CCGM Holds Annual Meeting of Members

On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milford held their annual meeting of members at Grotto Pizza in Milford. The purpose of the meeting was to elect new officers and approve bylaw changes that were added recently.

“We had three members whose terms end December 31, 2015,” said Angela Dorey, President. “These three board members have served two terms and must step down from the board with replacements voted in by the membership.” The three board members whose two-year term ends at the end of 2015 include Ruth Abbate of Delaware Electric Signal, Angela Dorey of Dorey Insurance and Financial Services, and Deanna Smith of Artisan’s Bank.

By unanimous vote, Dave Hitchens of First State Manufacturing, Cory Fetterman of David L. C. Fetterman Insurance Inc. and Brad Fielder of Dover Federal Credit Union will replace the outgoing members of the board of directors.

In addition, Cheryl Doucette of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Alicia Hollis of Kent-Sussex Industries, Christine Rust of M&T Bank, James Sharp of Moore & Rutt P.A. and Craig Warrington of Milford School District were re-elected to their positions on the board for their second terms. Board members with first terms expiring as of December 31, 2016 include Michael Ashton of Bayhealth Medical Center, Bruce Johnston of Burgers & Beans, Heather Pleasants of Heritage of Milford, while Terri Favata of Coldwell Banker Resort Realty’s second term will expire on that date.

Darel LaPrade of the Milford Chronicle and Cindy Small of Kent County Tourism will have first year terms that expire on December 31, 2017 while Luanne Holland of Delaware Hospice will have her second term expire on that date.

Bylaw changes that were approved at the meeting included a change to the number of members required to be on the board of directors. Instead of a set number, the bylaws will now allow a range between 10 and 18 members. In addition, the new bylaws will allow proxy votes. All changes to the bylaws were approved unanimously.

Riverwalk Freedom Festival Celebrates Hometown Heroes

On Friday and Saturday, September 11 and 12, 2015, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford will sponsor the 15th Annual Riverwalk Freedom Festival in Bicentennial Park and downtown Milford. The event kicks off on Friday night with “Operation Giveback,” where veterans and active duty military members can get a free meal provided by Burgers-N-Beans in Milford. Opening ceremonies begin at 6 PM, followed by the Patriotic Boat Parade at 6:30 PM. Military mDSC02652embers and their families are also offered a 10 percent discount from all food vendors on Friday evening. In order to get the free meal or the discount, veterans and active duty military must obtain a wristband from the Chamber booth by showing proof of military service. Awards will be given for the most patriotic boat and the most patriotic booth on Friday evening.

A new event scheduled for Friday evening is the Hometown Heroes Celebration. Residents are asked to submit names and photos of individuals who they believe represent the heroes of Milford. They can be first responders, police, military members or citizens who have gone out of their way to do heroic things. Music on Friday night will be presented by “Down Tyme” and a patriotic fireworks display will be presented at dusk, between 9 and 9:30 PM.

On Saturday, the event kicks off at 9 AM with over 100 vendors, the Inflatable Kids Zone, Petriotic Park, pony rides and other events throughout the day. Another new event, the Petriotic Parade, will begin at noon. Registration for the parade runs from 9 AM until 11:30. Anyone can register their dressed-up pooch to march in the parade. The First Responders Tug-of-War will be at 11 AM on the Washington Street bridge and the 3rd Annual Burgers-N-Beans Burger Eating Contest will be a noon on the Bicentennial Park stage. The Duck Dash, where prizes will be awarded ranging from $250 to $50, will be at 12:30 PM. There are also free paddleboat rides and the Southern Delaware Street Rods Car Show will return.

Another new activity is the Artsy Fartsy “Crafty Kids Corner Art Show” where adults and children can enjoy a painting activity. In addition, art created by the youth of Milford will be available for sale. There is also a dunk tank where Milford dignitaries take their turn getting “dunked” in the cool water.

The festival highlights Milford’s greatest asset, the Mispillion River, as well as placing a spotlight on the many culinary, visual and recreational opportunities there are in downtown Milford. Many businesses offer discounts during the festival, further encouraging visitors to learn more about beautiful downtown Milford.

