Annual Tocqueville Society Event

Every year, The United Way of Central Maryland throws an event to celebrate its members, those who have donated $10,000 and more to the nonprofit. This year was no exception…except that the gathering was held virtually.

Society members gathered around their computer screens to hear from Chris Gardner, best-selling author and the inspiration for the Will Smith film, The Pursuit of Happyness, and to fete this year’s honorees.

Guy and Nupur Parekh Flynn received the Philanthropists of the Year award. Freeman and Jackie Hrabowski were recipients of the Mark Furst Volunteers of a Lifetime award. Johns Hopkins University was honored as Organization of the Year.

Pictured (LtoR) Guy Flynn, DLA Piper Downtown Baltimore office partner in charge; and Nupur Parekh Flynn
Pictured (LtoR) Steven Kravet, President, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians president; and Melissa Kravet, The Jemicy School nurse
Pictured (LtoR) Thomasina L. Hiers, The Annie E. Casey Foundation Center for Civic Sites and Community Change vice president/United Way of Central Maryland board chair; and Franklyn Baker, United Way of Central Maryland president/CEO (on screen)
Pictured (LtoR) Don & Marianne Mattran, Foundry Wealth Advisors co-founders/2019 Tocqueville chairs
Pictured – Linda J. Demmler, IBM Global Asset Recovery Services chief operating officer
Pictured (LtoR) Bryce Freeman,: Global Delivery Leader, McCormick People Systems global delivery leader; Franklyn Baker, United Way of Central Maryland president/CEO (on screen); and LTC Marisa Pace, University of Maryland ROTC professor of military science
Bryce and Marisa weren’t the only family members present. Their children, (LtoR) Bennett Freeman, 17, and Clare, 13, also enjoyed the event. Dad Bryrce summed up the evening’s experience.
“It was terrific, particularly because we re-watched “Pursuit of Happyness” in the quarantine just two months ago. It was a terrific side benefit of being virtual – it was really impactful for the kids to understand that 40% of our neighbors live paycheck-to-paycheck and how those challenges have been made so much by COVID. It also prompted important discussion about why philanthropy is so important and why we support UW specifically for its multiplicative impacts. And then for them to hear Chris Gardner talk about globalization, working to be world class, and how none of us are owed anything – what an amazing night for our family. Thank you, UW!”

(September 29, 2020- Virtual)

Sloane Brown

Baltimore's longtime fashion and social scene reporter, Sloane is the founder/managing editor of Baltimore Snap.