Partners throwing huge party supporting Rotary’s handicap-accessible playground project

SUSSEX COUNTY – A collaborative fundraiser is aiming to help the Nanticoke Rotary Club provide more playground opportunities for the handicapped in Sussex County.

The Good Ole Boy Foundation, A & A Air Services, Donegal Insurance, The Insurance Market and 16 Mile Brewery are teaming up to throw a huge party that doubles as a mega-fundraiser to help Nanticoke Rotary’s effort build a handicap-accessible playground.

“It is through the Rotary. They are the champions of this. We’re just helping them facilitate it from a funding standpoint,” said Stephen Hartstein of The Insurance Market. “They’re already got the ground. They’ve got some money allocated toward it. We are, hopefully with this event, going to put them over the top of their $100,000 need to break ground and create it.”

The playground is earmarked for property at North Laurel Elementary School.

“The Laurel School District and the Rotary club basically said that if we could raise funds to put it up they would maintain it,” said Mindy Townsend of A &A Air Services. “We are basically trying to raise money to put up a handicap-accessible playground in Sussex County. I know there is a huge need. So, we all partnered together to try to raise money to do it for them.”

The outdoor event, coined the Crabalina Beer Mixer, will be held Saturday, July 7 on the 16 Mile Brewery grounds, located on South Bedford Street in Georgetown.

“They’ve got a bunch of space out there for us. We’ve been out there plotting it out,” said Mr. Hartstein. “We’re good to go.”

It’s a 21-and-older event and will run from 3 p.m. to about 11 p.m., featuring food, drink, a country music band, auctions and even a dunking tank. Food will be served from approximately 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or possibly longer.

On the menu: all-you-can-eat blue crabs, pulled pork and other fixings and all-you-can-drink 16 Mile beer; identification will be checked for proof of legal beverage age.

Ice cream and other treats will be available for purchase from The Frozen Farmer.

In kick-starting support of the fundraiser, Donegal Insurance donated $10,000, Mr. Hartstein said.

“Donegal, they pretty much put up the majority of the money to be able to throw the event,” said Ms. Townsend. “Obviously, our local businesses and some other local vendors as well, we are putting in the difference of what they don’t cover. Then, all of the ticket proceeds, the auction items, all of that is going to go right into building the playground.”

Tickets went on sale May 1. Only 600 tickets – 200 through sponsorship tables and 400 for general public – will be sold.

Individual tickets are $70 and $120 for couples. Sponsorship tables are $1,000, which include 10 tickets plus additional goodies as a supporting sponsor.

Organizers are attempting to line up “prominent figures” to sit in the dunking tank. Georgetown Mayor Bill West has already pledged to take his turn, Mr. Hartstein said.

Solicitation of business donations of auction items is underway. Auction items will likely include football tickets, baseball tickets, a weeklong stay in Ocean City and other items, including golf package(s).

This handicap-accessible playground effort follows an Indian River School District/community-based collaboration with Schell Brothers last year that led to a complete makeover for a handicap-accessible playground at Georgetown Elementary School.


Tickets can be ordered online through EventBrite (Crabalina Beer Mixer):

Tickets can also be obtained from Mindy Townsend, Stephen Hartstein or Josh Wharton (Good Ole Boy Foundation), Ms. Townsend said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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