People’s Choice Awards

NOMINATIONS HAVE CLOSED as of September 30th at 11:59pm

Every 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 2020 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 to the Young Philanthropists Fund in recognition of the Rising Star winner.


The Community Foundation of Washington County MD, Inc. has awarded four individuals during their 21st Annual People’s Choice Awards, held virtually on Zoom the evening of Thursday, November 12th. Three individuals were honored from a safe distance with Volunteer Awards and another was awarded the Rising Star Award as local celebrity Ryan Smetzer served as Master of Ceremonies.

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 Community Foundation’s Young Philanthropists Fund.

This year’s three Volunteer Award recipients are:

Jamie Blackwood:  A retired firefighter, Mr. Blackwood is the first to tell you that service is in his blood, and continues to serve through various ways as a volunteer firefighter with the Long Meadow Fire Company (since 2000) and was integral in forming the Washington County Northstars Hockey Team in 2007. Since then, he’s continued his passion for hockey and mentorship, working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jamie is currently employed at Brook Lane in leadership with campus police and their safety office.

Brent Feight: The contributions to Washington County made by Brent Feight seem endless. Mason-Dixon Scout Council, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hospice of Washington County, Doey’s House, Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Brooke’s House, and countless others cite Feight’s support through his pro-bono work often supported by his beloved colleagues at Hagerstown-based firm Bushey Feight Morin Architects.

Carrol Lourie: Carrol Lourie has over two decades of Washington County service under her belt and organizations like Community Free Clinic, REACH of Washington County can attest to it. Stewardship is paramount with her through her work with her local synagogue and a bulk of her current efforts support the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition and her work with Together With Families, a newly-created nonprofit that supports the work of the Washington County Family Center and the Sunshine Center Family Visitation Program.

This year’s Rising Star Award winner is:

Stephanie Nalley: Stephanie Nalley is the founder of nonprofit Hope Through Birth. This organization focuses on supporting parents who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death since 2012. She maintains a Bereavement Education Fund to provide training for local birth workers to receive bereavement training. She’s spent numerous years volunteering with unimaginably-difficult work with Hospice of Washington County and assists in bereavement counseling with Dove Tale’s camp – a camp where children can navigate the loss of a loved one.


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.