During the October 28, 2019 meeting of the Calvert Board of County Commissioners, the Optimist Clubs of Calvert Prince Frederick and Solomons, presented the 42 outstanding high school youth for 2019.
The youth of Calvert County are our most treasured resource and the accomplishments, achievements and abilities of these young people deserve recognition and praise from everyone. Optimist International has developed and promoted a program in 1954 called “Youth Appreciation Week” and the Optimist Clubs in Calvert have carried on the tradition since 1969.
During the Commissioner’s meeting, they presented the Optimist with a proclamation, declaring the week of October 28 thru November 4th be known as Youth Appreciation Week in Calvert County, and that by the action taken, they have faith in the ability of today’s youth as they assume responsible roles in the future of mankind.
The Calvert Optimist Community Parks Foundation Incorporated (Foundation) was chartered by the Calvert-Prince Frederick Optimist Club in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) organization for the purpose of raising funds to establish recreational and educational programs for youth in Calvert County. As the county grew and the Department of Parks and Recreation was established, the focus of the Foundation turned to the educational programs, especially the Calvert Optimist Scholarship program.
The Foundation’s Scholarship Program begins in February of each year when students are able to submit applications. The applications are reviewed by a panel of Optimist Club members and the winners are chosen by a weighted formula. The program began in 1975 with the Club funding a $2,000 scholarship each year to a Calvert County student. As the years progressed annual awards were made and the scholarship increased until 1987 when two (2) scholarships were awarded. With the chartering of the Foundation in 1988, the Scholarship Program evolved and expanded; currently awarding three (3) annual scholarships with values of $7,000; $5,000; and $1,250.
In 2007 the Foundation designated the annual $7,000 award ‘The Knapp Scholarship’ in recognition of the Scholarship Committee Chair Leslie Knapp’s efforts and dedication to the education of the county’s youth. The $1, 250 scholarship is designated for a student who has chosen to attend a technical/ two year program of higher education. The Foundation also matches a $500 Presidential Scholarship when a Calvert County student is awarded such a grant.
Some of the programs sponsored by the Optimist Clubs are Bike Safety Rodeo, Halloween Parade, Easter Egg Hunt, Fishing Tournament, Youth Appreciation Week, Calvert Shop with a Cop – Christmas, Essay Contest, Oratorical Contest, Project Graduation, Scholarship Program, Career Center Award, U.S. Presidential Community Service Scholarship, Optimist International Jr. World of Golf, Calvert Ship with a Cop – Back to School, Miss Tranquility & Lord Calvert Sponsorship, Calvert County Fair Art Contest, Hunter Safety, Junior Optimist Club, Eagle Scouts, Sea Scouts, and Explorer Scouts.
The Optimists also are involved in community service projects such as Thanksgiving & Christmas Food Baskets, Project ECHO, Respect for Law, Christmas Parade, Books for Babies, Maryland Childhood Cancer Campaign, Community Bulletin Board, Tents for Charitable Activities, and Medical Equipment for Loan.
Since 1969, the Optimist Club of Calvert-Prince Frederick has recognized and honored the “Outstanding Youth of Calvert County”, as part of the Youth Appreciation Week program, and is now joined by the Optimist Club of Solomons.
The Outstanding Students from the four public high schools are:
Calvert High School
Northern High School
Huntingtown High School
Patuxent High School
It is an honor for the Board of County Commissioners of Calvert County to be a part of this very worthwhile program.
It was proclaimed by the Calvert Board of County Commissioners that the week of October 28 — November 4, 2019, be known as Youth Appreciation Week in Calvert County. It was further proclaimed by this action that they have faith in the ability of today’s youth as they assume responsible roles in the future of mankind.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon