The stories of 40 selfless volunteers inspired attendees were shared at the 31st annual Harford's Most Beautiful People Awards ceremony hosted by Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and the Harford County Department of Community Services on Oct. 12 at the Bel Air Church of the Nazarene.
Margaret Scarborough, of Forest Hill, received the 2017 Ripple Effect Award, so-named because of the ripples that spread from a single pebble dropped in a pond, just as a single volunteer benefits the broader community.
The awards celebrate the uplifting and meaningful contributions made by unsung heroes who give their time and talents to those in need throughout the county. The event was emceed by WJZ-TV's Kristy Breslin and drew more than 300 attendees, including the nominees and the 34 citizens who nominated their fellow community members.
This year, there were two recipients of the Shining Light Award. Yvonne Harris, from Bel Air, was recognized for her work to raise awareness about the devastating impact of addiction, and Debbie Hardy, of Cecil County, was recognized for increasing awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
Each of these brave women suffered the devastating loss of a child, but they are still willing to share their stories throughout our community so that no other family has to endure the pain of losing a loved one.
Nominated by Robert Durgin, Scarborough was chosen for her lifetime of public service spanning more than 50 years. She is actively involved with the Deer Creek Friends Meetinghouse, serving as their pianist and playing a role in numerous committees including the Ministry of Oversight, House and Hospitality and Religious Education committees.
By providing meals to the sick and those experiencing homelessness, by organizing field trips to the meetinghouse, mending band uniforms and prom dresses and volunteering time and baked goods for fundraising events, she has made a significant impact in the lives of many individuals.
Notably, she has been the co-chair of the Deer Creek Friends' Meetinghouse's Blueberry Festival for 20 years. In addition to coordinating the event she finds time each year to bake more than 30 homemade pies.
Scarborough joined Harford County's 4H program in 1947 and has since served on the board of directors of the 4H camp, as a judge, the clothing department superintendent and the indoor superintendent at 4-H fairs, and is a volunteer for the Maryland State Fair All-Star Food Booth.
The Shining Light Award was created by Glassman 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 courageously fight stigmas and advocate for positive change by discussing topics that some would rather push into the shadows.
Also celebrated at this year's ceremony were Harford's Most Beautiful People nominees Kristen Anderson; Alexis Bell; Marlene Butler; Sarah Currier; Charles and Eileen Daughton; Tammy Ehrbaker, Stathis Kotanidis and Sandi Linkous; Rose Mary Evans; Greg Fox; Bridget Graff; Andy Guckert; Kellie Hedrick; Tejan Hichkad; Frank Kellner; Jeff King; Jayne Klein; William and Dottie Kreutzer; Tim and Michele Langhauser; Bruce Miller; Christine Moser; Mario Nandala; Donald Osman; Lora Pangratz; Sue Pardo; Rick Post; Bonnie Prater; Laima Reingruber; John B. Sampson; Dan and Margaret Swegon; Chet Thomas; Liz Tutino; and Pat Venturino.
A photo gallery including all nominees is online at www.harfordcountymd.gov/796/Harfords-Most-Beautiful-People.
This year's sponsors were The Aegis, Richardson's Flowers and Gifts, Pairings Catering, Wegmans, Broom's Bloom Dairy, Party Party, the North Harford Harmonics, the John Carroll School Jazz Ensemble, the Upper Chesapeake Chorus of the Sweet Adelines International, Jim Lockard Photography, Harford Cable Network, Kristy Breslin and WJZ News, Tri-State Trophies and the Bel Air Church of the Nazarene.
Attendees at the ceremony were treated to entertainment from the John Carroll School Jazz Ensemble, the North Harford Harmonics and the Upper Chesapeake Chorus of the Sweet Adelines International. Harford Cable Network was on hand to record the one-hour ceremony; the video is available on-demand at https://hcn.viebit.com/player.php?hash=kWnlDhEdeqRO and can be purchased online. The ceremony will also be broadcast on Fridays in November at 7 p.m. Visit www.harfordcable.org for more information.