Community Foundation honors difference-makers

Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award

The 31st annual meeting and award luncheon of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore emphasized a message of connecting people who care with causes that matter.

“Every year, the annual meeting is a celebration of the strength and impact that comes from this community of donors, volunteers, nonprofits, businesses, civic organizations and all those who invest their time and resources in making life better for others here on the Lower Eastern Shore” said Erica Joseph, Foundation President at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore’s 2015 annual meeting and awards luncheon.

More than 300 people gathered at The Fountains Wedding & Conference Center last Friday to celebrate the Foundation’s charitable leadership and accomplishments during the past year.

The Foundation reported on its activities during the past year to promote and support philanthropy on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore.

Said Joseph: “2015 was a tremendous year with the Foundation awarding $5 million in grants and scholarships to more than 500 different nonprofit and community organizations.”

The Foundation currently holds nearly 625 charitable funds that benefit the community, including 36 new funds that were started in the past year.

The highlight of the Foundation’s annual meeting is the presentation of honors and awards.

Three major Foundation Awards were announced at the meeting: the 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 Mary Gladys Jones Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Barbara Whitehead.

For 16 years she has served as volunteer for the Seton Center, a multi-purpose neighborhood community center located in a low income area of Princess Anne in Somerset County.

Whitehead provides sustained and unselfish service to individuals and families who come to the Seton Center’s emergency food pantry.  Her experience and professionalism in charitable support services are valuable assets to both the center’s clients and staff.

The Community Foundation’s Richard A. Henson Award for Nonprofit Excellence was presented to the Art League of Ocean City as the region’s outstanding nonprofit organization.

Founded in 1963, the Art League of Ocean City has served the Worcester County community for more than 50 years. They provide a place for people of all ages to gather, learn and enjoy the company of people with similar interests.

Their community outreach programs provide free art instruction for children with limited means and the Art League of Ocean City has a record of effectively transforming an appreciation for the arts with presenting programs and raising the awareness of local needs by partnering with other nonprofit organizations in Worcester County.

Tom Hershey was awarded the Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award.

His lifetime commitment to community service, quiet but steady leadership and generosity of time and talents reflects the humanitarian ideals and human values that epitomized Frank Morris’ life. Hershey is a truly a community leader in making Lower Eastern Shore a better place to live for citizens from all backgrounds and circumstances.

The Chairman’s Award for outstanding service for a currently serving board member was presented to David A. Vorhis. In addition to serving on the Foundation’s board of directors, Mr. Vorhis has demonstrated his interest in CFES by serving on six different committees in the past five years, including leadership roles in many of them.

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