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- Scholarship at CTF Receives Funds
- GCPS-Wendell Teets Foundation receives CTF grant
- Associated Charities Receives Donation
- Ruth Enlow Library Receives Donation
- BEWARE OF SCAM
- Community Trust Foundation Names New Director
- CTF and Friends Gift Theatre With System for Hearing Impaired
- Whiskey Rebellion 2018
- Energy Express needs mentors, coordinators
- Virtual trip to space part of STEM Festival
- Community Trust Foundation Receives Scholarship Funds
- Cumberland YMCA Stepping On Program
- 2018 Endow Maryland Tax Credit Now Available!
- 2016 Endow Maryland Tax Credit Now Available!
- IRA Charitable Rollover Becomes Permanent Law
- Recent Grantees - Music at Penn Alps
- Recent Grantees - Garrett Mentors
- 2015 Humanitarian Award
- 2018 Humanitarian Award
- 2014 Humanitarian Award
- 2013 Humanitarian Award
- 2012 Humanitarian Award
- 2011 Humanitarian Award
Scholarship at Community Trust Foundation Receives Funds
Members of the Frank H. Eberly Jr., Memorial Scholarship Committee recently met and presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to the Community Trust Foundation in Cumberland. Potomac Lodge #100 A.F.A.M. and the Community Trust Foundation partner to provide a graduating high school senior in both Garrett and Allegany County with a non-recurring $1,000 scholarship to attend an accredited college of their choice. The committee held a benefit fund raiser in August at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club Pavilion.
The Community Trust Foundation (CTF) is your local community foundation for Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties, connecting donors with community needs to build a stronger, more vibrant region. For more information or to learn how you can support your community through the foundation, please contact CTF at 301-876-9172 or email@example.com.
GCPS – Wendell Teets Foundation receives CTF grant for Northern High School Band
Cynthia Downton, President of the GCPS-Teets Foundation, presents a check for $14,157. from the Community Trust Foundation (CTF) to Em Ness, Drum Major of the Northern Garrett High School band. Funding was made possible through the Naylor Family Trust Fund and will be used to purchase a new trailer with which to transport uniforms and instruments to competitions in Western Maryland, Northern West Virginia, and Southwestern Pennsylvania.
CTF is the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties. CTF uses local philanthropic resources to support local organizations working to build a stronger community in the areas of Arts & Historical Preservation, Education & Youth Leadership, Health & Wellness, Vibrant Communities & Thriving Environment. For more information or to learn how you can support your community through the foundation, please contact CTF at 301-876-9172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associated Charities Receives Donation for their Long Term Prescription Assistance Program
Associated Charities recently received $5,000 for its Long Term Prescription Assistance Program from the Community Trust Foundation (CTF) through the Maryland Physicians Fund. The assistance program provides low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals and families access to long term prescriptions. CTF is the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties. CTF uses local philanthropic resources to support local organizations working to build a stronger community in the areas of Arts & Historical Preservation, Health & Wellness, Vibrant Communities & Thriving Environment, and Education & Youth Leadership.
For more information or to learn how you can support your community through the foundation, please contact CTF at 301-876-9172 or email@example.com.
Caption: (Left to right) Leah Shaffer, CTF Executive Director; Deanna Clark, Associated Charities Executive Director
Ruth Enlow Library Receives Donation to Its Early Literacy Program
The Ruth Enlow Library recently received a donation to its Early Literacy program from the Community Trust Foundation (CTF) through the Crimson Shamrock Literacy Fund. CTF is the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett, and Mineral Counties. It uses local philanthropic resources to support local organizations working to build a stronger community in the areas of Arts and Historical Preservation, Health and Wellness, Vibrant Communities and Thriving Environment, and Education and Youth Leadership.
