In March 2020, the curtain closed on the annual Women Helping Women fundraising tradition, an evening of musical performances held at the Garfield Theatre.
Or so they thought.
For 15 years, the WHW program, started by Chestertown’s Carla Massoni, raised funds to help local physician Dr. Maria Boria keep her Marydel clinic open. Each March, local musical artists put on a gala musical event at the Garfield, the annual event quickly becoming one of the Theatre’s popular musical showcases.
Opened in 2005, the Marydel clinic provided essential health care to women in the growing Latino community, most of whom have no health insurance.
2020 marked the esteemed physician’s retirement and what looked like the program’s curtailment to raise funds for the underserved.
Thankfully, her mission continues.
With a few WHW funds left over, Carla Massoni looked around for someone to pick up the mantle. She didn’t have to look far. Paul Tue III and his work with Arlene Lee at the Social Action Committee for Racial Justice were already well underway with their Feed the Elderly program.
Together, they created the Paul Tue II Challenge to raise funds for the SACRJ program that has become instrumental in meeting the nutrition needs of the elderly who have become isolated during the pandemic.
And each time the challenge goal was met, Tue and Massoni raised the bar. And each time, the community exceeded the goal.
“In honoring Paul’s initiative to respond to the community’s need, we were overwhelmed with donations. It speaks to the respect people have for Paul and the desire they have to lift up our neighbors,” Massoni says
The amount raised far anticipated their goal by threefold. By September 10, the Challenge has raised $16, 575.
“The pandemic has cast a light on the precarious situation many are facing. Now that we know…we know. And, we are charged with caring for those in need—particularly our children and the elderly—but also those facing crises in their lives,” Massoni adds.
Tue points out that future federal funding is uncertain with no end of the pandemic in sight but that funds raised from his Challenge will go a long way to preserve the program.
The Spy recently caught up with Paul Tue III to talk about his efforts.
This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information or to make a donation, please go here or you can mail a check made payable to “Sumner Hall,” specifying Paul Tue III Challenge and mail to to Sumner Hall, 206 South Queen Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.