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Three Hagerstown woman are honored by WATT

May 01, 2002|BY JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Three Hagerstown women were honored Tuesday night by Women At The Table for their lifetimes of leadership.

"If you're raised to be part of a community, you have a responsibility to be active in it," honoree Lois Smith Harrison said.

Harrison, Louise Funk Beachley and Florence Hill Graff each received a certificate, a copy of the book "100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century," and a proclamation from Del. Sue Hecht, who could not attend the dinner banquet at the Fountain Head Country Club.

The three women said they were surprised or amazed they were being honored despite their long lists of accomplishments.

"I must tell you how this all came about," said Graff, a WATT member. "I missed the meeting," she told the approximately 50 people attending the banquet.

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"I'm amazed. I'll never miss another meeting," Graff said after the banquet.

Honorees' credentials had to include holding an elected or appointed public office, WATT Chairwoman Sharon Leatherman said.

The women also had to exemplify a lifetime of leadership with involvement in other activities.

Graff, 86, was appointed to a committee set up by the Planning Commission to study and make recommendations to the 1977 comprehensive plan update for special areas such as the Edgemont reservoir watershed, the Appalachian Trail and the Beaver Creek trout hatchery.

She has volunteered at the San Mar Children's Home for 42 years and still does. She has been a board member there for 26 years.

Graff also volunteers at Fahrney-Keedy nursing home and is active in The League of Women Voters, the Singer Society of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and the Washington County Medical Society Alliance.

Harrison, 77, was a member of the Washington County Economic Development Commission for five years. In 1972, she was appointed to the Governor's Commission on Structure and Governance of Education in the State of Maryland.

Harrison helped organize Hagerstown Junior College. She has been a member of the Home Federal Savings Bank Board, the Washington County Hospital Board and Hood College's Board of Trustees.

Beachley, 94, began 10 years on the Hagerstown Zoning Board of Appeals in 1950. In 1960, she was appointed to the Washington County Board of Education, which also served as HJC's Board of Trustees.

She helped rewrite Hagers-town's charter in the early 1980s, removing specific references to gender.

Beachley was a science teacher and was the founding mother of the Washington County Branch of the American Association of University Women.

Upon accepting her certificate, Beachley told the story of how she and her late husband, Jack, bought two farms that they developed into the Robinwood residential community.

Beachley gave the area the name Robinwood and named the streets for birds because of all the birds in the area.

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