Over the past year, the Ruth Enlow Library has added early literacy backpacks to its circulating collection as part of the library’s family engagement initiative. Funding for the initial backpacks came from the Family Engagement Grant received from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood Development (DECD), with a goal of improving young children’s school readiness. The backpacks contain books and activities for a specific theme, such as Dinosaurs, Cooking, Princesses, Music, and more, and are available for checkout at all five library branches. “Many families have enjoyed these backpacks,” noted Children’s Specialist Julie Iden, “and we are pleased that we will be able to provide additional backpacks with the donation from CTF.”
For more information or to learn how to support the community through CTF, contact the foundation at 301-876-9172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEWARE OF SCAM
Here at Community Trust Foundation we are having an influx of Facebook messages and voicemails regarding a current scam that is affecting honest, innocent and good-hearted people. If you have been contacted by someone claiming to work with “Trust Community Foundation” and was asked to send a sum of money in exchange for a larger sum of money, (a grant for living expenses or some such reason), this is a scam. We are infuriated by the damage these individuals have caused both to us at Community Trust Foundation and to the numerous innocent individuals they have scammed. The authorities are well aware of it. The following is information sent to us by one of the victims of this scam from an online Fraud Expert:
“I’m sorry to hear that you fell for the Facebook impostor scam. You dealt with hackers who got into your friend’s Facebook account, set up a clone profile and then reached out to all of your friend’s Facebook contact to say, “I got my grant. Here’s how you can get yours.” We deal a lot with this scam, unfortunately.
This is some kind of money laundering operation, which is why your bank shut your account down to prevent further issues. It’s run from outside of the country, whether really from New Zealand or not, who can really say. The Foundation is not going to be real. The people in the US you sent money to are likely real, on the other hand. They may be actively colluding with the scammer, or they may be innocent scam victims much like yourself. But it gives the authorities a place to start. Contact the FBI online at their Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov There they work with Interpol and many other cooperating agencies worldwide. The information the FBI amasses on that site gets disseminated all over the globe to help stop these frauds.
Beyond reporting the fraud to Facebook, to the police, to the FBI, to the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov, most of what’s left to do is in the nature of warning others.
Note that when you’re the victim of a crime, your unreimbursed losses due to that crime are tax deductible. So even if the authorities do nothing for you, you can get something back by way of a deduction when you file your taxes for the 2018 tax year.”
We continue to do our best to inform our local community as well as our electronic/social media community of this scam. Please be cautious and investigate any offer of “free money” or grant in exchange for money upfront or access to your personal or financial information.
Community Trust Foundation serves the Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland and Mineral County in West Virginia. We provide help to non profit organizations in our local region.
Community Trust Foundation Names New Director
The CTF Board is proud to announce Leah Shaffer as its Foundation Director. Leah’s background uniquely positions her to advance CTF’s strategic mission in helping to build a more vibrant region. Her strong leadership skills, combined with her successful experience in small business ownership, non-profit work, and grant management has prepared Leah to advance the foundation’s effectiveness. As a lifelong resident of the region and working with organizations within the tri- county area, she shares CTF’s mission of impacting the community in positive ways through collective efforts with the focus of long term sustainable change and development.
Leah states “I’m eager to join CTF in this capacity as it provides vital human services and cultural enrichment to our region. The foundation plays an important role in bridging the gap between generous donors and deserving nonprofits by supporting their contributions to this area’s quality of life. I’m excited to expand our presence and increase awareness of our organization’s services and our donors’ valuable contributions.”
Community Foundations have been operating throughout the U.S. for over 100 years and are important contributors to the economic vitality and quality of life in the communities they serve. The Community Trust Foundation uses local resources, talent and ideas to improve the quality of life in Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties. For more information about CTF visit www.ctfinc.org.
The board looks forward to working with Leah, our community organizations and our generous donors who care for our region’s future in building strong vibrant communities. FOR GOOD – FOREVER.
