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'Bill and Maggie' honored by HCC

March 27, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown Community College campus was transformed into the world's glitziest construction site Friday night, when tuxedo-clad guests were greeted by a waving work crew, posed for pictures beside orange barrels and were served by waiters in yellow reflective vests.

The decor might have been a nod to the contracting company owned by the guest of honor, but the night itself was a celebration of what he and his wife have constructed in the community through their philanthropy.

C. William Hetzer Jr. and Margaret Hetzer, known affectionately as Bill and Maggie, were the stars of Hagerstown Community College's 10th annual tribute dinner, an event held each year to raise money for scholarships while honoring people who serve the community.

More than 425 people attended the $125-per-plate event, which was in the college's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Bill Hetzer, president of C. William Hetzer Contractors, and Maggie, a member of the Hagerstown Community College Board of Trustees, have contributed heavily to the college and the community, tribute organizer Lieba Cohen said. They are humble about their contributions, but finally agreed to be honored at the dinner in the name of a good cause, Cohen said.

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"They had to drag me kicking and screaming to do this because I try to be very humble in my life," Bill Hetzer said, pausing from shaking hands with the hundreds of guests who stopped to congratulate him as they entered the ARCC.

In live and videotaped toasts, friends and colleagues put a spotlight on the modest philanthropists, ribbing them with embarrassing stories while touting their good deeds.

One of the toasters was William J. "Bill" Reuter, chairman and CEO of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., who knows Bill Hetzer from his 32 years on the bank's board.

Reuter praised Hetzer's business sense and noted it is hard to go anywhere in Washington County without driving over or past something his company has built.

"He's a man of his word, he has a deep passion for his employees and he is a person who is never afraid to take on a challenge," Reuter said.

Tina Angle, a longtime friend of Maggie Hetzer, gave a more personal toast, sharing fond memories and amusing stories such as the time Maggie got caught in a Metro station turnstile and how she spent $1,000 on a stray cat named Tik-Tak.

Maggie is a "people person" who contributes to numerous community causes "without hoopla, just quietly doing good for the sake of the community," Angle said.

Proceeds from the event will fund scholarships in the Hetzers' names for athletes to attend HCC and for high school students to take classes at the college through its ESSENCE program, college spokeswoman Elizabeth K. Stull said.

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