Happy New Year from RBMS!
The board, committee chairs, and staff of Rehoboth Beach Main Street wish our members, volunteers, and subscribers a Happy New Year! In this issue we highlight RBMS’ accomplishments of 2022 and share a look-forward to 2023.
In 2022 we ended the year with 164 business members: Two Blue Partners, 12 Yellow Partners, 29 Green Partners, and 121 Basic Members. We have 23 Individual Members, 16 at the $100-or-more level, 2 of which at the $1,000 or more level. Thank you to all our members! We could not have done all that we accomplished in 2022 without the financial assistance of our Partners and Members.
RBMS also could not have accomplished all that we do without our volunteers—5,000+ volunteer hours in 2022! These individuals serve on committees, create and maintain the downtown flora as part of the Rehoboth in Bloom group, serve as Ambassadors to our business members, and staff our many events.
We published 11 issues of the RBMS Newsletter, February through December. The newsletter issues included:
· Business Showcases featuring 63 members
· 98 mentions of members in other sections of the newsletter, including promotions of members’ upcoming events and specials
· 108 Congrats and Thanks to new and renewal members.
Our newsletter subscriber group grew from 913 at the start of 2022 to 1,346 in December. Our Open rate is typically more than 60%, which is about 20 points higher than the industry average. Thank you to our readers—and special thanks to our regular and guest reporters!
The RBMS Website was updated—we added a Carousel to the Home Page featuring RBMS Blue and Yellow Partner members, we listed all businesses in the Business Directory, added a page that identifies the membership level of all RBMS business members, and added pop-ups to promote our Blue Partner members.
Social Media was hopping, with more than 200 business-member posts on Facebook and Instagram from January through December!
Finally, we’d like to share highlights of the events sponsored, co-sponsored, and collaborated/participated in by RBMS in 2022. These events included those that follow.
RBMS sponsored a two-night Italian Meatball Showdown in March, with competing meatballs from Nicola Pizza, Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar, DiFebo’s Restaurant, Lupo Italian Kitchen, and Sazio.
In April the Gumbo Crawl was co-hosted by RBMS and the Purple Parrot Restaurant and Bar, with participating restaurants Aqua, Blackwall Hitch, Café Azafran, Cooter Brown’s, Dalmata, Dos Locos, Federal Fritter, Freddie’s, Mariachi, Port 251, Purple Parrot, Rehoboth Ale House, Rigby’s, Sunny Bay Café, and Zogg’s.
The Oldies Dance, also in April, was a fun, successful fundraiser for Rehoboth in Bloom.
RBMS held a July–August competition for the Cottage and Town Awards. Winners announced in September were Jim Williamson and Nicholas Somers (Best Renovation/Restoration); Bellmoor Inn and Spa (Best Landscape Design/Redesign); Bob Suppies of Drift (Best Commercial Construction); and Robin Dole, 503 Jones Lane (Best New Construction). Honorable Mentions for Renovation/Restoration were awarded to Sam Cooper for Coopers Cottages and Tom Kelly for the Lincoln Street Cottage (formerly on Rehoboth Avenue).
RBMS celebrated downtown companies that have been in business for 25 years or longer with an event on September 7 at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. We identified 93 long-running businesses, including five that have been in business for more than 75 years. A true testament to downtown business!
In October we released Rehoboth Beach Then and Now—A self-guided walking tour on the Built Story mobile app.
The first annual RBMS Fashion Festival was held in November at the Convention Center. Participating businesses were Beach Essentials, Bombshell Boutique of Rehoboth, Boutique W, Brashhh, Carlton’s, Cashmere Garden, Charm City Running, Coral Cove, Grace, Pineapple Princess, Quiet Storm, Something Comfortable, South Moon Under, The Pink Turtle, and Top It Off. The Fashion Festival also included a boutique (holiday) shopping area with participating businesses Bad Hair Day?, in2soles, The Lion’s Den Candle Company, and more.
In December RBMS participated in The United Way of Delaware’s “Winter Wonderland Resource Fair/Coat and Toy Give Away.”
