Gabby discovers a best bet at the Delaware Community Foundation’s Chips for Charity event, then enjoys Parks and recreation at the Southern Delaware Heart & Stroke Gala in Dover.
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Meet The Next Generation
Well la de da, what do you know: Freshman fêtes can go off without a hitch. At least they can when the energetic force field that is the Delaware Community Foundation’s The Next Generation (TNG) is at the helm. It’s almost not fair, though, to other first-time soirées. Chips for Charity, TNG’S Monte Carlo-themed night of gaming and glamming at the Blue Ball Barn in Wilmington, only had Samantha Diedrick, owner and president of Wilmington’s Secretariat Wedding & Event Planning, on hand to do the heavy lifting. And heavy it must have been because honey, you should see the shape of her arms—they, and the rest of her, looked flawless in a tailored-to-a-capital-T sleeveless black-and-brocade cocktail dress.
Gabby caught TNG president Mark Lucey, he of the impressively well-coiffed dark hair, lurking around the scrumptious Bixby’s Caterers spread. TNG’s mission, he told Gabby between bites, is to serve as a philanthropy training-ground for young people who are tasked with raising funds to award as grants. TNG’s current cause is fighting childhood obesity. “Our group is really great,” he said. “They’re learning what it takes to be on a board, learning what it takes to go through the grant process so they can go out and serve in a larger capacity in the community.” He and wife Jenna had a fabulous time. “I must give TNG development chairman Don Nicholson and Samantha Diedrick lots of credit for co-chairing the event. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here right now,” he said.
He wasn’t the only Nicholson fan in the house. Gabby ran smack into Nicholson’s beaming parents, Don Nicholson Sr., owner of Wilmington financial planning firm Donald W. Nicholson & Associates, and his wife, Lynn Nicholson. “We’ve just been playing the casino games,” an excited Lynn told Gabby. “I’ve got quite the stash.” Lynn was Lady Luck, but as for Don Sr.? “I lost mine right away,” he said with a laugh. Oh, dear. Gabby hopes his clients aren’t reading.
It was a Nicholson family affair when Gabby finally found Don Nicholson Jr. hanging with the guys around the sports memorabilia up for auction. “There’s been such a great buzz about this event,” he said. “We really wanted to do something that would be cross-generational. We do a family event at Ramsey’s Farm every year, with hayrides and things like that. No hayrides tonight.” Gabby hopes Don Jr. got a good post-party night of sleep—he’s got to be up early as the voice of WDEL 1150’s “The Business Report” at 6:53 a.m.
Upstairs on the dance floor, the DJ spun equal parts Sinatra and Shakira to please the age-diverse crowd, and Gabby found pretty Kati-with-an-i Capitan, in a gorgeous black dress with a darling satin-bow neckline, dazzling diamond earrings and a posh up-do. The director and founder of Dover’s Central Delaware Speech-Language Pathology Inc. was helping boyfriend Brad Holden, one of TNG’s newest members, sell raffle tickets. “My mother once told me never to have a glass of wine in my hand if someone takes my picture,” Capitan said, quickly setting her glass of white on the table as a photographer approached. Mother knows best, Kati.
Gabby spotted a certain distinguished gentleman looking absolutely natty in navy down in the casino room. Just as she was considering the thoughtful decision that went into the ornate gold buttons on his jacket and the matching gold chain detail on his shoes, he turned and Gabby realized it was man of the hour Fred Sears, president of the Delaware Community Foundation. “They sold out of tickets,” Sears told Gabby proudly. Sears started TNG a few years ago when some young people came to him and asked how they could help out with DCF. “One of them said to me, ‘I want to help.’ So I called another organization and they said I could come out to their 5K run and hand out water at the half-way mark. That’s not helping out. But what they do at TNG is.” Sears, who came with wife JoAnn Sears and a posse of friends, was a big winner at the tables. “In case you’re wondering, all the people here with gray hair? I brought them. They’re my friends.” Sears is looking to make even more friends, Southern Delaware, when he brings TNG downstate in the near future.
Page 2: Somewhere Over the... Moon?