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William "Bill" Bulla recognized for service to the United Way

July 10, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- With mounting challenges to raising the funds necessary to support 26 member agencies, the United Way of Washington County depends on a small army of volunteers who know how to get the job done.

William "Bill" Bulla might just be one of the generals of that army, so much so he recently was selected as the recipient of the United Way's annual Jesse L. Kagle service award.

The award is named for Kagle, who was executive director of the United Way of Washington County for 23 years.

"I worked with Jesse Kagle many years ago when I was campaign chair for the American Cancer Society," Bulla said this week. "He came in one day and drafted me for the United Way."

Though the Kagle award was a surprise for Bulla, his family was by his side when he was honored June 25 at the United Way dinner.

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Now a United Way board member, Bulla previously had been on the organization's staff for five years.

Bulla, 85, continues to work on several United Way committees, produces the Good Shepherd Ministries newsletter, works tirelessly for the North Hagerstown Lions Club and is active on the Shawnee Girl Scout Council board.

"I also paint," Bulla said.

Just back from a visit with his family in New York state, Bulla said he got some wonderful photos along the Hudson River that he plans to translate into watercolors.

Jenny Fleming, community impact director for United Way, spoke at the annual dinner about Bulla and his reputation for getting the job done.

"This year's recipient of the Kagle service award never tires," Fleming said of Bulla. "You would think things would have slowed down in his retirement years, but I think it got even busier for him. He is there whenever needed. It is just his way of life."

Bulla said when he was a youngster growing up in Oklahoma during the Depression, neighbors helped his family when the need was there.

"My mother said to me that it's nice to have people care about you," Bulla said in an earlier interview. "I think that's why I've been involved in my community wherever I have lived."

Bulla's professional career began after his service in World War II, and included stints as a commercial artist, advertising executive, and in public relations and shopping center promotion.

After he retired in 1989, Bulla managed and did marketing work for several Shopco malls, including Valley Mall in Halfway and Frederick Towne Mall in Frederick, Md.

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