Mark Wittholz, for his outstanding leadership and accomplishments at Miller Cemetery in Howard County.
There was a posting on the Coalition’s Facebook page by Alicia Osgood showing a photo of a badly overgrown cemetery in Clarksville. Two members of the Coalition cleared the area of much of the overgrowth in June, 2021. They had found out that the cemetery did not appear to have any known ownership. Photos of the cleanup were posted on Facebook and a plea was made for someone locally to continue to maintain the cemetery. In October, Mark Wittholz contacted the Coalition about the cemetery and indicated that he had equipment and could probably take on the maintenance. After a short delay due to a family emergency, Mark started single-handedly clearing the cemetery. He has done an incredible job with the site, clearing underbrush and taking down trees including a dead tree that had been leaning on top of one of the few existing tombstones. He has done an incredible job of [rehabilitating] this cemetery.
Elinor Thompson, for her individual leadership and organizational excellence at Tanyard/Franklin Cemetery in Anne Arundel County.
Elinor has single-handedly drawn on family members, members of the church community, and various grant programs including the Trader Foundation to incorporate many positive changes at the cemetery. Having done interviews with many local residents and family members over the years, she has a wealth of information on those buried at the cemetery whose personal information would otherwise probably have been lost due to a lack of written documentation. This site was neglected for many years, did not have any record of burials or mapping of the cemetery, had issues due to its remoteness from its church home, water table issues, hand-made memorials that were deteriorating, and adjoining development. She has had community clean-ups at the cemetery, has had the cemetery mapped; plans to have ground-penetrating radar and survey work performed, and plans to install fencing to protect the cemetery. She constantly monitors the site and has worked diligently to restore this cemetery.
You may watch the presentations of these awards held during our virtual conference in 2022.