Belinda Denton 2016 Candidate for United Way Mardi Gras Queen
The number of people in this county that step up to the plate to volunteer to help their friends and neighbors continues to grow by leaps and bounds [I usually don’t start my stories with this many cliches, but I continue to be impressed with the awesome personalities that I meet here who want to be involved and help those less than fortunate then themselves!]. Ms. Belinda Denton, this week’s unsung hero, is a superb example of the type of individual that I have dedicated this column to for the past 18 months. When approached by the fine folks at United Way of Calvert to help with this year’s fundraising campaign, she jumped at this opportunity and agreed to use her experience and skills to bring in necessary funds to support their many programs. She shows me a great commitment to this task, so let me tell you a little bit about this nice lady.
Belinda is from Calvert County. In fact, her family has always lived here and is considered one of the “First Families” in Calvert having resided in Broomes Island for generations. Her dad served in the Army and the family travelled to such “garden spots” as Fort Benning and Fort Campbell during his active duty. They also spent time in Prince Georges County while her dad served in Viet Nam. While pursuing her college degree she moved around considerably, but finally returned to the County permanently in 1998. She was awarded a Bachelor of Arts History Degree and has additional education in Work Force Development Training and is currently working for endorsements in Business Services.
I asked Belinda how was it that she became interested in volunteer service. She states she has always had an avid interest in her community and began to feel a strong need to serve when involved with Christian Ministry at her church. She began by assisting the Farming4Hunger program founded by Bernie Fowler. Jr. [Bernie’s wonderful story was featured here two weeks ago]. She worked with inmates in the Charles County Dentition Center Pre-Release program by conducting Career Development Workshops with these individuals prior to their return to the work force following incarceration. They were given an opportunity to work at Serenity Farms with the raising and harvesting of crops to feed the poor throughout the Tri-County area. Hopefully, some of these people benefitted from this experience and found employment with farmers in the region upon their release. When United Way asked her if she would assist them by running for Mardi Gras Queen, she could not say no! “They support so many families and individuals here in our local community” so there was no way she could refuse their request for help.
I asked her if she had the encouragement of family and friends to take on this endeavor? She says yes, but she believes they have more confidence in her abilities than she has so she took on this challenge. She told me a little about her family and what an interesting group they are. Her dad is now deceased, but set an example through his service to our country as a dedicated military man. Her mom is originally from Scotland and resides in Port Republic. A sister lives in Virginia and her brother is here in Lusby. She has three daughters and a son – Briana who is pursuing her Masters in Social Work, Francesca who live in Annapolis, Nina who lives in my hometown of Silver Spring and works at Georgetown University Hospital and Daniel who is currently serving in the Army Reserves and plans to enter Pensacola Christian College in pursuit of a Pastoral Degree. Belinda also has two pretty granddaughters, Macie and Sadie.
Finally, through my story, I asked Belinda how I might be able to help her get the word out and help her with her campaign and, ultimately, help United Way. She says she would greatly appreciate our votes. Sponsorships are available in her name and will count towards her run for Queen. She is willing to roll up her sleeves and help any program the United Way of Calvert supports. She is planning a raffle and will have details once the plans are finalized. Additionally, there is a “Corn Hole Tournament” scheduled at The Green Turtle” in Prince Frederick on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2016. There will be drink specials and prizes for the winners and 15% of the proceeds from the sale of food and beverages will go directly to United Way [hint – votes for Belinda]! Other means for obtaining “votes” are planned for that day as well.
If you are unable to attend any of her events, you may also help Belinda by going to http://www.unitedwaycalvert.org/belinda4queen and vote for her. You can also find additional information about the biggest party of the year here in Calvert by just clicking on http://www.unitedwaycalvert.org and learn about the Mardi Gras Gala on March 5, 2016! She would like me to remind our readership that every donation, no matter how small, will go a long way to helping United Way with their many important local needs. So, you heard it here first –“GET OUT and VOTE!”!
Belinda, thank you for all you do! And a big thank you to your loving family who is supporting you in this great volunteer work. I wish you much good luck and I am truly looking forward to the election more than the “other” election that is being discussed in the news today.
All the best to you, “Spiggy”
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 email@example.com.