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Family, faith, friends, violets, poetry and coffee are just a few of the things that were important to Viola Marie Robinson, pictured. As Mrs. Robinson aged, her mobility decreased, and she progressed from using a cane to using a walker and then a wheelchair. She never wanted to be a burden on anyone, and one day received a gift of a scooter, which restored her mobility and independence. “My wheels are my wings,” she told her daughter Jeannie. Mrs. Robinson frequently “drove” to the drugstore not far from where she lived, buying cards that she loved to send.
After Mrs. Robinson’s passing in 2003, her daughter and son-in-law, Jeannie and Jack Brunk, decided to create a fund in her memory to help seniors who need assistance to stay independent and in their homes. To date, The Viola Marie Robinson Give Them Wings Fund has helped local nonprofits and government agencies provide dozens of seniors with lift chairs, stair lifts and lift repairs, wheelchair ramps, portable showers, walk-in tubs, hearing aids, eyeglasses, dentures, utility payments, medical supplies and prescriptions, and even a stove and refrigerator. “Mom would love that we are helping other people maintain their independence,” said Mrs. Brunk. “She found such joy in the little things in life and was able to continue doing those little things because her independence was extended with the help of the scooter.”
Numerous nonprofits and county agencies have worked with the Community Foundation to secure grants from this fund to help seniors. Recently, the Frederick County Department of Human Services (DHS) Senior Care Program made a grant request. This department works with seniors who are 65 years or older and moderately to severely disabled with limited income. The client’s stair glide in their home was not working, resulting in loss of family and socialization time due to their inability to access the second floor. The grant made the repair possible and helped return some of the client’s independence. “The Community Foundation is quick in responding to these needs,” said Leslie Hagerty, senior care case manager, from DHS. “Without their help, Senior Care Program clients would not be able to acquire things like ramps, lift chairs, and stair glides which greatly improve the quality of their lives.”
Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County’s A Brush With Kindness program provides home repairs to local home owners who cannot afford them, with 80 percent of the applications received from seniors. A local couple needed bathroom plumbing and water damage repairs, grab bars, and more. Habitat for Humanity was able to have all the repairs handled, including critical repairs to floor joists and subflooring, and with a recent Viola May Robinson Fund grant, a tub cut was made to their combination tub/shower. The tub cut allows the couple step-in access, reducing the risk of falling.
The “Give Them Wings” Fund, as it’s fondly referred to, will be assisting those who need it for many years to come. With more than $76,000 in grants since 2006, the Brunks are committed to helping seniors maintain their independence and stay in their homes as long as possible. “We want seniors to know there is help for those who need it,” said Mr. and Mrs. Brunk. “We are doing a little bit to pay it forward, in the spirit of Mom’s loving and generous nature.”
FREDERICK, MD – December 18, 2018: During its recent FY2019 impact grantsmaking cycle, The Community Foundation of Frederick County provided $402,717.19 to 43 area nonprofits dedicated to improving lives and enhancing Frederick County.
The grants are designed to assist local nonprofits with projects that have meaningful and direct impact on the residents of Frederick County. As a leading source of grant funding in Frederick County, the Community Foundation supports the arts, historic preservation, agriculture, health and human services, education, cultural understanding, animal welfare, scholarships, elder care, youth programs, civic causes, and more.
Impact Grant Funding was provided from the following funds:
The AG-C.I.T.E. Fund:
$1,551.60 to University of Maryland for its Kids Growing with Grains program.
The Animal Care Field of Interest Fund:
$626.24 to TipMe Frederick for veterinary care expenses.
$626.23 to Days End Horse Rescue for abused and neglected horse care.
The Bar Association of Frederick County Justice for All Fund:
$2,918.00 to Frederick Community College Foundation for Maryland Divorce Custody Notebook Training and Assessment Project
$10,000.00 to Mental Health Association of Frederick County for CASA of Frederick County program.
$2,222.50 to Spanish Speaking of Community MD, Inc. for Critical Needs Partnership with Frederick County Public Schools.
The William E. Barnhart Memorial Fund:
$31,885.40 to Patty Pollatos Fund, Inc. to provide financial assistance to adults with cancer.
The Brunswick Area Fund:
$1,806.92 to Brunswick High School Drama Boosters for its spring musical.
