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Honoring Hometown Heroes

(L-R) Kevin Williams, Wendy Wesley Price, Hometown Heroes Secretary Jennifer Barna, Executive Director of Hometown Heroes, Michael Schwartz, President & Founder of Hometown Heroes (Jessica Gilham Cirz)

Hometown Heroes held their 4th annual gala last night at the Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant and like with the previous three events I had the pleasure to serve as Master of Ceremonies. 

Hometown Heroes program signed by honorary chairman Jim Dowd
Hometown Heroes program signed by honorary chairman Jim Dowd (Kevin Williams, Townsquare Media NJ

Former NHL standout Jim Dowd was honorary chairman of this year’s event in absentia as he had to participate in a Devils alumni game.  Dowd did send his best wishes via a video and personally signed all the copies of the program given out last night.  2013 was a record-breaking year for an organization whose goal is to help local people and programs in crisis through a variety of methods.

Of course much of the focus last year dealt with fallout from Superstorm Sandy and Hometown Heroes assisted some 2200 families with everything from money to professional assistance.

Saluted last night for their work as true heroes were sand sculptor Ed Jarrett and Alan Fumo who teamed-up on the Sandy Castle project, Lakehurst attorney Ken Palmer for his dedication to the Manchester Township Educational Foundation and other groups…John Oliver the co-creator of the Restore the Shore Tasting Event Townsquare Media hosts, Rob Hanlon of Hanlon’s K-9, Red Bank salon owner Christine Zilinski and the Robin Hood Foundation who directed some $1.4 million to Hometown Heroes for distribution to Sandy victims in our area.

Founder and President Michael Schwartz who I describe as the heart and soul of Hometown Heroes paid tribute to the honorees and thanked them for all they have done and continue to do.   I thank him for the bottle of 12-year old Glenlivit Scotch and gladly accept that as my compensation for the evening.  For more on Hometown Heroes and how you can be one visit

Ocean of Love founder Linda Gillick will be speaking next Tuesday as part of the Women’s Studies Program at Georgian Court University.  The Toms River environmental activist will speak in the school’s Arts & Sciences Center and seating is limited.  Those interested should call (732) 987-2369 today.



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