News & Event
FREDERICK, MD – June 8, 2021: Grants from The Community Foundation of Frederick County and United Way of Frederick County are providing support to the Frederick County Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.
The national Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five regardless of their family’s income. Frederick County’s participation in the program began in 2018 through a Striving Readers grant provided to Frederick County Public Schools. As of February 2021, 396 children are Dolly Parton readers in Frederick County, enrolled through programs focused on low-income families: the Judy Centers at Lincoln, Waverley, Hillcrest and Butterfly Ridge Elementary Schools; Family Partnership of Frederick County; Head Start; Healthy Families Frederick; and the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick.
A grant from The Jean Ellis and Florence Guss Memorial Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation, and a gift from The Marion P. Lee Trust to the United Way of Frederick County is supporting the Frederick County Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program and will help it continue to serve local families. The program helps parents develop their important role as teacher and spend more time in conversation with their child. Children also build a connection to the written word and stories and an early confidence in learning and thinking – critical skills for their first forays into language arts, math, and writing.
FREDERICK, MD – May 7, 2020: To support nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, The Community Foundation of Frederick County announces its fourth round of COVID-19 emergency relief grants totaling $50,600, bringing its combined total of emergency grantmaking to $336,100.
The Community Foundation is partnering with United Way of Frederick County, Ausherman Family Foundation, Delaplaine Foundation, Inc., Helen J. Serini Foundation, Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County, The Kahlert Foundation, Our Heavenly Cause Foundation, The William Cross Foundation, The Mark and Susan Butt Saturday Mornings Fund, and others as part of the COVID-19 Philanthropic Funders Collaborative (COVID Collaborative) to support nonprofits that directly help those adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
With its latest round of funding, the Community Foundation is providing grants to 14 nonprofits to support family sustainability, the arts, food insecurity, information and referral services, animal care, and behavioral health services.
COVID-19 emergency relief grants will be provided to:
Centro Hispano de Frederick: $5,220 to support essential staff and services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry: $2,500 to support the provision of meat sources of protein to area food banks during the COVID-19 crisis.
February Star Sanctuary: $3,500 to support a cat and horse sanctuary for animals displaced due to housing instability, including homelessness or domestic violence.
Frederick Community College Foundation: $2,000 to assist current FCC students with emergency aid related to loss of employment and remote learning during the COVID-19 crisis.
Frederick County Government/Montevue Assisted Living: $6,578 for the purchase of meal trays and carts to provide timely and safe in-room meals due to the COVID-19 suspension of communal dining.
I Believe in Me, Inc.: $4,400 for providing a selection of quality groceries for food distributions in culturally diverse and heavily impacted populations within Frederick, in coordination with other food distribution providers.
Life & Discovery, Inc.: $6,602 for support of essential staff to address community health needs.
New Spire Arts: $2,000 to support general operating expenses while performance venues are closed due to COVID-19.
Other Voices: $2,000 to support general operating expenses while performance venues are closed due to COVID-19.
Project LIFELINE: $5,800 to support the recovery community during the COVID-19 crisis.
Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland, Inc.: $3,500 to support essential staff and services during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Delaplaine Arts Center: $2,000 for supporting general operating expenses while fee-for-service programs are closed during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Endangered Species Theatre Project: $2,000 to support the Teen Mentorship Production, rent, and the development of online platforms.
The Frederick Center: $2,500 to support mental health needs of the LGBTQ+ community during the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 has caused significant hardship for so many in Frederick County, but the Community Foundation has been working quickly and decisively with our partners to help bring relief to those who need it most.
Your support has and will help ensure the Community Foundation and COVID Collaborative can continue to respond to Frederick County's greatest needs not only now, but well into the future.
There are several ways to give and support emergency funding for COVID-19. Visit our COVID-19 emergency funding support webpage to learn more.
FREDERICK, MD – November 11, 2020: During its recent FY2021 impact grantmaking cycle, The Community Foundation of Frederick County provided $374,192.10 to 40 area nonprofits dedicated to improving lives and enhancing Frederick County. This grant cycle is part of a larger grantmaking effort by the Community Foundation which distributes more than $5 million into the community annually.
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 well-being, 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:
$1,500.14 to Hope Valley Farm for a goat enclosure and chicken run to educate youth about goat and chicken care.
The Animal Care Field of Interest Fund:
$1,226.41 to Cuddles Cat Rescue for general operating expenses.
The Bar Association of Frederick County Justice for All Fund:
$5,000.00 to Asian American Center of Frederick for citizenship integration services.
