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Washington County United Way donors are all heart

December 13, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN - At a gala Wednesday to honor donors who lead the way with their giving, United Way of Washington County recognized a man who has donated more money over the years than anyone else in the organization's history.

John Waltersdorf, together with his late wife, Margaret, has given more than $150,000 to the community fundraising organization, said United Way Resource Development Director Leah Gayman

The organization selected Waltersdorf as the first to be honored with its Humanitarian Award, a new honor intended to recognize lifelong giving, campaign co-chair Tom Newcomer said.

Waltersdorf, who did not know he would be recognized, was unable to attend the gala, Newcomer said.

The organization also presented an Outstanding Company Leadership award to First Data Corp., which raised more than $200,000 in 2006, with 124 of its employees donating more than $500, United Way leadership giving chairwoman Cynthia Perini said.

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Also recognized Wednesday were five Alexis deToqueville Society members who gave more than $10,000 to the 2006 fundraising campaign. They were Wesley and AnJanette Doll, Howard and Anne Kaylor, Vincent Groh, James and Georgia Piern, and William and Selina Reuter.

Speaker Julie Gaver told those honorees and the dozens of other high-level donors who gathered at Cortland Mansion that they had the hearts of champions. She told a story about a boy who was devastated when other children cut up his treasured baseball glove and the generosity of a repairman who fixed it. Scrawled on the invoice beside the zero total was a note, Gaver said: "There is no charge to repair the broken heart of a little boy."

"You all have something in common with that anonymous man those 40 years ago because everyone in this room is in the business of repairing broken hearts," Gaver said. "You do that each and every time you give so freely of your time, your money and your talents, and you do so because you have heart."

So far this year, United Way of Washington County has raised 60 percent of its $1.9 million fundraising goal, spokeswoman Jenny Fleming said. A rally to inspire the community to raise the remaining amount is planned for Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. in the square in downtown Hagerstown, Fleming said.

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