Ravens sign Will Hill to two year extension

The Baltimore Ravens were able to shore up the safety position for the next few years by signing Will Hill to a two year contract. Terms of the deal are yet to be released, but Hill confirmed that the deal will keep him around for two more years. Hill had signed a one year $1.5 million deal before the season and was set to become a free agent in 2016. The new deal gives Hill some security and will allow him to focus strictly on football.

“It’s weight off my shoulders. This extension, it just helped out,” Hill said. “It gives me a lot of confidence on the playing field. Does everybody want a contract extension? Of course. I just really couldn’t focus on that. It has just been mainly mainstream football, getting ready for the season.” Hill mentioned Jimmy Smith, Kendrick Lewis and Terrell Suggs as players that will be special to play along with for years to come.

The stability that the Ravens organization offers is a really good situation for Hill. He has been able to turn things around on a personal level in his short time that he has spent with the team. He is able to turn to general manager Ozzie Newsome for daily advice. Hill said that he truly appreciates the family atmosphere in Baltimore.

“It is more family-oriented around here, and I know I have a good rapport with all my coaches – the offensive coaches, too,” Hill said. “I talk to Ozzie [Newsome] every day, and Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti – we have good conversations. They mingle with my family, so everybody is really family-oriented around here.”

The fourth year safety is coming off of a year in which he had 42 tackles, four pass breakups, along with an interception that he returned 44 yards for a touchdown. Hill and Lewis will lock down the safety spots. The two have already formed a solid tandem during training camp and into the preseason. Hill said that he and Lewis are a deadly combo that compliments each other very well.

Both Hill and Lewis can play close to the line of scrimmage in the box. Lewis lead the Houston Texans with 84 tackles last season. The two safeties also have enough range to play deep in single high coverage. The complete skill sets that the two safeties present makes them very interchangeable.

The next goal for Hill is to take things to another level and help the Ravens win a championship. He feels right at home in Baltimore and it has been that way from the start. “When I first signed and I sat down with Ozzie [Newsome], I knew from that point that I didn’t want to go anywhere; I wanted to be a Raven. And this extension, it just helped out, and it gives me a lot of confidence on the playing field. And it helps me see what this organization thinks of me.”

Sesame Street’s move to HBO angers local parents, childcare workers

Sesame Street will now be brought to you by the letters H-B-O!

The iconic children’s program is moving from the friendly-confines of PBS to the adult world of Home Box Office. The move has left more than just Oscar feeling grouchy.

A number of Baltimore area child care agencies and others are expressing their outrage, noting that while PBS is known for offering family and kids’ favorites like Sesame Street, the Electric Company and Masterpiece Theater, HBO is rife with sex, violence, harsh language and is otherwise not child-friendly.

“It’s very sad because you could always count on Sesame Street on PBS,” said Jennifer Dorsey, the founder of A World of Friends Learning Center in Baltimore. “This must be a money deal. I know PBS is run by grants and community donations, but it’s a shame that they can’t keep [first-runs] of Sesame Street,” said Dorsey, who also holds a position on the Mayor’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee.

The New York Times spelled out how the partnership will work between HBO, the network known for the Sopranos and its mob hits and scantily clad women and PBS, often praised for its educational programming for children and adults.

In a new five-year deal between the network and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, first-run episodes of Sesame Street will run exclusively on HBO and its streaming outlets this fall. The arrangement allows the financially challenged Sesame Workshop to significantly increase its production of Sesame Street episodes and other new programming.

The group will produce 35 new Sesame Street episodes a year, up from the 18 it now produces, the Times reported. It will also create a spin-off series based on the “Sesame Street” Muppets along with another new educational series for children.

After nine months of appearing only on HBO, the shows will be available free on PBS, home to Sesame Street for the last 45 years.

