Thurmont Reaps Benefits of Generous Donors

Known as the “gateway to the mountains,” the town of Thurmont is alive with activity. A small town with a big heart, residents can be found cheering on the Catoctin Cougars at a Friday night football game, learning something new at the Thurmont Historical Society or celebrating fall at the annual Catoctin Colorfest. Many folks have lived in Thurmont their entire lives and some have turned their love for the town into a legacy of giving back to the community. The Community Foundation of Frederick County is proud to partner with donors who want to impact Thurmont for generations to come.

Susan K. Favorite was born and raised in Thurmont, and she still lives there today. In 2011, she was recognized with a Community Foundation Wertheimer Fellow for Excellence in Volunteerism award. She was honored for selfless volunteerism on behalf of organizations and programs including the Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Make a Difference Day and the Thurmont Teacher of the Year Program.

With her award, Susan founded The Make a Difference in Thurmont Fund. Over the last few years, the fund has supported programs at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, the Thurmont Historical Society, the Frederick County Public Library and the TLC Foundation.

“The area is family – people I know since childhood still live here,” Favorite said. “To me, Thurmont means home.”

Favorite said her parents instilled a lifelong sense of ethics in her and her siblings that includes working hard, fulfilling commitments, and giving back. “This fund helps me to live up to that life ethic,” she said.

Betty Brown and her husband John owned Browns’ Jewelry and Gift Shop in Thurmont for 29 years. A member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Betty was dedicated to the mission and work of the St. John’s Christian Preschool. A teacher and later a board member at the preschool, Betty spent 36 years ensuring that children in the community received a quality educational experience. In 2002, Betty founded The Betty L. Brown Endowment Fund for St. John’s Christian Preschool of Thurmont.

At the time the fund was created, Betty said, “Having an endowment fund in my name is an honor. I believe in the educational values provided to the students of St. John’s Christian Preschool. That I can be associated with such a good cause and help children obtain a quality education is equally rewarding.”

In addition to funds that support grants to nonprofits, the Community Foundation also holds funds that provide scholarships for Thurmont-area students. Calvin Sayler was a business leader and philanthropist – he owned the Claire Frock Company of Thurmont for 30 years and participated in organizations like the Thurmont Lions Club, The Catoctin Medical Association and the Francis Scott Key Investment Club while also supporting local youth athletic and agricultural programs.

Sayler created The Catoctin High School Youth Fund in 1994 to support programs and scholarships for Catoctin High School students. The fund has been making a difference in the lives of Thurmont area youth for almost 30 years.

The Community Foundation is proud to partner with donors across Frederick County who want to have a lasting impact. Together we can do amazing things.

“Thurmont is a wonderful place,” Susan Favorite said. “I love that I can, in a small way, help to keep it wonderful and make it better for all who are fortunate enough to live here.”


Published in The Frederick News-Post on Oct. 10, 2022