Members of the Shore Democrats donate their own time to political activities during election years such as 2014. But an equally important part of the club’s work involves reaching out to our community in a number of ways. We are happy to report that in 2014 the Shore Democrats:
Numbered 69 paid members (versus 83 last year) and had a combined attendance of 178 members and guests at our first six lunches, according to our treasurer, Sallie Melvin. The holiday luncheon is still to come on December 17.
Welcomed more than a dozen speakers to our monthly luncheons, including Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, Deputy Insurance Commissioner Gene Reed, candidates Shirley Price, Brad Connor, Bob Wheatley, Brenda Mayrack, Sean Barney, Chip Flowers, Greg Fuller, Beau Gooch, Alma Roach, and other county contenders, all invited by President Cheryl Fruchtman. The year will be closed out in December with representatives of La Red and La Esperanza.
Prepared six issues of our newsletter, The ShoreLine, produced by Diane Maddex with special features on inequality, the unity movement in Sussex County, and recommendations for the county council.
Sent out about 50 e-mail notices to club members, thanks to Natalie Reatig.
Continued to make available the club’s web site, launched in 2009 by Cyndee Trower, now our secretary. The new web masters who keep it up-to-date are Natalie Reatig and Pete Maurer.
Donated $4,950 to local and statewide candidates this election year.
Worked en masse for the primary and midterm elections, hosting meet-and-greet events, making phone calls, installing signs, designing advertisements, serving as poll greeters, making financial donations, and doing whatever was needed to help Democrats in the county and statewide.
Donated $560 to the Food Bank of Delaware at year’s end.
Provided snacks to children in the Hickory Tree after-school program, donating about 40 jars of peanut butter, 20 jars of ranch dressing, and 12 jars of hot sauce, all delivered by Mary Thormeyer and Don Dillon.
Collected 350 items of clothing, shoes, toiletries, and school supplies for young people from Central America residing in Georgetown, again coordinated by Mary Thormeyer and Don Dillon.
Donated about 60 second-hand books to La Red. Members will also be providing scores of children’s books again in December to La Red and La Esperanza, to encourage reading and to offer gifts to children getting immunizations.
Individually participated in the Meals on Wheels program of the CHEER Center, now coordinated by former members Mary and Richard Legatski.
Turned out to help put on several events witthe Sussex Democratic Party, including a Mardi Gras Expo in March and the Spring Dinner in April. Members also participated in the 38tDistrict Picnic in the Park in June, the Sussex Unity march in July, the annual Jamboree at Cape Henlopen Park in September, and a Candidate Fair in October.
Joined with the 38th District Democratic Committee three times to clean our adopted roadway, picking up 300 pounds of trash. Team leader Eric E. West estimates that for an average of seven volunteers working at $7.50 per hour minimum wage, the 31.5 contributed hours would be equal to $236.30 in donated labor.
Volunteered again to sponsor a house on the South Coastal Library’s Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, for which Pat Keenan and Bobbi Griswold served as house coordinators. Working with them at the bayside home in Fenwick Island were members Anne Allen, Vicky Cairns, Bobbie and Bill Carroll, Don Dillon, Lee Dogoloff, Cheryl Fruchtman, Rita Hughes, Pete Keenan, Bob Maddex, Russ Melrath, Art Melvin, Marge O’Bell, Marilyn Panagopolous, Kay Ryan, Ray Sander, Janet Skibicki, Web Stevens, Sheryl Swed, Mary Thormeyer, and Cyndee Trower.
Made 90 articles of knitted clothing for La Red, from baby blankets and children’s sweaters to adult hats and lap robes, scarves for young and old, and children’s sweaters. Our most “Happy Hookers” remain Janet Skibicki and Mary Ellen Corridore (working with her Naughty Knitters group in Virginia).
This year we also mourned the loss of Lois Lipsett and Darlene Dolan, two esteemed longtime members of the Shore Democrats, botof Bethany Beach. They will be missed.
Cheryl Fruchtman, President