This week’s personality is an exuberant lady who appears to be a very likable person and a lot of fun to be around. Susan Lopez, known to many as “Susie”, works for Dominion here in the lower part of the county, but seems to be spending her every waking hour helping others or working with great causes that are important to her. I was introduced to Susie by our editor via the internet, and in chatting with her, I learned we have met previously at one of my Children’s Hospital Benefits here a few years back. And she wanted me to be aware she is a long term Redskin fan! So you know this should be a good story [or maybe not as I do have a lot of Giants, Steelers, Packer, and Cowboy friends throughout Southern Maryland]. But, put that aside and let me tell you about this beautiful citizen.
Susan has lived in Calvert County since she was 2 years old. Her mother was a member of the original “Brady Bunch” family of the County and she grew up in the “Brady Bunch” home in Prince Frederick just across Routes 2/4 from the Calvert Middle School. She claims times were really different then, so much so that she used to cross the road everyday to get to school and cars would actually stop to allow her to cross! I didn’t ask Susan her age [a gentleman never asks a lady her age], but this must have been a long time ago as I can’t imagine today’s traffic through our County seat actually coming to a halt to allow a child to get to the other side! She survived these dodges with death each day to graduate from Calvert High and enroll at the College of Southern Maryland. Again, this must have been years ago as she remembers taking evening classes in green trailers!
Her grandparents, Ruth and Roland Brady, played a big part in her early life in getting her interested in helping others. They instilled in her the real importance of giving back to the community; she remembers her grandfather barbequing chicken and her grandmother preparing potato salad and desserts to be sold at the Prince Frederick Rescue Squad every Sunday. Additionally, they ran the concession stand at Hallowing Point Park for many years [I think I remember them as my kids played soccer there over the years. Maybe Susan is not that old after all!]. I learned a portion of the money earned from that operation was donated to the rescue squad. Susan tells me a large percentage of her family has been involved with service in the fire and rescue community including one family member who completed over 50 years of dedicated service!
In 2006, Susan went to work for Dominion and was elated to learn they allowed an employee a paid day off to work at any local charitable organization of their choice! Not only that, she learned her position would also allow her to reach out and coordinate volunteer opportunities during the work week to assist groups that need support when a majority of their volunteers are gainfully employed and unavailable. Sounds like a really neat policy! And, she was awarded the “2013 Dominion Volunteer of the Year Award” for her efforts!
She believes this experience greatly fostered her commitment to helping others and led her to immerse herself in so many great programs. One of the causes she loves to support is the “Farming4Hunger” Program at Serenity Farm, where she has been involved with cleaning greenhouses and restoring them for raising veggies for the hungry families of the area. Interesting stuff, huh! She and her family also supported Hospice by loading and unloading trees, “fluffing” trees, and decorating at least 30 trees for the Holidays over the past few years. She has been active in the annual Christmas in April Program*Calvert County by coordinating the work to rebuild or repair 4 houses. She cheerfully gave of her time and energy to prepare and deliver meals to all the volunteers who were doing the work to fix up homes for the poor and elderly within our community.
She is active with the many programs provided at Anne Marie Gardens, especially with their Halloween in the Garden. She bagged over 4000 treat bags and designed and decorated a “Minion Monster” costume character; she sent me a photograph wearing this outfit for this story, but I always want to present our personalities’ picture as they normally appear so that when you see them in public, you will be able to recognize them and thank them for their service. Maybe we will do a story here on the website concerning this year’s Halloween event and put Susan’s “Minion” picture with it!
Two other great events here in Calvert where you will find Susan up to her elbows in work are the annual Mardi Gras celebration sponsored by the United Way of Calvert County and the Holiday Angel Tree Program. She helped to set up and tear down the decorations for the Ball and, with her family, shopped and bagged gifts for over 100 children during the past several years. Amazingly, these efforts are just a few of the many community events she undertakes each year! There just isn’t enough room to discuss all of her roles! Wow!
This great lady credits the support of her husband of 21 years, Roy Lopez and their 13 year old daughter Kylie for their dedicated help in accomplishing this work. Roy is employed by Exelon as a Safety Engineer and Kylie is completing 7th grade at Mill Creek Middle where she is a member of the Junior National Honor Society and very active in girls softball.
In closing, Susan wanted to call attention to a new charity “Pranks4Paws” that is forming and announce an upcoming fundraiser for the Humane Society of Calvert County on July 16th at Mamma Lucia’s Restaurant on Costley Way in Prince Frederick. More info will be published about these important organizations. Susan, you are as busy as any volunteer I have met. I wish you good health in order to keep up with your busy schedule and to thank you for all the great support you provide your friends and neighbors!
Dave Spigler resides in Lusby and has been a resident of Calvert County since 1979. He has been recognized many times for his years of community service. He received the “Calvert You Are Beautiful Award” for 2013 and recognized by the Knights of Columbus as the “Maryland Citizen of the Year” in 2011. He was a member of the HOGETTES, the Washington Redskins “Biggest Fans” for 22 years. If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.