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zonta logo
Taking its name from a Sioux Indian word meaning “honest and trustworthy”, the Zonta Club of Charles County works to empower the lives of women, both in the local community and around the world. Zonta is entering the final days of preparation for their 29th Annual Fashion Show, and member Kelley Rollins took some time out of planning to share her organization’s story with us.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 66 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta's mission and objectives. These objectives include: improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy; working for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of executives in business and the professions; promoting justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; being united internationally to foster high ethical standards, to implement service programs and to provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations and the world. Zonta International, its districts and its clubs are nonsectarian and nonpartisan.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: Recently, Zonta Club of Charles County presented a check for $25,000 to LifeStyles of Maryland for the support of Gayle’s House, a safe house for victims and their children who have fled to escape their abuser. Gayle’s House was named after Gayle Cooke, a mother of six and a crime victims’ support coordinator for the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office, who was shot and killed in her La Plata home in 2000 while protecting her daughter from an estranged boyfriend. This is a huge and very rewarding accomplishment for our club.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: The biggest challenge that we face is getting the word out there and preventing violence against women worldwide. This is why we try to focus on: raising awareness of and improving education about violence against women and children; implementing, promoting and enforcing local laws and policies that protect women and victims of violence; and providing medical, legal, rehabilitation and reintegration services for survivors of violence. In cooperation with the United Nations, its agencies and other nongovernmental organizations, Zonta International has assisted victims and potential victims of violence and human trafficking around the globe.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: Our 29th Annual Fashion Show will be held on Friday March 28, 2014 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees starting at 5:30 p.m. This year’s theme will be “I’m Every Woman”. Tickets are on sale for $55 per person and will include dinner. There will also be a Silent Auction, Gift for Gift and Raffles during the evening. For tickets, you can contact a Zonta Club Member or go online to www.zontacharlescounty.org. We are also asking participants to bring a new or gently used timeless classic for “Attire To Inspire” a wardrobe clothing drive for women in transition to benefit Lifestyles of Maryland. If you have an item for “Attire to Inspire” please go to our website and look for the drop off locations, or bring them by the Waldorf Jaycee’s the night of the Fashion Show. This is the club’s biggest fundraiser.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: There are numerous ways to get involved. Join Zonta Club of Charles County and become part of a group of more than 30,000 individuals who belong to Zonta International who are working together to change the lives of women and girls in our local communities and around the world. Zonta Club of Charles County holds meetings once per month.  From monthly meetings, our club plans and conducts service and advocacy projects to improve women’s lives in a variety of ways.

A few examples of our club’s service and advocacy club projects are:

united way logo
This week’s Friday Focus takes us to Calvert County, where the United Way is nearing the final days of preparation for its annual Mardi Gras event. As the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year, proceeds from Mardi Gras will go toward the United Way’s mission of helping to end poverty and provide relief to struggling families and individuals in the community. United Way President and CEO Kelly Chambers took some time this week to share her organization’s story with us and gave us a sneak peek of what Mardi Gras revelers can expect next weekend at Annmarie Garden.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: The United Way of Calvert County was established in 1980 and is governed by a group of local volunteers who serve Calvert County with a mission to engage the community in making a meaningful difference to improve people’s lives.

United Way of Calvert County brings people and organizations together to address the underlying causes of crisis issues like poverty, hunger and homelessness in our community. We are working to break the cycle of poverty by investing our resources in education, financial stability and health programs. By pulling our partners (both agencies and businesses) together to focus on these areas, we believe our community will become stronger.

What we do on a daily basis is provide opportunities for giving, advocating and volunteering. Sometimes that may mean we are hosting a large event, sometimes that may mean we are on the phone with a struggling family and giving out resources, and sometimes that may mean we are working with an agency representative.

United Way of Calvert County works with over 30 partner agencies and local non-profits. We wear many hats, from fundraisers to community facilitators to grant funders.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: Having been with the organization so long, there are many great moments. I would have to say that the most meaningful moments have come from our Day of Caring. Day of Caring is a partnership between businesses and United Way where businesses give their employees the day to volunteer in a United Way agency. I do believe the volunteers get even more out of it then the people they are helping. It was extremely meaningful for me to have one of our volunteers stand up and give testimony about her Day of Caring experience – she spoke of a desperate time in her life having to use the homeless shelter, Project Echo, for herself and her daughter. She wanted to give back and chose to work there for her volunteer project. She spoke of how grateful she was that the shelter was there for her and that United Way funded it. And she was so happy to be able to give back through painting and cleaning and sprucing the place up, a place where she had been able to put her life back together. It was extremely moving and she remained a faithful volunteer for many years until she moved away.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Most challenging is getting the general public to understand all that we do in the areas of education, financial stability and health. Equally challenging are the limited resources available to accomplish all we want to do to break the cycle of poverty we see in Calvert County. We partner with over 30 non-profit organizations, the public schools, county government, health department, social services and local businesses. We are unable to fill the requests from all our partners when we receive proposals and this is disheartening when there is so much need.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: Yes, March 1 we are hosting our largest fundraising event of the year, Mardi Gras! It is our 15th Anniversary of this event and we are celebrating it at Annmarie Garden Arts Center. Jeannie Stone and Chris More will be crowned King and Queen in an elaborate crowning ceremony. Guests will enjoy creative cuisine with a classic New Orleans flair by Maryland Country Caterers. We have a new band this year, the Moonshine Society, an East Coast WAMMY-nominated rock and blues band fronted by the sensational pinup girl and power house singer, Black Betty, alongside talented members of the Blues Hall of Fame. We are so excited to have them, as well as Lauryn Ricketts of the WJLA Stormwatch7 team, who will emcee the evening and live auction. Our strolling performers will include a taste of the past and some new and exciting experiences. Of course, we will have the famous Maertens Jewelry Razzle Dazzle raffle; the winner will walk away with over $8,000 in jewelry!

