Delaney Burgess Candidate for United Way’s 2016 Mardi Gras Queen
For the next several weeks, I will be featuring individuals who have volunteered to run for King and Queen for United Way of Calvert’s Annual Mardi Gras event. Each year, the fine folks at our local United Way sponsor a fund raising program with this New Orleans inspired theme. They have found a “fun” way to seek needed funding by making it an enjoyable means to raising donations and topping it off with a wonderful party at the conclusion that rivals the celebration of “Fat Tuesday” in the French Quarter of “Noleans”! In my years of raising contributions for the various charities here in Southern Maryland, I always told the folks who supported me in these endeavors to call them “Fun” raisers as I truly did not want them to look on it as “work”.
So let me tell you about our first volunteer that has offered to run for Queen in this year’s event. Miss Delaney Burgess, a young, enthusiastic lady was first to accept my invitation to tell me her story and why she agreed to enter into this form of fundraising. Delaney and her family moved here 16 years ago this January. She tells me she is so happy they made the decision to come to Calvert because they have been really happy here and would not have wanted to have grown up anywhere else! She is a 2011 graduate of Huntingtown High School and is taking courses with the College of Southern Maryland. In addition, she is preparing to become a Real Estate agent by taking the Principles course on line. As one of the “Old Timers” in this business, I wish you much good luck in this profession and hope you do well. And really, it’s not much different then charity work as it’s all about helping others obtain something they need. Financially, though, it can be a little more satisfying…
I asked Delaney how she became involved with helping others. She tells me she was raised to help people. Her parents have always been involved in their church and their example provided her younger brother Perry and younger sisters Hailey and Macy and herself with ample opportunities to get involved and help others. She remembers as a little girl helping to feed the homeless or shopping for angel tree gifts at Christmas. It was just something that was a part of their lives. Living here in Calvert, there was always things to do to help others. She mentioned she helped with “Meals On Wheels” and it became a part of her weekly routine.
So far she has found many friends and neighbors that want to help her with this new pursuit to become Queen. When she tells them she is running, they all wish to know how they can help her. This gives her confidence and makes her feel good about what she hopes to accomplish during this 4 or 5 months of volunteer work.
I guess I should state how one becomes King or Queen of the Mardi Gras. Each candidate needs to develop a plan or means to raise funds during their campaign, then organize a team to assist them in these efforts. In the past, potential Kings and Queens have come up with unique events and affairs to attract folks to their fund raisers. Many have involved good old fashioned sweat and tears and the rolling up of one’s sleeves. Some have been raucous and jolly, while others have been great fun offering games of chance or displays of one’s athletic ability such as 5k runs. I have heard of Texas Hold’em poker games and biker Poker runs as means to obtain needed contributions. In the end, it’s the lucky man and woman who raises the most cash that ascends to the royal throne as King or Queen for that year. You may remember, I featured stories concerning last year’s winners David Payne and Cindy Dinan here in my column. The one thing that I realized in getting to know those two is that both of them had really outgoing personalities and were extremely committed to their work. In just getting to know Ms. Burgess, it appears she has similar traits and determination which tells me this year’s campaign is going to be an interesting and an exciting affair.
In the coming weeks, Delaney has lined up an ambitious schedule of events. She has a “Zyto Scan and Yoga Class” planned for December 15th at Barefoot Wellness, a Mardi Gras 5K Run at the new Oakland Hill Community in Prince Frederick on January 3rd, and a Poker Tournament at BADD company on February 20th. I am told her “Wine & Design” held recently at her boyfriend Jason Nagers’ “Brick Wood Fired Bistro” in Prince Frederick went real well.
She did indicate her life has become extremely busy between full time jobs, going to school, raising money for charity, and wanting to spend time with her brother and sisters and mom and dad, Stephanie and Jeff, and their 4 Shih-Tzus, life has been tough! Delaney, I know what you are going through, but let me say this, “Welcome to World of Volunteerism”! And let me tell you, your life will be so much more enriched by this experience and you will be amazed by all the wonderful friends you are about to meet. Helping others less fortunate then yourself will always warm and protect your heart and make you stronger!
To conclude, Delaney asked me to say she would like to encourage other younger people such as herself to help out their community in any way they can. She states “It’s not the easiest to raise money, but it is easy to volunteer”! Delaney, I am with you and I encourage you to give it your all the next three months. Have fun and I wish you all the best with this endeavor!
To gain more information on how you might help this young lady, contact her at:
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.