Community Foundation Announces Annual Report and Rewards Community Volunteers | Services
The Frederick County Community Foundation held its annual report to the community on Thursday, and while things must have been a little different this year due to the ongoing pandemic, the foundation still made its message known: nothing is wrong. surpasses philanthropy.
Held at the Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center, the ceremony was also simultaneously webcast, a first for the Community Foundation. Organizers said it was necessary to stream the presentation online to keep the number of people in the room smaller than usual.
What has not been limited is the success of the Community Foundation’s many campaigns, even despite the lingering financial problems caused by the pandemic.
“When the pandemic started, our donors stepped up to the plate, helping with emergency funding,” said Elizabeth Day, President and CEO of the Community Foundation, during the evening’s opening address.
“They also continued their philanthropy for providing non-COVID grants and scholarships,” she said. “This year of unprecedented events prompted us to title last year’s annual report ‘Nothing STOPPES Philanthropy’.
Today, after another unprecedented year, Day said donor efforts continue to be impressive, leading the foundation to name this year’s report “Nothing TOPS Philanthropy”.
The annual report shows a number of successes for the Community Foundation, perhaps the most notable being the Forever Frederick County campaign.
Announced in June 2019, the Forever Frederick County Fund supports a number of grants to help projects in the county. The foundation, through the fund, will direct grants to a wide variety of community needs based on the foundation’s human needs assessment report.
When first announced, the Forever Frederick County campaign aimed to raise $ 20 million. Since kick-off, the campaign has already surpassed the target, raising $ 21.8 million.
The annual report shows that the Community Foundation was able to provide more than $ 5.1 million in grants in the county, funding a number of organizations, educational programs, arts programs, historic preservation, emergency relief COVID-19 as well as a number of other beneficiaries.
The foundation also awarded $ 1.8 million in scholarships to a total of 392 students this year, according to the report.
The evening included the recognition of Hermine Bernstein and Rose Dorsey Chaney as this year’s Wertheimer Fellows for Excellence in Volunteerism, as well as Stella Henson as Wertheimer Fellow Youth in Action.
Bernstein, founder of the Frederick Chapter of Blessings in a Backpack, has been recognized for her efforts to ensure that school children do not come home hungry on weekends.
“Under Hermine’s direction and leadership, the program has grown to feed more than 3,300 children in 27 schools by partnering with public schools in Frederick County,” said Day. “She has worked tirelessly to recruit and mentor volunteers, many of whom went on to become school coordinators, operations coordinators, steering committee members, board members and more.
“You can’t say no to Hermine,” she added.
Bernstein thanked the Community Foundation for this honor.
“The blessings were a real labor of love, but it never would have happened without the financial and practical support of so many wonderful people,” she said. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and Frederick is definitely the best.”
As this year’s award recipient, Bernstein received $ 25,000 from the Community Foundation, which will go directly to the Blessings in a Backpack fund.
Chaney was recognized for her role as a founding board member of the African American Resources Cultural and Heritage Society. Chaney’s $ 25,000 will be used to form the David Key Memorial Fund for the AARCH Company in honor of Key, who served as President of the AARCH Company from 2009 until his death in June of this year.
Chaney said she was grateful for the opportunity to create the fund in her memory.
“It really was the wind under AARCH’s wings,” she said.
The fund will help realize Key’s dream of building the African American Heritage Center.
“It will be a place where visitors can learn about the African American experience in Frederick County through stories, exhibits, research, programs, dialogues and activities,” Cheney said.
The AARCH website says the center is slated to open in 2023.
Henson has been recognized for a number of community activities she has been involved in, despite being only 17 years old. Henson founded The Kids of Backyard Theater program, in which she and a few friends put on a play over the summer vacation, raising donations for local organizations.
The program has raised over $ 1,000 for Blessings in a Backpack, SHIP of Frederick County and others. She is also heavily involved in the Spanish speaking community of Maryland, offering translation work to her clients.
Henson received $ 2,000 from the Community Foundation to donate to a nonprofit of her choice, which she donated to the Hispanic community in Maryland.
Follow Patrick Kernan on Twitter: @PatKernan