News & Event
There’s a story behind every fund created at the Community Foundation. Let’s start with one of the very first: the Smith Sisters, who created The Mary E. M. and Ruth E. Smith Scholarship Fund. They were dedicated schoolteachers and community volunteers who cared deeply about the children they taught and the community they lived in, and they left a legacy that’s benefited nearly 300 students pursuing education as a career.
If you attended Parkway Elementary in the 1940’s, 50’s, or first half of the 60’s, you’re not too old to remember these remarkable women. Mary and Ruth taught school for 42 and 44 years respectively. Mary was also an administrator, serving as principal of Parkway Elementary from 1940 to 1966. Early in her career, she spent 13 years as a “teaching principal” at Urbana Elementary, meaning she taught all seven grades and served as head administrator. Mary was the first teacher and principal in Frederick County to earn a master’s degree, and Ruth was the second elementary teacher to accomplish this.
In a June 1966 article by The Frederick News-Post covering Mary’s retirement, she said the key to a rewarding life is to identify with a cause that is bigger than yourself and then lose yourself in the cause. As devoted teachers, education was the cause to which Mary and Ruth “lost” themselves during their lifetime. After their lifetime, they wanted to help others be successful teachers and administrators. Through their fund, they have continued to support their cause and build their legacy.
Each year, approximately a dozen students receive a college scholarship from this fund that helps them pursue their dream of becoming a teacher and getting “lost in their cause” by positively influencing the lives of young learners. Some have returned to teach in Frederick County, but no matter where they’ve gone, the impact of Mary and Ruth’s scholarship has gone with them.
This fund also holds a significant place in the Community Foundation’s history, as it was the first large endowment fund to be managed by the board of trustees. It was originally established with Fredericktown Bank and Trust Company and then transferred in 1987, just one year after the Community Foundation was incorporated as a public charity. It is still one of the largest endowed scholarship funds under management and contributes significantly to the $1 million total of all scholarships presented annually.
What are the causes in which you can “lose” yourself? How can your efforts make a difference? What kind of legacy do you wish to leave? Only you know the answer to the first question. The Community Foundation can help you answer the others. You don’t have to be wealthy to create a lasting legacy. All you need is the desire to something meaningful with the resources you have.
Did you know that Frederick County is one of the fastest growing counties in Maryland? Because of this, it is undergoing important demographic and social changes not only because of growth but also because of its role as a commuter suburb of the surrounding metropolitan areas.
This change affects all of us and brings more attention to pressing human needs in our community. In 2011, the Community Foundation and a group of sponsors commissioned the first Frederick County Human Needs Assessment. We wanted a solid, unbiased assessment to guide our grantmaking, and from that, we’ve been strategically focused on providing grants to organizations addressing health care, school-readiness, and homelessness. Last year, we commissioned another county-wide human needs assessment to update the 2011 study (again, via a third-party, unbiased source) to see if and how the most pressing areas of human need had changed. The data has just been released, showing that the most pressing needs have changed, but the needs from 2011 still exist and are contributing factors to the current issues. In this update, supporting families with children, preparing for an aging population, and responding to substance use disorder have risen to the top.
What happens now? First, the 2018 data will be used by local nonprofits and government agencies as they review their programs and build new ones, and it will assist them in applying for grants from many funding sources. Second, the data will help the Community Foundation continue to do meaningful strategic grantmaking with a focus on the areas of greatest need. Our advocacy, leadership, collaboration, and education within the community will continue as we work with our nonprofit and government partners to create positive change within the newly identified areas.
An exciting new component of the 2018 Human Needs Assessment is the “visualization tool.” This online, interactive, dynamic tool allows users to examine important local, state, and national trends over the prior 20 years related to human needs in Frederick County. It’s based on the aggregation of many different official sources of demographics and statistics, including information from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census/American Community Survey. The visualization tool will continue to be updated as new data becomes available.
The complete 2018 Human Needs Assessment Report, executive summary, and the visualization tool can be accessed through our website at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NeedsReport. I urge you to look at all the information available. The human needs discussed here pose significant challenges that will require broad community participation and support to secure Frederick County’s future.
A huge thank you to our co-sponsors of the 2018 report: Ausherman Family Foundation, The Joseph D. Baker Fund, Delaplaine Foundation, Frederick County Government, The Robert C. and Jane E. Ladner Charitable Fund, Helen J. Sirini Foundation, and United Way of Frederick County. Their generosity made possible the significant expansion of effort of this project.
There are many people who give generously to many organizations throughout their lifetime. They faithfully support one or more nonprofits representing causes they believe in, or they establish a fund with the Community Foundation that will provide grant distributions to these nonprofits each year. Often, people we meet with are concerned about what happens to these gifts after their lifetime. How can the organizations they’ve loved and supported still benefit once they are no longer here to write a check?
