At the College of Southern Maryland on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, friends, family members and nominees gathered, to hear the letters written by citizens on the nominees’ accomplishments. This year there were 23 nominations for the title.
The nominees were from all over Calvert County and their volunteerism was in many non-profit venues. Some of those nominated volunteered their time in more than one program.
Mary Baldwin was nominated by Jodie Watts. Mary has been a full time volunteer with Patuxent Animal Welfare League (PAWS) for over 15 years. Mary has now retired from PAWS but Jodie has stepped up and taken her place.
Annette Bourne, nominated by Susan Bilek, volunteers her time to the county’s homeless. She is the transportation manager for Safe Nights from November to April, ensuring the homeless have transportation to and from the shelter. In the off-season, she is busy seeking support for the next season.
Linda Natoli Gaither, nominated by the Autism Project, where she is the volunteer coordinator. The staff knows that whatever the task, she gets it done. She is the reason the staff can work with the students the way they can.
Martha Grahame, nominated by Calvert nature Society and the Calvert County Division of Natural resources. She is a volunteer CHESPAX educator for the Calvert Nature Society and the Calvert County Division of Natural Resources. She has logged over 2,000 volunteer hours at the county’s nature parks. Martha has also volunteered many hours with Calvert library, Maryland Library Association, League of Women Voters, and All Saints Episcopal Church.
Dorothy “Dotty” Greene, nominated by Nancy Zinn and Barbara McKimmie, spent 28 years as a teacher. She is Director and Vice President of the Calvert County Fair Board, and co-chairs Youth day at the Fair, having started it 27 years ago. She is one the School #7 One Room School Committee and helps design and lead 4th grade school trips. Dottie is a member of Epsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma since 1977, and the Calvert Retired School Personnel Association where she is now Treasurer and has held many positions since 1995. She is on the Board of Directors for the St. Leonard Vision Group, where she is on the Spirit Committee. The Calvert County 4H All Stars has her organizing the bake sale held every two years.
Janie Hanko, nominated by Heather McGaffin and Katie Allen, moved to Calvert in 1983 and began volunteering in her Breezy Point neighborhood. She joined the PTA in 1989 and continued through four schools until youngest graduated in 2004. She worked for several years on the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels, and an active volunteer for county and state American Legion Auxiliaries. She has also coordinated Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for the needy and helped with the Angel Tree Program and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program. She also enjoys cooking for Project Echo and working with the Sheriff’s Office “Shop with a Cop” program.
Gwendolyn James, nominated by Cassandra D Okwumabua, volunteers at Calvert Pines Senior Center teaching arts and crafts to residents. She also mentors youth through Constellation Ministry. A member of Bethel Way of the Cross Church, she volunteers as the nurse. As a member of Concerned Black Women of Calvert County, she is on the scholarship committee.
Laura Kellner , nominated by Greg Kellner, has for three years organized the “Run for the Bay 5K”, held on the Chesapeake Beach Rail Trail. In the three years, she has brought in more than $20,000 for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Nancy R Lehman, nominated by Calvert County Department of Community Resources, Office on Aging, spends many hours volunteering for Commission on Aging and Friends of Calvert County Seniors. She coordinates efforts between the Office on Aging, the Calvert library and the Alzheimer’s Association to show a movie and promotes the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Solomons. She also volunteers at a local nursing home and adult day care center. Nancy volunteers at SMILE as a lead pantry worker for the past 15 years.
Phyllis Lester, nominated by Barbara Stinnett, volunteers with a number of groups, putting together baskets of food for the needy. As a member of Gray-Ray American Legion Post, she works with veterans and their families, navigating governmental roadblocks. Phyllis is also the Calvert County Fair Museum coordinator and her efforts have included the history of farming and the importance of keeping the county green.
Michael Lewis, Sr, nominated by William A Rector III, Fire Chief Dunkirk VFD, is a 23 year veteran of the MPD as a K-9 handler. Mike took on the responsibility of chief engineer of the Dunkirk VFD, and prior to him taking on the job, the equipment was in need of major repairs. He executed the repairs to exceed local and state standards at low cost to the taxpayers. Mike is also a certified firefighter 1 & 2, emergency vehicle operator and water rescue boat, and a lead driver training coordinators.
