Emmitsburg: A Small Town With Mighty Donors

Taking up less than two square miles and with a population of just over 3,000 people, the historic town of Emmitsburg sits tucked into the mountains in northern Frederick County. While it’s generally not considered a bustling area, the town enjoys a strong sense of community. A commitment to the well-being of Emmitsburg and its residents can be seen in several funds created with The Community Foundation of Frederick County.

Robert “Bob” Rosensteel has lived in Emmitsburg for his entire life – nearly eight decades. He said he loves the peace and quiet that the small town provides, and he notes that its beauty is second to none with the mountains and fresh air. “It’s a nice town to raise a family,” he said.

Rosensteel, a retired business owner, created The “Tribute to a Friend” Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation to help Emmitsburg students reach their educational goals. He said he turned to the Community Foundation because he wanted to have a positive impact in his immediate community, but he didn’t want to manage the money or the application for and awarding of scholarship monies.

“I had fundraised money to help people out, but I didn’t want to be involved in the day-to-day management of the project,” Rosensteel said.

The fund was created in memory of several people – David Copenhaver, Greg Hollinger, Tom and Sharon Topper, and Terry Myers – that Rosensteel said he was close friends with, and that he worked with at the fire company. He said they all died within a relatively short period of time and each loss was felt throughout the community.

The Emmitsburg Area Fund was founded by the Emmitsburg Area Business and Professional Association to support local charitable organizations and residents. Allen Knott has worked in Emmitsburg for 17 years and is currently the fund’s advisor.

“The Emmitsburg Area Business and Professional Association functions kind of like a service organization and they created the fund to do two things,” Knott explained. “The fund basically supports the Emmitsburg food bank and a scholarship fund for students in the 21727 zip code.”

In addition to funds created specifically to support Emmitsburg and its residents, the Community Foundation also provides grants for local projects and initiatives. The Women’s Giving Circle has supported a program at the Seton Center that provides dental work for low-income women and a strategic grant recently supported a Getting Ahead anti-poverty program.

Emmitsburg may be a quiet little town nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains, but its donors have shown a strong commitment to community through their philanthropic giving.

Published in The Frederick News-Post on Sept. 12, 2022