Kathy McGuiness is a native of Sussex County, and lifelong resident of Rehoboth Beach. She attended Rehoboth Elementary School, Rehoboth Junior High, and is a graduate of Cape Henlopen High School. Kathy and her husband Steve have three children, Baylan, Stormy, and Saylar. They also have two “angel dogs,” as Kathy puts it, named Roxy, and Lily Rose. Kathy has a BS in biology from Florida Institute of Technology, and a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University. Kathy owned and operated the Rehoboth Pharmacy on Rehoboth Avenue for eight years, and the Bootlegger Shoe and Boot Emporium for another eight years. She is the founding President of Rehoboth Beach Main Street, has served on numerous City Committees, and has been a City Commissioner since 2000.
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
I started working with CAMP Rehoboth when Rehoboth Beach Main Street got started in 1996, working with CAMP Rehoboth volunteers on things like the Community Unity Dinner, lighting candles on World AIDS Day, and collaborative efforts with the City. I’ve served as a volunteer directly for CAMP Rehoboth over the past several years, as a Board member, working on events like the CAMP Block Party, and working to raise funds, and bring in new sponsors.
What events/activities have you been involved with as a volunteer?
In addition to being a member of the CAMP Rehoboth Board, and the Block Party, I have volunteered at Sundance, Women’s FEST, and way back...the CAMP Rehoboth Follies. I also volunteer for other non-profits such as Rehoboth Beach Main Street, the Rehoboth Beach Home Owners Association, and the Village Improvement Association.
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
Some of the crazy live auction times at Sundance, and coming to the CAMP office to see how happy everyone was on the day the Supreme Court voted in favor of marriage equality.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
It’s gotta be Sundance—so much fun —but, I’ve also really enjoyed some of the smaller events at the Community Center—like the comics, and performers. That space is a gem for downtown Rehoboth.
Favorite season at the beach and why?
All four seasons for different reasons! I love the quieter winters, the hot, busy summers, and our amazing fall season with the restaurant specials. And, spring is always busy for me and the City as we gear up for another crowded season.
Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.
I remember watching a TV documentary on JFK when I was growing up, and hearing his “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” speech. Before I knew it, I was living by that theme. Of course, here in Delaware, Vice-President Joe Biden has been my shining example for public service. His integrity and work ethic are second to none, and I want to emulate him in all of my activities.
If you had an extra hour in the day what would you do?
I would love an extra hour! I would devote that hour differently each day, maybe monitoring kids at the high school, helping at a soup kitchen, and maybe getting in a little more gym time myself.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
Rehoboth Beach, of course. We’ve got diversity, a terrific climate, a real culinary reputation, amazing residents, visitors, and organizations like CAMP Rehoboth. I am so proud of my hometown.
Night owl or early riser, and why?
Early riser for sure. I can take a precious few minutes to myself, go over my calendar, and figure out how I can get it all done.
Best year of your life and why?
I’ve loved them all. But, I am especially grateful this year because I got through a hotly contested statewide campaign for Lt. Governor, made amazing friends, met wonderful people throughout the entire state, and learned a lot about small businesses and non-profits. The things I learned will help me be a better volunteer, board member, and public servant. The experiences I have had this year will forever change me and be a part of my life.
Favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving…family, friends, warmth, and just a great name for a holiday!
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?
Well, I’m thrilled, of course, at the progress. I adore being a LGBT ally, and remember when there wasn’t even an anti-discrimination law in Delaware. I never really thought we would see marriage equality in this decade, but I am so happy that I have been on the ground with my support for over 20 years. I remember when Rehoboth passed an anti-discrimination bill for the city in the late ‘90s. I’ve been on the bandwagon, never, ever waffling, and giving my full support ever since. There is so much more work to do, and I look forward to working with CAMP Rehoboth, and other organizations to help stamp out discrimination here in Sussex County.
Since you’re a native of Rehoboth Beach, what’s the biggest change you’ve seen.
As a lifelong resident, the biggest challenge is balancing the enormous growth of the area with quality of life, and keeping businesses thriving. It was my passion with Main Street, it’s my platform for the City of Rehoboth Beach, and I am hoping to see some movement at the Sussex County Council level. We want to grow wisely. We must.
Name three events that have shaped your life to where it is today.
I learned to stand up for myself when I was bullied in junior high for being geeky, and studying. I learned to get through the bad times when my father died when I was in high school. And, I cannot say enough about the things I learned, the people I met, and how I am even more committed than ever to public service resulting from my run for Lt. Governor.
What are you most thankful for?
The opportunities Delaware has afforded me, and I want to ensure they are there for my kids, grandkids, and future generations!
On behalf of everyone at CAMP Rehoboth, thank you for your long-standing support of the LGBT community, CAMP Rehoboth, and for your many years of volunteer service. We are very grateful that you are a part of the CAMP Rehoboth Board. You are truly a wonderful asset, and our hope is that you will continue to be a part of the CAMP Rehoboth family. We look forward to having you (and your family) volunteer at future events.