Team One Towson Swims in Memory and in Honor of Judge S. Ann Brobst

“There are tears in the nature of things and all things doomed to die touch the heart.”

“If we waited for perfect people to be speakers for the dead, all funerals would be conducted in silence.”

“But if pressed to say goodbye, that final word

On which even the strongest can stumble,

I am not above pretending

That the party continues elsewhere,

With a guest list that’s mostly the same,

And every bit as satisfactory;

That what we think are ends are really adjournments,

An entr’acte, an interval, not real goodbyes;

And perhaps they are, dear friends, perhaps they are.”

Whether you find solace in the words of Virgil, Orson Scott Card or Alistair McCall Smith, as I do, doing something, anything to keep alive the memory of a lost friend and cherished mentor is a selfish yet necessary endeavor.

Once again, many members of the Baltimore County Bar Association, with support from the Baltimore Area Triathlon Club (BATC), participated in the 2013 Purple Swim at Rocky Point in Essex on Sunday, August 4th.   It was the prettiest day of the year.  Chiseled skies, crisp clouds, enticing water and warm sand made it easy to swim and celebrate absent friends.  The Honorable Judge Kathleen Cox was our leader ably assisted by her daughters, Casey and Jennifer.   Casey and Jennifer were both recognized by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as leading fundraisers. Assistant State’s Attorney John Cox lent moral support and took some great photos.  Kelly Burke, Esquire and Garrett Glennon, Esquire joined the Cox family in the one mile event.  Towson University students Sara Bateman and Laura Haines helped lower our median age.  Lauren’s mom, Brenda Haines not only swam but along with Lauren convinced the Walkersville United Methodist Church to donate to our team.  The Haines also brought their 14-year old cousin, Hope Grinnel, who received a podium finish in her age group for the one mile swim.  Local businessman, Robert Wray, recent College Park graduate and Division One wrestler, Owen Smith, BATC member, Jennifer Berkovich, and Timothy Burke, betrothed to Kelly Burke, entered the human Cuisinart as they ran into the waters and headed towards Hart Miller Island.

Rushing in from the swim Bar Association members, Rich Desser, Kristine Howanski, Linda Penn, Charles Piven, and Carl Gold did the two mile swim, once the one mile swimmers safely returned.  There was a small amount of chop on the way out to the one mile turn around, but the trip back with a forgiving current was delightful.  Great support was provided by the Water’s Edge Kayak Club, Steve Hornish, the Coast Guard and numerous volunteer fire companies.  Every one of our swimmers made it safely back to shore, some with negative splits.

The Honorable Barbara Howe, the Honorable John and Kathy Fader, the Honorable Scott Shellenberger, Steve Caplan, Christina Cuomo, Jill Savage, Julie Glennon, Dominick Garcia,  Mike Sobb, Stephanie Porter, Stephanie Clancy, Betty Dust, Bonnie Dust, Wendy Zerwitz, Karen Skroupa, Donna Grinnell, Brian and Kathy Penn, Bruce and Holly Penn, Donna Louzon, Julie Ehlers, Michele Greenfield, Tim Tinker, Isabel Cumming, and dozens of anonymous donors all gave generously to support the fight against pancreatic cancer.

The team had two ringers from the Towson University Swim Team slated up to swim for us, but due to the medical emergency of a friend they were unable to participate in the swim.  Nevertheless, both Zachary Stone and Amanda Skroupa helped raise funds.Headed out for the swim

For the second year in a row, Team One Towson was the leading fundraising team, and this year we had the most swimmers.  Watching the swimmers’ faces when they came out of the water, and getting the chance to share fellowship with each of them was unforgettable.   Judge Brobst spent the entire day with us in person last year.  I know her heart was touched as were all of ours for her.  She was there with us this year in spirit.  If you see one of our swimmers or donors, please thank them for their help as we all reach out to those we care about.  Please join us next year to make Team One Towson bigger and better.  Please check out for more information about the swim, and please feel free to contact me with any questions at [email protected] or (410) 337-5545.

P.S.  I did receive one unintended benefit from participating in the Purple Swim.  A spotter for the casting agency supplying warm bodies to the House of Cards’ filming at the Towson Court House was a participant in the swim.  I guess the agency needed an aging gray haired man to make Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright look even better.  Needless to say, I got to spend a fun day as an extra on the set while many of my colleagues tried to crack me up as they walked by or stood in their offices making funny faces at me.