Partnering with Mother Nature
Among many notable organizations, CAMP Rehoboth has long been known for putting the fun in fundraising. From our largest event of the year, Sundance, the three-decades plus Labor Day weekend extravaganza, to our four-day, annual spring spectacle, Women’s FEST, CAMP Rehoboth clearly knows how to host a good party and raise substantial funds in the process.
Whether here in Rehoboth or back in New Hope, PA, for nearly 20 years my non-profit board experience has almost always been influenced by a passion for fundraising and outreach. And without intentionally doing so, the vast majority of those efforts have resulted in events that occur in the great outdoors.
While serving as a board member of FACT Bucks County (Fighting AIDS Continuously Together), my first such attempt was being a co-founder of the New Hope-Lambertville AIDS Walk in 1999, an event that raised nearly $1 million in its 15 years of existence.
In 2009, shortly after being elected to the board here at CAMP Rehoboth, my propensity to partner with Mother Nature surfaced again. And during 2010, the 4th of July Pool Party (thanks in large part to property owners Mike DeFlavia and Tony Sowers, along with their cast of ever-supportive housemates) and the Sundance 5k (now the Sundance Racing Festival) both became new and rather uncharacteristic fundraisers for the organization.
CAMP’s Bachelor Auction, an indoor event originally held at the Blue Moon and under the direction of long-time CAMP Rehoboth supporter Chris Riss, took a hiatus in 2006 after nearly 10 successful years. In the ongoing spirit of torturing myself with the uncertainty of the outdoors, and with the help of Aqua Grill owner Bill Shields, we repackaged the Bachelor Auction and it found its home at Aqua for the last eight years. In its last three outings, those amazing bachelors, and an annual bachelorette, have raised an average of approximately $25,000 per year!
Our newest outdoor event, the Block Party, was founded in 2015 as part of CAMP Rehoboth’s 25th anniversary celebration. Creating an arts, cuisine, and entertainment-driven street fair bringing the community together as a whole had been a dream of this fundraiser for several years. After a good deal of planning, and approval from the City of Rehoboth, that dream became a reality and we’ve seen the Block Party grow from 40 vendors in its first year to just over 100 (and a sell-out) last year! Personal thanks to the Organizing Committee and to the many volunteers who help make this special event, and all of our events, happen so successfully time and time again.
We hope you’ll consider attending these fun and entertaining events in the months ahead. Mark your calendars now for the “Peace Out”-themed, 6 Futcher Drive Pool Party on July 5, Bachelor Auction on August 11, 10th annual Sundance Racing Festival on August 25, and our 5th annual Block Party on October 20.
So grab some sunscreen, don your sneakers, and leave your umbrellas at home. Please join us and help raise needed funds for CAMP Rehoboth. Taking our cue from Barbra, “Nobody is gonna rain on [our] parade!” Now get out there and have some FUN! ▼
Chris Beagle is President of the CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors and is a realtor at Berkshire-Hathaway-Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach.