Dewey Beach — A new community group in Dewey Beach aims to keep residents and visitors informed. Friends of Dewey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that wants to promote a more positive attitude in town.
“There’s a lot of good news happening in Dewey,” said Denise Campbell, one of the founders of the group.
The organization’s website provides information about municipal issues, including updates on the Dewey Beach Comprehensive Plan review, beach replenishment and the Winter Watch program. The website also contains an event calendar and links to other town organizations, including the civic league and chamber of commerce.
Friends of Dewey began as an idea between Campbell and her husband Mark Allen. Campbell is a marketing professional and former chairwoman of Dewey Beach Marketing Committee. Allen owns Mark Allen Racing of Rehoboth Beach, and he is a member of the town’s budget and finance committee.
Campbell said she and Allen had been tossing the idea around for about a year before launching the group. “There was a need for a new kind of community organization,” she said.
Nearly all of the founders of Friends of Dewey are active citizens in town. But Campbell said the group wanted to operate on a broader spectrum than the town’s marketing committee would have allowed. “I think we can be much more effective outside of a town committee,” she said.
Other founders include property owners David and Mary Ferry. David Ferry is an attorney and a member of the town marketing committee. Founder Dale Cooke is a full-time resident and former Dewey Beach commissioner.
Betty Laird is a full-time resident and former chairwoman of the policy committee and 2010 town manager search committee. Laird is married to Commissioner Jim Laird. Founder Kelly Ranieri is a full-time resident and executive director of the fellow community organization, Dewey Business Partnership.
Friends of Dewey requests a $10 donation from its members to cover the cost of the website, but Campbell said the fee is not required. “We want this to be accessible for everybody,” she said.
Members do not have to be full-time residents or even property owners. “It’s open to everybody,” Campbell said. Members can decide their own level of involvement, she said, from those who want only email updates to those who want to develop special events.
Campbell said she encourages people to go to the website, read about the group and hopefully get involved. For more information on Friends of Dewey, visit friendsofdewey.com.