December 3, 2023
Annapolis, US 51 F

Awardees announced for Community Foundation’s 17th Annual Celebration of Philanthropy

The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Celebration of Philanthropy Awards. This year’s awardees are: Philanthropists of the Year, Jane Campbell Chambliss and Peter Chambliss; Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, Buck Distributing Company, Inc.; Volunteers of the Year, Karen Feldman and Helena Hunter; and Young Volunteer of the Year, Jason Cherry. For the second year, CFAAC is pleased to honor the Volunteer and Youth Volunteer in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center. A committee of past Celebration of Philanthropy Award winners selects the award recipients.

The awards will be presented at the 17th annual Celebration of Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Friday, November 10, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Baltimore Airport (BWI) Marriott Hotel. Each year nearly 400 guests gather to honor extraordinary philanthropists and volunteers in Anne Arundel County. Sponsorships are available. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at

Philanthropists of the Year, Jane Campbell Chambliss and Peter Chambliss, have been deeply involved as community leaders and volunteers for many years. They support numerous organizations, such as Anne Arundel County Public Library, Historic Annapolis, and The Salvation Army of Central Maryland. Their generosity includes enhancing the interiors and upgrading technology in all 15 county library branches, the donation and renovation of the historic Sands House to Historic Annapolis, and support for the construction of The Salvation Army chapel.

Jane and Peter have emerged as outstanding leaders in the Anne Arundel County philanthropic community. Anne Glenn, executive director for the Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation (AACPL) says, “Their leadership support of educational, historic preservation, and social service organizations is making truly innovative and exciting opportunities for thousands in our county. Their generous gifts, made through careful consideration and deep understanding of the county’s heritage are an outstanding example to other donors of the tremendous good made possible by philanthropy.” AACPL nominated the Chamblisses for the award.

Anne Arundel Medical Center nominated Buck Distributing Company, Inc., a malt beverage and related products distributor headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Maryland for Corporate Philanthropist of the Year for its leadership and support of nonprofits in Anne Arundel County.  Jan Wood, president of Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation, describes Elizabeth “Betty” Buck, president of Buck Distributing, as a “true community partner who leads by example.” The business has been generously supporting local nonprofits for more than 70 years. Betty says, “I grew up with a dad who always gave back to his community. He felt that when you make your living in a community, you should be giving back to it.”

Buck Distributing Company, Inc. donates tens of thousands of dollars every year to Anne Arundel County nonprofits, as well as thousands of dollars’ worth of in-kind donations for special events supporting healthcare, the environment, education and the arts.  The company’s leadership team encourages their employees to take part in community activities, recognizes their social obligation to be a responsible distributor and marketer of malt beverage products, and pledges to support community and youth-orientated alcohol awareness and education efforts. Their employees donate time and talent to more than 90 nonprofit organizations.

Volunteers of the Year, Karen Feldman and Helena Hunter were jointly nominated for their service to Seeds 4 Success (S4S) and their many other volunteer contributions to Anne Arundel County. Together Karen and Helena founded S4S, an organization that provides tutoring, mentoring and educational opportunities for disadvantaged children and their families living in Annapolis public housing.

Since founding the organization, Karen and Helena have served in countless roles, including serving as board leaders, fundraisers, mentors, tutors, and program facilitators. In addition to organization management, both are deeply involved in the daily hands-on activities with the children that S4S supports. Both have been involved with numerous other organizations including the Anne Arundel Literacy Council, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Annapolis Housing Authority, Greenscape, Eastport Civic Association, and the Annapolis Education Commission.

“Seeds 4 Success was created in response to concerns about crime in the two public housing properties in Eastport. Several women, led by Karen and Helena, grew concerned about the well-being and safety of the children living in public housing. Trudy McFall, chairman, Homes for America says, “While the barriers seemed unsurmountable, these women persisted tirelessly. They developed expertise, reached out to similar successful programs and then they took direct action to help. That is the true spirit of the very best of volunteerism!” Homes for America nominated both Karen and Helena for the award.

The Young Volunteer Award recognizes outstanding leadership and service in the community from a person 21 years of age or younger with a significant record of volunteerism. This year’s Young Volunteer, Jason Cherry, founded Siblings of Autism, an organization located in Annapolis whose mission is to support siblings of individuals on the autism spectrum through educational scholarships, respite funds, and outreach programs. Growing up as a sibling living with autism, Jason knows firsthand the need and the extensive involvement required by the entire family.  As a direct result of the experiences in his home, Jason has become a voice for all siblings of individuals with autism. Ken Brannan, board of directors, Leadership Maryland, who nominated Jason says, “I am inspired by Jason’s outstanding leadership, character and volunteer dedication.”

Jason’s work with children on the autism spectrum and their siblings has had local and national impact. As a teenager, Jason used his unique position as a professional driver for Mazda Racing to raise awareness for autism. Scott Badesch, president, Autism Society of America says, “Through Jason’s very unselfish efforts, individuals living with autism, as well as their siblings have very bright tomorrows.”

In addition to time spent volunteering and raising awareness for autism, Jason is also a member of the Hospice Hundred, donating numerous hours to Hospice of the Chesapeake’s signature event, Fashion for a Cause, and other events which directly benefit the Chesapeake Kids Program. Christine Wilson, director of advancement, Hospice of the Chesapeake says, “I have the opportunity to work with many volunteers, but what is so special about Jason is that he learned to give back so selflessly at such a young age. It is truly a pleasure to see such a young individual offer such maturity and unwavering support for a mission he holds dear to his heart.”

Celebration of Philanthropy Luncheon Tickets:  $100 each. To purchase visit: or contact Amy Francis with the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County at, 410.280.1102 or email [email protected].

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