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Bea Gaddy

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By Sibylle Ehrlich | December 10, 1991
I SPENT the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day in Bea Gaddy's tent serving turkey stuffing.It was a heartwarming experience. The giving and loving spirit of one woman energized hundreds of volunteers and moved the hearts of as many others who donated food, money and all the utensils and equipment needed.The feeling of community was all pervasive. The guests often helped, and the helpers partook of the meal. Old men joined the gospel singers; children went around dragging huge plastic garbage bags to pick up trash.
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NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | January 20, 2014
Shelia Burkhalter and her 8-year-old daughter, Sydney, spent Monday afternoon cutting out maps, drawing and writing in matching books titled, "My personal journey. " The Burkhalters were participating in a day of activities at the Walters Art Museum to commemorate the life and message of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "It's not a day off, but a day on," said Shelia Burkhalter, an associate vice president for student affairs at University of Baltimore, explaining that her family usually volunteers on Martin Luther King Day. Her husband's work schedule did not permit it this year.
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NEWS
December 31, 1992
In hard times, Bea Gaddy is Baltimore's growth industry. Each year she feeds more people, shelters more, redistributes more furniture, fixes more homes, counsels more people and in indefinable ways helps more neighbors live in dignity than she did the year before. Bea Gaddy is our Marylander of the Year. She is honored as a representative of all who work to relieve the pain of poverty, but also for her absolutely unique accomplishments.The little row house at 140 N. Collington Ave., which began as home, is the Patterson Park Emergency Food Center, nerve center of the Bea Gaddy conglomerate.
NEWS
By Erik Maza, The Baltimore Sun | November 24, 2011
On Thursday morning, volunteers at the annual Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving luncheon worked themselves into a frenzy. Standing beside each other in a long line that snaked across a couple of halls, they passed down bags of food to one another at a breakneck pace, assembly-line fashion. "It's very hectic," said one of the volunteers, Michelle Hoover of Edgemere. The volunteers worked fast to keep up with the thousands of needy people — as many as 50,000 last year, according to organizers — who come to this luncheon every Thanksgiving.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | November 21, 2007
Flush with two vans of food and $1,200 raised at a benefit concert Friday, Baltimore's Bea Gaddy Family Center is ready for its annual Thanksgiving dinner, organizers said. Michael Austin, a jazz musician who spent 27 years behind bars for a city murder conviction that was overturned in early 2002, said he used to watch Bea Gaddy on television in prison and was moved by her generosity. This year, he put together a benefit concert and said he plans to do another one next fall. "It was the first time that I've ever experienced something so great that I had something to do with," Austin said.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | September 30, 2004
The third annual Bea Gaddy Day, held in tribute to the woman who was hailed as the "Mother Teresa of Baltimore," will be held Saturday, marked by a citywide collection of non- perishable food, free health screenings and live entertainment. Gaddy, who fed thousands of needy people every Thanksgiving and ran a shelter for women and children, died of breast cancer Oct. 3, 2001, at the age of 68. Food will be collected at scores of locations throughout Baltimore, but the center of this year's celebration, led by City Council President Sheila Dixon, will be Mondawmin Mall, 2401 Liberty Heights Ave., where activities will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the mall, several area health care providers will be conducting free screenings, including: Maryland General Hospital, which will provide mammograms, cervical pap smears, diabetes, cholesterol, pregnancy and high-blood-pressure screenings; Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, which will provide mammograms (call 410-955-1348 for an appointment)
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | January 23, 1994
The old man in the wheelchair has no feet. The fellow sitting next to him has feet, at least for the moment, but they're frost-bitten.Across from them are a couple of kids in overcoats, huddled at a table and paying no attention to a television screen where people on a quiz show are winning money and prizes.Nearby, babies sleep in beds watched over by women with nowhere to go.This is Bea Gaddy's place in the 2400 block of W. Baltimore St., the empty warehouse she converted into a homeless shelter two weeks ago, where a 14-year-old kid named Travis is bouncing a (( tennis ball on a concrete floor last Friday morning and feeling as if he's found a home.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | January 5, 1999
Be happy! It's a brand-new year! Twenty-seven reasons to go on living:1. The city's luring tourists with new television ads. The ads show a happy couple stripping seductively for each other. This is called "cutting edge." It's so cutting edge, it reminds everybody: "Oh, yeah, Baltimore and sex. Didn't Jay Leno just do a whole week of jokes on Baltimore and venereal disease?"2. U.S. Sen. Trent Lott. Maybe his plan to put the Clinton impeachment quickly behind us will work. After all, the last time we had a scandal of such Sodom and Gomorrah proportions, wasn't it Lott's wife who got stiffed?
