2010 Community Service Award Winners
The Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF), the 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Community Outreach Program affiliated with the Maryland National-Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), announced its winners of the 2010 Community Service Awards last evening at the association's January dinner meeting. The award is presented annually to individuals or companies affiliated with the local home building industry in recognition of significant contributions to the community through unselfish efforts and dedication in support of projects that help the poor and disadvantaged in our communities. Four Tom Sawyer Awards and one Directors Award were presented by HBCF President Hugh Carroll.
The first awards of the evening were presented to Mr. John Devlin, P.E, Vice President and Managing Director at Aon Risk Solutions in Greenbelt and to Mr. John T. Stovall, AIA, Principal at NSArchitects in Rockville. For more than a year, each of these gentlemen have lent their specialized expertise to the design and pre-construction development of a project for Sasha Bruce Youthworks in the District. The project to improve fire safety at Sasha Bruce’s flagship shelter for homeless, abused, and runaway youth was needed to help to increase the shelter’s bed capacity by 50%. Mr. Devlin and Mr. Stovall each lent countless hours of their time and expertise to review the 1940’s structure, assess options for remedying the situation within budget, building code, and program restraints, and direct the process to obtain the necessary approvals from District agencies.
The next award was presented to Mr. Billy Mehaffey, President of Mehaffey & Associates PC, a civil engineering firm in Leonardtown. For the past four years, Mr. Mehaffey has donated his time and expertise to the site plan development for Leah’s House, a shelter for homeless women and children in St. Mary's County. Many of Leah’s House clients are victims of domestic violence. Billy’s guidance, perseverance and patience have helped carry the small non-profit through multiple changes and site plan approvals in their quest to construct a multi-building campus to care for its clients and their families. Upon learning of Mr. Mehaffey’s honor, the Reverend Marguerite Morris, founder of Leah’s House commented, “The Leah's House Shelter employees and families offer our sincere congratulations to Billy Mehaffey. He has indeed been a long time supporter of our efforts and we could not have made it this far without him. We appreciate his humbleness and tireless efforts in assisting us in the furtherance of our mission, to provide for the less fortunate in and around the state of Maryland”
Ms. Emily J. Vaias, a Partner with Linowes & Blocher LLP in Bethesda, was the recipient of the fourth Tom Sawyer Award. For over six years, Ms. Vaias has been instrumental in the creation of new Montgomery County home for Aunt Hattie’s Place. Aunt Hattie’s Place is a Baltimore-based non-profit dedicated to providing safe, nurturing, and long-term homes for abused, abandoned, and neglected children in foster care. Aunt Hattie’s new supportive home, dedicated this past spring, now provides long-term housing for boys ages 12-19. Ms. Vaias has been part of the project team from conception through dedication and continues to be active. Aunt Hattie, who attended last night’s ceremony, referred to Emily as an angel and said, “she never once hinted of giving up on the project nor did she slow down providing her firm's resources during the entire six-year building process.”
A final award of the evening was a Directors Award and it was presented to Patti B. Kane, the Director of the Home Builders Care Foundation program. Ms. Kane was recognized in surprise for her dedication and years of service as the sole employee of the non-profit organization.
After the awards were presented, Mr. Carroll then thanked his predecessor Mr. Ted Smart, who had served as President of Home Builders Care for the past three years, throughout which has been some of the most difficult economic times for the building industry. He commented “During these challenging times, Ted has persevered and has served graciously as a hands-on leader dedicated to the mission of community service which is Home Builders Care.”
The cooperation, dedication and spirit of our 2010 Community Service Award Winners are excellent examples of why the Home Builders Care program succeeds in helping end homelessness by improving the lives of poor and homeless individuals and families in our communities.
The mission of Home Builders Care Foundation, the principal community outreach organization of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is to complete construction projects, with particular focus on shelter-related projects, by leveraging the industry’s specialized building construction skills and by working in collaboration with community service providers serving the homeless and other at-risk populations.