Prince Frederick, MD – Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot returned to Calvert County Monday, March 11 to present members of a 14-year-old organization with a special award. The Democrat, who is starting his fourth term as Maryland’s top fiduciary official, arrived at the Elizabeth Harriett Brown Community Center to present Concerned Black Women (CBW) with the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award.

Franchot called CBW “a very special organization which represents the principles of William Donald Schaefer.” Schaefer, who served four terms as mayor of Baltimore City and two terms as Maryland governor before his election to state comptroller in November 1998, “was legendary for his ability to help strengthen communities.
Concerned Black Women of Calvert County was organized by Doris J. Spencer and Annette J. Funn. The organization met initially in June 2004 and incorporated the following month. The organization was chartered the following year with 19 charter members at a ceremony in Lusby. The organization is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit. According to CBW Vice President Inez Claggett, who gave an overview of the organization’s history prior to Franchot’s introduction, CBW aims to address issues such as education, wealth, health and well-being of families—an “issue advocacy group” that is nonpartisan. Among its initiatives is to provide scholarships to young women in the community.

In introducing Franchot to the gathering, Rhonda Thomas, whose nonprofit organization Leap Forward Inc. received Calvert’s William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award last year, thanked the comptroller for his work on behalf of the state. “He worked to level the playing field for Maryland taxpayers,” she said.

“Women make up more than 50 percent of our economy,” said Franchot, adding that women deserve “the right title, the right title” for doing the same jobs as men. He described CBW as “trailblazing. It comes up through the grassroots. I appreciate the altruistic motive.”

In addition to presenting CBW President Pamela Cousins with the organization’s William Donald Schaefer Award, Franchot presented his office’s special gold coins to Spencer and Funn’s widower, Malcolm in appreciation for their leadership in getting CBW started.

Spencer noted that CBW continues to grow beyond its 19 charter members. “An organization can only survive if it continues to grow,” she said.

Contact Marty Madden at