For more information about any of the events at this year’s Riverwalk Freedom Festival, contact CCGM at 302-422-3344 or the Chairperson, Angela Dorey, at 302-424-8459.

CCGM Announces Candidates for “Best of 2015”

On Friday, April 17, 2015, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford will celebrate their 25th anniversary with an Awards and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Dance at the Milford Senior Center. At this banquet, CCGM will announce the winners of the 2015 “10 of the Best” awards.

Starting in February, CCGM members were able to vote for candidates in the Non-Profit Organization, Small Business, Large Business, New Chamber Member and Citizen of the Year. Four other awards, Board Member, Chairperson, Volunteer and Youth Volunteer of the Year, are chosen by the CCGM Board of Directors.

This year the nominees for Non-Profit Organization of the year are Milford School District, People’s Place and Super Eagle Supply/Blind Industries. These organizations provide services throughout Milford to citizens who are in need. Not only does Milford School District provide quality education to the children of the district, they also conduct many events designed to assist those in need throughout the Milford area. People’s Place provides counseling and mental health services to many people in the Milford area. Super Eagle Supply is a division of Blind Industries, providing employment opportunities for people who are blind and severely disabled.

Small Business of the Year nominees this year are SnoYo, BK Rentals and Delmarva Popcorn & Nut Co. SnoYo opened in February 2014, the second location of the franchise in Delaware. They offer self-serve frozen yogurt with a topping bar that includes many different options for patrons to build their own sundae. BK Rentals is a rental company that specializes in large tents, inflatable games and water slides for all occasions. Delmarva Popcorn & Nut Co. opened its doors in December 2013, offering uniquely flavored popcorn and nut varieties. All three organizations have provided services to CCGM through donations and support of events that are held throughout the year.

Large Business of the Year nominees include Delaware Technical & Community College – Terry Campus, Perdue Farms Inc. and Walmart. Delaware Tech’s Terry Campus is located on Denney’s Road in Dover, offering higher education classes for many citizens in Delaware. Perdue Farms, located on Rehoboth Boulevard in Milford, is one of the town’s largest employers and has recently added the first organic chicken facility on the Eastern Shore. Walmart is another large employer in the city and has been very supportive of community organizations in the area.

The New Chamber Member of the Year Award is for a member who has recently joined CCGM but already demonstrated a commitment to the organization and to the community. Chick-Fil-A, Causey Mansion and Jarmany’s Closet are all nominees for the award this year. Chick-Fil-A opened in September 2014, and from their opening demonstrated their commitment to the community. At the Grand Opening, the restaurant collected children’s books in order to create a Book House for the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club. Causey Mansion has been active with the Milford Historical Preservation Committee through Downtown Milford Inc., working to protect historic properties throughout the city. Jarmany’s Closet focuses on empowering women by helping them create a professional look regardless of size.

The Citizen of the Year Award goes to an individual who has provided outstanding service to the community through their dedication to volunteering for worthy causes. This year’s nominees are Dan Mirabello, Donna Stalvey and David Burton. Dan Mirabello, the former Mayor of the Milford, is a dedicated volunteer for the 2nd Street Players and a strong supporter of the downtown area. Donna Stalvey, who works at both Coldwell Banker Resort Realty and Satterfield & Ryan, volunteers a significant amount of time each year to many worthy causes, including acting as the Food Chairperson for the annual Riverwalk Freedom Festival. David Burton of I.G. Burton was the first president of CCGM and is a strong supporter of anything that will help Milford grow and thrive.

The voting for the awards ended March 20, 2015 and the winners will be presented at the celebration in April.

Help the Less Fortunate and Milford High School Students

The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milford has established four scholarships that will be awarded at the end of the 2014-15 school year. In an effort to raise money for the scholarship fund, CCGM is holding the First Annual Clothing Fundraiser that will run until March, 27, 2015. CCGM is hoping to raise $2,000 that will be used to award four scholarships of $500 each to Milford High School students.

“The fundraiser will help less fortunate people with donations of clothing, which go to third world countries, as well as to secondhand and thrift shops for resale,” said Ruth Abbate, who is chairing the committee along with Craig Warrington. “The Chamber is paid by the pound for the clothing we donate.”

