Cape Gazette

Tuesday Editorial

Dewey Does Pink does good for Dewey

Mar 20, 2012

A Dewey Beach business sponsored a fundraiser for breast cancer last year and would like to make it an annual affair.

Dewey Does Pink was inaugurated in honor of Gugie Montgomery, mother of Starboard owner Steve Montgomery, and attracted nearly 500 pink-clad runners its first year.

In preparation, The Starboard put up a large tent, expanding the area in which it can serve alcohol.
To do so requires a public hearing, approval from town council and a $100 permit fee; town council at first unanimously approved the event.

But things are never simple in Dewey Beach. Town code allows a business only two expansions per year; The Starboard already hosts two other such events, so holding a third one requires a code change.

Commissioner Jim Laird proposed a simple solution: allow two expansions during the summer season plus an unlimited number of expansions during the off-season, each one subject to a public hearing, approval by town council and a permit fee.

Council instead sent the idea to the planning commission for review. Still, given the legal problems that plague Dewey, carefully following code is good policy.

The problem is at least one commissioner cast doubt on the value of the event, citing the town’s revenue as nothing more than the $100 permit fee.

This sort of narrow thinking results in justified backlash from town businesses. Council should do all it can to encourage the enthusiasm of businesses that initiate shoulder-season events – especially events associated with a disease as devastating to so many as breast cancer.

The Lewes Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics, held in Rehoboth Beach, started 20 years ago with only 78 plungers. This year, the three-day event drew 3,685 participants and raised more than $650,000 for Special Olympics Delaware.

The plunge also draws the Cape Region together in support of a good cause – an energy that glows brighter every year. It’s hard to think of a reason Dewey Beach Town Council wouldn’t do everything possible to support an event that could do the same things in Dewey.

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