Parade honors Rehoboth ‘sweetheart’ Cheryl Blackman

Town turns out in droves to show appreciation
July 14, 2016

Rehoboth Beach residents and businesses came together July 13 to give respect to an icon.

Cheryl Blackman, now in hospice care after her breast cancer metastasized to her stomach, took a spin around Rehoboth to the sight of hundreds of  signs and well-wishers.

Blackman is known for her colorful, patriotic outfits, ever-present smile and thick stack of raffle tickets for KINfolk, a children’s charity. A former actor and stunt double - she once doubled as Miss Piggy in the 1984 film “The Muppets Take Manhattan” - Blackman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. She underwent years of treatment, including two mastectomies, but never lost her positive attitude and penchant for colorful red, white and blue outfits.

The parade took Blackman from Murph’s Beef and Ale on Rehoboth Avenue Extended into town with turns down Wilmington and Baltimore avenues and ending at the Rehoboth Fire Hall. At Aqua Grill on Baltimore Avenue, Blackman was serenaded by singer Karen Murdock, who sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

The tour picked up an entourage which followed Blackman through town. Many visitors to town were curious who this woman was, and as they learned her story they were moved and sent her well wishes. As the  clouds sprinkled rain on the parade, Blackman smiled and waved nonstop. As the sun came out from the clouds, it created a rainbow halfway through the tour of town. 

Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company staged fire trucks with lights and sirens going for Blackman. Shirley Bennet, Blackman’s mother, rode with Rehoboth City Manager Sharon Lynn in the car that followed the entourage and was able to see how very loved Blackman is in the town of Rehoboth. 

Friends gave her flowers, cards, gifts and hugs as she travelled the streets. Flower petals were tossed in front of the jeep driven by Katie Handy.


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