Bur­ton re­ceives Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer Award

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

— Brian Bur­ton of Thomas’ Funeral Home was hon­ored with the Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple Award for Dorchester County on Mon­day, March 19.

Comptroller Peter Fran­chot pre­sented the award at the funeral home, and

re­marks about Bur­ton were shared by friends Dave Salmon and Kenny Thomas.

Bur­ton has worked at Thomas’ since 2003. In 2011, he be­came the su­per­vis­ing mor­ti­cian upon the pass­ing of John Thomas. Bur­ton be­came co-owner of the busi­ness with Janet Thomas in 2014. He re­ceived his as­so­ciate’s de­gree in Mor­tu­ary Sci­ence in 2001.

“Brian re­ally rep­re­sents the legacy of Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer,” Fran­chot said. “He was an iconic fig­ure. The four-term Mayor of Bal­ti­more

City, two-term Gov­er­nor of the State of Maryland, and two-term Comptroller of the State of Maryland. If this guy wasn’t the Babe Ruth of Maryland pol­i­tics, no one else was.”

Fran­chot said Schafer lived by two max­ims: “Do it now” and “He cared.”

“So, Brian Bur­ton, thank you for car­ing. Thank you for be­ing in a busi­ness where that com­pas­sion is all-im­por­tant,” Fran­chot said, ad­dress­ing Bur­ton. “You are a credit to the pro­fes­sion, to the State of Maryland, and ob­vi­ously to Dorchester County.”

Fran­chot also praised Bur­ton’s com­mu­nity ser­vice through the lo­cal Lion’s Club or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Your ded­i­ca­tion to Cam­bridge and all the cit­i­zens of Dorchester can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated,” he said. “You em­body the al­tru­is­tic mo­tives that are the foun­da­tion of the Wil­liam Don­ald Shae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple Award.”

Bur­ton said he was hum­bled to be cho­sen for the honor.

“It’s a bless­ing that the Lord has given me the call­ing to help peo­ple dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time,” said Bur­ton. “It’s a great honor to help fam­i­lies when they need us. No mat­ter what time of day the phone rings, we’re ready to help.”

Kenny Thomas shared with guests a few com­ments about Bur­ton that came from cus­tomer sur­veys. Each one spoke strongly to his com­pas­sion, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, and kind­ness.

The Wil­liam Don­ald Shae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple Award is given an­nu­ally to one per­son in each Maryland county and Bal­ti­more City.

Fran­chot said re­cip­i­ents are cho­sen on the ba­sis of their demon­stra­tion of com­mit­ment to help­ing their com­mu­nity, di­rectly aid­ing the vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety, cre­at­ing a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship to im­prove the lives of Mary­lan­ders or swiftly solv­ing a cit­i­zen prob­lem through ef­fec­tive govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Brian Bur­ton, left, re­ceives the Wil­liam Don­ald Schae­fer Help­ing Peo­ple Award from Comptroller Peter Fran­chot Mon­day, March 19.

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