President’s Report 2018-2020
Past President’s Message
Once elected President of this wonderful organization, I made a long-term goal of getting to know every VIA member’s first name. It was very important to me to be able to pass by a member and eventually address all 227 by her first name. During my terms serving as 2nd then 1st Vice President, I was well on my way with my “first name goal” when I was installed. My second goal was to fill chairman positions with members who hadn’t served repeatedly. My third goal was accomplished; minimal summer committee meetings were held to plan large events and fundraisers scheduled in the fall.
The VIA President’s Community Improvement Project was MERR (the Marine Education Research & Rehabilitation Institute.) Residents of the Rehoboth Beach area are here not just for the beautiful beaches but also for the ocean and all of the bays around this area with its sea mammals and much more. Feeling the need to educate us and our grandchildren and protect sea life, our club supported the organization by helping to clean up the dunes and the inlands; assisted in rescues of seals, turtles, and dolphins; and donated $22,705 from fundraising efforts.
Budget planning in the summer of 2018 went well, and at fall general meetings perspective new members were introduced and/or installed. Members were always encouraged to sign up on one or more committee’s projects, my fourth goal. There were many, many committees for all kinds of indoor or outdoor activities, small or large groups, volunteering in the community, and raising funds. Members stepped up to the plate, and committee membership has grown! My long-term goal of remembering every member’s first name paid off …. That means a lot!
In September, 2019, we initiated our first Bingo Nite. Another is planned for 2020. In the winter of 2019, we introduced having fundraising dinners at the clubhouse, which members and guests really enjoyed. Land and Sea was catered by Fin’s (100% sold out); Mardi Gras was catered by Bethany Blues (80% sold). We were able to purchase 10 new 8-foot tables for our events, and we completely remodeled the closet behind the kitchen to increase storage. We successfully held our annual St. Nicholas Tea, and clubhouse rentals boosted our fundraising efforts.
We participated in a semi-annual clothing drive for displaced Cape Henlopen High School students in partnership with the GFWC Zwaanendael Women’s Club and the Women’s Club of Milton in 2018 and 2019. Baby showers were held for the Community Resource Center clients. Conservation projects brought new awareness to recycling; plastic bags were collected to obtain a park bench for a future clubhouse garden. International students working in Rehoboth Beach were treated to grab-and-go lunches and evening dinners at various churches that sponsored meals. Male and female veterans were delighted to share homemade dinners provided by members, and members enjoyed spending time with them. Members joined GFWC’s Legislative Action Center and emailed their representatives with concerns and support on important issues. An Adult Healthcare Symposium was held at the clubhouse in February, 2020 comprised of various organizations in the area that provide adult care. We were honored to unveil another State Historical Marker in December, 2019 of the replica of the lighthouse at the traffic circle as you come into Rehoboth Beach. A permit was granted by the City of Rehoboth Beach in 2019 to host a parade on the boardwalk in August, 2020 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. A committee has been busy creating sashes for members to wear and share with the public.
Many activities of the VIA were closed down on March 11, 2020 due to the Delaware State of Emergency put in place by Governor John Carney. The onset of the Coronavirus invasion in our great USA had reached Delaware, and in the interest of safety, the shutdown of non-essential businesses affected groups of 10 or more. Therefore, we did have a setback in our progress for fundraising activities. Our biennial Designer Show House was cancelled, and clubhouse rental losses will cost us dearly in anticipated fundraising funds.
The VIA is proud to have had members serving in roles of leadership at the club, state, and region levels. We’ve had a very good and consistent attendance record at State Executive Committee and Board meetings, 2018-2020. We celebrated our 110th Anniversary throughout 2019 with posters and history facts at every general meeting. A cake was served.
It has been my pleasure and honor to have served as VIA President, 2018-2020!