Meet Elmira B. Cook. Mrs. Cook was a long-time annual supporter of Frederick Rescue Mission, a nonprofit which serves the homeless and working poor in Frederick County and helps those with substance use disorder. As she advanced in age, she was concerned about the Frederick Rescue Mission missing out on her annual support after her death. Mrs. Cook met with the Community Foundation and learned there was a way to continue to help, in perpetuity. In 2000, she created The Elmira B. Cook Endowment Fund for the Frederick Rescue Mission. The first grant from the fund was given in 2001, and every year this grant to Frederick Rescue Mission carries out Mrs. Cook’s charitable goal of supporting this worthy organization.
We work with many donors who have the same concern as Elmira and decide to create funds that reflect their unique charitable goals. Another example is The Vince and Guelda Imirie Fund. It was founded in 2005 by Mrs. Imirie to support six different entities annually: Frederick Memorial Hospital, Kline Hospice House, Mental Health Association of Frederick County, The Norine Haas Mental Health Scholarship Fund, Glade United Church of Christ, and the Community Foundation. Rather than create the fund using cash, she used appreciated real estate and worked with the Community Foundation’s Holding Company to transfer the net proceeds to the fund. Mrs. Imirie deemed this transaction “a very worthy project that will long serve the charitable causes my late husband and I supported together.”
Some donors set-up testamentary funds, meaning that the fund isn’t active now, but will receive money from their estate and become an active grant and/or scholarship fund after their lifetime. The Linwood T. Offutt Fund for The Frederick County 4-H Camp Center, established in 2017, provides an annual grant to support Camp Center programs and activities. The purpose of the fund was defined by Mr. Offutt before his death and honors his lifelong career as a farmer and his devotion to agriculture education for youth. It also reflects his active memberships in many agricultural organizations in Frederick County.
Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Imirie, and Mr. Offutt have all passed away, but their legacy and impact within our community continue through their funds. Creating the funds, or the framework for a fund during their lifetime provided them great peace of mind that their charitable goals would continue to be carried out. We are honored to make these dreams come true, forever.
FREDERICK, MD – January 3, 2019: The Community Foundation of Frederick County announces grant opportunities from three funds. These grants are available until the funds are expended, or until the closing application date of May 1, 2019. The minimum grant is $500.00, and funds must be used by June 1, 2019.
The Compofelice Family Fund for Building Trades supports organizations seeking to help residents receive training for construction trades in the Frederick County area. Preference given to plumbing, carpentry, electrical services, masonry, and other skills associated with the building industry. Grants may pay for training, educational materials, certification fees, transportation costs, and eliminating any barrier that prevents students from completing their training program and establishing a career in the building trades.
The William O. Lee, Jr. and Family Endowment Fund provides grants to nonprofits that are researching, restoring, archiving, cataloging, and educating the community in areas pertaining to African American history in Frederick County.
The Don Doughty and Linda Moran Fund nonprofit grant supports the creation of new garden spaces, the improvement of existing garden areas, or the improvement/enhancement of existing public green space in Frederick County. Preference is given to projects in urban areas and/or applications supporting the purchase of plantings and botanical elements.
We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, May 12. Millions of people bought cards, flowers, candy and other symbols of love to show their appreciation for their mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, godmother, and anyone who has filled the role of “mom” at various times.
The Community Foundation celebrates Mother’s Day, too. We work with donors looking for ways to honor their mothers, and we have helped many families create funds that recognize their mother’s profession, interests, causes, or simply the love they received from her.
Scholarship funds and funds that help children in Frederick County are often created, and it’s important to know that while many funds have similarities, every fund created is unique to the person or family or cause it represents. For example, The Margaret E. Brust Nursing Scholarship Fund provides post-secondary scholarships to students studying nursing and was created by Charles and Betty Brust in honor of Margaret, Charles’ mother, who was a dedicated nurse to countless people. Virginia K. Draper was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and educator in Frederick County from 1939 to 1980, and her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter created The Virginia K. Draper Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide post-secondary scholarships to students studying education. The Frederick Arts Council Thelma Gross Music Scholarship Fund was created by daughter Anne-Lynn Gross, to remember Thelma, a teacher, singer, pianist, and poet, and her love of music that was passed down to Anne-Lynn. Tuvy Guss and Tracey Ellis-Guss established The Jean Ellis and Florence Guss Memorial Fund to be able to give back to the community because their mothers instilled in them the importance of philanthropy and volunteering. Tuvy and Tracey named the fund after their mothers to honor and remember their contributions and impact on the community.
There are many more: The Martha Murphy Virts Fund for St. Joseph’s Ministries provides support to the St. Joseph’s nursing home facility in Emmitsburg (formerly St. Catherine’s Nursing Center) and was created by Edgar Virts, Jr., to honor his mother who was a dedicated nurse. The Markey/Hooper Fund for The Child Advocacy Center of Frederick County honors Richard Markey’s mother, Mary Alice Markey, and his aunt, Betty Hooper. The Linda M. Snyder Memorial Fund was established by Linda’s husband Tom and daughter Lindsay to remember her deep love of helping children with special needs by providing post-secondary scholarships to those who are majoring in special education or elementary education.
This is only a brief representation of the funds we hold that were created in honor of a mother, but it does provide examples of the creative ways in which sons and daughters have sought to add to their mother’s legacy and ensure she is remembered forever. The Community Foundation is honored to help.
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