2012 ANNUAL REPORT - Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance


2012 ANNUAL REPORT - Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance



2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 1

dear families

Thank you for your support both financially and in sweat equity during

this past year. We had a very strong year on behalf of downtown

families—even stronger than ever before in this difficult, ever-changing

environment. Our year was filled with successes in our advocacy efforts.

We were able to list accomplishments in areas ranging from green space

to walkability to education.

In May of 2012, downtown families saw the addition of green space

with the opening of Pierce’s Park on Pier V, a new natural play area for

children. DBFA also made great strides in our walkability initiatives

by hosting Walk to School Day at schools in downtown Baltimore

and with the founding of the website www.baltimorewalks.org. DBFA

represents families and pedestrians city wide, and our work was the

impetus behind the founding of the Department of Transportation’s

Transportation Safety Task Force.

DBFA continued to make an impact by hosting our fourth annual School

and Children’s Programming Fair at Digital Harbor High School. It

was attended by over 25 exhibitors and 300 families. We are excited

to see an increase in the number of children attending City Schools

for the fourth year in a row. We are also proud to have hosted another

successful Alonso Town Hall event to allow parents direct access to

CEO of City Schools Dr. Andrés Alonso. DBFA was also able to bring

the community together in the beginning stages of revitalization of the

Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School in South Baltimore.

Downtown families also saw an increase in the number of family friendly

events in Baltimore City. Five years ago, DBFA set the stage for hosting

such events and is proud to now see so many organizations realizing

that families are a constituency worth tailoring events toward. The

opportunities for families to connect and to engage in life in Baltimore

City have abounded.

DBFA is proud to be the impetus of this change within our city, and we

look forward to seeing Baltimore blossom with families.

I look forward to working together on this journey.

Judy O’Brien

President, DBFA

who is


The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance

is a nonprofit organization started by local

parents to give families a voice in the city.


Propelled by the belief that thriving,

connected families are key to vibrant

communities, the Downtown Baltimore

Family Alliance fosters and promotes

family life in Baltimore’s city center. As

an independent, nonprofit alliance, we

partner with local government, business,

and nonprofit organizations to develop

family-wise programs and policies,

including initiatives for strong public

schools and early childhood programs,

enhanced public safety and environmental

quality, and expanded recreational and

cultural opportunities. We further endeavor

to cultivate community by connecting

families with one another and with the

resources to take full advantage of life in

downtown Baltimore.


Highlights from 2012 3

Advocacy Update 4

Connecting Families 5

DBFA as a Resource 6

Financials 7

Board of Directors and Staff 7

2013 Goals 8

Foundations and Supporters 8-9

2013 Calendar 9

2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 2


highlights from 2012

DBFA partnered with multiple organizations in an ongoing effort to preserve

school funding for the 2011−2012 school year. These efforts, which

included organizing several public rallies both locally and in Annapolis,

helped ensure City Schools received its full funding for the year.

We also rallied the community around Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle

School in 2011 as we looked to implement the community school model to

turn FSK into a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon school.

DBFA’s efforts to create more green space in the city were rewarded with the

official opening of Pierce’s Park downtown.

In our ongoing efforts to improve walkability in the city, we created

baltimorewalks.org and convinced the city to agree to commission a

Transportation Safety Task Force.


DBFA held four New Parent Socials in 2012, each of which were well

attended and resulted in an increase in paid members.

For the second consecutive year, we subsidized Hello Baby! classes to DBFA

members who were new parents, allowing them to take the popular six-week

course for a fraction of what it cost non-members.

For the fourth consecutive year, we held our two flagship events: the

non-denominational egg hunt in the spring and our School and Children’s

Programming Fair in the winter.


We successfully launched the programming module of our website, which

enables local content providers to have their programs listed in a centralized

area categorized by type.

We increased traffic to our website and Facebook page and improved our

weekly blog by introducing new categories.






Family Resource Guide


Support Us


2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 3

we are an advocate

At its core, DBFA has always been an

advocate for families. That’s because we

believe that when a city makes improving

life for families a priority, everyone wins.

Our members are a driving force behind

school improvement in our city because

education is a top priority in their households.

They demand safer streets and more

green space in their neighborhoods, and

they are a vital component toward reviving

a sluggish economy.

