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Community Foundation Celebrates Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon

“The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore remains strong, proactive and focused on the future,” said Doug Wilson, Foundation President, at the Community Foundation’s 2012 annual meeting and awards luncheon.

Over 300 people gathered at The Fountains Conference Center on November 2 to celebrate the Foundation’s charitable leadership and accomplishments during the past year. “Changing Lives…one at a time” was the Foundation’s theme for the meeting.

The Foundation reported on its activities during the past year to promote and support philanthropy on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. Wilson noted that despite a tough investment market during the past 12 months, “2012 was still a remarkable year with the Foundation awarding over $4.4 million in grants and scholarships.”

Wilson reported that since its founding in 1984, the Community Foundation has distributed over $40 million in grants and scholarships and has received gifts of $80 million from donors. He also noted that as of the end of the Fiscal year in June 2012, the Foundation held assets of $79.1 million.

Over the past year, the Foundation distributed 1,048 grants to nonprofits and received $4.3 million in new gifts from donors. The Foundation currently holds over 500 charitable funds that benefit the community.

During the annual meeting, one individual was elected to serve a three-year term on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. Elected was Thomas K. Coates, an atorney with Coates, Coates, and Coates, P.A.

The highlight of the Foundation’s annual meeting is the presentation of honors and awards. Don Taylor, Chairman, Board of Directors, Community Foundation, presented the 2012 Chairman’s Award to James R. Bergey, Jr., Community Foundation board member. Bergey served on the Foundation’s board from 2002 to 2012 and served as chair of the Audit Committee for eight of those years.

Three other major Foundation Awards were also announced at the meeting: the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award that recognizes an individual who has made outstanding, sustained, and unselfish contributions in the field of direct community service; the Richard A. Henson Award of Nonprofit Excellence honoring the year’s most outstanding nonprofit organization; and the Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award honoring an individual for uncommon philanthropic service to the community.

The 2012 Mary Gladys Jones Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored in part by the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, was awarded to two volunteers: Al Nurmi and John Leatherbury, volunteers at the Seton Center. Volunteering at the Seton Center for five and eleven years respectively, they consider themselves a close team, as well as close friends. Al and John were introduced to the Seton Center by family members and both men stayed on as permanent volunteers.

The Community Foundation’s Richard A. Henson Award for Nonprofit Excellence, sponsored by PNC Bank, was presented to Delmarva Zoological Society, Inc. as the region’s outstanding nonprofit organization. The Delmarva Zoological Society is the nonprofit organization established to raise money for capital improvements for the Salisbury Zoological Park. With a recently completed successful capital campaign call Renew the Zoo raising $3 million, the Foundation can continue to focus on programs and events that ensures the Salisbury Zoo will be in this community for generations to come.

Gerald B. Truitt, Vice-President of Volunteers of Deer’s Head, Inc., volunteer auxiliary board, was awarded the Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award. His lifetime commitment to issues and causes that have a direct impact on people, his quiet but steady leadership, integrity, and generosity of time and talents reflects the humanitarian ideals and human values that epitomized Frank Morris’ life. Mr. Truitt is an unsung hero and leader in making this community a better place to be.

The Annual Report & Annual Meeting sponsors include PNC Bank, Mason Investment Advisory Services, Inc., BB&T Bank, Calvin B. Taylor Bank, Comcast Spotlight, First Shore Federal Savings and Loan, Francis Scott Key Family Resort, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Raymond C. Shockley, Pam and Macky Stansell, and Hebron Savings Bank. A special note of thanks to Jackie Cassidy for providing the table arrangements and Walt Warren, Owner of Peninsula Printing, for the donation of printing of programs.

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