CHEER Inc. breaks ground for new central kitchen

GEORGETOWN – By late spring 2021, things should really be cooking at the CHEER Community Center on Sand Hill Road on Georgetown’s eastern edge.

Tuesday, local and state officials joined those from CHEER Inc. for the long-awaited ceremonial groundbreaking for Florence Mason CHEER Central Kitchen.

The $1.8 million modern, state-of-the-art facility will enable CHEER to meet nutritional needs of a growing senior population for decades.

CHEER Inc. held the groundbreaking for its new central kitchen Tuesday. Those in front row with a shovel are, from left, Sen. Dave Wilson, Georgetown Mayor Bill West, Rep. Ruth Briggs-King, Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, CHEER Board Vice President Walt Koopman, honoree Florence Mason, Sussex County Councilman Sam Wilson, CHEER Board members Diaz Bonville and Joe Conaway. In back, CHEER CEO Ken Bock, CHEER foundation members Leslie DiPitro and Matt Dickens, CHEER board member Janet Short, CHEER foundation member Andy Hartstein, CHEER board member Nick Varrato (partially hidden), CHEER Chief Operating Officer Beckett Wheatley and husband Bob, and (partially hidden) Dava Newnam, Director of the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. (Submitted photo/Carolyn O’Neal-CHEER).

The new kitchen is named in honor of Florence Mason, who retired last December after serving 27 years as CHEER’s nutritional program director.

After a three-year capital campaign, the construction is scheduled to be finished by late spring 2021.

Over 1,700 meals a day are now being prepared for senior citizens in Sussex County. The new kitchen will replace the undersized, outdated kitchen quarters at the Thurman Adams State Service Center, which was built to accommodate approximately 800 meals daily.