VIA supports Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival

Proceeds from club's bake sale will support local charities
Ready and waiting for the crowds at the Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival VIA table are (l-r) Joanne Schuyler, Jane Mazingo, Valerie Evans, Village Improvement Association President Carolyn Billingsley and Festival Chair Sherry Pie. SOURCE SUBMITTED
March 9, 2014

The ladies of the Village Improvement Association, a nonprofit charitable organization at Grenoble Place and the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, once again gave considerable support at the recent Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival. The women came armed with aprons and knives, cutting slices of chocolate delights for the festival judges and the the public alike.  VIA members have been volunteering at the Rehoboth Beach Main Street Chocolate Festival nearly as long as the festival has been in existence.

The VIA bake sale table is eagerly sought by visitors who return yearly. This year, people happily filled bags with mini peanut butter and jelly pop pies on a stick; dark chocolate bark with toffee crunch and a touch of sea salt, brownies, cakes, candy and breads.  This year the favorite was the cake lollipops in spring colors.  Some recipes for the creations come directly from the VIA cookbook, which was also for sale.

VIA President Carolyn Billingsley said, “It is truly remarkable how many of our members participate in the chocolate festival every year. It seems to be a favorite event for us to support. Our Festival Chair Sherry Pie and her committee have done a wonderful job of coordinating all of the baked goods we offer for sale as well as decorating the VIA bake table.  She also supervised many other aspects of the event, including the cutters for both the judges and the public.” This's year's festival was the best one yet for the VIA. Proceeds from the sale help provide funding to the many charities the Village Improvement Association supports.

Since its founding in 1909, the VIA mission has been and still is the promotion of interests, improvements and progress of the Rehoboth Beach community and now encompasses the entire Cape Henlopen School District.  By 1912, the ladies of the VIA had established the town's first public library, which was supported entirely by the VIA and private donations until 1942 when a library commission was formed to collect state and local funds. The VIA still supports the Rehoboth Public Library with an annual grant as well as purchasing new books.

The VIA joined the  Delaware State Federation of Women's Clubs in 1912, and in 1923 became part of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, whose members are united by a dedication to community improvement through volunteer service.  The Village Improvement Association historically has remained a strong supporter of both DSFWC and GFWC .

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