Born in Milford DE, Dan moved to Salisbury MD when he was six. After graduating from high school in 1988, he immediately joined the US Army Intelligence Corp and was honorably discharged in 1992.
In 1994, Dan moved to Dover, DE and was soon hired by DelDOT-Dover Tolls. Twenty years later he’s still there. As Dan puts it, “I’ve moved around like a gypsy since coming back to Delaware” but he eventually finally moved to Lewes in April, 2010.
Dan is from a large family, most of which live in the Salisbury, MD area, and is a self-proclaimed technology geek, enjoys gardening, singing karaoke, loves animals, and all types of music. A “hopeful romantic at heart,” Dan is currently dating “a great guy who I met over 10 years ago through mutual friends. We’ve gotten to know each other better over the past few years singing with the chorus and recently decided to take a leap of faith and see what develops.”
A real family guy, Dan is the proud daddy of three dachshunds (Magic, Chase and Chooch) and a cat (Ethan).
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth and what events/activities have you been involved with since?
I joined the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus in 2012 and loved it so much I decided to join the Leadership Committee this year and now I’m the Treasurer. I’m also on the CAMP survey team and had a blast helping with the Christmas parade float last year. Singing with the kids at Burton Village and participating in the World AIDS Day service at All-Saints’ Church are two of my favorite, heart-tugging events each year. Singing in the annual winter concert at Epworth and the spring concert at Possum Point Players are always emotional highs for me. I absolutely love singing in the chorus because it’s such a great group of people and we’re like one big dysfunctional family.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one since volunteering at CAMP is always fun and I’ve met great people and developed very close friendships. However, during intermission of the first concert at Epworth, an older woman with a walker approached me. She said she was thrilled to be there but started to cry. She then put her hand on my shoulder and said she could tell I was having a great time singing and how much fun I was having interacting with the audience. She went on saying she could tell I love the chorus and what I do. It was the best compliment I could’ve ever received.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
I really enjoy the small events and concerts that are held at CAMP such as the readings and the small group concerts. It’s a more intimate setting than the bigger events held around town or at the convention center.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
I would say spring because the traffic is still at a minimum without too much madness on the roads. It’s warm enough to start walking the dogs on the boardwalk again without having to deal with all the crowds. Downtown is waking up with the trees and businesses starting to reopen for the upcoming summer season. You still have the intimate local feel without having to fight for parking and the crowds in your favorite places. It’s also time to get out in the yard for spring cleanup and flowerbed primping. Spring is just a relaxing season for me.
You’re a fly on the wall of any room, who’s in that room and what are/were they talking about?
I would’ve liked to been a fly on the wall of our current state senator for this district when he met with his team and was discussing why he was going to vote no to legalize gay marriage in DE.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
Rehoboth Beach! I’ve had the goal all my adult life to live at the beach and now I’m finally here. It’s a place where you can be proud to be gay and the community is supportive of everyone.
Best year of your life and why?
2010, the year I turned 40. I moved here to the beach and instantly fell in love with beach life. I met some wonderful new friends and got reacquainted with some old ones. I also fell in love with and adopted two more dachshunds, Chase and Chooch, to keep Magic company. I had always had the goal to eventually live at the beach, and my life has been getting better ever since. I’m truly blessed to live here.
Favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving. It’s not commercialized like a lot of the other holidays so there’s less stress involved, unless you’re the one cooking dinner, LOL. The primary focus is appreciating what you have and giving thanks for the love of friends, family and the various other blessings in our lives. Coming from a poor upbringing I’ve learned to appreciate that aspect.
Name the biggest change you’ve seen in Rehoboth and how long have you been coming here?
Being Delaware born and eastern shore raised, I remember coming here as a young kid to go swimming and fishing with my family. Back then there was a convenience store and a gas station once you hit Five Points in Lewes and everything else was just grass and field. Through the years I’ve seen Route 1 gradually start being built up, especially during the construction boom in the mid 2000s. I’ve seen many downtown Rehoboth businesses come and go or move and expand. I get tickled when people brag about how long they’ve been here and I tell them I’ve been here all my life.
Name three events that have shaped your life to where it is today…
Joining the US Army in 1988, moving back to Delaware in 1994 and moving to Lewes in 2010. I actually joined the military to get away from the strict oversight of my parents, kind of ironic huh. I wanted to experience being out in the world on my own and being able to make my own decisions. I think being bullied in my younger years gave me the inner toughness to get through basic training. The military gave me structure, discipline, a chance to see the world, and my self confidence. I moved back to Delaware in 1994 and landed my state job at the Dover Tolls. Twenty years later I’m an openly gay supervisor who loves my job and coworkers. I moved to Lewes in 2010 right before my 40th birthday and I have loved living here at the beach. I love the laid back beach atmosphere, the great restaurants, the night life, the cultural activities, but most of all I love the community atmosphere, becoming more active in my community and helping others as much as I can.
You’ve been asked to appear in a fundraiser for CAMP Rehoboth and need a drag name. What would it be? (If you’re having difficulty…pick a childhood pet’s name and the street you grew up on…they will become your first and last drag names, respectively).
My drag name would be Petra FidaWata because I can’t swim. LOL. Probably why I still don’t go to the beach much.
Your best vacation ever was…
Aruba with my ex in November 2010. It was right after my 40th birthday in June. I had not been out of the country since getting out of the military in 1992. It was great to get away.
What are you most thankful for?
I’m most thankful for the religious and strict upbringing that my parents raised me in and the strong work ethic they instilled in me at an early age. My mother passed when I was 10 and my father remarried and we became a poor working family with five kids. I worked in the chicken house, helped with yard work and house cleaning, helped with the garden and had a part time job once I became a teenager all while being an honor roll student in school.
You’ve been a great asset to CAMP Rehoboth’s pool of amazing volunteers the last few years, Dan. I’ve had the pleasure of working with you on our Christmas float and appreciate your leadership and willingness to help out with whatever needs to be done. Our sincere thanks!
Know someone whose efforts should be considered for the CAMP Rehoboth Volunteer Spotlight? Email your suggestion.