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Good Scout Award recipient gives back, credits her success to the community

Terry Smack, owner of Terry's Tag and Title, will be recognized Dec. 4 as the 2019 Good Scout Award recipient. The award is presented by the Boy Scouts of America, Carroll County, to recognize Smack for her outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life in Carroll County while exemplifying the precepts found in the scout oath and law.
Terry Smack, owner of Terry's Tag and Title, will be recognized Dec. 4 as the 2019 Good Scout Award recipient. The award is presented by the Boy Scouts of America, Carroll County, to recognize Smack for her outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life in Carroll County while exemplifying the precepts found in the scout oath and law. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

This year’s recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Carroll County Good Scout Award is a woman who takes the success of her business and uses it to give back to the community.

Terry Smack, owner of Terry’s Tag and Title, was selected by local Boy Scout leaders to be recognized for her contributions to the community and improving the quality of life in Carroll County while embodying the principles of scouting.

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Smack opened her first tag and title business Jan. 13, 2003 in Finksburg, she said. Since then, she has expanded to six locations, four of which are in Carroll County. She’s made financial donations to organizations such as The Arc of Carroll County, the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, and Carroll Hospital.

“If it wasn’t for the community, I wouldn’t be in business," Smack said in an interview.

Lee Primm, of the Good Scout Award Committee, said about 10 members of the committee discuss and nominate people for the award.

“It is a good citizenship award that is based upon the principles of scouting," Primm said in an interview.

This year, Smack’s name kept coming up in the committee’s discussions, according to Primm.

He said Smack is the kind of person who quietly gives to others without seeking recognition.

“Her impact on the community is positive in both her personal story and giving of her personal time, effort, and energy and also her financial support of multiple not-for-profit community benefit organizations," Primm said.

Smack will be recognized at the Carroll County Good Scout Award Breakfast, which also serves as a fundraiser for Carroll County Boy Scouts, Dec. 4 at 7:30 a.m. in Pleasant Valley fire hall. Tickets are available for $100 by calling the Boy Scouts Baltimore Area Council at 443-573-2544.

Smack described herself as someone who prefers to stay out of the limelight.

Terry Smack, owner of Terry's Tag and Title, will be recognized Dec. 4 as the 2019 Good Scout Award recipient. The award is presented by the Boy Scouts of America, Carroll County, to recognize Smack for her outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life in Carroll County while exemplifying the precepts found in the scout oath and law.
Terry Smack, owner of Terry's Tag and Title, will be recognized Dec. 4 as the 2019 Good Scout Award recipient. The award is presented by the Boy Scouts of America, Carroll County, to recognize Smack for her outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life in Carroll County while exemplifying the precepts found in the scout oath and law. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

“We’ve got all these little good things going on in the community that are being done secretly," Smack said. "I want to be a part of that.”

Though Smack runs a thriving business, her life has not been without tribulations.

Smack is a survivor of domestic violence. She was married to a man who abused her verbally and physically, she said. Smack went public with her story two years ago.

After so many calls to the police, Smack said her turning point was when a deputy of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office responded to her call. The man stayed with Smack until she called her sister and told her what she’d been going through, according to Smack.

“He was my little angel,” Smack said.

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Her family lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grew up, Smack said. Twelve hours after making that phone call, Smack’s mother was at her door.

Smack fought for five years to divorce her abuser, and credits Family and Children’s Services with helping her leave. She aspires to help the agency build a second safe house for victims of abuse.

Now, Smack has four children in a blended family with her fiancé, Jack Haden. They have been together almost 18 years, she said.

As Smack’s career has grown, she’s been able to give back to the community. For every tag return done at the Westminster or Eldersburg locations, one dollar is donated to Carroll Hospital.

Smack holds the hospital staff close to her heart because of the work they did to save Haden and to prolong her mother’s life. Her mother, Patricia Crouch, had a gallbladder attack in 2012 and Haden battled cancer, Smack said. Haden has been cancer-free for four years, Smack said, but her mother died in 2013.

“I was just so thankful for the hospital, what they had done for both Jack and for my mother,” Smack said. “Every day I thank God for being able to help my mom pull through for a little bit longer, and to give Jack back the life that he has.”

Smack estimates the tag and title business has given between $30,000 and $36,000 to the hospital for tag returns over approximately seven years.

When the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster came to Smack for help last year, she took a tour of the former PNC Bank in Westminster where they were then undergoing construction. Smack said she likes to see where her donation will go before she makes a contribution, she said.

Smack was shown the old vault that was full of safe deposit boxes. The club wanted to take them out and transform the vault into something new, she said.

Smack enlisted the help of her son-in-law, Brett Manning, who is a contractor, and they got the heavy safe deposit boxes out. The former vault is now a recording studio for the children to enjoy, Smack said.

Now that Smack is being recognized by the Boy Scouts for her philanthropy, she said she feels humbled by the honor.

“I don’t do it to be recognized," Smack said. "I do it because it’s in my heart.”

If you go

What: Good Scout Award Breakfast

When: Dec. 4 at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Pleasant Valley fire hall

Tickets: 443-573-2544

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