CTF and Friends Gift Theatre With System For Hearing Impaired
Thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Jana Brown of Allegany Hearing and Balance Center and Community Trust Foundation’s Halmos Endowed Community Fund, a state-of-the-art induction loop hearing system has been installed in the Cumberland Theatre. Audience members with cochlear implants or telecoil-equipped hearing aids are now able to fully enjoy the show without straining to hear, or missing entirely the soft sounds that bring depth to many performances. An induction loop system turns every telecoil-equipped hearing aid and cochlear implant into a personalized listening device connected directly to the theatre’s sound system. The benefits of this system are not limited to only those with these devices; however, the loop system also works with a handheld receiver and headphone system which can be worn by anyone attending the theatre. These handheld systems can be requested free of charge at the theatre’s box office. “We want the entire community, including those that are deaf and hard of hearing, to be able to fully enjoy the theatre and the joy that the arts can bring into one’s life,” said Dr. Brown.
CTF’s Director, Leah Shaffer shared “Our community is extremely fortunate to have the generosity of both Dr. Brown and Dr. Halmos, their benevolence has opened up a whole new world for the hearing impaired to enjoy the magic of theatrical performances right here in Cumberland.” The Cumberland Theatre is Western Maryland’s only professional theatre and offers musicals, plays and other programming throughout the year.
The Community Trust Foundation (CTF) is the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties. CTF uses local philanthropic resources to support local organizations working to build a stronger community in the areas of Arts & Historical Preservation, Health & Wellness, Vibrant Communities & Thriving Environment, and Education & Youth Leadership. For more information or to learn how you can support your community through the Community Trust Foundation, please contact the Foundation at 301-876-9172 or email@example.com.
To find out more about t-coil hearing aids or to optimize your own t-coil hearing aid contact Allegany Hearing & Balance Center at 301-729-1635.
Community Trust Foundation Brings You the George Washington’s Whiskey Rebellion Fest
The Fest is the opening salvo of the George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Celebration weekend, June 8-10
A grand celebration of the heritage of George Washington in Cumberland, ‘Mountain Maryland’
- Tastings of whiskey and other spirits from national and regional distillers
- Souvenir whiskey glass
- Beer and wine
- Historical reenactors
- Live music
- Gastropub appetizers
- Photos with George Washington
- Colonial ‘pub’ room providing authentic colonial games
- Cigar discussion & tent
- Exhibition of historic whiskey bottles, jugs, and ephemera
- Sober Rides will be available
- BOOK TODAY TO SECURE THE ADVANCE BOOKING PRICE OF $50 PER TICKET.
- TICKETS PURCHASED AT THE DOOR COST $75
Energy Express needs mentors, coordinators
For the Cumberland Times-News
Mar 15, 2018
KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Energy Express program will begin one week later for the children, starting June 25 and ending July 27.
“We will offer a five-week program, Monday through Friday this year, with sites serving both the Keyser and Frankfort areas,” said Margaret Miltenberger, 4-H extension agent with the West Virginia University Extension Service. “Applications will be available through Mineral County Schools in mid-April.”
Energy Express is an AmeriCorps summer reading program promoting the school success of West Virginia children who live in rural and low-income communities. Children are immersed in a literacy-rich environment with plenty of opportunities to practice reading and writing. Art, drama, singing and recreation round out the positive and fun learning experience.
“Energy Express is a special and safe place for children to be during the summer,” said Miltenberger. “The small groups create team spirit and time to encourage the individual child.” Children receive family-style breakfast and lunch each day.
AmeriCorps members to serve as mentors or community volunteer coordinators are needed. The program will begin for AmeriCorps members June 7. To request an application, visit www.energyexpress.wvu.eduand click on “employment opportunities” or call the Energy Express state office at 304-293-3855 or the WVU Mineral County Extension Service at 304-788-3621.
The selection process will begin March 26. Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.
Virtual trip to space part of STEM Festival
For the Cumberland Times-News
March 15, 2018
KEYSER, W.Va. — A new space lab experience will be part of the STEM Festival on March 24 from noon to 4 p.m. The Mineral County STEM Network will host the sixth annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Festival for area students and parents on the West Virginia University Potomac State College campus.
