Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bridge Building

There is a Land of the living 
and a Land of the dead,
and the Bridge is Love, 
the only Survival, the only Meaning.
- Thornton Wilder

Proof of Mr. Wilder's words abounds in the Borough of Belmar.  This Friday night is the annual charity fundraiser, the Mayor's Ball, the proceeds of which typically go to the Belmar Youth Club, which provides an off-season recreational program for elementary-school children (Grades Three through Eight) in Belmar and Lake Como. Elementary-school children such as Mitzi Hernandez, the thirteen-year-old who tragically drowned on Thursday night, and her twelve-year-old cousin, Emily Gonzalez-Perez who remained on life support at Jersey Shore Medical Center throughout the weekend following Thursday night's incident before succumbing to her injuries on Monday morning

This year, in addition to serving its intended purpose, Belmar's Mayor Matt Doherty has announced that the Mayor's Fund shall provide $20,000 from the proceeds from the Mayor's Ball directly to the the families of these two little angels. Families whose financial circumstances are such that the economic havoc this horror has visited upon them is something they simply cannot bear.  And it is something, thanks to the generosity of those in their community, they shall likely not have to bear.  

Belmar's Business Administrator, Colleen Connolly has also established a fundraising page "Belmar Angels" for the families.  If you are interested and also are able to help, then the link to the GoFundMe page may be found here

The Missus and I are simply part-time residents in our little Paradise by the Sea but it is an area with which I fell in love immediately upon our arrival.  We spend as many weekends as we can there in the "off-season", which I love even more than I love our summers at the Shore.  There is a real small-town vibe that permeates Lake Como and Belmar, which might be hard for the unfamiliar eye to detect when our little metroplex is wall-to-wall people between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  There is a real sense of community, which has - in the aftermath of every parent's most feared nightmare - once again come to the fore. 

That same small town in each of us?  It is one hell of a good feeling...

...even when it is being called upon under the worst possible circumstances. 


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