In the face of COVID-19 and restrictions placed on daycare facilities throughout Delaware, the Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club birthday bashes for kids at Oak Orchard Boys & Girls Club came to a halt.
The monthly program celebrates youngsters having a birthday. Each is given a $25 gift card, cupcakes and balloons.
During the height of the pandemic, the Oak Orchard Boys & Girls Club was only to serve up to 25 children of first responders, a far cry from the normal attendance of approximately 100 children from the greater Long Neck and Oak Orchard communities. As a result, Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club put its program on hold.
Fast forward to this fall and the Oak Orchard Boys & Girls Club is now able to accept up to 70 children, and Long Neck Sunrise Rotary member Cathy Cardaneo was able to drop off the cupcakes, juice boxes, and balloons for the celebration as well as the gift cards for the 11 children celebrating birthdays from March through October. Although Rotary Club members were not able to attend, the staff set up the socially distanced party at the facility’s outdoor pavilion, and everyone had a great time.
“We can’t thank the Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club enough for the wonderful birthday bash items for the kids. They absolutely loved it,” said Erica Kennedy, Oak Orchard Boys & Girls Club director.
As part of its mission to change lives in the greater Long Neck community, the Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club has been celebrating children at the Oak Orchard Boys and Girls Club with regular birthday parties every month from September to May since fall 2017. The first celebration was funded by a Rotary District grant, but the program has continued with proceeds from the club’s annual golf outing at the Peninsula Golf Club.
“Our partnership with the Oak Orchard Boys & Girls Club is an integral part of our community mission,” said Lucille Cavan, Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club president. “It’s wonderful that our club is able to continue supporting the children during these difficult times.”
Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club has been working to support the youth of the Long Neck region for years. They have worked with the Boys & Girls Club on an annual MLB Pitch, Hit and Run Competition, provided dictionaries annually to third-graders attending Long Neck Elementary School and supported the annual book fair at Long Neck Elementary by supplying two free books to each child at the school.
Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club meets weekly in person for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at Ocean Grill II on Long Neck Road, Millsboro. The club also meets virtually via Zoom. Visitors are welcome.
For more information, go to longnecksunriserotaryclub.com.