Town of Dewey Beach officials have launched a friendly fundraising wager, vowing to match funds up to $15,000 for donations raised by the public for the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
Dewey Beach Town Manager Bill Zolper said the fire company responds annually to more than 600 calls from residents and visitors, a number that increases steadily each year.
The department has responded to about seven fires in Dewey in recent years, Zolper said, some of which involved high winds that could have quickly spread the flames without firefighters’ prompt response.
In the past, Zolper said, the town has made annual donations of $5,000 to $7,000, but wanted to do more.
So, now through Saturday, Sept. 9, the town will match public donations up to $15,000, Zolper said, noting that Accounting/Human Resources Manager Sheena Hall made the suggestion based on a donation drive held in the past.
“For instance, if public donations come up to $12,000, the town will donate another $12,000 on top of that,” Zolper said. “We’re hoping this gets some legs.”
RBVFC Vice President Warren Jones said equipment is very expensive, noting the department recently bought an engine for $900,000. Ambulances cost about $400,000, he said, and must be replaced more often because of how many miles are put on them.
“We certainly appreciate the donations,” Jones said.
The RBVFC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and donations made by check are 100% tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company and sent to Dewey Beach Town Hall, 105 Rodney Ave., Dewey Beach, DE 19971.
Donations can also be made at townofdeweybeach.com. The town is not a registered 501(c)3, and officials note that in many cases online donations submitted to an organization that is not a 501(c)3 aren’t tax-deductible.
Town officials state a receipt can be provided to donors so they can verify the donation is for the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, but it does not guarantee it will be accepted as a tax deduction. Donors are advised to check with their accountant before donating online if they wish to use the donation as a tax deduction.
For more information, call Dewey Beach Town Hall at 302-227-6363.