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Endowment fund to benefit community launched

October 10, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - As promised, the second endowment fund tied to a Washington County town or area has been launched, this one in Hancock.

As was the case with the South County Fund launched in July, a Community Foundation of Washington County board member led the charge to start the Hancock Fund, foundation Executive Director Brad Sell said.

AC&T executive Adna Fulton, who is originally from Hancock, donated $10,000 in memory of his late wife, Barbara, to get the fund started. The kickoff event was held at the home of Ross Cook and Dr. Carol Becker.

Cook, president of the Hancock Rotary Club, said he became aware of the possibility of a Hancock fund when he attended a ceremony honoring fellow Rotarian Bob McCusker, who received a Community Foundation award last year.

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"In August, my wife and I hosted an event at our home for principal donors," Cook said. The couple lives in a home known as Locher Mansion.

Penny Pittman, president of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce, was there. The Chamber committed $1,000, as did Penny and Randy Pittman, and also the Cooks, Sell said.

Cook said he would like to see the Hancock Fund grow for a long time so its impact may be more substantially felt in the community he and his wife now call home.

Cook and Becker are retired from the U.S. State Department. They bought their home in 1991, although they were still assigned overseas for 13 of the last 18 years, Cook said.

In July, Randy and Jennifer Thompson hosted an event at their Boonsboro-area home to introduce the endowment fund for that community to others.

Sell said he received a call from an attorney after that meeting asking how his client could leave money to the endowment fund in his will.

"That's the key," Sell said in July.

Money bequeathed to the fund could increase the amount of money that could be invested in larger sums.

For example, Sell said in July, if someone gives $1 million in money or stocks or in a will, the fund would be looking at $50,000 to dispense.

Once the fund is established, the money would be invested. Interest would be used for such purposes as scholarships, library books and computers for children.

Sell said it's only necessary for a fund to have $5,000 for it to begin distributing interest money.

Sell said in July the Community Foundation is looking to create regional funds throughout the county as part of its 10th anniversary celebration.

For more information on the two existing endowment funds and other proposed funds, call Sell at 301-745-5210.

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