HAGERSTOWN — — When Andy Hoffman was asked to join the board of directors of the Boys Club of Washington County in 1975, it never occurred to him that he was signing on for a volunteer position that would span more than three decades.
“He’s been vitally active for 35 years,” said Jim Deaner, executive director of Boys & Girls Club of Washington County.
The club’s name changed in 1989 to reflect its co-ed status.
“You just kind of get into the habit,” said Hoffman, downplaying his commitment to the club.
In fact, Hoffman was part of the team that interviewed and hired Deaner in 1979. They both joke that they didn’t realize the other would stay “forever”.
Hoffman, 61, who grew up in Middletown, Md., earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Hampden-Sydney College, a master’s degree from Hood College and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina.
He moved from Baltimore to Hagerstown in 1975 and quickly started putting down roots.
One of 21 board members, he has served as president, chairman of the Government Relations Committee and now as director and treasurer of the Maryland Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs during his tenure with the nonprofit organization.
Deaner is quick to point out that in addition to his administrative duties, Hoffman has been a hands-on board member, helping Deaner put a pitched roof on the Pennsylvania Avenue facility in 1989, when the flat roof began leaking.
“To me, the roof will always be your legacy, Andy,” Deaner said.
In recognition of Hoffman’s service, the annual Youth of the Year program has been named in his honor.
The Boys & Girls Club of Washington County scholarship of $2,000 will now be known as “The Andy Hoffman Youth of the Year Program”.
Teens from the seven Boys & Girls Club programs in the county compete for the award based on academic performance, community involvement and other factors. The chosen county youth then competes for the State of Maryland Youth of the Year Award in Annapolis.
Several of the Washington County Youth of the Year winners went on to earn full scholarships for college, and several have won at the state level, Deaner said.
“The value is in the kids who benefited,” Hoffman said.
It was at the December board meeting that Hoffman learned the scholarship had been named in his honor.
“The first thing I thought was it was unnecessary, but the second thing was ‘but that’s neat’,” Hoffman said.
The Boys Club of Hagerstown began in 1941. They opened the Pennsylvania Avenue location in 1971 after Fairchild Aircraft gave them the building.
In 2010, more than 4,000 youths were served by the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, averaging 300 students a day at the seven sites.
Although Hoffman’s work with the club is business-related, he’s aware of the program’s impact on local youth.
“If they’re not here, their options are limited,” Hoffman said.
He said he keeps giving his time to the Boys & Girls Club because of the success stories he hears.
“One thing that is really amazing is that this community is able to provide the facilities we have . . . because people in town cared enough to help out,” Hoffman said.
“Because some people in town stayed involved more than 35 years,” Deaner said, referring to Hoffman.
Hoffman retired from banking two years ago and has become an almost full-time volunteer.
He is also generous with his time to other organizations, serving as treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 20 in Boonsboro, as district chairman of the Mason-Dixon Council of Boy Scouts of America, Hagerstown Lions Club and as treasurer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF.
Hoffman and his wife, May, have been married for more than 22 years, and they live on the east side of Hagerstown. They have a daughter and son, who are both away at college.