“Kids are getting squeezed in the middle,” said Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, a nonpartisan education group that advocates for responsible entertainment. “In order to watch original episodes of the most iconic children’s program in television history, parents are now forced to fork over about $180 per year and subscribe to the most sexually explicit, most graphically violent television network in America. I can’t imagine a greater juxtaposition in television than this.”

In a statement, an HBO spokesman said, “We are incredibly proud of our role in securing the future of ‘Sesame Street’ and its availability to PBS for free.”

Childcare workers weren’t as enthused.

“I don’t think you should be charged to see Big Bird,” said Sheryl Crosby, the business manager at Creative Learning Center, an ethnically diverse preschool and childcare center. “My husband and I don’t have HBO because of all of the garbage that’s on it and I have a huge problem with this because PBS connects with education while HBO connects with, well garbage.”

Debi Karpinsky, the director of the Playtime Learning Center and Child Care, said she hadn’t heard about the Sesame Street to HBO deal until contacted Friday. “I see this as a big problem,” Karpinsky said.

“Everything has become one big horrible cycle. Now, kids won’t get what they need which is something simple as a [free] television show. It’s just inappropriate and more bad news because many of us watched Sesame Street when we were children.”

Karpinsky says the Playtime Learning Center and Child Care instructs children using thematic units, which teach basic skills through real life and hands-on experience. She says the goal is helping children to realize that learning can be fun.

“But, this move to put Sesame Street on HBO is all about the almighty dollar,” Karpinsky said.

Executive jet service to offer cancer patients free flights

— GrandView Aviation, an executive jet and helicopter service in Maryland, will partner with Corporate Angel Network to arrange free flights for cancer patients to specialized treatment facilities in the empty seats on corporate and private aircraft.

GrandView Aviation will offer its charter services to Corporate Angel Network cancer patients and their families to provide a way for patients with compromised immune systems who cannot travel commercially get to life-prolonging treatment, and ultimately help save lives.

“We book trips across the country and there are many times when our flights have empty legs or seats that can be put to good use,” said Jessie Bowling, Director of Sales and Marketing at GrandView Aviation. “This gives our clients the opportunity to extend their charters and empty seats to Corporate Angel Network for those who need it most.”

Corporate Angel Network is a non-profit organization that strives to help cancer patients access the best possible treatment for their specific type of cancer. The organization has flown more than 48,000 cancer patient flights to specialized treatment through the generosity of over 500 participating corporations.

To learn more about or donate to Corporate Angel Network, visit http://www.corpangelnetwork.org.

Things to consider when buying a franchise

Before one makes the “jump” to buy a franchise, you should consider the following:

*Get a good understanding of where you are financially, timeline-wise and from an interest standpoint. You need to assess not only yourself, but your financial position, what kind of cash you have in place, what is your liquidity, what is your net worth?

*Know who YOU are. Before selecting a franchise brand or concept you need to fully understand your own interests, background and business abilities. are your hobbies and interests outside of work or professional life? What are your strengths and weaknesses from a business or personal standpoint?

*Research the market and as many franchise opportunities as you can.

Unless you have a specific company in mind or are using a franchise broker or consultant who is helping you through the process and researching, this could be a lengthy, frustrating process. There are dozens of franchise websites and thousands of franchise opportunities out there, which provide a wide variety of information on franchises.

*Research your financing options. Once you have made your selection, you may need financing, in fact, even if you don’t need financing, it’s good to understand what your options are and what capital/cash is available for you should you need working capital or resources to launch your franchised business. There are numerous options, including conventional bank loans; SBA guaranteed loans; 401k rollovers; alternative financing channels; and home equity loans.

With over a decade of experience in building and developing franchise brands, Franchise Marketing Systems (FMS) continues to pride itself on structuring and modeling various organizations appropriately for replication into new markets.

Christopher Conner is the president of Franchise Marketing Systems, which has become one of the primary organizations for providing full-service marketing and sales support consulting to clients in all industries.

