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The Ocean City Police Department and PBA Local 61 have joined forces to help out businesses in the community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Local 61, the police union, will donate $200 every weekday for the next two weeks to a local restaurant to cover $200 worth of takeout/delivery orders that day. It began Monday. The PBA and OCPD will randomly pick an Ocean City restaurant each day and work with the owners in selecting customers for free meals courtesy of Local 61.
TJ Heist, owner of the boat and jet ski club Jet Drive Exchange in Ocean City, has not only expanded his fleet for the 2020 summer season, he has added a location in Sea Isle City. The concept of the club is to give water enthusiasts the benefits and enjoyment that go along with boat and jet ski ownership, minus the hassles. With the membership comes the rewards. Boaters and jet skiers need not worry about maintenance, fueling up, cleaning, a slip fee or winterizing, Heist said. The boat, or jet ski, is fueled up and ready to go. All a member has to do is reserve a time slot. The boat clubs in Ocean City and Sea Isle are reciprocal, so members essentially get two memberships in one.
When Gov. Phil Murphy closed nonessential businesses last week in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, life as we know it stopped. On Wednesday, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian announced that the beaches and Boardwalk would be closed to the public until further notice due to COVID-19. Social distancing, washing your hands, and avoiding gathering are the current norm in this abnormal situation. So, what becomes of the business community in “America’s Greatest Family Resort?” Well, it means changing the way to do business – and it is a hope for the community that by the start of the summer season in May that COVID-19 will be under control and the beaches and Boardwalk will be the perfect escapes from a scary time in history. Bill McGinnity, president of the Ocean City Restaurant Association, which represents 15 eateries, said that many of the restaurants are offering curbside pickup and delivery...
The beach and Boardwalk are Ocean City's top attractions. They are natural locations for social gathering -- and that will only get worse as the weather gets warmer. They also draw many people into Ocean City -- from the towns just across the bridge all the way out into the surrounding states. Two of the most urgent mandates to slow the exponential spread of COVID-19 are to eliminate social gathering and to limit movement from place to place. To leave the beaches and Boardwalk open would ignore both those mandates. I understand that nobody is happy about not having access to these outdoor areas. But these are not normal times..
The Cape May County Zoo is normally open 364 days a year, closing only for Christmas. So, it was tough on the Zoo staff when they had to close to the public in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The team there routinely welcomes schools and families from throughout the region to come learn about the animals and explore the many exhibits. But as schools have shifted online, so have the staffers at the Cape May County Zoo. The Virtual Zoo School is an initiative undertaken by the Zoo’s Education Department. Each day a lesson on a species of animal at the Zoo gets posted online.
In the beginning of a pandemic it becomes a reality that the many things that one takes for granted are on hold -- no more gatherings or parties or events -- and for some it can leave a feeling of isolation and loneliness. But Kathi Dwyer, media liaison for Ocean City’s AARP Chapter 1062, and Michele Musto, volunteer coordinator for United Methodist Communities at The Shores in Ocean City, the seniors just had to get a bit inventive and creative in ways to continue socializing – albeit at least six feet from their friend. Both Dwyer and Musto said their senior populations are tech savvy using various social media platforms to safely keep engaged. However, getting outside and being active are other highly recommended ways to stay healthy both emotionally and physically, they noted.
Ocean City beauty queens can’t fulfill their duties in the traditional way by attending and participating in fun events through April. So instead, they are reaching out to serve the community in the ways they can, explained Michael Hartman, the city’s special events coordinator. “As O.C. queens, they act as ambassadors of Ocean City,” he noted. This past week, Miss Ocean City Mary Grace Jamison, Junior Miss Natalie Argento and Little Miss Antonella DiAntonio took to the old form of communicating – letter writing. The girls have been busy over the last few days creating handmade and personalized cards for 200 residents at the full-service senior facility United Methodist Communities at The Shores, located at 2201 Bay Ave.
The Ocean City Board of Education introduced a school budget for the 2020-21 school year that keeps school taxes stable. The total budget is $41,555,147, down from $41.6 million last year. The bulk of the funding for the spending plan will come from $23.8 million in local tax revenue, School Business Administrator Timothy Kelley explained Monday. Kelley presented the proposed budget during the March 18 Board of Education meeting. He called it a solid budget.
Ocean City American Legion Post 524 Commander Bob Marzulli said he became emotional when he learned of a military family of five, in which two of the children needed liver transplants. Air Force Tech Sgt. Josef Ward and his wife, Nicole, of Fort Dix, N.J., formerly of Coral Springs, Fla., have three children, Josiah, 6, Jude, 4, and 1-year-old daughter, Lucie. Jude started having seizures at just four weeks of age, according to a press release provided by the America Legion. It was determined that the child suffered from Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, an inherited genetic disorder that leads to cirrhosis of the liver. Now, Lucie needs a liver transplant.
Ocean City Theatre Company is in the creativity business. The last couple of weeks have put that to the test amid the coronavirus outbreak. So, what did Michael Hartman, founder of the theatre company and also Ocean City special events coordinator, decide to do -- along with the help of very willing participants? He took to Instagram to create avenues for young people to still enjoy local theater and, in another project, have the Ocean City crown holders read to children and their families during royalty story time, he explained in an interview Friday.