Prior to 2008, families in Baltimore had

no singular voice. DBFA was created in

large part to be that voice, and through our

advocacy efforts we’ve seen to it that the

voice of downtown families is heard by our

city leaders and other key decision makers.

Below is a partial list of successes that DBFA

has achieved over the past year in the area of


• Preserving and enhancing green space

is a priority for DBFA members, and we

had two big wins in this area. First was

the opening of Pierce’s Park, a unique

play area located at Pier V in the Inner

Harbor that DBFA helped to make a

reality. Second, when the story broke

about the city’s plan to put a loop road

and 96 parking spaces in the middle

of Patterson Park, DBFA alongside

several other local organizations

acted swiftly to speak out against it.

We gave media interviews, contacted

our local representatives to express

our displeasure, and encouraged our

members to sign the petition against

it while keeping them informed as the

issue moved forward. As a result of

these and other collective efforts, the

plan has been put on hold and the city

has agreed to form a working group to

further study the issue.

• In the area of education, our ongoing

efforts to help make Francis Scott Key

Elementary/Middle School a school

of choice for downtown families

have been a huge success. DBFA

Education Chairman Hugh Bethell

has continued to work closely with

administrators on opportunities for

improvement, and fellow DBFA Board

Member Kate Williams was on the

hiring committee that helped select

the new principal, who has debuted

to rave reviews. Numerous upgrades

have also been made to the facility over

the past year, including a new, more

welcoming entryway and a brand new

robotics laboratory, all driven in part by

recommendations made by our member

families who send their children there.

• Our members desire a more pedestrianfriendly

city, and while the concept

of walkability is still in its infancy

nationwide, through our numerous efforts

we were successful in bringing the

conversation to Baltimore. On the heels

of the white paper we published on the

subject, DBFA continued to press the

issue in 2012. We started the Baltimore

Walks website, sponsored a video contest

on walking safety, and celebrated

International Walk to School Day at

several local schools. Our biggest success

in this area, however, was working with

the city to create a Transportation Safety

Task Force to focus on making the city

more pedestrian-friendly.

“Knowing that we as a family are represented

in the city is really important to me.”

—Dana Valery, DBFA member

2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 4

we are a connection

We have always strived to be a means for

downtown families to connect with each

other, thereby giving them more reasons to

stay, while attracting new families to the city.

One of the ways we’ve done that is through

family friendly events.

If you look closely at the many family friendly

events held in 2012 in and around downtown

you will see DBFA’s fingerprints all over

them. That’s because since its inception,

DBFA has worked hard to first develop and

then refine the concept of “family friendly”

based on feedback from our members. The

resulting template we created—arts and

crafts tables, live music or other entertainment,

play areas, healthy snacks, and of

course, free admission—has since become

the standard for any organization looking to

attract families to their events. We have also

continued to host our own events to overwhelmingly

positive reviews.


Below is a partial list of accomplishments in

the area of connections:

• The Harbor Harvest Festival we started

five years ago that was attended by less

than 100 people drew more than 6,000

people to the Inner Harbor in 2011.

• We expanded the marketing of our

annual egg hunt to other communities,

and as a result drew several hundred

families from all across the city.

• We connected more than 200 new and

expecting parents to each other through

our quarterly socials, special events,

and Hello Baby! classes, with many of

the attendees becoming DBFA members


“DBFA provides so many answers to the

question of ‘Why do I stay?’”

—Elizabeth Kennedy, DBFA member

2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 5

we are a resource

DBFA’s website is the go-to place for

information about all things that affect

family life. Whether it’s through our

website, Facebook page, weekly blog,

or monthly newsletter, we are always

keeping families informed on the things

that matter most to them.

Below is a partial list of achievements in

the area of serving as a resource:

• In an effort to help parents with young

children find out more about the various

options available to them, DBFA once

again put on its annual School and

Children’s Programming Fair. Exhibitors

from local schools, early learning centers,

and after-school programs set up displays

and greeted parents looking for insights

to help them choose a school or program

that is right for their child.

• We conducted a survey of several hundred

local parents to find out what kinds of

programs they wanted to see offered to

their children and used the information

to create a programming module, which

we launched in 2012 as an addition to

our website. We also used the website to

promote events taking place throughout

the city to our members.

