Letters to the Editor -- May 28, 2010

Safe Haven offers update on progress

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary of Sussex County Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a no-kill environment for abandoned and abused cats and dogs in Sussex County, Del.

The process of building an animal sanctuary is a long and arduous one. We have been working toward the goal of building a no-kill sanctuary in Sussex County since we were formed in 2004. In 2005, we purchased 13 acres of undeveloped land off Shingle Point Road between Georgetown and Milton.

Since then, we have been steadily working to clear and prepare the land, create and refine our engineering plans, raise funding and obtain permits. This has resulted in six years of steady progress toward our goal. Multi-million-dollar facilities such as ours do not fall out of the sky.

In the current economy, the job is especially tough. Thousands of dedicated, animal-loving volunteers have donated countless hours and assistance to get us this far. According to the ASPCA, it typically takes an established organization five to eight years to build a new shelter.

Recently, we have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a Rural Development loan. This amazing opportunity will allow us to hire a general contractor to begin construction as soon as possible.

We expect construction to take approximately 10 months, depending on the weather. We will continue to look to the public to support this project during and after construction with donations and volunteer efforts.

In addition to our main focus of working toward building at our site, we have helped some cat groups financially in the past. We feel it necessary at this time to clarify that we are not a foundation set up to support other groups – our mission is to build the sanctuary and operate it once we open.

In 2008, we organized our own spay/neuter clinics. It is Safe Haven’s policy not to send a sick animal for spay or neuter, and we advise the pet caretakers we work with to do the same. We have also transported homeless dogs to a shelter in New England where they were adopted.

In 2009, we started a Pet Food Pantry program to help get donated food into the hands of those who need it. This year we started an Emergency Medical Fund for animals in our care with severe medical issues.

As a true no-kill organization, Safe Haven is committed to making sure that all the animals we take responsibility for, and use our donors’ funds for, receive the best treatment and chance to live.

In 2007, we hired Anne Gryczon as our executive director. Gryczon has over a dozen years of experience in non-profit management and has served on the boards of, volunteered for, and lobbied for several animal and historic preservation groups across the country. Thanks to her, we have positive working relationships with many organizations at the local, statewide and national levels.

Our tax returns and audited financial statements are available to the public. If you have questions about the Safe Haven organization, please call (302) 856-6460. Our Web site is www.safehavende.org.

Thank you to our friends for your ongoing support.

Board of Directors
Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary of Sussex County Inc.

Choral Society says thank you for help

On behalf of the staff and board of directors of the Southern Delaware Choral Society, I would like to express our enormous appreciation for the wonderful support given us during the past concert season by our 132 patrons, 84 advertisers, Delaware Division of the Arts, Sussex County Council, numerous volunteers and, last but never least, our membership.

We would also like to acknowledge our five host venues: Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Woodbridge High School in Bridgeville, Eagles Nest Church in Milton, Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach and Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View. They were unfailing in their attention to technical/logistical details and were welcoming hosts to our members and audiences.

And how could we have ever gotten out the word without the radio, television and press media. Thank you all.

Our fund-raising efforts were aided considerably by The Buttery Restaurant in Lewes and DiFebo’s in Bethany Beach, in support of our Christmas and spring concerts. Both restaurants have a well-deserved reputation for supporting community organizations, a truth we learned first-hand.

Above all, we extend our appreciation to the enthusiastic and supportive audiences we’ve enjoyed over the year. The large crowds in attendance on April 17 and 18 for our “Opening Night on Broadway” concert provided real inspiration to the singers. We loved the toe-tapping, rhythmic swaying and broad smiles on the faces of our audience. For readers who could not make it to the concert, please visit our Web site to see pictures and read audience reviews, www.southerndelawaresociety.org .

In closing, let me express our appreciation for the widespread community support we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy throughout Southern Delaware.

