News & Event
The Community Foundation has been helping people honor mothers for decades. We work with donors who want to honor and remember their loved one in a way that positively impacts the broader community.
Frederick County Gives column published in FNP - May 9, 2022
Mother's Day was yesterday, May 8. Women across Frederick County enjoyed breakfast in bed or brunch at a local restaurant and were adorned with handmade crafts, cards, flowers and meaningful trinkets from doting children and spouses. While it's only one day a year, it's important to recognize the love and work and dedication that comes with being a mother.
John D. Hendrickson II and his wife, Elizabeth, created The Mary Mason Hendrickson Memorial Fund in honor of his mother, who was active in the Frederick community until her passing in 1981. She served on the Altar Guild of All Saints' Episcopal Church and volunteered as a board member of Federated Charities, Episcopal Orphan House and the Home for the Aged (Record Street Home). She was a charter member of The Garden Club of Frederick and according to her family, her primary love was always the welfare and progress of her three sons and grandchildren. In keeping with Mrs. Hendrickson's love for children, this fund supports children's programs in Frederick County.
Since its creation in 1998, the fund has infused almost $150,000 into the community, most recently providing grants to Heartly House, Frederick Health Hospice, Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick County Public Libraries, Blessings in a Backpack, Mental Health Association, and the Frederick Police Athletic League.
Kathy J. Meagher spent 20 years sharing her gift as an English teacher at Maryland School for the Deaf before she passed away in 2009 following a long battle with cancer. Kathy's husband, Rick, and their three children, Kathryn, Emily and Matthew created the Kathy J. Meagher Memorial Scholarship Fund in her honor. The fund, which has distributed more than $32,000, provides scholarships to area students affected by cancer.
"We were fortunate that my wife's passing didn't really impact my children's higher education, but I could certainly see how it could affect other families," Rick Meagher said. "One of the benefits of the fund is that we can help families that have been impacted by cancer. Reading the scholarship applications is a highlight of the year for us."
In 2019, Avadna Seward Coghill’s children created a scholarship fund to honor her years of leadership with the Girl Scouts. The Avadna Seward Coghill Scholarship Fund will help future Girl Scout leaders achieve their educational goals for generations to come. The fund disbursed its first scholarship in 2021.
There are many more funds at the Community Foundation that were started in honor of mothers - it’s a beautiful way to create a lasting legacy that continues to impact lives year after year. It’s an honor to play a role in remembering these women.
Published in The Frederick News Post on May 23, 2022
One week from today is Memorial Day, a national holiday to honor those who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Sadly, Frederick County has felt the loss of too many service members who did not return from the front lines. Some of those families have turned to the Community Foundation to help them honor their fallen family member.
Marine Corps Sgt. Charles I. Cartwright
A 2001 graduate of Walkersville High School, Marine Corps Sgt. Charles I. Cartwright finished his Marine Corps training in January 2002. Over the course of five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he received numerous decorations including two Purple Hearts, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbons, and a Navy Presidential Unit Citation, among others. He died in Afghanistan in November 2009. His parents, Howard and Carol Ann Cartwright, created a fund with the Community Foundation in his honor to provide scholarships to Walkersville High School graduates. The fund has provided scholarships to five students.
Army 1st Lt. Robert Seidel III
Army 1st Lt. Robert Seidel III, a 2000 Catoctin High graduate, attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served as a platoon leader with the 10th Mountain Division in Iraq. He was killed in Iraq in May 2006. To honor his memory and his commitment to his troops, his parents established The 1LT Robert A. Seidel III Memorial Scholarship Fund to award scholarships to graduating seniors from Catoctin High School. A second fund, The 1LT Rob Seidel Wounded Soldiers Fund, provides grants to nonprofits that support wounded soldiers with medical treatment, housing assistance, psychological counseling, physical and occupational therapies, companionship, mentoring and employment training. The two funds combined have distributed more than $170,000 in grants and scholarships.
Army Capt. Ryan Dennison
After attending Urbana High School, Ryan Dennison followed his family's military tradition of attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 2004. Army Capt. Ryan Dennison exemplified the West Point motto of Duty, Honor, and Country throughout his life. He died in Iraq in November 2006. To honor Ryan’s memory, his family established two funds. The Captain John Ryan Dennison Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to graduating scholar/athletes from Urbana and Linganore High Schools; and The John Ryan Dennison Memorial Fund supported the construction of a memorial. The two funds combined have distributed more than $55,000.
Marine Corps Sgt. David J. Smith
A graduate of Frederick High School, Marine Corps Sgt. David J. Smith joined the United States Marine Corps in 2003 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He died in January 2010 of injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan. His family established two funds – a veterans relief fund and a scholarship fund to support students who demonstrate leadership qualities, actively serve in their community, participate in a faith-based organization, and have a strong sense of patriotism. The two funds combined have distributed almost $275,000 in scholarships and grants.
Many more families and organizations have partnered with the Community Foundation to honor service members over the years. We are so fortunate to play a role in building the legacy of these local heroes. Thank you to the very generous donors who make an impact every day in honor of their fallen family member.
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.
Each year, the Community Foundation recognizes several people from Frederick County who are selfless in their contributions of time, energy, and talents because they want to make a difference in the lives of others. We are pleased to announce the 2021 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism who will be honored on November 18, 2021, at our 35th Annual Report to the Community. The public may join in honoring these volunteers through the livestreamed event on November 18 at 7:15 p.m., by visiting www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NothingTopsPhilanthropy and clicking on the video box.
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 The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation.
Each Wertheimer Fellow receives $25,000 from The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund. They choose to add this money to an existing Community Foundation fund or use it to create a new fund. The Youth in Action honoree receives a $2,000 grant from the Wertheimer Fund to present to a nonprofit of their choice.
Hermine Bernstein has been a longtime champion for children experiencing food insecurity in Frederick County. She is the founder of the Frederick chapter of Blessings in a Backpack and brought the program to the area after learning that many Frederick County students go home from school for the weekend uncertain if they will have a secure source of food over the weekend.
Under Mrs. Bernstein’s guidance and leadership, and through creating a partnership with Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), the program has grown to feed more than 3,300 children in 27 schools. She has worked tirelessly to recruit and mentor volunteers, many of whom became school coordinators, operations coordinators, steering committee members, board members, and more. Her fundraising efforts involved many businesses that created special items and donated proceeds, allowed change collection buckets, sponsored food packing events and deliveries, and more. She involved civic clubs and nonprofits, garnering their support for this cause. In addition, she found ways to provide food bags to children when school was closed for emergency purposes such as inclement weather and during holiday breaks. During the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to online learning, Blessings in a Backpack continued to provide weekend food to children by aligning services with FCPS food distribution.
Mrs. Bernstein’s initiative to start a weekend food backpack program when there was none in Frederick County has benefited thousands of children in the Frederick County Public School system. Her accomplishments will continue to grow and make an impact for years to come in our community.
With her award, Mrs. Bernstein is adding to The Blessings in a Backpack Fund with the Community Foundation which supports the programs, activities, and mission of the organization.
Rose Dorsey Chaney
Rose Dorsey Chaney’s extensive volunteer work has helped build on Frederick County’s foundation as a strong, vibrant community. Ms. Chaney is a founding board member of the African American Resources Cultural and Heritage (AARCH) Society. In her two decades serving the organization, she has helped build its programming and exhibits and has been instrumental in creating a robust communications program to bring awareness to AARCH and its mission, through programs such as AARCHways, a shared public exhibit. This program and others have created the framework for a long-term AARCH center, which is currently under development and will provide the public with the opportunity to explore local African American history in ways that bring insight to the present day.
Ms. Chaney’s other community service activities are numerous and include serving for 15 years as a volunteer assistant editor and writer for the County Globe newspaper, an alternate news outlet for women and minorities in Frederick County. She is a current member of the Frederick County Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, serves on the board of I Believe in Me, and previously served on the board of The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs. Ms. Chaney is a lifelong member of Asbury United Methodist Church and serves as the church administrator.
