Carroll County saluted its "most beautiful" people yesterday, all volunteers who have given time and talent to their communities, churches, charities, recreation councils and organizations as varied as the 4-H and the American Cancer Society.
Highest honors went to George Woodward, who had received 16 nominations from the staff and clients at Change Inc., an organization that provides support services to disabled adults.
Woodward, 58, donated more than 1,500 hours to Change last year, helping severely disabled people with their most basic needs.
"He walks clients around the building, sets up, serves and cleans up at lunch, works on group exercise and assists everyone calmly and gently," said Catherine Lynn, volunteer program coordinator at Change Inc. "He has blessed Change with his time and talent and a deep respect for these individuals."
Woodward, who lives in Finksburg, was selected from among the 46 honorees to travel to Annapolis next month to represent Carroll at the 17th annual Maryland's Most Beautiful People ceremony.
At yesterday's awards breakfast at the Best Western College Conference Center in Westminster, he walked to the podium with a broad grin and accepted his award to a standing ovation, firm handshakes and hugs.
"Every one of the people who were nominated deserved the award," Woodward said later. "I am fortunate they chose me."
This year's 46 nominations - 20 more than last year - are the most since the county began the awards ceremony.
Jolene Sullivan, director of Carroll's department of citizen services, had solicited nominations from more than 300 organizations and set up a committee that reviewed the good works of all honorees. She gave brief accounts of their deeds.
Reading testimonials of nominators, Sullivan spoke of Tom Berry, a softball coach who also maintains the playing fields and fills in for absent umpires; Kathryn Myers Frock, who has led a 4-H club for 62 of her 86 years; and Tom Canon, Marshall Green, Brian Kasik and James Lay, who have kept a festival for charity going for 25 years.
An audience of nearly 200, including Commissioners Julia Walsh Gouge and Perry L. Jones Jr., heard that volunteers had restored decrepit cemeteries, rescued abandoned animals and cooked meals at soup kitchens and at the county's firehouses.
Woodward said he does not let physical impairments keep him from volunteering with physically, emotionally and mentally challenged adults.
"When you see the people here, your own problems don't amount to much," he said. "I will continue to do this as long as I am able."
Joan Baile, 4-H youth programs; Tom Berry, Charles Carroll Recreation Council; Phyllis Hammond Black, Youth Sports Ministry; Kathleen Bowman, Fairview United Methodist Church; Betty Bradshaw, Taneytown Senior Center; Candy Cole, 4-H; Jerri Cole, Taneytown; Kathryn Myers Frock, 4-H; Linda Galvin, Carroll County General Hospital, Northwest Middle School and Carroll Hospice; Kay Garnish, The Carroll County Women's Fair; Jerry Georgiana, Westminster Recreation Council; Daniel Graf, 2003 Mr. 4-H; Alice Green, Union Memorial Baptist Church and Ellsworth Cemetery; Patti Jo Green, Junion Woman's Club of Westminster; Virginia Grim, Constant Care Assisted Living; and Gaye Grimes, Springfield Hospital Center.
Also, Tina Grogg, Mount Airy Youth Athletic Association; Theodore "Ted" Hartmann, Immanuel Lutheran Church; Theresa Hebron, Strawbridge United Methodist Church; Jacqueline Hering, child literacy advocate; Donna Herring, Carroll County Main Street Committee; Romi Hitaffer, organizer of community cleanups in Southwest Baltimore; George J. Horvath, Historical Society of Carroll County; Roberta Pease Kasik, Westminster Fallfest; Debbie and Jeff Leister, Carroll County Farm Museum; Brentwood Lockard, Shepherd's Staff; Ivan Lufriu, Union Mills Homestead; George Miller, Westminster Senior Center, VFW and American Legion; Anna Motter, Taneytown Spirit Motivation Committee; and George Murphy, Bethesda United Methodist Church and Ellsworth Cemetery.
Also, Marge and Tom Rosso, MidAtlantic Greyhound Adoption League and Pets on Wheels; Deborah Sims, Shalom Inc.; Paul Smith, Westminster United Methodist Church; Bill Tyler, Francis Scott Key High School; Jennifer Warner, 2002 Miss 4-H; Darlene Welsh, Equestrian Council; Tom Canon, Marshall Green, Brian Kasik and, Westminster Fallfest Committee; Eva Whitman, Freedom District Volunteer Fire Co. and Springfield Hospital Center; Wanda Williams, Carroll County Head Start; Vicky Wilmer, Carroll County Project Linus; and George Woodward, Change Inc.