What better way to kick off the holiday season than to spend a little time in the Caribbean, enjoying food, drinks and music? It’s an opportunity presented just once a year in coastal Delaware. On Dec. 1, the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) will be holding its 8th Annual Caribbean Christmas Fundraiser at Mango’s in downtown Bethany Beach.
“Caribbean Christmas is the perfect way to embrace the spirit of giving and support local charities in the most festive of ways! What better way to begin the holiday season than by giving back to the community?” said event chair and QRCF board member Ellen Magee.
QRCF is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Bethany-Fenwick and surrounding areas by providing financial aid, resources and other assistance in support of programs, individuals and organizations that enhance the community for both residents and visitors alike.
“The whole point of the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation is to raise money from local people, from people who spend their time at the Quiet Resorts, and we make sure that money gets back directly to the people who need it in the Quiet Resorts,” said Bill Scott, president of the QRCF Board.
Throughout the year, ORCF holds various fundraising events — most recently including the Hair of the Dog and Bunny Palooza runs — however, Caribbean Christmas is the group’s largest event.
“It started out in somebody’s house and moved to a party room in a restaurant and then moved to taking over Mango’s,” said Scott. “We did reach a high of 550 or 600 people one year… It essentially got so popular that we had to limit ticket sales, just so that there was more room to dance, more room to have fun.”
Tickets for the event are limited and are being sold in advance. The cost is $60 per person, and attendees must be 21 or older. The all-inclusive event, with a dress code of “island casual,” will have tastings from area restaurants, beer, wine and Mangoritas and plenty of holiday cheer.
“We also have a silent auction, and this year we have a live auction. There is a dine-around for area restaurants. There are a couple of vacations to be auctioned off. We have jewelry, gift certificates, spa days, art, golf rounds, and purses. Just a little bit of everything,” said Magee. “We’ll have a wall of wine. People can buy chances for a seven-day cruise that can be purchased at any time now.”
When they’re not eating, drinking or bidding, attendees may dance the night away to the tunes performed by local band Electric Velvet, which has performed for the event the last few years.
“They’re just a great band,” said Scott. “The location is huge, the band is awesome and the idea of having a Caribbean Christmas party overlooking the boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean is a fun and unique combination that I think people really like.”
To date, QRCF has donated more than $450,000 to local organizations and in scholarship monies.
“In the past, we have raised $35,000 to $40,000 at this event,” said Scott. “Our goal would be to eclipse that. In a challenging economy, we’re really proud of that number. I think it says a lot about the people who support the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation and says a lot about the community in this area that would donate that amount of money.”
Last year, the money raised from Caribbean Christmas was donated to the Millville, Bethany Beach and Roxana fire companies to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks. This year, proceeds will benefit Cheer Inc.’s Meals on Wheels program.
“We knew we wanted to do something with Meals on Wheels,” said Scott. “We know that, because the economy hasn’t been great the last couple of years, Meals on Wheels and the various food banks — the stash that they have had has been depleted. And they’re having a hard time coming up with enough food to serve all the people that need it. Then Superstorm Sandy hits and further depletes what they have.”
Scott said volunteers from the community will be working side by side with volunteers from Meals on Wheels to prepare for the event.
“We ask the major beneficiaries to participate in the event. Whether that’s ticket sales ahead of time, whether that’s man-hours in setting up or whether that’s attending the event to help with check-in, we absolutely enlist the help of volunteers from whoever the beneficiary is. It helps us put on the event, and it shows them as a beneficiary what the community is trying to do on their behalf.”
Scott said that he became involved by helping to organize the event and quickly learned that QRCF does a lot of noticeable good within the local community.
“Why I got so deeply involved with the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation is that it’s very easy to see the tangible results right here. You work really hard. There’s no overhead, no executive director. There’s almost no expenses. Then all of that money goes back to whatever needy cause there might be in our location,” he said. “People think that, because we live at the beach, everybody here has plenty of money and there are no needy people in this area, and that’s not true.”
Scott added that he hopes people throughout the community will attend the event and show their support for the QRCF mission, and have a little bit of fun in the process.
“It is without a doubt the best Christmas party in this area. It has become somewhat famous,” he said. “The support we get from the community and business owners is huge. In challenging times, it’s very impressive around Christmas time, people being so generous to give their time and money to make sure the needy within the Quiet Resorts are taken care of.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.qrcf.org or call (302) 537-QRCF (7723).