Dayhoff Westminster

Dayhoff Westminster Address: PO Box 124, Westminster MD 21158 410-259-6403

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Fifteenth annual Philanthropists of the Year scheduled

hoff: Fifteenth annual Philanthropists of the Year scheduled for this coming Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Time flies Column for Sunday, September 27, 2023 by Kevin Dayhoff,

Class Of 2023 Philanthropists of the Year - What Helps You Grow?
The 2023 Philanthropists of the Year Celebration and Awards Program
Wednesday, September 27 5-9 PM (Networking 5-6:45 PM; Program 6:45-8 PM; VIP Reception 8-9 PM)

For more information about the Philanthropists of the Year event or the Community Foundation of Carroll County, go to: or Buy your tickets in advance – or, they will available the night of the event.

Carroll Arts Center 91 E Main St, Westminster, MD 21157

The Community Foundation of Carroll County is celebrating the Class of 2023 Philanthropists of the Year, its 15th class. Join us to celebrate the passion for community, dedication to service, and vision for the future this year's POY honorees possess.

The Class of 2023 POY Award Winners!
Rita's Closet
Action for Kindness
Diane Jones, Children's Chorus of Carroll County
Joe Dominick for Ellsworth Cemetery

Tickets are $40 and include networking, light fare, and a special awards presentation. Join us for the VIP Reception as a sponsor of this year's event.

Sponsorships and Ticket Sales NOW OPEN.

The Philanthropists of the Year Program showcases the wonderful giving spirit of Carroll County, past, present, and future

On Wednesday, September 27, 2023 the Community Foundation of Carroll County will present the fifteenth annual Carroll County Philanthropists of the Year Awards program. The event annually recognizes the winning adults, youth, families, businesses and nonprofits that exemplify the spirit of giving through consistent, generous levels of financial support along with volunteer leadership for community programs and projects.

The Community Foundation is an umbrella organization that facilitates philanthropic activities across Carroll County, The foundation, established in 1994, manages approximately $8 million dollars in endowments, operating funds, scholarships, and programs, for non-profit organizations. The foundation provides the legal and financial underpinnings to more than 320 projects, which are referred to as “Funds.”. The foundation manages the various administrative matters so the “Funds” themselves can concentrate on making a difference in the community.

According to information provided by the Community Foundation spokesperson, Sharon Tillman, the Class of 2023 “What Keeps You Growing” recognizes achievements in four categories: Living Legacy; Rooted in the Community; Rising Star; and the Fund-nominated as BFF.

This year the event will be held at the Carroll Arts Center, located at 91 East Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157 - on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 beginning at 5:00 pm. All proceeds benefit the Community Foundation’s “Audrey Cimino Legacy Fund.”

According to Tom Beyard, vice president and a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation, the Community Foundation will honor four great citizens and organizations from the Carroll County community including: Diane Jones, who will be honored with the “Living Legacy” award for positively impacting the lives of thousands of Carroll County children through music.

“Action for Kindness” will be awarded the “Rising Star” award for promoting the message of kindness through words and art in the community with their “Be Kind” theme.

Rita’s Closet and the Rita Medeiros Scholarship will be given the “Rooted in the Community” award for their work in supporting young women in need who embody Rita’s spirit; and former Westminster Mayor Joe Dominick will be given the “Best Friend Forever” award for his support of the Ellsworth Cemetery project and the committee’s restoration efforts.

Jones is the artistic director emeritus of the Children’s Chorus of Carroll County. According to Tillman, Jones “has positively impacted the lives of thousands of Carroll County children through music, performance and travel. Her legacy lives on through the many alumni, volunteers, and current members of Children’s Chorus…” Jones is an “adjunct faculty at McDaniel College. As artistic director of Children’s Chorus of Carroll County, she established the chorus’ structure…”

The winner of the “Rooted in the Community” award, Rita’s Closet and the Rita Medeiros Scholarship, was established in 2012. Tillman reports that “more than $190,000 has been raised by Rita’s Closet. In 2023 eight - $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Carroll County young women who embody the spirit of Rita Medeiros; one at each Carroll County public high school.

“Even though Rita Medeiros passed away at the young age of 16, her light shines on through Rita’s Closet. Rita had just purchased her prom dress from DeMario Bridal and Formal when she died in a vehicle crash with her dress still in the back of the car. Tamara Medeiros, Rita’s Mother, was so proud of the many lives Rita touched and hoped to continue that with the scholarship fund and Rita’s Closet… Rita’s Closet gives away free dresses to those that can’t afford them and sells gently used gowns at a discounted price to fund the scholarships…”

“Action for Kindness” has earned the “Rising Star” award. Tina Smetana Thomas, and Eric Hyde Mille spearhead the “Infinite Love Project,” which serves as an umbrella organization for “Action for Kindness.” This initiative, based in Westminster, has helped define who we are as a community.

According to Tillman, “Action for Kindness supports individuals, groups, and organizations with funding for activities that share and promote the message of kindness through words and art in the community…” The project’s ubiquitous and omnipresent ‘Be Kind’ signs have become a nameplate for Westminster and Carroll County.

Dominick was nominated by the Ellsworth Cemetery Fund advisory group to be the recipient of the Best Friend Forever. According to the advisory group, “For over two years, Joe has been supportive of the committee’s restoration efforts. Specifically, his company, Gauge Media, donated a logo design and complete website for the cemetery. Because of their work, there is a location to share all the information and research, as well as stories, videos and photos of the restoration…”

Dominck “helped to secure a $1000 ‘Hey Westminster’ grant that was instrumental in securing another grant. The Hey Westminster grant funded and produced a high-quality video about the cemetery and restoration efforts.”

Dominick “suggested applying for annexation to the City of Westminster, highlighting that the annexation would allow Ellsworth Cemetery to join the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. Joe introduced the committee to attorney Kelly Shafer and surveyor Marshall Green for the project who both offered their services pro bono. Joe has been consistently helpful, including as an advisor, and has truly served as this Fund’s Best Friend Forever!”

For more information about the Philanthropists of the Year event or the Community Foundation of Carroll County, go to: or Buy your tickets in advance – or, they will available the night of the event.

+++ Dayhoff Westminster +++

Kevin Dayhoff for Westminster Authority Caroline Babylon, Treasurer.

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