News & Event
After Charles Worthington “Chipper” Hoff IV became president of Farmers and Mechanics Bank in 1977, he quickly became involved in some of the community’s largest and most active organizations. Owing in part to his enthusiasm for and involvement in his adopted hometown of Frederick, Chipper was also one of the first people to whom Don Linton and the late Charlie Main reached out to in 1986 when they decided to try to form a community foundation here in Frederick County.
The consultant who addressed the group said it would take a minimum of $1 million to start a community foundation, recalls Chipper, thinking that would be enough to deter the group. Undaunted, they created the entity and began to fundraise. By the following year, they had amassed more than $500,000 in gifts and pledges; less than a year later, the group reached its goal of $1 million.
For the next 30 years, Chipper and his wife Peggy have been active volunteers and donors at the Community Foundation. In 2006, they created The Charles W. Hoff, III and Margaret O. Hoff Family Fund. The fund was created as a “donor-advised” fund, meaning that Chipper and Peggy recommend to the board of trustees how the annual distribution is used for grantmaking.
However, in their fund agreement, Chipper and Peggy included language that allows the Community Foundation unrestricted access to its annual distribution after their lifetimes. This step ensures that proceeds from the fund will be available to address Frederick County’s most pressing future needs—especially those of which we are currently unaware.
Based on this concept of unrestricted giving, the Community Foundation launched a campaign in 2019 called Forever Frederick County. Like Chipper and Peggy Hoff, donors to this campaign have given the Community Foundation’s board of trustees the ability to direct the distributions from their funds toward Frederick County’s areas of greatest need.
“Frederick County was a great place to raise our family,” says Chipper. “Peggy and I are pleased to know that the fund we created at the Community Foundation will help strengthen and enhance the quality of life there, now and for years to come.”
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.
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.
If ever there was a testimony to the benefits of hard work, it’s local businessman and Community Foundation of Frederick County supporter De Willard. Fit and energetic at 87, De admits to working long hours for most of his life, a habit that has obviously agreed with him.
Recognized widely for innovations in agribusiness as well as his philanthropic outreach, De first flexed his entrepreneurial muscle in 1948 at barely 16 years old. With $2,300 he had saved up working part-time for 25 cents per hour at a grocery store in his native Poolesville, he purchased a combine harvester. Before long, he had replanted the family farm which had lain fallow for many years. When he wasn’t busy at his own 300 acres, he was harvesting wheat, corn, and barley for neighboring farmers—saving them time and labor and building the funds he would need to capitalize on his next opportunity.
His keen eye for an opportunity is just one of the many factors responsible for De Willard’s extraordinary business success. His family was hard-working and entrepreneurial, and they impressed upon young De the importance of solid relationships in both personal and professional life. Born during the Great Depression, he learned to be both fiscally conservative and extremely generous. An outside-the-box-thinker, De’s lifelong ability to identify problems and address them through creative solutions has helped him build Willard Agri-Services into one of the most successful companies of its kind in a six-state region.
Because De’s business success was built on forward-thinking and innovation, it should come as no surprise that he was one of the first to embrace the concept behind The Community Foundation of Frederick County shortly after its founding in 1986.
“I knew all of the founders of the Community Foundation,” he said. “Don Linton. Charlie Main. Jerry Offutt. In fact, I grew up near Poolesville in upper Montgomery County with Jerry Offutt. Our great grandfathers were best friends, so the families have been connected from way back. All three men were friends whom I knew well and trusted.”
De says he remembers being further impressed by the newly-formed organization’s mission and objectives after reading about them in the Frederick News-Post. In 1989, he directed his first gift to the Community Foundation to be used to create The De Willard Family Fund, an unrestricted endowment. For the past 30 years, the annual proceeds from this unrestricted fund have been used by the Board of Trustees and the grants committee to address the constantly changing, most pressing needs of the community.
Like De Willard’s initial gift, the soon-to-be launched Forever Frederick County fund will also be an unrestricted endowment. Like the Community Foundation’s leadership, De believes that building this flexible fund to tackle Frederick County’s current and emerging greatest needs is a vital and necessary step to preserving and improving the quality of life in our community.
“Grants from our Forever Frederick County campaign will be based on the areas of greatest community need as determined by the Human Needs Assessment report, and that have been selected by our Board of Trustees as areas of focus,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Day. “Donors who contribute to this unrestricted endowment will be trusting the Community Foundation to invest their charitable gifts and grant them wisely, to act with integrity, and to communicate honestly and with transparency.”
Since his initial gift in 1989, De has also created The De Willard Charitable Gift Fund. Still a strong advocate for the agricultural professions, he—along with Rodman Myers, Mehrle Ramsburg, Jr., and Franklin Gladhill-- created The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund in 2009. These scholarships target students pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture or a related field, or farmers interested in pursuing course work to enhance their knowledge of farm business.
According to De, the scholarship’s goal is to help interested students become better farmers through education. He remains an active participant on The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund selection committee, and has helped to direct several grants from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation into that fund.
“I think that everything The Community Foundation of Frederick County does is very helpful-- critical really,” said De. “It’s a fact that people struggle, and sometimes they need help from the organizations that the Community Foundation provides funding for through the proceeds from the charitable gifts that they invest. Its staff and volunteers carry out the organization’s objectives with kindness, fairness and integrity, which I admire and appreciate.”
