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Donald Lewis was a well-known Frederick County citizen from Thurmont who made a lasting impact on his community. He was an Army veteran, businessman, politician, and community philanthropist who left a permanent legacy by creating funds with The Community Foundation of Frederick County to benefit local nonprofits and provide educational opportunities. With his vision for the future, Mr. Lewis took a big step to ensure that Frederick County continues to be a place that future generations will be proud to call home, just as he did.
Born in Thurmont, Mr. Lewis grew up working on his grandparents’ farm and graduated from Thurmont High School in 1935. Following his graduation, he enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps where he met his future wife, Freda. Mr. Lewis later joined the United States Army and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in France during World War II.
In the years following the war, Mr. Lewis returned home and began his entrepreneurial career with his wife Freda. The couple opened Lewis Confectionery in 1952 in Thurmont, and later opened Lewis Sporting Goods Store next door, both of which were community destinations that they owned for many years. Mr. Lewis later served his community through two terms as mayor of Thurmont and two terms as Frederick County Commissioner. As a commissioner, he served as liaison to the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis.
Mr. Lewis had a successful business and political career, but he was also a generous supporter of causes that mattered to him. He was a longtime supporter of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living. He cared for his wife for several years after she had a stroke, and the experience inspired him to do something that would create lasting impact at the Citizens and Montevue facilities.
In 2012, Mr. Lewis turned to the Community Foundation to establish The Donald L. Lewis Staff Education Fund for Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Fund. The fund’s purpose is to provide Citizens and Montevue staff with access to continuing education and training, such as support for tuition, books, resource materials, and professional development. To date, the fund has distributed more than $100,000 for educational support for employees.
Mr. Lewis passed away in 2018 at age 99. With his vision for the future of Frederick County, he made provisions in his estate to create the following funds with the Community Foundation to benefit local nonprofits: The Donald Lewis Community Impact Fund for The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, Meals on Wheels, The Community Foundation of Frederick County, Frederick Rescue Mission, Advocates for the Aging, and Mission of Mercy.
Donors like Donald Lewis place their trust in the Community Foundation to help them support the nonprofits and causes they care about. Their vision for the future helps ensure that Frederick County remains a vibrant community for generations to come.
The Community Foundation of Frederick County’s scholarship application deadline has been extended to Monday, April 6, 2020. This is to allow students additional time to complete the application following the closure of schools in Maryland to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With just one week remaining until the application closes, we encourage all students who are eligible to apply. For the fifth consecutive year, just over $1 million in scholarships is available to students pursuing postsecondary education or vocational training during the 2020-2021 academic year. Our scholarship program supports nearly every area of study imaginable, with scholarships funded by generous donors who believe in the value of education.
One of our scholarships that has provided broad impact for students is The Joseph Donald Brewer Scholarship Fund. Founded by parents Abigail Richon and William Brewer, the fund honors the memory of their son Joseph, who passed away in 2002. The purpose of the fund is to provide scholarships to Frederick County graduating seniors who have dyslexia and are pursuing postsecondary education.
Joseph was a motivated student and worked hard to graduate early from Urbana High School in 2001. He did not allow his dyslexia to slow his dreams, and following his graduation, he started attending Lincoln Technical Institute, where he excelled in automotive technology and electronics. Joseph’s classmates remember him as having a kind heart and caring personality.
The scholarship that honors Joseph’s memory has helped many Frederick County students who have dyslexia achieve their educational goals. To date, 15 students have received more than $15,000 in scholarships to study at institutions such as McDaniel College, Marshall University, Lafayette College, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Anna Thornton, who is a previous Joseph Donald Brewer Scholarship recipient, appreciated the support she received from the scholarship.
“Being a student with dyslexia, it has been harder for me to be successful in school,” she said. “I would like to thank you for sponsoring a scholarship that does not only focus on a student’s grade point average but also their individual qualities.”
The Joseph Donald Brewer Scholarship has and will continue to help countless students and is one of our many scholarship success stories. Students interested in applying for our scholarships should visit www.ScholarshipsFrederickCounty.com. The deadline to submit the application is 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020.
In 1998, the Community Foundation announced the creation of The Charles Thomas and Mary Ellen Main Scholarship Fund. The fund was made possible through bequests from Mr. and Mrs. Main; their wills instructed us to provide financial assistance for educational purposes to deserving children and young adults with financial need.
Since 1998, the fund has provided more than $117,000 in scholarship support to nearly 100 Frederick County residents. Part of this money supported Frederick County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Character Counts! program, from approximately 2002 to 2007. This program encouraged FCPS students “to become caring, respectful and responsible citizens and family members” by teaching trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Each high school in Frederick County chose one graduating senior to receive a $500 scholarship to reward their exemplary character.
Supporting scholarships and the Character Counts! program is a fitting legacy for the Mains. They were both lifelong and well-respected residents of Frederick County. Charles was a farm manager, and Mary Ellen a homemaker. Mary Ellen served her community in numerous volunteer capacities, including the Red Cross as a nurse’s aide at Frederick Memorial Hospital during World War II, and various homemaker clubs. They did not have children but wanted to provide opportunities for students to obtain an education, and according to Joseph D. Baker, a close friend, “were excited to learn they could provide a scholarship through their wills with the Community Foundation.” Mr. Baker continued, saying, “They were very excited and glad to do so.” All who knew them would agree they both exemplified all the components of the Character Counts! program.
This is a wonderful example of giving back to the community and helping people succeed. The Mains passed away in the early 1990s but created a legacy that continues 21 years later. As you read this, two students are benefiting from scholarships for their 2019-2020 academic year at Pennsylvania College of Technology and Frederick Community College.
