Harford County honored 17 volunteers at the 36th annual Harford’s Most Beautiful People Awards ceremony which was hosted by County Executive Barry Glassman and the Harford County Department of Community Services on Oct. 20 at the Bel Air Church of the Nazarene.
The awards celebrate the meaningful contributions made by people who give their time and talents to those in need throughout the county. The event drew more than 200 attendees, including the nominees and the people who nominated them. Attendees at the ceremony were treated to entertainment from A Cappella Journey and Natasha Jackson.
Harford’s Most Beautiful People 2022 nominees were: Jackie Amrhein, Michael Bennett, Nancy Brugh, Mary Cook, Rebekah Cugle, Drew Evans, Stephen Garey, Felicia Grant-Hopkins, Laura Hahn, Vicki Jones, Barbara Lash, Connor McGuire, Sue Nappi, Christopher Providence and Essie Washington-Bennett.
Along with these nominees, two more were honored for their work in the community. Joyce Stevens received the 2022 Ripple Effect Award. She was chosen for her long-time support of Harford County youth as part of Black Youth in Action Adults, where she served as the organization’s treasurer for more than 35 years and was the seamstress for the annual debutante ball. Additionally, she was a member of the Harford County Human Relations Commission.
Stevens also was a founder of the Harford County Hispanic Community Association, formed to assist the underserved Hispanic community with health care, housing and language interpretation. Her outreach with HCHCA crossed international borders when she raised over $10,000 to help a man, who passed away with no family in Harford County or the U.S., be returned home to El Salvador for burial.
Fluent in Spanish, Stevens volunteers teaching Spanish in Aberdeen and provides services to non-native residents through LASOS, an organization that provides critical resources and support for non-native English-speaking residents. She is also the treasurer of the Aberdeen Golden Age Club and a choir member at Havre de Grace United Methodist Church.
Mia Ellis was awarded the Shining Light Award for her great strength after losing her sister to addiction. Ellis shares her story through outreach with Rage Against Addiction and during Recovery Month events in September.
Departing County Executive Barry Glassman created the Shining Light Award when he came in office to recognize citizens who shine a light of awareness on serious issues facing Harford County.
“Often these individuals have suffered deep, personal loss, yet they fight stigmas and advocate for positive change by discussing topics that some would rather push into the shadows,” a county spokesperson said.
Previous recipients of the Shining Light Award were recognized during the event, and those in attendance at the event each lit a candle to represent the many lives the Shining Light recipients have touched, and continue to touch, in the county.