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Three get People's Choice Awards

November 08, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

There have been times over Ralph Stottlemyer Jr.'s 25 years as a Washington County teacher when he has welcomed troubled students in his home to help guide them on to successful career paths.

Other times, Stottlemyer has spent many hours performing community service and raising funds to benefit athletics at South Hagerstown High School, where he has coached football, wrestling, basketball and baseball.

Because of his efforts, Stottlemyer was named a People's Choice Award recipient Thursday night at Four Points Sheraton.

Washington County residents William McLean and Vivian Hackman also received the award, given annually by the Community Foundation of Washington County.

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More than 200 people attended the event.

The People's Choice Award recognizes outstanding volunteers annually from nominations submitted by Washington County residents.

A $5,000 endowment fund was established for each of the charities chosen by the three recipients as part of their award.

"I don't think there's anything in life that I could do that I've enjoyed more than coaching and working with young people," Stottlemyer said after he received his award.

Stottlemyer, who was nominated by local businessman Charles Sekula, will use his $5,000 to establish an athletic scholarship fund at South High.

McLean was a force in helping developmentally disabled people in the county early on, as he and a group of parents set up classes and hired teachers to teach the special needs children in the early 1950s. As a result of those efforts, the Hagerstown Council for Retarded Children Inc. was established in 1952. That organization now exists as the Washington County ARC.

McLean has served on the ARC board for 50 years, including 14 years as president.

Hagerstown resident Cathy Ashley-Cotleur nominated McLean.

"Some needs have been big; others small," Cotleur wrote in her nomination letter. "Mac takes on causes if they pull at his heartstrings - and with Mac, almost everything does."

McClean said it was heartwarming to receive the award. He plans to use the money to benefit the ARC.

Hackman was honored for her volunteer work with the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary Inc., an organization she joined in 1953 and became a life member of in 1981.

She has volunteered 43,212 hours as of July 1, and was nominated for the award by auxiliary President Linda Hovis.

"This is the highest total number of hours served by any of our Auxilians," Hovis wrote in her nomination letter. "And she is still regularly volunteering."

Hackman thanked her family and friends after receiving the award. She plans to use the $5,000 to help the homeless.

The Community Foundation works with people and organizations to support a wide variety of causes and charities.

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