Gerry Brewster '75 currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate Maryland’s youth and to promote and showcase Maryland’s agriculture industry. Since the pandemic's onset, however, the organization has shifted gears to help those with the greatest and most immediate needs. This has included:
- Transforming the 4.5-acre Cow Palace into a coronavirus testing site, the first in Maryland to offer free testing without the need for a doctor’s recommendation or appointment.
- Turning another building over to the American Red Cross for ongoing emergency blood drives.
- Turning 600 stalls over to the State Veterinarian for the care of livestock of farmers who became ill with COVID-19.
- Hooking up three emergency management vehicles to Fairground utilities to serve in whatever capacity they are needed.
- Hosting a Baltimore County pop-up food market for those experiencing food insecurity on Saturdays.
- Partnering with Amigos of Baltimore County and 4MyCiTy to provide free food - donated from food warehouses and restaurants - on Sundays to Maryland's hard-hit Latino and Immigrant communities.
Gilman has a long and storied connection with the Fairground. Notable alumni, including but not limited to Stuart Janney '25, Dick Emory ’31, Daniel B. Brewster ’42, and Charles C. Fenwick, Jr. ’66, have served in leadership roles. Today, in addition to Gerry, Ward Classen ’78 serves as Secretary and Christopher M. Hutchins ’75 serves on the Education and Scholarship and the Nominating Committees. Additionally, Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society is the parent corporation of MSF, Inc., which is led by Chairman Richard F. Blue ’73, Joe Gillet Davies ’80, and Peter R. Fenwick ’85. Both corporations are multimillion-dollar corporations that have a substantial impact on Maryland’s economy.
The Maryland State Fairgrounds campus spans 106 acres with 42 buildings and nearly 500 full- and part-time employees and hosts some two million people annually (500,000 during the Maryland State Fair itself). Only once before in its 141-year history has the Maryland State Fairgrounds shut down, and that was in the nation’s time of need during World War II when the Fairgrounds was turned over to the U.S. Army. This year, unfortunately, the traditional Maryland State Fair was canceled, but Youth and Open Class Livestock exhibitors were permitted to show their animals.