Our featured volunteer for this issue enjoyed a great career in sales. Initially, Monica used her Master’s in Education to work with emotionally disturbed children. She spent time “having fun working in recreation, designing programs and, of course, events.” This meant that she did it all, “even playing the role of Easter bunny.”
During that time, Monica hired instructors and created events for over 300 joyous children and adults. In later career years, Monica was responsible for large worldwide accounts for FedEx.
In July 2013, Monica became very involved with other volunteer activities in Rehoboth. Meals-on-Wheels has “kept me humble,” and she now has a weekly route with 18 clients. Monica actively fundraises for Meals-on-Wheels and is currently volunteering with their September golf tournament.
“Beautiful and smart Lona Crist has been my partner for over 25 years,” she says proudly. The couple reside in Rehoboth and share two handsome dogs, Ben, the shih-poo, and Jake, the standard poodle.
When did you start volunteering for CAMP Rehoboth, and what events/activities have you been involved with since?
In 2001, I became active with CAMP for the Starburst Gayla and have not missed a year since then. Over the past 10 years I have become increasingly active, doing marketing for Women’s FEST, working on Sundance, and the Rainbow Thumb Club. Working with CAMP, on the phones for sales support or decorating the Convention Center, has always been special for me. The teamwork and fun makes me happy, even when my feet hurt from the hours we spend decorating.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
My best memories of volunteering will always be working on the New Year’s Gayla and the Sundance Auction.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth in our 25 years, which is your favorite and why?
This question is tough, as I have enjoyed working and attending so many events. My favorite volunteer activity this year looks like Sundance.
CAMP is celebrating a quarter century as a local LGBT non-profit, please tell us about a special anniversary you’ve celebrated over the last 25 years.
I am proud of each of the anniversaries that marked the milestones of the longevity of my relationship with my partner, Lona, and each of those celebrating the 27 years I worked for FedEx.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
Spring and summers are my favorite here in Rehoboth. I love going to Dewey Beach with my dogs Jake and Ben in the mornings, riding a bike on the beautiful bike paths, kayaking, birding, and enjoying the beautiful oceans views with an adult beverage.
Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.
My cousin, Emita, was a mentor for me, helping me figure out my talents in life, giving me direction on financial issues.
Night owl or early riser and why?
I’m an early riser, as both Jake and Ben want to go out at 5:30 a.m., and they’re anxious for their breakfast. Drinking coffee on the porch and watching the birds eating at the feeder, make for a wonderful routine for me in the morning.
Favorite holiday and why?
My favorite holiday(s) are really the Christmas and Hanukah celebrations in December. I enjoy picking out presents and having holiday parties. This is also a good holiday season to give to others and to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives.
The LGBT community has made significant progress in the fight for equality over recent years. Did you expect to see this in your lifetime and why or why not?
This week, with the legalization of marriage equality nationwide by the Supreme Court, was one for the history books. I’m both amazed and excited about the progress that gay men and women have made in the past few years.
Name the biggest change you’ve seen in Rehoboth and how long have you been coming here?
Rehoboth has grown from a summer place to an all-year-round exciting place to be. I started coming here in 1992 when most of the restaurants and shops closed down in the off season. It’s no longer a sleepy little town but an exciting place to have fun and eat well.
Name three events that have shaped your life to where it is today.
I think going away to college and getting my Master’s degree would be the first thing that has changed my life. I went to school in the Washington DC area and this opened me up to political demonstrations, wonderful educational coursework, and many opportunities to get jobs around the Washington DC area. Secondly, working at FedEx helped grow my professional career and exposed me to many different challenges. I traveled a great deal with FedEx and was exposed to people all around the United States and abroad. Lastly, coming to Rehoboth on the weekends since 1992 has given me a place where I could really relax from my busy career. Rehoboth has been a great place to retire.
Describe an ideal date night.
An ideal date night with Lona involves a great dinner in town, followed by a walk on the boardwalk or listening to a band, looking at the moon and being so thankful for living at the beach.
Yet another long political Presidential primary season lies ahead. Who do you expect to be nominated by each of the main parties?
I’m hoping Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee as I think she’s the most qualified for the position. On the Republican side, it’s the best of the worst. Out of the 13 or so candidates that are now running, I don’t see one that would be qualified for the Presidency.
What are you most thankful for?
I’m thankful for my family and friends that are in my life, for staying healthy and my home here in Rehoboth.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of CAMP Rehoboth, we extend our sincere thanks for all of your volunteer efforts, spanning over a decade. We’re blessed by your continued support.