HAGERSTOWN — The Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc. has presented its first John M. Waltersdorf Leadership Award to Merle Elliott, who has devoted much of his life to supporting economic development, education and other community initiatives in the county.
The award was made on Nov. 10, the same night the foundation presented the People’s Choice Awards, which go to unsung heroes who volunteer behind the scenes to improve our community.
The foundation said The Waltersdorf Leadership Award honors those in the community who are involved in making Washington County a better place to live, work and play through their vision, leadership and financial support, in the spirit of the late philanthropist John Waltersdorf.
Elliott is a past president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, or CHIEF, which has helped create industrial parks, attract employers and preserve local landmarks.
He also served on the Hagerstown Community College Board of Trustees, was the first chairman of the Greater Hagerstown Committee and helped found several local initiatives, including the Community Foundation of Washington County, Leadership Hagerstown, and PRIDE, or People Really Interested in the Development of Excellence.
The application for the Waltersdorf Leadership Award states that it will be given to a person “living or deceased, who personifies the incredible leadership demonstrated by John M. Waltersdorf during his life. They key areas of this award will focus on community involvement and philanthropy.”