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Foundation honors 3 volunteers

November 16, 2000

Foundation honors 3 volunteers



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer


Three women with thousands of hours as volunteers were honored Thursday for living a "quiet life of giving."

The Community Foundation of Washington County, MD, Inc. gave Peoples Choice Awards to Millie Fiery, Dorothy Truax and Betty E. Willson. Each received $5,000 to set up charity endowment funds through the foundation.

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Those attending the event at the Four Points Sheraton in Hagerstown stood and applauded as each woman received her award.

Fiery has volunteered at the Western Maryland Hospital Center for 43 years. Since 1962, when her time was first tracked, she has volunteered about 27,000 hours, the equivalent of more than 13 years of full-time employment.

In his nomination letter, David E. Brown, chairman of the fund-raising task force for the center's auxiliary, said Fiery has done "whatever tasks need to be done," including greeting patients, accompanying them to appointments and delivering mail.

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All the while, Fiery, 86, has shown "warmth, sincerity and good humor," Brown wrote.

Truax, 79, retired in 1990 after 38 years as a teacher in Washington County schools.

Her volunteer affiliations include the Red Cross Bloodmobile, the Lions Club, the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Department, Habitat for Humanity and St. John's United Methodist Church. She is a reading, math, field day, clothing and library volunteer at Clear Spring Elementary School.

Truax has provided "immeasurable service and acts of kindness," Clear Spring Principal Jill Burkhart wrote in her nomination letter.

Willson has worked with Washington County Food Resources Inc., Washington County Community Action Council, Western Maryland Interfaith Housing and Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless (REACH).

When the director of the Washington County Council of Churches Social Help Center retired, Willson took over, reopening an office that had closed.

Willson's "untiring energies" have helped "hundreds of hurting and needy local folks," wrote Barbara Miller, who nominated Willson.

This is the first time the 3-year-old Community Foundation of Washington County has given out awards, Executive Director Joyce A. Heptner said earlier this week.

The foundation tries to "promote and support" area nonprofit organizations, she said.

Heptner said the awards "recognize volunteers who are really the engines behind these nonprofits."

The volunteers deserve credit for giving "time and talent, instead of treasure," she said.

The Community Foundation is made up of 49 separate funds, Merle Elliott, a past chairman, said at Thursday's dinner. The interest is used to support local charities.

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