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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Community spirit abounds in Frederick County. This is a place where volunteerism and generosity are front and center, and our community benefits greatly from these gifts. The Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County has all these components plus one more: a passion for improving self-sufficiency for women and those who depend on them.
Comprised mostly of women, the organization has granted more than $1.6 million since 2007 to local nonprofits in support of programs that help improve the emotional, educational, financial, and physical well-being of women of all ages who are in challenging situations. Some grants assist with emergencies, and other grants help women obtain an education that will allow them to pursue professional employment, have safe and adequate childcare, obtain transportation, get physical and mental health services, and more.
Every story has a beginning, and the story of the Women’s Giving Circle began in 2005 when Karlys Kline, a well-known community volunteer, wanted to help women and their children in Frederick County who were struggling. She convened a group of friends and business associates and partnered with the Community Foundation to create a fund from which grants could be made. “I wanted a way to reach out to women in the community who were experiencing obstacles in life that could be improved by support from women who had the resources to offer,” said Ms. Kline.
Her idea was greeted with great enthusiasm, and the organization began with 45 members who pledged $1,000 a year for three consecutive years. In 2007, the first grants, totaling $70,000, were presented to nine nonprofits. Each year, the total grant amount from The Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County Fund and the number of nonprofits benefiting has grown, and recently in June, grants totaled $210,000 – an amount that has tripled since 2007. The number of nonprofits receiving grants annually has nearly tripled, reaching 24.
“It takes courage to ask for help. But bit by bit, those in need asked and our members answered,” said Ms. Kline. “Our generous community has helped the Women’s Giving Circle grow to more than 370 members, and it continues to thrive because we come from a place of respect, encouragement, and value for our fellow women in Frederick County. We are privileged to extend a helping hand and change the direction of many lives, in positive ways.”
It’s impossible to know how many lives have been touched and made better through the Women’s Giving Circle. Its success proves that one idea from one person can grow beyond expectations when the spirit, volunteerism, generosity, and passion of many come together for a common cause.
For more information about the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County, or to join, visit www.FrederickWGC.org.
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