Children’s Beach House announces $1,000,000 challenge grant

July 26, 2012
Randall and Peggy Rollins have made a challenge grant to establish an endowment for support of a proposed new Child Development Center for the Children's Beach House in Lewes. SOURCE SUBMITTED

The Children’s Beach House recently announced a $1,000,000 challenge grant made by Randall and Margaret Rollins to establish an endowment to support the operation of a proposed Child Development Center.

“In honor of the tremendous generosity of the Rollins family, the board of trustees has agreed to name the center the Margaret H. Rollins Child Development Center,” said board Chair Martha Tschantz. “The opportunity this challenge grant provides is nothing short of a miracle. The task of raising money in our current economic environment is daunting at best, but Mr. and Mrs. Rollins' gift gives us great leverage to create excitement for a permanent program to serve some of Sussex County’s most vulnerable children.”

Margaret H. Rollins, known to her friends and family as Peggy, is a native of Lewes. She now lives in Atlanta, Ga., and has a summer residence on Bay Avenue. “I grew up here in Lewes and graduated from Cape Henlopen High School,” she said. “I believe in this community and in the valuable contributions Children’s Beach House has made over the last 75 years. My husband and I are interested in early education programs that support children with special needs, especially those that serve children with communicative disorders. When my husband heard of the plans being made by Children’s Beach House, he made the pledge in my honor as a Mother’s Day surprise. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

“This is an important gift as Mr. and Mrs. Rollins will match every cash gift we receive for our new endowment, dollar for dollar, between now and Dec. 31, 2014,” said Rich Garrett, executive director of Children’s Beach House. “If we can raise $1,000,000 in that time frame, then $2,000,000 will be invested, and the funds generated will help to meet the annual operational expenses of the new Margaret H. Rollins Child Development Center. We have much to do, but thanks to this opportunity, donors know that each dollar they give is matched, and more importantly, the endowment will ensure sustainable programs to serve preschool-aged children with special needs. This is a great opportunity for us to expand the reach of the children we serve.”

The center will serve approximately 16 3-year-olds in the first year, and as they move to a 4-year-old program the following year, 16 more 3-year-olds will be added. The school is being built and licensed for a capacity of 60. The plan is to open the center in September 2013.

“This is a thoughtful approach to make sure we can serve those who most need our services without regard for ability to pay. When the endowment is fully funded, it will mean the preschool is a part of our program and our community,” said Tschantz.  “It’s also an opportunity for donors to participate in building something permanent and meaningful. Gifts of any size move us toward our goal; gifts of $10,000 or more qualify donors to become members of the Legacy Society for the Children. I hope those interested in seeing this happen will call us to learn how they can help!”

Lydia Chichester duPont founded CBH in 1936 as a place where she could bring children with orthopedic challenges to experience the same healing qualities she herself had discovered on Lewes Beach. Today, the organization serves children with communicative disabilities in unique, research-based programs in the Positive Youth Development program. The PYD serves children ages 7 to 18, and the new preschool will allow CBH to identify children with communicative disabilities earlier and expand services from ages 3 through 18.

For more information on the Margaret H. Rollins Child Development Center, or to make a donation, call 302-645-9184. For more information on the Children's Beach House go to