The weather in early May has been so cool in Rehoboth, I almost forgot that this is the Memorial Day issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth—even though it actually hits newsstands a week before the holiday. None of that really matters, however, because the important point here is that a brand new summer season is now underway, so welcome to summer 2017! For those of you returning to the beach for the first time this season, please note that regulations that restrict the use of tents and other shading devices (except umbrellas and baby tents) have been added to the list of city beach ordinances. Go to cityofrehoboth.com for details and information.
Tuesday, May 9, close to 30 participants from nearly as many delaware organizations gathered at CAMP Rehoboth for a workshop designed to increase awareness and empathy on the issues and needs of LGBTQ older adults. The workshop provided concrete suggestions for making services more welcoming to LGBTQ seniors, as well as using the CAMP Rehoboth Senior LGBTQ Needs Assessment as a tool for better understanding our local community. “We had a very positive evaluation from the event,” Shelley Couch—one of the workshop facilitators and CAMP Rehoboth Board Secretary explained later. “Participants felt they better understood the aging LGBTQ community in the state, and would be better able to provide more comprehensive services to them as a result of the workshop.” Participating organizations included: Delaware Division of Aging, Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, La Red Health Center, Planned Parenthood, Harbor Healthcare, FBI, Lewes Senior Center, Delaware Department of Public Health, and many more.
For those of you who enjoy auctions, CAMP Rehoboth has two of them coming up. The first one is the day after the issue comes out, and I almost hesitate to mention it again for that reason. It is an Estate Auction at the home of Al Goldfarb (134 Kingsbridge Road, RBYCC), and 25% of everything auctioned will benefit CAMP Rehoboth. Thank you Al for your generosity! The second auction coming up is the 12x12xHeART Exhibition and Auction at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. The Closing Bid Party for that auction is May 27 from 4-6 p.m., and bidding for the 16 pieces has already begun online. Go to the CAMP Rehoboth website to find links for both auctions.
Looking ahead, plans are underway for a number of CAMP Rehoboth events. The biggest one, of course, is Sundance, and this year we celebrate its thirtieth Anniversary. Not long after this issue comes out, we will be mailing Host and Sponsor information about this year’s massive Labor Day Weekend event. Please consider joining us for this anniversary celebration of the longest running dance party in Delaware. On June 2, Comic Vickie Shaw comes to the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. Watch for details about all our upcoming summer events including: Bachelor Auction 2017, the Fourth of July Pool Party, the Sundance Racing Festival, and—though it’s not until the fall—the CAMP Rehoboth Baltimore Avenue Block Party 3.
We were all sad to see Proud Books close its doors for good in April and owner Jocques LeClair will be greatly missed on Baltimore Avenue this summer. Proud Books, according to the Washington Blade, was one of the last LGBTQ book stores in the country. At one time those establishments were vital gathering places for our community all across the country, and many of us have stories about their importance in our own lives, and to our own understanding of who we are, and what it means to be LGBTQ. With the departure of Proud Books, the Philadelphia Gay News, and Out Loud Baltimore newspapers will now be available on the front porch of the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. The Washington Blade can still be found in its box in front of CAMP Rehoboth.