Three honored for volunteerism

November 07, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Everyone has a talent that they can use to serve the community, said Connie Pauley, speaking to an audience of more than 200 people gathered for the fourth annual People's Choice Awards Thursday night.

The Community Foundation honored Pauley, Florence Graff and Janet Newcomer for their volunteer work during a banquet Thursday at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway.

The Community Foundation donated a $10,000 endowment to the Community Free Clinic on behalf of Newcomer and Graff, and donated $5,000 to Turning Point of Washington County on behalf of Pauley.


Pauley, of Smithsburg, was nominated for the award by Peter Shubiak, who works with her at Turning Point of Washington County.

Shubiak said in his nomination letter that for 24 years, Pauley "has continued to give generously and unselfishly of her time, talents and abilities to improve the quality of life for Washington County citizens with mental illness and their families."

He said that since 1979, Pauley has been an active member of local mental health advocacy groups and is a member of the Washington County Mental Health Advisory Committee, president of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Washington County and secretary of Turning Point's board of directors.

Graff, of Hagerstown, was nominated by Mollie Lindsey, of Boonsboro.

Lindsey said Graff, who has been volunteering at the San Mar Children's Home for more than 40 years, has "freely given of herself without hesitation and has never asked anything in return."

During a video presentation at the awards ceremony, Graff said she compares her service philosophy to the title of a song, "When you make someone happy, you will be happy, too."

Graff said during that presentation that when one looks around at friends, the ones who are happy are those who are giving and not those who are taking.

Lindsey said in her nomination letter that Graff, who makes cards for the girls at the home and takes them out to dinners for special occasions, also volunteers at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village. Lindsey said Graff is in her 80s.

Graff said when she received her award that she couldn't believe she was being honored for "something I absolutely adore."

Newcomer, of Hagerstown, was nominated by Rosalie Long, of Keedysville, who said that over the years Newcomer has worked on church projects and has volunteered through the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary at the hospital and at Robinwood Medical Center. She has volunteered for the Red Cross Bloodmobile, the Washington County Commission on Aging and the Washington County Board of Education.

"She also spends countless hours at home crocheting finger puppets for ill children, laryngectomy covers, baby blankets and booties," she said.

Long said Newcomer does all her volunteer work via public transportation.

She simply said "thank you" when presented with her award.

Newcomer said during the video presentation that she enjoys helping people because "no matter how they dress or how they look, they have the same type of pain you and I will suffer."

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