The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore celebrated 40 years of impact with the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce at a Business After Hours event on April 11. CFES is a public foundation serving Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties and works with local donors and nonprofits to create charitable funds, provides grants and scholarships to meet local needs and provide capacity building support for nonprofit organizations and volunteers. Since 1984, CFES has awarded $107.5M in grants and scholarships. 

CFES staff gather at the April 11 event. Shown (l to r) are: David Plotts, Katerra Marshall, Victoria Kent, Jessica Meehan, Sharon Dickson, Heather Geraldes, Veronique Diriker, Erica Joseph, Lauren Ansted, Cathy Diekmann, and Shelbie Thompson.

In recognition of its anniversary, CFES unveiled two challenge grants for the foundation’s giving circles, the Black Excellence Community Fund and the Women’s Fund, encouraging the public to participate to boost the impact for these funds this year. 

The foundation also announced their 40 Under 40 in Philanthropy Awards which will honor 40 individuals under 40 years old who are making a difference in the Lower Shore community. 

“For the past 40 years, we have been working to strengthen partnerships with individuals, families, businesses, and community-based organizations to invest in the causes that matter to create a vibrant community and address critical needs,” said Community Foundation President Erica Joseph. “Encouraging participation in our giving circles and recognizing the contributions of those sharing their time, talent and treasure is the perfect way to celebrate this milestone.”

Over 200 guests enjoyed entertainment from Ryan Jackson, local food and beverages, and door prizes featuring local experiences and partner nonprofits. Scholarship recipients from the Salisbury Area Chamber’s scholarship fund held at the Community Foundation were recognized at the event. 

To learn more about CFES, or to support the giving circle challenge grants visit