VIA wins chamber's Mae Hall-McCabe AwardService, community activism key to top honor
Rehoboth Beach — For over 100 years, the Village Improvement Association has worked to improve Rehoboth Beach. On Jan. 24, the city’s chamber of commerce rewarded the association with its most prestigious award.
The VIA was this year’s recipient of the Mae Hall-McCabe Award, which honors service to the community. The award is named after Mae Hall-McCabe, herself a member and former president of the VIA.
President Carolyn Billingsley accepted the award on behalf of the VIA.
“It is a great pleasure for me to accept this award on behalf of the Village Improvement Association,” she said. “Mrs. McCabe embodied activism and community service during her lifetime. She would be proud to know the VIA continues in that tradition and today has a very strong commitment to community service.”
Presenter Mike Meoli said the VIA, an all-women’s volunteer service club, started in 1909 when a group of women decided to improve Rehoboth’s street crossings. The VIA founded of the Rehoboth Beach Public Library, Meoli said, and also restored the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse that now stands at the Rehoboth Avenue circle, as well helping the Corkran family establish the Rehoboth Art League.
Meoli said the VIA raised $30,000 this past fiscal year on behalf of various organizations such as Cape Henlopen Senior Center, Cape Henlopen Food Basket and Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department. The VIA has also just completed a $250,000 renovation of its clubhouse at the Boardwalk on Grenoble Place.
“The women of the VIA are very proud of the impact they have had on the Rehoboth Beach community, and they should be,” Meoli said. “They are group of women with vision and passion, and they are willing to give their time.”
Billingsley said, “One hundred and three years have gone by, but in 2013, we believe we are stronger than ever.”