Phil Malone guides youth in a virtual farm tour with Google Expedition at the Maryland STEM Festival, held at the Ruth Enlow libraries in Garrett County. The University of Maryland Extension Garrett County 4-H Tech Wizards will present an Out of this World: Space Lab during the STEM Festival to be held March 24 at Potomac State College.
CTF Receives Scholarship Funds
Members of Potomac Lodge #100 A.F.A.M. recently presented Community Trust Foundation with a check for $13,000 in support of the Frank H. Eberly Jr., Memorial Scholarship Committee. The committee held a benefit fund raiser last year at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club Pavilion. The Lodge and Community Trust Foundation partner to provide a graduating high school senior in both Garrett and Allegany County with a non-recurring $1,000 scholarship to attend an accredited college of the student’s choice.
The Community Trust Foundation (CTF), serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral counties, is an organization committed to building stronger, more vibrant communities by working in partnership with donors to affect community needs within the local region. For more information, contact Foundation Director Leah Shaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-876-9172.
Cumberland YMCA Stepping On Program
The Community Trust Foundation, through the Leonard Authentic Leadership and Integrative Health and Wellness Fund, recently awarded a grant to the Cumberland YMCA for the Stepping On Program, A Falls Prevention Program. Foundation Director, Leah Shaffer said “CTF is proud to be a part of helping aging adults in our community remain safe, healthy and independent. Programs like this fulfill both the donors’ and the foundation’s desire to positively affect the health and well-being of the residents in our region.”
The Community Trust Foundation (CTF) is the community foundation serving Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties. CTF uses local philanthropic resources to support local organizations working to build a stronger, vibrant community. For more information or to learn how you can support your community through the Community Trust Foundation, please contact the Foundation at 301-876-9172 or email@example.com.
CTF PLEASED TO AGAIN OFFER ENDOW MARYLAND TAX CREDITS
YOUR GIFT MAY QUALIFY FOR A TAX CREDIT ON YOUR 2018 MARYLAND TAX RETURN
The “Endow Maryland” tax credit rewards donors who help build permanent charitable funds for local communities across the state – and right here in Allegany and Garrett counties. Authorized by the State Legislature for the 2018 tax year, Endow Maryland offers a 25% state tax credit for gifts of at least $500.
The Community Trust Foundation is offering the tax credits to donors who support any of the Community Trust Foundation’s Endowed Funds, including The Health Care Endowed Fund and the Leonard Culture of Wellness Endowed Fund. Last year, CTF received over $63,000 in contributions through the Endow Maryland program. Contributions must be made by June 15, 2018.
For more information contact Leah Shaffer, Foundation Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 301-876-9172.
CTF AWARDED TAX CREDITS THROUGH ENDOW MARYLAND
YOUR GIFT MAY QUALIFY FOR A TAX CREDIT ON YOUR 2016 MARYLAND TAX RETURN
The “Endow Maryland” tax credit rewards donors who help build permanent charitable funds for local communities across the state – and right here in Allegany and Garrett counties. Authorized by the State Legislature for the 2016 tax year, Endow Maryland offers a 25% state tax credit for gifts of at least $500.
The Community Trust Foundation is offering the tax credits to donors who support any of the Community Trust Foundation’s Endowed Funds, including The Health Care Endowed Fund and the Leonard Culture of Wellness Endowed Fund.
For more information contact Sandi Rowland, Foundation Director at email@example.com or by phone at 301-876-9172.
IRA CHARITABLE ROLLOVER BECOMES PERMANENT LAW
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 permitted individuals to roll over up to $100,000 per taxable year from an IRA directly to a qualifying charity (such as the Community Trust Foundation, or one of CTF’s funds) without being taxed. In December 2015, Congress passed the PATH Act, making this charitable giving opportunity permanent. Single and married individuals 70½ and older are eligible to give in this way from their individual retirement accounts.
Because the distribution goes directly to a qualified charity, the amount will not be counted as income and will not be subject to income tax. Please consult your professional advisor or call the CTF office at 301-876-9172 for more information.
Note: Donations cannot be made to one’s own donor advised fund.