$590.00 to Frederick County Public Schools for enrichment programs at Brunswick Middle School.
The C&O Canal Endowment Fund for Frederick County:
$980.83 to Brunswick Main Street, Inc. for C&O Canal Trail to History Brunswick brochure.
The Charles V. and Louise D. Main Endowment Fund:
$9,054.61 to Calvary United Methodist Church for Calvary Weekday School student tuition support.
The William E. Cross Special Needs Fund:
$2,000.00 to Frederick County Government for Infants and Toddlers Program to assist children with developmental delays or qualifying diagnosis prior to age 3.
$1,665.00 to Patty Pollatos Fund, Inc. to provide financial assistance to adults with cancer.
The Dan Crozier Music Trust Fund:
$950.00 to Frederick County Public Schools for elementary instrumental library project and $700.00 to middle school shared sheet music library expansion.
$925.00 to Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra for sheet music purchases.
$925.00 to Frederick Children’s Chorus for sheet music purchases.
The Dola Burkentine Nonprofit Marketing Fund:
$515.80 to Sophie & Madigan’s Playground to assist with marketing the opening of the playground and promote its mission of helping families play, learn, and create together.
The Educational Enrichment Field of Interest Fund:
$738.86 to Frederick Children’s Chorus for Little Music Makers program.
The Elder/Senior Care Field of Interest Fund:
$666.17 to Thurmont Senior Center, Inc. for partial center coordinator salary.
The England Family Fund:
$650.56 to Frederick Rescue Mission, Inc. for TransIT bus passes for Faith House clients.
The Enhancing Agriculture Field of Interest Fund:
$682.50 to YMCA of Frederick County for Camp West Mar teaching garden.
The Environmental Preservation Field of Interest Fund:
$674.89 to Envision Frederick County for food waste collecting and sorting at Sugarloaf Elementary, Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School.
The Florence Zahler Memorial Cancer Support Fund:
$3,342.24 to Patty Pollatos Fund, Inc. to provide financial assistance to adults with cancer.
The Frederick Jaycees Fund:
$1,300.00 to The Salvation Army for its emergency assistance fund.
The Frederick Keys Care Fund:
$1,000.00 to Advocates for Homeless Families for children’s after-school and summer activities.
$750.00 to Blessings in a Backpack for weekend backpacks of food for students served by Frederick County Public Schools Success Program.
$2,500.00 to Heartly House for child counseling.
$3,000.00 to Sophie and Madigan’s Playground for fully accessible ground cover.
$1,435.37 to Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership of Frederick County (SHIP) for New Horizons 2019 program.
$1,856.25 to YMCA of Frederick County for Kids Unlimited Musical Therapy program.
The Health Fund for Frederick County Youth:
$55,490.28 to Patty Pollatos Fund for children’s medical assistance and cancer treatment.
The Historic Preservation Field of Interest Fund:
$576.81 to Historic Rocky Springs Chapel, Inc. for emergency stabilization of historic Rocky Springs school house.
The Sharon I. Hooper Fund for Children:
$14,089.62 to Patty Pollatos Fund, Inc. for children’s medical assistance and cancer treatment.
$1,000.00 to Weinberg Center for the Arts for Families Need Fun program providing event tickets to catastrophically ill children and their families.
The Human Services Field of Interest Fund:
$670.59 to Patty Pollatos Fund, Inc. to provide financial assistance to adults with cancer.
The Job Training and Skills Development Field of Interest Fund:
$1,414.54 to Literacy Council of Frederick County, Inc. for small business workplace literacy classes.
The John L. and Lucille H. Ponton Charitable Fund:
$35,071.22 to Children’s Hospital Foundation to provide patient families resources and lodging assistance.
$35,071.22 to Hospice of Frederick County for Camp Jamie.
$35,071.22 to Patty Pollatos Fund, Inc. for children’s medical assistance and cancer treatment.
The Nonprofit Support Field of Interest Fund:
$544.12 to Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County for intern laptop computer.
The Parks Field of Interest Fund:
$724.02 to Sophie and Madigan’s Playground fully accessible ground cover.
The Performing Arts Field of Interest Fund:
$631.58 to Chords of Courage for STEP UP! Student songwriting contest.
The Persons with Disabilities Field of Interest Fund:
$968.66 to YMCA of Frederick County for Kids Unlimited sensory tools and equipment.
