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Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce donates $15,000 to May flood victims

The check distribution from The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce and the Knights of Columbus at Jennings Cafe on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
The check distribution from The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce and the Knights of Columbus at Jennings Cafe on Wednesday, Oct. 10. (Courtesy photo / Joe Poisal)

The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce and the Knights of Columbus Patapsco Council No. 1960, with Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler on hand, distributed 16 checks last week to victims of the severe flooding that hit Catonsville in late May.

The chamber raised about $15,000 at a “Taste of the 21228” fundraiser in August. Chamber President Joe Poisal said the fundraiser could become an annual event to raise money for “worthy causes in [ZIP code] 21228.”

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The home of Dan and Kay Broadwater was the only house in Baltimore County to be declared "unsafe" by county authorities after Sunday's heavy rains caused flooding throughout Baltimore and Howard counties.

The money was distributed in checks worth between $500 and $2,000. Six checks went to employees of Jennings Cafe who lost their cars to water damage and five days of work because of the flood.

Other checks went to the Christian Athletic Association for a damaged athletic field, Catonsville Presbyterian Church Family Child Care and seven other Catonsville businesses that were affected by the floodwaters.

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One couple, Dan and Kay Broadwater, of Catonsville, also received a check. Their home off Frederick Road was temporarily deemed “unsafe” by the county after a basement wall was blown out from an overflowing storm drain.

The Broadwaters did not attend the check giveaway last week, and the funds coming their way had not yet reached them as of Oct. 17, Dan Broadwater said.

“It’s very thoughtful of them to remember us, think about us, to know the community cares, that means a whole lot to us,” he said. “We are grateful for any help that they provide and appreciate the sacrifice that people have given toward assisting us to getting us back to where we were.”

Staff Sgt. Eddison Hermond Jr. “put his life at risk for someone he didn’t even know,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said before a packed room of hundreds of mourners, including many military service members, during funeral services at the Church at Severn Run in Severn.

Mohler, himself a Catonsville native, said in an interview this week that the fundraiser “captured the spirit” of Catonsville and Baltimore County.

“To have [the chamber] do that, and now talk about it being an annual event, it’s something that touches your heart and makes me so glad to be from Catonsville,” he said.

The flooding in May also damaged Oella and devastated Ellicott City, where one man, Staff Sgt. Eddison Hermond Jr. of the Maryland National Guard, died in the storm.

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