Gail Launay, Executive Director
Southern Delaware Choral Society

Reader responds to previous letter

I write in response to Carolyn D. Lewis’ challenge in her letter to the Coastal Point dated May 14.

For the past year, a very small number of citizens, collectively referred to as “tea party” advocates, have attracted an enormous amount of media attention. The media portrays them as patriots, acting in a grassroots capacity.

Yes, they appear to be well-meaning men and women exercising their Constitutional prerogatives. In reality, they are pawns in a concerted effort to overturn the 2006 and 2008 elections. Every law, every executive decision and ever regulatory action was enacted by a government who was elected by wide majorities.

The so-called movement that is portrayed as anti-government is, in fact, a modern-day anarchist cabal of poorly informed and intentionally misinformed individuals. They claim to have no leaders but are well financed by secretive organizations, such as Freedomworks, which is headed by Richard Armey, the former GOP majority leader of the U.S. House. A major contributor to the cause is the family that controls Koch Industries. They contributed over $5 million to the nationwide tour.

While the cause is portrayed as a nickel-and-dime campaign, the enablers from the creative conservative media make millions while telling the paranoid right all sorts of fabricated facts and feeding them a daily diet of nonsense.

Limbaugh ($40 million), Beck ($34 million) and Palin ($12 million) along with the other entertainers of Fox are not interested in reform of government spending; they are in business to make personal fortunes for themselves and their commercial supporters.

I also read the original ramblings of Banning and Bodenweiser but dismissed it as another of the lunatic fringe seeing how many lies they can get away with in one letter. Thanks, Carolyn, for reminding me that, left unchallenged, Banning and Bodenweiser can easily become Lenin and Trotsky.

Dennis P. Cleary
Bethany Beach

Cancer run/walk a hit, thanks to many

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the participants, volunteers and organizers of this year’s Bethany Beach Breast Cancer Fun Run/Walk, which was held on Saturday, May 8. It was very emotional, yet gratifying, for me to participate in the walk; we have all been touched in some way by this disease.

I am especially grateful to Ann Raskauskas, who coordinated the event. This year, 431 participants raised over $10,000 for the cause; $2,300 will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure (which will sponsor Ann in Philadelphia’s three-day, 60-mile walk for breast cancer in October). The rest will stay in Delaware and fund free mammograms and cancer treatment for those who are financially challenged.

Thanks again to all who helped make this event a huge success.

Vickie York
Ocean View

Reader offers high praise to Mark Marvel

My daughter, Alyssa Murray, is graduating from Indian River High School June 1. Alyssa has been very involved in school activities. She has been in cheerleading, choir, band (hates playing flute), swimming, Leo Club, band (ugh!), Environmental Club, Science Olympiad, dance team, etc.

Oh, did I mention she dislikes playing the flute? The problem is she is very good at it! With practice, she could be great at it. But, alas, her lonely flute sits in the band cage all year long. Never does it come with her.

Why, you ask, does she play it? Simple, her love for the IR band director Mark Marvel far outweighs her dislike of playing flute.

Marv, as he is known to his kids (and they truly are his kids), is an example of what all teachers should stride to be. He is teacher, friend, father figure, disciplinarian, confessor and, at times, psychiatrist. He cares about his students and will do anything for them. In turn, they do the same for him.

In the past two months, Marv and his sidekick, Mr. Ables (Poder), have managed to squeeze in a band trip to Myrtle Beach, a trip to New York, an awesome band and choral concert, an incredible Stage Band show and a band banquet. Practices many nights were until after 11 p.m. If you saw the shows, you know it was worth it.

Every child should be lucky enough to have a “Marv” as a teacher. I know that the students and staff at IR are all richer for having him in our building.

I only hope that my 6-year-old daughter, Remi, will like to play the flute (she will have a barely used one) and that when she gets to the high school, Marv will still be there waiting to love and teach her as he did her sister and all of the band members. They are truly his family.

Thank you, Marv, for all of the time and effort you put into making our children better people.

Anne Devine