The Knights of Columbus Patapsco Council No. 1960 and the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce are partnering later this month to hold “The Taste of the 21228,” a fundraiser for area businesses, employees and residents affected by flooding in Catonsville in late May.
The event takes place Aug. 23, from 6-10 pm. at the Knights of Columbus, 1010 Frederick Road. Tickets are $50, all-inclusive and can be purchased online through the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/308598413043032/.
Tickets are also available for purchase at Farmhouse Greens, located at 730 Frederick Rd #1.
Food will be donated by Catonsville Gourmet, Dimitri’s International Grille, Chef Paolino Cafe, Franco's Italian Bistro, Black Kettle Restaurant, Scittino’s Italian Market Place, Farmhouse Greens and Subway, according to organizers.
“It was pretty easy to [decide to help],” said Steve Hock, owner of Farmhouse Greens and an organizer of the event. “I knew I could help … just having the means to help and seeing the need was pretty much what did it.”
The menu is being finalized, Hock said, but he expects each restaurant will contribute fare that could be considered a “signature dish.”
Beer and wine will be supplied by donors, although Joe Poisal, president of the chamber, didn’t have specifics on who the purveyors would be. The beer and wine are included in the ticket price, he said.
Live music will be supplied by Blues State, a group featuring state Del. Eric Ebersole, who sings and plays guitar and keyboard.
“This is something I have beyond just writing a check that I can give back … by lending my skills,” said Ebersole, who represents District 12, which includes parts of Catonsville and Howard County.
Catonsville, Oella and Ellicott City were devastated by flooding on May 27, when around 10 inches of rain fell in less than two hours. Basements were flooded, roads were washed out and one man, Staff Sgt. Eddison Hermond Jr. of the Maryland National Guard, died in Ellicott City.
One home in Catonsville was deemed unsafe for use, and its residents, Kay and Dan Broadwater, were unable to stay in their home until mid-June.
Poisal said the chamber did not have an exact fundraising goal for the night, but that around $15,000 would be “a good number.”
Proceeds from the event will go through the chamber, Poisal said, which will then cut a check to recipients. He said the chamber would be “transparent” about the process.
“There’s been some devastation,” Poisal said. “We want to do something for our community and our members.”
Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler has another event on the evening of Aug. 23 but hopes to attend the Taste fundraiser as well, county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler wrote in an email.
“When the historic flooding hit Catonsville, I was struck by the way that people reached out to help their neighbors and even strangers in need. It was incredibly gratifying, but as a lifelong Catonsville resident, I was not surprised," Mohler said via the email.
Poisal said there would be a nomination process for awarding the money raised from this fundraiser, and those who need assistance or who wish to nominate someone can contact the chamber through its website, https://catonsville.org/.
Preliminarily, Poisal said, the recipients of raised money could be donated to the Broadwaters, employees at Jennings Cafe in Catonsville, who lost their cars in the flood, and the Christian Athletic Association, which suffered significant damage to its athletic fields.
“We don’t want to spread it too thinly, right? We want to make sure that we give people as much as we can,” Poisal said. “However, should there be a second fundraiser, which I think there will be, we’ll take a look at more folks.”
Steve Steven Schwing, community director for the local Knights of Columbus, said the organization “had to do something” to help.
“We’re all about charity and defending the faith and helping communities out,” Schwing said. “That’s what we’re about, man. We’re about spreading the Gospel and helping people out.”
Schwing said the local Knights of Columbus chapter was pulling the necessary permits for hosting a large gathering and serving beer and wine because the organization has experience doing so and knows the process.
He said he would not be surprised if there were people “upset” in not being chosen as recipients of money that’s raised this time around.
“But we do have a long list, and the list will probably get longer,” Schwing said. “If this one is successful we’ll do more.”
Ebersole said that he does not think Catonsville has the same kind of systemic issues that Ellicott City has because it sits between a handful of tributaries of the Patapsco River. He said he wants to support businesses that make the decision to return to Main Street.
Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk, whose district includes Catonsville and Oella, said the county and residents “really need to come together as a community and think long range” about zoning, planning and where it makes sense for people to live.
“The answer is definitely not an overnight answer,” Quirk said. “I think it’s just really important to come together and make sure that our businesses, they bounce back strongly and continue to thrive.”