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Donald Lewis was a well-known Frederick County citizen from Thurmont who made a lasting impact on his community. He was an Army veteran, businessman, politician, and community philanthropist who left a permanent legacy by creating funds with The Community Foundation of Frederick County to benefit local nonprofits and provide educational opportunities. With his vision for the future, Mr. Lewis took a big step to ensure that Frederick County continues to be a place that future generations will be proud to call home, just as he did.
Born in Thurmont, Mr. Lewis grew up working on his grandparents’ farm and graduated from Thurmont High School in 1935. Following his graduation, he enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps where he met his future wife, Freda. Mr. Lewis later joined the United States Army and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in France during World War II.
In the years following the war, Mr. Lewis returned home and began his entrepreneurial career with his wife Freda. The couple opened Lewis Confectionery in 1952 in Thurmont, and later opened Lewis Sporting Goods Store next door, both of which were community destinations that they owned for many years. Mr. Lewis later served his community through two terms as mayor of Thurmont and two terms as Frederick County Commissioner. As a commissioner, he served as liaison to the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis.
Mr. Lewis had a successful business and political career, but he was also a generous supporter of causes that mattered to him. He was a longtime supporter of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living. He cared for his wife for several years after she had a stroke, and the experience inspired him to do something that would create lasting impact at the Citizens and Montevue facilities.
In 2012, Mr. Lewis turned to the Community Foundation to establish The Donald L. Lewis Staff Education Fund for Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Fund. The fund’s purpose is to provide Citizens and Montevue staff with access to continuing education and training, such as support for tuition, books, resource materials, and professional development. To date, the fund has distributed more than $100,000 for educational support for employees.
Mr. Lewis passed away in 2018 at age 99. With his vision for the future of Frederick County, he made provisions in his estate to create the following funds with the Community Foundation to benefit local nonprofits: The Donald Lewis Community Impact Fund for The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, Meals on Wheels, The Community Foundation of Frederick County, Frederick Rescue Mission, Advocates for the Aging, and Mission of Mercy.
Donors like Donald Lewis place their trust in the Community Foundation to help them support the nonprofits and causes they care about. Their vision for the future helps ensure that Frederick County remains a vibrant community for generations to come.
The Community Foundation of Frederick County’s scholarship application deadline has been extended to Monday, April 6, 2020. This is to allow students additional time to complete the application following the closure of schools in Maryland to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With just one week remaining until the application closes, we encourage all students who are eligible to apply. For the fifth consecutive year, just over $1 million in scholarships is available to students pursuing postsecondary education or vocational training during the 2020-2021 academic year. Our scholarship program supports nearly every area of study imaginable, with scholarships funded by generous donors who believe in the value of education.
One of our scholarships that has provided broad impact for students is The Joseph Donald Brewer Scholarship Fund. Founded by parents Abigail Richon and William Brewer, the fund honors the memory of their son Joseph, who passed away in 2002. The purpose of the fund is to provide scholarships to Frederick County graduating seniors who have dyslexia and are pursuing postsecondary education.
Joseph was a motivated student and worked hard to graduate early from Urbana High School in 2001. He did not allow his dyslexia to slow his dreams, and following his graduation, he started attending Lincoln Technical Institute, where he excelled in automotive technology and electronics. Joseph’s classmates remember him as having a kind heart and caring personality.
The scholarship that honors Joseph’s memory has helped many Frederick County students who have dyslexia achieve their educational goals. To date, 15 students have received more than $15,000 in scholarships to study at institutions such as McDaniel College, Marshall University, Lafayette College, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Anna Thornton, who is a previous Joseph Donald Brewer Scholarship recipient, appreciated the support she received from the scholarship.
“Being a student with dyslexia, it has been harder for me to be successful in school,” she said. “I would like to thank you for sponsoring a scholarship that does not only focus on a student’s grade point average but also their individual qualities.”
The Joseph Donald Brewer Scholarship has and will continue to help countless students and is one of our many scholarship success stories. Students interested in applying for our scholarships should visit www.ScholarshipsFrederickCounty.com. The deadline to submit the application is 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020.
Betty Seligmann was dedicated to community service, including countless volunteer hours served with the Literacy Council of Frederick County. Through her many years with the Literacy Council and a number of other organizations, she positively influenced many people in the community. Her legacy lives permanently with a fund in her name at The Community Foundation of Frederick County that honors her commitment to helping others through access to literacy resources.
