The Wind Beneath Our Wings
The Mission Of Love Charities Closes A Chapter At Annual Humanitarian Awards
By Raoul Dennis // Photography by Frank Solomon
Updated: May 17, 2019 11:25 a.m.
When Dr. Douglas Edwards founded the Mission Of Love Charities in 1991, he’d already devoted much of his life to service. He served in the military and later served in the fight for civil and human rights for all people. At one point, he served as a hostage negotiator, a suicide prevention counselor and a marriage counselor.
He had done all of this and more before 1991. At that point, others might have chosen to coast the remainder of their careers, and hang up the heavy lifting of saving communities.
But Edwards had another duty he felt compelled to complete. And now, nearly 30 years later, the Mission Of Love Charities is his legacy.
Dr. Edwards, ever humble, directed the majority of his speech toward thanking those who helped him to make MOLC a lasting institution.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize some of the people that have nade the MOLC what it was. I start with Sheila Curry and I do that because of my late godson the Hon. Wayne Curry,” Edwards said. Decatur “Bucky” Trotter was chair of the board at that time. “He was the first recipient of an award given by the Mission of Love - The Drum Major Award. That was the beginning of the Mission of Love Awards.”
Dr. Edwards went on to recognize Betty Hewlett, now chair of Mayland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, whom he noted has been “a part of the Mission of Love for just about as long as I can remember.”
He spoke of Arthur Horne, who working alongside Curry, stepped up and paid off the note for the building where MOLC is headquartered.
“Arthur said ‘I want to pay it off.’ And we never had to pay a single note on that buildling since,” Edwards explained to the applause of the audience. “Thank you,” he said.
The veteran community leader thanked Don Pleasant for his devotion to MOLC and Ken Michaels for his direction and support over the years to MOLC.
“I also want to recognize the sacrifice that my family has made for more than 28 years,” Edwards said. “My wife, my children and my in-laws have been a part of this organization. I want to thank them for that.”
One of the the most moving moments of Edwards’ remarks included an announcement.
“I intend to be around for as long as my Heavenly father sees fit,” he began. “But I do know that the Mission of Love Charities is in the right hands at this time because of Ana Bueno. Thank you Ana for not trying to take the vision but for working to move my vision forward.”
As he stood among other honorees May 9 as the recipient of the Community Special Achievement Award, Edwards announced that he would be retiring.
Hosted by Greater Prince George’s County Business Roundtable President & CEO Jim Estepp, Sr and held at The Hotel at College Park, nearly 250 county leaders, guests, family friends and colleagues saluted the veteran community leader who is developing his autobiography, “A Life Filled With Second Chances”.
Other honorees included Candle of Service Awardees Attorney Marva Jo Camp, Industrial Bank President and CEO B. Doyle Mitchell and University of Maryland President Dr. Wallace Loh. Prince George’s County Chief Administrative Officer Major Riddick, Jr. was given the Decatur “Bucky” Trotter Humanitarian Award.
Watch this space for continuing updates to this story.