An avid reader, golfer, and pickleball player who loves to play Texas Hold’em with the Resort Poker League, Sandy Oropel is originally from Trenton, NJ. She retired from the Mercer County, NJ Prosecutor’s Office as Director of Administration, and although she loved that job, her real passion has always been sports.
Sandy officiated and evaluated high school and college basketball for 40 years prior to moving to Delaware. She also coached several girls/women’s basketball and softball teams on the elementary, high school, collegiate, and recreational levels.
In her spare time Sandy has served on the board of directors for various local community organizations and has chaired several golf tournaments to raise funds to fight breast cancer.
Sandy met her spouse, Linda Frese, through friends in New Jersey, and after 17 years they were married in Rehoboth this past December 4. The couple bought property in Lewes in 2002 and retired in June of 2012 to the Sawgrass Community of Rehoboth, along with their special Shih Tzu, Wally.
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth, and what events/ activities have you been involved with?
We supported Roni Posner and Women’s Heart at the first Starburst Gayla, 12 years ago. I’ve attended and volunteered at Starburst Gayla ever since and joined the planning committee five years ago. I’ve been a member of the CAMP Rehoboth Golf League since 2004, and I am registered with CAMP-Mautner Cares. We’ve also attended many Women FESTs but I became actively involved last year with our Pickleball program. CAMP Rehoboth is the heart and soul of our community and we’ve been members for many years. We attend as many CAMP sponsored events as possible not only because it’s a great way to meet friends and have fun but also because we support CAMP’s goals and mission.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
This past 2013 New Year’s Eve Gayla, working with Chairperson Natalie Moss and other planning committee members, Donna Ohle, Donna Davis, Susan Reinagel, Lucy Strauss, Joy Glass and Maggie Ottato. I had great fun with the numerous volunteers who worked so hard on set-up to make this year’s Gayla one of our best ever.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite is the annual “Broadwalk on the Boardwalk” for Breast Cancer. Linda is a two year breast cancer survivor and watching her come out of the Community Center to start the Walk with the other survivors to the tune of “Rocky” is an incredible experience. It’s such a great event that raises money to fight this horrible disease affecting so many of our family and friends.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
I’m a summer person but I also enjoy the quiet off-season. My favorite season was the summer of 2012 when we organized our Pickleball Club. We started with four of us after I learned to play the game in Palm Springs and we now have over 40 members and a long sub list. It’s incredible fun, great exercise, but more than that our members also raise money for charitable organizations. Although this is not a CAMP sponsored club, the majority of our members are CAMP affiliated.
Most inspiring moment?
Attending a Joel Osteen event with a capacity crowd in Madison Square Garden, New York City for two hours of praise, worship music, and an inspirational message from Joel.
Name three of your “bucket list” items…
1. Spend extended time in Palm Springs during the winter (we’re doing that starting February 1); 2. Travel to Italy for my 70th birthday; 3. Travel to Hawaii.
Best year of your life and why?
My life has been filled with so many great memories but I’m going to say right now—2014. I’m turning 70 this year and Linda and I are both in great health and cancer free. We were recently married, and when I came out in the ‘70s, I never thought I’d ever see the day that I could marry the person I loved. We are both retired and are living our dream at the beach in the wonderful Rehoboth community.
Favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family in Jersey are special but I have a new favorite holiday, Christmas Eve. Last year we started a new tradition here in Rehoboth with a special evening of cocktails, dinner, carols, and playing holiday games with our Rehoboth Beach family of friends.
You’ve been given the ability to name the 11th commandment, what would it be?
Judging others and lack of forgiveness are pet peeves so I would add Luke 6:37 as an 11th Commandment: “Do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Name the biggest change you’ve seen in Rehoboth and how long have you been coming here?
I’ve been coming to the Rehoboth area since 1985, and I’m happy to see the increase in activities for women and the number of women that have moved to the area.
Most embarrassing moment?
On a visit to my sister’s in New Jersey, I parked and hurried to her porch because it was cold. When she didn’t answer the door, I called and she said I wasn’t on her porch. Oops, I was at the wrong house so I went next door and hurried inside. To my surprise I was met by strangers. Again, I was at the wrong house. Thankfully they were nice, knew my sister and laughed. I’m still embarrassed that I made the same mistake twice and my family hasn’t let me live it down. Good thing I can laugh at myself.
What are you most thankful for?
I’m most thankful for my wonderful life partner, Linda, our precious little Wally, my loving and supportive family back in Jersey and my fabulous beach family here in Rehoboth. Oh yes, and for good health and a comfortable, fun-loving retirement.
This was my first year helping with the Starburst Gayla, and it was a pleasure working with you and the other talented and dedicated members of that committee. Your leadership and organization was very apparent, and I hope that 2014 is your best year ever. Enjoy every moment! On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors, CAMP Rehoboth thanks you for your many years of support.
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.