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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.
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.
There’s a story behind every fund created at the Community Foundation. Let’s start with one of the very first: the Smith Sisters, who created The Mary E. M. and Ruth E. Smith Scholarship Fund. They were dedicated schoolteachers and community volunteers who cared deeply about the children they taught and the community they lived in, and they left a legacy that’s benefited nearly 300 students pursuing education as a career.
If you attended Parkway Elementary in the 1940’s, 50’s, or first half of the 60’s, you’re not too old to remember these remarkable women. Mary and Ruth taught school for 42 and 44 years respectively. Mary was also an administrator, serving as principal of Parkway Elementary from 1940 to 1966. Early in her career, she spent 13 years as a “teaching principal” at Urbana Elementary, meaning she taught all seven grades and served as head administrator. Mary was the first teacher and principal in Frederick County to earn a master’s degree, and Ruth was the second elementary teacher to accomplish this.
In a June 1966 article by The Frederick News-Post covering Mary’s retirement, she said the key to a rewarding life is to identify with a cause that is bigger than yourself and then lose yourself in the cause. As devoted teachers, education was the cause to which Mary and Ruth “lost” themselves during their lifetime. After their lifetime, they wanted to help others be successful teachers and administrators. Through their fund, they have continued to support their cause and build their legacy.
Each year, approximately a dozen students receive a college scholarship from this fund that helps them pursue their dream of becoming a teacher and getting “lost in their cause” by positively influencing the lives of young learners. Some have returned to teach in Frederick County, but no matter where they’ve gone, the impact of Mary and Ruth’s scholarship has gone with them.
This fund also holds a significant place in the Community Foundation’s history, as it was the first large endowment fund to be managed by the board of trustees. It was originally established with Fredericktown Bank and Trust Company and then transferred in 1987, just one year after the Community Foundation was incorporated as a public charity. It is still one of the largest endowed scholarship funds under management and contributes significantly to the $1 million total of all scholarships presented annually.
What are the causes in which you can “lose” yourself? How can your efforts make a difference? What kind of legacy do you wish to leave? Only you know the answer to the first question. The Community Foundation can help you answer the others. You don’t have to be wealthy to create a lasting legacy. All you need is the desire to something meaningful with the resources you have.
FREDERICK, MD – September 26, 2018: Described as “always prepared wherever she went,” Mary C. Willard is helping prepare students for careers and life success through The M. Kate, Robert Lee and Robert Leroy Scholarship Fund. The fund, established through Mrs. Willard’s estate, becomes one of more than 700 funds managed by The Community Foundation of Frederick County.
The fund will provide three scholarships annually to students who are residents of Frederick County. The first scholarship will assist with the study of music, in memory of Robert Lee Willard, Mrs. Willard’s husband. The second scholarship will support those studying economics, banking or finance, in honor of Mrs. Willard’s banking career, and the third scholarship will help students pursuing microbiology studies, in memory of Mrs. Willard’s son, Robert Leroy.
A charitable fund established through a bequest is one of the many ways to create a legacy and be remembered forever through grants and scholarships after one’s lifetime.
FREDERICK, MD – September 27, 2017: The Community Foundation of Frederick County will hold its 31st Annual Report to the Community on Thursday, November 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center. The event will thank donors and highlight prior fiscal year accomplishments. In addition, the 2017 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism will be honored.
Wertheimer honorees are selected for their selfless contributions of time, energy, and talents to the Frederick County community. The awards are made possible by a bequest from the late Janis Miller Wertheimer, a well-known Frederick businesswoman and prolific volunteer whose legacy of giving continues through her planned gift that created, among three funds, The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation.
The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund has provided each Wertheimer Fellow with $25,000 to add to an existing Community Foundation fund or create a new fund. The fund also provides a $1,000 grant to a nonprofit of choice by the Youth in Action honoree. Through these awards, their legacies of giving will continue to touch lives and help those who are served through area nonprofit organizations.