The Philip and Erika Rauh Fund:
$2,000.00 to Frederick Rescue Mission for summer enrichment camp.
$2,020.62 to Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) for New Horizons 2019 program.
The Pritchett Family Foundation Fund:
$1,250.00 to Sophie and Madigan’s Playground for fully accessible ground cover.
$548.30 to Friends of Baker Park for permanent, public, wheelchair accessible Bocce courts.
$1,061.23 to Mission of Mercy, Inc. for opioid alternative pain relief and safety for Frederick County residents.
$1,050.00 to Wells House @ Gale Recovery for men in recovery to receive music therapy.
The Secret Santa Fund:
$1,166.39 to The Federated Charities Corporation of Frederick for rapid response community assistance.
The Paul L. Stine, Jr. Memorial Fund:
$500.00 to TipMe Frederick for veterinary care expenses.
The Paul L. Stine, Sr. Memorial Fund:
$500.00 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue for abused and neglected horse care.
The Transportation Field of Interest Fund:
$936.19 to City Youth Matrix to provide transportation services for children to attend afterschool programs related to music, art, and athletics.
$670.11 to The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center for an interactive art cart for visitors.
Community Foundation unrestricted funds provided the following grants:
$20,000.00 to Blessings in a Backpack for Pre-K student weekend food packages to students in Frederick County Public Schools.
$1,000.00 to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry for meat processing costs.
$15,000.00 to The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick for Young Men Rising program.
$3,500.00 to Lions Club of Frederick for eye care assistance to low-income individuals.
$1,000.00 to Frederick Rescue Mission for Bread of Life Kitchen necessities.
$5,000.00 to Maryland Food Bank for senior pantry program.
$3,000.00 to Mission of Mercy for opioid alternative pain relief and safety for Frederick County residents.
$4,847.27 to Second Chances Garage for driving school funding for low-income individuals.
$5,000.00 to Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) New Horizons 2019 program.
$10,000.00 to Thurmont Senior Center for partial center coordinator salary.
$2,000.00 to United Way of Frederick County for The ALICE Report.
FREDERICK, MD – October 8, 2019: The Frederick County Agri-Business Association (FCAB), in a final act before its official closing, contributed $5,000 to The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund, one of more than 720 component funds of The Community Foundation of Frederick County.
FCAB, established in 1993, was a Frederick-based group of businesses that supported scholarships for local students furthering their education in agriculture-related fields which provided more than $145,000 in scholarships to 150 students. In deciding to disband, FCAB looked for an appropriate source to move their remaining scholarship money so their mission of agriculture education could continue and chose The Community Foundation’s Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund.
Created in 2007 by master farmers De Willard, Rodman Myers, Frank and Bess Gladhill, and Mehrle Ramsburg, The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund supports Frederick County students continuing their education in the fields of agriculture and/or horticulture. To date, more than 36 students have received nearly $55,000 in scholarships.
FREDERICK, MD – March 14, 2019: The Community Foundation of Frederick County will release the findings of its 2018 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 9:00 a.m. at The Delaplaine Arts Center. The public is invited to attend. Registration is requested at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/HNA.
The Needs Assessment report identifies human needs as they have evolved in Frederick County since 2011, when the Community Foundation completed its first Frederick County Human Needs Assessment. The 2018 report, prepared by Devereux Consulting and Social Science Consultants, combined expert and community input through key informant interviews and focus groups, a survey of community-engaged persons from across Frederick County, comparison trends with the State of Maryland and other comparison counties, and data from sources such as U.S. Census/American Community Survey and National Center for Education Statistics. The 2018 report is accompanied by an online, dynamic visualization tool that offers access to data about social and economic conditions in Frederick County.
A brief presentation of the findings will be presented by Eric Devereux, Ph.D., of Devereux Consulting, including an overview of the online interactive visualization tool, followed by a question and answer period. Other speakers include Dr. Rachel Mandel, trustee, and champion of the Needs Assessment Strategic Planning subcommittee, and Gordon Cooley, trustee, regarding the Community Foundation's response to these stated needs.
The full report can be accessed at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NeedsReport. An executive summary will be available on April 3, at the event and at this same website address.
