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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Lifestyles

Kevin Dayhoff: Carroll County Philanthropists of the Year to be celebrated, the people who said ‘let’s do this’

On Wednesday from 5-7 p.m., the Community Foundation of Carroll County will hold the 14th annual Philanthropists of the Year celebration.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting back to a ‘new-normal’ schedule of community events has been challenging. Fortunately, after a brief pause for pandemic safety, the community foundation will bring back one of the premier events dedicated to recognizing the folks and organizations in Carroll that have persevered in serving others and maintaining a vision for the future. All are component Funds of the community foundation. These are the folks who when faced with hardships, rolled-up their sleeves and said, “Let’s do this.”

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The theme for the Class of 2022 is, “What’s Your Why?” On Wednesday, the CFCC will honor three special people and nonprofits who have changed lives for the better and made a positive impact on the Carroll County community. The CFCC is recognizing achievements in three categories: Individual achievement; Rooted in the Community; and Rising Star.

Criteria for these honors, according to the CFCC, include “creating and establishing a Fund of the Community Foundation that embodies their commitment to the cause, and continues to or has successfully fulfilled its mission, making a lasting impact on the community.”

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According to information provided by CFCC Communications Director Sharon Tillman, Bill Murphy is being awarded the Individual Achievement award. Murphy is an U.S. Air Force veteran and executive director of Friends of Disabled Veterans in Carroll County.

The FDVCC was founded in 2017, according to Tillman. “The FDVCC provides free, non-emergency transportation to medical and dental appointments and gently used medical equipment for U.S. military veterans and their spouses. …”

“Our veterans have done a lot for us, and it is time to give back to our veterans,” Murphy said.

This year, The Feather Fund will receive the Rooted in the Community Award. In this picture from July 2012, Alyssa Jastram, 11, and her father, Perl Jastram of Ridgely, walk with her Chincoteague pony Tunee (left) and Arabian horse Azale at 4-H Fairgrounds of Queen Anne's County. In 2017 Jastram won a nationwide contest sponsored by the Feather Fund, Carroll County nonprofit, dedicated to helping young people make that particular dream come true every year. The organization, based in Westminster, provided Alyssa and fellow winner Kensington Nelson of Monterey, California, with enough cash to place the winning bid on one foal apiece at the annual Chincoteague Island Pony Auction. Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun

The Feather Fund will receive the Rooted in the Community award. This fund, established in 2004, continues the work begun by Carollynn Suplee. The Feather Fund helps children purchase Chincoteague ponies.

The fund purchased its 50th pony at the 2022 Chincoteague Pony Auction, according to Tillman. “The Feather Fund Executive Director Lois Szymanski and her volunteers believe that raising a foal teaches children life lessons, including responsibility, good care, love, and ethics, as well as the concept of giving back to others through the care and training of his or her animal.

“Deserving applicants become part of the Feather Fund community, growing the love and lessons that Carollynn Suplee inspired. This is a Lifetime Achievement Award for a long-standing and successful Fund of the Community Foundation of Carroll County. The honoree in this category has had at least seven years of continual operation as a Fund of CFCC and consistently meets and exceeds their defined mission.”

This year’s Rising Star award goes to Find Your Purpose, begun in 2021 by my friend, and fellow Carroll Arts Council board member, Billy Williams, aka, Billy Lyve. Find Your Purpose aspires to elevate and empower individuals of all ages through mentorship, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship opportunities, according to information provided by the CFCC.

This year’s ‘Rising Star’ award goes to Find Your Purpose, begun in 2021 by Billy Williams, AKA Billy Lyve. Carroll hip hop artist Lyve started the nonprofit organization with the hope of helping to mold young adults by helping them find their direction in life. Lyve is currently building a recording studio, Wisdom Court Studios, that shares space with AYO Boutique in a downtown storefront on Bond Street. Lyve uses his life experience to mentor local youth and to be a positive role model for them. Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times
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As for Lyve, he is a bundle of energy. The community foundation describes him as “an award-winning artist and promoter, entrepreneur, event planner, booking agent, and philanthropist. Having worked with kids over the years through Wisdom Court Kids Club, an offshoot of Wisdom Court Entertainment, Find Your Purpose serves an ever-growing network of youth, inspiring them to persevere in business and creativity even in the face of the most challenging circumstances. This award recognizes a Fund of the Community Foundation that, within its first two years of service, is making a significant impact in the community, and has exceeded early expectations,”

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This year’s event benefits the Audrey Cimino Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation of Carroll County. Cimino is the former executive director of the community foundation. The CFCC is an umbrella organization that facilitates philanthropic activities across Carroll County. CFCC manages approximately $8 million in endowments, operating funds, scholarships, and programs, for nonprofit organizations.

The foundation was established in 1994. The CFCC provides the legal underpinnings so that more than 320 projects, which are referred to as “Funds,” can focus on running their programs, for a 2% fee.

This year’s Philanthropist of the Year event benefits the ‘Audrey Cimino Legacy Fund’ of the Community Foundation of Carroll County. Cimino, left, is the former executive director of the Community Foundation of Carroll County. In this picture from 2018, Cimino is recognized by Maryland Army National Guard Major General Linda Singh during a rededication ceremony at Ellsworth Cemetery on May 26, 2018. The historic Ellsworth Cemetery in Westminster was created Dec. 21, 1876, by six Black Union Army veterans to provide a burial place "for the colored residents of Westminster, Maryland." Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times

The community foundation manages every incoming and outgoing donation, payment, scholarship, and grant. CFCC provides the structure, so the Funds can do the work for which they were created. Learn more at carrollcommunityfoundation.org. In full disclosure, my wife, Caroline Babylon, is a member of the CFCC board. A number of other close friends work for the CFCC, are members of the board, or have scholarships or funds that do other great things in the community.

If you would like to go, this year’s 2022 Philanthropists of the Year celebration will take place Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Martin’s Westminster 140 Village Shopping Center, 505 Jermor Lane, Westminster.

Tickets are still available. Tickets are $40 and include networking, light fare and a special awards presentation. Sponsorships are available. Visit http://WeAreCarroll.org – or call 410-876-5505 for purchases and details.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His Time Flies column appears every Sunday. Email him at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.


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