October 31, 2013 at 9:00 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Benefit planned for lesbian Rehoboth singer who lost home
Viki Dee, gay news, Washington Blade

Viki Dee (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The LGBT community and its straight friends in Rehoboth Beach have organized a fundraising dinner and dance to provide emergency assistance to local singer and songwriter Viki Dee, who lost her home and three pets to a fire on Oct. 20.

Dee has told friends she came home following a performance to find her house in a development off of Route 1 a few miles west of the City of Rehoboth engulfed in flames. She said the estimated $70,000 in damage to the manufactured house and its furnishings paled in comparison to the loss of her pet dog, cat and cockatoo, all of whom perished in the fire.

“It’s hard,” she told the Cape Gazette newspaper. “I’m left with nothing but the clothes that were on my back … I’m really starting over. I’m blessed to be alive. But the animals, that’s what really breaks my heart.”

Joe Maggio, co-owner of the Rehoboth gay bar and restaurant Aqua and partner in Maggio Shields Realtors, said his and other local businesses have joined friends and supporters to put together a fundraiser for Dee scheduled for Nov. 17 at the Rehoboth Convention Center. Marry Ann Slinkman, a Maggio Shields real estate agent who is coordinating the fundraiser, said the event will include a spaghetti dinner and dance. A $25 donation for admission is being sought for the event.

Slinkman said tickets can be purchased by mail by sending a check to the Viki Dee Fund to 33 Deerfield Lane, Rehoboth Beach, Del., 19971. Tickets can also be purchased at the Maggio Shields Real Estate office at 18756 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, as well as at the Convention Center at the time of the event.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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