The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral has chosen the Delmarva American Red Cross as the recipient of funds to be raised on the Bethany Boardwalk on Labor Day, Sept. 5, and Sept. 2 at the Bethany Silent Auction Beach Jazz Funeral at Bethany Blues Restaurant.
“The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors,” organizers noted.
The 2022 Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral will be celebrated on Labor Day Monday, September 5, with activities beginning around 5:30 p.m. at the north end of the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. The event is a celebration at the end of summer to “say a fond farewell” to the traditional summer season. An overview of the event can be viewed at www.jazz-funeral.com.
At Jazz Funeral, spectators can join in the mock funeral procession of mourners accompanied by Dixieland bands. “The Mourners” will carry a coffin with a mannequin representing “Summer 2022” from the north end of the promenade to its final resting place at the bandstand.
It’s a free family event for the public, according to Carolyn Bacon and Marie Wright, co-chairs of this year’s Jazz Funeral events.
For the past 17 years, Bethany Beach Jazz Funerals have also held the Silent Jazz Funeral Auction to benefit a local charity. This year, the Jazz Funeral Silent Auction will be held on Friday, September 2 from 3:15-4:30 p.m. at the Bethany Blues, in support of the Delmarva Chapter of the American Red Cross. Bethany Blues is located at 6 North Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethany Beach.
The goal of Jazz Funeral’s fundraising activities is to assist the American Red Cross of Delmarva so it can continue to help residents of local communities with emergency and preventative services, according to Wright.
“The Red Cross responds around the clock to help local families who have been affected by disaster, military families who have an emergency and need to communicate with their loved one, and many other cases,” Wright said. . “They also teach their neighbors lifesaving techniques, such as first aid, CPR and water safety, in addition to providing advice and training on disaster preparedness. None of this would be possible without valuable contributions of talent, time and donations from the local community.
Wright knows what she’s talking about. She is a certified Red Cross volunteer.
“For more than 100 years, the Red Cross has partnered with the local community and now serves more than 1.4 million people throughout Delaware, the east coast of Maryland and two counties on the east coast of Virginia. said Wright. “The Red Cross encourages residents to use Red Cross tools and training to help make the community one of the safest places to live, work and raise a family.
Executive Director Theresa Young of the American Red Cross in Delmarva gave a recent example of Red Cross involvement in our area.
“The Red Cross has launched a nationwide preparedness campaign called the Home Fire Campaign,” Young said. “The campaign’s goal was to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires nationwide by 25% over a five-year period. Here, locally, we have held events where we have installed free smoke alarms in high fire risk communities and also raised awareness about home fire safety.
“There are times when people forget the reach of the Red Cross and its commitment to providing emergency services 365 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” Young said. She’s been to Kentucky to help flood victims there.
“As many of you may know, I am here in Kentucky leading a team that works with our elected officials to ensure the needs of the community are met. This can look like shelter, food, emergency supplies, medication replacement, and connecting community partners, among other needs,” Young said. “I have been on the ground for less than 48 hours after the flood, and have seen a lot of devastation and an incredible amount of humanitarianism. We seem to continue to have storm systems and have seen flooding and even new flooding in neighboring counties.
“We have 8,000 homes to assess for damage and have Red Cross-run, partner-run and independent shelters numbering at least 15, with over 1,000 disaster victims. We work with shelters to help meet their needs.
“The Red Cross has been and continues to be very busy with its humanitarian work,” said Young. “We have helped many people this year, whether on the streets, across the country or around the world. All money raised from this event will be used to help those who have experienced local disasters such as house fires, floods, etc.
The sheer size of Delmarva’s Red Cross service area presents a number of challengers, Young said.
“Your Delmarva chapter of the Red Cross covers the whole peninsula, which is quite large; however, we never miss a call for help. We couldn’t do this with our volunteers and the financial support of neighbors all over Delmarva. Thanks.”
The Delmarva American Red Cross can be contacted at (302) 656-6620 and 1-800-777-6620 or online at www.redcross.org/delmarva.
Additionally, the American Red Cross organization has branches in the Gulf region, including New Orleans, the birthplace of the original jazz funeral.
For the past 17 years, the Jazz Funeral has been dedicated to those affected by the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, especially residents of New Orleans, according to Bacon.
“Since New Orleans suffered so much devastation from Hurricane Katrina and the process of recovery in New Orleans continues to this day, our Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Celebration is meant to show the respect and admiration for the funerary jazz tradition that was born in the Big Easy,” Bacon said.
Fundraising for the Red Cross is not new to Bethany Beach Jazz’s funeral. Bethany Beach Jazz’s funeral in 2005 was dedicated to the work done by members of the American Red Cross. On Labor Day 2005, there was a memorial service on the Bethany Beach boardwalk to honor New Orleans and those who perished in Hurricane Katrina. Representatives of the American Red Cross were on hand to raise funds for hurricane relief. The American Red Cross was also a recipient of funds in 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019, as well as last year.
Young said she looked forward to working with Jazz Funeral again.
“The Jazz Funeral receives strong community support every year,” Young said. “We are proud to partner with them not only to raise funds, but also to help raise awareness of Red Cross services, courses and volunteer opportunities.”
Music for the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is provided by the combined efforts of three Dixieland jazz bands, Bacon noted. The bands are the Jazz Funeral Irregulars, the Dixie Cats and members of the Downtown Dixieland Band.
All funds raised from the silent auction held on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day will go to the Delmarva Chapter of the American Red Cross in Delmarva. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.
The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction benefits five charities: Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society with its Relay For Life program, and the Audubon Society, represented by the Delaware Audubon Society and the Chesapeake Audubon Society, as well as the American Red Cross.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with Bethany Beach Jazz’s funeral or silent auction can email [email protected], call to leave a message at (410) 390-1272 or drop a line at PO Box 505, Bethany Beach, DE 19930. A preview of the event can be viewed at www.jazz-funeral.com.