Silent Auction to kick off Jazz Funeral weekend

The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction on Friday, Aug. 30, and the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, are designed to help make the final weekend of the traditional summer season “fun and exciting.” (An overview of the events can be viewed at the website,

The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction will be held on Friday, Aug. 30, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Bethany Blues restaurant. The 28th Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is scheduled for Sept. 2, beginning about 5:30 p.m., according to Carolyn Bacon and Marie Wright, the assistant chairpersons of this year’s Jazz Funeral events.

The eighth annual Silent Auction is shaping up to be a festive occasion, organizers said. Each year, they noted, an increasing number of people stop by Bethany Blues to participate in the charity event that raises funds for one of five local nonprofit organizations.

So what can Jazz Funeral fans expect when they visit the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction?

“Access to some of the finest things the Quiet Resorts have to offer,” Wright said. “Just to name a few, there are gift certificates from some of the finest local restaurants, beautiful works of art, various bottles of wine contributed by local wine shops, hard-to-find toys and games, beautiful home accessories, very trendy clothing, exciting gift baskets and lots more.”

“Absolutely all funds raised by the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction on Aug. 30 go directly to Sussex County Habitat for Humanity,” Wright noted.

Representatives of the Sussex County Habitat for Humanity will be on hand to answer any questions attendees have about their charitable efforts.

All those who help organize and participate in the annual Jazz Funeral have a high level of appreciation for the Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, according to Bacon.

“The purpose of the Sussex County Habitat for Humanity programs are to build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low-income families in Sussex County,” Bacon said. “That is why this year’s 28th Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral and our eighth annual Jazz Funeral Silent Auction are dedicated to Habitat for Humanity.”

More funds are needed to continue Habitat for Humanity’s Sussex County programs, according to Wright, who said she believes their need for “grassroots support” helps explain their approach to helping others.

“Habitat for Humanity’s philosophy is simple and straight-forward,” Wright said. “Habitat provides a ‘hand-up, not a hand-out.’”

Working in conjunction with the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is Sussex County Habitat for Humanity’s Thomas Protack, Habitat’s community engagement director.

“For 22 years, Sussex County Habitat has been putting God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope,” Protack said. “It is a proven fact that when low-income families move out of substandard housing situations into simple, decent and affordable homes, they become healthier, the families are able to contribute to the community, and children learn and perform better in school.”

“Many low-income families find themselves stuck in mold-infested, and often sub-standard and unhealthy, rental situations. Once they partner with Habitat, the families begin not only to build their new homes but also build hope for a better and healthy life.”

But organizers noted that there is more to do at the silent auction than just peruse the items available for bid.

“Although you will probably have your hands full just looking over the items displayed, the Silent Auction being held at Bethany Blues is a treat in itself,” Wright said. “Not only is Bethany Blues one of the most popular restaurants on the coast, we will also feature great Dixieland music from members of our three New Orleans-style Dixieland bands.”

The musicians appearing at the Jazz Funeral Silent Auction are members of the three bands featured on Sept. 2 for the 2013 Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral: the Dixie Cats, the Downtown Dixieland Band and the Jazz Funeral Irregulars, who will play at both the Jazz Funeral and Bethany Blues restaurant.

Located at 6 North Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethany Beach, Bethany Blues has helped out the Jazz Funeral from the very beginning of the silent auctions.

“This is the eighth year that Bethany Blues restaurant has generously volunteered to host the Jazz Funeral Silent Auction,” Wright said. “Among community members, Bethany Blues has always been known as an advocate of local charitable causes.”

Both the 2013 Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral and the Jazz Funeral Silent Auction are considered family-friendly and free to the public, and all are being encouraged to attend, according to Bacon and Wright.

At the Jazz Funeral, spectators will go to the Bethany Beach boardwalk on Labor Day Monday to join in a funeral procession of mourners, along with the three Dixieland jazz bands, who will carry a casket with a mannequin representing “Summer of 2013” to its final resting place at the bandstand.

The focal point of this year’s celebration is the Funeral Procession that starts at the north end of the boardwalk and slowly proceeds to the bandstand to the Dixieland strains of songs, such as “Amazing Grace,” “Basin Street Blues” and “A Walk Closer to Thee.”