Fuel Fund honors its energetic workers

Volunteers/Where good neighbors get together

June 16, 1992|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Staff Writer

Volunteers will be honored Thursday evening by the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland (FFCM) at its annual meeting and dinner.

The recognition is for the service volunteers give to FFCM, which provides financial help to low-income households for heat and other basic needs. FFCM is the umbrella organization of affiliates in Baltimore City and in Baltimore, Harford, Carroll, Anne Arundel and Howard counties.

Ellen Lockard, FFCM executive director, explains that ''in a low-income household when the utility is being cut off or the oil tank is empty, the fuel fund will help. Also, the client has a responsibility,'' she says.

Typically, Ms. Lockard notes, if the utilities are being cut off or the oil tank is empty, the Fuel Fund will match one-third of the bill, the client pays a third and Baltimore Gas & Electric pays the remaining third.

"If it is for oil, some oil companies will match one-third, and if not, we will, as long as funds are available,'' she adds.

Funding for FFCM comes from private and corporate donations and from annual fund-raisers sponsored by businesses and corporations such as the annual Paddle for People, in which competitions are held on paddle boats at the Inner Harbor. That event raises more than $50,000 each year.

The annual dinner meeting Thursday at Martin's West raises about $25,000 and is attended by some 500 friends, donors and supporters.

The Victorine Q. Adams Humanitarian Award, named for the former Councilwoman who founded the Baltimore Fuel Fund, will be presented. Also, eight out standing volunteer awards will be presented to those chosen by the affiliates they serve.

Walter Sondheim Jr., who has given his time, concern, wisdom and executive ability to Baltimore City for more than 60 years, will receive the 1992 humanitarian award.

Mr. Sondheim has been adviser, chairman and founder of numerous renewal and revitalization projects for Baltimore. He is currently adviser to the Greater Baltimore Committee and is serving on the mayor's ''20-year Strategy for Downtown Baltimore.''

The eight volunteers who will receive the outstanding volunteer awards serve in their communities in many ways, including volunteering to the Fuel Fund. They are as follows:

* Mattie Harris, who has served the Anne Arundel County Fuel Fund since 1979 and has been president and is now a board member.

* Karen K. Blandford of Carroll county is president of the Board of Directors of the Human Services Programs of Carroll County, which oversees the county's Fuel Fund, and is an active advocate on behalf of low-income households.

* Myrtle Christmas is on the Harford County Fuel Fund board. Since 1960, she has been an active volunteer for several causes, particularly the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation.

* Linda and George Cooper, on the Baltimore City Fuel Fund board since 1985, are owners of the Blue Ridge Fuel Company and have donated thousands of gallons of oil to the Fuel Fund.

* Helen and Robert Y. Dubel, Baltimore county. The retiring superintendent of Baltimore County schools and his wife, a retired caterer and real estate executive, are fund-raisers and also participants in the Paddle for People event.

* James E. Henson Sr., Howard County fuel fund volunteer, is assistant county solicitor and active in civic affairs.

Hundreds of volunteers are needed for the annual FFCM fund-raisers as well as throughout the year in each affiliate as officer workers, letter writers, envelope stuffers and more.

Those who want to help can call Ellen Lockard at the central FFCM office (343 N. Charles St.) at 547-7157 for information and referral to area offices.

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