News & Event
Christmas in July has become a popular marketing theme in recent years. Store promotions, Hallmark Channel’s run of holiday movies throughout the month, and other deals and incentives to buy for the holidays now. One pair of our donors, however, have Christmas on their mind year-round, as their fund provides grants to many different organizations in Frederick County. Many of their grants have helped provide Christmas and holiday gifts to thousands of children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
The Mark and Susan Butt Saturday Mornings Fund was created by Mark and Susan in 2006 with funds from the sale of Mark’s book, Saturday Mornings. The book is a compilation of columns that Mark wrote over numerous years for The Frederick News-Post and is a humorous look at life and families. The Butts were already deeply ensconced in community activities, and because of this, they were aware of the many needs of Frederick County children. They decided that the money from book sales would benefit charitable causes and partnered with the Community Foundation to facilitate their dream.
Since 2006, more than $170,000 in grants has had a huge impact on thousands of lives right here at home. Many of those are children and youth who had presents to open on Christmas morning and in the holiday season. Grants to the Frederick County Department of Social Services (DSS) Foster Care and Adoption Unit, Glade Valley Community Services, Patty Pollatos Fund, and The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs have enabled them to purchase toys, clothing, and gift cards that bring smiles to many faces during the holiday season. Other nonprofits have received grants that assisted with case manager salaries and rent/utility expenses (Advocates for Homeless Families, The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs), grants for children without enough to eat on weekends (Blessings in a Backpack), summer programs for youth (SHIP News Horizons program), other educational programs for youth (Spring Ridge Elementary and Walkersville Middle School), and finally, support for those with special needs (Special Olympics, Frederick County program) and the arts (Frederick Arts Council/Sky Stage).
Since 2013, the Butts have also participated in the Community Foundation’s strategic funding partner program and through their fund, provided more than $70,000 for grants through The Children and Youth Strategic Initiatives Fund, and The Basic Human Needs Strategic Initiatives Fund. Grants supported programs that provided critical services for ensuring children were ready to learn at age 5, and for those who were newly homeless or precariously housed.
The Butts have a vision for their philanthropy, and with our help, as well as help from our grants committee and board of trustees who vet and approves all grants, they are making a difference in areas of need that are important to them.
What areas of need are important to you? Where can you make a difference? Every grant is significant, no matter its size. Every fund generating grants to worthy causes in Frederick County, even if one per year, helps improve someone’s life.
There are many people who give generously to many organizations throughout their lifetime. They faithfully support one or more nonprofits representing causes they believe in, or they establish a fund with the Community Foundation that will provide grant distributions to these nonprofits each year. Often, people we meet with are concerned about what happens to these gifts after their lifetime. How can the organizations they’ve loved and supported still benefit once they are no longer here to write a check?
Meet Elmira B. Cook. Mrs. Cook was a long-time annual supporter of Frederick Rescue Mission, a nonprofit which serves the homeless and working poor in Frederick County and helps those with substance use disorder. As she advanced in age, she was concerned about the Frederick Rescue Mission missing out on her annual support after her death. Mrs. Cook met with the Community Foundation and learned there was a way to continue to help, in perpetuity. In 2000, she created The Elmira B. Cook Endowment Fund for the Frederick Rescue Mission. The first grant from the fund was given in 2001, and every year this grant to Frederick Rescue Mission carries out Mrs. Cook’s charitable goal of supporting this worthy organization.
We work with many donors who have the same concern as Elmira and decide to create funds that reflect their unique charitable goals. Another example is The Vince and Guelda Imirie Fund. It was founded in 2005 by Mrs. Imirie to support six different entities annually: Frederick Memorial Hospital, Kline Hospice House, Mental Health Association of Frederick County, The Norine Haas Mental Health Scholarship Fund, Glade United Church of Christ, and the Community Foundation. Rather than create the fund using cash, she used appreciated real estate and worked with the Community Foundation’s Holding Company to transfer the net proceeds to the fund. Mrs. Imirie deemed this transaction “a very worthy project that will long serve the charitable causes my late husband and I supported together.”
Some donors set-up testamentary funds, meaning that the fund isn’t active now, but will receive money from their estate and become an active grant and/or scholarship fund after their lifetime. The Linwood T. Offutt Fund for The Frederick County 4-H Camp Center, established in 2017, provides an annual grant to support Camp Center programs and activities. The purpose of the fund was defined by Mr. Offutt before his death and honors his lifelong career as a farmer and his devotion to agriculture education for youth. It also reflects his active memberships in many agricultural organizations in Frederick County.
Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Imirie, and Mr. Offutt have all passed away, but their legacy and impact within our community continue through their funds. Creating the funds, or the framework for a fund during their lifetime provided them great peace of mind that their charitable goals would continue to be carried out. We are honored to make these dreams come true, forever.