$500.00 to Friends of the Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County for storage unit funding.
$5,000.00 to Mental Health Association of Frederick County for CASA of Frederick County program.
$5,000.00 to Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland, Inc. for legal services for families.
The William E. Barnhart Memorial Fund:
$31,614.77 to Team HOPE for breast cancer screening services in Frederick County.
The Elizabeth J. Brady Charitable Fund:
$685.54 to Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Maryland for home repairs for seniors.
The Brunswick Area Fund:
$1,303.33 to Brunswick High School Drama Boosters for the Brunswick High School 2021 spring musical and fall play.
$1,000.00 to Brunswick High School Safe & Sane Graduation Committee for Brunswick Safe and Sane Class of 2021 program support.
The Major Dan Campbell Veteran Services Fund:
$684.12 to Platoon 22 for infrastructure needs for a veteran services center.
The Dan Crozier Music Trust Fund:
$850.00 to Chords of Courage for an Intergenerational Cyber Songwriting Studio for Frederick County residents.
$1,204.96 to Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ for an organ recital performed as part of a broader programmatic effort taking place to celebrate the 275th anniversary of the formation of the ERUCC congregation.
$3,000.00 to Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra for virtual performances.
$1,000.00 to The Frederick Children’s Chorus for sheet music purchases.
$1,000.00 to YMCA of Frederick County for YMCA Arts Center instrument purchases.
The Easels in Frederick Fund:
$1,500.00 to The Delaplaine Arts Center for the Elizabeth Barker Delaplaine Awards (Bettie Awards) program.
The Educational Enrichment Field of Interest Fund:
$500.00 to Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County for member support services.
The England Family Fund:
$616.66 to Frederick Rescue Mission for Faith House TransIT bus passes.
The Enhancing Agriculture Field of Interest Fund:
$647.51 to Hope Valley Farm for programs that support youth outdoor agricultural education and involvement with self-sustainable living and the lifestyle of homesteading.
The Environmental Preservation Field of Interest Fund:
$640.62 to Hope Valley Farm for programs that support youth outdoor agricultural education and involvement with self-sustainable living and the lifestyle of homesteading.
The Frederick County AIDS/HIV Education and Services Endowment Fund:
$1,486.54 to The Frederick Center for support for residents living with HIV and home testing support to prevent HIV transmission.
The Frederick Keys Care Fund:
$1,718.66 to Advocates for Homeless Families for children’s after-school and summer activities.
$1,718.66 to Blessings in a Backpack for weekend food for low-income students at Rock Creek School and the FCPS Success Program.
$1,718.66 to Housing Authority of the City of Frederick for special education learning lab support.
$1,000.00 to Madison House Autism Foundation for therapeutic horse riding to support people in Frederick County with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities.
$1,718.66 to Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County for the 2021 New Horizons Academy.
$3,000.00 to YMCA of Frederick County for the Kids Unlimited Program.
The Grove Foundation Fund:
$2,584.28 to Platoon 22 for infrastructure needs for a veteran services center.
The Health Fund for Frederick County Youth:
$27,231.35 to Children’s National Hospital Foundation for lodging and family resource assistance for patients fighting childhood cancer.
$7,318.27 to Frederick County Infants and Toddlers Program for rental and mortgage assistance.
$15,000.00 to Frederick County Infants and Toddlers Program for a home playground for a child with medical needs.
$2,500.00 to Variety- the Children’s Charity of the National Capital Region for emergency grants for parents of children with mobility disabilities who lost income due to COVID-19.
The Historic Preservation Field of Interest Fund:
$594.84 to Middletown Valley Historical Society for repairing the front porch of the historic stone house, which serves as the society’s headquarters.
The Sharon I. Hooper Fund for Children:
$2,993.53 to A Mother’s Rest Charitable Respite Foundation for the Terrace Guest House, which provides mental and physical health support for caregivers.
$3,045.00 to The Delaplaine Arts Center for art kits for youth coping with traumatic situations and/or experiencing homelessness.
$8,036.67 to The Frederick Center for youth services programs.
$1,000.00 to Weinberg Center for the Arts for the Families Need Fun program providing event tickets to catastrophically ill children and their families.
The Human Services Field of Interest Fund:
$500.00 to Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Maryland for home repairs.
The Job Training and Skills Development Field of Interest Fund:
$1,364.93 to Literacy Council of Frederick County for supporting workplace literacy for hospitality workers.
The William O. Lee, Jr. and Family Endowment Fund:
$586.01 to AARCH for new logo and window graphics.
