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AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!

Bess Langbein receives Running with Scissors award

Since the very beginning, AAWGT and CFAAC (Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County) have been closely intertwined.  CFAAC board members Becki Kurdle and Anna Greenberg were intimately involved as founding members who recruited other community leaders and helped get AAWGT off the ground.  In 2007, CFAAC lost its then Executive Director and for a short period considered dissolving the foundation and making it a Donor Advised Fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation.  Would Anne Arundel County no longer have its own community foundation?  Then, in steps Bess Langbein – a dynamic young woman who had already made a name for herself in the community through her fundraising consulting with a number of nonprofits, including the Boys & Girls Club.  As the interim executive director during that time, I had the pleasure of meeting with Bess and being blown away by her maturity and abilities.  Fortunately, the community foundation board agreed, too. Taking over as Executive Director in February 2007, Bess immediately set to work making CFAAC a well-known name in the community.  In many ways, her style was very “Laurie Sharp Running With Scissors” – doing what needed to be done, but with an engaging and playful spirit that comes from her deep love for our community.  She has an incredible gift of connecting with people from all walks of life and instilling in them a desire to “make a difference.”  Like the little red-haired girl in the comic strip Peanuts, Bess has a special place in our hearts. We all admire her and hope that she admires us, too.

In the midst of transforming CFAAC, Bess also was very involved in supporting AAWGT.  CFAAC provided support as our fiscal agent, partnered with us on community events and grantmaking, and helped recruit new members.  In fact, it has sometimes been difficult to remember whether CFAAC board members were involved first with the giving circle or the community foundation!  But, that’s the joy of the symbiotic relationship that has developed between AAWGT and CFAAC. 

Bess, we hope that you will continue to be a member of AAWGT and part of our wonderful family of smart women. Like Laurie Sharp, in your role as Executive Director of CFAAC, you have left a wonderful legacy for our group as we enter our second decade.
Citation: AAWGT is forever grateful to Bess for advancing philanthropy in Anne Arundel County, making our community a better place for all, and supporting and expanding the work of AAWGT.

We hereby designate Bess Langbein as the recipient of the Laurie Sharp Running with Scissors Award.
DATE: September 16, 2015
Maureen Cavaiola, President 2015
Mary Grace Folwell, Vice President/President Elect 2015
Karen Smith, Immediate Past President 2014
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