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In 1970, the recognition of African American history and its contributions to United States history and culture was expanded to a month-long celebration taking place each February. During our country’s bicentennial in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford encouraged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
There are many African Americans who lived or live in Frederick County with notable and significant contributions to our local history, and several of these residents have been honored through Community Foundation funds bearing their name.
The Dr. Ulysses G. Bourne, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1996 by Dr. Bourne’s daughter, Dr. Blanche Bourne-Tyree. The fund provides scholarships for students pursuing careers in medicine or health care related fields. Dr. Bourne was the first African American physician in Frederick County, opening his medical practice on West All Saints Street in 1903. He was known for providing quality medical care and improving life in the African American community, until his retirement in 1953. Dr. Bourne didn’t just treat African Americans. According to his daughter, about 80 percent of his patients were white. Dozens of students have received scholarship assistance with post-secondary medical or health care study since the fund opened.
Until 1937, African American children in Frederick County did not have access to kindergarten. Frederick County Public Schools did not offer it, and the private kindergarten that existed at the time did not accept African American children. Community members came together and formed the Esther E. Grinage Kindergarten Association, named for the long-time and well-known Frederick educator. The school was successful, and a bequest left by Marguerite Quinn to the Association eventually became a scholarship fund. The fund was transferred to the Community Foundation by Fredericktown Bank and Trust in 1989 and became The Esther E. Grinage Scholarship Fund. Again, dozens of students pursuing careers in education have been assisted through scholarships.
Bill Lee’s contributions to Frederick County are too numerous to list here. He was an educator and administrator, local historian, City of Frederick Alderman, sports enthusiast, and volunteer with many organizations. Bill was honored by the Community Foundation in 2003 with a Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism award, for his time and energy that so greatly impacted the community. The William O. Lee Jr. and Family Endowment Fund was created to provide post-secondary scholarships and grants to help preserve African American history in Frederick County. Currently, a grant is available to organizations that provide research, restoration, archiving, and education of African American history in Frederick County. Visit www.FrederickCountyGives.orgs/Grants for details.
The Community Foundation is honored to hold these funds recognizing the achievements of these three people and be a part of preserving their contributions to our history.
Black Philanthropy Month was created in August 2011 by Dr. Jackie Bouvier-Copeland and the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network. It is a global celebration of African-descent giving and is recognized by the United Nations as part of its Declaration of 2011 as the International Year for People of African descent. Its goal is universal: to promote the power of giving to transform lives.
The Community Foundation holds several funds that are transforming lives through the generosity of local Black philanthropists. The George and Ruth Dredden Scholarship Fund was created in 2007 with their Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award. The Dreddens chose to carry on their legacy of selfless service by helping students attend college and achieve their academic goals. Since 2010, when the first scholarship was presented from their fund, ten students have benefitted. Countless more will benefit in the coming years because of the Dredden family’s commitment to the fund and their belief in higher education.
The Kenneth W. Parker – Class of ’55 Scholarship Fund, is another example. This fund was created in 2006 through a merger of two funds with similar goals of assisting with post-secondary education: The Kenneth W. Parker Meritorious Scholarship Fund and The Lincoln High School Class of ’55 Scholarship Fund. Mr. Parker has been an active donor to the fund as well as a participant in the scholar selection process that recommends scholarships to the Community Foundation’s board. Since 2002, more than 30 students have benefited with scholarships that helped with the expense of college or trade and technical school classes.
In 2012, Dr. Earlene Thornton (the first African-American female to have served on the Frederick County Board of Education) wanted to help students with post-secondary education and established The Earlene H. and Henry J. Sr. Thornton Fund for Educational Professionals. Dr. Thornton was interested in helping people achieve not only college-level education but also certificates and licensures that would advance careers. Also, she knew that grants were needed to support special projects enhancing the regular school curriculum. Four students have received scholarships to date.
The Dr. Ulysses G. Bourne, Sr. Memorial Fund is another example of philanthropy that is impacting Frederick County. Established in 1996 by Dr. Blanche Bourne-Tyree, and added to through husband Chris Tyree’s estate, the fund provides scholarships for students pursuing careers in medicine or health care-related fields. During their lifetime, the Tyree’s generosity has helped dozens of students studying in the medical and health care fields.