The Charles V. and Louise Main Endowment Fund:
$8,000.00 to AARCH for website upgrade and enhancing social media presence.
The Malamet Family Fund:
$1,000.00 to Crossed Bridges for Frederick County Goes Purple opioid safety and awareness training resources.
The Nonprofit Support Field of Interest Fund:
$500.00 to February Star Sanctuary for enhancing online presence and digital capabilities.
The Addie B. Null Health Care Fund:
$1,403.13 to Community Living, Inc. for music therapy for people who have Down syndrome, autism, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Parks Field of Interest Fund:
$741.13 to Brunswick Railroaders Little League for baseball field sound system repair and speaker replacement.
The John L. and Lucille H. Ponton Charitable Fund:
$62,768.65 to Children’s National Hospital Foundation for lodging and family resource assistance for patients fighting childhood cancer.
$33,087.00 to Frederick Health Hospice for Camp Jamie.
The Performing Arts Field of Interest Fund:
$649.94 to Chords of Courage for an Intergenerational Cyber Songwriting Studio for Frederick County residents.
The Persons with Disabilities Field of Interest Fund:
$982.91 to YMCA of Frederick County for the Kids Unlimited Program.
The Pritchett Family Foundation Fund:
$1,162.68 to Family Partnership for the Child and Family Learning Project.
$1,162.68 to Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County for the 2021 New Horizons Academy.
$750.00 to YMCA of Frederick County for the Kids Unlimited Program.
The Phil and Erika Rauh Fund:
$2,500.00 to City Youth Matrix for program expansion.
$2,000.00 to Family Partnership for the Children’s Growth and Development Project.
$1,826.06 to Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County for the 2021 New Horizons Academy.
The Recreation Field of Interest Fund:
$567.38 to YMCA of Frederick County for the Y Running Club.
The Remsberg Family Fund:
$2,626.12 to Crossed Bridges for Frederick County Goes Purple opioid safety and awareness training resources.
The Rosebud Frederick Senior Support Fund:
$1,000.00 to Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Maryland for home repairs for seniors.
The Secret Santa Fund:
$658.71 to February Star Sanctuary for the Caring for Cats of the Homeless program.
$658.70 to Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Maryland for home repairs.
The Alice Jean Stine Fund:
$1,250.00 to Animal Welfare League of Frederick County for a community cat spay/neuter event.
$500.00 to February Star Sanctuary for its Trap-Neuter-Return/Re-Home (TNRR) program.
The Paul L. Stine, Jr. Memorial Fund:
$500.00 to Frederick Friends of our County Animal Shelter for the Project Hope program.
$500.00 to Madison House Autism Foundation for the Job Readiness Program.
The Paul L. Stine, Sr. Memorial Fund:
$1,250.00 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue for horse rescue resources.
The Alvin F. Tesmer and John J. Hayes Veterans Memorial Fund:
$2,000.00 to Mission of Mercy for medical care for veterans.
$500.00 to Platoon 22 for infrastructure needs for a veteran services center.
The Transportation Field of Interest Fund:
$904.33 to Centro Hispano de Frederick for transportation services for the Años Dorados/Golden Years Program.
The Mildred B. Trevvett Music Education Fund:
$873.32 to The Frederick Children’s Chorus for professional development for music educators.
The Visual Arts Field of Interest Fund:
$687.45 to YMCA of Frederick County for YMCA Arts Center scholarships.
The Kevin R. and Sara J. Wade Special Needs Fund:
$2,900.00 to Frederick County Infants and Toddlers Program for rental assistance.
The Libby Hough Van Winkle Children’s Fund
$1,615.39 to YMCA of Frederick County for the Kids Unlimited Program.
The Florence Zahler Memorial Cancer Support Fund:
$3,000.00 to Asian American Center of Frederick for support services for individuals and families impacted by cancer.
$1,034.00 to Frederick County Infants and Toddlers Program for rental assistance for a family impacted by cancer.
Community Foundation unrestricted funds that are allocated by the Community Foundation Grants Committee, according to the donors’ instructions, provided the following grants:
$4,219.21 to AARCH for museum management software renewal.
$2,500.00 to Centro Hispano de Frederick for the Entre Mujeres Self-Sufficiency Program for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) young mothers and children.
$10,000.00 to Centro Hispano de Frederick for Latino/LEP Basic Needs Program support.
$12,500.00 to City Youth Matrix for program expansion.
$1,000.00 to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry for hunger relief in Frederick County.
