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For the record

January 09, 2006

Thanks to the incredible outpouring of support from the community, the Mental Health Association of Frederick County was able to distribute more than 750 gifts and more than $300,000 in gift cards to 330 inpatients, half of whom are children, being treated at local mental health facilities.

Gifts were distributed to patients at The Jefferson School (ages 12-18), Child/Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program at Brook Lane (ages 3-18), Stone Bridge Transitional Care Home at Brook Lane (ages 6-17), Way Station (adults, adolescents, and children), Thomas B. Finan Center (adolescents and adults), and Frederick Memorial Hospital's Psychiatric In-Patient Unit.

A large majority of patients are children ages 7 to 18. For many of these youth, the holidays are not a special time of year. In addition to their daily struggles, they may be estranged from or will not see their families at the holidays and often come from a background of poverty. Gifts received through Operation Santa Claus may be the only presents these children receive all year. In addition, adult patients are very often alone at the holidays and also experiencing extreme financial hardship.

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"Even in a year filled with so many national tragedies, the Frederick community was extremely generous again this year. The need was much greater with 130 more patients than in 2004; thanks to the outpouring of donations from the community, no one was left out," said Cindy Burdette, campaign organizer, "A special thank you goes out to the employees at Aspen Systems Corporation and Toys for Tots; both organizations donated gifts at enormous levels this year. Without their support we definitely would have been short; I know there are a lot of needy children and adults who are very happy this season."

"Operation Santa Claus" is a program that provides the spirit of holiday joy and giving to children and adults who are inpatients at mental health treatment facilities who may not otherwise be remembered at the holidays. Operating since 1965, MHA's "Operation Santa Claus" has brought happiness to hundreds of patients throughout the years.

For more information about MHA, call 301-663-0011 or visit www.fcmha.org on the Web.

Candice Craig, a resident of Hagerstown, successfully completed a year of national service with Volunteer Maryland, an AmeriCorps program of the governor's office.

In recognition of her service to the citizens of Maryland, Craig was awarded a governor's citation for her efforts on behalf of REACH Caregivers. Serving Washington County, REACH Caregivers operates a cold weather shelter for adults in crisis, and provides resource services for the elderly and the disabled.

During her year of service as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator for REACH Caregivers, Craig strengthened the organization's ties to local church congregations by recruiting individuals to serve as volunteer faith liaisons. Additionally, she managed more than 100 new volunteers who provide food, transportation, and visitation for low-income elderly and disabled individuals in Washington County.

Volunteer Maryland Coordinators are members of AmeriCorps, the national service program, who commit to a year of service to their community in exchange for a small living stipend and an education award. For more information on Volunteer Maryland visit www.volunteermaryland.org or call 410-767-6203.

Hood College received nearly $3.6 million from its largest benefactor, The Hodson Trust.

The money, presented to Hood College President Ronald J. Volpe, was donated by the Hodson Trust and the Hodson Scholarship Foundation. The $2.5 million from the Hodson Trust will be used for organizational support, including capital improvements. Another $1 million from the Hodson Foundation will be used for academic innovation and scholarships for Hodson-Gilliam Scholars at Hood.

Since 1936, The Hodson Trust has given Hood nearly $44 million. The college has used the money to support student scholarships, professor endowments, athletic programs, research grants, internships and to build and upgrade campus infrastructure. Most recently, the Trust contributed $13 million to build the state-of-the-art Hodson Science and Technology Center, completed in 2002.

In December, Berkeley County Commissioners President Steve Teufel, center, presented $20,000 to the Apollo Civic Theatre in Martinsburg, W.Va. Shown from the Apollo Theatre receiving the check are, from left: Loria Headlee, recording secretary; Ann Alter, board member; Michael Noll, president; and Ron Rockwell, vice president. The theater will begin renovations in January to refurbish the lobby and concession stand area. The main entrance bathrooms will be updated and made ADA compatible.

Curt Miller and Tim Cox of Brook Lane Health Services collect Operation Santa Claus gifts from Pat Hanberry, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County.

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