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Meet the 2018 Hope Blossoms Honorees

March 26, 2018











The Honorable Marielsa A. Bernard
The Mary McGrory Advocacy Award

The Honorable Marielsa A. Bernard has committed her career to public service. While practicing law, she served as a court-appointed mediator and guardian ad litem. She is very active in the Women's Bar Association of Montgomery County where she initiated the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) Storybook Project in the Jessup, Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. She also developed the Latina Youth Empowerment Conference.

She is the first judge of Hispanic descent to serve in the Montgomery County judiciary. Judge Bernard credits her parents for her commitment to the community. In her own words, "Community service is part of the rent we pay for living."

Chuck Short
The Michele Heidenberger Volunteer Award

Chuck Short is recognized for his tremendous service to our community. As a former Board Chair of St. Ann's Center, he helped ensure that our mission would continue despite decreased government support. He helped redirect efforts to meet the needs of homeless families, expanded our transitional housing and supported the establishment of St. Ann's Hope House.

His commitment to the community can be seen in his volunteer work with the elderly and infirm at the Little Sisters of the Poor and with teens and adults with development differences at Potomac Community Resources. Chuck is a champion for vulneable populations and a voice for those in need.