Call for Nominations: Volunteer Service Awards

The Montgomery County Democratic Party annually recognizes volunteers who make outstanding contributions of time and effort toward the success of the Democratic Party in local, state, and federal elections, and building the Party between elections.

We invite all Montgomery County registered Democrats to nominate individuals for the following awards no later than 11:59 pm, Saturday, July 30, 2022. Please click here to complete the nomination form.

You may make multiple nominations, but please complete and submit one form for each nomination.

Awardees chosen by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will be honored at the 2022 Fall Celebration to be held October 2. To be eligible, a nominee must be a registered Democrat in Montgomery County or a member of a chartered group, and cannot be an elected official, a member of the Central Committee, or a member of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Award Categories:
(see complete award descriptions below)

Jack Dean-Helen Peacock Precinct Official Award
Rita Morgan-Bruce Jerney Community Service Award
Democrat of the Year Award
Rosalie Reilly Lifetime Service Award
Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award


Jack Dean-Helen Peacock Precinct Official Award

The Jack Dean-Helen Peacock Precinct Official Award recognizes outstanding Democratic activism within the Precinct Organization. The award is named in honor of Jack Dean and Helen Peacock, two people who worked very hard at the precinct level to help strengthen the Montgomery County Democratic Party and build a vital, grassroots Democratic organization. In addition to his precinct work, Jack Dean was a founding member of the Eastern Montgomery Democratic Club and later was instrumental in its merger with the Kensington-Wheaton Democratic Club. Helen Peacock was an outstanding precinct official and party activist who later served as a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.

The Award was established in 1981 by the District 20 Democratic Caucus as the “Jack Dean Award”. Administration of the award eventually moved to the Central Committee, which, in 1989, renamed the award as the “Jack Dean-Helen Peacock Precinct Official Award”.


Rita Morgan-Bruce Jerney Community Service Award

Established in 1985, the Rita Morgan-Bruce Jerney Community Service Award recognizes outstanding commitment to public service in Montgomery County and within the Montgomery County Democratic Party. The award is given to a party activist who has been a party volunteer and has devoted substantial time to community service. This service may take the form of civic activism, helping the needy, or generally working to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Montgomery County. This award is named in memory of Rita Morgan and Bruce Jerney, who dedicated themselves to fighting discrimination and bringing services to those who could least help themselves. Bruce Jerney, a Precinct Chair and Vice Chair of the Dollars Drive, served as a health clinic volunteer in Takoma Park and worked with mentally and physically disabled children. Rita Morgan served as Bruce Jerney’s Precinct Vice Chair and was a Dollars Drive Chair herself. She was also President of Suburban Maryland Fair Housing and pioneered initiatives to help root out housing discrimination. She worked with autistic children, the revitalization of downtown Silver Spring, and was a member of the County Board of Appeals.


Democrat of the Year

Democrat of the Year is awarded to the person who has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to the Democratic Party over the past year. The recipient of this award has made a significant contribution to enhance the strength and vitality of the Democratic Party. This service may come in the form of general volunteer activity, helping build the precinct organization, organizing Party events, exceptional fundraising success, or involvement in successful general election activity.


Rosalie Reilly Lifetime Service Award

The Rosalie Reilly Lifetime Service Award recognizes outstanding commitment and contributions to the Montgomery County Democratic Party throughout a career in public service. Rosalie Reilly epitomized integrity in public office and everything that is good about the Democratic Party. She rose from the rank and file of the Montgomery County Democratic Party to become an elected official (Registrar of Wills, 1978-1989). She then became one of Maryland’s members of the Democratic National Committee and subsequently became Chair of the Maryland State Democratic Party. As a Democratic leader, den mother, rabbi and consigliore, her door and phone were always open to those who sought her advice and counsel. The Rosalie Reilly Lifetime Service Award is awarded to those individuals who, like Rosalie, have committed a significant portion of their life and energies to the Democratic Party.

The award was created in 1989 to be given on an occasional basis. The award is now given annually.


Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award

The Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding volunteer activity by a Democratic Party activist. The award was created in 1996 as the “Volunteer of the Year Award” and was renamed the “Kelsey Cooke Volunteer of the Year Award” in 1998.

Kelsey Cooke Meyersburg was a tireless, hardworking volunteer who was willing to do whatever it took to ensure Democratic victory—hammer in lawn signs in the rain, register voters in the hot sun, walk door to door, make phone calls, staff sign-in tables—anything. She believed in the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party and fought hard for them. Kelsey dealt with challenges with love, enthusiasm, and grace, though she was never reluctant to say what was on her mind. After she was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and had to undergo dialysis three times each week, she continued to attend meetings, give abundant advice, gossip about politics, and generally raise Cain.