Clothing donated must be clean, but can be in any condition, including with tears, rips or stains. The group will also be accepting shoes, purses and belts in any condition.

“We will also accept linens, including sheets, towels, bedspreads and tablecloths,” Ms. Abbate said. “Curtains and stuffed animals are also accepted as donations as are blankets and loose material.” Items may be dropped off at the Milford School District Annex, located at 315 Kent Place or at the CCGM Office at 411 South Rehoboth Boulevard. All items should be placed in plastic or garbage bags.

The CCGM Scholarships will be awarded to one boy and one girl who are graduating from Milford High School who plan to further their career in business. In addition, scholarships will be awarded to one boy and one girl who have learning disabilities but wish to continue their education. More information will be provided regarding the scholarships at a later date.

Chamber Kicks Off 25th Year with Celebration

Celebrating 25 years is a milestone for anyone, whether it is marriage, employment with a company or a Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Milford of Commerce is thrilled to be celebrating their Silver Anniversary in 2015. To kick off the celebration year, the Chamber will host a Kick-Off Celebration at IG Burton on Tuesday, January 20 2015 from 5 to 7 PM. Food and beverage vendors will be on hand to give attendees a “taste of Milford” and the winning design from the logo contest will be revealed.

CCGM Executive Board with David Burton (l to r): Alicia Hollis, Secretary; Mr. Burton; Terri Favata, Vice-President; Angela Dorey, President; Christine Rust, Treasurer.
CCGM Executive Board with David Burton (l to r): Alicia Hollis, Secretary; Mr. Burton; Terri Favata, Vice-President; Angela Dorey, President; Christine Rust, Treasurer.

“It is fitting that we have the event at IG Burton since David Burton was our first official president,” Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director said. “His father was a part of the chamber before it was organized professionally and his son, Charlie, was the first two-term president.” Jo says that they are trying to find as many past presidents as possible for the event.

Angie Hicks of the Milford Chronicle was the winner of the Logo Design Contest and will be introduced at the event along with the new logo. All events throughout the year will be coordinated around the new logo.

David Burton said that Milford has changed since he became the first official president, although he was quick to point out he was not the first president as the group had been around for a long time prior to his election. He said the Chamber began when a group of businessmen began to get together informally to discuss ways to promote Milford businesses.

“Milford has grown so much since those first days,” Mr. Burton said. “It is different, but a good different. I am excited to see where we are heading. It pleases me to see so many young people involved in businesses now. Honestly, this chamber began with a group of young guys who thought they would rule the world and it is the young people that will keep it going.”

The event scheduled for January 20 is open to the public. For more information, contact the Chamber at 422-3344. You can send an email to or find them online as well.


Last Minute Gifts in Downtown Milford

With holiday gift giving season in full swing right now, many people are scrambling to find that one-of-a-kind unique gDSC03470ift for everyone on their gift list. Look no further than downtown Milford for your gift giving needs. The downtown area offers a wide range of fun, original gifts for everyone on your list.

Of course, during the holiday season, everyone enjoys those special treats, looking toward the New Year to start that diet. Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop creates delicious, fresh baked snacks that will disappear from your holiday table. For the holiday season, they are offering George’s famous cheesecake, decorated for Christmas and the Dolce Yule Log. Of course, they always have their beautifully decorated cupcakes and muffins available. While you are shopping, stop in and enjoy a candy cane latte. Dolce also offers bags of coffee, travel mugs and gift certificates for your gift giving needs.

Blooming Boutique offers many interesting and unique gift items. They have handbags, shows, clothing, jewelry and more, including Troll Beads and a wide variety of Switch Flops. Choose from home décor items, fun, insulated mugs or scarves that your gift recipients will love. They even have their own clothing line, made in the USA, in sizes that range from extra small to 3X.

