First State Gridiron Dinner & Show (often
referred to as simply The Gridiron) is the
longest running annual roast of politicians and business people
in Delaware and has remained a mystery to many Delawareans - and
for good reason. During the first years of the event - it began
timidly in 1992 - organizers made a conscious effort to keep publicity
out of the media and the content of the program a secret. That's
because it was originally envisioned as an invitation-only, political
insiders' affair with comedy skits that
might offend the uninitiated. Not so any more. Attendance has grown
dramatically since the show was opened to any and all who wanted
to come. It has become one of the premier formal affairs in the
state and arguably has the single largest gathering of politicians
of all stripes short of the General Assembly.
Click here to view images from the 2015 Gridiron Dinner & Show.
In 2013 our philanthropic focus evolved to improving civility in political discourse and increasing civic participation for the common good. Major benefactors include University of Delaware, Center for Political Communication and Delaware State University. Prior to 2013, proceeds benefited:
- Journalism and communications scholarships for undergraduates at the University of Delaware and Delaware State University
- Grants to Delaware high school seniors who had excelled in print journalism
- Grants to leading arts organizations throughout Delaware.
To date the dinner has endowed over $425,000 at the Delaware
Community Foundation and in excess of $240,000 at the University
The William P. Frank Scholarship Fund Inc. is a 501
(c) (3) charitable organization.) Come join us for a memorable night
of zany skits and songs that take on some of the most powerful forces
in The First State.
" 'Frankly Speaking' " is more like 'Heartily Laughing!'
In fact, as a co-sponsor of the event, I laugh all of the way to
Robert Harra, Jr. - former President, Wilmington Trust Company / M&T Bank
"You've got to have a thick skin, but it's always an enjoyable
evening and it's for a good cause."
Thurman Adams Jr. - the late President Pro Tem, Delaware State Senate
"If you're a player or a wannabe, you have to be there."
Robert C. Byrd - prominent state lobbyist