Paul Frene and Gene Cavazos
Paul and Gene reside in Nutley, New Jersey and own a second home in Victoria Square in Rehoboth Beach.
Paul is a fourth generation Washingtonian and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he received his BA in Business and Political Science from Loyola College and his Masters in Business from The Johns Hopkins University. Paul has worked in Financial Services for over 20 years, nine years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and 12 years at MetLife.
Gene is a sixth generation Texan and grew up in San Antonio. He served in both the army and navy as a physician’s assistant. After leaving the military he settled in Washington, D.C., where he catered, managed restaurants, and performed as the lead singer and song writer for the band Talk Show. Gene also worked in advertising for 20 years but recently started his own advertising firm, named Lightning Agency.
The couple of 21 years are Civil Union Partners (CUPs) in New Jersey and became the first couple there to be civil unioned, in February of 2007. Their mayor helped them get the waiting period waived so that they could “beat the others.”
When/why did you start volunteering at CAMP?
We began supporting CAMP Rehoboth in 1999 by serving on the Love Dance Committee and did so every year until last year. We also participated in all of the Follies, receiving trophies every year except the first.
What’s been your best memory volunteering here?
All of our efforts have been memorable but we had a lot of fun over the years in providing “security” for the bachelor auctions.
What does CAMP Rehoboth mean to you?
It’s a one-of-a-kind regional LGBT organization that serves a multi-state geographic area.
What events/activities have you been involved with at CAMP?
Love, Follies and Sundance. We also have a very full costume closet and love to dress up for summer theme parties and Halloween. We’re ready for any occasion!
If you could spend a full day with one person, who would it be? Why?
No doubt, it would be with our dear friend David Sherman who passed away in March. Along with his partner Karl Zoric, David was with us for every happy memory in Rehoboth for the past 14 years. We miss him terribly.
“Wouldn’t you like to be a CAMPer too?” How would you encourage someone to get involved with us?
CAMP is involved in an incredible amount of advocacy and there’s something there that will inspire everyone to get involved.
Tell us something that very few people know about you...
Paul was honored in The Advocate magazine’s Gay Corporate Leaders issue in March 2005. Gene has been honored for his work in advertising in Med Ed News.
First thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “Rehoboth.”
Rehoboth is where we met on Memorial Day 21 years ago at the Strand Dance Club. We’ve been together ever since that day and plan to retire in Rehoboth one day.
Other than CAMP Rehoboth, of course, what else do you like to do in your spare time?
We have two dogs Rosie, a 10 year old beagle, and CD Bosty, a six year old Boston Terrier.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the off season when you are not in Rehoboth?
We spend a lot of time supporting LGBT organizations and participating in national conferences including HRC, NGLCC, PFLAG, SAGE, LGBT Task Force, and Out and Equal.
Where was your last vacation destination and what influenced you to go there?
We tend to add time on to business trips. Hawaii stands out as a fun mixture of business and vacation.
Friends are coming over for dinner. What will you make?
Gene is the gourmet cook out of the two of us. For dinner a recent menu was filet mignon, colossal shrimp (from the Giant on Rt. 1!), asparagus and baby potatoes with rosemary.
Who’s your favorite current musician or entertainer? Who’s your favorite of all-time?
Keeping it in the family it would be Gene, a gifted song writer and lead vocalist.
What is your favorite TV show currently? Of all-time?
Again keeping it in the family, for me at least, I (Gene) am from Texas, so it would have to be Dallas. So glad they’ve brought the ‘80s show back!
What is the last book you’ve read? Your all-time favorite?
Being Boston terrier fans You Had Me at Woof touched our hearts. As Delmarva aficionados, James Michener’s Chesapeake is an all-time favorite.
Would you rather go to the movies or watch one at home? What was the last movie you watched?
Go out to the movies. We’ve been to a couple since then, but the last movie we saw with David Sherman on President’s weekend at Midway was The Vow.
What was your last text, post or tweet? And to whom, if applicable.
Last week, on a GLAAD Pride Cruise, there was a rainbow over the Space Shuttle Enterprise which had just been perched on its permanent home on the Intrepid Museum on the Hudson River in Manhattan. I posted a photo of that rainbow.
Very few long-time supporters wouldn’t recognize your faces as fixtures at both Love and Follies. Both of you, along with Karl and David, (and several others) helped to shape the face of those events. CAMP Rehoboth is very grateful for the many years of support you’ve offered to this organization. Thank you!
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.