United Way offers kudos

March 13, 1997


Staff Writer

When Valerie Damico stepped up Wednesday to receive the 1997 Jesse Kagle/United Way of Washington County scholarship award, she had a very special thank you.

"I thank my God for allowing me to be sober and to be here," Damico said at the United Way's 40th annual meeting.

Damico was recommended for the annual scholarship by Sue Summerfelt, executive director of W House, who described her as a very committed young woman with a natural ability to assist those in need.


As a volunteer, Damico has sponsored some of the residents of W House, a halfway house for people with addictions, in their efforts to turn their lives around.

United Way scholarship chairman Bob Rankin said Damico, who lives in Hagerstown, will continue to work in the counseling/social work field while she attends Hagerstown Junior College on the Kagle scholarship.

The late Jesse Kagle was the executive director of the local United Way for 23 years.

Damico said she wants to help the young, the poor and the addicted as she pursues a bachelor's degree.

In other presentations:

  • Michael Callas, president of the United Way, was the recipient of the Jesse Kagle Volunteer of the Year award.
  • Al Martin and Doug Wright were recognized for their work as co-chairmen of the most recent fund drive.
  • The Community Free Clinic of Washington County was welcomed as the newest member agency of the United Way, joining in February.

The clinic, located at 18 W. Franklin St., sees about 160 patients a week.

The Washington County United Way's 1996 fund drive raised $1.6 million, which was 86.5 percent of the $1.8 million goal.

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