Community Support

Respect for Law Week
In July 1965, a discussion between Past Optimist International President Carl Bowen and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover resulted in the birth of the Respect For Law community activity. This is the fourth most popular Optimist activity with more than 1,500 clubs participating each year.

Our Club celebrates this popular program with a Proclamation form the Board of County Commissioners and the recognition and honoring of law enforcement officials from eight agencies serving Calvert County: State’s Attorney Office, Office of the Sheriff, Maryland State Police, Calvert Detention Center, Maryland Fire Marshall’s Office, Calvert Control Center – 911, Animal Control Unit and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police.

Project Graduation
The Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse (CAASA) sponsors alcohol and drug-free parties for graduates and their guest from Calvert’s public high schools each year. The Calvert Optimist Club has been honored to be a partners in these celebrations by providing and preparing the hot dogs, hamburgers snacks sodas and water for the graduates to celebrate at evening event s and occasionally breakfast for the all night events that have been scheduled.

Miss Tranquility & Lord Calvert Contests
The Calvert County Fair each year chooses a youth as Miss Tranquility and as Lord Calvert to preside over the annual County Fair.  The Club is proud to sponsor contestants.  If you need a sponsor contact the Club through this site for assistance.

Hunter Safety
This is a program required by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources prior to obtaining a Maryland hunting license for all hunters. The Hunter Safety Course is traditionally held on the Saturday/Sunday after Labor Day each September.  A two-day course of instruction in both rifle and bow hunting safety includes classroom study, field work and exercises to prepare the applicant for the written and field exams needed to be eligible to acquire a hunting license.  This course is presented by DNR certified instructors and is provided at no cost on a first come first serve basis.

Eagle Scouts/Sea Scouts
The Club assists Boy Scouts in their goal of becoming an Eagle Scout through financial assistance for their project.  Sea Scouts have been sponsored to attend the SEAL program Advance Leadership) in past years as well as supplemental equipment donations for regular scouting programs.

Scholarship Program
Each year since 1975 the Club awarded scholarships to students from Calvert County to assist them in their educational futures.  The scholarships are judged on the completion of an application and a submitted essay. Applications are available at the Guidance Offices of Calvert County High Schools on 1st of February of each year.

Currently the Club awards three scholarships: the Knapp Scholarship of $7,000; a $5,000 scholarship; and a $1,250 designated for a student in a technical/ two-year program.  The Club also provides the $500 match for the U.S. Presidential Community Service Scholarship when awarded to a Calvert County graduate.  The funding for the scholarship program is provided through the Calvert Optimist Community Parks Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) foundation established by the Club in 1988.

Junior Optimist Octagon International
The Club sponsors a JOOI Club at Calvert High School which is called the Calvert Chorus. This is one of three JOOI Club in the Maryland South Delaware Optimist District.  JOOI Club (pronounced JOY) with more than 15,500 members in more than 600 communities, JOOI members are constantly working to promote positive change in their communities.

Community Bulletin Board
Since 1974 the Club has had the Calvert Community Bulletin Board located in Prince Frederick adjacent to the Safeway at MD Route2/4 & Dares Beach Road.  Non-profit organizations and groups are provided one-week’s advertisement of an event or function at no cost.  The program is administered through a partnership with the Calvert Library and groups may register to have an announcement on the Bulletin Board by going the Library’s website www.calvert.lib.md.us and clicking on the tab for SERVICES and then Optimist Sign.

Books for Babies
The Club is pleased and honored to be able to a partner with Calvert Library’s ‘Books for Babies’ program.  Science has discovered a great deal of information regarding the importance of reading to babies, now and for many years. Reading is the easiest and most enjoyable way to learn about the world, science, life, and other interests.  Reading to infants and encouraging them to continue reading as they grow older establishes the child’s tools for a fulfilling educational experience and a better life.  Each new born baby at Calvert Memorial Hospital is given a package containing baby’s first book, a coupon for baby’s second book and a great deal of information showing how the development of a child’s mental abilities can be greatly enhanced by having books read to them at the earliest of ages.

Calvert Shop with a Cop
The Club partnered with the members of the Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in 2006 to establish a shop with a cop program for underprivileged children of Calvert County to experience a Christmas time where they are able to purchase gifts for their families, friends and most importantly themselves.  This program fosters a positive environment for the children and police officers to share in conversation, working as a team and enjoying a meal together as the kids wrap the gifts purchased for others.  Each child participating in the program is transported by the uniformed officer in his official vehicle to and from the day of events.  Each participant is given a generous stipend to purchase gifts with only one requirement – that they purchase themselves at least one gift.

In 2011 the Calvert Shop with a Cop program expanded to enable underprivileged middle school children a ‘Back to School’ shopping day accompanied by uniformed officers with breakfast, bowling, lunch and personal grooming services for both girls and boys to prepare them for a happy return to school. Similar to the ‘Christmas Shop’ with an emphasis on clothing and school supplies, each child is provided a generous stipend to purchase what they need for the start of the school year.

Funding for the program, provided by donations from the Calvert-Prince Frederick Optimist Club, businesses and individuals, now allows the Calvert Shop with a Cop program to provide this service for 70+ children each Christmas and 24 middle schoolers each year in August.

Thanksgiving & Christmas Baskets
Each year the Club provides foods baskets to needed families at both thanksgiving and Christmas so that hey might enjoy a bountiful meal at the holiday seasons.

Christmas Parade
The Club co-sponsors with the Calvert County Fair Association the Annual Christmas Parade held in Prince Frederick on the 1st Sunday in December each year.  The parade is traditionally held at the Fox Run Shopping Center in Prince Frederick.  Community organizations, clubs, youth groups, high school bands, fire and rescue departments and many others participate in the parade, and of course Santa Claus makes an appearance.

Childhood Cancer Campaign
The Club supports both the Optimist International (OI) and the Maryland South Delaware District Optimist’s campaigns.  At the OI level, the organization has donated $1,000,000 to fund an Endowed Research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins. The OI Childhood Cancer Campaign’s mission statement is: “Optimist International shall be the leading force to rid the world of childhood cancer”.  In 2011-12 Optimist year, a new pledge of $500,000 was made to Johns Hopkins in the new Cure Childhood Cancer Campaign.

At the Maryland South Delaware Optimist District level the Club makes regular donations of both cash and recyclable aluminum to support the ‘Believe in Tomorrow House’ associated with the families of children who are at Johns Hopkins for their cancer treatments.