Community Rallies Around Annapolis Yacht Club Members

It’s been a little over three weeks since the Annapolis Yacht Club, a cultural icon of its namesake city, was destroyed by a massive fire, one that took hours to get under control. Fortunately, there were no injuries or loss of life, as there were no members in the building at the time while staff prepared for the Parade of Lights later that evening. Although everyone remained safe throughout the ordeal, Annapolitans were shaken, nonetheless.

“My heart is broken,” said Ann Bitner, a dental hygienist and Annapolis Overlook resident. “I cried for, like, two days. I just couldn’t believe it! I mean, I’ve never been inside because I don’t personally know anyone who is a member but, in my mind, I can picture how beautiful it probably was!”

A Community Responds To Annapolis Yacht Club

Despite that tragedy, and in line with the message of the Christmas season, the community immediately rallied around those displaced by the fire. Within hours, Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, all Republicans, a political party not often associated with lavish organizations such as yacht clubs, came together in the name of unity to help the AYC in whatever way they could.

“We don’t really consider this a yacht club,” said Mayor Pantelides. “We consider it a community center. Albeit a community center that is not open to the general public and has very strict rules regarding membership.”

Lobsters donated for the victims of the Annapolis Yacht Club fire

Lobsters donated by local churches to feed Annapolis Yacht Club members who were displaced by the fire in mid-December.

Businesses, non-profit organizations, community associations, and schools in and around Annapolis all leapt into action immediately after the fire to take care of those affected. They quickly took up collections of gently-used champagne flutes, martini glasses, deck shoes, Helly Hansen windbreakers, and even Zodiac inflatables to aid members. Local churches, as they do in any disaster, quickly jumped in to help.

“Certainly the Annapolis Yacht Club has always been there for us,” said Reverend Thomas S. Green, pastor of the Mount Sinai AME Church in Parole. “We want to be able to return the Lord’s blessings to those less fortunate. We don’t have a lot of money, but we have phones, and we can help call around to find slips for displaced yachts. We can donate foods like brie, pâté, and water crackers. We are here for them.”

Business Owner Fires Employees to Help Annapolis Yacht Club Employees

The business community immediately jumped in, with both feet, as noted by the Capital, to offer temporary jobs to the 150 employees who could be out of work from the time the insurance stopped paying them and the reconstruction was complete. One local restaurateur was so moved by their plight that he offered his restaurant to the Annapolis Yacht Club members to use as a their base of operations for their expensive food and drink until their home was rebuilt.

“I was devastated when I heard of the tragedy,” said Harry Brunette, through tears. “I told them that, even if I had to fire my entire staff immediately in order to provide jobs for their employees, I would do it. And that’s exactly what I did, because I hate to think of anyone out of work in this economy! And that’s what we do in this community…we help each other out!”

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Category: City of Annapolis

About the Author ()

Staff writer. What the hell does that mean? Oh yeah, that's right. I do all the fucking grunt work while Linda, Wanda and Mark take all the credit. Hey, but you know what, that's OK. The checks always clear the bank. But come the day that they don't...let me just say four words.... Mark.Naked.Farm.Animals

Comments (15)

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  1. patricia says:

    This is a crazy article- As the Annapolis Yacht club sure did need some help with how to help place there employees- it doesn’t make sense to me that the other business owner would fire his own employees just to make room for the AYC employees! Because and I quote he (Brunette)) would ” hate to think of anyone out of work in this economy! And that’s what we do in this community…we help each other out!”

    What the heck?????? Is he ( Brunette) crazy? or just stupid?

  2. Ed says:

    I simply don’t understand Harry Burnette.
    He FIRES his own employees at Christmas?
    Twisted thinking!
    Shame on you…

    • KD says:

      The Crabwrapper is a satirical newspaper. I know many comments from their website that people think it’s real. Here is the info from the founder “I am Mark Bobwart and I am the Editor-In-Chief of The Crabwrapper. This Website was originally created as a blog to share my experiences as a crossfit enthusiast and paleo-diet lifestylist. But it was my passion for news and news gathering that led this site to evolve into what it is today. Granted I don’t have a college degree in journalism…or even a college degree….but what I do have is passion. Passion and a knowledge of WordPress. And if the Internet has taught us anything, it is that most people believe anything people put on a Website. We’re counting on that.

