Murray Archibald Receives Heroes Award
by Fay Jacobs
Adding his name to a long line of amazing LGBTQ leaders and allies, CAMP Rehoboth Co-Founder Murray Archibald has been awarded the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) John Cunningham Lifetime Legacy Heroes Award.
The award was bestowed by the Philadelphia area LGBTQ non-profit for Archibald’s “tremendous and unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Archibald follows in the footsteps of previous winners like activist pioneer Barbara Gittings, legislative allies Rep. Brian Sims and Rep. Patrick Murphy, as well as Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and activist Olympian Johnny Weir.
Along with his late husband, Steve Elkins, Archibald founded CAMP Rehoboth over 30 years ago in Rehoboth Beach. At the time, amid the 1990s AIDS crisis, tensions were high between Rehoboth’s growing LGBTQ community and longtime Rehoboth residents. Archibald and Elkins are credited with bringing the community together, establishing understanding and friendship between the gay and straight communities, and working tirelessly to weave the LGBTQ community into the diverse fabric of Rehoboth Beach.
Archibald, upon hearing about the award, told Letters “I am incredibly honored to be awarded the 2021 Lifetime Legacy Hero award from Philadelphia’s Delaware Valley Legacy Fund. It was a lovely surprise, made even better when I see names like Barbara Gittings, Dr. Rachel Levine, Mel Heifetz, and Johnny Weir on the list of past award winners. My thanks for all who made this possible!”
But it was Murray Archibald, along with his late husband, who made so many things possible. To list all of Murray’s accomplishments would be impossible, but the list must include the inspiration for and running of more than 30 years of the mega-fundraising event Sundance, the vision for the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, historic events like CAMP Follies, LOVE art auctions, and many magnificently produced and decorated circuit-party-like dance events.
As word of the honor got around, Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Banks said “Murray means so much to our community. Many years ago, CAMP Rehoboth was brought in to speak to our officers during their training. Murray’s unwavering dedication to this annual program of cultural diversity has brought about a greater understanding of, and improved communication with, the LGBTQ community and the police officers who serve the residents and visitors of Rehoboth Beach. Murray is a true friend and heart of our community.”
A letter to Archibald from DVLF President Fernando Gonzalez, states “It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you have been selected to be honored as the 2021 Lifetime Legacy award recipient. Congratulations!
“Through the nomination process, HEROES identifies youth, adults, nonprofits, allies, local, regional/national businesses and a national person or project who have bold ideas, act with selfless intention, are admired for their integrity and regarded as courageous in advancing equity and equality. DVLF celebrates these examples of character and encourage others to act heroically…on behalf of DVLF, we hope you will accept this honor and join us as a DVLF HERO.”
According to DVLF, the HEROES award was established by the organization in 2003 to spotlight and honor “the unwavering dedication of community leaders and organizations who advance the rights and wellbeing in the greater Philadelphia LBTQ+ community—and beyond.”
Nancy Alexander, currently the Executive Director of the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society, and formerly a director of the Rehoboth Art League, says "Of course Murray Archibald received an award for being an LGBTQ hero. Every day, including in his capacity as a board member of the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society, he demonstrates the way that love and acceptance can transform a community, and the way that perseverance and a belief in a better future give hope to everyone he meets."
There will be a virtual event on May 2 to bestow the award to Archibald who will take his place among the many LGBTQ leaders and allies, organizations, and businesses who have been tapped by DVLF for their contributions to the LGBTQ community.
CAMP Rehoboth Board President Chris Beagle says, “The Board of Directors congratulates our co-founder, Murray Archibald, on this well-deserved recognition by the DVLF. For over three decades, Murray, along with his late husband, Steve Elkins, have been 'heroes' to so many of us in the LGBTQ community here and throughout Delaware. Their leadership, dedication, and vision allowed CAMP Rehoboth to grow into the successful organization it remains today. The Board also extends sincere thanks to the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund for honoring Murray in recognition of his remarkable work."
Become a Member of CAMP Rehoboth
DID YOU KNOW? CAMP Rehoboth has nearly 1,800 members! With over 83 percent of them residing in and around Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, that means almost 30 percent of all who reside in the surrounding areas are members of CAMP Rehoboth.
Are you one? We hope you are already part of what makes Creating A More Positive (CAMP) Rehoboth the amazing place we all call home, or your home away from home. If not, you can join. We are kicking-off Membership Awareness Season.
Now that we’ve crossed that 30th anniversary milestone, we’ve launched a new Membership Visibility Campaign, and it includes the added opportunity for all to show our shared welcoming and inclusive values. All members in 2021 will receive a Rainbow Level-colored window cling to proudly display on their cars, or business doors, or even at their homes.
The Membership Committee has led a valiant effort in membership growth over the years. Despite the difficult year caused by the pandemic, they are setting the bar even higher—with a reach goal to achieve 2,023 members by 2023! Join CAMP Rehoboth today! Go to camprehoboth.com/membership or call 302-227-5620 and ask to speak with Anita. Or, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s FEST 2021
Women’s FEST 2021 could be likened to mini-candy bars and called “bite-sized fun.” Same flavor, just lighter on the number of calories—ah, make that “number of activities.” Check out the full-page ad in this issue and the Women’s FEST 2021 Facebook page for all the details and some added virtual entertainment.
Thursday, April 22, at 6:00 p.m., will be the kickoff, with a brand-new and humorous virtual presentation by Liz Bradbury. The annual Women’s FEST CROP (CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program) event is on Friday, along with the Women’s Nine-Hole Golf Outing at American Classic. Saturday, April 24 is all about the arts. Women’s FEST handmade market will take place in the CAMP Rehoboth Courtyard from 4–8 p.m. And from 6-8 p.m., Women’s FEST ART 2021 will host exhibit tours in the Gallery and Elkins-Archibald Atrium at CAMP Rehoboth. Sunday, April 25, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. will be the virtual Broadwalk on the Boardwalk. Grab a feather boa from the CAMP Rehoboth Courtyard and walk your own way!
Sunday afternoon, we’ll close things out with a very special virtual concert from Christine Havrilla and Mama’s Black Sheep—for their Sirens of Spring (SOS) 2021 tour performance. If you have questions about these events which cannot be answered via our web or Facebook pages, contact CAMP Rehoboth at 302-227-5620. Concert is free for all. Donations will be accepted.
Journalism Scholarship for LGBTQ Youth
CAMP Rehoboth has started the Fay Jacobs LGBTQ Youth Journalism Scholarship Fund. The goal is to raise $15,000 to establish a permanent, endowed fund with the Delaware Community Foundation.
This money will be used to provide an annual scholarship to an LGBTQ young writer residing in Delaware. In the first year, the fund will provide a $500 scholarship, with the expectation that the amount of the scholarship will grow in the future as the fund grows.
The fund was set up to honor long-time Letters writer Fay Jacobs and her many years of service to both CAMP Rehoboth and the Rehoboth Beach community.
Donations may be made online at camprehoboth.com, or checks may be sent to the CAMP Rehoboth office, 39 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth 19971, or to the fund directly at Delaware Community Foundation, 36 The Circle, Georgetown, 19947. If you’re sending to Georgetown, checks should be made payable to Delaware Community Foundation and must note on the memo line: "Fay Jacobs Fund."