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It’s often difficult to attach words to the grief that comes with losing a loved one, especially when it’s an unexpected loss. As we wade into the holiday season, the absence of loved ones can feel amplified. Many find solace in creating some type of memorial for their loved one – a bench at a park, a sign at a playground.
The Community Foundation is honored to partner with families who have created a memorial fund in honor of a loved one. They are building a legacy of giving in the name of the person they lost.
Jessica Lee Murphy was an involved student-athlete at Governor Thomas Johnson High, where she played volleyball, basketball and softball. She was a dedicated member of the community, working as a tutor at Spring Ridge Elementary and contributing as a member of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church. In August of 1999, as she was preparing to begin her sophomore year, she was in a tragic car accident. She passed away from injuries sustained in the accident.
Jessica’s family – parents Don and Sue, and brother Brad – established The Jessica Lee Murphy Memorial Fund with the Community Foundation to honor the memory of their young family member.
“Jessie was known as a social butterfly from the time she was very young,” Don and Sue said in an email. “Jessie was genuine, non-discriminatory, a beauty queen and a jock, very funny, and a leader - not because she tried to be, but because people were drawn to her sunny, somewhat irreverent, always real personality.”
Since its inception, The Jessica Lee Murphy Memorial Fund has supported 25 student scholarships and has also provided grants to local nonprofits.
“[The fund] seemed like a positive way to help us all keep her memory alive,” Don said.
Mark and Michele Abdow created a fund in their daughter’s memory with the hope of supporting other local families. Georgia Abdow was a 2020 graduate of American University where she studied public relations and marketing. After Georgia passed away, her parents created The Georgia Marie Abdow Fund to help others combat the negative effects that substance use disorder has on families and their children. In June, the fund distributed its first grant to the Phoenix Foundation of Maryland.
“After she passed, we heard stories of Georgia helping others in any way she could,” Mark Abdow said. “Opening this fund was important for my family to help others that might have a family member suffering from substance abuse.”
In 2011, Zachary Warfield died in a boating accident at age 35. A 1994 Walkersville High School graduate, Zachary was a remarkable man who lived life to its fullest. He held degrees from University of Notre Dame and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was co-founder of Omnis, Inc., a strategic consulting firm for intelligence, defense, and national securities communities, where he spearheaded major research initiatives.
To honor his memory, Zachary’s parents and siblings established The Zachary Greene Warfield Memorial Fund. The fund provides scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), and grants supporting STEM programs for youth. Eleven scholarships have been distributed through the fund.
There is nothing that can ease the pain of losing a loved one. But memorial funds do provide a sense of comfort - an ongoing connection between the one being remembered, the family and the community, in a way that provides a positive impact for generations to come. It is truly a beautiful legacy of love.
The Community Foundation of Frederick County has been doing important work in the community for more than three decades - building partnerships, funding grants to nonprofits, awarding scholarships. But if you peel back the layers, what is really at the heart of the work done in a community foundation, is love.
Whether in the grief of losing a loved one, in the joy of remembering someone, in the dedication of honoring a person - creating a fund that will do good in perpetuity, is an act of love. It's fair to say that of the more than 750 funds managed by The Community Foundation of Frederick County, nearly every one was started out of someone’s love for someone or something. Valentine's Day presents a perfect opportunity to highlight some funds recently created, offering a glimpse into how those who have lost loved ones have chosen to honor that love by making a positive impact in the lives of others.
Dr. Edwin Cornish established The Mary Gregg Cornish Memorial Fund in honor of his wife after she passed away in late 2018. With the fund, Dr. Cornish honored his wife’s love of gardening. Grants from the fund support community gardens, including educational activities that promote gardening and the nutritional value of using local produce. The fund also aims to help expand library collections related to gardening, assist in beautifying public spaces with plants and flowers, and encourage youth to become involved with gardening.
