Tall ships festival inspired feelings of global...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Tall ships festival inspired feelings of global hope

When the tall ships sailed gracefully out of Baltimore's Inner Harbor last Thursday, they left behind a community that's a little more optimistic, a little more hopeful about its world.

The tall ships reminded us that there are many kinds of people out there, speaking many different languages, living many different lifestyles. But when it comes to community, we all want the same things: peace, happiness, prosperity.

United Way of Central Maryland applauds the tall ships that left such a glorious impression on our residents and visitors.

We thank Deutsche Bank Alex.Brown for helping make this event possible, for its continued leadership in our community and for its commitment to the betterment of life for our residents.

Proof of the company's philanthropic concerns are obvious: It is consistently one of United Way of Central Maryland's most generous supporters, contributing $200,000 in matching funds this year for a special initiative to increase membership in our Alexis de Tocqueville Society of $100,000-and-above givers.

Deutsche Bank continues to run United Way's largest Tocqueville campaign, with 52 donors in 1999. The company's leadership remains actively involved in United Way's efforts, with Tim Schweizer, managing director, chairing this year's Tocqueville campaign, and Mayo A. Shattuck III, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer, chairing it in 1998.

Deutsche Bank Alex.Brown's commitment to Baltimore demonstrates the positive impact global companies can have on our communities. We thank them for helping improve the lives of so many people in central Maryland.

Larry E. Walton

Baltimore

The writer is president and chief professional officer of the United Way of Central Maryland.

Baptist churches may ordain women

While there is much that I find disturbing about the new Baptist Faith and Message statement adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention ("Southern Baptists vote to forbid women pastors," June 15), I wish to address one issue.

I refer to the section that excludes women from pastoral roles. The convention has no power to prohibit a local church from ordaining a woman as a minister or calling her as pastor.

Nor does it have the power to rescind a minister's ordination or to remove a pastor from the pulpit.

All ministers in Southern Baptist churches are ordained by local congregations, and each local church is free to call whomever it pleases as pastor.

I have been a Baptist minister for 27 years. I was ordained, not by the Southern Baptist Convention, but by Norwood Baptist Church in Anniston, Ala.

The convention will probably, within a couple years, amend its constitution to exclude churches that ordain women or call women as pastors. But it cannot dictate to state conventions or local church associations.

However, these bodies may - and many will - use the new statement as a basis for excluding churches that ordain women or call women to pastoral roles. Some associations, even without the new statement, have already done that.

But all Baptists are not alike. There are Baptists in the Baltimore area who believe that God calls men and women alike for all forms of Christian ministry.

Lamar Wadsworth

Baltimore

The writer is a member of Woodbrook Baptist Church.

Sickle cell sufferers still awaiting cure

In our excitement over the decoding of human genome with its potential for curing cancer and many other diseases, let's not forget those members of our society suffering from sickle cell anemia.

It is one of the simplest, if not the simplest (a single mutation) of all genetic abnormalities, and we are still awaiting the "cure" half a century after its discovery.

Those with sickle cell might be more convinced of the enormous potential of the current landmark breakthrough only if their misery had been alleviated by now.

Dr. A.K.M. Shamsuddin

Baltimore

Provident Hospital loss evokes memories

As I have aged, I often tell people "I'm falling apart." As I have grown old, I weep when I am happy and cry when I am sad or upset.

Recently, news came to me that the Bon Secours-Liberty Medical-New Provident hospital building will be torn down. I cried.

I cried for the lost hopes of so many people who struggled so hard and for so long to raise funds for the "New" Provident Hospital.

It was a struggle to get legislation passed in Annapolis to continue the process. It was a struggle to fire up the community to the task. When all that legwork was done, the biggest struggle was to raise the matching funds.

The whole city rallied behind Charles G. Tildon Jr. to get the project funding under way. The late Max Johnson of the Afro-American newspapers challenged Woman Power Inc. to pull its weight in that direction. Dr. Delores C. Hunt urged Woman Power to take a leadership role in the project and spearheaded the drive.

Woman Power organized the Century Club, made up of more than 100 women dedicated to contribute or raise $100 each within a year. The goal of $10,000 was raised on time.

Woman Power held a raffle. Anderson Chevrolet donated a new Chevrolet with a reversible top. The raffle was a success.

F. Ballantine and Sons sponsored a golf tournament with the entire proceeds donated to Provident Hospital development program. Featured were Joe Louis, the world heavyweight champion, and Marguerite Bellafonte, the beautiful actress.

A fund-raising contest was held to determine a Miss New Provident Hospital. The finals were held in conjunction with the golf tournament and Miss Provident Hospital was presented at a banquet held in the ballroom of the Belvedere Hotel. Through the combined efforts of Woman Power and other organizations nearly $200,000 was raised.

At the same time, fraternities, sororities, women's clubs and church groups all bonded together and struggled to reach their goals. The whole city worked together to raise funds for the new hospital. On Saturday mornings, philanthropists like Sam Hecht of the Hecht Co. stores and Joseph Meyerhoff of the Symphony Hall fame met with members of the building committee in a trailer to share their experiences of building Sinai Hospital and to save Provident Hospital money and time.

Finally, the goals were met. However, many donations were pledges to be paid later. Much money was needed at once. So, the Grandmaster of the Prince Hall Masons, Samuel T. Daniel, requested the Masons to pay their $100,000 pledge early, in order to meet the immediate financial needs. This was done and ground was broken. The new Provident Hospital was built and opened (in 1970) with a big splash. I have a few questions:

What became of the Wall of Honor that was prominent upon entering the new Provident Hospital? On it were the names of the Provident Hospital Board, the names of the fund-raising committee, and the names of the leaders of the medical staff. What has become of the area where the names of the contributing clubs, organizations and individuals were listed?

What has become of the Book of Life? Where are the plaques inscribed with the names of the various rooms in honor of the most generous contributors? What has become of the pictures of the founders of the first Provident Hospital? Where are the pictures of the staff and the prominent doctors and nurses?

I hope I will be able to respond to the request to support the attempt to preserve the memories of the old hospitals, especially the new Provident, Lutheran and Liberty Medical hospitals.

When the big ball dashes against the old hospital, I'll cry and I will fall apart.

Victorine Q. Adams

Baltimore

The writer is a former member of the Baltimore City Council.

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