$1,000.00 to Frederick Rescue Mission for kitchen supplies.
$1,000.00 to Frederick Rescue Mission for drug testing supplies for the Changed Life Recovery Program.
$8,000.00 to Heartly House for service coordination expansion.
$7,500.00 to Housing Authority of the City of Frederick for expanding access to childcare.
$4,000.00 to Literacy Council of Frederick County for learning materials to meet adult literacy needs of families with children.
$3,200.00 to Main Street Housing, Inc. for improvements and upgrades to affordable housing units in Frederick County.
$5,000.00 to Maryland Food Bank for the Frederick County Senior Pantry Program.
$10,000.00 to Mental Health Association of Frederick County for crisis services.
$8,000.00 to Mission of Mercy for medications for those who are uninsured and under-insured.
$1,473.19 to Phoenix Foundation of Maryland for equipment purchases for safety and security.
$3,650.00 to Thurmont Senior Center for common area seating updates.
FREDERICK, MD – October 8, 2020: During its recent FY2021 strategic grantmaking cycle, The Community Foundation of Frederick County provided more than $460,000 to 26 area nonprofits dedicated to improving lives and enhancing Frederick County. These grants focus on the Community Foundation’s strategic grant areas of supporting families with children, preparing for a growing aging population, and responding to substance use disorder. The FY2021 strategic grant cycle is the first year that the Community Foundation is providing grants exclusively in support of these initiatives, which were determined based on the 2018 Human Needs Assessment.
Strategic grant funding supporting families with children was provided to:
Advocates for Homeless Families: $15,000 for case manager salaries to support families experiencing homelessness achieve stability.
Blessings in a Backpack: $5,000 for weekend backpacks of food for low-income Frederick County Public Schools students.
Care Net Pregnancy Center of Frederick: $5,000 for essential items for families in the Frederick community, such as diapers, wipes, child car seats, and pack-n-play cribs.
Centro Hispano de Frederick: $25,000 for intake coordinator position salary to support increased client caseload.
Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (COIPP): $15,000 for bolstering COIPP’s operational capacity.
Family Partnership: $42,370 for opportunities for growth in families with young children, targeting households at or below the Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) threshold.
Frederick Community Action Agency: $9,958.96 for the School-Based Health Center to provide primary health care and related supportive services to elementary school students, and $5,000 for the Health Center to provide primary health care and related services to adults and children who are uninsured, experiencing homelessness, Medicaid recipients, and/or have incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Housing Authority of the City of Frederick: $25,000 for developmental and educational opportunities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in public housing that improve birth outcomes, reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and create an upward trajectory for school success.
I Believe in Me: $9,229.67 for educational support and encouragement for at-risk youth through I Believe in Me’s after school mentoring program.
Literacy Council of Frederick County: $4,556.87 for a part-time program assistant to support the adult literacy tutoring, community class, parent literacy, and workplace literacy programs.
Mental Health Association of Frederick County: $12,126.79 for home-based support for children and their families as a means to strengthen the parent-child bond, promote healthy child development and school readiness, and enhance family functioning.
Seton Center: $10,000 for materials and training to conduct Getting Ahead programs in Frederick County to support ALICE families.
Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland: $8,000 for education and support for Frederick County Public Schools parents and their children who are victims of abuse and/or who are low-income to become self-sufficient and invoke their legal rights.
The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs: $25,000 for security deposit support to rehouse families with children experiencing homelessness.
Strategic grant funding supporting preparing for a growing aging population was provided to:
Advocates for the Aging of Frederick County: $26,750.00 for implementation of a service coordination model for low-income seniors in single-unit housing.
Asian American Center of Frederick: $14,000 for increasing access to information and resources about aging services for South Asian seniors, rising seniors, and their caregivers.
Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County Maryland: $1,500 for home repairs and aging in place modifications for seniors.
Mission of Mercy: $15,000 for medical and dental care for seniors.
Rebuilding Together Frederick County: $20,666.79 for health and safety-related home repairs and improvements to help low-income senior homeowners age in place.
Supporting Older Adults through Resources (SOAR): $20,000 for resources and financial support to allow seniors to age in place safely with the support they need.
The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs: $50,000 for emergency dental care for seniors who are low-income and experiencing homelessness.
Thurmont Senior Center: $1,030 for a website to expand visibility of the center and its services that it offers.
YMCA of Frederick County: $10,000 for expanding health programs for active seniors with Parkinson’s Disease.