These are stories that highlight just some of the funds created by Black philanthropists and how their generosity of giving is transforming lives in Frederick County. We are honored to work with them and others every day.
Fifteen years past his death, Jacob E. Engelbrecht is still very much alive in Frederick County. Through The Engelbrecht-DeGrange Scholarship Fund he created with the Community Foundation in 1994, eight students received scholarships through 2003. Twenty-two more students have benefited since Mr. Engelbrecht’s passing in early 2004, carrying on his legacy. The educational impact of his fund surpasses $160,000.
Mr. Engelbrecht was born in Frederick County and became a certified public accountant, working in Baltimore for Ernst & Ernst for 14 years and then joining the General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C., before transferring to the U.S. Army Audit Agency. He spent an active retirement life in Frederick County after 1975 as a member of Evangelical Lutheran Church, Francis Scott Key American Legion Post 11, and John R. Webb Post 3285, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
During his lifetime, he created trusts designed to be dissolved upon his death with the proceeds supporting several of his favorite charitable causes. Part of the trust proceeds added to the scholarship fund, and other gifts from the trust were made to The Historical Society of Frederick County (now Heritage Frederick) and The National Museum of Civil War Medicine. These three gifts defined Mr. Engelbrecht’s legacy as someone believing in the value and benefit of education, and who also loved history.
Frederick County history is intertwined with the scholarship fund as well. The family names “Engelbrecht” and “DeGrange” (his mother’s family name) hold places in the growth and development of the County; many will be familiar with Mr. Engelbrecht’s great-grandfather of the same name who kept a diary of the happenings in Frederick for 59 years from 1818 to 1878. The diary, preserved and passed down through the Engelbrecht family, has provided insight into everyday happenings in Frederick County ranging from births, marriages, deaths, and weather to local and national politics and the upheaval of the Civil War.
Mr. Engelbrecht created the scholarship fund with a focus on selecting students who demonstrate an active interest in Frederick County history, including volunteer experiences with local history and preservation organizations. While students are not required to major in history, their strong and lasting interest in our local history is a key component for consideration.
A history lover has created history by helping students with their education and will continue to do so in perpetuity. Thank you, Mr. Englebrecht, for looking ahead to help the generations that have followed you.
Frederick County is rich in history, from the Revolutionary War forward. Originally, Memorial Day honored those who lost their lives fighting in the Civil War. As world wars and other conflicts evolved, the holiday became a way to honor all who have died serving their country. Annually on this weekend, we remember the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military to preserve our freedoms.
In addition to the funds created at the Community Foundation honoring individual military personnel who have given their lives, we hold funds that honor those who have served in specific conflicts. The Cresap's Rifles Post 78, 29th Division Fund provides grants to nonprofits, with a preference to those with programs serving veterans and military-related organizations. Grants have supported such organizations as Operation Second Chance, Wounded Warrior Projects, Fisher House, and more. The history of Cresap’s Rifles is an interesting Revolutionary War story. The Continental Congress requested ten rifle companies from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland to join George Washington and the Continental forces outside Boston. A group of men led by Michael Cresap marched 550 miles from Oldtown, Maryland to Boston and the rifle companies collectively are credited with helping to save Washington’s army when at their weakest point in the summer of 1775.
Also representing the Revolutionary War is The Sergeant Lawrence Everhart Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Fund. The Chapter, through its activities, brings attention to the patriotic, historical and educational importance of the Revolutionary War and its history in Frederick County. In 2012, the Chapter began organizing the Frederick Town Fife & Drum Corps for youth up to age 19. The corps members, garbed in historically based uniforms and equipment, bring to life the important role that the fife and drum corps played in the Revolutionary War, with the fifers and drummers providing music and sound signals that entertained our military units in camp and directed their maneuvers on the battlefield. Contributions to the fund have supported the fife and drum initiative and the group's current 18 and growing number of members and staff.
Finally, the Community Foundation holds The Col. William E. Weber Chapter 142 Korean War Veterans Association of Frederick County, MD, Inc. Fund. Scholarships from the fund are provided for students who are direct bloodline descendants of those who served in the U.S. Military and are eligible for Korean War Veterans Association membership. More than 30 scholarships have helped students achieve their post-secondary educational goals since 2004.