NEWS
By Richard Irwin and Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF | June 30, 1998
Canned food, clothing, furniture, blankets and other items to be distributed to the needy were stolen over the weekend from a West Baltimore warehouse operated by activist Bea Gaddy, police said yesterday.A volunteer discovered the break-in about 2 p.m. yesterday when he opened the one-story warehouse in the 2400 block of W. Baltimore St.A spokeswoman for Bea Gaddy's Women and Children Center Inc. in the 100 block of N. Collington Ave. said the stolen items included new shoes and purses.Pub Date: 6/30/98
NEWS
By Caitlin Francke and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF | October 16, 2001
The City Council introduced a resolution yesterday that would designate Oct. 3 each year as "Bea Gaddy Day," honoring the late councilwoman best known for her advocacy on behalf of the city's poor. In other matters, City Council President Sheila Dixon asked for an ordinance that would codify Health Department protocol in the event of a bioterrorist attack and penalize anyone who does not adhere to the code. And Councilwoman Catherine E. Pugh proposed legislation asking city schools to enforce a state law that requires the display of the American flag and daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | November 13, 2010
About 60 Corvettes, vintage, new and of every hue, parked four across on a closed-off block of North Chester Street in East Baltimore for several hours Saturday. Members of the Baltimore County Corvette Club had traveled from M&T Bank Stadium with a police escort to the Bea Gaddy Family Center. Each delivered a trunkful of donations, mostly food, for the center's 29th annual Thanksgiving dinner. Cynthia Brooks, Gaddy's daughter and executive director of the outreach center, thanked an exuberant crowd of volunteers and Corvette owners, who have contributed in increasing numbers since 2006.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2010
Cynthia Brooks, executive director of the Bea Gaddy Family Center in East Baltimore, opened the mailbox Tuesday and found a stack of letters with donations. She said she has not seen so many checks in months, adding that many donors have dropped canned food at the center's doorstep as well. Just a few days ago, Brooks faced the possibility of turning needy people away because the center's supplies were dwindling, its phones were disconnected for lack of payment and donations had dropped significantly.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2010
Cynthia Brooks is not about to let a recession, dwindling donations or a disconnected phone stop her from helping the needy. The executive director of the Bea Gaddy Family Center in East Baltimore is keeping the doors open and moving forward with plans to serve Thanksgiving dinner to 50,000 people despite the center's financial woes. The center, founded by Brooks' mother, the late city councilwoman, is barely meeting the ever increasing demand for help. The floor-to-ceiling shelves for canned goods are often empty, and the leased refrigerated containers, which were mostly bare, are gone because the center couldn't afford them.
NEWS
By Brent Jones and Julie Scharper | February 26, 2010
Former Baltimore councilman and mayoral candidate Carl Stokes was nominated by a City Council committee Thursday evening to fill a vacant seat in the 12th District, which virtually guarantees that he will be sworn in to the position at the next council meeting. The East Baltimore seat was vacated when Bernard C. "Jack" Young became council president, replacing Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake. Stokes, 59, an East Baltimore native who was raised in the Latrobe Homes, served on the council from 1987 until 1995.
NEWS
By Arin Gencer and Arin Gencer,arin.gencer@baltsun.com | November 28, 2008
Little more than a week after an electrical fire destroyed the women's shelter at the Bea Gaddy Family Center, Executive Director Cynthia Brooks was flush with reasons to be thankful. She and siblings John Fowler and Sandra E. Briggs were counting their blessings yesterday as they prepared to start the annual Thanksgiving dinner at Patterson Park Recreation Center that is part of their mother's legacy. They were thankful for the friends who took over paying for the center's gas and electricity bill after it had climbed to $6,000 and the power was about to be shut off. And for the various contractors who walked into the building, ravaged by fire earlier this month, and restored it so that 48 hours later the damage was largely a memory.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Julie Bykowicz and Liz F. Kay and Julie Bykowicz and,liz.kay@baltsun.com and julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | November 20, 2008
An electrical fire destroyed the women's shelter at the Bea Gaddy Family Center late Tuesday, a setback for a charity that is scrambling to fulfill its tradition of feeding Thanksgiving dinner to thousands of needy people. Though fire damaged the homeless shelter at 424 Duncan St., the adjacent family center at 425 N. Chester St. will continue to collect turkeys and canned good donations. "The shelter is gone as we know it," said executive director Cynthia Brooks, who grew emotional yesterday as she described the damage and the increased need.
FEATURES
By Randi Henderson | November 27, 1991
At Bea Gaddy's Patterson Park Emergency Food Center, there's no doubting what holiday is coming.Raw turkeys line the tables, defrosting in pots of cold water. Pans of cooked, sliced turkey cover every inch of counter space. In the freezers are more full pans, along with thousands of individual portions of cranberry sauce. Most of the floor space is covered with grocery bags stuffed with instant mashed potato flakes and stuffing mix. Upstairs are two rooms with cases and cases of canned vegetables piled up.Bea Gaddy is expecting 17,000 guests for dinner tomorrow, but she's as cool as a cucumber.
NEWS
November 23, 2007
Bernard Potts, a retired attorney and philanthropist who served as mentor to a young Bea Gaddy before she became one of Baltimore's best-known humanitarians, died of complications from pneumonia Nov. 16 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. The longtime Pikesville resident was 92. Born in Baltimore, Mr. Potts spent part of his childhood in an orphanage because his parents were too sick and poor to raise him, said a son, Phillip L. Potts. His maternal grandmother eventually took custody of the boy and raised him in an apartment on North Broadway in East Baltimore.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | November 21, 2007
Flush with two vans of food and $1,200 raised at a benefit concert Friday, Baltimore's Bea Gaddy Family Center is ready for its annual Thanksgiving dinner, organizers said. Michael Austin, a jazz musician who spent 27 years behind bars for a city murder conviction that was overturned in early 2002, said he used to watch Bea Gaddy on television in prison and was moved by her generosity. This year, he put together a benefit concert and said he plans to do another one next fall. "It was the first time that I've ever experienced something so great that I had something to do with," Austin said.
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