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The Community Ministry of Calvert County is celebrating the end to a successful first year and looking forward to its second.

The organization’s president, Betsy VanAuker, explained that the organization opened its doors Jan. 12, 2012, with the purpose of helping those in need with utility and rental assistance. In the past year, she said, her organization has partnered with 11 Calvert County churches, which she said raised about $25,000 by pledging certain amounts.

VanAuker estimated that her organization has helped more than 300 Calvert County residents in the past year. She said most clients heard of her organization through either word of mouth or referrals through one of 11 parishes.

“We’re here to help people how we can,” she said, continuing that to receive assistance, those in need had to set up an interview and provide various paperwork explaining their current condition. After review by a committee, VanAuker said her organization then sent a check to either the utility company or the individual’s landlord.

All Community Ministry employees, VanAuker explained, are volunteer. She said there are 14 volunteers who work in the organization’s Prince Frederick office and five officers who oversee the organization.

VanAuker said 2013 got off to a strong start for the Community Ministry, as the organization received a $27,000 emergency services grant and applied for two others.

“We’re very excited about going into this year. Excitement is the word I’d use the most,” she said.

March for Babies fundraising launches

Tom Dennison, the government and public affairs manager of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, will join Craig Renner, the vice president of public affairs and community relations of The St. Charles Companies, and a national team of business leaders to launch 2013 March for Babies fundraising campaign in Southern Maryland.

According to a press release, March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event for the March of Dimes, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013.

Southern Maryland residents can sign up for this year’s walk at www.marchforbabies.org and start a team with co-workers, family and friends. The walk will be held Sunday, May 5, with the start and finish at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.

Potential Young Marines invited to open house

The Calvert County Young Marines will host an open house for any potential recruits and their parents at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the American Legion in Chesapeake Beach. According to an email, the Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The email described the organization as promoting the mental, moral and physical development of its members, through character building, leadership and promoting a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

For more information, go to www.youngmarines.com, email calvertcountyym@gmail.com, or call Unit Commander Rob Willis at 240-577-1489.

Sign up for kayaking lessons

The Chesapeake Paddlers Association Inc. will sponsor SK 101-Introduction to Sea Kayaking, a one-day seminar on sea kayaking. According to a press release, the seminar will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the West River Center in West River. Presentations will include types of kayaks, paddles, safety equipment and gear; where to paddle; and other topics of interest. The press release said the event is primarily for new paddlers or those interested in getting into the sport; however, everyone is invited to expand their paddling horizons.

The cost is $28 per person and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Advanced registration is required with a deadline of March 8. For more information, go to www.cpakayaker.com/uploads/resources/SK101Flyer2013.pdf.

CalvART hosts Open Mic Night

The Arts Council of Calvert County is hosting a Foodies Poetry Open Mic Night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at the CalvART Gallery in Prince Frederick. The event will feature Running Hare Vineyard wines and Ruddy Duck beer with appetizers from Dream Weaver Events and Catering. Additionally, local writer Carol Harvat will share some poems from her collection “Recipes for Life.”

Library holding free Wednesday concerts

The Calvert Library Prince Frederick has been hosting a free concert series on Wednesdays. The series launched last Wednesday and will continue today, Jan. 30, with Andrew McKnight, a singer/songwriter and guitarist, who a press release from the library said focuses on rural America. The series will wrap up March 27.

The press release said all of the performers have samples of their music on the Internet, which can be found through calvert.lib.md.us/winterinterludes.html. For more information, call the Calvert Library Prince Frederick at 410-535-0291 or 301-855-1862.

MSP hiring police communications operator

The Maryland State Police Prince Frederick barrack is currently seeking to hire a police communications operator. A press release from MSP said this job entails monitoring police radio communications, dispatching troopers to calls for service, checking records through police databases, answering telephone calls and other related responsibilities. The release said the job requires the ability to type and multi-task. The position works in rotating shifts from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Salary starts at $31,000 per year, with access to various health benefits. Interested candidates should contact Police Communications Operator Supervisor Pam Bryant or Lt. Randy Stephens at 410-535-1400.

Library to host ‘Ethnic Notions’ viewing

Calvert Library Prince Frederick is holding a viewing of the documentary “Ethnic Notions” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. A press release from the library said the 1987 Marlon Riggs film discusses the subject of persistent negative racial stereotypes and traces the origins of black “cultural” characters and icons. For more information on the viewing, call Robyn Truslow at 410-535-0291.

CMH announces new centralized scheduling

Calvert Memorial Hospital has updated its Patient Access Service Center centralized scheduling service so the public is now able to schedule multiple visits, learn what insurance covers and get instructions about a diagnostic test or procedure with just one call. According to a press release from the hospital, patients will also be able to find out what, if any, out-of-pocket expenses apply and if any preparation is required. The centralized scheduling facilitator will also advise what time to arrive, where to check in and what patients should bring with them, the press release said.

The local number to reach the CMH Patient Access Service Center is 410-414-APPT (2778). Those outside the county can call 1-855-414-APPT (2778). The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.



ldukes@somdnews.com