With her award, Ms. Chaney is creating The David Key Memorial Fund for AARCH Society Fund with the Community Foundation to support the programs and initiatives of the AARCH Society and AARCH Heritage Center.
Stella Henson has dedicated herself to improving her local community. Ms. Henson founded “The Kids of Backyard Theater” program in which she and her fellow neighborhood friends produced plays during the summer to collect donations for local organizations. Over the past five years, the group has collected monetary contributions for organizations such as Blessings in a Backpack, SHIP of Frederick County, The Literacy Council of Frederick County, and City Youth Matrix.
Ms. Henson has participated in mission trips with the Frederick Presbyterian Church Youth Group, shopped for families in need during the holidays through the Angel Tree program, and has served food and set up beds at The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs Family Shelter.
Her numerous other volunteer activities include participating in the PJs with a Purpose program by creating quilts for babies in the NICU and collecting diapers for a Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland diaper drive. Ms. Henson serves both her school and community without hesitation and continuously puts others before herself. Her efforts led to being recognized as a 2021 Dr. Ben Carson Scholar for her involvement in community service.
With her award, Ms. Henson is providing a grant to Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland, Inc. in support of its mission.
Each year, the Community Foundation recognizes several people from Frederick County who are selfless in their contributions of time, energy and talents because they want to make a difference in the lives of others. We are pleased to announce the 2019 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism who will be honored on November 21, 2019, at our 33rd Annual Report to the Community.
Each Wertheimer Fellow receives $25,000 from The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund. They choose to add this money to an existing Community Foundation fund or use it to create a new fund. The Wertheimer Fund also provides a $2,000 grant to a nonprofit of choice by the Youth in Action honoree.
Dr. Peter Kremers, 2019 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism, is the man behind Color on the Creek and Sailing Into the Winter Solstice. The beautiful blooming water plants that line Carroll Creek and the elaborately decorated and lighted boats in the winter months are becoming legendary.
Frustrated by the unattractive algae growth in the water along Carroll Creek linear park, Dr. Kremers researched ways to limit its growth. A test garden in the Creek was successful, and in 2013, he and 100 volunteers installed more than 1,000 plants. Now, there are more than 4,000 plants and thousands of people, both residents and tourists, enjoy the color and the clean water.
Dr. Kremers started building decorative boats, sponsored by local businesses, to add color in the winter months. Each year, the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite boat and raise money for community nonprofits.
With his award, Dr. Kremers has created The Color on the Creek Fund to support the ongoing development of the water garden and boat display.
Ronald “Ron” Layman, Sr., 2019 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism, is passionate about Boy Scouting. After high school and time in the United States Marine Corps, Ron became the Scoutmaster for Troop 274 in 1980 and led this Troop for 34 years. He has mentored no less than 112 young men (including his two sons) in Frederick County to become Eagle Scouts. In addition, he has served on the Catoctin Mountain Boy Scout District Committee for 11 years and the Francis Scott Key District Committee. He is the visionary, administrator and caretaker of the 210-acre Walkersville, Maryland property used to host thousands of Boy and Girl Scouts and their activities. Ron has also served on memorial and design committees for veteran monuments in Memorial Park and is a 50-year member of the Shangri-La Marine Corps League Detachment.
Ron is described as someone who “through visionary leadership, physical labor, collaborative committee ventures, or simply his concern for the welfare of our youth, is a vital force impacting and improving our community.” With his award, Ron has established The Ron Layman Family Fund to provide grants to a variety of local nonprofits.
Leila Ghaffari, 2019 Wertheimer Youth in Action honoree, is a senior at Urbana High School and is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program. From 2014 through 2018, she participated in United Way’s Summer Serve program and Leadership Week, an intense program about Frederick County government, history, the business community, educational system, and nonprofits. Through contacts she made during Leadership Week, Leila was accepted as a volunteer intern in the Office of the Mayor, City of Frederick and represented the City at Youth Advisory Council meetings and demonstrated excellent leadership among her peers.
