While there’s no textbook example for why people give, if you look up “giving” in the dictionary you’d be sure to see a picture of Wayne and Bonnie Barnes. Donating to more than 25 charities, the retired Air National Guard veteran and former assistant high school principal have dedicated their lives to serving others.
“We like to stay busy by being involved in the community,” states Wayne, who has served as past president for several prominent Carroll County establishments— including the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and the Charles Carroll Lions Club. His wife, Bonnie, known throughout the community for her commitment to educating Carroll County’s youth, now enjoys working on their family farm.
But of all the causes that the Barnes hold dear to their hearts, one in particular has been a part of their story since the beginning.
“Our family believed in Carroll Hospital when it was just an idea, more than 60 years ago,” shares Wayne. “My parents were members of the fundraising group that went door-to-door to raise money for a community hospital, and, once it was built, my mom was in charge of food services there.”
The couple has since carried on the familial legacy. In addition to years of giving to Carroll Hospital and BridgingLife, Wayne has volunteered more than 15 years of board service to both organizations, including serving as chair of BridgingLife’s Board of Trustees and treasurer for the Carroll Hospital Foundation Board.
Now, they have made their most generous contribution yet: a gift to honor the memory of their son, Taylor, who passed away unexpectedly in 2020. As an unrestricted gift, the donation will fund the hospital community’s greatest needs, including the expansion at Dove House, BridgingLife’s inpatient hospice care facility in Westminster, where a wing will be named in their honor. To further commemorate the family’s giving legacy, the hospital also named the new road that unites the entire hospital campus, the R. Wayne and Bonnie Q. Barnes Circle.
In partnership with the Community Foundation of Carroll County, the couple has also created a memorial scholarship in Taylor’s name to support local students who want to pursue careers in agriculture and related fields.
“Our son loved Carroll County’s agricultural roots,” states Wayne.
“And we think it’s very important to give back to what you want to see grow, which is why we give back to Carroll Hospital,” adds Bonnie.
Through their contributions, the Barnes are ensuring their neighbors continue to have access to a top medical facility. It’s also a way for them to heal as they look forward.
“As a family, we’ve always invested in the hospital’s future,” says Bonnie. “It starts with finding something you’re passionate about, then using that passion to make a difference.”
Make Your Mark
Write a giving story of your own—visit mycarrollstory.org to learn more and get started.