We are almost sold out, but Mardi Gras sponsorship packages and tickets are available online at www.unitedwaymardigras.com or by contacting the United Way of Calvert County at 410-286-0100 or at 443-968-2731.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: You can get involved with our organization in many ways! You can volunteer for one of our Impact Councils in the area of education, financial stability or health. We also have other committees you might be interested in, like our golf committee or Mardi Gras committee. You can participate in Day of Caring as a volunteer or business (it is the second Wednesday of September every year).You can start a payroll deduction campaign at your office, participate in our Spirit of Giving Campaign, or create your own fundraiser for United Way of Calvert County.

Or you can contact us and we can talk to you about other ways to get involved! Visit our website at www.unitedwaycalvert.org or call us at 410-286-0100.

charles regional logo
In 1939, the Charles Regional Medical Center (CRMC) had its beginnings as the Physician’s Memorial Hospital in Charles County. Its mission was to provide excellent medical care to each patient in a safe, caring and family-centered environment. Today, the medical center’s fundraising contingent, the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation, works to support this mission by raising funds from individual and corporate donors, hosting events and conducting an annual campaign. This week, we caught up with the Foundation’s Executive Director, Susan Mudd Vogel, who shared the Foundation’s story and gave us a special sneak peek into what guests can look forward to at this year’s “C” Ball!

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.).

A: CRMC Foundation is the fundraising arm for our county's only hospital. Our mission is simple: to support the medical center's financial resources while building awareness so that it may provide excellent health care services to all members of the community. Our Foundation Board of Directors and our donors are among our strongest assets for being able to make an impact for our hospital.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: For me, it was the achievement of a $5 million capital campaign goal to help fund the expansion of our medical center back in 2007. We had more than 1,100 donors make commitments to this campaign, with everyone making their best gift. The excitement and enthusiasm generated by the campaign committee leadership for this project was amazing. Our medical staff, board and employees helped set the pace and tone for the campaign and the community embraced our project. From ground-breaking and hard-hat tours to ribbon cuttings and donor recognition events, our 18-month effort was filled with milestones. It was the largest campaign we had undertaken, and the largest this community had seen be successful.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Over the years, we've grown and established some signature events for our region as a way for the community to support our hospital. We have a reputation for organizing and planning some great fundraisers including our Wine Tasting, Crab Feast, "C" Ball, 5K Run/Walk and our golf tournament. While people know us by our events, I think our biggest challenge is helping the region to understand that we are more than just an event-driven non-profit. We are an organization where companies can make investments of charitable and marketing dollars and receive visibility and exposure through sponsorships to help meet their goals, while supporting an important cause. We are a place that believes in recognizing and acknowledging every gift that is made to us. We have a sophisticated operation, with well-informed staff members who are knowledgeable about accepting gifts of property, appreciated assets and gifts of life insurance. And most importantly, we value partnerships of all kinds with donors, volunteers, professional advisors and businesses, just to name a few. Through philanthropy, these partnerships allow us all to make our medical center the best it can be. There's a quote on the wall in my office which reads "Donors don't give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe." I like to think that people view giving to the Foundation as a way that they can truly make an impact and a difference.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: Our Foundation is putting the finishing touches on our upcoming black tie gala, the "C" Ball, set to take place on February 15 at Middleton Hall. This year's "C" is for "Champagne", with a nod to celebrating the hospital's 75th Anniversary. This event is one of the most popular black tie events in our region. Those who enjoy a great dressed-up night out locally and enjoy dancing to a high-energy band will not want to miss this event! Tickets are available online and we're delighted that our VIP dinner element of the evening is already sold out. We pride ourselves on having elements of surprise at this gala, and this year will be no different. Without giving too many secrets away, we are thrilled to share that Vivat Hongpong, a nationally recognized, award-winning ice sculptor, is part of our gala experience this year, and that his exquisite work will be featured in amazing ways. For someone of his caliber to be with us in Charles County, this display should not be missed! The other element to our event is called "Chances to Celebrate" featuring a one in 500 chance to win one of three cash prizes. Imagine getting a call at home that night to learn that you've won $5,000! That’s just what happened last year to one of our winners! Tickets are just $100 each, can be purchased online, and the best news of all is that you do not need to be present to win! Anyone interested in supporting our "C" Ball and helping us to achieve our fundraising goal can call 301-609-4132 for reservations or more information.