When Dr. Cornish passed away in early 2021, his daughter Erin (Ellyn) Cornish carried on the tradition, creating a fund in his memory to provide grants to nonprofits that support nontraditional learners. Dr. Cornish was a life-long learner and cared deeply about community service. The fund helps provide vital support to nontraditional learners pursuing their educational and professional goals.
Memorializing their love for each other through philanthropy, the Cornish family funds have resulted in more than $8,500 contributed to grants and scholarships in Frederick County in just the last few years.
Shirley Barker lost her sister in 2019 following a brief illness. Out of love and admiration for her sister, Barker created The Linda C. Moser Memorial Fund. The fund is meant to support the operations and mission of the church where Linda Moser was a devoted member - New Hope United Methodist Church of Greater Brunswick. She was an admired Sunday school teacher and held many leadership positions within the church, with the most recent being financial secretary and congregational care lay minister. Moser cared deeply about New Hope United Methodist Church and its congregation, and the fund that honors her memory will benefit the church for generations to come.
Last year the fund distributed nearly $13,000 to New Hope United Methodist Church.
Author Jack Thorne said "Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch." Dr. Edwin Cornish and his daughter Erin Cornish, and Shirley Barker, are just a few examples of those who have built a legacy out of their love for family.
Yesterday was Father’s Day – a day traditionally meant to honor fathers and shine a light on the importance of an involved dad in child rearing. Hopefully fathers across Frederick are feeling the love.
Over the years, donors have turned to the Community Foundation to help create lasting memorials to their fathers. Jeffrey Hurwitz and his wife, Patty, created The William Hurwitz Memorial Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation to honor Jeff’s father, William, a long-time Frederick County resident and community leader. Will Hurwitz died of lung cancer in 1999.
William founded Colonial Jewelers in downtown Frederick in 1948. In 1978, Jeff and Patty joined the business, working closely with William until his retirement. William was a mentor and taught the importance of giving to the community and caring for others. The donor-advised fund founded in his honor provides support to various charitable endeavors in the Frederick County community.
“Our father was a very special human being. We are honored to have a way to keep Will's name in our memory,” Patty Hurwitz said. “He would have liked that his name is being used to help students further their education.”
There are also dedicated fathers who want to honor their children through a legacy of giving. In 2013, John Stush established The Todd J. Stush Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his son who died at 29.
Todd Stush had a warm heart, great sense of humor and an adventurous spirit. As a youth, Todd was a Cub Scout, became a Boy Scout, and earned the coveted Eagle rank. After graduating from Governor Thomas Johnson High School in 1983, Todd attended University of Maryland, College Park where he played rugby. The fund created in his honor provides scholarships to graduating seniors in Frederick County demonstrating financial need. Preference is given to students who participated in either Boy Scouts of America or Girl Scouts of the USA, with a record of community service while involved in scouting.
“This scholarship fund gives us something to keep my son’s memory alive, to help remember him, and that will carry on helping people even when I’m no longer here,” John Stush said. “Thinking of the students who receive the scholarships makes me think of my son when he was that age and preparing to go to college.”
There are other donors who have chosen to honor their father by positively impacting the Frederick County community for generations to come. Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Rice created The Millard Millburn Rice Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of Robert’s father who graduated from Jefferson High School in 1910 and went on to serve in World War I and later work as a banker. Erin (Ellyn) Cornish created The Edwin R. Cornish, Jr. Memorial Fund in memory of her father for grants to nonprofits that provide services to nontraditional learners.
There are countless ways to make an impact on the community – volunteer time, donate money and goods, mentor others, join a service organization. The Community Foundation of Frederick County partners with individuals, families and organizations who want to build a legacy around their giving and impact. Several funds are creating a legacy around giving in the Linganore and New Market area.
