Letters to the Editor - Dec. 19

December 18, 2011

Mrs. Marjorie Grumbacher has been 'mom' to many

To the editor:

It was my privilege to attend a wonderful evening Nov. 17, celebrating an outstanding lady in our community, Marjorie Grumbacher. No, this evening was not spent at a club or fancy meeting place, but at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown (MCI-H). A very positive self-improvement  group called Lifestyles organized a tribute to a lady many call 'mom.' Warden Sowers and many "outside" volunteers were in attendance but, more importantly, almost every man in Lifestyles, the "inside" group. There was laughter, tears and many roses for their beloved friend.

I submit the following biography of Marjorie, written by the president of Lifestyles at MCIH,  for two reasons: 1. Marjorie has meant a great deal to our community and is leaving soon to live near her daughter and 2. I would like to demonstrate an example of the intelligent, caring and thoughtful men who have admittedly made mistakes but are aspiring to be positive people regardless of their circumstances.

Biography of Marjorie Grumbacher

(as written and researched by Randall Martin)

Marjorie Cohen (respectfully known to me as Mrs. Marjorie Grumbacher) was born in 1920 in Scranton, Pa. She started her life in public service very early. Like millions of patriotic Americans, Ms. Cohen, a law student at Boston University, was one of 50,000 women who applied to join the newly formed WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) part of the U.S. Navy. One thousand women, including Ms. Cohen, were selected to be part of the first WAVES officer class. They were trained in communications, coding and decoding messages, and many other duties. Seaman Cohen reported to Smith College for three months basic training followed by assignment to the Philadelphia Navy Yard in January 1943.

Now Lt. Cohen, Marjorie supported communications, coding and decoding messages for the Navy. She was soon assigned to the Navy Legal Office, supporting the Judge Advocate General Office, prosecuting and reviewing legal cases including desertions, general court-martials and performing brig inspections. On Sept. 2, 1945, Marjorie joined thousands on what is now known as V-J Day on Broad Street in Philadelphia to celebrate the end of WWII.

Then, in 1946, Marjorie Cohen married a fellow veteran, Richard Grumbacher and became forever known as Mrs. Marjorie Grumbacher as she began a new chapter in her life with family to include children, friends, and a host of other causes with resolve and determination. She was one of the founders of the Girls' Club, now called Girls Inc., here in Washington County. She was a former Western Maryland chairwoman of the Maryland Commission on Children and Youth, and in 1970 served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Children.

Mrs. Grumbacher served as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Hagerstown Prison Complex and co-founded the Community Correctional Services Committee (CCSC), which supports many of the programs here at MCI-H to include Lifestyles, the alternatives to Violence Program, PATT, Jaycees, Metas, Veterans Group, Lifers Group, Laubach Literacy, Art Club and Music Club. She was the initiating force for the foundation of Lifestyles in 1972, and she has been dedicated to us without parallel. She has been awarded countless awards and honors for her service very much in contrast to her modesty.

In 1975, she received the Sheriff Charles Price Award for Service to Youth. In 1996, her dedicated work with CCSC was cited with two others when she was awarded the Governor's Volunteer Award in Public Safety. In 1997, Mrs. Grumbacher was designated as A Woman of Historical Importance in Washington County. In that same year, she received the Washington County Senior Salute. In 2001, Lifestyles created and awarded its first highest and exclusive honor award, The Grumbacher Award, to the person for which it is named. Now, it is given once a year to one of Lifestyles' best. 

Laurie Graves
Community Correctional Services Committee

Children's Village says thanks for donation

To the editor:

On behalf of Children's Village of Washington County and the students we serve, I thank the Sunrise Rotary Club for selecting Children's Village as one of the beneficiaries for their 10th Annual Dinner and Auction held in October. Their gift of $8,000 from the event will promote child safety throughout our community.

The event and its subsequent success are testaments to the club's commitment to community service. The dinner/auction was an enjoyable evening, made possible through the hard work of many club members. There was a great selection of live and silent auction items, something for everyone, with a costume party theme for the Halloween season.

Every 60 seconds, 12 children in America are seriously injured from occurrences such as vehicle crashes, fires and burns, drowning, etc. At Children's "safety" Village, we believe prevention is key. The free program we provide each year to every second-grade student in Washington County proactively addresses safety issues like these.

Thank you, Sunrise Rotary, for partnering with us to give the gift of safety to children in Washington County this holiday season.

Rochelle Morrell, executive director
Children's Village of Washington County Inc.

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