Advertisement

Chamber honors 4 businessmen

September 28, 2000

Chamber honors 4 businessmen



By DON WORTHINGTON / Staff Writer


When the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce named Richard W. Phoebus Sr. its Business Volunteer of the Year Thursday, it had no idea Phoebus would throw out a challenge as part of his thank-you.

After receiving the award for his work on the baseball stadium task force, Phoebus made a pitch to Chamber members and to the community to donate money to the Community Foundation of Washington County. The foundation manages nonprofit funds for 48 community organizations.

Until Thursday night, the number was 47, but Phoebus increased the number by setting up an endowment for Food Resources, a nonprofit group that "feeds the hungry and needy of this community."

The chamber award carried a $300 stipend which Phoebus could give to the charity of his choice. Phoebus and his wife, Dale, added $700 to start the Food Resources endowment at the Community Foundation. The new fund increases the foundation's assets to $4.8 million, chairman John M. Waltersdorf said.

Advertisement

The foundation will hold donations until the fund reaches $5,000. At that point the interest is given to the charity on an annual basis, foundation Executive Director Joyce A. Heptner said.

"This was a chance to notice two worthwhile organizations," Phoebus said of his challenge.

As for his work on the Chamber's baseball stadium task force, Phoebus said it was slightly ironic to be honored for a project that he doesn't know when will be completed.

"It's an honor where I haven't accomplished anything yet," Phoebus said. "We've made steps, but we haven't saved minor league baseball for the community yet."

He said he is committed to see the project to its conclusion, no matter how long it takes.

"This community needs to be careful to make sure it is right, to find an appropriately sized facility that fits this community," he said.

Phoebus was one of four major honorees. The chamber also named John F. Barr, owner of Ellsworth Electric Inc. its Business Person of the Year; James F. Kercheval, owner of Kerch's Southern BBQ as Small Business Person of the Year; and awarded its Distinguished Community Service Award to Horace W. Murphy, who recently retired as the president and CEO of Washington County Hospital and its parent company.

Phoebus' challenge wasn't the only new twist at the Chamber's 81st annual meeting. For the first time the event was held at the Kepler Theatre at Hagerstown Community College, and for the first time, the reception followed rather than preceded the awards presentation.

About 230 chamber members and their guests attended the event.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|