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What's Up Magazine

Purple Cherry Architects

Dec 05, 2014 09:30AM ● By Cate Reynolds
Spirit. Sometimes referred to as soul. Within cultures worldwide, spirit can mean a supernatural or, even, physical entity or the manifestation of feelings; of goodwill toward others, exuberance and enthusiasm, passion, and pride. For many of us, spirit seems to peak around the holiday season, each December. For Catherine Purple Cherry and her architecture firm, spirit—this personification of values and morals—is a company ethos that branches into the community continuously.

Cherry, who founded her Annapolis-based firm in 1996, isn’t shy of her Christian faith and is very forthcoming in explaining that her moral footing is grounded in the word of the God. And though her passion as such is evident in conversing with her, Cherry does not proselytize. Rather, she explains her life perspectives and of her firm’s philanthropic endeavors…and it all makes sense.

“I am a woman of faith,” Cherry says. “And I’ve arrived to a place in my belief that I trust all things will always be taken care of. We are always being provided [for].”

It is a belief preceded by a “pay it forward” mentality; to put oneself in a position to, first and foremost, help or benefit others. Do that and good things may come full circle. Give and you shall receive. Karma.

For Cherry and her firm, giving has taken many forms, from pro-bono architectural services for Wellness House of Annapolis (a cancer support center) to fundraising assistance with multiple organizations, but it is, perhaps, Perry Cherry Architects’ regular trips to the Ronald McDonald House that the entire team looks forward to most. Located in the heart of Baltimore City, Ronald McDonald House Charities “provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families, and helps to fund programs in the local area that directly improve the well-being of children,” according to its mission statement.

 On any given day, the 36-room facility is at capacity with families of pediatric patients receiving or awaiting oncology treatment, organ transplants, or shock trauma and intensive care unit treatment. And though all families are there due to unimaginable circumstances, their spirit is almost always positive and hopeful.

“Seven years ago, I was introduced to the Executive Director of house,” Cathy says. “I was so impressed with the heart of the people. I met families that were going through significant challenges, so I thought an easy way to give would be to make a meal. We started helping by making a dinner. It has become an incredible team building opportunity; for our staff to work together and learn from people who are going through far more hard times than we could ever imagine.

“Every other month for about six and half years, we go up and we make the meals and we visit with different families. I can’t think of any other organization—other than Hospice perhaps—that calls upon the need to comfort.”

To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities, visit, and for Purple Cherry Architects,