CTF Foundation Director and CTF Board Member and Grants Committee Chair, Vic Rezendes present a $25,000 grant to Music at Penn Alps to Jean Miller and Sean Beachy from Penn Alps. The Community Trust Foundation awarded the grant, from the Naylor Family Trust Fund, for the Private Lessons Scholarship program. Music at Penn Alps has provided Western Maryland with outstanding music programs for the past twenty-two years. The Music at Penn Alps Private Lesson Scholarship program aims to help those who normally could not afford private music lessons. The goal of the lessons is to help students develop musical proficiency and experience, increase their interest in the arts, and help the students establish a basis for all types of music. The Penn Alps music program has grown from 22 to 47 participants in the last two and a half years.
CTF Board Member and Grants Committee Chair, Vic Rezendes presents a $20,000 grant to Garrett Mentors Inc. Executive Director Laura Fike.
The Community Trust Foundation recently awarded Garrett Mentors Inc. with a $20,000 grant. The grant was funded by the Naylor Fund established with CTF. Garrett Mentors Inc. helps children in kindergarten through 5th grade by matching a child in need with a caring adult who meets with him or her weekly. Mentors acts as friends, a good listeners, and a providers of stability to those children in need.
CTF Honors Jane and Carl “Buck” Belt, Jr.
The Community Trust Foundation (CTF) Board of Trustees honored Jane and Carl “Buck” Belt, Jr. as recipients of the 2015 Humanitarian Leadership Award. The dynamic wife and husband team of Jane & “Buck” were recognized for their professional and philanthropic leadership on September 10, 2015 at the Wisp Resort.
CTF Vice President, Marion Leonard noted prior to the event, “We look forward to celebrating Buck and Jane’s accomplishments and showing our appreciation to them for making a positive difference in people’s lives and our community. They have demonstrated active compassion and understand the true art of giving without seeking personal gain.”
Buck and Jane met while they were both students at Virginia Tech. After they married, Buck brought Jane back to his home town, where they settled and raised their family while building their businesses and integrating into the community.
Carl “Buck” Belt has served the community in a number of ways including: President of the Cumberland Rotary, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, Potomac Council BSA, Frostburg State University Foundation, Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation and three consecutive years as Allegany County United Way Campaign Chair. An Elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Cumberland, Buck led the annual Stewardship Campaign for thirty years.
Jane Belt has also served the community as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Allegany College of Maryland, as a Member of the Local Advisory Council for Career & Technology Education of the Allegany Board of Education, and as a member of the Board of Trustees at Frostburg State University from 1976 thru 1986. She is an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland.
In 1994, Buck suggested buying an asphalt plant and trucking company for Jane to operate assuring her that “you will only have to open the mail and sign checks”. However, for those who know Jane, that isn’t her style. Seizing the opportunity, Jane took the reins of her company, Quarry Ridge Asphalt, learning everything about the business while creating a company that cares for and invests in its employees.
Buck and Jane reside in Cumberland near their beloved children and grandchildren; Eleanor, Dave, Quinn and Griffin Madden, and Meredith, Jeremy, Bryson and Brennan Irons.
The Community Trust Foundation was established in 2006 by the late Robert Ebert and a small group of business and civic leaders who believed that philanthropic leadership and resources could help meet community needs and build a stronger more vital region. Their vision is now being realized. Since 2009, CFT has provided over $4 million to Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties and has supported education and youth leadership programs, honored our rich cultural heritage, helped build a stronger arts community, enhanced health and wellness programs and preserved our beautiful environment.
BURKEYS TO BE HONORED AS 2018 HUMANITARIANS OF THE YEAR
Marion Leonard, Chair of the Community Trust Foundation, and Leah Shaffer, Foundation Director, recently announced that John and Kathy Burkey have been selected as the 2018 Humanitarians of the Year. They will be formally honored at the upcoming Community Trust Foundation Signature Event on September 19, 2018.