In addition, Leila sings with the Frederick Children’s Chorus and has been a member since the third grade. From summer camp counseling to promoting Chorus events to small administrative tasks, she has earned the respect of her peers and adults by her motivation to help.
Leila is described as dedicated, focused, and kind. With her award, she is providing a grant to United Way of Frederick County, with support to Heartly House, and a grant to Frederick Children’s Chorus.
Each year, the Community Foundation recognizes several people from Frederick County who are selfless in their contributions of time, energy, and talents because they want to make a difference in the lives of others. We are pleased to announce the 2020 Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism who will be honored on November 19, 2020, at our 34th Annual Report to the Community, which is being held virtually this year.
Each Wertheimer Fellow receives $25,000 from The Janis Miller Wertheimer Endowment Fund. They choose to add this money to an existing Community Foundation fund or use it to create a new fund. The Wertheimer Fund also provides a $2,000 grant to a nonprofit of choice by the Youth in Action honoree.
Sally Arnold, 2020 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism, has made a profound impact in Frederick County from her volunteer service as a certified 4-H volunteer for the last 45 years. She is known for bringing people together and making connections that might not have been made otherwise. She thrives on building relationships and spreading love, from educating youth to supporting the elderly.
Some examples of Mrs. Arnold’s volunteer work include picking up trash along the sides of a littered road, volunteering to serve dinners at the Jefferson Ruritan, and putting together boxes at Thanksgiving and gathering Christmas presents for families in need. She teaches 4-H youth the value of performing selfless acts to encourage her club members to also be active in the community. Some of her other volunteer activities include playing the organ for local churches and being involved in Brunswick High School’s Future Farmers of America program and the Great Frederick Fair’s 4-H programs.
With her award, Mrs. Arnold has created The Richard and Sally Arnold Family Fund with the Community Foundation to provide grants to support the programs and activities of Frederick County 4-H Camp and Activities Center.
Shari Ostrow Scher, 2020 Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism, is the founder of Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (COIPP). The nonprofit provides support for children, their incarcerated parents, and alternate caregivers through activities for children, parenting classes, caregiver workshops, post-release support group sessions, and other support services.
Under Mrs. Scher’s leadership, COIPP served more than 700 individuals, their children, and caregivers in 2019. COIPP’s all-volunteer members come from all over Frederick County, providing thousands of hours of service. Mrs. Scher has never taken a salary for her efforts in leading the organization. Her long-time volunteer commitment to this underserved population in Frederick County has made a significant impact, and people around the world reach out to her for assistance in starting similar programs.
With her award, Mrs. Scher has established The Scher Family Fund with the Community Foundation to provide grants to support the programs and activities of Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership.
Daryenne Elizabeth Dorsey, 2020 Wertheimer Fellow Youth in Action honoree, has been volunteering since the age of 6 when she decided to run for Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association’s Little Miss Fire Prevention in 2008. She has been a volunteer with United Steam Fire Engine Company #3 since 2014.
Ms. Dorsey was instrumental in establishing what is now known as the Junior Swamper program for the department, making her one of the first junior members of the department. She has progressed through apprentice membership and now serves as a senior member and continues in that volunteer role to date. Ms. Dorsey’s dedication to volunteerism has meant several hours of training. She selflessly gives of her time whenever possible, assisting at fundraising events, assisting with education and prevention events, attending formal and informal training, attendance at a variety of meetings within the corporation, and providing basic life support on one of the corporation’s transport units.
With her award, Ms. Dorsey is providing a grant to United Steam Fire Engine Company #3 in support of its mission.
To view the Community Foundation’s 34th Annual Report to the Community and to see this year’s Wertheimer awardees be honored, visit www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NothingStopsPhilanthropy on November 19 at 3 p.m. You may also view the video “on-demand,” as it will be posted permanently at the above link.
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.
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