Elaine Dean of Mount Airy was recovering from a bout of pneumonia when she got the call that she was being inducted into the Mount Airy Hall of Fame in March of 2010.
“I said, ‘You have got be kidding me,’” Dean said.
Dean was one of five people inducted into the Mount Airy Historical Society’s hall of fame for her more than 30-year involvement in the community, including 10 years as director of Mount Airy NET, a cooperative network of churches and civic organizations that provides support and services for area families in need.
“I was amazed to begin with because I don’t [volunteer] to get my name in the paper,” she said. “I do these things to help people and because it makes me feel good.”
Dean said being inducted into the hall was an honor for her.
The program — which has been a part of the town since 2000 — honors people living or deceased from the town and its immediate surrounding areas who, by virtue of their work, service, volunteerism, word or deed, have made the community a better place. Five people are inducted each year.
Since its inception, 85 people have been inducted into the program — a number that Pete Bowlus, chairman of the Mount Airy Hall of Fame Committee, said they are looking to grow.
“The more the merrier,” he said. “There’s so many people that are doing many good things in our town.”
The committee has begun seeking nominations for the 2013 Hall of Fame Class. All local organizations and individuals are invited to nominate a person.
Bowlus said the program is important in preserving the heritage of Mount Airy.
“These [inductees] are our heritage,” he said. “They’re people that set an example for the rest of the community to look up to. ... You have to know where you have been to know where your going, and this honors people and acts in the town.”
Nominations are judged by a panel of up to seven residents, Browlus said. Along with a banquet in March, inductees are given a wooden plaque honoring them that is then hung in the Historical Museum of Mount Airy.
Since being inducted, Dean said she has become a celebrity in her community.
“There are people that come up to me ... and some of them will say, ‘Can I get your autograph?’” she said, laughing. “I turn my head down and blush.”
Dean said she hopes that the program will continue long into the future.
“There are a lot of people that do good things in Mount Airy,” she said. “They need to be honored.”
Nomination forms for the hall may be found at the Mount Airy Town Hall at 110 S. Main St. or the Historical Society of Mount Airy Museum in the lower level of the Old Town Office Building at the corner of Park Avenue and Main Street.
Forms can also be found on the Mount Airy town website at www.mountairymd.org/download/Historical-Society-Hall-of-Fame/HalloffamenominationID527.pdf.
Applications must be submitted by Dec. 4 to the committee.