Remembering CAMP Rehoboth co-founder Steve Elkins
A leader, a visionary, an advocate, and a force to be reckoned with are are just a few words to describe Steve Elkins.
Elkins was a man who decided to take action, to fight for equality and change.
"He fought for our rights and just as he fought for the rights of so many in this state for nearly three decades, he fought to the very end fighting lymphoma," says Chris Beagle, CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors President.
In 1991, Steve Elkins had a vision to create a more inclusive community where all walks of life are welcome. That vision became reality when Elkins and his partner Murray Archibald created CAMP Rehoboth.
It's a place that coined the phrase "Creating A More Positive" world with "room for all." A place that over the past couple decades has touched thousands of lives.
"With every fiber of his being, he worked, fought to make this organization what it is today," Beagle continues, "This isn't just a loss to the LGBT community, this is a loss to the greater community."
It's because of Elkins tireless efforts and leadership that Rehoboth Beach is now a place many in the LGBT community call home.
"Very few of us are from here. We chose to live here because of how comfortable we are and how welcomed we feel and how embraced we feel and in large part that has so much to do with the foundation that he and Murray worked over those many years to create."
His impact is nearly impossible to measure and the magnitude of his legacy insurmountable. Politicians sending their condolences, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Gov. John Carney, even former Governor Jack Markell who at CAMP Rehoboth signed the non-discrimination bill into law on July 2nd, 2009, Elkin's birthday.
It's a law that prohibits discrimination against a person because of their sexual orientation.
"He died as he lived fighting with courage and dignity and may we all be so lucky, you know, to leave that way," says Beagle.
That's why his legacy will live on forever. That's why those in this room and others will continue to fight the good fight.
"With courage and dignity and it is in his name, in his honor that those of us who remain are determined to carry that legacy forward to do anything less would not do him justice."