…we, the citizens of Calvert County, have rejected petty, low-value living and, instead, have embraced the simple beauty of what happens when one neighbor reaches out to help another neighbor.
I am compelled to send out a huge thank you to the nearly 2,500 people who were a part of the first annual End Hunger In Calvert County Dragon Boat Festival, held June 22 in North Beach.
Not only did we net more than $25,000 (that’s after expenses) all to go directly to help end hunger in our county, but we did it together and we had fun doing it. To see pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/EndHungerDragonBoatFestival.
Special thanks must go to our underwriting sponsors: Constellation Energy Nuclear Group/Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Pepco and NRG Energy — your early belief in our cause was the power behind our success. Please be assured people will long remember your support.
Other sponsors include Audio Plus, Crowe Entertainment, Comcast, Southern Maryland Blues Festival and Chesapeake Church — thank you for making this great event happen.
To all the media outlets that wrote pre-event coverage and free advertising, thank you for helping to get the word out.
To the hundreds of volunteers who put this together — you folks were an awesome team working under the steady leadership of Jacqueline Miller, Brian Weiler and Ahna Turley. You were the heartbeat of our success, where no request was too small or too big.
To the 360 paddlers who raised money, came to practice, dressed in insane costumes and competed your hearts out, you are all true champions, and your compassion for the needy was evident in everything you did.
To the vendors who truly made the event a festival, thank you for bringing out your businesses, making ad hoc donations and raising the spirit of generosity.
To Mayor Bruce Wahl of Chesapeake Beach, you were gracious and supportive and a joy to work with. To Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George’s), thank you for handing out the championship trophy — you made that moment special for everyone.
To ABC 7’s chief meteorologist and Calvert’s own Doug Hill, your five solid hours of commentary and announcements made each race exciting and compelling and kept us engaged.
To the Bay Business Group, your early support and enthusiasm fueled us forward and led the business community.
And to Mayor Mark Frazer of North Beach, your vision and belief in what we could do together set the tone. Your amazing staff (Dawn, Stacy and Richard, especially) could not have been more professional and accommodating. Mr. Mayor, you and your town went above and beyond to launch what we believe will become an annual North Beach/End Hunger event.
And finally, to all of Calvert County, thank you.
Five years ago, we latched onto a dream that, together, we could end hunger in Calvert County. And we are making a difference. That vision, that a community could rise up within itself and begin to meet people’s most basic need — food — is now becoming a reality. Thousands of our neighbors, from all walks and ages, will eat this summer because together, we, the citizens of Calvert County, have rejected petty, low-value living and, instead, have embraced the simple beauty of what happens when one neighbor reaches out to help another neighbor. And for that, we are all the better. It is an honor to serve among you.
May God bless you and those you love, and please remember to #givewhereyoulive.
Robert P. Hahn, Huntingtown
The writer is the chairman of End Hunger In Calvert County and the pastor of Chesapeake Church.