Volunteers Breathe New Life Into Berkeley Shores

Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)
Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

  BERKELEY – A number of residents who live in the Berkeley Shores Homeowners and Civic Association have stepped up to help the organization, after leaders warned it might dissolve without more assistance.

  The association held a meeting on a recent Saturday morning at the Berkeley Recreation Department building. Current president Keith Ruscitti had earlier said that the longtime group might have to end without more help, especially for executive board members.

  But the news was good. The meeting was “very successful” and well-attended by many new members, according to the group’s website.

  “The meeting also brought us a substantial list of volunteers to assist directors with board activities and events,” the post states.

  Six candidates offered their names to be placed in nomination for the annual meeting in June. They include resident John Sowakinas, who agreed to be nominated for the position of president, to replace current president Ruscitti.

  The association still needs someone to step up for the first vice president position, hopefully before the June meeting, to assure continuity between Ruscitti and the president-elect.

Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)
Photo by Patricia A. Miller

  “…as a result of these positive responses from our membership, the board is in very stable condition, encouraged and financially secure, ready for the June annual meeting,” the group’s website states.

  Ruscitti plans to step down from the president’s position, but will still remain on the executive board, he has said.

  Anyone who was unable to make last week’s meeting can still volunteer or send in suggestions to info@berkeleyshores.org.

  The meeting opened with a presentation of the association’s history and highlighted to group’s accomplishments, primarily for newer residents who might not know all the association does. The group began in 1985.

  “For the long-standing members, a synopsis of prior board management styles that relied heavily on the president, suggesting organization changes in how the day-by-day operations are managed to be discussed at future board meetings,” the website states. “Much more will be written in future newsletters on this subject in the future and especially changes of our board organization structure and assigning of responsibilities.”

  Some of the current executive board members are getting older, have family issues and no longer have as much time to devote to the group, Ruscitti has said.

  The organization was born as an active civic group, dedicated to the quality of life in the waterfront community. Homes in the group include those near the elementary school on Veeder Lane in Bayville and run all the way through to Allen Road on the bayside. One annual membership costs $30.

  The Berkeley Township Homeowners and Civic Association puts on the free annual Memorial Day picnic at Amherst Beach and the annual Blessing of the Fleet. The group also puts on neighborhood garage sales, a golf tournament at the Cedar Creek Golf Course, a November food drive and offers scholarships for Central Regional High School students.

  “We are community-minded, not politically motivated,” the website states. “We face our problems and come up with solutions.”

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Patricia A. Miller began her career in 1984 as a reporter at the Asbury Park Press. She covered a variety of towns in Ocean County and wrote an award-winning column, "Ocean Diary," each week. She later spent seven years at Greater Media Newspapers and served as managing editor of the Edison/Metuchen Sentinel, the Woodbridge Sentinel and the Brick Township Bulletin during that time. Pat spent the last 8 years as a local Patch editor. Pat has won a number of awards during her time as a journalist, including the New Jersey Press Association, the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists and the North Jersey Press Club.