The Community Foundation gratefully acknowledges the co-sponsors of the 2018 Needs Assessment whose generosity made possible the significant expansion of the effort for this project: Ausherman Family Foundation, The Joseph D. Baker Fund, Delaplaine Foundation, Frederick County Government, The Robert C. and Jane E. Ladner Charitable Fund, Helen J. Serini Foundation, and United Way of Frederick County.
You’ve heard us talk about Janis Miller Wertheimer whose endowment fund makes it possible for the Community Foundation to honor some of Frederick County’s unsung heroes each fall with The Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Awards and The Wertheimer Youth in Action Award. Because of her volunteerism and extensive involvement in numerous organizations during her lifetime, the 2002/2003 board of trustees created the opportunity to honor others who give back to Frederick County through sweat equity. In this way, we honor Mrs. Wertheimer annually, too.
But wait, there’s more. Mrs. Wertheimer created two more funds in the early 2000s that aren’t as well known because of the annual publicity given to the endowment fund and Wertheimer honorees. These two funds have had, to date, combined community grant impact exceeding $1.1 million!
The Philip and Janis Miller Wertheimer Fund was created through Mrs. Wertheimer’s estate and is endowed, meaning the money the fund was started with will never be spent, thus ensuring grants are given annually from the fund forever. Mrs. Wertheimer designated six local nonprofits to receive annual grants from the fund: Frederick Memorial Hospital, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Historical Society of Frederick County, National Lutheran Home, YMCA of Frederick County, and Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council (now the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital). Before her death in 2001, Mrs. Wertheimer established The Philip and Janis Wertheimer Fund for the Salvation Army/Frederick Corps to support its activities and programs.
Why would Mrs. Wertheimer want to support these organizations after her passing, and why did she work with the Community Foundation to make this happen? Since she was well-known for her volunteer work, it can be assumed that she understood how grant monies are critical to nonprofit programs and services. But a more substantial reason was behind her motivation: the desire to give back to a community that had provided so much to her and her husband, Philip.
Born, raised, and schooled in Frederick County, including an English degree from Hood College in 1929, she married Philip Wertheimer, and they opened Nicodemus and Wertheimer, a successful insurance and real estate business in Frederick, where she served as vice-president. Her community involvement included the Hood College Board of Associates, Hood College Alumnae Association, Frederick Woman’s Civic Club, Frederick Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Frederick County Landmarks Foundation, Historical Society of Frederick County, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Reserve Officer’s Auxiliary, and Frederick Art Club. Also, she was a lifelong member of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick.
In life, Mrs. Wertheimer gave back and benefitted others through her volunteer work, and in death, she continues to give back through her funds. Her true legacy, however, is not the grant support. It is her true love of Frederick County, shown by example and followed by her generosity.
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.
FREDERICK, MD – August 21, 2018: The Community Foundation of Frederick County, in conjunction with Ausherman Family Foundation, Delaplaine Foundation, Frederick County Government, The Robert C. and Jane E. Ladner Charitable Fund, Helen J. Serini Foundation, and United Way of Frederick County, is spearheading a new Frederick County human needs assessment. The public is invited to participate in one of two open forums: Wednesday, September 12th, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Anthony M. Natelli Community Room at the Urbana Regional Library, 9020 Amelung Street, Frederick, Maryland, (parking available in front and in back of the library) and Thursday, September 13th, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 1st Floor Hearing Room at Winchester Hall,12 East Church Street, Frederick, Maryland, (parking available in the garage directly across the street). Please arrive early for seating; the presentation will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. No advance registration is required.
This project will update the Community Foundation’s 2011 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment. The study is assessing the needs of the community by combining research and data with input from service providers, stakeholders, community leaders, and the public to determine the areas of most pressing needs. The 2018 Frederick County Human Needs Assessment is being conducted by Devereux Consulting in partnership with Social Science Consultants.
The forums are an opportunity for the public to provide input based on the preliminary findings of the assessment to help shape the final report. The human need areas being studied include but are not limited to: basic human needs and financial sustainability, including food and nutrition, clothing and shelter, and physical, economic, and health security; healthcare; and issues related to children and youth from birth to age 24. Time will be reserved for open discussion and interested persons are also invited to bring written statements to submit to the Community Foundation. The results of the assessment will influence the Community Foundation’s strategic grant funding and advocacy priorities over the next decade.
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