STEVENSVILLE – Chesapeake Charities’ fifth annual Celebration of Charity recognizes local heroes during the pandemic and is set for Nov. 19 at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville.  

The annual awards luncheon recognizes people and organizations that exemplify the qualities of leadership, community service and altruism. This year’s awards luncheon will recognize local heroes who made personal sacrifices to benefit others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the many stories of heroism, several honorees were selected in each of the three categories:  Philanthropist of the YearVolunteer of the Year; and Nonprofit of the Year. Tickets are available online at or by calling the office at 410-643-4020.  

“This has been such a difficult year and it is heartwarming to learn of the level of sacrifice and dedication our honorees displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Linda Kohler, Chesapeake Charities Executive Director. “Whether it was by addressing the disease itself, the need for Personal Protection Equipment, food, or mental health services, these caring individuals gave of themselves to save the lives of others.”

Local elected officials representatives present citations at the 2019 Celebration of Charities event held in Stevensville. (L to R): Mike Arntz, representing U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st; Gaye Adams, from the office of Gov. Larry Hogan; State Sen. Steve Hershey. R-36-Queen Anne’s; Chesapeake Charities Executive Director Linda Kohler; and Del. Steven Arentz, R-36-Queen Anne’s

This year’s honorees include Bryan and Fred Graul, Philanthropists of the Year; 

Anne Arundel County Food Bank and For All Seasons, Nonprofits of the Year; andDr. Michael Fisher & Dr. Lisa Stone, Lucy Kruse and Sandra Shearer Wignall, Volunteers of the Year.

In mid-March when the pandemic took hold, Bryan and Fred Graul, owners ofGraul’s Market, made a significant donation to support the medical team at Anne Arundel Medical Center and then delivered more than 800 nutritious meals to fortify AAMC’s frontline healthcare workers.  

For All Seasons mounted an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the mental health crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic distress and social isolation. With an uptick of 650 clients since March 1, For All Seasons added teletherapy and telepsychiatry and additional staff to address the dramatically higher number of calls to its 24/7 hotline. 

To prevent thousands of suddenly unemployed people from going hungry, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank distributed almost four times the normal amount of food from March to June 2020. And when food donations were in short supply, the staff tapped every conceivable resource to ensure their pantries and programs were stocked to meet the rising need.  

Dr. Michael Fisher and Dr. Lisa Stone supported Talbot Emergency Operations’ planning and preparations for COVID-19. Fisher helped ensure hospital workers received Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), while Stone helped establish the county’s plan for surge management and workforce procurement.

Lucy Kruse mobilized a team of 35 volunteers to begin sewing face masks and gowns for health care workers when supplies of these essential items were unavailable. Face Masks for Maryland has donated more than 3,500 face masks and 25 gowns to organizations in desperate need, such as Hospice of the Chesapeake. 

Sandra Shearer Wignall, a volunteer at Thrifty Ladies thrift shop in Dunkirk, single-handedly sanitized, reorganized and manned the shop when it was safe to open. Since 2014, Thrifty Ladies has raised $175,000 for the Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care at CalvertHealth Medical Center.

The Governor Larry Hogan Scholarship for cancer research also will be presented at the event. This year’s award is sponsored by RXNT.

Chesapeake Charities also is raffling an 18k gold diamond and a sapphire ring valued at $4,695. Get tickets on the website at

Sponsors for this year’s event include Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, What’s Up Media, Mark and Jodie Gray, Ben and Paige Tilghman/The Hermitage, David A. Bramble Construction, Hugo and Julie DeCesaris, Schuh Family Foundation, Tom and Anne MacKinnon Welsh, Ozer Culhagil, Parker Goodman Gordon & Hammock LLC, Callahan Appliance, Mark Freestate, and Rich Graves CPA.

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