The Optimist Club of Calvert was chartered on October 7, 1968, with 29 members thanks to some persistent people from the Parkville Optimist Club. This goal was only achieved after the many hours of dedicated efforts of Jim King and Phil Molher, our first President. We are pleased that Charter members Phil Molher, Dickie Pitcher, Bob Chaney, Bill Scwhallenberg, and Spencer Howes are still active in our Club today.

Some of the Club’s earliest projects included putting up basketball backboards at several area churches; installing football goalposts at Calvert High School; installing flag poles and painting the horse show rings at the County Fair Grounds. The Club was instrumental in re-establishing Little League baseball and provided umpires until the Department of Parks and Recreation could take over this responsibility. Thanks to Optimists Sammy Smith, Jim King and Maynard Schmitz (all now deceased) and the Club’s sponsorship, the Calvert Babe Ruth League became an active organization. Calvert Optimists also started Small Fry Soccer in the county, the beginning of what is now one of Calvert County’s largest youth sports organizations.

The Optimist Club of Calvert touches the lives of many youth and adults in our community through the projects programs that we sponsor. The Optimist Year begins in October with the Club’s first program, the Halloween Parade and Party. In November we celebrate OI’s Youth Appreciation Week and the selection of ten (10) seniors from each of the county’s four high schools.

December finds the Club co-sponsoring the Annual Christmas Parade in Prince Frederick and sponsoring the OI Essay Contest which is open to both middle and senior high school students. In February the Club participates in the OI Oratorical Contest where middle school students compete in local, Zone and District competitions. March/April is Easter Egg Hunt time. On the 2nd Saturday in May is the Annual Fishing Tournament where youth ages 3 – 18 compete for prizes based on their fishing talents. In May the Club also sponsors a Respect for Law program recognizing and honoring law enforcement officials from eight county and state agencies. June finds the Club involved with the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse (CAASA) in helping with the feeding of the graduating high school seniors at Project Graduation.

In addition to the many activities and programs sponsored by the Club, The Optimist Club of Calvert, through its Foundation, is most proud of its annual scholarship program. Each year since 1975, the Club has awarded scholarships to deserving youth in the County and now awards $13,750 in scholarships each year.

All youth and community activities are supported by fund raisers such as the sale of Christmas Trees and Wreaths, the Optimist Food Trailer, and Optimist Bingo.

We are always eager to enhance and expand our efforts to be the ‘Friend of Youth’ and provide service to the community. Join Us.

An Optimist Club is a group of volunteers, men and women, representing a cross section of the community who recognize their civic responsibilities and join together in thought and action in the belief that giving of one’s self in service to others for the development of youth and for the good of the community. An Optimist Club, although affiliated with Optimist International (OI), is a separate and independent organization that adopts its own by-laws consistent with the constitution and by-laws of OI; develops its own policies, programs and projects; and, conducts activities in its own community. An Optimist Club acquires stature and prestige through its affiliation with Optimist International, but in the final analysis the activity, image and destiny of each Optimist Club is molded by its members and leaders.

The Calvert-Prince Frederick Optimist Club is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, six elected Directors and the Club’s immediate Past President. The Board of Directors controls and manages the Club’s activities; generally supervises the affairs of the Club; and determines the number and purpose of all special and standing committees necessary to the achievement of the objectives of the Club. Much of the success of a club depends upon how well the Board functions and the direction it provides. An Optimist Club is a 501c (4) non-profit organization. All income received from fund-raising activities is applied to the non-profit purposes and objectives of the organization. Membership fees and annual dues are used for internal operation of the Club.

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