Campaign Halfway Done but More to Come

By: Carol Shaw

Residents celebrate Greenbelt every day, but the Explore Your Greenbelt campaign celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) reaches its halfway point at the end of June. This campaign highlights the GCF supported organizations that bring practical and creative approaches to enhance the Greenbelt community.

“Our goal is to broaden the visibility of the Greenbelt Community Foundation and our past grantees to help people recognize the deep, tangible impacts of giving locally.” Says Melissa Ehrenreich, GCF President. “We’ve been thrilled to meet so many residents and potential grantees through this campaign who didn’t even know we were here. What a wonderful opportunity to see the power of our community through fresh new eyes.”

The campaign, which ends in October, promotes the public events of the participating organizations, providing residents with opportunities to learn about and experience the community groups that make living in Greenbelt unique. An April open house at the Greenbelt Arts Center opened the campaign and since then five more organizations have been spotlighted, including The Lady Angels, CHEARS, Greenbelt Consumer Cooperative, and the Greenbelt Museum. The Greenbelt Girl Scouts wetlands restoration project at the pond on Hanover Parkway and Ora Glen Drive will complete the June schedule. The campaign schedule of events (through October) is available on GCF’s web site

Just as Greenbelt is a community because of its residents, the Explore Your Greenbelt campaign is made possible because of the generosity of individual volunteers and supporting organizations.

The Greenbelt News Review (GNR) is one of the principal supporters of the campaign. It provides space in each weekly issue for an article and ad to promote events at participating organizations. Cathie Meetre, GNR board president; Mary Lou Williamson, editor; and Diane Oberg mentored volunteers on newspaper writing and helped develop promotional strategy.

GCF volunteers are conducting interviews, writing articles and taking photographs. Writers includes Caroline H. Fuchs, Carol Griffith, Nicole Moore, and Anna Socrates. Volunteers taking photos at events are Eric Zhang, Julie Magness and Suzette Agans.

Paradigm Management, another principal campaign supporter, graciously supplied the writing, and website, and social media talents of interns Yeri Zinn, Jimmika Robinson and Calvin Chao. Beltway Plaza, through the Quantum Group, sponsored the production of campaign materials.

Barbara Havekost chaired a committee with 2 members, Dorrie Bates and Sylvia Lewis. This group of volunteers secured more than 50 prizes from 25 local businesses for a three prize drawings at each event. Prizes vary in value from $10 for a Farmer’s Market t-shirt to $110 for a special facial from Pleasant Touch. The Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket office is where notified winners can obtain their prizes.

Overseeing this campaign is a Steering Committee, chaired by Carol Shaw, with representatives from all areas of Greenbelt. These volunteers include Carolyn Lambright Davis, Eulalie Lucas, Jim Fischer, Dawn Goodman Washington and GCF board members Eric O’Rear, and Heather Scotten. Other GCF board members, Lois Rosado, Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, Melissa Ehrenreich, and Suzette Agans are helping with organizing and hosting the GCF information table at events.

It “takes a village” to implement a campaign of this breadth. GCF is profoundly thankful for all the people who are making it possible. The campaign runs until the end of October.