For years, MDE Network Lead Georgia
Bartrum and Paralegal Missi Allen
have given of themselves, serving as
board members of the Harbor View
Neighborhood Association in Baltimore
County. But after a violent group attack
against a member of their community the
sisters took community service to a new
level, raising more than $100,000 to assist
in paying for his medical bills.
The story begins on the afternoon of April
22 when two girls among a large group
of students from a Baltimore alternative
school walking on 45th Street began fighting
and slamming into the side of a pickup
parked at a curb and owned by 61-year-old
Richard Fletcher. Some other students then
climbed into the bed of Fletcher’s pickup
and started jumping up and down.
Fletcher went outside and ordered the
students to leave. Instead, security cameras
recorded a vicious assault on Fletcher in
which he was beaten and kicked for more
than seven minutes and then robbed. He
suffered two broken eye sockets, a broken
nose and fractured ribs and brain injuries.
He also lost partial hearing and some
vision in his left eye.
Compounding matters, Fletcher and his
wife had been disabled in a car accident
more than a decade ago and had not been
able to work since.
So, Georgia and Missi swung into action,
meeting with a number of city, state and
school officials and the media about the
With medical bills mounting, Georgia’s
daughter, Rachel Bartrum, created a
gofundme.com webpage and initially raised
about $8,000. Georgia then got a call from
the Fox network’s national “Fox and Friends”
show in Washington, D.C. and she went on
the air for a three-minute segment.
That segment went viral on the social
network and $45,000 in donations was
raised for Fletcher during the next few
hours. Then, Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly
ran the item on his broadcast the next day
and another $50,000 was raised, pushing
the total to nearly $105,000.
“I was really nervous before going on the air
but the hosts of the show put me at ease and
as it turned out the show just flowed really
easily,” Georgia said.
“We just jumped in and did it without hesitation
because the medical bills were increasing
rapidly. We have had nearly 2,300 people
donate money and the donations have come
from as far away as our troops in Afghanistan,
Germany and England,” she added.
Meanwhile, Georgia said Fletcher has been
recovering slowly and others have been
pitching in to help out the former comedian
financially. The Baltimore comedy club
Sullys, where Fletcher had performed in years
past, held a fund raiser last month. Another
fund raiser will be held at The River Watch
Restaurant & Marina in Essex on Aug. 2.
“It’s great that we all have been able to help
out during a period of great need,” Georgia
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230