Women leaders honored

May 02, 2001

Women leaders honored


Grumbacher, Leatherman, ShankPhoto: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Three Washington County women were recognized for long-time achievements in public service at a reception Tuesday at Fountain Head Country Club.


Adele M. Donnelly, Marjorie Grumbacher and Betty L. Shank were named as honorees at the "Life Leadership Dinner" held by Women at the Table (WATT), a bipartisan political action committee.

Before presenting them with certificates of merit, WATT chairwoman Sharon Leatherman said the women "exemplify the purpose of Women at the Table."


"I think they are a good example to women. They encourage women to give the same kind of service that they have over the years," said Leatherman.

Donnelly has been volunteering since the early 1930's .

She served on the Western Maryland Health Planning Commission and was on the board of the Washington County Health Department for more than 20 years, said Leatherman.

Donnelly also was the leader of Washington County Youth Red Cross, Bloodmobile coordinator and a nurse's aide volunteer at War Memorial Hospital, Martinsburg, W.Va. during World War II. She was also the leader of a youth group.

For years, she and her husband Ralph Donnelly delivered for Meals on Wheels and regularly visited the hospital with the Pets on Wheels program.

"Through my life the things I have done have given me so much pleasure ... I'm rewarded almost every day," said Donnelly after receiving a certificate of appreciation from Leatherman.

Scranton, Pa., native Grumbacher was a former Western Maryland chairwoman of the Maryland Commission on Children and Youth and in 1970 served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Children.

A member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the Hagerstown Prison complex, Grumbacher was also one of the founding members of the Hagerstown Girl's Club, now called Girls, Inc.

"I've gotten more out of the volunteer work I've done than I've put in," Grumbacher said.

Grumbacher said she was honored by the recognition and urged people to work with inmates at area prisons.

"Going to the prisons is a marvelous experience," Grumbacher said.

Shank, a former Clear Spring mayor, councilwoman and town clerk, initiated a drive to get a stoplight in the town to handle traffic from the nearby Whitetail resort.

With her help, the town's water supply was fluoridated, a senior housing and library committee was formed, and the fire department's parade was re-established.

Shank recently retired from a public relations position at Washington County Health Department.

While at the Health Department, Shank played a role in Lazy Eye vision screening for pre-school children and an AIDS Task Force and related education for all teachers and grades 10 and 11.

"I'm honored to be among such marvelous women as Adele Donnelly and Marjorie Grumbacher," Shank said.

She said it was heartwarming to receive such recognition.

All three women worked together in creating the Tri-County Counseling Service, said Leatherman.

The honorees were selected by a committee from a pool of seven nominees and had to serve in public office or on a board or commission to qualify, she said.

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