College Bound: Make your personal space pop

— Academics aside, gearing up for college is a big job. Whether you’re headed to the dorms or sharing an apartment or house with friends, making your surroundings comfortable and functional will let you focus on your studies. From cozy bedding to help you catch your zzzz’s to the right technology for cramming to storage space that makes the most of your cramped quarters, show your smarts by decking out your living space right so you can turn your attention to hitting the books and having some fun.

Clean Up and Customize— Need extra storage in addition to your current closet setup? The Closet Maximizer from ClosetMaid is a tool-free solution that you can install in about 30 minutes. It features four shelves and an adjustable double, hang rod. Customize your system with accessories like fabric bins and wire baskets. The best part— you can reuse the Closet Maximizer in a different room, or even take it with you if you move. Available exclusively at HomeDepot.com.

Sleep in Style— Your bed may be the last thing on your mind as you think of all the excitement that awaits but getting plenty of sleep is key to your success in college. Amp the appeal of your dorm-issue mattress with stylish and comfy bedding that reflects your personality. Look for quality threads you can snuggle into, and coordinate with funky pillows to make your bed a cozy place to sit and study by day. Shop for great deals at your local retailers or online.

Key Your Way to Success— From tapping out notes in class to papers that keep you up all night to keeping in touch with family back home, your laptop is likely to be a constant companion. A mid-range CPU will give you the speed to keep up. When it comes to memory and hard drive storage, your major may dictate how much you need, especially if you work with large files on a regular basis. Remember to consider size and weight for portability, and invest in a model that can withstand some wear and tear. A sales associate at an electronics retailer can guide you to your perfect match.

Prominent surgeon Keiffer Mitchell Sr. dies at 73

Keiffer Mitchell Jr. remembers fondly the early morning telephone calls his dad would make to him daily. And every evening, Mitchell Jr. would call his dad.

“In our society when we hear so many negative things about African-American males and fatherhood I was blessed to have for 47 years an awesome father and son relationship and a man as a dad who took us to school every day, who went to our school meetings, and attended all of our athletics and extra-curricular school events,” Mitchell said, just one week after his legendary father and prominent surgeon Keiffer Mitchell Sr. died after a brief illness at the age of 73.

“It wasn’t a day in our lives where we didn’t think he loved us,” Mitchell Jr. said. “He did all the things dads are supposed to but he went above and beyond that.”

The younger Mitchell recalled how his dad regularly made time for each of his three children, Mitchell Jr.; Kelly Mitchell Newhouse; and Kathleen Mitchell. He also proved to be a beloved husband to wife, Nannette Mitchell.

“When the weekends would come and my dad had to work, he’d get up early and take us with him to work so that he would still be able to spend time with him,” Mitchell said.

The elder Mitchell, a gastrointestinal surgeon, was the son of Clarence M. Mitchell Jr., a leader in the civil rights movement and a lobbyist for the NAACP.

The elder Mitchell was the first black student to enroll at Gwynns Falls Junior High School after the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ended segregation. He then attended Lincoln University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, before opening a doctor’s office back home in Baltimore.

Mitchell also was the first black doctor to serve on the Johns Hopkins University medical school admissions committee.

The doctor is credited with saving countless lives and helping to extending the life of many others.

“His legacy to the family is his kindness and sense of decency. But, it is also the gift of art that he left and his medicine,” Mitchell Jr. said.

“The number of people who are still alive who had bad news delivered to them and he came in and helped to save them is also his legacy,” he said. “I run into patients who were told that they were going to die and that was ten years ago. People have discovered tumors on their colon and my dad was able to get in there and save their lives. There are hundreds of people walking around because my father saved their life.”

As grateful as his patients were, Mitchell was equally indebted to them, his son said.

“One of the things I’m most proud of was that he and my mom put me and my two sisters through college without taking out any loans,” Mitchell Jr. said.

“They struggled but he didn’t believe in taking out loans for school that would saddle us with debt. He didn’t take many vacations and worked harder and always said that he paid full freight.