RBMS also convened the annual Community Unity Dinner in December at the Convention Center. The all-you-can-eat pasta dinner was provided by the Big Fish Restaurant Group and many other downtown restaurants. The evening also featured an Ice Cream Bar, the Cape Jazz Band, Nutcracker Ballerinas from the Sussex Dance Company, and of course Santa & Mrs. Claus! Attendees congratulated the RBMS Citizen of the Year Drexel Davison of Bad Hair Day? and Rehoboth in Bloom, which received the RBMS Champion Award.
RBMS had a first-time float in the annual Rehoboth Beach Holiday Parade, hosted by the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department. We were cheered on by parade watchers up and down Rehoboth Avenue!
An RBMS-sponsored Holiday Stroll was held on December 10: Residents and visitors were invited to check out our merchants’ holiday window displays. The day also included a strolling Santa and Mrs. Claus, Holiday Carolers, and a photo station. Many downtown-strollers had their pictures taken with the Clauses, Snowmen Terry Kistler and Christopher Berg, and Elf Dan Slagle.
Rehoboth Beach Main Street and the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners Association (RBHA) co-hosted the second annual Wreaths Across America ceremony on Saturday, December 17. (See story below.)
Finally, Rehoboth in Bloom volunteers were busy throughout the year, beautifying downtown Rehoboth Beach with gorgeous planter displays and gardens, and in November began the creation of a new Canalside Garden on the western side of the Rehoboth Beach Museum. There are many people to thank for the work on this garden, including RBMS board member and RiB chair Cindy Lovett and many RiB volunteers; Bob Arner and Diane Cutler of Rehoboth in Bloom for their planning help; Senator Ernie Lopez and the State of Delaware for the major funding; Dogfish Head, whose contribution will pay for all of the plants for fall and spring; the City of Rehoboth and Liz Lingo for supporting our project; and especially RSC Landscaping for making this project go so smoothly.
Whew! 2022 was a busy year! And 2023 promises to be just as busy! We will again hold the Meatball Showdown, Gumbo Crawl, Cottage & Town Awards, Oldies Dance, Community Unity Dinner, and Holiday Stroll, and co-host the annual Wreaths Across America wreath-laying at the Epworth Church Cemetery. (Note: The next Fashion Festival will be held in 2024.) Rehoboth in Bloom will begin planting the new Canalside Garden in the Spring and again create beauty in the planters and gardens throughout Downtown Rehoboth Beach. Check out the 2023 issues of the RBMS Newsletter and the RBMS Website, Facebook, and Instagram posts for information about these and other events we’ll convene in Rehoboth Beach!
Current and past issues of the newsletter are available on the RBMS Website at Newsletter | Home | Rehoboth Beach Main Street (downtownrb.com)
RBMS thanks the businesses listed below: new members and members that have renewed for 2023!
RBMS thanks our Yellow Partners
· Rehoboth Property Development
RBMS thanks our Green Partners
· E & R Enterprises
RBMS thanks our Members
For information about levels and benefits of RBMS membership, go to Join | Rehoboth Beach Main Street (downtownrb.com)
News from Rehoboth Beach Main Street
RBMS Board Welcomes a New President
RBMS thanks and bids a fond farewell to outgoing President of the Governing Board, Greer Maneval. Greer has been President since 2019. During this time RBMS experienced incredible growth—in membership, both new and renewing, and to expanded projects and programs, led by RBMS, that support our Rehoboth Beach businesses, residents, and visitors. During Greer’s tenure, our membership has grown ten-fold, and programs such as Rehoboth in Bloom, the Gumbo Crawl, Community Unity Dinner, Town and Cottage Awards, among many, have … BLOOMED! One major accomplishment through Greer’s vision has been the growth of our presence on the web and via social media. A major benefit of our wider use of this technology has been the increased recognition as well as an increased patronage for the in-town businesses we promote. We will miss Greer greatly and thank her for her service!
The RBMS Board welcomes Dick Byrne as the incoming Board President, effective December 2022. Dick is a dynamic volunteer for RBMS, currently serving on the RBMS Board of Directors. He has served as co-chair of the Organization Committee and a member of the RBMS Rehoboth in Bloom Management Committee. RBMS is honored to have Dick Byrne serve as President, and we look forward to utilizing his vast experience, knowledge, and drive to continue to grow this organization.
