J.C. Penney gives 21 awards of $1,000 to people, charities 'Golden Rule' contest honors Md. volunteers who help others in need

April 17, 1997|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF

Harlow Fullwood Jr. once skidded from the honor roll to almost flunking out of Virginia Union University in Richmond because, he says, "I didn't take studies seriously." He got a second chance.

President John Henderson revived his revoked scholarship and told him: "If you leave, you'll dig ditches and wash dishes. You can be a lot more than that."

Fullwood graduated, became a decorated Baltimore police officer, opened fried chicken franchises and, with his wife, Elnora, began a foundation that gives scholarships and grants. Yesterday, Fullwood Foundation Inc. was one of 21 Maryland people and charities receiving $1,000 awards in the annual J.C. Penney Golden Rule Volunteer contest.

"Caring and sharing are things people need to do in the community," said Fullwood, 55, of Catonsville. "I don't forget I was helped along the way by people like Dr. Henderson. The difference between me and the guy in the penitentiary is I got good advice."

The Fullwoods are best known for their annual benefit breakfast, which attracted more than 2,000 people to Martin's West in January. Guests included 10 area students, each given $50,000 scholarships by Virginia Union, and other students who received smaller grants from the Fullwood Foundation.

Fullwood said his charity, supported by corporate and private donors, has awarded several hundred thousand dollars to about 60 nonprofit groups such as Associated Black Charities and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

It will conduct essay and other academic competitions to honor students Nov. 18 in 28 schools in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Calvin W. Burnett, president of Coppin State College, said he was "very appreciative" of the Fullwoods' grants to Coppin, totaling at least $75,000 over several years. But their many grants have enriched the community, Burnett said.

"A rising tide lifts all boats," he said. "They've helped all of us. Given their resources, the Fullwoods rank with any benefactors in Baltimore."

During National Volunteer Week, Penney also honored 35 other nonprofit groups with $250 grants.

The presentation of the awards yesterday at Martin's West was organized for the last time by William Ceglia, awards chairman for all 14 years of the program and a Penney store manager at Security Square Mall.

"It is reassuring to know there are still people who will extend a hand to those in need, no matter how harsh, strident and fast-paced times have become," Ceglia said.

Here are the 20 other winners whose charities received $1,000, listed by the location of their good works:

Baltimore City: Joseph Field, 85, of Columbia for 70 continuous years as a volunteer at the Maryland Academy of Science, now the Maryland Science Center, also named a governor's volunteer of the year; Umoja Children Inc. in Baltimore for setting up a youth-run greeting card company to help nonprofit groups raise money.

Baltimore County: The Turners Station Ladies, ages 62 to 80, for helping the nonprofit Community Assistance Network in Dundalk distribute food and clothing; Baltimore County Police Auxiliary Unit for aid since 1955 to the department, including the writing of 26,096 parking tickets by disabled members in the past four years.

Anne Arundel County: Erika Swenson, 17, of Baltimore for work with Pets on Wheels in the county, also recognized by the Governor's Office on Volunteerism; Theresa Yates of Odenton for founding the Odenton Elementary School's Business Cooperative; Deneice F. Fisher of Annapolis, founder of the Planning Action Committees of Anne Arundel County, supporting local community groups that try to prevent youth drug and alcohol use and youth violence.

Carroll County: Amanda Boyd, 18, of Westminster for work as a teen leader in the 4-H program.

Harford County: The Highland School Steering Committee for setting up a school in Street for children with learning disabilities.

Frederick County: Ray Wahl, 87, of Frederick for his work with the Society of St. Andrew's "Potato Project." He makes crosses to sell to churches with receipts going to a food program for the needy.

Washington County: Travis George Crowder, 18, of Hancock for helping at Fort Frederick State Park; and Title I Reading Tutors of Hagerstown for establishing a reading program at Eastern Elementary School in Hagerstown.

Montgomery County: Paul Chite, 17, of Olney for his work with terminally ill children at the Carol Jean Cancer Foundation in Silver Spring; Josue Alvarez Carmona of Silver Spring, a quadriplegic since an automobile accident, for providing administrative support for psychiatric rehabilitation at St. Luke's House Inc. in North Bethesda; Willa Freis, 85, of Washington for assisting The Shepherd's Table Inc. soup kitchens and clothes closet in Silver Spring; Howard Lawson of Silver Spring, a retired psychologist, for designing programs to reduce stress in the county Police Department.

Prince George's County: Martha Miller and Roslyn Kristina Miller, 18, both of Upper Marlboro (not related), for their work at Patuxent Elementary School in Upper Marlboro.

Charles County: Diane Marie Squires, 17, of White Plains for helping Dr. James Craik Elementary School in Pomfret.

St. Mary's County: Hilda Olson of Piney Point for helping St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary in Leonardtown for more than 30 years.

Pub Date: 4/17/97

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