Art is the perfect gift for any occasion, and the Mispillion Art League offers an ever-changing supply of original works of art, all created by local artisans. The gallery, located in the historic Humes Hardware Building in downtown Milford, displays everything from oil paintings to watercolors to wood carvings, all handmade. Interestingly, a study conducted by University College of London found that viewing art triggers pleasure responses in the brain. Everyone enjoys a night out on the town, so why not consider purchasing advance tickets to a show at Second Street Players? The theater group will present “Inherit the Wind” in February and “Peter Pan” in March. You could include a gift certificate to one of the many fine restaurants in Milford to accompany the tickets, so that your friend or family member could enjoy dinner before the show. Georgia House, Park Place, Abbott’s Grill and Arena’s all offer excellent food in a variety of atmospheres.

Do you have a history lover on your gift list? The Milford Museum is the perfect place to go to find something for them. Take a stroll throughout the building, which used to house the United States Post Office in Milford, learning more about Milford history. The museum also sells books and DVDs related to Milford history that will capture the attention of your history lover.

Let’s face it, right after the holidays, everyone decides it is time to get healthy, lose weight and become more active. Why not help those on your list get a head start on those New Year’s Resolutions this Year. Good News Natural Foods, located at 1 North Walnut Street, offers supplements and natural foods designed to help people live a long and happy life. In fact, Marcia Collins, one of the partners in the company credits natural and organic supplements with aiding her in recovering from breast cancer in 1996. Stop in and try samples of different foods, organic teas and coffee samples offered daily as you shop.

No matter who is on your gift list this season, you can find something to please them in downtown Milford. They can even help you find those last minute gifts for those hard-to-buy-for friends and family members.

Harrington Raceway Featured at Sunrise Seminar

The November Sunrise Seminar for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford spotlighted one of the 2014 “10 of the Best” winner Harrington Raceway and Casino who was named “2014 Large Business of the Year.” Jeff Sanders, Sales Manager at Harrington Raceway dispelled some myths about the raceway and casino while explaining some of the things they offer that people may not be aware of.

Jeff Sanders of Harrington Raceway and Duane Fox of Carlisle Fire Company

According to Mr. Sanders, people often get them confused with the Delaware State Fair, which is a completely separate entity from the casino. Mr. Sanders said that harness racing began at the location in 1946 and that that entity, which is connected to the casino, consumes more than 53 acres of the grounds. There is a training center that includes a pool specifically designed for horses, as well as storage and barns. The racing season lasts between 84 and 89 days with post times at 5:30 PM.

In 1996, the casino opened with a legislative requirement that it had to be connected to a track, making the facility a “racino.” The casino offers sports betting and there are many events related to sports, such as Superbowl and playoff parties. There are meeting spaces and a ballroom available for rental as well. Mr. Sanders, there have been many events held at the casino, including weddings, class reunions and concerts.

One attraction the casino is proud of is their steakhouse, Bonz, that offers entertainment and an outdoor patio, weather permitting. In addition, the casino offers off-property catering for events and there is a nightly buffet as well. The casino is privately owned, not a state entity.

One thing that Mr. Sanders mentioned was that they often get questions about children at events held at the casino. Because there is no hotel or common area, special arrangements must be made if children under the age of 21 are attending events. The casino simply asks that they be informed there will be children prior to the event so that they can make arrangements such as having them exit and enter through an outside door or use restrooms that are not on the casino floor. Children may also eat at Bonz, but diners should call ahead to make them aware there will be children in the party. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to be on the casino floor and, because there are often regulators on the floor, the organization must be watchful.

Mr. Sanders said that it is difficult for casinos to cut costs like other industries as 60 percent of all revenue is returned to the state. He explained that the recent “bail out” was not necessarily bailing the casinos out of trouble, but actually a direct transfer to vendor fees in an effort to reduce the casino’s costs.

Mr. Sanders said that it was important for people to remember that Harrington Raceway and Casino was more than slots and harness racing. Residents and businesses should consider the casino when planning special events or for dinner out at Bonz even if they don’t choose to gamble.

Mrs. Frketic and students from First State Academy in Lincoln.

CCGM holds a Sunrise Seminar every month and features an interesting guest speaker at each. Members who attend are provided a free breakfast and anyone who arrives prior to 7:45 AM places a business card in a drawing for a five-minute presentation on the products or services their business offers at the start of the meeting. In addition, members who bring guests are given a “goodie” bag of gifts. For more information on promoting your business and networking, or to learn more about Sunrise Seminars, contact CCGM at 302-422-3344.