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Goodwill Achiever of the Year award winners shocked and surprised by honor

Says one recipient, 'I wasn't expecting it at all. All I was doing was doing my job.'

May 09, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Donna Wilber, left, presents Carlton Freeman of Martinsburg, W.Va., with an Achiever of the Year Award as he and Cathy Fleming, director of Mission Services have a laugh at the 57th annual Power of Work awards dinner, hosted by Horizon Goodwill Industries at the Cortland Mansion in Hagerstown. Mary Ann Baird of Charles Town, W.Va. also won the award.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Mary Anne Baird works as a contractor for the National Park Service in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., subbing on a regular basis for employees who call in sick.

A standard day for the Charles Town, W.Va., native, who uses a wheelchair, includes greeting people as they walk through the door, making sure officials have proper credentials and guiding visitors to different locations.

“I do my best,” Baird said. “That’s all I can ever do.”

Although she doesn’t consider her work to be that extraordinary, Baird won an award for it Wednesday night.

Baird was one of two people to be honored with Achiever of the Year awards at the 57th annual Power of Work awards dinner, hosted by Horizon Goodwill Industries at the Cortland Mansion in Hagerstown.

“It was a surprise, actually,” Baird said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. All I was doing was doing my job, and my boss just told me that I was nominated, and I won this award, and it was a very big surprise.”

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Carlton Freeman of Martinsburg, W.Va., received the other Achiever of the Year honor given to individuals who have shown progress in overcoming barriers to employment while still benefiting from the Goodwill work environment or services.

“It’s new to me,” said Freeman, who spoke highly of his coworkers in the Charles Town Goodwill retail store. “It’s shocking .... I didn’t know I was up for an award.”

Goodwill offers training services to assist people who need support to find and maintain employment, such as those with disabilities or medical conditions, limited education or work experience, a criminal record, a history of substance abuse or have lost their jobs due to the economy.

Craig MacLean, executive director and chief operating officer for Goodwill, said the annual awards dinner gives them a way to recognize not only the people who have worked hard to overcome those barriers, but also the communities and companies that make it possible.

“It’s a big thank you,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to recognize people who are important in our lives. Every year we look forward to it. It’s great.”

Over 140 people attended the dinner, which featured several more awards for high-achieving individuals and businesses in Goodwill’s four-state service area.

Since completing training through Goodwill and furthering his work experience, Freeman said he got a job working for the West Virginia Courtesy Service about two weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean he’s quitting his job at the Goodwill shop anytime soon.

“I like it ... and I still work at Charles Town,” Freeman said. “I still won’t let my ladies go. I still have to hang in there with my ladies, because I’m the only guy.”

The following is a list of the other award recipients:

  • The Bennett S. Rubin Graduate of the Year Award — John Lancaster, a resident of Cumberland, Md., for outstanding achievement in overcoming barriers to attain and maintain employment after completing a Goodwill program. He is employed by Executive Management Services at the Bon-Ton store in Frostburg, Md.
  • The Chuck Robinette Spirit of Goodwill Award — George Gordon, a participant in Goodwill’s Adult Day Habilitation Program at Horizon’s Cumberland Developmental Center.
  • The Business Partner of the Year Award — HBP Inc. of Hagerstown and Berry Plastics of Cumberland for providing aid to assist people with disabilities or other special needs.
  • Employer of the Year Award — Executive Management Services, headquartered in the Pittsburgh, Pa.-area, for demonstrating outstanding concern for people with disabilities and other special needs, and providing opportunities for vocational rehabilitation and employment.
  • Mission Partner of the Year Award — The Fitch Co., with headquarters in Baltimore, for supporting efforts to assist people with disabilities or other special needs.
  • The Massey H. Roe Community Service Award — John Hull of Hagerstown for his support throughout many years of association with Goodwill.
  • Also recognized were retiring board members Jim Nipps and Nicole Twigg of Hagerstown; and store managers for Goodwill retail stores in Front Royal, Va., Greencastle, Pa., Martinsburg, W.Va., Charles Town, W.Va., Berkeley Springs, W.Va., and Waynesboro, Pa., for outstanding sales during 2011.
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