The 2017 nomination cycle has closed.

CFHoCo partners with local philanthropists to create awards to honor excellence in local nonprofits and Howard County residents. Each award is unique in its eligibility and nomination requirements, which are outlined below.

For more information, please email Director of Grants and Community Engagement, Dee Athey, or call 410-730-7840.

Howard County Philanthropist of the Year

Honors an individual or family in Howard County that has shown leadership in philanthropy

This award recognizes an individual or family and a business or organization in Howard County that have shown leadership in philanthropy through giving and have changed the community for the better. The Community Foundation will recognize Philanthropist of the Year recipients at its Annual Dinner, A Celebration of Philanthropy, in November.

Bonnie Schwartz Excellence in Teaching Award – $500

Honors an elementary school teacher at Howard County Public Schools

This award is in memory of Bonnie Schwartz, a teacher of gifted and talented students at Thunder Hill Elementary School. Candidates must be a full-time or part-time teacher with at least five years of experience teaching grades 1–5 in a public elementary school. Teachers must be nominated by the principal at their school.


The Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference Award – $3,000 

Honors a Howard County nonprofit involved in human services

This award is in memory of Casey and Pebble Willis. Casey was a community activist for the 26 years she lived in Howard County and believed people could have a positive impact by putting their beliefs into action. Dr. Eugene “Pebble” Willis was an orthopedic surgeon dedicated to providing excellent care and services to his patients and making a difference in our community. Any organization in Howard County with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation involved in human services is eligible to apply for the annual award.


Community Foundation of Howard County Leadership Council Award –$1,000

Honors a next generation person (age 25-45) serving on a nonprofit board in Howard County

This award has been established by the Foundation’s Leadership Council to recognize a next generation person (25-45) who serves as a member of a nonprofit board in Howard County. Any organization in Howard County with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation is eligible to nominate a board member for this award. A $1,000 award will be made to the nonprofit organization in recognition of their next generation board member.