Howard Magazine - Page 36 - Helping Hands

Howard Magazine
- Page 36
Helping Hands
By Brittany Britto and John-John Williams IV Howard Magazine

After Ellicott City’s second devastating flood in two years, the community once again steps up for those in need

At first, Columbia resident Caroline Pyon thought little of the flash flood alerts lighting up her phone on Memorial Day weekend. But as she continued to watch the news, she became worried. Pictures showed Ellicott City’s historic Main Street, where her wedding was scheduled to take place less than two weeks later, submerged.

“I was just hoping that even if they flooded, they would be able to clean up and have everything ready by our wedding date,” says Pyon, 22.

But her venue, the Main Street Ballroom, would be in no shape for her nuptials. Ellicott City’s second devastating flood in two years left the historic district closed to visitors for weeks — and left many businesses facing a long recovery or the prospect of closure.

Since then, good Samaritans have come out in force, launching fundraisers and volunteering their time to help those affected by the flood. They’ve helped couples relocate and reschedule their weddings, made space for businesses that were displaced and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help their neighbors get their lives and livelihoods back on track.

Saving the big day

The day after the flood, Kati Brown wanted “to put boots and gloves on and help” with cleanup. But she decided her expertise in event planning might be of more use.

The manager of global internal events at Under Armour contacted the Main Street Ballroom’s owner, Kate Ansari, and put her team to work helping the displaced brides and grooms find new venues and vendors.

They got in touch with at least eight couples, including Pyon.