Mid-Shore Community Foundation honored six award recipients and celebrated philanthropic achievements at its Annual Awards Event on December 8th at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland.
“This year’s award recipients have made a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” said Buck Duncan, President of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. “We are honored to recognize and support their important work.”
The Town Watch Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and service in the Mid-Shore Community, was presented to Shavonte “Shay” Lewis-Sisco. Shay is the Community Impact and Engagement Manager at the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center and is involved in many areas of the community, serving as a Board Member for Cambridge Waterfront Development, a career counselor for DCPS, and working with Moving Dorchester Forward.
The J. McKenny Willis, Jr. Award, which recognizes nonprofit organizations for providing outstanding service to the community, was presented to Barbara Parker of The Mainstay and to Dr. James Bell of Mid-Shore Early Learning Center. Barbara serves as the Board President of The Mainstay, a nonprofit live music venue in Rock Hall that is dedicated to the performing arts. James serves as the Board President of Mid-Shore Early Learning Center, a nonprofit childcare center in Easton that provides early childhood care in an inclusive, enriching, and diverse environment.
Three Special Recognition Awards were presented for notable achievements in the Mid-Shore Region. Beth Brewster was recognized for her accomplishments as the driving force at the Chesapeake Culinary Center in Denton, which offers culinary training programs and provides incubator services for small food-based businesses. Krista Pettit, Director of One Mission Cambridge, was recognized for her work in providing resources and assistance to those in need in Dorchester County. Chris Branch and Shawn Tucker, both teachers in the Dorchester County Public Schools, were recognized for their leadership in establishing a Gentlemen’s Club to provide opportunities and activities for young men in Dorchester County.
In addition to the awards, each honoree received a donation to designate to the charity of their choice and forty-one nonprofit organizations received grant checks.
“The work of the Community Foundation is a collaborative effort,” said Duncan. “With your help, in Fiscal Year 2023, we distributed $7.4 million in grants and charitable expenses, including $1.7 million in scholarships to local students.”