During 2012, the Shore Democrats continued an active program of community outreach, participated in the fall elections and elected new officers for the next four years. Cheryl Fructman was elected the group’s new president, succeeding Lee Dogoloff.
Joining her on the executive committee are Eric West, vice president; Sallie Melvin, treasurer; Cyndee Trower, secretary; Janet Skibicki, Ray Sander, and Diane Maddex, directors; and Natalie Reatig, communications director. A highlight of the year was the recognition of the Shore Democrats as one of 13 local groups showing the spirit of volunteerism.
The April 18 event was sponsored by Gardeners by the Sea. Another honor was the appointment of a retiring director, Pete Keenan, as one of Delaware’s three electors chosen to cast the state’s votes for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware, which took place Dec. 17 at Legislative Hall in Dover. During the year, Shore Democrats delivered more than 780 meals to the needy through the Meals on Wheels program of the CHEER Center.
Regular participants included Anne Allen, Don Dillon, Lee and Mary Lou Dogoloff, Bruce and Charlotte Frye, Pete and Pat Keenan, Mary and Richard Legatski, Ronnie Malone, Pete Maurer, Art and Sallie Melvin, Chris Oakbrae, Marg and Mike O’Bell, Joan and Hugh O’Neill, Marilyn Panagopolos, John Schmidtlein, Mary Thormeyer, Cyndee Trower, Eric West, and Barbara and Al Zack. Knitters made more than 300 knitted clothing items and three dozen lap robes and sports pillows, all of which were donated to groups serving veterans, Hispanic residents, children and hospitalized patients.
Knitters included Mary Ellen Corridore, Janet Skibicki, Linda Cooper and members of Naughty Knitters in Virginia. Other Shore Democrats turned out to clean up local roads adopted by the organization and the 38th District Democratic Committee. Participants included Lee and Mary Lou Dogoloff, Cheryl Fruchtman, Pete and Pat Keenan, Russ Melrath, Sallie and Art Melvin, Christine Oakbrae, Marilyn Panagopoulos, Natalie Reatig, Michelle Roenke, Fred Schettig, John Schmidtlein, Diane Sherevin, Janet Skibicki, Mike Smith and Eric West.
In addition, members volunteered to serve as coordinators and hosts for an oceanfront Bethany Beach house adopted for the annual Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, which benefits the South Coastal Library. Members also donated 265 pounds of Thanksgiving food items to the Food Bank of Delaware. At year’s end, Shore Democrats also collected more than 100 books for distribution by the La Red health organization in Georgetown to children who are immunized at the medical center.
“We’ll be continuing our community activities in 2013 to strengthen the spirit of volunteerism for which we’re honored to have been recognized,” said Cheryl Fruchtman, incoming president of the Shore Democrats. The group’s monthly luncheons, which feature speakers on timely local topics, are open to nonmembers. For more information, go to www.shoredemocrats.org.