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Honored for service in Hagerstown

Three receive People's Choice awards

Three receive People's Choice awards

November 09, 2007|By ARNOLD S. PLATOU

HAGERSTOWN - Three men honored Thursday night for the exceptional volunteer work they have done in the community said they are humbled by the attention.

Before a crowd of 275 people, the Community Foundation of Washington County named the three - William "Bill" Beard, Daniel R. Fleming and Blaine M. Snyder - its 2007 People's Choice Award winners.

And then, each of them turned the spotlight briefly on others.

"You don't win them by yourself," said Beard, who was honored for the work he has done helping the disabled.

"... I have with me some of my volunteers. None of this happens without others, Beard said."

Snyder, thanked for his long service to firefighting and restoration of historic rail equipment, remembered in his speech "my buddy" Bill Knode, a fellow rail enthusiast who nominated Snyder and who had a quadruple bypass this week.

"I tried to run my life on being a servant," Snyder said. "You try to do what's best for people who are around you and it all encompasses love, and that's the main thing."

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Fleming said the accolades given him are really a credit to many of his fellow residents in Hancock. "I feel a need to share this award with others who have helped me ... in so many ways," he said.

For example, Fleming said, his work with the Hancock Development Corp., which brought companies offering more than 1,000 jobs to the small town, was really the combined efforts of many he referred to as "a band of brothers." He said he was repeatedly appointed president of the group solely because "I was the only one who couldn't say, 'No'."

The three men, chosen from among dozens of nominees, were each presented an oval-shaped glass marking the honor, plus the right to name a charity to receive a $5,000 endowment. The charity will receive the annual earnings - usually about 5 percent - of each endowment, said Brad Sell, executive director of the foundation.

As his recipient, Beard named the Corporation for Assistive Technology, the nonprofit group he founded to design and build wheelchair ramps for local residents.

Snyder, a charter member of the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, named it as his recipient. And Fleming named the Scouting program in Hancock as his recipient.

The Community Foundation is a hub for charitable giving locally. Since it began 10 years ago, board Vice Chairman Michael Day told the crowd, the foundation has attracted $13.5 million in gifts to its funds, which are invested to benefit charitable causes.

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