People’s Choice Awards

Each year, the Community Foundation holds the People’s Choice Awards to recognize and celebrate individuals in the community who give generously of their time and talents to make Washington County a better place to live.

The 2021 People’s Choice Awards celebrated the good work of three People’s Choice volunteer winners and one Rising Star winner. In addition to honoring these individuals, the Community Foundation created a $5,000 designated endowment fund in honor of each Volunteer winner and contributed $1,000 to the charities of the Rising Star Award winner.

The Community Foundation of Washington County MD, Inc. has awarded four individuals during their 22nd Annual People’s Choice Awards, which took place over the span of four individual receptions, each honoring one recipient. Three individuals were honored from with Volunteer Awards and another was awarded the Rising Star Award.

The prestigious Volunteer Award honors individuals from the community who give generously of their time and talents to make Washington County a better place to live. In addition, the Community Foundation will establish $5,000 endowment funds in each winner’s name for the local nonprofit of their choice.

The Rising Star award honors an individual from the community who demonstrates a commitment to volunteer service. In their honor, a $1,000 contribution is made to the charity (or charities) of their choosing.

This year’s three Volunteer Award recipients are:

Carol Brashears: Brashears, 66, is the founder of Micah’s Backpack in Washington County, having started with just a few volunteers serving two schools, developed partnerships with Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC), Washington County Public Schools, and Maryland Food Bank, and has served as the leader of the Micah’s Backpack Steering Team since it formed in 2012. Under her leadership, Micah’s Backpack has grown to serve more than 1,000 children in 33 schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools. She’s also been an integral Board Member and/or volunteer for organizations like the Women’s Club of Hagerstown, Hagerstown YMCA, San Mar Family & Community Services, Trinity Lutheran Church, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Out of Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention, REACH Cold Weather Shelter, Soles4Souls, Mummer’s Parade, Boy Scouts, and more.

Through her work with the Women’s Club, she has been Vice President in charge of the Ways and Means Committee, assisted with the Garden Club, Fall Fest, Children’s Tea, Fall and Spring Bargain Fairs, House and Garden Tour, and is currently integral as Chair for their 100th Anniversary Celebration. In addition, the Community Foundation has established a $5,000 endowment fund which Brashears has titled The Carol Brashears Fund for Micah’s Backpack

Dave and Sue Dorsey: Dave, 90, and Sue, 91, are two of Hagerstown Community College’s most steadfast volunteers for more than 23 years. Both retirees (Sue from 21 years as a secretary from Lincolnshire Elementary and Dave from a career as an air traffic controller), their volunteer journey began at HCC in the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center (The ARCC) preparing and selling concessions in the Courtside Cafe of which proceeds from Café sales were earmarked for HCC Athletic Student Scholarships through the HCC Foundation, Inc. The volunteer run Courtside Café raised more than $511,000 that was given to the HCC Foundation to establish endowed scholarships. Anyone who frequented the ARCC, would tell you that Dave seemed to always be on campus, smiling, happy and with a kind word for all. Sue, always by his side when the Café was open.

Dave and Sue Dorsey, together, have logged 12,296 hours volunteering at HCC (since the college began tracking hours.) To put it in prospective, the Dorsey’s combined volunteer hours are equal to one person working 24 hours a day for 512 days straight without a break. The Dorsey’s are beloved figures to current and past HCC student athletes, who they have encouraged throughout their years working in the ARCC. The remarkable volunteer spirit of David and Sue Dorsey to the students and vision of Hagerstown Community College is extraordinarily commendable. They have set the bar incredibly high for volunteers, giving freely of their time, regardless of their advanced ages. In addition, the Community Foundation has established a $5,000 endowment fund titled the Dave and Sue Dorsey Fund for HCC Athletics. 

Paulie Ward: Ward, 77, is well known for being a fierce advocate for the senior community while volunteering in numerous ways through organizations like the Commission on Aging, the Humane Society of Washington County, C&O National Parks, the Maryland International Film Festival, the Doleman Black Heritage Museum, United Way, and many more. From community events to important formal functions, Paulie is a familiar “behind the scenes” figure. In addition, the Community Foundation has established a $5,000 endowment fund which Ward has titled The Paulie Ward Fund for Meals on Wheels, which will benefit the Washington County Commission on Aging’s ever-important program.

This year’s Rising Star Award winner is:

Zane Schreiber: Schreiber, 25, is a fervent volunteer for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, United Way of Washington County, and is active within Hagerstown Sunrise Rotary, coaches for Federal Little League, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Three organizations were chosen to receive an equal portion of the $1,000 awarded: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, United Way of Washington County, Maryland, and Federal Little League.