The following individuals have been chosen to receive the 2017 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism Award and the Wertheimer Youth in Action Award.
RaeAnn E. Butler, of Frederick, has made volunteering a lifelong second career. Her passions are helping seniors in Frederick County and historic preservation. She helped launch Daybreak Adult Day Services and, as a 20+ year member of the Elder Services Provider Council, was instrumental in creating the annual Elder Expo and conference. Ms. Butler served on the board of Frederick County Commission on Aging from 2006-2014, and recently served on the Seniors First Committee. She collaborated with Frederick Community College’s Gerontology Advisory Committee to establish its gerontology certificate program and has organized fundraising for numerous organizations serving seniors.
Ms. Butler is a board member of Heritage Frederick and has contributed countless hours to strategic planning, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and more. Through her membership with Carrollton Manor DAR, she helped coordinate the Middletown African American Methodist Episcopal Cemetery project, a book about those buried there, and a symposium about African American history and genealogy.
Ms. Butler’s other volunteer service includes serving currently as president of the Hood College Alumni Association; co-chair of Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ’s Building Project Construction Implementation Committee; board member for Western Maryland Alzheimer’s Association; and previously, a board member and first aid instructor with the Frederick County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
With her Wertheimer Award, Ms. Butler has established The Butler Collins Community Impact Fund to provide grants to Frederick County nonprofits, with a focus on seniors and historic preservation and education.
Daniel W. Campbell, of New Market, is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and veterans who need a hand-up. He volunteers with Mission of Mercy’s medical and dental clinic and helps coordinate services for people through the Frederick Department of Social Services with the involvement of the Frederick Faith Community Partnership.
Mr. Campbell, a retired United States Air Force officer, is the mentor coordinator with the Frederick County Veteran’s Treatment Court (VTC). He provides peer support and helps veterans facing a variety of violations obtain counseling and Veteran Administration benefits. He is active with The American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.
Mr. Campbell is also the volunteer director for JustServe Initiative in Frederick County, a non-denominational website that connects people who wish to volunteer with nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and government service entities. In addition, he has created a partnership with Seed of Life Nurseries and organized volunteers to plant and harvest an acre-sized garden to supply food pantries and soup kitchens with produce. He has coordinated warm-clothing drives for Frederick Rescue Mission. He also serves as a board member for the Purple Moon Project, and he has assisted many families in need of food, clothing, transportation, and other basic needs.
With his Wertheimer Award, Mr. Campbell has established The Major Dan Campbell Veteran Services Fund to support veteran mentoring and also Mission of Mercy’s medical and dental programs.
Vanessa Fox, of Frederick, already has a long record of volunteer service in Frederick County. A student at Tuscarora High School, Ms. Fox learned about homelessness and socio-economic conditions in Frederick County and, with her English class, attended the Frederick County Coalition for the Homeless Forum in 2016. As a result, Ms. Fox and several classmates created Welcome Home Kits for families transitioning from homelessness to semi-permanent housing for The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs. Wanting to do more, Ms. Fox approached her teacher with an idea to organize a group to promote philanthropy for youth. Now, The Local Love Project has become a successful youth volunteer group at Tuscarora High School with 80 students involved. The group wanted to dedicate themselves to helping one nonprofit and, after research and meeting with various organizations, they decided to support Frederick Rescue Mission. Ms. Fox, who currently serves as president of The Local Love Project, has been instrumental in cultivating a close working relationship with Frederick Rescue Mission to support its food distribution center, organizing students to serve breakfast and lunch, and also creating fellowship for the residents.
Ms. Fox has also volunteered at Ballenger Creek Elementary as a tutor, the soup kitchen at Frederick Community Action Agency, and is active with her church, Frederick Christian Fellowship.
With her Wertheimer Youth in Action Award, Ms. Fox has selected Frederick Rescue Mission to receive a grant in support of its activities.
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