Baltimore County Bar Association Fights Back Against Pancreatic Cancer




    As the deceivingly tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay lapped the shores of beautiful Rocky Point Park, over a dozen members of the Baltimore County Bar Association family gathered on Sunday, August 5, 2012 to participate in Purple Swim Baltimore in honor of and in support of our very own Judge S. Ann Brobst.

    The Purple Swim is an event to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – a nationwide group of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.  Purple Swim Baltimore was started in 2008 by Tim Beatty in memory of his father, Bud Beatty, who died from this cruel disease.  Five swimmers finished the two-mile trip in 2008.  This year, over 200 swimmers participated with the option of swimming either one or two miles.  As of the date of this article, over $35,000 has been raised.

    When word started to spread that several members of the Bar Association had started a team to show their support for Judge Brobst, donations began pouring in.  In a matter of days, Team One Towson raised over $6,000, more than triple the amount raised by any other team.  We received formal recognition at the event and were designated “Purple Star” members.  This could not have happened without the support of so many swimmers and generous donors.  Team One Towson consisted of 15 swimmers, volunteers, and supporters, and 35 additional generous individuals became Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Honor Roll donors.


    The Honorable Judge Kathy Cox and her daughter Jen Cox both swam the one-mile course.  Jen Cox personally raised almost $600.  Supporting Jen and her mom were Assistant State’s Attorney John Cox and Jen’s sister, Casey Cox.  Kelly Burke, Esquire, Linda Penn, Esquire and Assistant State’s Attorney, Garrett “Phelps” Glennon also swam the one-mile event.  Garrett finished in a blistering 29 minutes. They were met by cheers as they came out of the water with their bathing caps still tight, and their goggles making them look like raccoons trying to escape a sinking ship.  Judge Brobst herself led the cheers accompanied by the Honorable Barbara R. Jung, and Assistant State’s Attorneys Kim Detrick, and Jennifer Schiffer.   Loyal staffers and friends, Judi Almon, Debbie McLewee, Jeanette Wolfe and several young men who appeared to be hanging around the Cox girls, also enjoyed watching the besodden teammates reach the shore.  We could not, however, convince them to get wet.   Ms. McLewee was kind enough to get to Rocky Point early in the morning and secure the best spot for our team under a beautiful shade tree.  She also brought the Bar Association tent which, due to her early recon and successful capture of the towering oak, was not necessary.  The one mile swimmers told the rest of the team that those seemingly gentle waters were getting pretty rough as the wind picked up.

    After the last one-mile swimmer came in (not anyone on our team), the two-mile course was described.  It was hard enough to see the buoy marking the turnaround point for the one-mile swim, so absent binoculars, the two-milers simply had to go on faith.  Bar Association Members, Richard Desser and Carl Gold,  headed out to the now not so still waters.  The Bay was pretty quiet until the one-mile point, but then a two to three foot chop developed.  Several of the support kayakers tipped over, but not indomitable Susan Farace, Esquire who gave us support all day.  Several swimmers had to be pulled due to the rough conditions.  Fortunately, in addition to the kayakers, the Coast Guard and the Middle River Volunteer Fire Department had plenty of boats to make sure everyone was safe.   Rich and Carl both made it back – their fingers are still wrinkled.  Several members of the Baltimore Area Triathlon Club (BATC), in addition to Rich and Carl, joined with us and graciously contributed their entry fees and all the funds they raised to our team. BATC triathletes    Linda Anders, Drew Brown, Ellen McClure, and Fernando Pineda all raised funds and swam the two-mile course.  Every one of our team members finished.  Judge Brobst got to chat with everyone and give them encouragement, and it was obvious that her presence meant so much to the team members and supporters.

    Our other generous donors included Dominick Garcia, Duncan Forbes, Honorable Cathy Cox, John Cox, Casey Cox, Jen Cox, Honorable Judge Robert Cahill and Mrs. Elizabeth Cahill, the Pagliaros family, Gary Bernstein, James Sandusky, Jennifer Bowman, Jill Savage, Judi Almon, the Honorable Judge Judith Ensor, the Honorable Judge Michael Finifter and Mrs. Judy Finifter, Kim Detrick, Kristin Blumer, Jen Schiffer, Len and Marie Shapiro, Linda Kelly, Lynn Boone, Rich Desser, Mike Hamburg, Pam Bowman, Linda Penn, Kelly Burke, Garrett Glennon, Rebecca Stevens, Robin Coffin, Ronald and Jonathan Kurland, Sally B. Gold, Carl Gold, Sally K. Gold, Tracy Gold, Travis Gold,  Scott Shellenberger, Casey Shellenberger, Donna Huff, the Cross family, the Honorable Judge Susan Souder, the Honorable Judge Swede Murphy, Thomas Hood,  Yara Cheikh, Arthur Frank, the Honorable Barbara Jung, Bob and Kathy Blue, Don Thomas, Jen Rudolph, Joe Stefanski, Don and Laura Scheeler and Joan and Mark McKinley.

    Words are not adequate to thank everyone who supported us, and there are no words to describe our appreciation to Judge Brobst for the inspiring example she has been for all of us.  Her great spirits kept the team from choking up, and kept us from increasing the Bay’s salinity with our tears.

    It was a great morning of fellowship and love on the beautiful shores of the Bay.  We are already planning to be bigger and better next year to again swim in support of Judge Brobst.  If a surgically repaired old guy like me can do this, anyone can.  Coaching, swimming and training advice are available at no charge.  For more information, please contact me at [email protected] or 410-337-5545. For more information about efforts to defeat pancreatic cancer go to Thanks!