Those who visit the Quiet Resort of Bethany Beach this Labor Day weekend to take part in the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral festivities will have an opportunity to help improve the social and family environment of Sussex County by supporting the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, according to Raymond M. Quillen, program manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sussex County.
"For 50 years, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has provided mentors for Delaware youth," Quillen said. "Our service is based on a one-to-one relationship between a caring adult volunteer and a child who needs extra adult attention and guidance. Our local Big Brothers Big Sisters are a part of the positive social fabric of Sussex County, and we are also international in scope."
The 2014 Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral will be celebrated Labor Day Monday, Sept. 1, starting with a private "wake" at about 5 p.m. The Solemn Procession follows at 5:30 p.m. This year's procession, accompanied by the music of three Dixieland jazz bands, will start at the north end of the Bethany Boardwalk as the mourners transport a casket with a mannequin representing Summer 2014 to its final resting place at the Boardwalk Bandstand to the strains of such songs as "Amazing Grace.”
The event is family-friendly, free to the public, and all who attend can participate in the celebration, according to Carolyn Bacon and Marie Wright, the assistant chairs of this year's Jazz Funeral events.
The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction will be held from 3 to 4:45 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29, at Bethany Blues Restaurant at 6 N. Pennsylvania Ave. Members of the Jazz Funeral committee are in the process of contacting local businesses to ask them to contribute merchandise or gift certificates for this year's Silent Auction, which will directly benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sussex County.
Wright pointed out many of the community benefits created by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware. “The organization aims to assist youth in achieving their highest potential as they grow to become confident, competent, and caring individuals,” Wright said. “This is accomplished by providing quality staff, committed volunteers, and maintaining standards of excellence in all areas of service.”
“The community-based Big Brothers Big Sisters program provides adult volunteer mentors to children ages 6-17 who are primarily from single-parent homes,” Quillen said. “We are specifically designed to serve at-risk youth, so volunteers in this program spend eight to 16 hours per month with their assigned Little Brother or Little Sister.”
In order to get involved in the program, Quillen said, Bigs apply and go through an extensive application process, including an interview. Once chosen, the volunteers are matched with several Littles with similar interests and can then make their final decision.
"Those volunteers who are younger than the age of 18 travel to the schools of their Littles and attend recess with them, or meet them after school for an activity," Quillen said. "If you would like to learn how you can help, either through direct participation and donating of your time, or through monetary contribution, visit our organization's website at www.bbbsde.org, www.BigBrothersBigSisters.org or contact the Georgetown office at 111-A N. Bedford St. in Georgetown. Our phone is 302-856-2918, and email is Rquillen@bbbsde.org."
The first silent auction was held nine years ago to benefit Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, according to Wright.
“All of the silent auctions have been held at Bethany Blues Restaurant at 6 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Bethany Beach,” said Wright.
Five local charities are the beneficiaries of funds raised at the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction.
"In addition to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sussex County and Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, we support the American Cancer Society and their Relay For Life program, the American Red Cross of Delmarva, and the Audubon Society of Delaware and the Chesapeake Audubon Society," said Wright. "All are well-respected charities that have strong ties to our resort communities."
Part of the Jazz Funeral festivities will be a series of brief reflections and recollections by Bethany residents. This year’s end-of-summer remarks will feature the lighter side of resort living in the Quiet Resorts.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help out with the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral or the Silent Auction can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call to leave a message at 302-537-1585 or drop a line to PO Box 505, Bethany Beach, DE 19930. More information can be found at www.jazzfuneral.net.