The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area presented its 2021 Rising Up Awards during an event Dec. 9. These awards recognize the Dorchester County businesses, nonprofit heritage organizations and individuals who have created or strengthened heritage tourism.
“Our award winners make such a difference in the community and for our visitors,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, manager of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area. “We are so grateful for all their hard work and dedicated commitment.”
Outstanding Project: Brett Summers and NOVO Development. NOVO’s investment activities on the Eastern Shore have been focused on Downtown Cambridge, with five mixed-use commercial spaces. NOVO’s steadfast commitment to Cambridge is evident, as Summers led the restoration of these buildings to Maryland Historical Trust standards.
Individual Achievement Award: Linda Harris. Harris came to Cambridge wanting to walk in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman – literally. In September 2020, she walked with seven women from Cambridge to Philadelphia – and it changed her life. Since then, she's been working with the Harriet Tubman Organization, spearheading the Jazz at the Mural concert series, history walks on the Underground Railroad, and numerous other programs and activities.
Heritage Business Partner Award: Layton's Chance Vineyard & Winery. The Layton family has been a presence in Dorchester County agriculture since Joe Layton Sr. purchased the original farm in 1948. The family decided to diversify to grapes and opened the winery in 2010. In 2020, they were named the Mid-Atlantic's first "certified craft winery." Layton’s Chance is an asset to the community and to the tourism industry.
Heritage Award for Organizational Excellence: The Dorchester County Public Library. The pandemic took a toll on everyone, including stalwart community organizations that provide much-needed community services. The library did an incredible job pivoting operations, offering curbside pickup (with 3,500+ curbside pickup appointments over the course of a year) and Books By Mail, providing services by social media, and making wi-fi hotspots available.
To find out more about the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, go to visitdorchester.org/heritage-area.