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Former president of United Way of Washington County board earns highest volunteer honor

Meg Harsh received the Jesse L. Kagle Distinguished Service Award for her 'consistent leadership'

June 19, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Meg Harsh receives the Jesse L. Kagle Distinquished Service Award from Mike Harsh, president of the local United Way's board of directors at the organization's annual dinner and report to the community held Wednesday at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Meg Harsh, a former president of the United Way of Washington County board of directors, was awarded the charitable organization’s highest volunteer honor Wednesday night for helping position it for the future.

Harsh received the Jesse L. Kagle Distinguished Service Award during the United Way’s annual dinner and report to the community held at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown.

The award is given to remember the community spirit shown by the late Jesse L. Kagle Jr., who was the United Way's executive director for 24 years.

Harsh, who was the 31st recipient of the award, has served in many roles in the local United Way, including working on the agency relations and allocations committee and the strategic planning committee.

She has also served as president of the organization’s board of directors twice and is now planning to retire from the board.

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Harsh was instrumental in positioning the United Way for the future by working on a Strategic Community Impact Plan, said Mike Harsh, president of the local United Way’s board of directors.

The SCIP plan lays out 44 goals for improving the quality of life in Washington County.

The project, initiated by the United Way of Washington County and the Community Foundation of Washington County, was carried out by more than 200 volunteers working in 11 focus groups.

While announcing the award, Mike Harsh — who is not related to Meg Harsh — cited her “consistent leadership.”

“I’ve been privileged to learn from this individual,” Mike Harsh said.

Meg Harsh said she was humbled by the award and challenged the organization’s board of directors to “build on the accomplishments.”

Also during the awards banquet, the Mason Dixon Council Boy Scouts of America was given the Robert T. Barnhart Award for Service Excellence for the group’s work during the 21st Day of Caring last October.

The local Scouts organization was given the award for completing a painting project at REACH, a local shelter that provides homeless adults a safe, temporary shelter in cold weather.

About 110 tickets were sold for the Wednesday’s dinner. Guests paid $45 per ticket, and the proceeds are intended to cover the cost of the event, said Melissa Reabold, executive director of the local United Way.

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