As Carole Suchanek, current president of the Village Improvement Association, prepares to step down from her two-year tenure, the club is well positioned to continue its work in the community.
During her term, which included the club’s 110th birthday, Suchanek presided over a growing club with more than 230 members who donated to a variety of causes, from nursing school scholarships to cancer patient support, to the dunes and waters of Rehoboth.
Suchanek’s special project entailed working with the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute. In addition to donating thousands of dollars, VIA members collected items for the MERR yard sale, educated its members on the need for reduction of plastics, and spent 566 hours counting dolphins and baking for baking sales.
Justifiably proud of the results, Suchanek said, “Volunteering with MERR taught us so much about the Atlantic Ocean and the marine animals that live in or visit our waters.”
MERR Institute Executive Director Suzanne Thurman said, “We are very grateful to VIA President Suchanek for selecting our organization for sponsorship during the past two years and equally grateful for the support of its members. Their assistance and participation in our program mean so very much to us, and to our efforts to protect marine animals.”
During her administration from 2018 to 2020, Suchanek also led the club in a number of firsts including: Serenading guests along with other women’s clubs at four area nursing homes; placing a marker in the Rehoboth Circle near the lighthouse saved through VIA efforts; hosting the first bingo night at the VIA Clubhouse; hosting the first fundraising dinner at the VIA Clubhouse; and assisting other women’s clubs in collection of school clothes for two years.
Even with COVID-19 taking center stage, VIA members have continued to knit for cancer patients, collect canned food, make masks for use by healthcare providers and members, plan for fall events, and support each other in quarantine.
As she steps down from the presidential position, Suchanek said, “I’ll enjoy every minute volunteering and raising funds with the amazing women of the VIA.”
Incoming President Ann Sebastian will take the reins in early June.
The VIA is a women’s civic and charitable organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.
For more information, go to www.rehobothbeachvia.org.