The focus of the 10th Annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon was raising the next generation of givers. The following individuals and organizations were inducted into the Philanthropy Hall of Fame for demonstrating the qualities that define excellence in philanthropy: Senator James C. and Mrs. Barbara Wright Simpson and Family (James, Gary and Carol); Robert H. and Patricia A. Bowes and Family (Robert, Mark, Anne, Thomas, Jennifer, J. Matthew and David); and Senator C.B. Bernie and Betty L. Fowler and Family (Mona Lisa, Laura, Betty Bernice (BB) and Bernie, Jr.).

Senator James C. and Mrs. Barbara Wright Simpson and Family (James, Gary and Carol)
Senator James C. and Mrs. Barbara Wright Simpson and Family (James, Gary and Carol)

James C. and Barbara W. Simpson originally born in Washington, DC moved to Charles County in 1961 with their three children James III (Jimmy), Gary and Carol.

In addition to being the small business owners of Simpson Distributing Inc., James and Barbara became involved in many community organizations and non-profits.

Barbara is a past member of the Business and Professional Women’s Organization of Charles County (BPW), ZONTA, American Heart Association, the “Absolut” Group/Hospice of Southern Maryland and Physicians Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

From 1970 to 1974, James served as President of the Charles County Commissioners. In 1974, James was elected to the Maryland Senate and served until his retirement in 1994. Together in 2007, they co-chaired a capital campaign to benefit the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center. Under their leadership, the hospital goal was surpassed and more than $5 million was raised.

Following in their parents footsteps, Jimmy and Carol, former residents and small business owners of Charles County currently volunteer their time and serve in their own communities of Washington DC and Pennsylvania respectively; and son, Gary, a current small business owner and lifelong resident of Charles County served on the Civista Foundation; was crowned King Rex at the 11th Annual Mardi Gras for the most dollars raised, past President of the McDonough High School Athletic Boosters and currently serves on the College of Southern Maryland Foundation.

As a result of their lifelong commitment to make Charles County a better place to live and give, the Simpson family is well known in Charles County, Southern Maryland and throughout the state of Maryland and we are honored to induct the Simpson Family into our Philanthropy Hall of Fame.

Robert H. and Patricia A. Bowes and Family (Robert, Mark, Anne, Thomas, Jennifer, J. Matthew and David)Robert H. and Patricia A. Bowes and Family (Robert, Mark, Anne, Thomas, Jennifer, J. Matthew and David)

Robert and Patricia Bowes (Bob and Pat) proudly built their multi-generational family in St. Mary’s County. They realized that this county provided excellent employment opportunities, a great school system, and a caring community, all on a beautifully landscaped peninsula.

Bob and Pat raised seven children – six of whom still call St. Mary’s County their home. Now, two generations later, they
have added 20 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. While Bob was a career aerospace engineer supporting Patuxent River Naval Air Station, he also took advantage of our surrounding waters by charter fishing as a means to advance their seven children through the Catholic school system. Over the years, once the children were older, Pat supported local family businesses such as Bowes Books, T. N. Bowes Heating & Air Conditioning, Bowes Construction and more.

Even while holding several jobs and raising a large family, it was still important to volunteer and give to the community. Pat and Bob’s children watched their parents give back to the community as they were growing up. From church and school functions to optimist clubs to boating trips for Muscular Dystrophy camps, elderly groups, and community service organizations, Pat and Bob set the example for their generations to follow. Now the six children, along with spouses, who reside in St. Mary’s County continue the legacy in diverse ways. Mark and Bonnie Bowes, Mark and Anne Taylor, Tommy and Joy Bowes, Mark and Jennifer Goddard, Matt and Cindy Bowes, David Bowes and Karen Bauer all balance families, careers, and huge community involvement.

The Bowes Family is most proud to support many children’s charities. They formed and still support the Community Foundation 2nd District Kids and Community where funds mainly support Hospice Camp Sunrise and Autism Camp Inspire. They have also volunteered and donated to St. Mary’s Ryken High School and Little Flower School for decades. They even welcomed six foreign exchange students over 12 years into their family for high school and university experiences. Several family members have provided coaching for little league, soccer, lacrosse and more.

The Bowes family has also given back to the medical community. From Hospice, St. Mary’s Hospital board, and hospital transportation services during inclement weather to decades of volunteer fire and rescue service. the Bowes family understands the importance of a strong medical community.

Senator C.B. Bernie and Betty L. Fowler and Family (Mona Lisa, Laura, Betty Bernice (BB) and Bernie, Jr.)Senator C.B. Bernie and Betty L. Fowler and Family (Mona Lisa, Laura, Betty Bernice (BB) and Bernie, Jr.)

Bernie grew up and ran a business on the shores of Patuxent River and it was on these shores where Bernie says “he hooked his best catch of all”, his wife Betty who was visiting from Washington, D.C. They had four children, Mona, Laura, Betty Bernice (BB) and Bernie Fowler, Jr. and now 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Bernie rented boats and ran a small restaurant serving his harvested crabs and fish from the Patuxent River.

Over the years Bernie expanded into construction and nursing home management and was always active volunteering in
numerous community groups. When Bernie, noticed he no longer could see his feet or vegetation as he waded in his beloved Patuxent River, he decided it was time to take action. In 1970 he was elected as a Calvert County Commissioner and served for twelve years, nine of which were as President. Bernie was the driving force behind the Pleasant Peninsula Plan, a Comprehensive Plan which was a guide for Calvert County’s growth and capital improvements. He was elected as Maryland State Senator in 1982 and served until his retirement in 1995.

Betty and Bernie were very involved in their children’s lives volunteering for the Boyscouts, PTA, Calvert County Athletic Booster Club, Board of Education, their local church and various environmental groups. After almost 30 years, every June, Bernie continues to wade-in to the Patuxent River to record its clarity.

Like their parents, daughters Mona, Laura and BB all serve the community in various ways through their church, schools and other community groups locally in Calvert County and Tennessee respectively. Son, Bernie, Jr. a current small business owner and lifelong resident of Calvert County, started Farming 4 Hunger, a non-profit organization which provides fresh farm food to local food banks. Since 2012, they have delivered, with the help of the local Amish community, approximately 5 million pounds of fresh food to the Capital, Maryland and Southern Maryland food banks.

Bernie says he is “proud as a peacock” over his children and says “Betty is the glue that holds our family together”.