“But, one of the rules when we graduated was that he would frame our diplomas and hang it in his waiting room for one year so that his patients could see them. He would hang them with a sign that said ‘Thank You’ to the patients for helping me put my children through college.”

Despite his immense success in medicine and the notoriety he held in the community, Mitchell never pressured his children to achieve what he had.

“He was very good at letting us be who we wanted to be,” his son said. “He wanted us to be the best at whatever we did. I never felt pressure to follow in his footsteps because he wanted us to follow our passion because he followed his.”

Even though he faced racial injustice early on, Mitchell deflected any talk of being a community leader.

“His philosophy was to give everything you can and, whatever you do, always help the community or humanity,” Mitchell Jr. said. “He would bristle if you said he’s part of the community because when he said help the community, to him it was help humanity, he

didn’t care if you were black, white or of a different nationality.”

Are you having fun with today’s politics?

— “I’ll see your two blacks and raise you two more.”

The vast majority of the news is centered on politics, specifically, the 2016 presidential race, which is 14 months away. Black people are being sucked under by a whirlpool of nonsense on TV news outlets, newspaper and magazine commentaries, lectures, and even some protests.

Candidates are already going across the nation giving speeches, and the first presidential debate by the red-tie and blue-tie gangs, has already been conducted. Hmmm. When these politicians are on TV, they always wear red or blue ties; and we are divided by red and blue states. The Crips and Bloods must be proud.

Talking heads on news shows are so giddy about the political possibilities, and it is obvious that they see the upcoming election as simply “fun,” as one commentator said. Is it fun for Black people? Are you having fun yet? I doubt it. You’re too busy trying to make ends meet, that is, if you even have any ends in the first place.

Folks are making millions of dollars on the political hype, hysteria, and histrionics, while most black folks are falling deeper into the abyss of economic despair and desperation. Just think about it: all the cable news shows are replete with political clap- trap— morning, noon, and night.

They never highlight economic solutions for black people, never feature conscious black people as guests on a regular basis, and never move beyond the mundane discussions and point-counterpoint arguing that takes place between and among so-called experts and intellectuals. Of course, no problems get solved in that process.

Here is the caveat for black people: As I warned in 2007, watch out! The “okey-doke” is afoot. While political discourse is dominating the news, real issues that connect to black economic growth and power are given very short shrift. Each news channel has its own black faces, none of whom is able to go “off the plantation,” to speak directly to the

important issues that are relevant to black people. They consume hours of airtime doing their best imitation of Pavlov’s dog, salivating over their preferred candidate and offering milquetoast assessments to black issues, mainly through a political lens, as if that will solve our problems. I have a strong stomach, so I can watch some of their political chitchat.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is certainly disrupting the political business-as-usual process these days, but they are waiting for the candidates to give them a plan through which black lives will indeed matter. The candidates give them scripted rhetoric, but no specific public commitment regarding real change. Asking politicians to do the right thing will only keep us waiting for another 50 years; we must demand what we want, very specifically and get a oral and written commitment from them before we give them our votes.

Politicians are many things, but one thing most of them are not is stupid. They will say whatever makes us feel good; they will dodge our issues or simply ignore us; or they will do what Hillary did when the brother in BLM “asked” what she would do to help. She turned the question back on him, saying, “You tell me what you want.”

Presently, politicians control the game. We must start and control our own game. They have no reason to deal with our issues vis-à-vis police brutality and other inequities because there is no price for them to pay for not supporting us.

Where is their indignation about what happened to Sandra Bland and more recently Charnesia Corley, who was humiliated by police officers who forced a cavity search on her in a gas station parking lot in Harris County, Texas, in plain sight of passers-by? All black people are hearing is the same political rhetoric that we hear each election cycle. But whose fault is that?

Most politicians only value black folks when it’s time to vote. Ann Coulter said, “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks,” in her defense and support of Herman Cain. We are just pawns on their chessboard, chips in a high stakes poker game.

