Each year, the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners’ Association hosts or participates in several key events, all aimed at fostering the spirit of community. Bi-annual meetings — held each year in April and October — give members an opportunity to hear a noted speaker discuss topics of current concern to homeowners, get an update on RBHA happenings, and air concerns about community issues. In July, we co-host with Camp Rehoboth the annual “Meet the Candidates” forum where residents can question candidates for the position of Mayor or City Commissioner. We host a group for the annual Coastal Clean-Up, organized by The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). We host a picnic for members in September, and an Employee Appreciation Breakfast for city employees in October. We also host or co-host special one-time events. See below for details on each of these events:
Ed McMahon Lecture
City Employee Breakfast
For more than 15 years, RBHA has hosted an Employee Appreciation Breakfast for City employees. The 2017 Breakfast was held October 11on the second floor of the Fire Hall as the Convention Center is undergoing renovation. Board members who were in town arrived at "o' dark thirty" to decorate the tables with festive fall colors and set up a breakfast buffet for all City employees. The buffet spread included fresh fruit platters, yogurts, bagels, pastries, coffee cakes, donuts, sausage and bacon and egg sandwiches, juices, milk and coffee.
Coming over in shifts, the employees were able to take a much-deserved break and enjoy conversations and laughs with fellow employees while dining at the RBHA-sponsored breakfast. For City employees who could not attend, a “Breakfast on Wheels” was carried to the various City Buildings following the convention center event.
Back by popular demand, each employee received an envelope that either contained a $20 bill or $1 or $2 "scratch ticket" which brought extra smiles and laughter to the breakfast. In addition, eight employees went home with the floral centerpieces and eight others with centerpiece cermaics overflowing with sweets.
The Employee Breakfast is a highlight of the year for RBHA, a time for us to thank city employees for ALL they do for us all year long!
On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Ed McMahon, noted urban planner, addressed a packed house at the Fire Hall. He spoke about a "sense of place": those elements that make one city or town different from another, and also make our physical surroundings worth caring about. People want to spend time in a special place like Rehoboth Beach, not one that looks and feels like every other city. In his talk, McMahon set forth compelling arguments for the economic, psychological, and social value of uniqueness.
Sussex County provides a clear example of the difference uniqueness makes. Driving down Route One, you could be in any city in America. But once you cross the canal into our city, you know you are in a place unlike any other, with a special character we all love.
Mr. McMahon, who holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute, has become well known across the country for his TED Talk and many writings on the important subjects related to building and preserving unique communities.
What a thought-provoking presentation of the special nature of Rehoboth Beach! RBHA was proud to have been one of the organizations sponsoring Mr. McMahon's visit here, and will be participating in the discussions that will follow addressing some of the key issues he talked about, both with community development and with tourism. Click here to see videos of highlights from the presentation.
Fall Membership Meeting
Spring Membership Meeting
Our Annual Spring meeting was held on April 15, 2017 at CAMP Rehoboth. Featured speaker was WRDE owner and general manager, Bob Blackman. A native of Philadelphia, Bob has worked in radio and television since the age of 12, and hosted a Doo Wop show on Sirius XM. Bob regaled us with stories of the history of WRDE in a motivational speaking style explaining how everyone in the audience can become a superstar in 5 easy steps. With humor and inspiration, Bob told how he first became the owner of a low-power TV station based here in Rehoboth, and every step of his story contained life lessons and professional hurdles that opening a TV station on a budget requires.
City Manager Sharon Lynn gave us an update on various city projects. One major improvement is updating the City's financial software which will be phased in over the next 12 months. The Lake Avenue improvement project is scheduled to be completed by May 15. Permits fro the ocean outfall project are expected soon, work is expected to begin in October and to completed in 7 months. The new City Hall will open in the fall. A new umbrella/tent ordinance takes effect on May 15.
Commissioner Stan Mills talked on the boardwalk and beach nourishment. Rehoboth is fortunate to have a 50-year contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers which requires checking very three years for the need to replensih the beach; 65% of the cost is covered by Federal funds and 35% covered by the State of DE. The project included this year hte planting of beach grass and changing the stgorm drain pipes from 32-inch plastic to 36-inch cast iron.
RBHA held its Annual Fall Meeting on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. The program began with a welcome by Steve Elkins, our host, executive director of CAMP Rehoboth. President Charlie Browne introduced the RBHA board and thanked Steve and CAMP Rehoboth for the use of its facilities over the past year.
Treasurer Steve Curson, presented the treasurer's report, which was approved by members in attendance. Charlie Browne recapped the many activities of RBHA, including Coastal Clean-Up and the annual picnic. Susan Gay announced that Ed McMahon will give a presentation at the Fire Hall on November 5 on the distinctiveness of communities. RBHA is one of ten sponsoring organizations for the event. Jennifer Duncan reported on plans for the annual Employee Breakfast.
The highlights of the meeting were featured speakers the "Rehoboth Foodie," Bob Yesbek;Liz Lingo, City Arborist; and Sharon Lynn, City Manager. Bob Yesbek has been writing the Rehoboth Foodie column for the Cape Gazette and the Beach Paper for the last 8 years. He also hosts the "Sip and Bite" program on Delaware Radio 105.9 and has a smartphone app called "Rehoboth in My Pocket" with over 30,000 subscribers. His talk was highly entertaining. He noted that there are 265 restaurants in the Cape region.
Liz Lingo has been the City's full-time arborist since April 2016. She grew up in Rehoboth Beach and previously worked as an arborist in New York City and in Maryland. She told us about a new city website on resources for trees and an interactive map. City Manager Sharon Lynn gave an update on the ocean outfall project, now in the permitting phase, and on upgrades at the sewage treatment plant. She also spoke about City Hall construction; move-in date is set for July 2017. Finally, Sharon updated us on Silver Lake dredging project, the Lake Avenue construction for new sidewalks and the trash ordinance which went into effect in June. Lots going on in the City!
Great news! Our beach was found to be quite clean! Some volunteers speculated that this is because the City does a great job raking our beach and visitors have become more environmentally aware of the importance of removing trash. This year's Coastal Clean-Up, sponsored by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) as part of the annual International event, was held Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 9 AM - noon. Volunteers met at the gazebo on Wilmington Avenue and the Boardwalk, where the RBHA staff volunteers had folks sign in, handed out special RBHA T-shirts created just for the occasion, and provided everyone with trash bags, gloves and collection forms.
Our team covered the entire Rehoboth Beach area, from one of the boardwalk to the other. Because almost all volunteers this year were seasoned returnees, we sent them into the protected dunes as well as on the beach. While the beach yielded very little trash, the dunes and section of sand between boardwalk and dunes were a different story. In all, over 2400 cigarette butts were found, 1002 food wrappers, and 845 pieces of foam were found, mostly in that area. There were only two other triple-digit categories of items found: 169 straws/stirrers and 169 bottle caps. Nothing dangerous or unusual was found.
Coastal cleanup is a great way to "give back" for all of us.
Our 5th Annual Picnic was held on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Grove Park. Like last year, we gathered with friends and neighbors on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Thus year's event might have been the best attended yet! We nearly ran out of sets for everyone.
RBHA provided all of the food and beverages this year. The feast was served on beautiful tables decorated with pumpkins, gourds, and pineapples (that doubled as door prizes).
We started off with appetizers of cheese and crackers, and then moved on to Tomato Pies and eight different type of delicious sandwiches from Frank and Louie's. Desserts, also from Frank and Louie's, completed the feast. The picnic committee did a superb job, and we had great fun coming together and sharing our stories and food with some of the best neighbors ever.