Pictured with Governor Christie (center) are: (L-R) Neptune Township Mayor Eric Houghtaling; OGCMA’s Karen Adams, Robin Brown, Bobbie Kehoe, Karen Voorhees OGCMA COO Ralph del Campo; Together Committee members Connie Ogden and Carol Whilden; OGCMA’s Vicki Bacolo, Linda Szabo; and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop. (Photo Courtesy Neptune Township Police Department)
On Tuesday, May 21, Governor Christie surveyed the progress on the Ocean Grove beaches and boardwalk by helicopter en route to the NJ Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the Great Auditorium. Christie paused to encourage representatives of the TOGETHER Campaign, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s fund-raising drive to restore Ocean Grove’s boardwalk and beachfront. The Governor reassured the group that he was fighting for Ocean Grove at the federal level – referring to the FEMA decision that is currently being appealed by OGCMA. Ocean Grove was denied FEMA funding because of its non-profit status and a classification of the boardwalk as being “recreational”.
The community of Ocean Grove and the Camp Meeting Association continue to be optimistic about the appeal as well as other funding for beach and boardwalk repairs. Even if FEMA funding does come through, $750,000 will still be needed for improvements. The Together Campaign is energetically pursuing its mission and capital campaign by selling t-shirts, planning events, concerts, and picnics. For more information, visit www.together.og.com.
—-press release courtesy of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
The monthly meeting of the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association will be on Saturday, May 25, at 10 a.m. in the Community Room on Pilgrim Pathway.
The featured speaker will be Charles Layton, discussing the HOA’s Derelict Buildings Committee and its plans for dealing with some of Ocean Grove’s most seriously run-down structures. This committee has done extensive research over the past eight months and is now preparing to move into a new and more public phase of its work.
The committee, which Charles now chairs, is creating a new Website to track derelict buildings as they move through the Township’s remediation process. This site, to be launched on Saturday, will provide Ocean Grovers with information about buildings the committee has targeted for special attention, along with basic information about the Township’s maintenance code. It will also explain about the hazard of fire in Ocean Grove, which is related to the derelict buildings problem.
As we approach the Memorial Day Weekend, which has always been the kickoff of the summer season at the Jersey Shore, I wanted to point out that the Ocean Grove merchants are ready and excited. It has certainly been a long winter and there has been so much hard work done, mostly by volunteers, and we cannot celebrate this weekend without THANKING them all immensely. We will have a successful summer season in Ocean Grove but we can never forget that it is all thanks to many many people that worked here throughout the winter on a cold windy beach cleaning up and rebuilding all of what you see today.
When you look at the big picture, other than the missing piece of boardwalk, Ocean Grove will be what it has always been, a relaxing, family oriented shore town, and I expect strong attendance this summer. We have experienced great support at all of our events since the storm and I feel that will continue and is a testament to the Ocean Grove businesses. The Ocean Grove downtown shopping district is very unique, as we all know, but sometimes we don’t realize that is the only town along the shore that has 100% occupancy AND is open year round.
As the President of the Chamber of Commerce, I am constantly working on marketing Ocean Grove and celebrating all the successes of our businesses and ensuring we all have the same goal, to provide a positive experience to everyone that visits us and invite them back again and again.
Good luck to all of us this summer and thank you to all those that helped to make it possible.
1. VFW MEMORIAL DAY PARADE: MONDAY MAY 27. BEGINS ABOUT 11:15 IN OCEAN GROVE
1. 17th AnnualAntiques and collectibles auction on Saturday, May 25. Presented by the HSOG at the Youth Temple. Preview 9 am; auction 11 am . Questions: 732 774 1869. see the flyer on Blogfinger above.
2. Giant Flea Market on Saturday, June 1, from 9 am to 4 pm. At the Ocean Pathway. This amazing event is sponsored by the OG Chamber of Commerce and has been occurring for the last thirty years..
3. Saturday, May 25 (Memorial Day Weekend): Beach opens weekends through June 9.
4. Atlantic Wind Ensembleconcert in Great Auditorium. Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m. (free)
5. Saturday, May 25. Plant sale 9 a.m. -1 p.m. GA Pavilion
6. Because of Sandy, this will be a horrible summer for mosquitos. Deal with standing water around your house. It only takes a week for newborn bugs to fly and bite.
7. Ocean City Patch offers a comprehensive Jersey Shore guide to beaches. Their posting includes Ocean Grove:
Police assemble near the Auditorium Pavilion. All photos by Paul Goldfinger. Click left to enlarge.
Every year, this remarkable event occurs in Ocean Grove in the Great Auditorium. Police vehicles from all over the state begin to stream onto Main Avenue at about 10:00 am for the 11:00 service. Police arrive wearing full dress uniforms. There are color guards all over and many bagpipers. The pageantry and the rituals are extraordinary, with officers barking commands that echo all over the building. The pipers march in and surround the periphery of the Auditorium.
An almost roaring sound made by about 100 bagpipers ringing the Auditorium.
On stage are quite a few officials from a wide variety of law enforcement organizations, both local, state, and federal. The event honors two men who were killed in the line of duty this past year: Patrolman Christopher (“Superman”) W. Reeves of the Millville PD whose “end of watch” date is July 8. 2012 and Detective Sergeant James G. Hoopes, III of the New Jersey State Police whose “end of watch” date is September 12, 2012. The families of these two officers are present, and Gov. Chris Christie presents them with Memorial Commendations. The event also honors the nearly 500 men and women who died in the line of duty ever since the count was begun. It is sobering to see how many there were from the NY/NJ Port Authority Police who were killed on 9-11.
Empty seats honor each deceased NJ officer.
A number of speeches are made including that of Gov.Christie who tells about the death of a policeman who was a close family friend. There are two large choirs from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, North and South. Their rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic is very special. Several police officers also sing at the event, and they are excellent as well.
Officer Jerrell Lathan, Atlantic City Police Dept. with a moving rendition of “Gone Too Soon” This is the end of this beautiful song.
The US Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Hon. Paul Fishman, gives a particularly stirring speech during which he mentions the “spectacular” venue—The Great Auditorium. Also present are members of the Neptune Township Committee, Chief Robert Adams of the NTPD, and officials of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.
Gov. Chris Christie is the keynote speaker.
At the end, the bagpipers leave the GA single file, playing as they go. Outside, in the bright sunshine, are two officers on horseback.
This is the end of a moving and very unique tribute to two deceased officers, but also to the men and women who protect us and put their lives on the line every day.