The RBMS Board bids farewell to outgoing members Steve Curson, David Root, Robyn Rosenfeld-Aburrow, Mike Edelin, and Greer Maneval. We thank Steve, David, Robyn, Mike, and Greer for their service, and we congratulate Mike, David, and Greer on their new role as members of the RBMS Advisory Council.
We welcome Steve Scheffer and Rachel Macha as new board members and Carolyn Diefenderer, RBMS Assistant Treasurer; Jim Mease; Paul Swiderski; Rick Perry; and Mark Hunker as Ex Officio members.
RBMS Survey of Members
All RBMS members will receive a survey in January. This survey will provide RBMS with information regarding our members' needs and wants. We are targeting January 18 to email the survey. Please be on the lookout for the email and respond to the survey so that we can better serve and support you. Your feedback is very important to RBMS and will help us to serve you better!
Wreaths Across America
As we noted earlier in this newsletter, RBMS and RBHA co-hosted the second annual Wreaths Across America ceremony. Volunteers helped to lay wreaths at the gravesites of the over 150 veterans at the Epworth Church Cemetery on Henlopen Avenue. Following the event RBMS provided a lunch for the volunteers.
Thanks to our sponsors and partners for supporting this event: Epworth Church, RBMS and RBHA, the City of Rehoboth Beach, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7447, American Legion Post 5, Cape Henlopen JROTC, Alec Villar (trumpet player), Abby Whitcomb (National Anthem vocalist), and organizers Steve Curson and Lisa Schlosser and all other donors and volunteers for making our annual event a success. RBMS hosted a lunch following the ceremony for the participating volunteers—thanks to Community Bank and Highway One Group (Rusty Rudder’s Alex Pires) for providing the food! Without all of our volunteers and donors, the Wreaths Across America event would have not been possible.
Mark Your Calendar: FedEx Small Business Grant Opens January 31!
Presented by FedEx®:
For 10 years, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest has awarded more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes to over 100 small businesses. Through the past 10 years, there have been more than 50,000 entrants (nearly 18,000 were from 2022 alone).
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest presents the chance to win $30,000 for your small business! To be eligible, your small business must:
· Be a for-profit with a FedEx shipping account number that has been in continuous operation selling a product in market for at least 6 months by the time the contest starts;
· Have fewer than 99 employees; and
· Have a shipping need for your business.
Applications open Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Save the Date
Cape Henlopen Senior Center
11 Christian Street
January 4, doors open at 11:30am, games start at 1:00pm
Cost: $20 per person.
Ice Cream Social and Monthly Birthday Celebration
January 27, 1:30–3:00pm (Register by January 20)
The Center is trying something new: Monthly birthday celebrations. Ice Cream and cake will be served. Join the fun by telling a brief story about your life achievements; sing a song; or just come and celebrate along with other members who have a birthday. Please note, for the month of January ONLY, the Center will incorporate the ice cream social with the birthday celebration. Also, if you are 90 and over, there will be a special treat for you!
For more information about this and other events at the Cape Henlopen Senior Center, go to: https://irp.cdn-website.com/a71c9055/files/uploaded/January%20and%20February%202023%20Newsletter.pdf
GMCW Cabaret at CAMP Rehoboth—JUDY!
January 14, 4:00 and 8:00pm
37 Baltimore Avenue
JUDY: One of the original legends! A cabaret show from the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC celebrating the music of one of the original legends: Judy Garland! GMCW Cabaret at CAMP Rehoboth - JUDY! Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite
Clear Space Theatre
January 20 to February 5
20 Baltimore Avenue
Opening this season in the throes of winter we bring you MISERY, based on Stephen King’s classic novel. MISERY follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new Misery novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does. For tickets: MISERY - Clear Space Theatre
Mark Your Calendar: Early February Event
Lewes Polar Bear Plunge 2023
Sunday, February 5 (or virtually—anytime, anywhere)
Rehoboth Beach, Bandstand Area