      We invite you to get to know us, leave a comment, visit out Facebook page, Tweet with us and have some fun!”

  3. Ed says:

    Furthermore, what is the name of his business ? I will not go there. What this article should have mentioned was that the Ramshead organization stepped up to the plate and took on the AYC employees WITHOUT firing any of their own.

  4. Cece says:

    What gos around comes around !! People are still out of work !!! You should hv kept your employees and took in as many as you could !! Other places would hv hired the rest for now!!! Your time will come for this sad sad choice you made …..

    • Sabba says:

      This site is satire. You should be able to tell that without even having to be explicitly told.

      • Liz says:

        Her comment holds true whether or not she understood the fact that the piece is satire. Hell, the last paragraph/section of the article is probably pretty damn accurate, which only makes the fact that this is satire even funnier.

        Harvey Blonder is his own satire.

  5. Steve says:

    I ate at this guys place, and by the way the food tasted I am sure it was going under, this is a stupid way to save it. I use to think highly of the Annapolis yatch club, but if they let this happen, then they lost my respect.

  6. K says:

    The Crabwrapper is a satirical newspaper. I know many comments from their website that people think it’s real. Here is the info from the editor-in-chief “I am Mark Bobwart and I am the Editor-In-Chief of The Crabwrapper. This Website was originally created as a blog to share my experiences as a crossfit enthusiast and paleo-diet lifestylist. But it was my passion for news and news gathering that led this site to evolve into what it is today. Granted I don’t have a college degree in journalism…or even a college degree….but what I do have is passion. Passion and a knowledge of WordPress. And if the Internet has taught us anything, it is that most people believe anything people put on a Website. We’re counting on that.

    We invite you to get to know us, leave a comment, visit out Facebook page, Tweet with us and have some fun!”

  7. Kathleen D says:

    The Crabwrapper is a satirical newspaper. I know many comments from their website that people think it’s real. Here is the info from the founder “I am Mark Bobwart and I am the Editor-In-Chief of The Crabwrapper. This Website was originally created as a blog to share my experiences as a crossfit enthusiast and paleo-diet lifestylist. But it was my passion for news and news gathering that led this site to evolve into what it is today. Granted I don’t have a college degree in journalism…or even a college degree….but what I do have is passion. Passion and a knowledge of WordPress. And if the Internet has taught us anything, it is that most people believe anything people put on a Website. We’re counting on that.

    We invite you to get to know us, leave a comment, visit out Facebook page, Tweet with us and have some fun!”

  8. Kim says:

    Typical blonder mentality to fire all the staff at Christmas to hire staff that was already taken care of by both insurance and members. The real reason here why the Blonder’s did this is because that building was expensive to maintain and operate and he should never purchased it in the first place without a real plan of operation. He was in over his head and this opportunity brings the blonders and their partners some relief for the next 24 to 48 months while the Yacht Club get rebuilt. But had his restaurant been doing well no owner in their right mind would have done the dirty deed the blonders pulled off. To take a good deed that the local businesses were doing such as Rams Head and Chart House for hiring employees out of work was great. The blonder’s took this and threw it into the trash can, not for the poor yacht club or its poor employees but for himself as usual. The members at the Annapolis Yacht Club always take care of their staff and would have somehow covered them.

  9. Will Heyer says:

    Great media addition to the greater Annapolis Area. Thanks

    I have it on good, researched, authority that given the setback restrictions… the new club will be 12 stories underwater with a small viewing room on top, a cannon for the race finish, and a secret tunnel to the annex on the other side of Spa (Spy) creek. There will be a mast disguised as a sailboat mast that will raise for viewing the races.

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