This Week’s History Quiz Question: Who was the first recipient of the Edna Ross Award for community service presented by the Chestertown Tea Party Festival Committee at its annual Memorial Day weekend events?

A. Margo Bailey
B. Lucia Foster
C. Lanny Parks
D. Edna Ross

This Week’s Answer: D. Edna Ross, posthumously.

With the pandemic and cancellation of Chestertown’s annual Tea Party festival for two years, we have missed the excitement of the Edna Ross Award. Established in 2011, the award was created to recognize the achievements of the late Edna Ross and, going forward, other business leaders who have contributed to the community above and beyond.

Edna Ross was recognized for her thoughtfulness of customers on many levels to make their transaction and any visit to Ross Typing and Printing as seamless and pleasant as possible. She was located in the rear of the Town Arts Building on Spring Avenue. Her service was always accommodating and dependable, but she went way beyond by taking the time and care to make all situations work smoothly. She gave of herself. In later years, her husband, Verne, was by her side, also helping to meet customer needs.

Nine recipients have followed Edna Ross — all deserving and enriching Kent County by different contributions. Their gifts would take pages and pages to explain in full, but the following list will remind us of how fortunate we are to be working together to share the benefits of our community.

2011 – Edna Ross

2012 – Lanetta (Lanny) Parks — Owner of long-remembered “The
Compleat Bookseller.” Strong contributor to establishment of
current Chestertown library and inspirational influence on
promotion of reading development and interests.

2013 – Lucia Foster — Executive Director and Artistic Director of
The Garfield Center. Worked diligently to bring the arts to the
public — both with adult programs and through the schools. Her
“Playmakers Summer Camp” inspired younger thespians.

2014 – Anna Scott Cole — “Miss Anna” of Scottie’s Shoe Store became
a Chestertown ambassador as she was often featured in
discovery articles extolling its charms. “Scottie’s” became a
hub of news in downtown Chestertown. In the store, chairs
were lined out in case you needed a pair of shoes with your
morning newspaper and there behind the counter was always
Miss Anna with a smile.

2015 – Margaret and Bob Morris — They ran the Christian Bookstore on
High Street for 46 years. The store not only offered inspirational
books and needed supplies, but also Margaret’s special skills as a
seamstress, including repairs for the uniforms of the Volunteer Fire
Department. But the back of the store held a happy surprise for
many. The Morrises also collected donations of all kinds in their back
room that were given away — their generosity was boundless.

2016 – Lisa and Jay Yerkes — Meeting as Queen Anne’s County High
School students, they then married and formed another partnership of Yerkes
Construction Co. Much of their generosity is unheralded, but
using their skills, they are hard at work to make our community a better
place — such as the cleaning of the Rail Trail. Their motto at the top of
their office stairs is: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you
can, In all the ways you can, to all the people you can, As long as
you can.” Wise words to live by.

2017 – Dick Goodall — President of Dixon Valve and Coupling, a company
well known for its support and enrichment to the growth and health of
the Chestertown community. Other achievements were the
establishment of Character Counts to cultivate kindness and ethical
values and Kent Forward, to support building the best educational
system possible — both important building blocks to a better
community environment.

2018 – Bob Ramsey — A favorite resource for art and “The Finishing Touch,”
Bob Ramsey has created just what Chestertown needed. Along with his dedication to promoting business in Chestertown by serving tirelessly with the Downtown Chestertown Association, he has also supported generously both with his time and financial support many nonprofits, including the United Way, Chamber of Commerce and Compass Regional Hospice.

2019 – Ralph Dowling — Recently retired as President and CEO from The
Peoples Bank, Ralph Dowling is known for the creation of the
successful “Chestergras” and “Guest Chef Dinner.” His determination
to acquaint the community with its business leaders from a variety of
fields has been satisfying and fun. He has also helped beautify our
downtown with his vibrant plantings.

The Kent County History Quiz is a weekly local brainteaser sponsored by The Peoples Bank. Our goal is to create an opportunity for local learning and discussion.

Do you have a Kent County history question? Send it to steve@kentpilot.org.