Mrs. Seligmann served in a variety of roles with the Literacy Council. She worked as a tutor, trainer, and basic program coordinator, and served as board president. She was deeply knowledgeable about the local community and used that knowledge to find places that could benefit from increased access to Literacy Council resources. She attracted tutors through her tireless efforts and students through outreach to churches, community organizations, and businesses. In addition to her work with the Literacy Council, Mrs. Seligmann actively participated with several organizations such as Frederick County Humane Society and Montevue Home Auxiliary.
In 2002, the Literacy Council’s Board of Directors established The Betty Seligmann Literacy Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation to honor Mrs. Seligmann’s legacy. The fund’s purpose is to support the activities of the Literacy Council.
Ten years later, in 2012, Caroline Gaver, a longtime volunteer with the Literacy Council, became a Community Foundation Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism. The award recognizes outstanding volunteers in the community. Like Mrs. Seligmann, Mrs. Gaver has served in a variety of volunteer positions with the Literacy Council, including terms as board president and vice president. She has been an integral part of helping English and non-English speaking adults learn to read, write, and speak the English language. With her award, Mrs. Gaver decided to support the Literacy Council by adding to The Betty Seligmann Literacy Endowment Fund.
To date, grants from The Betty Seligmann Literacy Endowment Fund have helped support many Literacy Council programs, including its outreach efforts to recruit and train more volunteers and expand access to serve more adults with families. Grants have also supported individualized learning plans for students and tutors to help with English language learning, reading, and other life skills.
Mrs. Seligmann dedicated countless hours to promoting literacy in Frederick County. Her legacy is honored with the fund in her name at the Community Foundation, and many more generations of Frederick County citizens will benefit from Literacy Council programs.
FREDERICK, MD – July 15, 2020: To support descendants of Thurmont High School alumni pursuing their postsecondary educational goals, The Donald P. Dougherty, Jr. Memorial Fund has been established with The Community Foundation of Frederick County and becomes one of its more than 720 component funds.
Founded by Doris Dougherty in memory of her son, the fund’s purpose is to provide scholarships to descendants, including legally adopted children, of Thurmont High School, which closed in 1968 and merged with Emmitsburg High School to create Catoctin High School. Additionally, descendants of Catoctin High School graduating classes of 1969 through 1972 are eligible for these scholarships.
Mrs. Dougherty created the fund to honor her son, who was an active member of the Thurmont High School Alumni Association. The scholarship fund will help students follow their educational and career aspirations for generations to come.
The Gross family legacy permanently lives with The Community Foundation of Frederick County. As educators, artists, and through a common bond of wanting to give back to their community and positively impact the lives of others, Anne-Lynn, Thelma, and William Gross influenced countless Frederick County community members, and through three funds with the Community Foundation, they will continue to do so forever.
Anne-Lynn Gross, the daughter of “Judge” William B. Gross and Thelma Gross, was born and raised in Brunswick. She pursued her passion for music and music education at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (now Shenandoah University) and West Virginia University. She later taught music in Frederick County Public Schools for 10 years. Anne-Lynn was well-known as “The Singing Auctioneer” and was the first woman auctioneer in Maryland. She was also the first woman auctioneer in Maryland to receive the CAI (Certified Auctioneers Designation), and the first woman in the nation to serve on the National Auctioneers Foundation Board.
Anne-Lynn had a strong desire to give back to her community, a quality that was instilled in her by her parents. During her lifetime, she turned to the Community Foundation to establish The Frederick Arts Council Thelma Gross Music Scholarship Fund, which she founded in collaboration with the Frederick Arts Council, and The “Judge” William B. Gross Fund.
The Frederick Arts Council Thelma Gross Music Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to students pursuing music education. Anne-Lynn created this fund in memory of her mother. Thelma Gross was a teacher for more than 30 years and taught at Maryland School for the Deaf and Brunswick Elementary School. She was also a singer and member of the Monday Morning Musical Foundation, an active organization in the 1940s. In her free time, Thelma enjoyed the art of writing poetry, singing, and playing the piano. The fund that honors her memory will allow countless students to follow their passion for music, just as Thelma did during her lifetime.
The “Judge” William B. Gross Fund was created by Anne-Lynn in her father’s memory. The fund’s purpose is to support the work of the Frederick Rescue Mission. “Judge” Gross was known for positively impacting the lives of others and providing second chances to people while he served as District Court Commissioner in Frederick. The fund in his name will continue his legacy of assisting people who are trying to improve their lives.