Ilse Metz, nominated by Calvert Marine Museum, started volunteering in 2004 at the Calvert Marine Museum. She volunteered in the Paleontology Department, cataloguing Hundreds of books, transcribing census records, and indexing events recorded in old county papers. She recently started cataloguing and rehousing the extensive B B Wills Collection, numbering in the tens of thousands and inventorying more than 1400 books donated by the family of Earl Ray. Ilse has logged more than 4600 volunteer hours.
Penny Moran, nominated by American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT), volunteers at the American Chestnut Land Trust, Flag Ponds Park, Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center and the Calvert Master Gardeners. She is on many ACLT committees, and has vested interest in educating youngsters on the importance of nature.
Port Republic School #7 One Room Schoolhouse Committee, nominated by Frances Armstrong, was brought to life by a group of retired teachers. Once abandoned, it was located on Broomes Island Road, and brought back to life. All 4th graders in Calvert County spend a day at the school and experience how school was 100 years ago. It takes four volunteers a day to keep the program running. The committee members are Fran Armstrong (chair), Russell Costley, Casey Duehrssen, Barbara Fringer, Dotty Greene, Carol Khalili, Pamela Mackall, and Fritzie Zidow.
Amy Plummer, nominated by Bayside History Museum, volunteers her time at Bayside History Museum. She spends a lot of time talking to residents in the area to raise money and get items donated. She also supports lectures, folding fliers, and staffing scouting programs.
Jennifer Purcell, nominated by Kristy Alvarez, volunteers time at Northern Middle School and was hospitality chair for the school’s PTSA. She collects donations for the Help Association. She is also on the troop committee for Boy Scout Troop 1792. She also volunteers at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue (FHHR), logging more than 2,000 hours. She provides hands on care to horses in need, revamped the rescue’s marketing materials, quadrupled its grant funding, and organized a month long campaign and community event for fundraising that the ASPCA named one of 7 award winners.
Amanda Collinson Reinhart, nominated by Annette Funn, is secretary for Bayside Baptist Church. She volunteers well beyond working hours, covering meetings for others and recording minutes. She accompanied a group of middle and high school students as a counselor to a camp in North Carolina.
Jeff and Lisa Seibert, nominated by Joyce Darrell, volunteer with Pets with Disabilities rescue for many years. On weekends, they become rescue warriors dedicated to homeless dogs. They mow, scoop poop, trim bushes, excavate, transport dogs and give them lots of attention. They also donate to the critical care fund.
Guffrie Smith Jr, nominated by Calvert County Branch of the NAACP, volunteers at Calvert County Collaborative for Children and Youth. He is an advocate for youth. He is President of Patuxent United Methodist Church Men and works with the church’s youth. He has volunteered many hours with CAASA, Christmas in April, Kiwanis Club, Asbury Atlantic, CCPS Diversity and Equity Leadership Team, and the Historical Society.
Ronald “Doc” G Wexler, nominated by Bonnie C Rogers, founded his Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center (OWRC). He is the core supporter of his center, having deeded his property to it and endowed the Wexler Wildlife Foundation.
Art Wittig, nominated by Barbara Stinnett, was known for establishing a school recycling program, and as a Calvert County Fair Board Volunteer, he established a recycling program for the fair. He also established a Blue Bird trail by placing numerous nesting boxes around the perimeter of the 40 acre fair grounds.
Gustave Wolf, nominated by Phyllis Lester, volunteers with United Way Day of Caring, the Angel Tree Program, and the Calvert Churches Community Food Pantry. Here he volunteers in the trenches, picking up and handing out food.
Woodchuck Program, nominated by David F Gormley Jr, the Knights of Columbus Council 7870, began in 2008 to remove fallen trees from communities in and around North Beach. From three families the first year, their effort grew to more than a dozen low income families. The members cut, load, deliver and stack the wood. They even make smaller pieces for the elderly. Members volunteer their time, trucks and equipment.
After the awards were presented to all nominees, President Steve Weems Announced Dorothy Greene was the Calvert You Are Beautiful winner and she was truly surprised.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon