For over 110 years, the Village Improvement Association has worked to support the greater Rehoboth Beach community.
As Ann Sebastian begins her presidency, the club is faced with a number of challenges, all familiar to its members. Through world wars, financial crashes and pandemics, the VIA has been there helping others, and 2020 is no different.
Fortunately, Sebastian is well-equipped to steer the organization through difficult times. Prior to moving to Rehoboth, Sebastian worked with the Maryland Federation of Women’s Clubs for many years and was the director of junior clubs for two years, as well as serving on the General Federation of Women’s Clubs board of directors for four years. She was co-chairwoman of the 2018 Designer Show House, and she chaired the 2018-20 fundraising committee, as well as donating hundreds of hours as a hands-on volunteer.
Each VIA president sponsors a special project, and Sebastian has chosen a cause close to her heart. During her 2020-22 term, the club will focus on supporting the Delaware Hospice Pediatric Program called Katybug, which helps infants, children and teens with serious illnesses. She will work with Peggy Dolby, assistant director of development and community outreach.
Throughout the past months, VIA members have stayed active despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19. They have been making masks, assisting at the Community Resource Center, working at the Harry K Foundation baby pantry and Rehoboth in Bloom. Planning also continues for future fundraising events such as the popular St. Nicholas Tea.
“During 2020 and the near future, we will be focused on lending helping hands to local resources, donating hours of expertise and hard work,” said Sebastian. “So far this year, we have spent over 6,000 hours working for the community. We hope to return to hosting wine tastings, dinners and other fundraisers when the environment permits.”
Even under difficult circumstances, Sebastian’s enthusiasm has buoyed up her fellow members, and she is a constant reminder that they can and will get the job done. The women of the VIA look forward to continuing their work providing support to Rehoboth Beach and the greater Cape Henlopen community.
The VIA of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is a women’s civic and charitable organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.