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Jul 02, 2017

Summer Celebration of the Shore

By Lori Draz

The threat of rain on June 5 may have tried to put a damper on things, but in the end, the Jersey Shore Partnership’s Summer Celebration won out! As the crowd streamed into the large tent at the tip of Fort Hancock in Sandy Hook, you could feel the energy building as this exceptional event began. The crowds came from all over the state to pay tribute to the Jersey shore and to the work of the Jersey Shore Partnership, the organization that so dearly defends it.

The crowd sampled a huge variety of delicious foods, from the ever-popular lobsters from Lusty Lobster, to the shucked-on-site raw bar and the specialties prepared by more than 20 of the state’s best chefs and restaurants. The seafood is donated by New Jersey seafood establishments and distributors, whose volunteer participation promotes the exquisite quality of New Jersey’s fisheries and restaurants and contributes to the success of the event, which is the Jersey Shore Partnership Foundation’s main fundraiser of the year.

After mixing and mingling, the crowd took to their seats to hear from Senator Joseph Kyrillos and his wife Susan, honorary chairs of the event. The honorees for the 2017 Summer Celebration included Hackensack Meridian Health, which received the Tom Gagliano Leadership Award for Innovative Partnerships. Hackensack Meridian President/Hospital Services Division and Chief Operating Officer Mr. Steven Littleson accepted this award. He later commented, “I believe that a healthy shore and coastline has a direct impact on the health and wellness of the people. My family and I enjoy the shore as much as possible and the Jersey Shore Partnership is always working to protect and improve the quality of the coast. Hackensack Meridian Health is honored to have been selected.”

Other recipients included Curtis Bashaw, Cape Resorts, who received the Outstanding Leadership Award for Historic Preservation, and Domenic DiPiero, Newport Capital Group, Red Bank, who scored the Partnership’s Outstanding Community Service Award. Executive Director of Jersey Shore Partnership Margot Walsh said, “The Summer Celebration highlights the unique natural treasure we call our Jersey Shore beaches and the importance of protecting and preserving our coastline for us and future generations. The event supports the partnership’s advocacy efforts through outreach and educational programs. We are especially grateful to the generous sponsors and all the attendees who made our 20th Summer Celebration a success.”

The Jersey Shore Partnership is New Jersey’s leading advocate of efforts to restore and replenish the 127 miles of New Jersey coastline that give back so much to the state, through tourism, industry, and a good old-fashioned day at the beach. They seek to raise the awareness of state and federal officials and the public to the need for safeguarding the shoreline through beach restoration and other shore protection methods.

If you would like to get involved in the advocacy efforts, comment on the state of a beach, make a donation, or get more information, contact Margot Walsh, executive director, at mwalshjspf@gmail.com or visit www.jerseyshorepartnership.com.