ACTC to lead the parade as Grand Marshals

Representatives from the Assistance Center of Towson Churches will be the Grand Marshals leading off the 2013 Towson Area Fourth of July Parade.

"We are very excited to make people aware of the good things that are happening at ACTC to help people in need through bad times," Jackie Sims, parade committee co-chair, said.

Founded in 1985, the ACTC center behind Calvary Baptist Church at 120 W. Pennsylvania Ave. has been able to provide assistance to poor and needy families through support from 48 congregations.

"We are always interested in finding new ways to lift up the people we serve so that they may live their lives more productively and joyfully," Cathy Burgess, ACTC executive director, said.

Last year donations along with 25,000 hours of volunteer help enabled ACTC  to service 33,770 people, distribute 472,965 pounds of food,  provide  $177,148 in financial assistance, help 6,745 homeless clients and distribute  2,200 Thanksgiving baskets.

"The need is constant," Burgess said.  "We're very pleased to be honored this way. It couldn't have come at a better time to make people aware of what the center does and how important it is to the community."

And, in coming years, ACTC will be able to reach out even more effectively, thanks to a $100,000 renovation and expansion project the agency is undergoing at 120 W. Pennsylvania Ave.

The center will be closed June 24 to 28 but beginning June 29, ACTC will temporarily offer family services at 700 Baltimore Ave. on the campus of Immaculate Conception Church and homeless services at 609 Baltimore Ave. across the street.

"We hope to be back at 120 Pennsylvania Ave. by late August with more space, upgraded systems, increased storage and strengthened floors," Burgess said. "Some people worry they are going to collapse."

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