Making Angels For A Good Cause

More than 1,600 people came out to Seaside Park to break the record for the most sand angels made. (Photo by William Clanton)

SEASIDE PARK – Thousands of people came out to the beach in Seaside Park to break the Guinness Book of World Records entry for the largest amount of sand angels made at one time.

Blue skies, warm air and a gentle breeze greeted the 1,609 attendees that gathered along the beach, all set out to break this record. The weather was perfect, clear and welcoming. Even a rainbow appeared overhead just before the opening ceremony.

(Photo by William Clanton)

The past Guinness record holder, just three months ago, was the city of Ludington, Mich., that successfully created 1,387 sand angels at the same time.

The main purpose of the event was to commemorate the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and help raise funds for the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group and the Salvation Army. Ocean First Bank, in conjunction with New Jersey Natural Gas, NJ101.5, WOBM, local newspapers, the Causeway Family of Dealerships and more than 1,600 New Jersey residents gathered together to make history in Seaside Park and break a world record, all while raising more than $30,000. The money raised will support people and businesses still feeling the effects of Super Storm Sandy and the most recent hurricanes.

“Still five years later, believe it or not, there are still a ton of people effected [by Super Storm Sandy],” said Alan Rosenzweig, of Masterpiece Advertising, on behalf of Ocean First. “One hundred percent of the money is going directly to the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group as well as the Salvation Army.” Rosenzweig added that the small registration fee of just $5 turned this fun event into a great fundraiser.

“As New Jersey’s leading community bank, Ocean First was proud to play a major role in helping our neighbors and local businesses get back on their feet following Super Storm Sandy in October of 2012,” said Christopher D. Maher, Chairman and CEO of Ocean First Bank. “Five years later, there are still people and businesses working to fully recover from the devastation caused by Sandy. We thought this would be a fun event and great way to pull the region together to help raise money for those affected by Superstorm Sandy and the recent hurricanes.”

OceanFirst Chairman and CEO Chris Maher and New Jersey Natural Gas Director of Customer and Community Relations Tom Hayes each present checks for $15,000 to Susan Marticek, Executive Director of Ocean County Long Term Recovery, and Major Betty Israel of the Salvation Army, the organizations that received 100 percent of the proceeds from the Sandy Angels event. (Photo courtesy of Ocean First)

“When Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey five years ago, we felt that it was really important for us to support the community as they recovered,” said Kathy Durante, executive director of the Ocean First Foundation. “The support that we have here from the community is tremendous.”

The Ocean First Foundation is a community foundation that was founded in 1996 by the bank. The foundation supports local groups and organizations, nonprofits, and schools within their foot print. Of the groups supported, they must have interests like housing, education, health and wellness and supporting a better quality of life.