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850 turn out at Hagerstown Community College to pay tribute to the Bowmans

March 23, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Jone and Don Bowman greet guests, Friday as the honorees for the annual Hagerstown Community College Foundation Tribute Dinner at the college's Athletic Recreation and Community Center. Proceeds from the annual event benefit HCC student scholarships.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

With 850 guests, Friday night’s tribute dinner honoring Don and Jone Bowman was the largest fundraising event Hagerstown Community College has ever had on its campus, according to Lieba J. Cohen, executive director of the HCC Foundation.

And a glamorous one at that.

The college’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center was decked out in black curtains with strands of white lights hung from the ceiling, and guests in formal wear lined up to greet the honorees after entering through a facade painted to look like the front of Don Bowman’s Bulls & Bears Restaurant. Antique cars and large photos of the Bowmans completed the decor.

The $125-a-plate event, organized by the HCC Foundation and Hawk Booster Club, is an annual fundraiser to endow student scholarships. Half of the proceeds are used for academic scholarships and half for athletic scholarships, Cohen said.

This year’s event will fund at least six endowed scholarships of about $1,000 a year, she said.

Each year, the event honors someone who has played an important role in the college and in the community.

Don Bowman owns several local companies, including Bowman Development Corp. and the trucking company, D.M. Bowman Inc.

“The Bowmans were chosen for many reasons,” Cohen said. “They’ve certainly been good friends to the college — our commercial vehicle transportation program was a partnership with D.M. Bowman — and the Bowmans have been so generous to so many organizations in Hagerstown and Williamsport, and are just great people. They’re humble, they’re generous, they are down-to-Earth, good people, and we were pleased that they would let us honor them for the benefit of our students.”

The Bowmans’ daughter, Linda Bowman Ebersole, was the toaster at the event.

“It’s a great way to honor my parents, and it’s nice to be surrounded by family and friends,” she said.

Sponsors that contributed to the event included Bowman Group LLC, Resley Tire Co. Inc.-Bridgestone-Bandag, Hershey-Fitzsimmons Group, the Mellott family, Ober/Kaler Attorneys at Law, RBC Wealth Management, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Sheetz and Susquehanna Bank.

This was HCC’s 13th annual tribute dinner. The combined proceeds of the first 12 tributes have netted $809,000 to endow scholarships, HCC spokeswoman Beth Stull said.

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Editor's note: This story was edited March 27, 2012, to correct the name of Resley Tire Co. Inc.-Bridgestone-Bandag, one of the contributing sponsors.

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