Public Servant Appreciation Day returns to Calvary Baptist
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 10:57

Event to honor servants for ninth year

by Ben Boehl

    How do you say “thank you” to all the police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, soldiers and correctional officers that serve the local community?
    How about a day set side in your honor and a $50 gift card from Outback Steak House?
    Calvary Baptist Church, located at 7321 Manchester Road, will hold its ninth annual Public Servant Appreciation Day (PSAD) on Sunday at 11 a.m.
    The day includes an opportunity for all those servants to be honored by the Rev. Cameron Giovanelli,  Calvary’s pastor; ushers will present the gift cards.
    “I love what it has become,” Giovanelli said.  “It is our chance once a year to say thank you to our doctors, nurses, military personnel, correctional officers and everyone that serves us.”
    The event is organized by Calvary member Bill Cain. As a correctional officer and former police officer, Cain said he knows such jobs can be tough and thankless.
    “What makes this so special to me is that people are badmouthing police for doing their jobs. They also have no idea what firefighters go through,” Cain said.
  

“We love to say ‘thank you’ to them.”
    Cain said that the Outback gift cards are purchased by members of the church.
    He said that Calvary and the manager at Outback have developed a good relationship and Outback invites members of the church to come down to the restaurant for a free dinner.
    “He is helping us out as we are helping [the public servants] out.”
    When Hurricane Irene hit the area in 2011, Cain said it affected the attendance for PSAD that year, but the event bounced back strongly in 2012, as over 100 public servants showed up last year.
    Cain explained that  public servants do not need to notify the church of their attendance in advance. They  only have to come out to the church.
    So what happens if the church runs out of gift cards? Is there a limit?    
    No, according to Cain, who said that on one occasion, a woman asked him what would happen if 800 soldiers came to the church on PSAD?
    “If we run out of cards, we will get more. If you can find 800 soldiers, then bring them,” Cain said he told her.
    “If we run out, it is not a problem.”
    As part of PSAD, Calvary invites politicians from all over the state. Cain said he was told by Del. John Olszewski, Jr. and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz  that they plan to attend. Other elected officials expected to show up include Associate Judge Justin J. King  from the Baltimore County Circuit Court and Baltimore County Clerk of Circuit Court Julie Ensor.
 Cain noted that since 2012 was an election year, that year’s event featured many candidates for office, including state Sen. Nancy Jacobs (who was running for Congress) and Dan Bongino, who was running for the U.S. Senate.
    While 2013 is not an election year, the early primary of June 2014 has gotten some candidates to declare early and many of those candidates will be at PSAD.
    Republican Gubernatorial candidates David Craig and Charles Lollar are both scheduled to attend.
    Locally, all the Republicans that have committed to run for local office in the Dundalk area in next year’s elections have told Cain they will be attending.
    That list includes all five GOP candidates for the House of Delegates (Bob Long, Ric Metzgar, Dan Liberatore, Robin Grammer and Mitch Toland, Jr.), County Council candidate Todd Crandell and state Senate candidate John Salling, who is a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
    Democratic House of Delegates candidate Eric Washington told Cain that he and his wife (who serves in the military) will be in attendance on Sunday.
    “We are saying ‘hey, let us introduce you to the voters.’ An educated voter is the best voter,” Cain explained.
    With the exception of Washington, Kamenetz and John Olszewski Jr. — who is running for state Senate — there are no other local Democrats scheduled to attend the event at press time.
    Cain said that he reached out to Sen. Norman Stone and delegates Mike Weir and Joseph “Sonny” Minnick and that all either declined or did not respond.
    “Do we have a heavy Republican presence? Yes,” Cain admitted. “Are we going to exclude Democrats? No.”
    Giovanelli agreed and said the PSAD is a non-partisan event.
    “We invite all sides of the aisle whether it be Democrats, Republicans or independents,” he said. “Calvary Baptist wants to be a church for the entire community.”
    For more information on the event, call the church at 410-285-4129 or visit www.cbcdundalk.org.