The solution is grounded in economics, the same weapon other groups use to gain political concessions. I recently posed two questions to a black Republican who recruits black voters: What will black folks get if we all vote for the Republican candidate? What will black folks lose if we do not vote at all? He could not answer those questions. The same questions apply to the Democrats, but more importantly they apply to us. More specifically, we must stop “asking” and start demanding— with the collective power to reward and punish.

We can win this fight; we simply have to use the right weapon. You cannot properly defend yourself in a gunfight if your weapon of choice is a switchblade.

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for black people. He can be reached through his website: blackonomics.com.

Bobby’s Burger Palace opens in Towson

Local burger lovers have a new spot to add to their foodie list. Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) opened on July 28, 2015 at 515 Virginia Avenue in Towson Square.

The restaurant features burgers that are inspired by Chef Bobby Flay. Diners can expect to choose from specialty creations cooked with certified Angus beef, ground turkey or whole chicken breast. Along with other meaty selections, the Philadelphia Burger, Carolina Burger, Brunch Burger, L.A. Burger, Dallas Burger and BBP’s Crunchburger® reflect Flay’s travels throughout America and his love of comfort food.

Any burger can be cooked to order. Burgers can be “Crunchified,” by topping them with crisp chips, at no additional charge. Sides include hand-cut French fries with BBP Fry Sauce, sweet potato fries with honey mustard horseradish sauce and buttermilk onion rings. Milkshake fans may choose from 10 exotic options like blueberry-pomegranate with or without real whipped cream. Salads and sandwiches are adorned with BBP’s unique touches, too. The Topless Burger Salad combines balsamic dressing with any burger served on top of baby greens.

Laurence Kretchmer is Flay’s business partner who oversees the BBP chain. He explained that BBP is not a fast-food dive. How does he feel that it differs from most local burger joints?

“The food is made with only the best ingredients. Every meal is cooked to order…like you go into a bigger restaurant and ask, ‘How would you like your burger cooked?’ Our burgers are cooked rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, well-done, however a guest likes it,” Kretchmer said. “The options are very different. It’s the only burger chain that we know of which is absolutely chef-driven where every recipe is created by a world-class or world-famous chef. The level of hospitality that we provide, where we have an inexpensive price point, we offer a higher level of service that we try to make it a more comfortable, accessible place, but keeping that value of things front and center always.”

BBP Towson includes indoor seating for 65 guests and space for 24 on an outdoor terrace. The restaurant is open from Sunday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Kretchmer says that BPP is a great spot for friends to gather, a place for guys to leave the office and grab a bite to eat, or buddies to get together after work. However, it is a very family-friendly place.

“There is no alcohol here. We do that on purpose. We want to keep it light and friendly,” Kretchmer said. “I imagine on the weekends, you will see a lot more families in here. We have a special deal for kids where you can get a burger, fries and a drink for less than the price of any our burgers alone that an adult would get.”

There are 19 BBP locations throughout the country. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz welcomed BBP to Towson Square, which is the newest dining and entertainment district in the heart of Towson, Maryland, anchored by a state-of-the-art 15-screen Cinemark Theatre. Before his visit, Kamenetz proposed the idea of adding a finishing touch.

“We need a Towson Burger on your menu, and it could be all Baltimore County homegrown ingredients,” Kamenetz said on opening day. “It’s a perfect time to make that Towson Burger on the map. It’ll be a great seller, so see ya soon.”

Ravens Rookie WR Daniel Brown’s work ethic makes underdog a standout

Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Daniel Brown has made steady progress since the start of organized team activities this year. Making the jump from James Madison University to the NFL is not an easy task. However, this isn’t the first time that Brown has been faced with having to adjust to a larger arena.

Brown played high school football at Isle of Wight Academy, which is located in the “757 area code,” an area in Virginia known for producing NFL players such as Michael Vick, Russell Wilson, Kam Chancellor and Michael Robinson. He takes pride in being from the area.

