Welcome

The Optimist Club of Calvert is a non-profit organization run by adult volunteers. Our mission is to help kids in the local community with service projects, scholarships, and support for other youth organizations.  The Optimist Club of Calvert has touched the lives of many youth and adults in our community through the projects and programs that we have sponsored over the last fifty years.  We are always eager to enhance and expand our efforts to be the ‘Friend of Youth’ and provide service to the community.

New Members Welcome !!!
Join us at one of our monthly dinner meetings! Meetings Dinner meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month, starting at 7 p.m. at O’Gannigan’s Irish Pub in Prince Frederick. (Meetings are not held in December.) For more information about becoming a member, please visit our Membership page or call Club President Krista Brezina, (410) 474-2707.

2023 Optimist Club of Calvert/Calvert Fair Board Christmas Parade

Click here for the parade registration paperwork. Entry deadlines: December 1 via email; Dec 2 in person at Calvert County Fairgrounds.

The Christmas Parade is back! New Location, New Date, New Time! The parade will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2023 (no rain date).  The parade route will start on Duke Street in Prince Frederick, go through the Prince Frederick Shopping Center, then turn right onto Church Street toward the reviewing stand and continue onto Main Street. The Optimist Club of Calvert County and the Calvert County Fair Board are teaming up with Calvert County Parks & Recreation, Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Calvert County Chamber of Commerce, and the Calvert County Historical Society for Home for the Holidays – a full day of free family-friendly fun! The schedule of events for Home for the Holidays is listed below.

10:30 a.m. –  Return of the Christmas parade


Noon-4 p.m. – Festive family fun at King Park and Linden House! Look forward to the excitement for the whole family, with fun activities, vendors, food trucks, music, and more!

4-5 p.m. – Tree Lighting Ceremony Experience the magic of the season with a tree-lighting ceremony in front of the courthouse.

Santa Night 2023

This year’s Santa Night will be Wednesday, December 13th at the Calvert Library in Prince Frederick.- Click here to reserve your free tickets for Santa Night 2023!

Youth Appreciation Week

As part of the Optimist International (OI) program for youth appreciation, the Optimist Club of Calvert has been recognizing select high school seniors as the “outstanding youth” of the county for the last 54 years. Please join us and the Optimist Club of Solomons in congratulating the Seniors chosen by each Calvert County high school as their Outstanding Youth for 2023.

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Calvert High School honorees (l-r) Trevor MacWilliams, Madison Epidendio, Faith Ramirez, Sophie Penix, Corben Brandner, and Sarah Davis. Photo credit: Marty Madden/Southern Maryland News.
Not pictured Honorees Sophie Arness, Makayla Doe, Daniel Fuentes and Nhu Nguyen.
Huntingtown High School honorees (l-r) Kennedy Perry, Andrew Zander, and Braeden Sawyer.
Photo credit: Marty Madden/Southern Maryland News. Not pictured: Honorees Brietta Dalzell,
Andrew Lamb, and Catherine Polo.
Northern High School honorees (l-r) Cailee Cooper, Tory Noltemeyer, Hailey Jones, and Noelle Blackman. Photo credit: Marty Madden/Southern Maryland News. Not pictured: Honorees Yuchen Gao and Alexander Wilson.
Patxuent High School honorees (l-r) Elena Saucedo, Katelyn Tinsley, Victoria McCready, Makenza Kenner, Allison Gallaher, Eden Wainwright, Lillian Erickson, and Ivy Blackwell.  Not pictured: Honorees Hermes Johns and Dhiraj Patel.

Robert (Bob) Merkle

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of friend and club member Robert (Bob) Merkle. Bob was a member of our club for 14 years and was a staple at our Christmas Tree lot for many years. We offer our condolences to the Merkle family.

2023-2024 Essay Contest

The 2023-2024 Essay Contest is open for entries. The topic this year is “Optimism – How it Connects Us” and entries are due by 11:59 pm on Friday, February 9, 2024. Cash prizes are available! Entries should be between 700 and 800 words in the format specified in the contest rules. The contest is open to students under age 19 (as of October 1, 2023) who have not yet graduated from high school. To apply through the Optimist Club of Calvert, students must attend a school in Calvert County – excluding schools in Lusby, MD (contact the Optimist Club of Solomons for Lusby entries). The link for the application is below the contest flyer.

2023-24 Essay Contest Application

Congratulations to the 2023 Respect for Law Honorees!

Seven honorees from various Calvert County law enforcement agencies were honored for their dedication to their professions and the community at the 54th Annual Respect for Law Awards Banquet on July 24, 2023, hosted by the Calvert-Prince Frederick and Solomons Optimist clubs. This year’s honorees were Corrections Deputy First Class James Strain, Assistant State’s Attorney Allison Walton, Calvert County Sheriff’s Master Deputy Robert W. Burggraff, Maryland State Trooper First Class Kevin Bauer, Animal Control Officer Kaitlin Sewell, Public Safety Dispatcher I Theresa Anderson and Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer First Class Allison Higgs.

Pictured (l-r) Honorees Kevin Bauer, Kaitlin Sewell, James Strain, Allison Walton, and Robert W. Burggraff. Theresa Anderson and Allison Higgs were unable to attend the event.