Anne-Lynn Gross passed away in 2014. Through her estate provisions, she established The “Judge” William B. Gross Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation to provide scholarships to high school students pursuing postsecondary education. She also left real estate to the Community Foundation through her estate, which was then sold to support the Community Foundation’s charitable purposes, as per her instructions.
The Gross family made a positive impact on so many throughout their lives with their dedication and commitment to their community. Their charitable dreams will be permanently carried out by the Community Foundation, providing future community members with educational and other support services for generations to come.
Nicholas Paskowsky was an honors student, a standout football and track and field athlete, and had a deep appreciation for international travel and studying abroad to further his education. These interests are reflected in a fund in his memory with The Community Foundation of Frederick County. His legacy will help countless students enhance their education through study abroad programs.
Mr. Paskowsky was a Frederick High School graduate where he lettered in football and track. He then attended Saint Mary’s College of Maryland, where he was a Dean’s List student, majored in history, and had plans to attend law school.
In August 2004, four months shy of his 21st birthday, Mr. Paskowsky passed away. He was scheduled to spend a semester abroad in Costa Rica to learn more about Central America and to improve his Spanish language skills. In 2005, Nicholas’s parents, Jane Talarico and Michael Paskowsky, established The Nicholas Talarico Paskowsky Memorial Fund with the Community Foundation to honor their son’s memory. The fund’s purpose is to provide tuition assistance and grants that enable St. Mary’s College of Maryland students to study abroad, with special consideration given to students traveling to Spanish-speaking countries.
Numerous students have benefited from the fund since it was created. It has distributed almost $45,000 to help students pursue their educational goals abroad. Students who received grants from the fund have studied in countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Thailand, and China. Students typically live with native-speaking host families, attend classes, experience cultural activities, and complete an academic project. In addition to intensive language study, students have engaged in a variety of intellectual pursuits, such as a student majoring in biology who worked on a sea turtle rescue project in Mexico.
Nicholas’s parents have closely followed how students have benefitted from the fund, including trips of their own to Spain, Argentina, and Costa Rica to see firsthand the invaluable educational experience that students receive.
Nicholas Paskowsky was preparing for an enriching and transformative experience, and now, thanks to his legacy and the generosity of his parents, students can benefit from learning new perspectives and fostering an appreciation for many world views through study abroad opportunities.
Henry Droneburg, III was a young man who lived life with a quiet kindness that he extended to everyone he met. He was an exceptional artist who was a role model to many and inspired others. His legacy is honored with a fund in his name at The Community Foundation of Frederick County that helps students pursue their educational goals.
As an honor roll student and 2006 graduate of Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Henry pursued his passion of art. He attended Frederick Community College to further his education. His beautiful artwork filled his parents’ home, and he had a love of skateboarding and shared his enthusiasm for the sport with his younger brother, Joseph, to whom Henry was a role model. He pursued other hobbies such as snowboarding and karate, where he held a brown belt. During summers, Henry worked for Masters Plumbing with his father and grandfather.
Henry had an ability to make everyone around him smile, and he was loved by many. He was on the verge of accomplishing great things when his life was tragically cut short in a car accident in March 2007, leaving a void in the Frederick County community.
To honor Henry’s memory, his family turned to the Community Foundation in June 2007 to establish The Henry E. Droneburg, III Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund’s purpose is to support students studying at the secondary or post-secondary level, with preference given to scholarships for graduates of Governor Thomas Johnson High School majoring in art, supplies for Governor Thomas Johnson High School art classes, and scholarships or stipends to purchase tools or equipment to benefit plumbing students at Frederick County Public Schools Career and Technology Center.
To date, the fund has provided broad impact through grants to support art department supplies at Governor Thomas Johnson High School and scholarships for students pursuing their education at institutions such as Shepherd University, Frederick Community College, Ohio University, and Ringling College of Art and Design.
Henry’s legacy has helped many students achieve their educational goals and follow similar passions and interests as his. His life of kindness, creativity, and endless potential is reflected in the fund in his name at the Community Foundation.
The Community Foundation of Frederick County’s online scholarship application is open through March 31. Scholarships are available to students pursuing post-secondary education or vocational training during the 2021-2022 academic year. Students about to complete their senior year of high school, students already enrolled in a trade school, college or university, and nontraditional students over the age of 21 are eligible to apply. Scholarship criteria are established by the scholarship funds’ founding donors, and some scholarships do not consider financial need.
We encourage all students to apply. To fill out an application and learn more about our program, visit www.ScholarshipsFrederickCounty.com.
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