Last week I had the chance to hear two very impressive men speak. The first, Stanley A. Levi, has been the Executive Director of Family and Children’s Services for almost 30 years. At his retirement party, FSC’s board chair reminded us of the nearly 170-year history of the organization, and Stan himself talked about FSC’s partnership with Maryland Family Network and many other public and private organizations. Stan and a group of successive Family Support Center Directors have been running the Park Heights Family Support Center for over twenty years. We greatly appreciated his responsiveness, transparency, and commitment when it came to finding resources and providing guidance. He has been a true “friend of the family,” and I’ll miss him.
At a luncheon fundraiser last week I heard Bryan Stevenson speak on his theme, “The Opposite of Poverty is Justice.” Mr. Stevenson is an activist human rights lawyer, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and represents prisoners on death row and other “hopeless” cases. Particularly timely, as the audience was reeling from the aftershock of the turmoil in Baltimore City, he gave his “prescription” for transformational change in human interactions: (1) Get closer to the community; (2) Change the narrative behind the problems, especially about race, and especially with children; (3) Be hopeful; (4) Choose to do the uncomfortable thing; and (5) Mind the metrics. More on Bryan Stevenson’s ideas are in his popular book, Just Mercy.
Not a man but an impressive action by a Maryland accounting firm deserves notice and thanks. Lanigan Ryan Malcolm & Doyle, PC, held its 23rd annual Charity Golf Tournament that benefited two nonprofits that serve Montgomery County, including Maryland Family Network! At a beautiful course in Silver Spring on a glorious spring day, LRMD, supported by a long list of sponsors, prize and cash donors, and participants, hosted the event for over 120 golfers. Thanks to Frank Lanigan, Kelly Ryan, David Malcolm, Kevin Doyle, Steve Staton, Steve Dasher, Brian Pollack, and the large team of gracious, enthusiastic staffers who made every aspect of the event perfect.