The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2021 Lifeguard Awards on Tuesday, Aug. 10, recognizing the men and women who guarded area beaches this summer season.
“The compassion, professionalism and work ethic that these guards and their captains exude play a major role in the success of the tourism industry in the Quiet Resorts,” said Chamber Marketing & Communications Manager Matthew Marsilii. “This area’s safe and family-friendly beaches are what bring many visitors back year after year.”
Describing the event as “a small token of our appreciation,” Marsilii said the Chamber had joined with the Big Chill Beach Club and other Chamber members to throw a celebration for the seven local beach patrols. Guests were able to enjoy food from La Vida Hospitality, music by DJ Hook and an award presentation honoring the Lifeguard of the Year for each patrol.
As chosen by the patrol captains, the 2021 Lifeguards of the Year were: Katie Bole, Bethany Beach Patrol; Eric Lutz, Delaware Seashore State Park Beach Patrol; Caroline Robertazzi, Fenwick Island Beach Patrol; Mitch McGee, Middlesex Beach Patrol; Tessa Elling, North Bethany Beach Patrol; Megan Perdue, Sea Colony Beach Patrol; and Sean McClory, South Bethany Beach Patrol.
In addition to recognizing the 2021 Lifeguards of the Year, the Chamber also recognized those who were nominated for the award in 2020 and were unable to celebrate due to event restrictions.
As chosen by the patrol captains, the 2020 Lifeguards of the Year were: Justin Kidwell and Ryan Smith, Bethany Beach Patrol; Tyler Noel, North Bethany Beach Patrol; Cooper Shawver, Middlesex Beach Patrol; James Shiels, Fenwick Island Beach Patrol; Ben Little, Sea Colony Beach Patrol; and Mike O’Reilly, South Bethany Beach Patrol.
This year’s event also recognized the 29 guards from these patrols who competed and placed second in the USLA Nationals lifeguard competition, representing Sussex County. The Chamber gave $1,500 to assist in sponsoring qualifying guards for the 2021 USLA Nationals in South Padre Island, Texas.
Event sponsors included Presenting Sponsor Big Chill Beach Club; Patrol Sponsors Anne Powell—Keller Williams, Banks Wines & Spirits, Calvin B. Taylor Bank, Custom Mechanical, Law Offices of Scott & Shuman P.A. and PNC Bank; Buoy Sponsors Atlantic General Hospital, the Bank of Ocean City, Beebe Healthcare, Coastal Lifesaving, John F. Kleinstuber & Associates, Scherer Financial Advisors; Whistle Sponsors Hugh H. Hickman & Sons Inc. and Sea Shell City; and Friends of the Lifeguards Max Hutsell, Old Dominion Investing.