Gilchrist Award


Former Montgomery County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist

Award Description:

The Charles W. Gilchrist Award is given in memory of former Montgomery County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist, who sought to encourage community participation in Montgomery County. It is presented to an individual, family, family foundation, corporation, or civic group that has demonstrated exceptional service to Montgomery County Public Libraries through volunteer and/or philanthropic support.

FOLMC presents the award at the Annual Library After Dark Gala.

Nominations are now closed. Watch this space for updates Fall 2021.

Awards Committee

An Awards Committee is appointed to review the nominations and recommend a recipient to the FOLMC Board of Trustees. The Awards Committee consists of representatives from Montgomery County Public Libraries, the Montgomery County Library Board (MCLB), FOLMC Board, Library Advisory Committees (LACs), and past award recipients.

Questions? Call 240-776-6001 or email

Past Awardees

2020 Award recipient Carol Leahy has a long history of fundraising, advocacy, volunteer support, and service to MCPL and FOLMC. Her work has spanned from hands-on activities to board leadership including serving as Acting Board President. Mrs. Leahy also has been a generous donor, and sponsor of FOLMC’s programs and events. Her contributions extend to numerous arts and humanities organizations in Montgomery County which further demonstrates Mrs. Leahy’s active commitment to her community.
2019 Award recipient Aileen Klein. Pictured from left, Ari Brooks, Aileen Klein, and James W. Gilchrist.  For nearly two decades, Aileen Klein has supported Montgomery County Public Libraries through fundraising and advocacy in various volunteer roles with Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.
2018 Award recipient Richard Freedman. Freedman is the Regional Environmental Land Services Manager at Aggregate Industries and their Quarry Day event provides a fun learning environment for families and provides monetary contributions to the Quince Orchard Library Chapter. Pictured from left, Richard Freedman, Ari Brooks, and James W. Gilchrist.
2017 Award recipient Jan Jablonski, co-founder Noyes Children’s Library Foundation. Matthew Jablonski accepting the award on behalf of his mother. Despite being diagnosed with ALS in 2011, Mrs. Jablonski served as the Foundation’s co-president up until her death in 2016. Mrs. Jablonski’s dedication and advocacy on behalf of libraries, early childhood literacy and special needs children exemplifies the community commitment embodied in the Gilchrist Award.
fol-gala-2016-1272 2016 Award recipient the Maryland Writers’ Association. Teen Writing Coordinator, Mark Willen, pictured here with student participant, Sydney Sackett. The Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) is a voluntary, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the art, business, and craft of writing in all its forms. The MWA sponsors and organizes the Teen Writing Club Program.
library-2015-131 2015 Award recipient the FOLMC Silver Spring Chapter. Chapter leaders Nancy Pond, Lysette & Joe House, Becky Reeve, and Kathlin Smith pictured here with James W. Gilchrist. FOLMC, Silver Spring Chapter worked to strengthen community excitement and support for the new library building nd raised over $150,000 for an early literacy center.