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Georgia Bartrum & Missi Allen

Georgia Bartrum and Missi Allen

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 situation.

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 said. ​