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Helping Others: What businesses and firms did

As 2010 nears its end, The Daily Record would like to note through its fifth annual Helping Others recognition campaign the contributions of time, money and other forms of support made by Maryland businesses, law firms and institutions to worthy causes during the year.

Home builders

Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn has made an ongoing commitment to Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake. The certified public accounting and business consulting firm in Owings Mills sends volunteers several times a year to work at construction sites. Since 2008, more than 25 staff members have worked on six Habitat houses throughout Baltimore. The firm completed its fifth volunteer day in September. In addition, over the past year Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn’s staff has participated in a Bowl-A-Thon benefiting Junior Achievement, BVU’s Elf Night, and the 2010 Mud Volleyball Tournament benefiting the Community Free Clinic in Hagerstown. Many of the firm’s officers, principals and senior managers sit on not-for-profit boards.

Center rehabbed

Each January for the past 35 years, the Y of Central Maryland had been host of a breakfast to honor Martin Luther King Jr. This year, the Y decided to forgo the event and instead invest time and energy into revitalizing the historic Druid Hill Family Center Y in Baltimore. Baltimore-based contractor The Michael Group, a financial supporter of the Y for many years, was the lead volunteer contractor on this project. The Michael Group, with Peristyle Design and a committee of dedicated volunteers, enlisted subcontractors and suppliers to work pro bono at the facility to get the job done. Improvements included: a new gymnasium floor; new furniture, paint and flooring in the lobby and child-care area; and new computer workstations, paint, electrical, flooring and 25 computers in the computer lab. Services, supplies or both were provided by Colossal Contractors, Silverblatt Electric, Business Flooring, Allstate Floors and Construction Inc., Floors Etc., Wilhelm Commercial Builders, Mahogany Inc., Bay Door and Hardware and Judd’s Trucking Co.

Gifts for learning

Miles & Stockbridge P.C. partnered with TerraLex and Troutman Sanders to provide the gift of children’s books during legal referral network TerraLex’s 20th annual general meeting in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 29 through Oct. 3. As the host law firms of the meeting, Miles & Stockbridge and Troutman Sanders led a community service project benefitting Jumpstart, a reading and literacy project for at-risk youth that is supported by Georgetown University. Each of the member firms of TerraLex, representing close to 100 countries, donated children’s books about its country or state. Miles & Stockbridge has offices in Baltimore, Cambridge, Columbia, Easton, Frederick, Rockville and Towson in Maryland, and Tysons Corner, Va. Troutman Sanders has 16 offices in North America, Europe and Asia, including in Washington, D.C.

Hunger to ease

Thomas White, a GEICO field representative, organized an assembly line in his White Marsh office as he and his staff put together 125 gift bags that included GEICO novelty items donated by the company for a gala fundraiser last spring for Our Daily Bread, Maryland’s hot meal program. GEICO also made a contribution to the group. White and his wife have been longtime supporters of Our Daily Bread, which serves more than a quarter-million meals to the hungry each year.

Furniture installed

Suddath Relocation Systems of Maryland, a global moving and storage company, provided an in-kind contribution last fall by moving an estimated 4,000 pounds of office furniture donated by T. Rowe Price to Severna Park High School for its new College Career Center. The Suddath Companies, part of United Van Lines, specializes in local, domestic and worldwide relocations, warehousing and logistics management. It has a global network operating in 15 locations throughout the United States, including Odenton.

Food delivered

Thirty-three members of Gross Mendelsohn’s staff volunteered July 27 at the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore, sorting canned goods and processing food for distribution to combat hunger in the state. The Baltimore based accounting and management consulting firm celebrated its 50th anniversary by taking on large-scale community service projects this year.

Restrooms repaired

First Finish, a Columbia-based general contracting firm, demolished and renovated restroom facilities at St. Ann’s Infant & Maternity Home as a charitable act, working with Corrine Ritsick of Ritsick Design Associates. Superior Mechanical Services, Regional Electric, and Stover Tile donated time and materials. Construction was completed in early August. St. Ann’s, in Hyattsville, is operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. It administers three residential programs and a community day-care center for abused and neglected children and pregnant and parenting teens in crisis.

