The GLCCB and Baltimore Pride Planning Committee are thrilled and honored to have Tom Patrick as the Grand Marshal for the 2014 Baltimore Pride Parade.

For the past 24 years, Patrick has been the heart and soul of Moveable Feast, serving as their volunteer manager. Moveable Feast was founded 25 years ago in response to the AIDS epidemic. Their mission was—and still is—to deliver nutritious foods to people living with HIV/AIDS. Under Patrick’s guidance, Moveable Feast has brought not only healthy food, but also loving and compassionate care to the sick.

“I am thrilled by the Pride Committee’s choice of Tom Patrick as the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Pride Parade,” said Moveable Feast Executive Director Tom Bonderenko. “Not only is it a great testimony to Tom and a recognition of his years of service in this Baltimore community and at Moveable Feast, but it’s a tribute to our LGBT community as well when we recognize one of our own home-grown heroes who has been a passionate voice for all of us.”

Early on in the AIDS epidemic in Baltimore, Patrick engaged every bar he visited, every person he met, but especially the LBGT community, to get involved and to make a difference in the lives of people who were sick. Tom has always been the gentle ‘nudge’ to each person’s conscience to do what is right and needed.

“It’s the greatest honor to have been part of Moveable Feast for the past 24 years and to be the Grand Marshal for this year’s Parade,” said Patrick. “I’m so proud to have been part of an organization that has helped the community throughout the AIDS crisis. I’m looking forward to celebrating pride and Moveable Feast’s 25th anniversary of service.”

Not only has Patrick engaged thousands of individuals, corporations, churches, and schools to volunteer at Moveable Feast, but he has challenged them to think about their fears and stereotypes of the LBGT community, and especially people living with HIV/AIDS. He has been an untiring advocate in the LGBT community, a voice for those living with HIV/AIDS, crying out for nothing more than compassion for the sick.

“Tom has taught us all the virtue of courage, by stepping out to embrace a people who were ostracized by many of their own, just because of a disease; and the value of kindness, by keeping his words and actions thoughtful, considerate and genuinely loving,” Bonderenko said.

BY TED BLANKENSHIP

Gay Life June 2014

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