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Former Carroll County Food Sunday director receives gifts, praise on Ed Leister Day

As Hermine Saunders, right, looks on, Ed Leister speaks during a retirement ceremony recognizing his 10 years at the helm of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021.
As Hermine Saunders, right, looks on, Ed Leister speaks during a retirement ceremony recognizing his 10 years at the helm of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Ed Leister dedicated a decade of his life to serving community members in need as executive director of Carroll County Food Sunday.

Friday was dedicated to him.

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It was proclaimed “Ed Leister Day” in Carroll County during a retirement celebration held to honor Leister at Food Sunday’s facility in Westminster.

Several dignitaries, including Leister himself and his successor, Caroline Babylon, spoke and made presentations during Friday’s ceremony.

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County Commissioner Stephen Wantz read the proclamation from county government making Friday Leister’s day.

Commissioner Stephen Wantz congratulates Ed Leister before a retirement ceremony recognizing his years as the Executive Director of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021.
Commissioner Stephen Wantz congratulates Ed Leister before a retirement ceremony recognizing his years as the Executive Director of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021. (Dylan Slagle)

Mark Krebs, husband of Del. Susan Krebs, who was unable to attend due to being in session with the Maryland legislature, delivered a citation from Carroll County’s delegation.

Lisa Monthley, the immediate past president of Food Sunday, presented a letter from U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin.

Frank Baylor, another past president, presented a letter from U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin.

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Steve Lambertson, the first vice president of the Food Sunday board, presented a letter from Carmen Del Guercio, the president of the Maryland Food Bank.

John Myers, treasurer of the Food Sunday board, presented Leister with a one-week stay in Ocean City along with a gift card from the board.

Lambertson and Monthley unveiled a plaque with Leister’s photo on it that will remain in the Carroll County Food Sunday waiting room, which was dedicated to Leister.

Lisa Monthley, left, and Steve Lambertson unveil a picture of Ed Leister during a retirement ceremony recognizing his years as the Executive Director of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021.
Lisa Monthley, left, and Steve Lambertson unveil a picture of Ed Leister during a retirement ceremony recognizing his years as the Executive Director of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Leister retired at the end of 2020 but stayed on into March to assist with the transition. Born and raised in Carroll County, Leister served as senior vice president of Taneytown Bank & Trust Company for 42 years prior to joining the Carroll County Food Sunday executive board. He joined to assist with fundraising in the first year, but became the executive director when the position became vacant that following summer.

Leister previously told the Times the generosity of people and local businesses in the community are what makes Carroll County a special place to live and he will miss that camaraderie after leaving Carroll County Food Sunday.

“Our charity couldn’t exist without the generosity of these churches, the organizations, the service clubs, businesses, and individuals,” Leister said.

Carroll County Food Sunday was founded in 1982 by Dominic Jollie. The nonprofit distributes a weekly, nutritionally balanced grocery package based on household size and is meant to last three to four days. These packages include meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, breads, and milk. The organization serves about 450 families per week at locations in Westminster, Eldersburg, and Taneytown.

Board members Lisa Monthley, left, and Steve Lambertson unveil a picture of Ed Leister as Hermine Saunders, right, looks on during a retirement ceremony recognizing his years as the Executive Director of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021.
Board members Lisa Monthley, left, and Steve Lambertson unveil a picture of Ed Leister as Hermine Saunders, right, looks on during a retirement ceremony recognizing his years as the Executive Director of Carroll County Food Sunday in Westminster Friday, March 26, 2021. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

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