Food and cash given

The Fast Park family of 16 off-site airport parking companies held its third annual canned food drive in October. Collections from the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport site were given to the Maryland Food Bank, along with a donation of $1 for every pound of nonperishable food donated by customers.

Golfing for cure

For the sixth year EagleBank Foundation sponsored the Fight Breast Cancer Golf Classic for the benefit of area hospitals and organizations in their fight against breast cancer. Since 2005, the tournaments have raised over $915,000. This year’s tournament, held Oct. 11 at Woodmont Country Club, raised over $266,000 to be used by Shady Grove Adventist Hospital; Suburban Hospital; the George Washington University Cancer Institute; Providence Hospital; Washington Hospital Center; the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County; and the Wellness Community. EagleBank is headquartered in Bethesda; one of its directors, Donald R. Rogers, of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, is chairman of the EagleBank Foundation.

Supplies for students

The law firm of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker took part Aug. 19 in the second annual Park Potomac Ice Cream Social in the plaza outside of the Shulman Rogers office in Potomac. In this Interfaith School Supplies Program event employees of Foulger-Pratt, Park Potomac Place and Shulman Rogers joined residents of the Brownstones and the condos at Park Potomac to provide backpacks and school supplies for local families that cannot afford them. Interfaith Works is a coalition of more than 165 congregations representing many faiths, working together in Montgomery County to provide assist those in need of housing, family services, clothing and emergency assistance.

Holiday meals

WYPR-FM and Eddie’s Supermarket in Baltimore provided 375 turkeys to the Maryland Food Bank for the holiday season. The turkeys were purchased from proceeds from WYPR’s third annual on-air funds drive. The turkeys went to Maryland Food Bank network partners, which include soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and feeding programs.

Santa’s helpers

Attorney Edward T. Pinder, president of the Parkville Recreation Council, has forged a partnership between the council and the Parkville Carney Business and Professional Association. For the last three years, the association has provided $2,000 to the recreation council’s Breakfast with Santa so that needy families can attend for free. The council also accepts canned goods and toys to give to needy families in the Parkville area. Pinder, who resembles Santa at the event, received last year’s Spotlight Award from the Maryland State Bar Association for community service.

Help for Haiti

Clean Currents, of Rockville, is partnering with Solar Cookers International for its annual holiday giving campaign. From now through Jan. 12 — the one-year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake — Clean Currents will donate a portion of proceeds from every residential wind power enrollment to the purchase and distribution of solar cookers in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Solar cookers work by reflecting and concentrating the sun’s rays onto a black cooking pot, insulated by a clear plastic bag that traps the heat. Clean Currents provides wind power through the electric grid to more than 6,000 residential and 500 commercial customers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Delaware. It also installs solar photovoltaic systems at homes and businesses throughout the region.

Meals and jobs

FoodWorks, the Maryland Food Bank’s community kitchen program, graduated its inaugural class on Nov. 15. All eight students who completed the 14-week course have received offers for full-time employment. The students learned cooking fundamentals and life skills while earning certification with ServSafe, a food industry standard for quality and safety. FoodWorks staff and students make meals for those in need from food donated to the Maryland Food Bank by retailers, wholesalers, and Second Helping — a program that rescues excess food from food service operations. FoodWorks is funded by the City of Baltimore, the Charles T. Bauer Foundation, McCormick & Co., the France-Merrick Foundation, and individual donors to the Maryland Food Bank.

Turkeys and exams

The 11th annual Safeway Feast of Sharing at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24 provided not just a traditional turkey dinner for residents in need but also a job fair, free clothing, and health screenings, including free flu vaccines and diabetes testing. The event is conducted by Safeway, the Salvation Army, Metropolitan Baptist Church, SunTrust Bank, Centerplate/NBSE, Kool Smiles, Securpros and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs, including cancer research, education, hunger relief and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. The food and drug retailer’s Eastern Division offices are in Lanham.

Relief for families

The Baltimore B&O Railroad Museum chose the Casey Cares Foundation as its charity of choice through 2011. The foundation provides programs for critically ill children and their families. The museum will offer tickets to families, and Kids Fest tickets and engineers’ packages will be distributed to hospitalized pediatric patients. The museum will also participate in a holiday party for families at the museum and in other events throughout the year.