“At our company, ‘doing the right thing’ is at the top of our list of values,” he says. “I feel confident supporting an organization like the Community Foundation because they share those values.”
We most often think of legacies as something left behind by those who have lived long, productive lives. Sometimes, though, legacies are created by some who are much too young.
Jeff Hayek was a happy 10-year old boy who loved baseball. Not only loved it but lived it as a pitcher and first baseman. He was a smiling, energetic competitor who strived for the big strikeout. And then tragedy struck. Jeff developed complications from a rare blood clot disorder and passed away.
Nicholas Jarvis was nine years old when his life ended unexpectedly from health complications. An easygoing and cheerful boy, he loved nature and the outdoors, animals of the land and in the sea, and science. He wrote about becoming a marine biologist or having a career in forestry or working with wildlife.
Dustin and Courtney Muse were siblings, ages 16 and 13, excelling in school, athletics, music and theatre. Dustin was known for his drive and determination in the sports he played, and Courtney loved dancing, acting, and playing the piano. Their young lives were cut short when they were involved in a car accident.
Nathan Farlow was described as “extraordinary” and “a person of boundless energy and commitment to excellence.” After graduating from college, he was hired by ExxonMobil and relocated to Houston, Texas. He married and was a new father when his life was taken by a drunk driver.
How did the families of Jeff, Nicholas, Dustin, Courtney, and Nathan turn their grief and loss into something that would help others?
Jeff’s family – his parents, Robin and Brian Hayek, and his siblings, Bailey and Evan, established The Jeffrey Hayek Memorial Fund to create and maintain a baseball field in the Urbana area that was greatly needed for youth. Their success in building “Jeffy’s Field” as a memorial to their son and brother captured not only his love of baseball but his love of life that he exhibited so well in his 10 short years.
Mary and Darren Jarvis, Nicholas’ parents, created The Nicolas B. Jarvis Memorial Scholarship Fund to help graduating seniors from Frederick, Urbana, and Tuscarora High Schools who want to study forestry, agriculture, veterinary medicine, marine biology, early childhood education, science, history, or sports medicine. Since 2004, more than 20 students have benefitted from Nicholas’ scholarship.
Dustin and Courtney’s parents, Pam Flickinger and Donald Muse, wanted to help other youth pursue interests that were similar to their children’s. Since 2007, grants from The Dustin and Courtney Muse Memorial Fund have provided college tuition, supported the Monocacy Middle School Chorus and athletic and theatre programs at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, helped faith-based youth groups, and provided athletic scholarships to participate in sports camps or music scholarships for private voice or instrumental lessons to more than 80 students.
The Farlow family – Nathan’s wife Jennifer, parents Arnold and Elizabeth, and siblings Catherine, Daniel, and Elizabeth Joy – also created a scholarship fund to create a legacy in Nathan’s name. Scholarship recipients of The Nathan W. Farlow Memorial Fund for Excellence are active in a faith-based organization and have demonstrated community volunteerism and leadership – all traits that exemplify how Nathan lived his life.
These families have turned tragedy into something positive. Through their loss, they have honored their children, ensured their legacies, and helped hundreds of others be better at doing the things they love to do. The Community Foundation is humbled to be part of helping these families honor their loved one’s lives.
Ramona Remsberg devoted her professional and personal life to the betterment of Frederick County. A pillar in the Frederick community, she completed a distinguished 55-year career in banking and finance at a time when women were not in the field.
Mrs. Remsberg started her career as a courier with Frederick County National Bank, later became president, and finally served as vice chairman of the bank’s board of directors in retirement. Her impressive professional career rivals her extensive community service. Her dedication to the Frederick community was reflected in the countless hours that she spent volunteering in leadership roles with at least ten organizations, including Hood College, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Frederick Arts Council, and Mental Health Association of Frederick County.
Because of her selfless desire to serve others, Mrs. Remsberg made estate provisions to establish a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation through a charitable remainder trust. The Ramona Corun Remsberg Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 and assists students pursuing a post-secondary education and career in finance. To date, 15 students have received more than $45,000 in scholarships to pursue their educational and career aspirations.
One of those students is Caleb McNeil. Following Mrs. Remsberg’s career and community service path, Caleb is studying finance and business analytics at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with hopes to pursue a career in investment banking. He received a 2016 Wertheimer Youth in Action Award from the Community Foundation which recognized him for positively impacting the community by volunteering with the Frederick Rescue Mission.
“The Ramona Remsberg Scholarship has been so helpful. The cost of attendance was a huge factor in deciding what school to attend,” Caleb said, reflecting on his freshman year. “This type of support has been so encouraging this past year.”
In addition to helping students further their education, Mrs. Remsberg’s legacy is supporting an organization where she spent many volunteer hours as a longtime board member. In 2004, Heartly House established The Ramona C. Remsberg Fund for Heartly House with the Community Foundation with money it received through Mrs. Remsberg’s estate provisions. The fund’s purpose is to support Heartly House, the only organization in Frederick County that provides comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and child abuse. More than $12,000 dollars in grants have been disbursed from the fund since it was founded.
Mrs. Remsberg’s legacy is honored in the two funds at the Community Foundation in her name. Her trailblazing career, tireless work ethic, and desire to help others will forever be remembered in the Frederick community.
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