“My teammates in college used to give me a hard time because I am from the 757,” Brown said. “I am from kind of the outskirts of that area. There’s a ton of talent that comes from that area so there’s a reputation that has to be lived up to.”

Brown helped the small school win three-consecutive state championships from 2005 – 2007. He was named first-team All-State as a senior. Brown stood out on the baseball field also, earning first-team All-State and All-conference honors as a senior playing first base.

While at Isle of Wight Academy, Brown became known as the school’s “Mr. Athlete.” He played forward on the basketball team and was known for being able to dunk on his opponent and also be a threat from three-point range. He earned first-team All-State and All-Conference honors as a junior and senior.

His time on the basketball court, specifically playing in the low post has helped Brown on the football field.

“A lot of playing in the post has to do with being a receiver. It’s like going up for a rebound. It’s all about timing and getting the ball at the highest point,” Brown said. “In football, if it’s a fade in the end zone or a deep ball, timing and using my size to my advantage is important. Playing basketball has helped a lot with that.”

Despite his many high school accomplishments, Brown didn’t receive many offers from colleges. He wanted to attend James Madison because of their business school, which is one of the best in the country. The fact that he could get a high-class education and play football was a big factor in his decision to attend. He won the Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner’s Academic Award while majoring in computer information systems.

Brown earned a scholarship one year after walking onto the football team. Brown’s contributions increased every year after redshirting as a freshman. He appeared in 39 games at James Madison and recorded 91 receptions for 1,450 yards including 17 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Brown was stuck in a similar situation when his college career ended. He proved that he was a difference maker while in college but didn’t attract a lot of attention from those at the next level. Just as he did before, Brown rose to the occasion. This time it was at his pro day in front of NFL scouts. The scouts were impressed with his size (6’-5’ and 227 pounds) and his quickness (4.19 short shuttle). The fact that he caught every pass thrown his way certainly helped as well.

The Ravens showed the most interest and brought him into mini-camp. The big receiver is learning how to better use his body to win in his routes and at the catch point. He was able to string together some solid practices last week when the team had joint sessions with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The success trickled over to game day when Brown made his first catch as a pro, a 28-yard touchdown. Apparently, Brown has a thing for making a splash first impression. His first catch, as a college player was a 41-yard touchdown against North Carolina.

Brown has the right mentality when it comes to approaching this opportunity.

“You don’t know how many reps you’re going to get, so you have to make the most of the ones that you get. If they throw your way, you have to catch it,” Brown said. “I’ve improved at getting off the line, using my hands against press which is big in this league. The veterans, especially Steve Smith have told me to be physical at the line and to use my size against press.”

It is important for players in his situation to get good plays on film. Brown knows that he is being evaluated on every play and has to make plays in order to make the 53-man roster. It’s clear that he and third string quarterback Bryn Renner are developing a nice connection from working together so much in practice. The touchdown catch against the Eagles was an example of that connection. Quarterbacks usually don’t throw the ball to a receiver when he is covered and has a safety lurking in the area.

The biggest thing that he had to adjust to was the speed of the defenses. Everyone is fast in the NFL. Brown says that he only focuses on what he can control. For that reason, he goes out and puts in the hard work every day. The attack work ethic displayed by Brown on the football field is fueled by the people who have doubted him.

“I feel like coming from high school, walking into college and then coming to Baltimore, I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder. Not in a nasty way,” Brown said. “I’ve always had a certain work ethic. People have counted me out, kind of like an underdog guy. I want to prove people wrong.”

That work ethic is something that stood out to Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman.

“He [Brown] is one of those guys that continues to work every day. He comes in, works hard like the rest of the guys. The level of competition has allowed him to accelerate his growth in the offense and in his individual play.”

