Dutch Corner Restaurant, owner to be honored for giving spirit
By By Lois Szymanski and Times Correspondent
Oct 20, 2014 | 10:13 AM
Sometimes it's not about money. It's about the things that you do. That's what many said about Susan L. Rill, owner of Dutch Corner Restaurant in Hampstead.
For her dedication to serving the community, Rill and Dutch Corner Restaurant are being awarded the Business Philanthropist of the Year Award. The Community Foundation of Carroll County will honor Dutch Corner and winners in five other categories at the ninth annual Philanthropists of the Year ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Portico of St. John Catholic Church in Westminster.
"Big businesses and corporations will do a little donation and make a big deal about it, but this is a woman who continually gives to every organization around," said Seth Shipley, owner of Shipley's Fine Jewelry in Hampstead.
He first nominated Rill for the award in 2013.
"She gives to the high school and has no kids there. She gives to River Valley Ranch though she has no affiliation there. She donates to local fundraisers, election campaigns and many other different things," he said. "She is constantly giving to the community of her time and her money."
Shipley remembered a time when he stopped at Dutch Corner Restaurant for breakfast on the way to a fundraiser at River Valley Ranch. Rill asked if he could take a truckload of bananas she was donating to the fundraiser. He said he saw her at the event later that day, delivering ice.
"That took a lot of time out of her day and money spent, too," he said.
Shipley recalled a time when Rill donated close to 800 cupcakes to a cupcakes war fundraiser between North Carroll and Manchester Valley high schools. She'd donated cupcakes before, baking them at her restaurant. This time, he said, she purchased them from a startup business in the area, because she wanted to help out a new business.
"She is so humble about what she does for others," Shipley said of Rill. "Nobody knows about the bananas and ice and those are just two small examples of what she does every day. She is really a giving woman," he said.
"When I think of philanthropy, I think of Susan," said the Rev. Sam Chamelin, of Lazarus United Church of Christ in Lineboro. He also nominated her for the award.
"What makes her unique is that she has a wonderful sense of place and community and she goes about it in such a local way," Chamelin said. "She does an excellent job of making sure that things that are important to our community get the support they need."
Some programs supported by Rill include fundraisers for Boy Scout troops, North East Social Action Program, the Marriage Resource Center and student groups at North Carroll and Manchester Valley high schools. She has also donated to local fire departments, National Night Out in Manchester, and she bought a pig at the 2014 Carroll County 4-H & FFA fair to donate to Lazarus Church's food pantry.
"She outreaches to the community with an open heart and open arms and she does it frequently," said Lynn Sheavly, executive director of NESAP, who also nominated Rill and Dutch Corner Restaurant. "It's incredible how much she impacts the community and not just a small part."
Rill, who bought the restaurant in December 2000, said her involvement in 4-H as a youth growing up in the North Carroll area instilled a sense of giving back to the community.
"There are so many people who have set such great examples and that's how I was brought up," she said. "You keep giving back. That's how you build your community, keep it strong and teach your children to appreciate the community and give back. I've had a lot of great mentors."
"Susan is so supportive of her community," said Cindy Mullikin, co-founder of the nonprofit Catherine's Cause, a charity that educates drunk drivers on the effect they have on society.
Mullikin, who also nominated the restaurant, said Rill has posters in the restaurant about Catherine's Cause and has her staff wear their shirts every Friday.
"She doesn't just help a school once or twice, she helps multiple times throughout the year," she said.
"Often we do things and don't know how we are impacting the lives of others," Sheavly said. "We want her to know what an important role she is playing. She is touching individual lives and making a difference."
For nine years, the Community Foundation of Carroll County has presented the Philanthropists of the Year awards to individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits and youth who best represent the giving spirit of Carroll County. Each of this year's winners will be profiled in the Times leading up to the awards breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 22.