Riley Foundation presents $27,000 in scholarships to Harford students

The Charlie Riley Community Service Scholarship Foundation awarded $27,000 in scholarships to Harford County students during its seventh annual scholarship and awards banquet held Nov. 14 at the Level Fire Hall.

The scholarship program honors the memory of the late Charles W. Riley, a 52-year member and former chief of the Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company and a member of the Harford-Cecil Volunteer Fireman's Association and Maryland State Fireman's Association halls of fame. He was also a past president of the Maryland State Fireman's association and served under four different governors as chairman of the Maryland Fire Training Commission.


Organizers of this year's banquet and awards ceremony said it was a great night to award scholarships honoring young men and women in the local community who have volunteered their services.

A total of 23 scholarships out of a possible 24 were presented, 12 to seniors from Harford County high schools and 11 to Harford County fire and EMS volunteers.


The honorees have served their neighbors through community service, extracurricular activities and leadership, according to the Charlie Riley Community Service Foundation. They are all "Doers of the Word," the foundation's motto.

The high school honorees, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship to be applied toward higher education, are: Emily Caron, Havre de Grace; John Wilson, Harford Christian; Patricia Hanson, Joppatowne; Panashe Mutombo, Patterson Mill; Peter Meehan, North Harford; Emma Zyriek, C. Milton Wright; Zackery Valenti, Harford Tech; Marisa Perfetti, Fallston; Morgan Jones, John Carroll; Rebecca Postowski, Edgewood; and Maggie Weese, Aberdeen.

The grand prize award winner, receiving a $3,000 scholarship, is Sarah Dempsey from Bel Air High School.

The fire and EMS honorees, each receiving $1,000 scholarship to be applied toward higher education, are Julia Streett, Bel Air; Rebecca Gibbons, Fallston; Stephanie Gallion, Level; Kenneth DiGiancinto, Norrisville; Thomas Brochu, Susquehanna Hose; Joseph Gamatoria, Havre de Grace Ambulance; Christopher Hoffman, Aberdeen; Denessa Fruhling, Jarrettsville; Erin Meinke, Darlington; and Anthony Colvin Jr., Joppa-Magnolia.


The grand prize award winner, receiving a $3,000 scholarship, was Jessica Chandler, from the Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company.

The foundation's directors said they are very proud of all the scholarship winners, and the banquet was a huge success. Among those attending were Mr. Riley's widow, Phoebe V. "Sis" Riley, and his sons, Charles A. "Chip" Riley and Bruce Riley.

Three additional awards were made at this year's banquet. The foundation's Support Award was given to Howard and Judy McComas. The foundation's Service Award was given to the Level Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. Johnny Valentini received an Appreciation Award from the foundation.

The foundation also honored its honorary board of directors members for 2012. Bill Parris is the foundation's new member. Sen. Barry Glassman, Howard McComas, Tony Meoli, Bill Seccurro, Pat Skebeck and Lee Sachs have agreed to continue serving as honorary board members for two more years.

The foundation directors also said they would like to thank Richard Brooks, the Level Fire Company, Tri-state Trophies, Hope Greenleaf, Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Tomback, Harford Community College President Dr. Dennis Golladay, Harford County Fire and EMS Association President Bill Dousa, Harford County Council President Billy boniface, Del. Wayne Norman, Harford County Executive David Craig, Glassman and Valentini for their continued support..

"Most of all we would like to thank all of our table sponsors and supporters," Chip Riley said. "We could not do this without all your generosity and assistance."

For more information about the Charlie Riley Community Service Scholarship Foundation and how to help honor deserving Harford County young people, visit the foundation's website at