• We increased traffic to our various social

media platforms by routinely updating

our Facebook page with interesting and

relevant articles from around the world,

introducing new topics to our weekly

blog, and cross-promoting with other

local organizations.

“It seems that if you want anything

to do with family living in the city,

DBFA is the place to go to.”

—Meagan Klipstein, DBFA member

2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 6



Foundations $70,000 59.5%

Gifts and

Memberships $39,572 33.5%

Interest and

Other Income $7,796 6.5%

Total* $117,368 100%

*excludes fiscal agent matching grant funds of $12,000


Programs and Events $78,513 63.5%

Staff, Supplies,

Infrastructure $35,858 29%

Fundraising $9,305 7.5%

Total $123,676 100%

“I’ve never seen a group become as

organized and impactful as DBFA has

in this short period of time. I think

they are one of the strongest voices

out there for families.”

—Keith Losoya, former DBFA board member



Judy Chung O’Brien | President

Sharicca Boldon | Vice President

Allison Pendell Jones | Secretary

Catherine (Kate) Williams | Treasurer

board members

Hugh Bethell

Advocacy Chair, Education

Maria Filardi

Board Member

Jill Harper

Board Member

Richard Hastings

Resource Development Chair

Patrick Gutierrez

Family Programming Chair

Erin Karpewicz

Board Member

Andrea O’Dell

Board Member

Evynn Overton*

Board Member

Scott Kashnow

Walkability Chair

* Resigned


Heidi Vorrasi

Executive Director

Claire Mullins

Director of Communications

Nina McCarthy*

Event Planner and Programming Assistant

Kimber Goodwin

Event Planner

Emily Riddick

Bookkeeper and Membership Coordinator

Miranda Wulff Altschuler*

E-marketing Manager

Nicol Regan

Graphic Designer

Molly Saint-James

Copy Editor

Jon Breshoff

Information Technology Manager

* Resigned

2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 7

support $10,000

GGP/Harborplace &

The Gallery

support $1,500+


Hastings, Amy and Richard

Pendell Jones,

Allison and Jay


Catherine and Jamie

support $1,000+

Bethell, Hugh and Jenni

Filardi, Maria and Vincent

Karpewicz, Erin

Nelson, Blaine and

Harper, Jill

O’Brien, Judy and Brendan

O’Dell, Andrea

support $750+

Gutierrez, Patrick and Sascha

support $500+

Boston Street Animal


Horizon Family Dental Care

Mills, Michelle

Overton, Evynn

UMMC Pediatrics

support $250+

Body Back Baltimore

Boldon, Sharicca and Brian

Brick Bodies

Charm City Fitness

Esch, Michele

Fivex3 Training LLC

Leith, Rachel and James

Muher, Wendy and Marc

Rocket Tiers Learning Center

support $100+

Borth, Amy and Chris

Carducci, Kathy and Michael

Cochran, Ellyn and Mark

Cole, William and Michelle

Craig Insurance Agency

Fannon, Mary Pat