When The Helen L. Smith Scholarship Fund for Children and the Arts was created in 1994, no one imagined that more than 5,400 youth between the ages of six and twelve would have participated in art classes at The Delaplaine Arts Center to date. The Helen Smith Free Workshops for Kids are supported with grants from the fund, and one sign of its success and popularity is the waiting list of kids hoping to secure a spot.
Helen Smith, one of Frederick County’s renowned artists, was born in 1894 and would have celebrated her 125th birthday on January 21, 2019. Her 100th birthday was honored in 1994 with a luncheon and exhibit of her works, organized by the Community Foundation, Hood College, and numerous local organizations of which Helen was a member, and the fund to provide art scholarships for children was announced.
Helen attended Maryland Institute of Art on a scholarship her uncle discovered was available, which provided for one student from every county in Maryland to study. She graduated in 1916 and then taught art at Hood College for the next eight years. In a time when it was acceptable for women to be teachers but not entrepreneurs, Helen opened an art shop on North Market Street. An article in the January 21, 1994 edition of The Frederick News-Post quoted her as saying “It was very daring. I had my kiln I set up in my shop, and I painted right there.” Ten years later, Helen moved her business to what was then considered the “country” in Frederick County – Braddock Heights. Many said she wouldn’t survive, but her business thrived. Her reputation as an artist, including the painting of clock faces, silhouettes, plates, other dishware, family coats of arms, flowers, landscapes, animals, and portraits, even captured national attention at times, including Mamie Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, when he served as Vice-President of the United States.
Helen’s artistry is still in motion beyond her lifetime not only through the countless pieces of her art treasured by so many but through the workshops at the Delaplaine. The classes are taught by qualified instructors, and each class focuses on a specific artist, art movement, technique, or art period. It includes creative time for each student to make a piece of art using the lessons learned. A schedule of upcoming classes in 2019 includes yarn wall art, landscape drawing, experimental painting, and more. And while not every student ends up with an art career, youth who participated have later entered the Bettie Awards, the Delaplaine’s high school art contest, and other youth have come back to help with the workshops as interns or volunteers. Helen would be proud of this legacy.
You don’t have to be a renowned artist to create your own legacy. Simply wanting to do something to benefit others is enough. Scholarships supporting education at many levels, or grants helping organizations or causes important to you can happen through your own fund at the Community Foundation. Just like Helen, your legacy is unique to you.
We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, May 12. Millions of people bought cards, flowers, candy and other symbols of love to show their appreciation for their mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, godmother, and anyone who has filled the role of “mom” at various times.
The Community Foundation celebrates Mother’s Day, too. We work with donors looking for ways to honor their mothers, and we have helped many families create funds that recognize their mother’s profession, interests, causes, or simply the love they received from her.
Scholarship funds and funds that help children in Frederick County are often created, and it’s important to know that while many funds have similarities, every fund created is unique to the person or family or cause it represents. For example, The Margaret E. Brust Nursing Scholarship Fund provides post-secondary scholarships to students studying nursing and was created by Charles and Betty Brust in honor of Margaret, Charles’ mother, who was a dedicated nurse to countless people. Virginia K. Draper was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and educator in Frederick County from 1939 to 1980, and her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter created The Virginia K. Draper Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide post-secondary scholarships to students studying education. The Frederick Arts Council Thelma Gross Music Scholarship Fund was created by daughter Anne-Lynn Gross, to remember Thelma, a teacher, singer, pianist, and poet, and her love of music that was passed down to Anne-Lynn. Tuvy Guss and Tracey Ellis-Guss established The Jean Ellis and Florence Guss Memorial Fund to be able to give back to the community because their mothers instilled in them the importance of philanthropy and volunteering. Tuvy and Tracey named the fund after their mothers to honor and remember their contributions and impact on the community.
There are many more: The Martha Murphy Virts Fund for St. Joseph’s Ministries provides support to the St. Joseph’s nursing home facility in Emmitsburg (formerly St. Catherine’s Nursing Center) and was created by Edgar Virts, Jr., to honor his mother who was a dedicated nurse. The Markey/Hooper Fund for The Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County honors Richard Markey’s mother, Mary Alice Markey, and his aunt, Betty Hooper. The Linda M. Snyder Memorial Fund was established by Linda’s husband Tom and daughter Lindsay to remember her deep love of helping children with special needs by providing post-secondary scholarships to those who are majoring in special education or elementary education.
This is only a brief representation of the funds we hold that were created in honor of a mother, but it does provide examples of the creative ways in which sons and daughters have sought to add to their mother’s legacy and ensure she is remembered forever. The Community Foundation is honored to help.
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.
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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