What a nice experience to actually speak with a “Queen” for the first time in my life [I did get to wave at the Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip on their Royal Yacht “Britannia” when they sailed passed the USS WASP as I stood on the flight deck during the NATO Regatta off Southampton many years ago – Prince Phillip actually waved back!]. Cindy Dinan is a delightful young lady who recently was crowned this year’s Mardi Gras Queen for having raised more than $14,000 during United Way’s annual fundraising competition here in Calvert County! She has been involved with United Way since United Way’s CEO Kelly Chambers came to her office several years ago to make a presentation on behalf of her charitable organization. Once Ms. Chambers described her firm’s work and how their support benefits many groups and activities with its strong network of charities, not only locally, but throughout the United States, Cindy knew right then and there she wanted to get involved and help others with this great volunteer work!
For years I have been very aware of all the good United Way does for the citizens of Calvert County, especially in caring for those less fortunate than ourselves. They have numerous needs they fulfill on a regular basis and focus on some of the poorest segments of our society, especially the children who go hungry and often lack proper health care. Cindy and I are in total agreement that one of the best experiences this organization offers is its Annual Day of Caring, a day when people from all walks of life give up a day and work together to help those in need. As she tells me, “you just can’t get much better than that”!
Her interest in working with others took a big leap forward when “someone”, she wouldn’t say who, nominated her to run for “Queen”! She took on this challenge and decided she would set a personal minimum goal to raise $10,000 for United Way in hopes this would make somewhat of an impact whether or not she attained the title of this year’s Queen. She was delighted that her efforts, together with those of her family and friends, exceeded $14,000, or almost 50% more than expected and earned her the title of Queen for 2015!
When I asked her how she was able to accomplish this feat, she stated she had the love and support of many folks. Her coworkers at Maryland Trust Title in Prince Frederick were tremendous with their help and enthusiasm for her cause. A good friend, Brenda White and husband Craig, put together a “Poker Tournament” that was a lot of fun and a really enjoyable means of raising some good hard cash! She held a couple of “Painting Parties” with the help of good friends at “Wine and Design of Leonardtown” who donated a portion of each participant’s registration fee for her cause. I have witnessed these events in Massachusetts while visiting friends last summer and these “art classes” seemed to be really enjoyed and well attended. Wonder if it has anything to do with the wine that was consumed while they painted their canvas?
Additionally, several other businesses got behind her in helping her achieve her goal. The good people at Chesapeake Grill donated their tips derived over a full week to United Way in her name. Many larger local firms such as Bayside Chevrolet owned by my great friends Geoff and Susan Wanamaker, Bowling Construction, and Scott Properties LLC made large donations as well. And the fine folks at Davis, Upton & Palumbo provided a nice sum of money they unselfishly collected at their annual Christmas Party in December!
Queen Cindy saved her greatest praise for her hubby Jason who helped her the most and was with her all the way! She states she could not have accomplished any of this without his love and support! The same goes for all of her many friends who came together for her. She “could not have done this without any of them”!
Once again, Cindy, like many of the 33 personalities I have featured weekly during the past nine months, was not raised here in Calvert County, but grew up across the river in Charles County. She and Jason attended Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf. They really never ventured over the Patuxent much when they were real young. However, upon looking to buy a home here, they discovered what a beautiful area Calvert truly is! They really came to love the wonderful people they met upon moving here when their son Ethan was still in second grade. Funny thing! That’s what I have been saying for months now, haven’t I!?! She really made me smile as we are in lockstep about our feelings for our great friends and neighbors here!
Cindy and Jason have been active in the County Parks and Recs sports leagues as Ethan has participated in sports most of his life. Jason has coached his son’s basketball teams and their mutual love of sports led them to meet many fine families as Ethan grew. I don’t know that there is a better advocate for our citizens than Cindy. It’s no wonder that she reigns as our Queen for the next twelve months. She is a great representative of the people and a really nice person to boot! We are fortunate to have her in our midst.
Your “Majesty”, thank you for what you do for others! May you truly enjoy the next twelve months for you have earned it. All the best! Keep up the good work!
One last comment, readers if you are inspired by Cindy’s good works, you can show your appreciation by making a donation to United Way of Calvert County, 530 Main Street, Prince Frederick, MD 20678. Let them know you wanted to make your contribution on her behalf [please don’t tell Cindy I suggested this – it’ll be our “secret”]! 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.