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Potomac Center marks 30 years in Hagerstown

September 22, 2008

A celebration to honor the 30th anniversary of Potomac Center was held Sept. 6 in the activities building of the facility on Marshall Street in Hagerstown's West End.

Cathy Marshall, director of Potomac Center, welcomed state dignitaries, staff, retirees, residents and family members, former residents, and volunteers to the event that focused on the growth of the facility and the accomplishments and achievements of the people who made Potomac Center their home over the years.

Following the invocation given by Dean Pryor, chaplain of Hospice, a special recognition was given to one individual who previously lived at Potomac Center. Buck Macht, former volunteer coordinator of Potomac Center, and Robin Gipe, psychology associate with the Arc of Washington County, shared a story of challenges and staff determination that enabled a former resident of Potomac Center to successfully transition into their own home.

This is but one example of the more than 400 individuals who have moved through Potomac Center since it opened its doors. Many people have moved into the community and are now living with their families, in group homes, alternative living units or independently.

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John Colmers, secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Michael Chapman, executive director of the Developmental Disabilities Administration, congratulated the staff for the record of achievement attained by the center, and thanked them for the caring and compassion shown over the years to the most vulnerable of Maryland citizens.

State Sen. Donald Munson presented a Senate Resolution in recognition of 30 years of providing compassionate, dedicated and caring services to the developmentally disabled individuals of the community. Del. John Donoghue presented a House Resolution in recognition of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Potomac Center.

Potomac Center is a state-supported facility under the jurisdiction of the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

It opened its doors to admissions on Sept. 6, 1978.

Staff originally hired in 1978 and still employed at Potomac Center were recognized for their dedication and loyalty. These staff include Robbie Bentz, Betty Eichelberger, Rose Fertenbaugh, David Forsyth, Joseph Jacques, Mary Lou Knotts, Rodney McNamee and Jenny Morgan.

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