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Fort group's board quits

September 14, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

All four officers of the Friends of Fort Frederick, a volunteer group that supports the state park, resigned Monday night without giving any reason, park and group representatives said.

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"I'm sad to see them resign. They were good citizens," said Park Manager Ralph Young. "They apparently are going to stay active with the group."

Scott Allen, of Fairplay, who had been the group's president for about three years, would not comment on his resignation or those of the other three officers.

Also resigning were Kenny Moore, vice president; Katy Grosh, treasurer; and Gary Dyson, secretary.

None could be reached for comment.

They gave no reasons for their resignations and nobody questioned them about it during the meeting, said Austin Gisriel, nominating committee chairman for the group.

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The officers had expressed concern and frustration over time about apathy within the organization, Gisriel said.

"It's not atypical. It's the kind of thing that goes on in most groups. The elected people are elected to do all the work," Gisriel said.

Gisriel said the group will attempt to elect new officers at its Oct. 11 meeting. Friends of Fort Frederick meets at 7 p.m. in the visitors center on the second Monday of each month.

Friends of Fort Frederick members raise funds, promote the park, volunteer at park events, do research, help with park maintenance, provide tours and teach living history in local classrooms.

In October the group will raise funds for the park through its annual Ghost Walk, charging $2 per person.

The money is used for a variety of purposes, from tuition reimbursement for Young to renting portable toilets for re-enactors, officials said.

The group has about 125 members, but about 30 people attend the monthly meeting, Gisriel said.

Allan Powell, a charter member of Friends of Fort Frederick, said he was disappointed by the fracture within the organization, but said the group will recover.

"We're a very viable group. We've raised a lot of money to help the fort. We'll get new officers and we'll continue to support (the park)," said Powell, of Hagerstown.

The park will celebrate its 250th birthday in 2006, Powell said.

The fort was built in 1756 by then-Maryland Gov. Horatio Sharpe to protect English settlers in Western Maryland during the French and Indian War.

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