Jeff Hayek was a happy and seemingly healthy 10-year-old in 2007. He played pitcher and first base, and according to his parents, lived for the big strikeout. Without warning in June of that year, clotting complications took his life, leaving a family and community reeling with grief. Compelled to replace some of that grief with joy in celebration of their young son’s life, Brian and Robin Hayek began the journey of honoring their son’s legacy.
“In remembrance of Jeff, we wanted to build a ‘field of dreams’ baseball diamond that every 10-year-old would love to play on,” Brian Hayek said. “Jeffy’s Field is exactly that showplace of a field.”
The Hayek family established two funds with The Community Foundation of Frederick County – one to fund the building and then maintenance of Jeffy’s Field, and another to support scholarships for students graduating from Linganore and Oakdale High Schools.
Supported by the Linganore Oakdale Urbana Youth Athletic Association (LOUYAA) and hundreds of donations for Jeff, Jeffy’s Field was dedicated on June 15, 2015. The Jeffrey Hayek Memorial Fund continues to raise money for field maintenance, additional field amenities, and new baseball projects in Frederick County.
The Jeffrey Hayek Scholarship Fund provides graduating seniors with a $1,000 scholarship each year.
“Each year our entire family takes pride in thoroughly reviewing the 30+ applications that meet the criterion we established for our scholarship,” Hayek said. “We have been very moved in being able to make these scholarships possible in memory of Jeff—and we are forever grateful for those who have helped us make these scholarships possible.”
The Linganore High School Alumni Fund was created in 1996 to support a one-year scholarship for graduates of Linganore High School who are pursuing post-secondary education. Sally Arnold, president of Linganore High School’s Class of 1975, said her class takes giving back seriously.
“I think our class has given more money [to the fund] than any other class in Linganore High School history,” Arnold said. “It’s not unusual for us to raise $3,500 when we have a reunion.”
Arnold, who helps review the fund’s applications to make recommendations for awarding, said the fund is important because kids need all the help they can get to successfully achieve a college education.
“It is important for my class because this is how we give back to our Linganore community,” Arnold said. “We were all students there so to be able to show appreciation for the education we received is a good way for us to give back, to help the next generation of students continue their education.”
There are other memorial and scholarship funds that benefit the New Market and Linganore areas. The Community Foundation is grateful for the many families and organizations that choose to create a legacy of giving in Frederick County.
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.
Nicholas Jarvis was everyone’s friend and always saw the good in people. He was a boy who had many interests, and he was a kind, caring child who was always willing to help others. A fund in his memory at The Community Foundation of Frederick County honors his legacy by helping students pursue dreams similar to his.
Nick attended Carroll Manor Elementary School and played baseball, football, and basketball. He was a member of the Carroll Manor Mud Cats baseball team. He loved the outdoors, animals, insects, hunting and fishing. In school, Nick was fascinated by social studies and also took an interest in science. He had goals to become a marine biologist or to pursue a career in forestry or wildlife. Above all, Nick never judged anyone and always made people smile. He received several awards in school recognizing his exemplary character.
In 2003, Nick suddenly passed away at the age of 9. Later that year, his parents, Darren and Mary Jarvis, turned to the Community Foundation to establish The Nicholas B. Jarvis Memorial Scholarship Fund in Nick’s memory. The fund’s purpose is to provide scholarships to graduating seniors from Frederick, Urbana, and/or Tuscarora High Schools. Preference is given but not limited to students intending to pursue a career in forestry, agriculture, land management, veterinary medicine, marine biology, early childhood education, sports medicine, history and/or science. Scholarships are awarded based on applicants’ academic performance and character.
The fund in Nick’s memory has provided broad impact in the community since it was created in 2003. To date, more than $27,000 in scholarships have been distributed from the fund to help students pursue their post-secondary educational goals. Students who have received scholarships have studied at a wide range of schools such as Hood College, Frederick Community College, Gettysburg College, and College of Charleston.
The Community Foundation is honored to hold The Nicholas B. Jarvis Memorial Scholarship Fund and to help honor his legacy for generations to come.
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