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Community Foundation of Carroll County Announces 2023 Philanthropists of the Year Honorees

Summary

POY Awards presentation is September 27 at Carroll Arts Center, Westminster, 5 PM
The Community Foundation of Carroll County is excited to announce the Class of 2023 Philanthropists of the Year: What Keeps You Growing award honorees. CFCC recognizes achievements in four categories: Living Legacy; Rooted in the Community; Rising Star; and our Fund-nominated BFF. There is no other event where business and civic leaders gather to pay tribute to those who make a difference in our community. This year’s honorees, our 15th class, have all made a significant, positive impact throughout Carroll County with their generosity and commitment.

Awards presentation is September 27 at Carroll Arts Center, Westminster, 5 PM

The Community Foundation of Carroll County is excited to announce the Class of 2023 Philanthropists of the Year: What Keeps You Growing award honorees. CFCC recognizes achievements in four categories: Living Legacy; Rooted in the Community; Rising Star; and our Fund-nominated BFF. There is no other event where business and civic leaders gather to pay tribute to those who make a difference in our community. This year’s honorees, our 15th class, have all made a significant, positive impact throughout Carroll County with their generosity and commitment.

Living Legacy: Ms. Diane Jones, artistic director emeritus of the Children’s Chorus of Carroll County has positively impacted the lives of thousands of Carroll County children through music, performance and travel. Her legacy lives on through the many alumni, volunteers, and current members of Children’s Chorus. Diane Jones, Children’s Chorus co-founder and accompanist, earned a Masters of Liberal Arts from Western Maryland College and a Bachelors of Music Education from Houghton College in New York. She taught elementary, middle and high school in New York and Maryland public schools for over 25 years. She was also adjunct faculty at McDaniel College. As artistic director of Children’s Chorus of Carroll County, she established the chorus’ structure, including an emphasis on musically enriching travel opportunities for its members. She currently has an active private piano studio, is director of music for St. Paul United Methodist Church and enjoys a variety of collaborative musical experiences.

The honoree of this category has created and established a Fund of the Community Foundation that embodies their commitment to the cause/interest/need, and continues to or has successfully fulfilled its mission, making a lasting impact on the community.

Rooted in the Community: Rita’s Closet and the Rita Medeiros Scholarship

Since being established in 2012, more than $190,000 has been raised by Rita’s Closet. In 2023 eight (8) $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Carroll County young women who embody the spirit of Rita Medeiros, reaching a goal of giving one award at each Carroll County public high school.

Even though Rita Medeiros passed away at the young age of 16, her light shines on through Rita’s Closet. Rita had just purchased her prom dress from DeMario Bridal and Formal when she died in a vehicle crash with her dress still in the back of the car at the time of the accident. Tamara Medeiros, Rita’s Mother, was so proud of the many lives Rita touched and hoped to continue that with the scholarship fund and Rita’s Closet. Rita was a bright light in any room and was an extremely caring person with a heart of gold. Rita’s Closet gives away free dresses to those that can’t afford them and sells gently used gowns at a discounted price to fund the scholarships. The Rita’s Closet fund honors the life of Rita Marie Medeiros by providing scholarship(s) for a female High School

graduating senior in Carroll County, Maryland who has shown academic achievement and displayed the compassionate spirit epitomized by Rita Marie Medeiros during her lifetime. 

This award recognizes the success and impact of a long-standing Fund of the Community Foundation of Carroll County. The honoree in this category has had at least seven years of continual operation as a Fund of CFCC and consistently meets and exceeds their defined mission.

Rising Star: Action for Kindness

Action for Kindness supports individuals, groups, and organizations with funding for activities that share and promote the message of kindness through words and art in the community. Action for Kindness offers help through small community grants.

The Infinite Love Project and Be Kind signs seen all around the community are direct partners of Action for Kindness. “There are more kind, caring, empathetic, and compassionate people than there are mean and angry people, the latter are just louder. So, we are stepping up efforts to connect positive people doing positive things. Being kind is not a new concept, people have been helping each other since time began. The Kindness Envoys at Action for Kindness are working to leverage modern tools to make it easy for good intentions to become action,” from actionforkindness.org.

This award recognizes a Fund of the Community Foundation that is within its first two years of service, is making a significant impact in the community, and has exceeded early expectations.

CFCC Fund BFF: Mr. Joe Dominick, nominated by the Ellsworth Cemetery Fund advisory group

For over two years, Joe has been supportive of Ellsworth Cemetery and the committee’s restoration efforts. Specifically, his company, Gauge Digital Media, donated a logo design and complete website for the cemetery. Because of their work, there is a location to share all the information and research, as well as stories, videos and photos of the restoration. He helped to secure a $1000 Hey Westminster grant that was instrumental in securing another grant. The Hey Westminster grant funded and produced a high-quality video about the cemetery and restoration efforts. Joe suggested applying for annexation to the City of Westminster, highlighting that the annexation would allow Ellsworth Cemetery to join the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. Joe introduced the committee to attorney Kelly Shafer and surveyor Marshall Green for the project who both offered their services pro bono. Joe has been consistently helpful, including as an advisor, and has truly served as this Fund’s Best Friend Forever!

This business, family or friend (BFF) has gone above and beyond for a CFCC Fund and in turn, the community. Not just making donations but making a difference. Not just donating time but giving their all. They have changed lives, created an environment for improvement, or made another type of significant impact in the community. Nominated by our clients (called Funds) and affirmed by the board of directors, they have donated money, volunteered, or made other in-kind contributions that continue to make or have made a significant positive impact on a Fund of the Community Foundation of Carroll County.

The Community Foundation of Carroll County is celebrating the Class of 2023 Philanthropists of the Year, its 15th class. POY recognizes the passion for community, dedication to service, and vision for the future this year’s POY honorees possess.

The 2023 Philanthropists of the Year celebration is on September 27, 5 to 9 PM, at Carroll Arts Center, Westminster, MD 21157. Tickets are $40 and include networking, light fare, and a special awards presentation. Sponsors and honorees will enjoy coffee and desserts at a VIP dessert reception after the show. Sponsorships are available. Visit https://bit.ly/42T8wEg for purchases and details. This event benefits the Audrey Cimino Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation of Carroll County.

About Community Foundation of Carroll County

An umbrella organization that facilitates philanthropic activities across Carroll County, Community Foundation of Carroll County (CFCC) manages approximately 8 million dollars in endowments, operating funds, scholarships, programs, and funds managed for non-profit organizations. Established in 1994, CFCC provides the legal underpinnings so that more than 320 projects, which are referred to as “Funds,” can focus on running their programs, for a 2% fee. The community foundation manages every incoming and outgoing donation, payment, scholarship, and grant. CFCC provides the structure, so the Funds can do the work they dream of. If it has a non-profit purpose, CFCC can be involved. Learn more at wearecarroll.org.

Want to Sponsor the Class of 2023 CFCC Philanthropists of the Year event? Visit our special event page.
Download our Sponsors’ Package for details on giving levels, winners bios, and other information.

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