The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore on Friday honored four award recipients and celebrated annual grant-making efforts at its Annual Meeting and Report to the Community.
The foundation celebrated a total of $5.1 million in grants made in fiscal year 2021, including more than $542,000 in scholarships to local students.
“While the need for nonprofit assistance has been both tremendous and unique this past year, the Community Foundation has been able to grow, connect donors and resources, and act as a leading philanthropic resource for our community,” said CFES President, Erica Joseph.
“The continued generosity of our friends, partners, donors, and volunteers have allowed us to create incredible impact on the Lower Shore community, for which we are thankful,” she said.
Volunteer of the Year Award
The Mary Gladys Jones Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Martin Hutchison for championing the community’s homeless, youth, and nonprofits in a selfless, dedicated, passionate, and resourceful way.
Always one to step up wherever needed, often without being asked, he has touched the lives of countless organizations and individuals. In 2015, he established the Camden Community Garden which has created a major impact through hosting school classes, encouraging citizens to garden and promoting healthy nutrition.
With his guidance and mentorship, several other community gardens are thriving throughout the Lower Shore. He has stepped up as leader of the food group for Tri Community Mediations’ Vulnerable Population Task Force, helped the development of Newton Community Center, and mentors students at Pinehurst Elementary School.
Hutchison is the Pastor of Community of Joy Church and manages Community of Joy’s Community Emergency Shelter Project each winter. For his unwavering dedication and love for the local community Martin will receive a $1,000 gift to designate to the charity of his choice.
Nonprofit Award of Excellence
The Nonprofit Award of Excellence honoring Richard A. Henson was awarded to The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.
As a leader in the cultural heritage field, the Ward Museum is a constant source of education and advocacy for the region’s arts and culture for visitors of all ages.
Established in 1968, the organization attracts locals and tourists to the Eastern Shore as it creates opportunities for learning about artistic traditions, community heritage, and connections to the natural environment. In FY19, more than 12,000 visitors flocked to events and exhibitions. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the staff adapted and got creative. They reworked their programming, exhibits, and events to fit the virtual world, including virtual festivals, weekly storytime and crafts for pre-schoolers, virtual field trips with inquiry kits for hands on learning, virtual after school STREAM programming, and much more.
For its dedication to providing truly unique experiences of nature, art, heritage, and folklife to the Lower Shore, The Ward Foundation will receive $5,000 to support their work.
Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award
The Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award was awarded to Peggy Bradford for her massive community impact, compassion, and generosity that knows no bounds.
Bradford has worked to enhance the quality of life of seniors, caretakers, and family members in our area, along with advocating for animals. She served as Executive Director of MAC Inc. for 37 years and is a board member for the Salisbury Kennel Club.
Bradford helped create the “MAC Loves Pets on Wheels,” a project to provide pet food, health and training tips, and other resources for the home-bound senior pet owner.
An individual of many talents, she has shared her grant writing skills with many organizations and secured funding for the Ocean City Elks Lodge, Meals on Wheels of Worcester and Wicomico Counties, and more than $200,000 for Chesapeake Housing Mission.
Through her years of service, she has impacted the lives of thousands in the community, and her kindness, patience, humility, and willingness to help others is unparalleled.
For her dedication to making her community a better place, Bradford will receive a $1,500 gift to designate to the charity of her choice.
The Chairman’s Award was presented to Jim Thomas.
Thomas has been a CFES board member for 11 years. During this time, he has supported and mentored CFES staff, junior board members, and has served on five CFES committees, including the Executive Committee.
As evident by his additional and concurrent leadership positions on several other organizational boards, he is dedicated to the betterment of the local community.
Thomas is always kind and positive, asks important questions, and brings about effective solutions to community challenges. From helping to serve lunches at a summer youth program, to Chairing the Board of Directors for two years, he has made it his mission to serve alongside the staff, fellow volunteers, and our community partners throughout their tenure.
Thomas is considered the epitome of a servant leader and his years of dedication and service have been invaluable to the Community Foundation.