How would you like to impact your community? The Community Foundation can suggest many ways to create your legacy. You don’t have to be wealthy; you just need the desire to help. Learn more by visiting www.FrederickCountyGives.org or call our office at 301.695.7660.
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.
Ramona Remsberg devoted her professional and personal life to the betterment of Frederick County. A pillar in the Frederick community, she completed a distinguished 55-year career in banking and finance at a time when women were not in the field.
Mrs. Remsberg started her career as a courier with Frederick County National Bank, later became president, and finally served as vice chairman of the bank’s board of directors in retirement. Her impressive professional career rivals her extensive community service. Her dedication to the Frederick community was reflected in the countless hours that she spent volunteering in leadership roles with at least ten organizations, including Hood College, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Frederick Arts Council, and Mental Health Association of Frederick County.
Because of her selfless desire to serve others, Mrs. Remsberg made estate provisions to establish a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation through a charitable remainder trust. The Ramona Corun Remsberg Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 and assists students pursuing a post-secondary education and career in finance. To date, 15 students have received more than $45,000 in scholarships to pursue their educational and career aspirations.
One of those students is Caleb McNeil. Following Mrs. Remsberg’s career and community service path, Caleb is studying finance and business analytics at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with hopes to pursue a career in investment banking. He received a 2016 Wertheimer Youth in Action Award from the Community Foundation which recognized him for positively impacting the community by volunteering with the Frederick Rescue Mission.
“The Ramona Remsberg Scholarship has been so helpful. The cost of attendance was a huge factor in deciding what school to attend,” Caleb said, reflecting on his freshman year. “This type of support has been so encouraging this past year.”
In addition to helping students further their education, Mrs. Remsberg’s legacy is supporting an organization where she spent many volunteer hours as a longtime board member. In 2004, Heartly House established The Ramona C. Remsberg Fund for Heartly House with the Community Foundation with money it received through Mrs. Remsberg’s estate provisions. The fund’s purpose is to support Heartly House, the only organization in Frederick County that provides comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and child abuse. More than $12,000 dollars in grants have been disbursed from the fund since it was founded.
Mrs. Remsberg’s legacy is honored in the two funds at the Community Foundation in her name. Her trailblazing career, tireless work ethic, and desire to help others will forever be remembered in the Frederick community.
How often do you meet people now who are born, raised, and live their entire lives in the same place? Frederick County is a place where this phenomenon is not uncommon, but increasingly unlikely as the years pass.
Meredith and Helen Young are two people who spent their entire lives here. In 2009, the year both passed away, they were well into their 90’s. Graduates of Frederick High School, Meredith was employed immediately following graduation by Fredericktown Bank and Trust (now PNC Bank) as a runner. He began learning many of the other bank positions, but his career was interrupted while he served in WWII as a Master Sergeant in the 146th Finance Section of the Army, experiencing both the European and Pacific theatres of war. Meredith returned to the bank following the war, and in 1957, became assistant vice-president. In January 1959, he became the youngest bank president in the City of Frederick, at the age of 46. He was active in the community, including Rotary Club of Frederick, where he became a Paul Harris Fellow; a charter member of the Frederick Jaycees; vice-chairman of the March of Dimes; a member of the board of trustees of Frederick Memorial Hospital; served on the Board of Associates at Hood College; a member of the A.F. & A. Masonic Lodge, receiving a 70-year Masonic pin; and a member of the Francis Scott Key American Legion Post 11. This list is slightly pared down due to limited space!
Helen Brown was hired by Fredericktown Bank and Trust after her graduation from Hood College in 1935. There she met Meredith, and they were married in October 1943. Helen’s bank career lasted 41 years until her retirement in 1978 as vice-president and trust officer. She was community-minded as well, as a life member of the Frederick Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and a 40-year member of the board of directors for the G. Frank Thomas Foundation. Both Helen and Meredith were 65+ year members of Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The Youngs were generous with their time and resources and were described by a close friend as having spent much of their lifetime “quietly helping students acquire an education.” They were modest and didn’t want attention or publicity about their good deeds. They recognized the value of education and sought to ensure that studying at the post-secondary level was available.
Meredith was the second of the couple to pass away, and after his death, The W. Meredith S. Young and Helen B. Young Scholarship Fund was established through a bequest to the Community Foundation. Since 2012, more than $260,000 in scholarships have been provided to Frederick County students from the fund. The Youngs also made bequests to Rotary Club of Frederick and the Historical Society of Frederick County. Those organizations decided to create funds through the Community Foundation as a way of ensuring they could fulfill their goals. The Rotary Club of Frederick/W. Meredith S. Young and Helen B. Young Scholarship Fund was created, and since 2012 has provided more than $100,000 in scholarships to area students. The Historical Society created The Meredith and Helen Young Facilities Enhancement and Preservation Fund to support the maintenance and preservation of its buildings. Grants provided since 2012 exceed $125,000.
Meredith and Helen contributed immensely to the quality of life in Frederick County, both professionally and personally, during their lifetime. They continue to have great impact as scholarships will be provided annually, and the history of our county will continue to be preserved because of their foresight. They are a true example of For Good. Forever. For Frederick County.
FREDERICK, MD – October 9, 2019: With foresight and vision, John C. Summers’ planned gift has created two funds that will help many people in the years to come. The John C. Summers Fund and The Myersville Lions Club Scholarship Fund become two of more than 720 component funds managed by The Community Foundation of Frederick County.
The John C. Summers Fund will assist people residing in Myersville, Maryland who have financial need regarding their utility bills or property taxes. Grants will be provided to nonprofits with programs for screening and qualifying applicants.
The Myersville Lions Club Scholarship Fund will provide post-secondary scholarships to students who are residents of Frederick County, Maryland, and Washington County, Maryland, studying in medical or health care related fields.
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