Donna was born and raised on a small grape farm in Fredonia, NY just south of Buffalo. She has a younger brother who lives in Rochester, NY and his three grown children “treat me as another mother.” Donna moved to Fanwood, NJ in 1989 and lived there until moving to Delaware in 2012.
A graduate of Bethany College (WV), Donna earned a M.Ed. in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Human Resource Management from Rutgers University. She held a variety of positions in the non-profit sector including working on the National Staff of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the YWCA of the USA. Upon retiring as the CEO of a local Girl Scout Council in 2008, Donna continued her work with non-profits as an independent consultant before permanently retiring to Delaware.
In addition to her work, Donna served on a number of boards and committees, including serving two terms as a Councilwoman for the Borough of Fanwood, NJ where she helped plan and execute a downtown rehabilitation project.
Donna moved to Millsboro in December, 2012 with her partner, Lynn Sorf, who sadly passed away in July, 2014. The couple chose Delaware after making a brief visit to the Rehoboth Beach area in December, 2011 to visit a friend who had recently moved here.
“Being immediately drawn to the many opportunities offered and the close proximity to family in New York and New Jersey, we decided to retire to this area and started construction on our new home three months later!”
In her spare time Donna enjoys most any form of outdoor play or game and can be found participating regularly in pickleball, golf, bowling, billiards, or just having fun with bocce or horseshoes. She also enjoys cooking and is part of a monthly progressive dinner group. Along with her long-haired dachshund, Ruby Sue, Donna resides in the community of Independence.
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth and what events and activities have you been involved with since?
I started volunteering at CAMP almost immediately after moving here, initially being a part of several mailings. I was then recruited to be a part of the 2014 Starburst Gayla and took on the task of Volunteer Coordinator. Soon after, I was recruited to become part of the CAMP Volunteer Development Committee.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Starburst Gayla Team. It was amazing to witness the transformation of the Convention Center into a stunning ballroom and to have the entire evening be one grand party.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth in our 25 years, which is your favorite and why?
The first event I attended and continue to enjoy is Women’s FEST. There is always so much to do and each year it gets bigger and better.
We’re 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’m not sure if it qualifies as an anniversary, but, because of our community service, and Lynn’s lifelong residency, we were honored and humbled when the Borough of Fanwood hosted a town-wide party for us, including presenting us with the first ever “key to the city” upon our departure from the community.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
I love the winter months when the crowds are gone, the beach is quiet, and there is still plenty of fun things to do!
Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.
My mother was always my inspiration, and, since she was also my first Girl Scout Leader, started me on a path that would allow me to make a career out of a wonderful avocation.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
Whichever one I’m in at the time. I traveled extensively throughout the US as part of my job and always found something new and exciting regardless of where I might be. If I can find a travel buddy, I’d like to explore the Pacific Northwest area and several National Parks in 2016.
Night owl or early riser and why?
Early riser, so I can get in my workout at the fitness center before the crowds arrive.
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?
My parents set an early example by working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for not only themselves, but others. I witnessed first-hand the positive outcomes of their efforts and spent my time, both professionally and as a volunteer working to improve the world around me and to fight for those without a voice. I never doubted that there would be positive change and am thankful that Lynn and I were able to be legally married.
Name three events that have shaped your life to where it is today.
Being a member of the Girl Scouts since the age of seven, losing both of my parents before I was 30, and moving from living and working in a small town in western NY to living in a suburban community and working in NYC.
Describe an ideal date night.
A quiet and relaxing dinner at home, followed by a game—whether it’s a board game, pool or just cards—but, if dancing is involved, I’m all for going out.
Yet another long political Presidential primary season lies ahead. Who do you expect to be nominated by each of the main parties?
Having been actively engaged in politics for almost two decades, including being the campaign manager for more than a dozen local campaigns, I would be thrilled to see Hillary Clinton as our next President.
What are you most thankful for?
I have had an incredibly bountiful life filled with wonderful family, good friends, and engaging work. And I feel extremely grateful to have discovered this area to spend my retirement years.
On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors at CAMP Rehoboth, we extend our sincere thanks for all of your volunteer efforts. We are a stronger organization because of the incredible support offered by you and our many wonderful volunteers.