Also coming up this spring for the Foundation are a 5K Run/Walk for Wellness on April 26, a Golf Classic at Swan Point on May 22 and our Blue Crabs Partnership all season long at the stadium as we raise funds through jersey auctions, feature nights, suite sales and more! Exciting things are happening at the CRMC Foundation and we want everyone to be a part of it!

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: There are numerous ways to get involved. Our event committees are a great way to start. Like to golf or run? We have a committee for you. Are you a baseball fan? If so, the Blue Crabs partnership needs volunteers to 'pitch' in and help the Foundation by serving on this committee. Do you like to plan parties or are you really good at acquiring auction items from businesses and people you know? The Wine Tasting event committee may be just the place for you.

For those interested in volunteering in an alternative way, the Foundation has a Development committee that meets bi-monthly and works to engage businesses and civic organizations through direct philanthropic support that matches their interests. Here, work is done to tell the 'stories' about how philanthropy truly makes an impact and how the support through fundraising means that our caregivers have the best tools and resources to care for our patients, and that our hospital is fully prepared to meet the growing needs of our community.

The Foundation is successful in large measure because of the tremendous volunteer support it receives. Become part of something great right here in your community. Call 301-609-4132 for more information.

For those inspired to more directly volunteer for the medical center, there is an Auxiliary which has more than 100 volunteers sharing their time in our gift shop, providing hospitality at our patient information desk, serving coffee and delivering newspapers to patients. Many other opportunities exist, and the Auxiliary is well-organized operation with monthly meetings, social gatherings and opportunities to help the hospital in a meaningful way. You can learn more about Auxiliary opportunities by calling 301-609-5001.

calvert hospice
The passing of a loved one can be an incredibly difficult time. Providing compassionate care for those in the final stages of life and their families, Calvert Hospice works to bring comfort and closure. The non-profit organization has been at work in the community since 1984, and has touched countless lives since then. For this week’s interview, Media and Marketing Coordinator Anne Stavely spoke with us about her organization’s mission, and a very touching story about the impact Hospice made on a veteran in its care.

1.  Tell us about your organization:

Calvert Hospice cares for those in our community who are living with a serious, life-limiting illness. We provide expert medical care, pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support. Care is personalized to the individual needs and wishes of the patient. Calvert Hospice focuses on compassion, dignity and the patient’s quality of life. Patients are supported as they live their final months, weeks or days amid familiar surroundings, pain-free, with dignity, surrounded by their family and friends.  Additionally, Calvert Hospice provides bereavement support for all members of our community who are anticipating or grieving the loss of a loved one.

2.  What is your favorite “moment”?

One of our favorite "moments" involved helping a Vietnam Veteran with his final wish to be in the newspaper as a part of our “We Honor Veterans” program. The patient's sister saw another veteran in the paper and called to ask if we could do the same for her brother.  We weren't sure if the Calvert Recorder would put another veteran in the paper so close to the first one, but thankfully they did.  His sister called and said he cried when he saw it. The "We Honor Veterans" program was the first time he had been honored since returning home from Vietnam. He had a lot of shame and regrets about the war and our program helped him though the healing process. He died a few weeks later. It felt good to be part of his welcome home after so many years.

3.  What is your biggest challenge?

One of our biggest challenges is the perception that you should only call Calvert Hospice when your loved has only hours to live or is actively dying.  We can do so much more, not only for the patient but also their families if they would take advantage of hospice care sooner.  Hospice care is not about "giving up"—hospice care is all about how you LIVE up until that last moment.

4.  Are there any upcoming events?

We have quite a few events coming up in the near future!  For more information on each of these events, please visit calverthospice.org or call 410-535-0892.

2nd Annual Culinary Adventure Saphron’s Restaurant
Friday, April 25

2nd Annual Butterfly Release
Date & Location TBD (Spring)

2nd Annual Southern Maryland Hospice & Palliative Care Conference
College of Southern Maryland
Friday, June 13

2nd Annual Luau Fundraiser
Stoney’s Broomes Island
Thursday, August 14

5.  How can people get involved with your organization?

We are always looking for volunteers!  We rely on our dedicated, trained volunteers to assist with patient care, bereavement support, administrative tasks, special projects and fundraising. Volunteers also operate the Shoppe for Hospice, our boutique with high quality, new and gently used women’s clothing.  For more information on how to become a volunteer, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 410-535-0892.