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Women At The Table honor two for leadership

May 04, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - She clasped an award honoring her volunteerism close to her heart, but Marge S. Peters said love of community spurred her service.

"I never have done this to be honored for anything. I just love helping in the community wherever I can," said Peters, who was one of two women recognized Thursday for leadership.

About 45 people, including the women's husbands and families, turned out at Fountain Head Country Club as members of Women At The Table, a political-action committee that encourages women to pursue roles in public life, paid tribute to Peters and Sharon Chirgott, Funkstown Town Council's only female member.

Chirgott, a former middle school science teacher who was active in the Washington County Teachers Association, said she has enjoyed being involved in the community. According to Evelyn Williams, who presented her with a plaque, Chirgott takes special pride in having kept Wal-Mart out of Funkstown.

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"You go to these meetings, and the next thing you know, 20 years have passed on the Town Council," Chirgott said.

For Peters, one cause led to another, as she met people in the community and became introduced to projects.

According to Linda Irvin-Craig, who presented Peters' award, Peters served on the county's solid waste, tourism and historic preservation boards, and she volunteers with her church. She retired in 1999 as executive secretary and administrator of the Washington County Historical Society.

A breast cancer survivor, Peters said she jumped at the chance to join a new outreach for patients. It's now known as Breast Cancer Awareness of the Cumberland Valley.

Peters said she left the cancer outreach board about a year ago, but still considers the experience among her most meaningful.

"It was an opportunity to let other women going through breast cancer know that breast cancer isn't a death warrant, that those who had breast cancer were there for them, if they needed us," Peters said.

As Peters clutched her award, people at the event flocked around her and Chirgott for hugs of congratulations.

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