Greater Salisbury Committee is honored with 2017 Salisbury Award

Ron Boltz, Chairman of the Greater Salisbury Committee and owner of Alarm Engineering, accepted the 2017 Salisbury Award on behalf of the community problem-solving organization.

The Greater Salisbury Committee was honored with the prestigious 65th annual Salisbury Award, given at the 150th anniversary of Wicomico County last week.

GSC Chairman Ron Boltz accepted the civic award, designed to recognize “service that has been the greatest benefit to the happiness, prosperity, intellectual advancement or moral growth of the community.”

The Greater Salisbury Committee was honored for making “a huge difference in our community.”

With more than 100 community leaders from the business, educational, institutional and nonprofit sectors of Salisbury, Wicomico County and the Lower Eastern Shore in its membership, it has been instrumental in the establishment of stalwart entities.

They include Wor-Wic Community College, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development, Del-Mar-Va Water Transport Committee, Junior Achievement, Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Services and Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island.

Members of GSC are supporting offshore wind farms in Maryland, a move that will create jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

Members have been instrumental in creating the Youth Development Advisory Committee to help at-risk students and working with the Wicomico County Board of Education to provide mentors.

With the mission of serving “as a catalyst to improve our community by actively seeking sustainable solutions to the challenges that face the area,” GSC, in conjunction with the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, is creating a foundation for Wicomico County schools to  improve the education system.

The Salisbury Award has been presented 65 times since its inception in 1926, when it was established by local businessman G. William Phillips.

He remained anonymous until his death in 1950, but in his will, he endowed the award with $5,000 and designated the creation of a committee of community leaders to serve as trustees and select honorees.

Former Mayor Frank Morris received the award in 1991 and provided an endowment.

In 1993, the Board of Trustees established the Salisbury Award Fund at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

The award can be given to an individual or organization in the greater Salisbury region for an achievement or body of work.

The first honoree was Fred A. Grier Jr., recognized for establishing countywide volunteer fire departments. The next year Dr. George Todd was honored for establishing the first regional general hospital, now Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

His son, Dr. G. Nevins Todd Jr., was given the award in 2000 for developing the open heart surgery program at PRMC.

Others are Ruth Powell, James M. Bennett, Ralph Dulany, Charles Chipman, Avery Hall, Richard Henson, Frank Perdue, Dick Hazel, Sam Seidel, Dave Grier, Dick Moore, Paul Martin, Virginia Layfield, Mitzi Perdue, Lewis Riley, Pete Cooper, Ed Urban, Dr. George Whitehead, Tony Sarbanes, Bill Ahtes, The Magi Fund, Norm Conway and Bob Cook.

Organizations awarded include the Home-Front War Organizations in 1943-44, Trinity United Methodist Church in 1969, Ben’s Red Swings in 2005 and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore in 2009, for 25 years of service.

The Salisbury Award is administered by a board of trustees that includes Debbie Abbott, Art Cooley, Stephen Franklin, Gordon Gladden, Vic Laws III, John McClellan, Jim Morris, Mat Tilghman and Stephanie Willey.

Each recipient receives a plaque. A $500 donation is made to a the charitable organization he chooses.


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