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Letters to the Editor

September 11, 2010

Community Foundation surpasses $7 million in grants



To the editor:

The Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc. (CFWC) recently went over the $7 million mark in cumulative grants to charitable causes since its first grant in 1998. This is the accumulation of distributions from endowed designated funds, field of interest funds, agency funds, scholarship funds, donor-advised funds and unrestricted community funds. It is exciting to see the mission of the foundation being fulfilled. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The day will come when we will be distributing this amount annually.

In fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30, the foundation distributed $866,864 in grants, about 65 percent of which came out of donor-advised funds. The highest categories for funding were health at 15.6 percent, human services at 15.5 percent, arts and culture at 14.6 percent and education at 14.5 percent.

Designed primarily as an organization to help create permanent endowments, the foundation offers tremendous flexibility for donors to support their charitable interests and create a family legacy at the same time. Flexibility is available in the types of funds that can be created, the types of assets that can be donated, the income-generating vehicles that can be used and the unlimited array of charitable causes that can be supported. The Community Foundation truly is the "Swiss Army Knife of Charitable Giving."

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The Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc. currently has approximately $18.5 million in assets under management. Donors can support any of our 166 funds at any time, or create a charitable fund of their own. Everybody wins - the donor, the nonprofit community, Washington County and future generations.

To learn more about the Community Foundation and personal or corporate philanthropy, please give me a call at 301-745-5210.

Bradley N. Sell
executive director
Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc.




Owners breathe new life into Washington County Playhouse



To the editor:

My wife and I attended the Washington County Playhouse last month for a performance of the musical "Oliver."

More than 110 patrons packed the dinner theater for its final production of its 24th season. There were times during the past season when I wondered if there would be a 25th anniversary, but in midyear, the Czerbinski family purchased the theater from its former owners. Loretta and Jeff Czerbinski, with son Jeff, have literally breathed new life into the operation.

As a dinner theater, they first refreshed the menu that had become stagnant and predictable. For instance, this production offered a buffet unmistakably English in flavor with fish and chips, bangers, shepherd's pie and a delicious fruit trifle with an almond wafer for desert. As the opening song in the play goes, it made you say, "I want some more."

The play itself was one of the best productions I have ever seen presented there. A cast of 35 actors ranging in age from 5 and older and experience from none to currently attending college as theater majors to teaching professionally in the public schools gave incredible performances. The very minimal set design and more than a dozen scene changes were impossibly performed in the dark on a tiny stage, where the audience sits right on top of the whole production. The choreography was fresh and different from anything attempted before at the playhouse.

The silver anniversary did kick off this past weekend with an equally fine production of an old favorite, "Damn Yankees."

Tons of gratitude to the Czerbinski family, who have revitalized this incredible and unheralded little theater off an alley in downtown Hagerstown.

Frank Erck
Hagerstown




We need to put our faith in God and not bet on people



To the editor:

In response to Burr Loomis' letter to the editor "'Reclaim the Dream' impresses conservative," (Thursday, Sept. 2, page A4), he wrote, "Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is still alive in America."

Yes sir, it is. However, an imperative point was not recognized.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that we put our faith in God, our creator. Yes, compassion for our fellow man is part of what his dream was.

But faith is not in us. Faith should always be in God. There were references made to the people across town who were ranting and raving about the power of Jesus to save us all.

I do not believe Glenn Beck was doing anything like ranting or raving. He called for people to come together and pray for our nation, to bring our country back to its founding principles and to restore hope and honor. And that does include Jesus.

Our country was founded under God. If you are putting your faith, or as was stated, betting on people, that is trouble.

We are facing difficult times in this country. There will be more to come.

If we put our faith in people to solve these nations' problems, nothing will be solved. God is the only answer.

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