Kathy, a self-employed CPA, has a long record of service to the community, notably her decade of service as Chair of the Western Maryland health System. She also serves as a member of the Boards Allegany County League for Crippled Children, Crossroads Venture Center, Associated Catholic Charities, FSU Charity Ball, and the St. John Neuman School. She was previously the Chair of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of First United Corporation, and the board of its subsidiary, First United Bank & Trust.
She has lent her expertise to the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the FSU College of Business Advisory Board, the Western Maryland Economic Development Strategies Group, and the Judicial Nominations Committee.
John is a lifelong resident of the area, and serves as the President of Burkey’s Furniture & Carpeting, a local business with over seven decades of service to the Cumberland area. Relentless in his desire to serve his community, John is a member of both the LaVale Lions Club and Rotary. He is one of the very few in the state to be a recipient of the top honor of both international clubs, receiving the Lions Club Melvin Jones Award in 2004, and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2005. He was recognized that same year as One of Allegany County’s Most Beautiful People. He and Kathy were jointly recognized as the Chamber of Commerce Individuals of the Year in 2008. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA.
The Community Trust Foundation is a way for local donors to give back to their communities. It was established in 2006 through the efforts of The Greater Cumberland Committee and the inspirational leadership of the late Robert Ebert. CTF has provided over $4.5 million to Allegany, Garrett and Mineral Counties for the support of education, youth leadership, the performing arts, literacy, wellness and preservation. More about CTF can be learned at www.ctfinc.org.
The Signature Event, honoring the Burkey’s, will be held at the Lane Center on the Campus of Frostburg State University, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, beginning at 6:00pm. Tickets, table sponsorship and further information can be obtained by calling 301-876-9172.
CTF Honors Olen Beitzel
The Community Trust Foundation honored Olen Beitzel at its annual Signature Event on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at the Wisp Resort. The evening also highlighted some of the philanthropic activities of CTF and its impact on the grant recipients from our region.
“We look forward to celebrating the contributions of Olen Beitzel to his community and the region,” said CTF Vice-President Marion Leonard, prior to the event. “His dedication to improving the quality of life through his volunteerism and entrepreneurism makes him the perfect recipient of this honor.”
Mr. Beitzel is a fourth generation Garrett Countian and represents the true pioneering spirit of Western Maryland. He and his father formed Beitzel Welding near Bittinger in 1974, which was incorporated in 1978 as Beitzel Welding and Construction and then as Beitzel Corporation in 1988. The company has expanded from a service company in the coal industry to engineering, design, fabrication, machining, construction and repair in coal processing and power plants, paper mills, waste water treatment facilities as well as site development projects in the gas industry.
Mr. Beitzel was recently honored by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot with the black and gold medallion as a Marylander Making a Difference at a meeting of The Greater Cumberland Committee. Mr. Beitzel is a longtime corporate council and executive committee member of TGCC.
The Community Trust Foundation was established in 2006 by the late Robert Ebert and a small group of business and civic leaders who shared his interest in building local philanthropic resources. From 2009 through today CFT has provided over $4 million in private resources to address community needs in Allegany, Garrett, and Mineral Counties.
CTF is committed to building more vibrant communities by working in partnership with donors and organizations to address community issues. A range of options is available to meet the specific needs of donors. To learn more about CTF and how to establish or donate to a charitable fund, contact CTF at 301-876-9172 or www.ctfinc.org.
Former recipients of the Humanitarian Award include Dr. Peter Halmos, Dr. Harry Boggs, and Dr. Nick and Shirley Giarritta.
CTF Honors Dr. Nicholas and Shirley Giarritta
Described as “generous beyond words” and offering a “genuine love for this community,” Dr. Nicholas “Nick” Giarritta and his wife, Shirley, were honored as the Community Trust Foundation’s 2013 Humanitarian Award recipients on November 7, 2013.