Congratulations to our 2023 Scholarship Winners!

We are proud to announce the Optimist Club of Calvert‘s 2023 Scholarship Winners! A recent Huntingtown High School graduate, Isabella Rosasco was awarded the 2023 Les Knapp Scholarship, valued at $8,000. Isabella will be attending George Washington University this fall majoring in Political Communications.

Nathan Coston, a recent Huntingtown High School graduate, was awarded the 2023 Jim King Scholarship, valued at $6,000. Nathan will attend George Mason University, majoring in Creative Writing.

Michaela Graham, who is also a recent Huntingtown High School graduate, was awarded the 2023 Career/Vocational/Technical Scholarship, valued at $3,000. Michaela will attend Alleghany College of Maryland to earn an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Care. Congratulations Isabella, Nathan, and Michaela!

Pictured (l-r): Nathan Coston, Michaela Graham, Isabella Rosasco, and Scholarship Committee Chair Betty Knapp.

Calvert High School Project Graduation Party

The Project Graduation party for Calvert High School seniors was held on June 8 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station Drill Hall. The Club supported the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse, Inc., sponsored event by providing food and drinks for the grads and their guests.

Our newest member, Erik Thompson (r) is welcomed by his sponsor, Kurt Brezina (l) at our May Dinner Meeting.

Our May Dinner Meeting Guest Speaker, Jack Woodford, shared his personal story that eventually led to his involvement with the Heartfelt of Calvert County and Calvert County Christmas Tree of Angels programs. Heart F.E.L.T., Filling Empty Little Tummies, is a Christian-based Outreach Ministry designed to feed children on the weekends when they can often go hungry.
We welcomed our newest club member, Joe Endy (r), at our April Dinner Meeting. Joe is pictured with his sponsor Jack Brown.
Congratulations to Olivia Herrin, our Oratorical Contest 1st Place Winner who went on to win 2nd Place at the Maryland South Delaware District Optimist Oratorical Contest! Olivia won a $2,500 scholarship along with her plaque.
2023 Essay Contest Winners Recognized at March Dinner Meeting. The winners of this year’s contest are
First Place – Olivia Sparks (Huntingtown High School)
Second Place – Gayle Henderson (Northern High School)
Charlotte Thon (Northern High School) our Third Place winner. 
Pictured are Thon, Henderson, and Sparks (l-r)    
Congratulations to the winners of the Optimist Club of Calvert’s Oratorical contest!!
1st Place: Olivia Herrin (Northern High School)
2nd Place: Samuel Zolfaghari (Northern High School)
3rd Place: Ryan Zolfaghari (Mt. Harmony Elementary School)
At our February Dinner Meeting, we welcomed our newest club members: David Mohler, Keisha Contee, and Glenn Knapp (l-r)

2022 Santa Night

On December 8, 2022, the club hosted its Fifth Annual Santa Night. Santa visited with 45 children who also had the opportunity to play games for prizes and make holiday crafts.

New Members Inducted

Our newest club members, Susan Fleming and Amanda Hauff were inducted by Club President Krista Brezina during our last dinner meeting. Welcome, Susan & Amanda!  Interested in becoming a member or have questions? Please visit our Membership page or call Club President Krista Brezina, (410) 474-2707. She will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

2022 Halloween Trunk or Treat

We held our Trunk or Treat on Sunday, October 30, 2022, and welcomed 356 kiddos.

2022 Respect for Law Awards

Pictured are Honorees Buckler, Hart, Moorman, Loveless, Higgs, Bell, and Freeland.

Congratulations to Animal Control Officer Blair Buckler, Corrections Deputy Alexandra Hart, Maryland State Police – Prince Frederick Barrack “U” Trooper First Class Matthew Moorman, Calvert County Emergency Communications Public Safety Dispatcher I Cynthia Loveless, Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Natural Resources Police Officer Allison Higgs, Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Lee Ann Bell, and Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class William Freeland.

2022 Career and Technology Education Achievement Awards

Congratulations to the Career And Technology Academy’s 2021/22 Junior Students of the Year! They were recognized yesterday as part of our newest program, Career and Technology Education Achievement Awards.

Edward V. Dorsey (September 3, 1945- May 10, 2022)

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share the news that our beloved friend and fellow optimist Ed Dorsey has passed away. On the evening of May 10, 2022, Ed succumbed to heart complications. https://rauschfuneralhomes.com/…/edward-vernon-dorsey-jr/

2022 Oratorical Contest

Pictured (l-r) Olivia Ellison, Sam Zalghari, and Olivia Herrin.

Congratulations to the winners of the Optimist Club of Calvert’s Oratorical contest!! 1st Place: Olivia Herrin (Northern High School), 2nd Place: Olivia Ellison (Calvert High School), and 3rd Place: Samuel Zalfaghari (Northern High School) All received a monetary award and medallion. Our first-place winner, Olivia Herrin, will advance to the District level competition in Ocean City, Maryland on Saturday, April 30, where she will be competing for a $2,500 college scholarship. A special thanks to our contest Judges Caryn Fossile, Hope Sayles and Club President Christine White, and Timekeeper Ed Dorsey.

Santa Night 2021

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