Fire victims continue a giving legacy from heaven

News of the fatal mansion fire that occurred on January 19, 2015 in Annapolis, which claimed the lives of 56-year-old Donald Pyle, 63-year-old Sandra Pyle and four of their grandchildren— Alexis Boone, 8; Kaitlyn Boone, 7; Wesley Boone, 6; and Charlotte Boone, 8— shocked their family, friends and even strangers.

Stacie Wollman (left) shares happy memories at a Halloween party last October with the late Sandra Pyle (middle) and Marlee Roy (right). Wollman and Roy both volunteered to help raise money for the newly established Don and Sandy Pyle Charity Foundation.

(Courtesy photo)

Stacie Wollman (left) shares happy memories at a Halloween party last October with the late Sandra Pyle (middle) and Marlee Roy (right). Wollman and Roy both volunteered to help raise money for the newly established Don and Sandy Pyle Charity Foundation.

A report issued by the ATF and the Anne Arundel Fire Department revealed that an overheated electrical outlet ignited a Christmas tree, causing the blaze of the castle-like home on Childs Point Road.

Although friends and family are still coping with the tragic loss of their loved ones, a group of volunteers agreed that raising money for Don and Sandy’s favorite organizations could keep their memory alive. They had a history of supporting charitable organizations in Maryland.

With the help of Pat McCoy, who was a friend and colleague of Don’s, a board of 10 was established for the Don and Sandy Pyle Charity Foundation. On June 1, golf volunteers, supporters and friends convened at Old South Country Club in Lothian, Md. for a first annual golf outing fundraiser. Victor Roy, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) in Annapolis, and Stacey Alviani—a client service associate at the company— were among volunteers who helped to run the golf fundraiser.

“Everyone came up with the quote, ‘Doing it for Don,’” Roy said. “We had the golf tournament and we raised about $45,000 (after expenses) in June.”

Proceeds from the event were divided equally between The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, The Boys & Girls Club of Annapolis, the Maryland SPCA and The Severn School Boone/Pyle Scholarship Fund, which was reportedly established by the Boone families to honor the memory of the four Boone children who died in the fire. All four children attended Severn School in Severna Park.

The golf tournament was extremely special for Roy, a friend who had known the Pyles since the late nineties. Roy was their neighbor, before they moved to the waterfront home on Childs Point Road. He later became their wealth manager.

“They were the complete opposites. Obviously, Don was a very good businessman. He built a pretty big nest egg and… was successful at technology, software, telecommunications kind of stuff,” Roy said. “Sandy was the complete opposite. She was so much fun and would arrange the parties, charity events and giving back.”

Roy reminisced about Sandy—the fun-loving woman who hosted an annual fundraiser at her home to benefit the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. She loved Ripken, the Baltimore Orioles and pets. Don, who was the chief operating officer of the IT company, ScienceLogic in Virginia, was a lacrosse fan who grew up in Baltimore.

While carrying heartfelt memories like these with him, Roy presented an $11,250 donation raised from the golf fundraiser to Steven Cornette, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (BGCAA) on July 22. Alviani also attended with Roy. The representatives of the Don and Sandy Pyle Charity Foundation were happy to help Sandy and Don continue their legacy of giving from heaven.

“BGCAA is humbled and honored to be a part of the Pyle family legacy. The golf tournament donation will go a long way in helping us transform the lives of underserved youth in all six of our clubhouses with programs targeted at healthy and active lifestyles – programs that will better the future of our community, one young person at a time,” Cornette said.

Roy believes that future fundraising efforts will gain momentum since Don and Sandy were well loved. The plan is to rotate future charity donations, while continuing to honor them.

“At the end of the day, you feel really good that you’re still helping the people that were dear to Sandy and Don, but it is painful. You keep on remembering them, but I guess everyone deals with grief differently…,” Roy said. “They were successful, but they gave a lot back. A lot of people are really kind of hurt. You hurt because you lost them, but a lot of people counted on their help for their organizations. It’s another reason to keep this going.”