Letters to the editor

February 09, 2005

Funds for a better Washington County

To the editor:

Citizens of Washington County are starting to hear more and more about the Waltersdorf/Henson Endowment Challenge Campaign. That is because many area nonprofits are canvassing their donor bases to gauge support for this worthy campaign.

The John and Peg Waltersdorf family and the Richard A. Henson Foundation have each pledged up to $2.5 million over a five-year period in matching endowment funds for the organizations that are chosen to participate in the Endowment Challenge Campaign.

The Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc. (CFWC) urges everyone to support this unique opportunity for philanthropy. Why is it unique? Because everyone involved comes out a winner. All donors involved are doubling their own contributions: Contribute $5,000 to a participating charity and Waltersdorf/Henson will match that $5,000 once the organization reaches their goal.


The organizations involved are winners because they will have extra income to help with operating expenses, capital expenses or scholarship funds. And the Community Foundation is a winner because it will increase assets by $10 million and have more discretionary income to grant back to the nonprofit community and greater ability to promote philanthropy in Washington County.

This campaign is intended to create "designated endowment funds," which are defined as funds established in the Community Foundation to support specific charitable organizations named at the time the gifts are made. The funds are permanently earmarked for those organizations, but are owned by the foundation.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Waltersdorf/Henson Endowment Challenge Campaign is encouraged to call the Community Foundation at 301-745-5210. Thank you.

Bradley N. Sell
Executive Director
Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc.

Is racism widespread in our community? Read, then decide

To the editor:

Before I start on the titled issue here is some information about me. I am a Christian trying to share God's love by serving the neighborhood I love and grew up in. It is a black neighborhood. I am a black man. I am the leader of an organization that works to help black men take responsibility and make a contribution to the community. The organization is not limited to helping black men.

I am also the leader of a public organization that helps promote the use of public-access television by the public.

That organization is not a minority or black organization.

It is an organization with black leadership and open to anyone of good standing to help promote the use of public-access television. I do not represent the entire black community any more than one white person could represent the entire white community. Anything else you feel you want or need to know about me, ask.

First and foremost, what is racism? I define racism as the process that allows one race to maintain the advantage over another race. The following are my observations:

1. A black man recently served as an appointed member at the Board of Education and was unable to get elected to that office. The man was appointed by the governor to fill a vacancy on the board. The man, who donated his entire board salary to charity, served long enough for the public, fellow board members and Board of Education officials to see what he could do as a board member.

At election time, the man did not even get nominated. Most incumbents can get nominated. That man would have been the first black elected official in Washington County.

2. There are no blacks in elected office or high-ranking positions in city government, county government, the Board of Education, the court system, the police force, housing, the cable company, the newspaper or major corporations and banks in the Hagerstown area. These organizations have an influence on the survival and success of blacks.

3. Compared to organizations under white leadership, black organizations are underfunded, denied funding or have had funding resources removed that would allow their organizations to thrive and contribute to the community.

4. A black man whose views are not popular recently dared to raise issues about racism. The man has been attacked on all sides in an attempt to create suspicion, abandonment and fear of association with the man, even among people of his race.

5. Leaders for social justice are not considered popular or acceptable and there are those who will systematically attack and despise these leaders. The public buys into this deception and abandons the efforts to help promote tolerance and unity for all races, genders and religions. Everyone fails to boycott the attackers who have flipped the script and taken our minds off the real issues of who is at fault for hate crimes and the denial of public resources.

Is racism widespread in our community? You decide.

Andy Smith, Editor
Speak Up!

(Editor's note: Andy Smith is president of Brothers United Who Dare to Care and was recently the recipient of a hate letter.)

The Herald-Mail Articles