Creating a More Positive Environment
Having already reached the mid-point of summer 2018, the board, staff and volunteers of CAMP Rehoboth have been working hard. I know I speak for many of you when I say how impressed I am, continually, by their dedication and passion for this organization, without which we wouldn’t be where we are today. We are all striving to Create A More Positive, dare I say, Environment.
In addition to the many programs and services regularly offered by CAMP Rehoboth, here are some highlights that serve as helpful indicators of what we continue to provide to our members, supporters, and the greater community.
As June came to a close, we celebrated drag royalty in Rehoboth by coordinating and pulling off the largest single gathering of local drag queen performers ever assembled here—this, according to the ladies themselves. Many of you have seen the 4th of July cover of Letters that resulted (thanks to our very own Murray Archibald for shooting!) plus the coinciding interview feature which truly captured the amazing spirit of this talented, beautiful, and FUN group of performers. Special thanks to all who participated, especially, behind the scenes, Ad Manager Tricia Massella.
On June 30, about 300 supporters were treated to a new, up-and-coming duo from NYC, The Skivvies. In what was the first major fundraising event coordinated by CAMP Rehoboth Board member Mike DeFlavia, let’s just say the crowd was thoroughly entertained! Staff members Monica Parr and Barb Ralph coordinated volunteers and worked the event, as they do most CAMP Rehoboth events. Discussions are already underway to bring The Skivvies back again.
By the time this issue goes to print, we will have opened another art show in the gallery. Regularly organized by Board Vice President Leslie Sinclair, these shows have established a loyal following and emerging presence on the local art scene. The current show, Light & Music, highlights the work of Vincent Hughes and Yvonne Frankis (also known for the most infectious smile in all of Rehoboth). Like our other shows, it runs for a month, so please stop in and check it out—maybe even purchase a piece or two to take home. Any of our staff or dedicated CAMPcierge volunteers can help you with that!
Just around the corner will be the 8th annual Bachelor Auction, held at Aqua Grill. Co-hosted by yours truly and our favorite Sundance auctioneer, Lorne Crawford, we have an exciting lineup already in the making. Don’t miss this always entertaining evening on Sunday, Aug 12, 5-7 p.m.
On the advocacy front, Mark Purpura, CAMP Rehoboth Board member and Equality Delaware President, as well as Sal Seeley, Director of Health Services, have been on the forefront of our efforts related to articulating the negative impact of the Delaware Department of Education’s Regulation 225. As currently proposed, it would effectively roll back a decade of hard-fought non-discrimination protections for the state’s LGBTQ youth. The Board, staff, and members of the community as a whole are grateful for their efforts and we wholeheartedly join them in this important work.
Of course, no summer at CAMP Rehoboth is complete without Sundance, our premier annual fundraiser. Now in its 31st year, Sundance XXXI: In the Name of Love, is in memory of Steve Elkins, our beloved co-founder and former Executive Director, who passed away in March. Every staff person, board member, and more than 250 volunteers work all year long to make these two nights the biggest party of the year. We look forward to seeing you there and celebrating the work we do every day.
The Board of Directors, in conjunction with our Interim Executive Director, Murray Archibald, and other staff members, has also begun our most important work this summer, which will continue in the months ahead. We have contracted with the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) to begin our formal long-term, strategic planning initiative.
Collectively, we are determined to take every action necessary to set the path forward for the organization and its leadership. Paramount in this process is transparency and communication, and a major effort will be devoted to community/stakeholder input. So please look forward to updates as we move ahead! Happy Summer to all!
Chris Beagle is President of the CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors and is a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway - Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach.