More than 100 people virtually joined CFHoCo on December 3 for our Annual Dinner. Together, we celebrated philanthropy in Howard County and honored the work of an outstanding organization and individual in our community. CFHoCo presented The Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference Award to Girls on Fire Mentoring and Leadership Program of Maryland and The Leadership Council Award to Erika Chavarria of Columbia Community Care. Congratulations to the recipients! Learn more about their work below.
Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference Award: Girls on Fire
Girls on Fire Mentoring and Leadership Program of Maryland was established by the Center for Creative Life and Learning in 2015. Their mentoring programs enrich the lives of young girls 8-12 years of age and prepare them to become leaders. Girls in the program build the self-esteem, confidence and talents they need to help them excel while working with a caring mentor. Learn more about their programs here.
The Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference Award recognizes the program of a nonprofit organization in Howard County and includes $3,000 in support. Established in 2000, the award memorializes Carolyn “Casey” Willis, a community activist who lived in Howard County for 26 years, and her husband, Dr. Eugene “Pebble” Willis, an orthopedic surgeon.
The Leadership Council Award: Erika Chavarria
Erika Chavarria, a teacher at Wilde Lake High School, founded Columbia Community Care in March in response to the needs of community members struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. Today, her organization’s members and donors have fed more than 60,000 individuals and provided home food deliveries to over 6,000 households. Learn more about Columbia Community Care: http://columbiacare.live/
The Leadership Council Award recognizes a 25- to 45-year-old who has shown leadership and commitment as a member of a nonprofit board in Howard County and includes $1,000 supporting the recipient’s organization. The Community Foundation’s Leadership Council, comprised of the foundation’s past board chairs, established the award in 2008.
Recognizing our Nominees
While we could only present awards to two recipients, we had an incredible pool of nominees this year. We would like to highlight the work that each organization and individual has done to support our community. Learn more about our nominees below.
Nominees for the Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference Award
- Chase Brexton Health Care—Anticoagulation Clinic
- Community Action Council of Howard County—Howard County Food Bank
- Community Action Council of Howard County—Housing Assistance Program
- Equity4HC—Columbia Community Care
- FIRN—COVID Testing
- Howard County Chinese School
- Humanium—Direct Service Professional (DSP) Apprenticeship program
- Indian Cultural Association—Emergency Food Program
- Junior Achievement of Central Maryland—JA Rising Women
- Kits to Heart—Cancer Care Kits
Nominees for The Leadership Council Award
- Jessica Zuniga—Bridges to Housing Stability
- Matthew Plantz—Howard County Autism Society
- Janseen Evelyn—Howard County Conservancy—
- Afua Boateng—Howard Eco Works
- Bahaa Harraz—Islamic Leadership Institute of America
- Elizabeth Crammond—Leadership Howard County
- Hima Naseem—Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County