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VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION EXPANDS CLUBHOUSE
The Village Improvement Association (VIA), a charitable, non-profit organization, began a $250,000 Capital Campaign in 2011 to expand their clubhouse at Boardwalk & Grenoble Place. The little clubhouse nestled behind the dunes, was built in 1926 at the cost of $2, 644.88. At that time, VIA membership was small, the women fit comfortably in their new surroundings and held meetings, art classes and shows in it. But in the present day with 220 active members, the clubhouse could not accommodate membership meetings, various functions and many fundraising efforts in a clubhouse with a maximum capacity for 100.
Expansion feasibility studies headed by then VIA Vice President Carolyn Billingsley considered the size of the meeting room as well as updating the kitchen, storage space, and a handicapped accessible bathroom. Also important to the planners was consideration for building as “green” as possible. In 2010, the members gave their approval to a clubhouse expansion.
In many building circles, $250,000 would not seem a large amount for construction. The women who, for 102 years, have raised money with bake sales, high teas and other events, felt they could not bake that many cookies. The Capital Campaign Committee under the leadership of Theda Blackwelder, began seeking funding from foundations, corporations, members, the city, county and state officials and the general public.
These dedicated women have nearly met their fundraising goal. It is expected that the remaining amount on the mortgage will be raised and paid by 2014.
Special thanks to Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for a grant to install solar panels on the VIA roof. Thanks to the Welfare Foundation, the Crystal Trust, Lowell II Foundation, and the Sussex County Council members George Cole and Joan Deaver for their generous grants.
The Clubhouse renovation was completed in April 2013.
Village Improvement Association
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971