Mid-Shore Community Foundation awards honorees
EASTON — Nearly 300 community members from throughout the Mid-Shore region attended the MidShore Community Foundation’s fifth annual Report to the Community and Awards Luncheon on Nov. 30 at the Milestone in Easton.
The event, which honors award recipients and celebrates the good work of the community, was attended by community leaders, nonprofit representatives and elected officials, including State Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, and Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot.
The luncheon opened with remarks from Moorhead Vermilye, chairman and founder of MSCF. “From its beginning 26 years ago, the foundation has matured to become one of the most significant foundations — public or private — in the state of Maryland with more than $80 million in assets to benefit the five counties served by the foundation — Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot,” Vermilye said.
In fiscal year 2018, the foundation awarded $4.5 million in grants, including $637,235 in scholarships to local students. Additionally, the foundation saw continued expansion of funds, now 415, as well as new partnerships with nonprofits and new community initiatives under the sponsorship of the foundation.
Finance Committee Chairman David Nagel reported a clean audit for the fiscal year ending June 30. Other speakers included keynote speaker Rob Levit, an award-winning nonprofit leader and licensed consultant from the Standards for Excellence Institute, and Foundation President Buck Duncan.
“The work of the foundation is truly a collaborative effort and would not be possible without our talented and supportive volunteers,” Duncan said. “Together, the work of the foundation — our directors, volunteers and staff, along with the extraordinary support of our donors — have created a strong and lasting resource for the Mid-Shore community.”
Each year, the foundation recognizes individuals and nonprofits for their contributions to the community.
Mickey and Margie Elsberg were honored with the Town Watch Society Award for their extraordinary leadership and service in Kent County and beyond.
The second Town Watch Award was presented to Judge Stephen Rideout for his many contributions in Dorchester County. The First Ward commissioner of Cambridge served on the Cambridge Ethics Commission and organized a City Matters Group that was integral in bringing a city manager to Cambridge. Before retiring to Dorchester County, Rideout practiced law in Alexandria, Va., and was chief judge of the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
The J. McKenny Willis Jr. Award was presented to Freedom Rowers, a nonprofit rowing team that serves student athletes, and to Robert Billings who has been instrumental in the success of the organization.
The second J. McKenny Willis Jr. Award was presented to St. Michaels After School Help and to Mary Lou McAllister who founded the program in 2013. Under the fiscal sponsorship of MSCF, the SMASH Program provides educational support and enrichment to ensure that children in St. Michaels Elementary and Middle Schools have the academic tools for a successful academic future.
A Special Recognition Award was presented to Kevin White, founder and CEO of Global Vision 2020, for providing vision correction to impoverished people in remote parts of the world via custom-fitted eyeglasses. White invented USee custom-fitted eyeglasses, and earlier this year was named a $1 million winner at the We Work Creator Awards.
In addition to honoring award recipients, MSCF distributed $250,000 in grant awards to 28 worthy organizations: Bay Hundred Community Volunteers, Caroline Co. Department of Social Services, Chestertown RiverArts, Compass Regional Hospice, Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, For All Seasons, Freedom Rowers, Haven Ministries, Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, Kennard Alumni Association, Kent Association of Riding Therapy, Kent Conservation & Preservation Alliance, Living Waters Assembly, Mid Shore Community Mediation Center, Mid Shore Pro Bono, National Music Festival, Radcliffe Creek School, Really Great Cats Rescue, Rebuilding Together Kent County, Saint Martin’s Ministries, St. Luke’s School, Talbot Hospice, Tilghman Area Youth Association, UM Memorial Hospital Foundation and YMCA of the Chesapeake.
This year’s event sponsors were Peoples Bank, 1880 Bank, CBIZ, Nagel Farm Service, Shore United Bank, The Hill Group at Morgan Stanley, The Wilford Nagel Group at Morgan Stanley, James M. Vermilye CFP®, Robert W. Baird & Co., Valliant Wealth Strategies and Wye Financial & Trust.
For additional information, including event photos, visit mscf.org.
Attending the Mid-Shore Community Foundation’s annual awards luncheon were, from left, Del. Johnny Mautz, Ryan Snow, Mickey and Margie Elsberg, Kevin White, Mary Lou McAllister, Robert Billings, Judge Stephen Rideout, state Sen. Addie Eckardt and Buck Duncan.
Mid-Shore Community Foundation President Buck Duncan, right, awards Judge Stephen Rideout a Town Watch Award for his many contributions in Dorchester County.