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Evelyn B. Berry, Nancy M.Cook, Clayton G. Washington Jr. and Fannie H. Wright who were among 49 volunteers statewide who were recently inducted into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. They were honored October 27, at a luncheon, along with 49 other honorees statewide. In addition to being inducted in the Hall of Fame, Nancy M. Cook received the organization’s highest award called the GERI Award, for outstanding and extraordinary volunteer service to the community.
Evelyn B. Berry
For over 30 years, Evelyn B. Berry has astounded her neighbors in and around Centreville with the energy she exhibits as she cheerfully serves fellow senior citizens who need a helping hand. At 94, she maintains a healthy life style, walking and swimming daily so that she will have the stamina necessary to continue her vital service to those needy neighbors in Queen Anne’s County.
Evelyn has over the years made her welcome presence felt at not only her church, but at the local nursing home as well. Currently, she is found regularly volunteering at the Telephone Reassurance Program. This often entails conversations with homebound seniors, as she checks on their well-being with a welcome, friendly voice on the line.At a nursing home in Centreville, she has assisted residents with Bingo every week for over 20 years. If someone is too ill to make it to Bingo, Evelyn makes sure she visits them weekly to provide assurance that they have not been forgotten. Her compassionate support of the residents is greatly appreciated by those she aids. A valuable part of that support is keeping the agency informed when she believes someone she calls requires extra assistance.
Ask anyone who is involved in the Queen Anne’s County Area Agency on Aging about their valuable assets, and you will most assuredly hear the name of this delightful lady, Evelyn B. Berry.
Clayton G. Washington Jr.
Clayton G. Washington Jr., a retired bus driver, was an energizing force and advocate during the renovation of the Kennard School. He worked tirelessly for many years raising money and writing grants to fund the project, the first and only African American secondary school in Queen Anne’s County. Clayton currently serves as the President of the Kennard Alumni Association.Since 2006, he has been an active member of the Board for the Maryland Heritage Area Authority’s Stories of the Chesapeake, an organization that funds and publicizes historic places, events and buildings in the four upper shore counties. Clayton was awarded the Community Service Award for preserving African American Heritage.Currently, he serves as Lay Servant and a trustee at Bryan Methodist Church in Grasonville. He has served as Spiritual Director of a retreat ministry for men suffering from alcoholism and addiction for 20 years and leads a weekly group at Baltimore’s “Helping Up Mission.”He is a member of Queen Anne’s County Multicultural Proficiency Committee and is the county’s NAACP Chairperson of the Political Action Committee.Clayton G. Washington Jr. has gained the respect of the community for his tenacity,organizational skills and delightful personality. His ability to bring people together in achieving goals is his exemplary talent.
Nancy M. Cook
Nancy M. Cook is a retired music teacher from Queen Anne’s County. She strove to promote music in schools and the community during her career and continues to do so in retirement. She was the founder of the Eastern Shore Choral Directors Association that each school year presents the All-Shore Choral Festival, the choral Solo/Ensemble Festival and the adjudicated chorus performances on the middle and high school level.
To further her ambassadorship for music, Nancy is a member of the board of directors for the Mid-Shore Symphony which arranges and sponsors performances by the Baltimore Symphony in Queen Anne’s County. She assumes the responsibility for making sure there are programs and ushers for the concerts. In addition, she has organized coffee houses for young people, and hasobtained performers for the Kent Island Day Festival for many years.
She is a member of her local retired teachers association. For about ten years, she was the chair of their scholarship program. This involved notifying the schools of the availability of the scholarships for students who were planning a career in education, and then organizing the candidate selection process. She has directed the Heritage Society scholarship program for many years in much thesame way.
Nancy’s contributions to the Kent Island Heritage Society are extensive. She has served as corresponding secretary, vice president, president, and currently continues as a board member.Under her leadership, the Society led a campaign to encourage the County Commissioners to buy the historic Episcopal Church and Rectory in Stevensville. The efforts were successful and a board was formed that included county employees, members of the community, and members of the Society. Nancy was appointed chair of the board and is still serving in that capacity today.She assists with the work of the Stevensville Arts and Entertainment District. The district had struggled for years to try to become an official state-recognized A&E District. Nancy volunteered to serve as chair of the District, working closely with county and state officials. Nancy M. Cook has proven over the years to be an outstanding, influential, and successful volunteer leader in Queen Anne’s County. She is an individual of rare energy and drive, and is frequently referred to admiringly by local author, Mark Lidinski, in several of his books as “The Energizer Bunny of Kent Island.” It is an accurate reflection of what she is about.
Fannie H. Wright
Fannie H. Wright, a member of the Queen Anne’s Retired Educators Association, keeps very busy volunteering in various community groups.As an active member of the John Wesley United Methodist Church in Carmichael, Fannie leads worship, creates Sunday bulletins and prepares sacraments for Holy Communion.She also sings in the choir and keeps the church hall appropriately decorated throughout the year.Fannie reads to children at local elementary and middle schools. She also serves weekly as a Character Counts Coach at local schools.Visiting nursing home patients each week as well as driving the elderly to their doctor appointments are part of her busy life.On Christmas morning, Fannie volunteers to help the homeless and needy by sorting canned and boxed food, sorting clothes and wrapping gifts.She has served as chaplain at the Chester River Hospital Center and as a member of the Queen Anne’s County Hospice Board of Directors.Fannie H. Wright is totally involved in the community through her church activities, her involvement in schools and the help she provides for the elderly and those in need.