When Dr. Nick Giarritta moved to Cumberland from Brooklyn, NY in 1962 and accepted a position as the head of Pathology with Sacred Heart Hospital on Decatur Street, he did so thinking it was a short arrangement. During that time, he helped design the pathology lab for the soon to be new Sacred Heart Hospital and began to put down roots; that was 51 years ago. Claiming to have been drawn to Cumberland’s cordial neighbors and the hospital’s need for a talented Pathologist, Dr. Nick found the backdrop of a river and Cumberland’s signature church steeples to be reminiscent of Zurich, Switzerland. When asked why he stayed, he offers with a grin, “What can I say?! I love this town.”
Enter Shirley Walker – a Chicago native, interior designer, and lover of arts, they met in 1962 through a mutual friend and Nick still proclaims Shirley to be “the first woman I danced with when I came to Cumberland.” Nick became a friend of the family from that point and after nearly two decades, they had their first official date and married in 1981.
“The smartest thing I ever did was to marry Nick Giarritta, who vehemently shared my passion for creating, encouraging and collecting art. He is my Renaissance Man,” Shirley reflected.
Sharing a love for community and an enthusiasm for all cultural elements, Shirley has the distinct honor of being a founding member of the Cumberland Theatre and Nick, a founding member of the Allegany Arts Council. The arts have always been important to them, as displayed by Nick’s generous donation to provide artwork to the patient rooms and offices at the former Sacred Heart Hospital. Through the years, together, they have contributed countless hours and funding to supporting both venues and today, each is thriving and well-known throughout the region and the state.
Don Whisted of the Cumberland Theatre puts their commitment into perspective. “Nick and Shirley Giarritta have been among the strongest advocates for the arts in all of its glorious forms, but especially through their kindness and generosity in establishing and supporting the Cumberland Theatre. It is safe to say that without the Giarrittas, the Cumberland Theatre would have faded away years ago.”
This sentiment is supported by Andy Vick of the Allegany Arts Council.
“Nick and Shirley Giarritta have been champions of the arts here in Western Maryland for many years. From Nick’s involvement as a founding member of the Allegany Arts Council, to Shirley’s past service as a Board member for the Maryland State Arts Council, to their ongoing involvement with the Cumberland Theatre and the Cumberland Cultural Foundation, they both have helped to make Allegany County ‘A Community Alive with the Arts!’”
But there’s more. Shirley is active in One Tree Productions, the Rotary Club of Cumberland, and the Allegany Arts Council. Nick meets her commitment at every level having served on the Downtown Development Commission, at a time when he and Shirley renovated and design upper story living before it was cool, and both received countless awards, honors and recognitions.
These include a few special honors by Cumberland’s Mayor and City Council – Nick was honored with an “Outstanding Citizen Award” and they named the green space across from City Hall at Frederick/Centre Streets “Nick Giarritta Park” because of his commitment to planting trees and shrubberies with only one goal in mind – to beautify the downtown area. Similarly, the Cumberland Theatre Board of Trustees offered a self-proclaimed designation of “The Nick and Shirley Giarritta Playhouse”.
Upon learning that the Giarritta’s would be honored, the 2011 CTF Humanitarian, Dr. Peter Halmos, couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. “I can’t think of two people who are more deserving of this honor.”
Dr. Harry Boggs Honored at Ceremony
On Thursday, November 1, 2012, the Community Trust Foundation, Inc., along with family and friends, honored the late Dr. Harry Boggs with the 2012 Humanitarian of the Year award. The evening was enjoyed by all as guests feasted on a delicious meal, socialized with the Boggs’ and reflected on the life and work of a man who made a positive difference for our region.
Dr. Peter Halmos is inaugural Honoree
The Community Trust Foundation’s signature event, the CTF Humanitarian of the Year award dinner, was initiated in 2011 with Dr. Peter Halmos as our inaugural honoree.
Dr. Peter Halmos, the founding President of CTF, and a visionary philanthropic leader, received the award for his ethic of kindness, benevolence and active compassion and his personal and professional accomplishments, which are consistent with the goals of the Foundation.
This very special evening was held at Frostburg State University and brought the community together to celebrate the life, family and contributions to society of a generous humanitarian.