Dine-and-donate to raise funds for Prettyman after fire

In the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 19, a wiring malfunction in Sandy Prettyman’s Dagsboro home started a fire. Before the night was over, her home was gutted, and she, her son and her granddaughter were left with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Since then, Prettyman has been struggling to put her and her family’s lives back together, according to her friend, Ellen McCreary.

“Sandy has a roof over her head,” in a rental home, for now, McCreary said. Her car was also destroyed in the fire, and although she had gotten a replacement, shortly afterward she struck a deer with the replacement car and is now in the process of getting another one, McCreary said.

Prettyman’s friend described her as “an incredibly kind human being,” adding, “If you ever needed something, she’s a person who you could just say, ‘Hey…’” and she would help out wherever she could.

To help Prettyman and her family, McCreary and a group of friends have organized a dine-and-donate event for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Cottage Café in Bethany Beach. A portion of food and drink proceeds during that time will be donated to the Prettyman family. Also, a 50/50 drawing will be held, and there will be a “Chinese auction” and a silent auction.

McCreary said donations of both money and auction items for the dine-and-donate have been pouring in since the word has reached the community about the fire at Prettyman’s Hoot Owl Lane home and the event.

Prettyman is the manager at Sea Level Designs in Bethany Beach; owners Tami and Murray Oltman knew immediately they wanted to do what they could to help her rebuild her life. Murray Oltman said she is “still working through the insurance” toward rebuilding her home. She is finding, he said, “an amazing number of surprises in that regard.”

Personally, Oltman said, Prettyman and her son Kyle and granddaughter Ayla are struggling to work through the psychological aspects of the trauma of the fire.

“You wake up to a strange smell,” he said, “and within two hours, you’ve lost everything.” Oltman said Prettyman has struggled to sleep at night. “She wakes up her kids because she smells smoke,” even though her temporary home was not on fire.

Oltman, like McCreary, said he has seen a “tremendously generous outpouring” from a community that wants to help her in any way it can. As of Coastal Point press time on Dec. 4, about $6,400 worth of goods and gift certificates had been donated toward the silent auction and chance auction, in categories including health and fitness, dining, original artwork, books and theater passes.

“It’s so heartwarming,” Oltman said. “We found out people are just incredibly generous.”

DJ Bump will also be on hand for the evening, playing holiday music, McCreary said.

“It’s going to be quite the event,” she said.

Diners who come to the Dec. 12 event should let the hostess know they are there for that event, and they will be directed to the section of the restaurant where it is being held.

Anyone who wishes to donate an item for the auctions should email Murray Oltman at murray@theoltmans.com to arrange for pickup. Those who wish to help but are not able to attend the dine-and-donate event may do so through the GoFundMe website, at www.gofundme.com/f/sandy039s-house-burned-down or by sending checks made out to Sandy Prettyman, c/o Sea Level Designs, 34444 Coastal Hwy., Bethany Beach 19930.


By Kerin Magill
Staff Reporter