Many contributions and sacrifices have been made by those who have served and are serving our county. Our thanks to all, past and present.
July 4th has come and gone again, and we celebrated our country’s independence. This holiday also means that it’s officially summertime. Vacation travel is in full swing, and many people visit the battlefields and museums and parks in our area dedicated to preserving the history of the United States as well as Frederick County’s history.
America’s Civil War had many events that occurred in Frederick County. Farmhouses, churches, and other buildings throughout the county were used as medical hospitals. In the early 1990s, Frederick County became home to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. The idea to preserve this part of history came from Dr. Gordon E. Dammann, an Illinois dentist and collector of Civil War medical artifacts, and author of a three-volume Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instrument and Equipment. The museum highlights innovative aspects of Civil War medicine such as a field dressing station, field hospital, and evacuation of wounded soldiers and incorporates the artifacts into the exhibits.
With many history buffs as Frederick County residents, we’ve helped people create funds that preserve our heritage, such as The Frank R. Parsons Fund for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Mr. Parsons created the fund through his 2009 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award, which he received from the Community Foundation for his extraordinary volunteer efforts. His interest in Civil War history led him to become a master docent at the museum, and so he dedicated his fund to support its community education efforts.
The Robert E. Gearinger National Museum of Civil War Medicine Endowment Fund was created in 1994 by the Fredericktown Bank & Trust (now PNC Bank) board of directors to honor Mr. Gearinger’s 46 years of service to the bank. His interest in the Civil War and his volunteer service as president of the museum’s board catalyzed the fund’s creation.
Other funds that have provided grants to the museum include The DeWalt Willard Charitable Gift Fund, The Frederick Mutual Insurance Company Donor-Advised Fund, The Historic Preservation Field of Interest Fund, The Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Nicodemus Family Fund, The PNC Charitable Gift Fund, and Community Foundation unrestricted funds.
Every grant has helped the museum grow, add exhibits and interactive experiences, expand educational programs, maintain the 200-year-old building, and much more. “These funds are fundamental to everything we do here, and they feel like family because they were formed by people who know us,” said David Price, the museum’s executive director. “I’m happy that people want to keep the museum alive and help provide a dependable, consistent source of funding.”
What do you want to preserve or support? Every fund is unique to the person who envisions it, and the Community Foundation can help you bring it to life.
During the summer of 1998, Joel Stephens was battling colon cancer after being diagnosed the year before. The 22-year-old Baltimore Orioles minor league baseball player had received extensive treatment and his cancer was in remission when he made a courageous attempt to return to baseball that summer with the Frederick Keys. His goal was to get one more professional at-bat with the local team at Harry Grove Stadium. While he was building his strength to reach his goal, after several weeks, Joel’s cancer returned. The Elmira, N.Y. native died on September 30, 1998.
Less than two years later, the Frederick Keys honored Joel’s memory by establishing a fund with The Community Foundation of Frederick County. Now called The Frederick Keys Care Fund, it provides financial support to Frederick County youth programs with preference given to those serving youth with disabilities, youth who have serious or terminal illness, and youth who are coping with the loss of a loved one.
Joel’s love for children, particularly those with health-related issues, disabilities, difficult home situations, or suffering a loss, inspired the establishment of the memorial fund. His courage, character, and commitment to community service were admired by the Keys organization and those traits are reflected in how the fund helps local organizations today.
As it approaches its 20th anniversary this month, The Frederick Keys Care Fund has disbursed nearly $80,000 in grants to 21 organizations in Frederick County. The fund recently provided a grant to the YMCA of Frederick County Kids Unlimited program, which holds summer camps for children with autism and other special needs. The fund has also supported the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County’s New Horizons summer program, which provides homeless high school students with five weeks of school instruction, life skills training, and field trips designed to expose them to opportunities in the community. Other organizations that have benefitted from the fund include Heartly House, Sophie and Madigan’s Playground, and Blessings in a Backpack.
Joel Stephens’ courage, spirit, honesty, and integrity have made a lasting impression on the Frederick Keys organization and those who knew him. While his life ended too soon, the fund that honors his memory will have a positive impact on the lives of youth and young adults in Frederick County for generations to come.
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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