appliances and a grocery gift card to help stock the refrigerator and freezer with food. Another grant request from SOAR helped an elderly man who was deaf replace an old computer that stopped working. The computer was his only way of communicating with the outside world, schedule appointments, and more. A replacement computer ended his isolation and depression.
Other grants from the fund include helping another Frederick County senior with power chair repairs, and a church that purchased gift cards for its Angel Tree program at Christmas so that six children would have Christmas gifts.
Recently, grants from The Secret Santa Fund have supported The Federated Charities Rapid Response Program. This program’s purpose of assisting residents who are experiencing hardships with a small grant that could positively change their situation aligns with the purpose of the fund. To date, grants have helped with gas gift cards so that medical appointments could be kept, groceries, medical equipment, gift cards for clothing at Goodwill and Select Seconds, utility bills, and more.
While gift-giving for most of us takes place in a concentrated time frame at the end of the year, The Secret Santa Fund gives throughout the year. The situations that were improved with grants from the fund made a huge difference in the lives of those who benefited. The donor’s vision in setting up the fund to provide a “hand-up” to those needing assistance is a wonderful example of giving and creating great impact within Frederick County.
If you’re interested in supporting this fund, tax-deductible contributions are accepted at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/SecretSanta.
If ever there was a testimony to the benefits of hard work, it’s local businessman and Community Foundation of Frederick County supporter De Willard. Fit and energetic at 87, De admits to working long hours for most of his life, a habit that has obviously agreed with him.
Recognized widely for innovations in agribusiness as well as his philanthropic outreach, De first flexed his entrepreneurial muscle in 1948 at barely 16 years old. With $2,300 he had saved up working part-time for 25 cents per hour at a grocery store in his native Poolesville, he purchased a combine harvester. Before long, he had replanted the family farm which had lain fallow for many years. When he wasn’t busy at his own 300 acres, he was harvesting wheat, corn, and barley for neighboring farmers—saving them time and labor and building the funds he would need to capitalize on his next opportunity.
His keen eye for an opportunity is just one of the many factors responsible for De Willard’s extraordinary business success. His family was hard-working and entrepreneurial, and they impressed upon young De the importance of solid relationships in both personal and professional life. Born during the Great Depression, he learned to be both fiscally conservative and extremely generous. An outside-the-box-thinker, De’s lifelong ability to identify problems and address them through creative solutions has helped him build Willard Agri-Services into one of the most successful companies of its kind in a six-state region.
Because De’s business success was built on forward-thinking and innovation, it should come as no surprise that he was one of the first to embrace the concept behind The Community Foundation of Frederick County shortly after its founding in 1986.
“I knew all of the founders of the Community Foundation,” he said. “Don Linton. Charlie Main. Jerry Offutt. In fact, I grew up near Poolesville in upper Montgomery County with Jerry Offutt. Our great grandfathers were best friends, so the families have been connected from way back. All three men were friends whom I knew well and trusted.”
De says he remembers being further impressed by the newly-formed organization’s mission and objectives after reading about them in the Frederick News-Post. In 1989, he directed his first gift to the Community Foundation to be used to create The De Willard Family Fund, an unrestricted endowment. For the past 30 years, the annual proceeds from this unrestricted fund have been used by the Board of Trustees and the grants committee to address the constantly changing, most pressing needs of the community.
Like De Willard’s initial gift, the soon-to-be launched Forever Frederick County fund will also be an unrestricted endowment. Like the Community Foundation’s leadership, De believes that building this flexible fund to tackle Frederick County’s current and emerging greatest needs is a vital and necessary step to preserving and improving the quality of life in our community.
“Grants from our Forever Frederick County campaign will be based on the areas of greatest community need as determined by the Human Needs Assessment report, and that have been selected by our Board of Trustees as areas of focus,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Day. “Donors who contribute to this unrestricted endowment will be trusting the Community Foundation to invest their charitable gifts and grant them wisely, to act with integrity, and to communicate honestly and with transparency.”
Since his initial gift in 1989, De has also created The De Willard Charitable Gift Fund. Still a strong advocate for the agricultural professions, he—along with Rodman Myers, Mehrle Ramsburg, Jr., and Franklin Gladhill-- created The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund in 2009. These scholarships target students pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture or a related field, or farmers interested in pursuing course work to enhance their knowledge of farm business.
According to De, the scholarship’s goal is to help interested students become better farmers through education. He remains an active participant on The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund selection committee, and has helped to direct several grants from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation into that fund.
“I think that everything The Community Foundation of Frederick County does is very helpful-- critical really,” said De. “It’s a fact that people struggle, and sometimes they need help from the organizations that the Community Foundation provides funding for through the proceeds from the charitable gifts that they invest. Its staff and volunteers carry out the organization’s objectives with kindness, fairness and integrity, which I admire and appreciate.”
“At our company, ‘doing the right thing’ is at the top of our list of values,” he says. “I feel confident supporting an organization like the Community Foundation because they share those values.”
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