2020 Winners

Volunteer Awards:
Jamie Blackwood
Brent Feight
Carrol Lourie
Rising Star Award:
Stephanie Nalley

2019 Winners

Volunteer Awards:
Evelyn Eichelberger
Paul Kadin
Ira “Junior” Moats
Rising Star Award:
Kandace Carpenter

2018 Winners

Nonprofit Shining Star Award: Buck Browning
People’s Choice Nonprofit Award: Washington County Commission on Aging
Rising Star Award: Cort Meinelschmidt
People’s Choice Volunteer Award: June Datum, June Datum Endowment Fund for the Maryland Theatre

2017 Winners

Nonprofit Shining Star Award: Deb Cohill
People’s Choice Nonprofit Award: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County
Rising Star Award: Sam Buhrman
People’s Choice Volunteer Award: Jackie Fouche, Mount Hope Prison Ministry Endowment Fund

2016 Winners

Nonprofit Shining Star Award: Jodie Ostoich
People’s Choice Nonprofit Award: Humane Society of Washington County
Rising Star Award: Kelsi Palmer
People’s Choice Volunteer Award: Will Godwin, Therapeutic Gardens at the Western Maryland Hospital Center

2015 Winners

Blanton Croft, Meals on Wheels
Ernest Truax, Hancock Rescue Squad
Gary Weaver, Big Brothers Big Sisters

2014 Winners

Sue Fiedler, Meritus Healthcare Auxiliary
Barb Jacob, The Maryland Theatre
Bette Nicholas, St. Ann Roman Catholic Church
Rising Star: Heather Guessford

2013 Winners

B. Marie Byers, Discovery Station
Darce Easton, Miller House
Richard Schnurr, Potomac Center Volunteer Association
Rising Star: Brenna Bacon Ranieli

2012 Winners

James Marshall, REACH, Inc.
Ronald Wayne Taylor, HCC Amphitheater
Noel Williams, Williamsport Interact

2011 Winners

Patricia Beard, Discovery Station
Charles Koontz, DeafNet
Robert “Buck” Shipley, Habitat for Humanity

2010 Winners

William Bulla, REACH, Inc.
Dan and Debbie Murphy, Hancock Christmas for Others
Ernest “Bub” Snodderly, Potomac Center Volunteer Association

2009 Winners

Dr. Dan McDougal, Community Free Clinic*
Howard Rockwell, Rockwell Fund for Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland Valley
Beth Stouffer, Doleman Black History Museum Endowment Fund

2008 Winners

Rev. Janice Dorsey, Bill Dorsey Scholarship for BISFA
J. Gilbert Everline, Hagerstown Union Rescue Mission
Jerry Overdorff, Habitat for Humanity

2007 Winners

William K. “Bill” Beard, Home Ramp Project Fund
Daniel Fleming, Hancock Scouting Fund
Blaine Snyder, Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum

2006 Winners

Anna Mary Kline, Williamsport Food Bank
Sharon Mattingly, Funkstown Elementary PTA
Robert McCusker, Hancock Historical Society

2005 Winners

Hugh Brandenburg, Western Maryland Hospital Auxiliary
John Long, Humane Society of Washington County
Rollan “Ron” Myers, The ARC of Washington County

2004 Winners

N. Linn Hendershot, Many Individuals Helping Individuals (MIHI)
Anne Hinkle, Western Maryland Hospital Auxiliary
James and Ethel Martin, REACH, Inc.*

2003 Winners

Florence Hill Graff, Community Free Clinic*
Janet Newcomer, Community Free Clinic*
Connie Pauley, Turning Point

2002 Winners

Vivian Hackman, REACH Fund for the Homeless*
William H. “Mac” McClean, The ARC of Washington County
Ralph “Coach” Stottlemyer, Scholarship Fund, South High

2001 Winners

Cindi Messersmith, REACH, Inc.*
Charles Rowe, Sr., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County
Jean Wainwright, Food Resources

2000 Winners

Mildred Fiery, Girls, Inc. & Western Maryland Hospital
Dorothy Truax, Clear Spring Elementary PTA
Betty Willson, Social Help Center


*As three honorees chose to benefit the Community Free Clinic, the name of this fund has been changed to the Community Free Clinic People’s Choice Awards Fund. Five honorees have chosen REACH, and thus five $5,000 gifts have been made to the existing REACH Endowment.