Sep 012011


Published by The Cape Gazette

The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction and the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral are two bookend events that will help make the final weekend of the traditional summer season an enjoyable one.

The silent auction will be held from 3 to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2, at Bethany Blues Restaurant. The 26th Anniversary Jazz Funeral is scheduled for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, beginning at about 5:30 p.m., according to Carolyn Bacon and Marie Wright, the assistant chairs of this year’s events.

The sixth annual silent auction is shaping up to be a festive occasion that kicks off Labor Day weekend and raises funds for one of five local nonprofit organizations.

Bidders will have a variety of auction items to choose from. “Just to name a few, there are gift certificates from some of the finest local restaurants, various bottles of wine contributed by local wine shops, hard-to-find toys and games, beautiful home accessories, very trendy clothing, exciting gift baskets, and lots more,” said Wright.

“Absolutely all funds raised by the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction go directly to the American Red Cross of Delmarva,” Wright said. “The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.”

As a certified Red Cross volunteer worker, Wright will be part of the Red Cross group on hand to answer any questions attendees have about its charitable efforts.

“It is well to remember that the Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Movement,” Wright said. “Since funding is tight for almost all nonprofit organization, Red Cross of Delmarva is reaching out to our local communities to lend a hand.”

The Dixie Cats, the Downtown Dixieland Band and the Jazz Funeral Irregulars will play at both the jazz funeral and the silent auction at Bethany Blues Restaurant, 6 North Pennsylvania Ave. in Bethany Beach.

At the jazz funeral, spectators and the bands go to the north end of the Bethany Beach boardwalk on Labor Day Monday to join in a funeral procession of mourners carrying a casket with a mannequin representing summer 2011 to its final resting place at the Boardwalk Bandstand to the Dixieland strains of such songs as “Amazing Grace.” Both events are free to the public.

“Those who attend will also hear a number of solo performances by members of these bands,” Bacon said. “These are seasoned musicians who enjoy their craft and they show that joy when they perform.”

Local businesses are encouraged to participate by contributing donations that are appropriate to their fields of endeavor.

“We have high hopes of gathering a wide variety of merchandise and gift certificates from a broad base of businesses,” Bacon said. “We want to have an exciting array of items for visitors and locals to bid on at the silent auction, so we can raise funds for charity. No donation is too large or too small, and all monies raised at the silent auction go directly to Red Cross.”

Beside gift certificates, there are a plethora of donated items for the auction: gift baskets; coupons; and services like boat rides, massages, and house cleanings. “Realtors may want to contribute advertising space in their 2012 real estate booklets for the silent auction on September 2,” said Bacon.

This year’s jazz funeral will honor the memory of Bethany businessman Art Antal, who was event chairman for six years. Antal was the proprietor of the former Starcade Amusement Center and the Golfin’ Dolphin Indoor Mini-Golf Course on Garfield Parkway. Antal took over the reins of the jazz funeral after founder Moss Wagner relocated to Colorado. Sadly, Antal passed away in fall 2010.

Anyone who wishes to help out with the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral or the silent auction can email, call 302-537-1585 or drop a line to PO Box 505, Bethany Beach, DE 19930.

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