Celebration of Charity

Each year, Chesapeake Charities hosts an annual Celebration of Charity honoring exceptional volunteers, philanthropists, advocates and nonprofits in the Chesapeake Bay region who have had a profound impact on the community. A different area of focus is highlighted at each annual luncheon. In 2023, Maryland’s Farming Community was honored.

This year’s deserving awardees are:

Jim Perdue, Philanthropist of the Year
Under Jim’s leadership, Perdue Farms has grown from an East-coast provider of fresh chicken to a national label of premium protein products. Mindful of the need to blend family and business values, Jim expanded the Purdue Foundation’s giving to support farmers and their families and provide educational opportunities to prepare the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

Amy Cawley, Agricultural Advocate of the Year
Maryland Food Bank’s Farm to Food Bank Program has grown from two to 60 partnering farms since Amy Cawley launched the effort in 2011. Amy inspires and unites the agricultural community, organizes volunteers to glean fields, and makes connections so nutritious food is available for families in need.

Wild Kid Acres, Nonprofit of the Year
Gerardo Martinez, a veteran, minority, and first generation farmer, purchased a five-acre Anne Arundel County farm in 2019. Today, Wild Kid Acres serves as a hub for agricultural education, access, and inclusion, inspiring the next generation of farmers.

Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board Volunteers of the Year
Farmers from across Maryland serve on the all-volunteer Grain Producers Utilization Board. Their expert management of the .05% contribution of grain via the check-off program yields improvements in farming and has exposed 11 million Maryland Public Television viewers and more than 20,000 students per year to agriculture.

Highlights from the Celebration of Charity Events

Chesapeake Charities appreciates the generous support of our sponsors:

Event Sponsors

On behalf of Carlos Ayalas:

Parents’ Place of Maryland

Diakonia OC

Platinum Sponsors

Kent Island Jewelry

Rural Maryland Council

Wills Group

Gold Sponsors

HM2 Buck for Hope

Minority Environmental Solutions LLC

Silver Sponsor

Jodie and Mark Gray

Copper Sponsors

Congressman Andy Harris
David A. Bramble Inc.
Horizon Farm Credit
Queenstown Bank
Mark and Diane Freestate
Shore United

Bronze Sponsors

Callahan’s Gas, Inc.
Choptank Electric Cooperative
Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty
Delmarva Power
Easton Utilities
First National Bank
Lundberg Builders
Minuteman Press
Schuh Family Foundation
Parker Counts
Paula and Doug Warner
Ruff Roofers

If you have interest in becoming a 2024 Celebration of Charity sponsor, please contact events@chesapeakecharities.org. It’s an excellent way to support your community and feel connected with those making positive change in the Chesapeake Region.