Strategic grant funding supporting responding to substance use disorder was provided to:
Frederick Community College Foundation: $8,138 for FCC’s participation in the JED Campus Program to promote student emotional health and prevent substance misuse and suicide.
Frederick Rescue Mission: $20,000 for the Changed Life Recovery program case manager position to support participants in a substance use disorder recovery program.
Justice Jobs of Maryland: $20,000 for the employment program to support individuals recovering from substance use disorder.
Mission of Mercy: $8,000 for medical and dental care for patients suffering from the effects of substance use disorder.
The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland: $35,000 for the recovery high school where adolescents and their families to continue recovery from substance use disorder while receiving a quality high school education.
FREDERICK, MD – November 23, 2020: The Community Foundation of Frederick County presents its 34th Annual Report to the Community via video. The video, titled #NothingStopsPhilanthropy, highlights the Community Foundation’s fiscal year 2020 accomplishments and honors some of the community’s outstanding volunteers.
The video highlights how the Community Foundation fully embraced #NothingStopsPhilanthropy in FY2020 by providing $5.4 million in grants and $1.2 million in post-secondary scholarships, while also serving as a leader in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition, the 2020 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism and Youth in Action Award honoree are recognized for their volunteer contributions to Frederick County. Sally Arnold is recognized for selfless volunteerism on behalf of such organizations as Calico Clovers 4-H Club, Frederick County 4-H Camp and Activities Center, and Future Farmers of America. Shari Ostrow Scher is recognized for selfless volunteerism on behalf of Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, and Daryenne Elizabeth Dorsey is recognized for selfless volunteerism on behalf of Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and United Steam Fire Engine Company #3.
Visit www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NothingStopsPhilanthropy to view #NothingStopsPhilanthropy, as well as videos produced by WDVM about the 2020 Wertheimer Fellows and Youth in Action honoree. Our 34th Annual Report is also available on the webpage in electronic format. The videos will be posted permanently on this page to view “on-demand.”
If anyone understands how unpredictable life can be, it is Michael Cumberland. As a longtime Vice President at Keller Stonebraker Insurance, Inc., he has worked with many individuals and families dealing with the fallout from unanticipated challenges affecting their health, homes, businesses, and more. While serving on The Community Foundation of Frederick County’s Grants Committee, he has read countless applications from organizations requesting funds to bridge the gap between their budgets and the cost of supporting our community’s quality of life. In June of 2017, Mike dealt with perhaps the cruelest blow of all when his wife Gina M. Cumberland passed away following a heart transplant.
“Everyone must deal with circumstances in their lives that they never saw coming,” said Mike. “And our community must also. Ten years ago, the use of opioids among the teen population, while serious, was nowhere near at the point it is today. And a little more than a year ago, no one could imagine what the coronavirus was about to set in motion. My takeaway from these situations is that even if we cannot predict them, we must prepare for them.”
Mike has watched the Community Foundation work to target, address, and predict Frederick’s areas of greatest needs for the past six years from a unique vantage point. As a member of the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2015, he has served on its Grants, Human Resources, Investment, and Audit committees. He has supported the Community Foundation’s Widening Circles campaign, The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, and numerous other funds related to community projects and improvements.
In October of 2017, Mike honored his late wife with the establishment of The Gina M. Cumberland Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund has already awarded more than $4,000 in post-secondary scholarships to students who have chosen to attend an educational institution in Maryland and who have demonstrated the same community service, love, and kindness that made Gina so well-loved among all who knew her.
Most recently, Mike has been involved with the Community Foundation’s Forever Frederick County campaign, an effort to build a flexible, unrestricted endowment fund that will provide strategic grants for our community’s future needs—needs we are most likely not even aware of yet.
“I think there is something really special about Frederick County,” said Mike. “People who live here want to do what they can to support others, and I admire the way the Community Foundation has helped them do exactly that in whatever ways make sense for their needs. I have watched the Community Foundation’s efforts since the very beginning, and I have complete trust in its ability to identify the most pressing community needs—present and future—and be a vehicle for addressing those for the good of all.”
Mike said that the recent COVID-19 pandemic further reinforced his desire to do something meaningful and impactful to help safeguard the Frederick County community’s future against challenges that are impossible to predict. To help increase the unrestricted funds available to respond to emergency needs, he has made a generous gift to the Community Foundation in his estate plan.
“I could earmark my gift to be used in a certain way,” he said, “but there is no way for me to know if the use I designate will still be societally relevant by the time the Community Foundation is in a position to use those funds. Instead, I have chosen to make my planned gift an unrestricted one to the Forever Frederick County campaign, giving the Community Foundation’s future Boards of Trustees the discretion to use it where it is most needed.”