Gile, Dawn

Gronvall, Jesper and Gigi

Gunsiorowski, James

and Sara

Hiller, Emily and Chris

Jewish Community Center

Klein, Anna

Muher, Frank and Anna

Nolan, Beth

Nowlan, Kelly and Patrick

Perez, Kate

Powell, Kate and David


Abell Foundation | Clayton Baker Foundation | Goldseker Foundation

Living Classrooms Foundation | Lockhart Vaughan Foundation


Royal, Rebecca and

Quallich, Guy

Stone, Heather

Stroller Strides

Urban Pirates

Valcich, Sundai

Warner, Erica and Brent

support $50+

Beitelshees, Amber

Balent, Jean

Bavaria, Eloise

Bazant, Eva

Braun, Stacy

Burger, Molly

Chang, Crystal and Charles

Delfino, Claudio

Dorazio, Dan

DuCoty, Tracy

Gahunia, Mona

Gray, Owen

Hammen, Pete

Johnson, Claire Broido

Kovacs, Talley

Laverick, Beth and Eric

Lierman, Brooke

Lorinc, Beata

Marshall, Beth and Chris

Mathews, Debra

McClain, Amy

McCoskey, Kelsey

McGowan, Colleen

McMillan, Erin

Noonan, Mindy

Peterson, Laura

Regan, Nicol and Chris

Rhett, Jennifer

Riddick, Emily

Rodrigues, Mariangela

Sand, Ronald

Simon-Higgs, Elizabeth

Sugg, Diana

Thomas, Amy

Von Coelin, Lorraine

Vorrasi, Heidi

Wood, Wesley

support $25

Abelson, Lauren

Acton, Laura

Adashi, Kristen

Adkins, Kimberly

Adrian, Kathleen

Alascio, Debra

Aldrich, Catherine

Althoff, Keri

Alvanzo, Anika

Amyot, Marjie

Applegate, Annie

Arnold, Maggie

Arrowsmith, Colleen

Ayd, Pamela

Ayers, Tekla

Bachmann, Stephanie

Bailey, Heather

Baldi, Julie and Ed

Barry, Edit

Bass, Ayana

Bassmann, Meghan

Bennet, Karen

Berdzik, Sabrina

Bohl, Jennifer

Bohl, Kristin

Bove, Christopher

Brand, Olga

Brenninkmeyer, Benjamin

Broadbent, Kathy and Troy

Brock, Catherine

Broughton, Tony

Brown, Kristin and Nick

Brown, Timothy

Browning, Tracy

Bryce, Laura

Bullock, Carrie

Calce, Pamela

Callahan, Meghan

Carney, Emily

Carroll, Susan

Casey, Joy

Castor, Heather

Cataldo, Naomi and Anthony

Cavada, Claudia

Chamberlain, Rebecca

Chiosi, LaTasha

Church-Hawkins, Vernae

Church, Pamela

Citizen, Kimberly

Clack, Vanessa

Collins, Kathryn

Cunningham, Kim

Curtiss, Kimberly

Custer-Singh, Anna

Davis, Alyssa Beth

DeCamp, Lisa

DeVilbiss, Kerry

Dickson, Erin

Diehm, Jacqueline Diane

Dietz, Melissa

Digges, Amy

Doaty, Tara

Docherty, Rachel

Dorman, Sarah

Dubovsky, Stacie

Dungee, Nicole

Durant, Monica

Dvoskin, Rachel

Dziedzic, Barbara

Ekanayake, Virantha

Faulkner, Lara and Francis

Felsen, Josh

Figiel, Deanna

Figueroa, Christina

Fisher, Emily


2013 will mark DBFA’s sixth full year in

existence. We have experienced tremendous

growth during our initial five years and have

set an ambitious agenda for the upcoming

year to allow us to capitalize on our previous

successes. To that end, here are the

organization’s goals for 2013:

• Expand DBFA’s reach to more neighborhoods

in Baltimore City

• Continue to set the stage for and support

family friendly events throughout the city

• Transition DBFA’s membership model from

a paid one to one that is no-cost in order to

increase membership and better advocate

for city families

• Cement our reputation as the unified voice

of the family in Baltimore City

• Continue to take an active role in the

challenge to improve education at all levels

for city families

• Increase the frequency of DBFA’s

communications to families, local media,

and city officials

• Seek out new, innovative ways to market

Baltimore in order to continue our efforts

to attract and retain families to the city

• Increase the breadth and depth of our

website and social media platforms

• Continue to support efforts to preserve,

increase, and improve our city’s green spaces

• Create a succession plan to ensure

a seamless transition to a new

executive director

2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 8

Franz, Ingrid

Freas, Dorothy

Galli, Andy

Gardner, Elizabeth

Geczi, Jennifer

Gerber, Candice

Getahun, Sofanit

Girolami, Kelli

Goodman, Melinda

Goodman, Melissa

Goodwin, Donna

Gosse, Alice and Michael

Graf, Martha

Green, Elisabeth

Gresham, Ian

Groesch, Teri

Groh, Zuzana

Gupta, Anuj

Hall, Tracy

Harms, Karen

Hartzell, Eileen

Heintz, Eva

Hicks, Perrin

Holloway, Danielle

Houp, Julie

House Eller, Linda

Hugh, Maggie

Hughes, Christina

Hurley, Anne

Im, Lily

Inaganti, Kerry and Gautam

Izadi, Ashley

Jakobowski, Maria

Johnson, Kiera

Johnston, Gauri

Joos, Olgahelena

Jubb, Amy and Jason

Kane, Kate

Kashnow, Suzanne

Kavanagh, Jessica

Keenan, Erin

Keens, Bryson

Kellogg, Terri

Kennedy, Elizabeth

Kennedy, Maggie

Kerksiek, Sanya

Kervin, Sally

Kizzier, Elizabeth

Klein, Lindsay

Kolas, Robyn

Koman Gradt, Amy

Kraft, Jim and Tammy

Krajewski, Jennifer

Kuhn, Kelly

Lalicki, Ivana

Langston, Erin

Laporte, Megan

Larned, Courtney

Laser, Adriana

Lawrence, Shannon

Leap, Robyn

Lears, Andie

Leistikow, Nicole

Lentz, Clare

Levenson, Emily

Lian, Kuo Pao

Liapi, Eleni

Lorenz, Nicole

supporters continued

Lozier, Brady

Lucas, Lindsey

Lynch, Amy

Macarscoh, Carolyn

MacBride, Jessica

Macchiavelli, Melissa

Marthe, Alison

Martin, Nicole

Martin, Tara

May, Meagan

McAllister, Pamela

McCarthy, Eileen

McCurdy, Marisa

McElderry, Katrin Elizabeth

McKinty, Colin

McNally, Patricia

Medina-Smith, Andrea

Mendola, Pamela

Merkel, Alyssa

Mertz, Broc

Miller, Katherine

Mohr, Theresa

Molino, Ellen

Mongelli, Kathryn

Monroe, Anne

Moonaz, Steffany

Moroney, Caitlin

Morosan, Carmen

Navarro, Marianne

Newport-Berra, McHale

Norona, Renee

North, Tracy

O’Brien, Kathy

Obriecht, Erin

Oliveira, Selma

Olivero, Tara

Paganini, Melissa R.

Palmer, Olivia

Pappas, Cynthia

Patterson, Jennifer

Pesci, Teresa

Pi-Sunyer, Joanna

Poli, Maryia

Popovich, Eric

Pressman, Ashley

Prichard, Jennifer

Prieto, Michelle

Pseres, Jaime

Quinn, Gillian

Rabinovitz, Zoey

Ramani, Joanna

Ramos-Romero, Joanna

Ranck, Rachelle

Ratnow, Jeffrey

Raysor, Katrina

Reck, Daniel

Reddy, Kamini

Regester, Kristy

Reymer, Emily

Richardson, Amanda

Rishar, Kate

Rivera, Katie

Robinson, Jennifer

Roch, Elissa

Rogers, Danielle

Rosman, Lori

Rothman, Sarah

Rothstein Boyle, Jessica

Russ, Shanna

Sachetti, Shelby

Safran, Stephanie

Sandlin, Melissa

Sandy, Adam

Saville, Marisa

Scala, Nina

Schemmer, Jocelyn

Schneider, Amy

Schnur, Abra

Schoenborn, Jeff

Scholz, Rhiana

Schroder, Gary James

Schwarcz, Lisa

Shadis, Aaron

Shafer, Graham

Sharkey, Shelley

Sheehan, Kelly

Silberman, Paul and Stacy

Simeone, Christine

Smith, Ada

Snyder, Lara

Stauber, Sarah

Stoltze, Daniel and Claire

Stone, Jacqueline

Story, Lindsay

Sullivan, Kathryn

Szablya, Helen

Tanenbaum, Jacqueline

Taylor, Urmila

Thompson, Cindy

Tilford, Holly

Tillinghast, Anne

Tong, Karen and Larry

Toole, Lisa

Tracy, Michelle

Valdez, Ilise

Valery, Dana and Ernst

Varlotta, AnnMarie

Vayda, Kerry

Veloso, Soraya

Waisbrot, Nathaniel

Wald, Leslie

Walker, Andrea

Walther, Amanda

Wayland, Kristen

Wehrle, Jane

Weikert Design

Weikert, Stephanie

Wexler, Laura

White, Alanna

Whitehead, Michelle

Wilkinsky, Kara-Jane

Wilson, Jen

Wiltenburg, Mary

Wozniak, Amy

Wunderlich, Katie

Yamas, Kimberly

Yasser, Rachel

Zeitlin, Leia


Winter 2013





Spring 2013





Summer 2013





Fall 2013





Photo credits | Cover image: Playground-Pix Photography

Pages 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8: Mary C. Gardella | Page 9: Calvin Hayes 2012 annual report | dbfam.org | 9

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