“I won’t be here to see how this gift is leveraged,” said Mike, “but I have total trust in the Community Foundation to use it to fulfill my intentions—which are simply to do my part to ensure that whatever the most pressing needs in Frederick County may be in 10, 20, or 50 years will be, the resources are there to address them.”
Each year, The Community Foundation of Frederick County recognizes people who are dedicated to their community and are selfless in their contributions of time, energy, and talents. They are Frederick County residents who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Do you know someone who fits this description? We are pleased to announce that the Community Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2020 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism and Youth in Action Awards through May 31, 2020.
The Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism Awards Program is now in its 18th year and honors the legacy of the late Janis Miller Wertheimer, a well-known Frederick businesswoman and prolific volunteer. The program is made possible through The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation. The Wertheimer Youth in Action Award is now in its ninth year.
The Community Foundation has recognized outstanding members of our community over the years who are difference makers and are dedicated to the people and causes they serve.
Dr. Peter Kremers received a 2019 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award for his inspirational work in helping to improve his community. Dr. Kremers is the man behind Color on the Creek and Sailing into the Winter Solstice, which has resulted in beautiful blooming water plants that line Carroll Creek and the elaborately decorated and lighted boats in the winter months. Dr. Kremers was frustrated by the unattractive algae growth in the water along Carroll Creek and researched ways to limit its growth. He worked with the City of Frederick to obtain necessary approvals and set up a test garden in 2012. With its success, he established the nonprofit Color on the Creek to raise funds to support the project and in 2013, he worked with a group of volunteers to install hundreds of metal stands holding more than 1,000 perennial and tropical plants. The collection has grown over the years, and now Frederick County residents and thousands of tourists each year can enjoy the spectacular color provided by the plants and the clean water surrounding them.
Turning his attention to the winter months, Dr. Kremers started building decorative boats, sponsored by local businesses, to add color along Carroll Creek. Each year, the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite boat and raise money for community nonprofits. With his award, Dr. Kremers established The Color on the Creek Fund with the Community Foundation to support the ongoing development of the water garden and boat display.
Ronald Layman, Sr. received a 2019 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism Award for his tireless work, commitment, and passion for the Boy Scout program. He joined Cub Scouts at age ten and advanced through the program to become an Eagle Scout. He has served as Scoutmaster for Troop 274 and led this Troop for 34 years. He has mentored more than 100 young men in Frederick County, including his two sons, to become Eagle Scouts and has positively influenced countless others. Mr. Layman has served on several Boy Scout committees and has been the visionary, administrator, and caretaker of the 210-acre Walkersville watershed property which has been used to host thousands of Boy and Girl Scouts and other youth organizations for events and outdoor adventures. Mr. Layman’s other volunteer work has included serving on memorial committees and he has been design chairman for several veteran monuments in Memorial Park in downtown Frederick. He has also been a member of the Shangri-La Marine Corps League Detachment for more than 50 years. With his award, Mr. Layman established The Ron Layman Family Fund to provide grants to a variety of local nonprofits.
Recognized for her extensive volunteer work serving her community, Leila Ghaffari received a 2019 Wertheimer Youth in Action Award. She participated in United Way’s Summer Serve Program and Leadership Week, an intense program about Frederick County government, history, the business community, education system, and nonprofits. Through her experience, she accepted a volunteer intern position with the Office of the Mayor, City of Frederick. In this role, she focused on making a difference in combating sexual harassment, increasing young adult participation in local government, and bringing more art to Frederick. Leila has been recognized for her “intrinsic motivation to help” and has been described as dedicated, focused, kind, and an incredible asset to the Frederick County community. With her award, Leila provided a grant to United Way of Frederick County, with support to Heartly House, and a grant to Frederick Children’s Chorus.
If you know someone like Dr. Peter Kremers, Ronald Layman, or Leila Ghaffari who fits the criteria for this award, the online nomination forms can be found at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/WertheimerAwards. Nominations must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020. No paper applications will be accepted.
The honorees will be recognized at the Community Foundation’s Annual Report to the Community in November 2020. Wertheimer Fellows are awarded $25,000 to establish or add to a permanent fund with the Community Foundation for the nonprofit or charitable endeavor of their choice. The Wertheimer Youth in Action honoree will receive a $2,000 grant to support a Frederick County nonprofit organization of their choice. We look forward to recognizing our next group of outstanding volunteers this fall.
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