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Joel Feldman has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people over the last decade about the dangers of distracted driving. One of his most recent talks was different from all the rest. Feldman and wife Dianne lost their daughter Casey in July of 2009 when she was struck by a distracted driver in a crosswalk in Ocean City as Casey walked to her summer job. He told the audience that returning to Ocean City was still too painful for his wife, and that it was difficult for him as well when he was driving into town on the 9th Street Causeway.
When a business has continuously operated in Ocean City for 73 years and at the same location for the last 51, it’s not a stretch to call that business an institution. In the case of Wiesenthal’s Auto Repair, which closed its doors for the last time on Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t just the end of a local landmark. It was the close of another chapter in Ocean City history.
Champions of inclusion are rare. A 12-year-old champion of inclusion? Let’s just say the only one we know is pretty special. Zoe Herishen might not be a teenager yet, but that hasn’t stopped her from working to advance the acceptance of girls in the male-dominated sport of skateboarding. In fact, Zoe, a sixth-grade student who skates regularly at the Ocean City Skatepark, is a veteran advocate. The park will play host to Zoe’s “Chica de Mayo” free skating event for girls on Sunday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Donna Govan was ready. The Ocean City resident got up early Saturday morning and walked from her home a few blocks away from the Music Pier for a chance to meet Philadelphia Eagles’ all-purpose back Darren Sproles. Govan was rewarded with the first spot in line to interact with Sproles, one of the headline attractions at the second annual Sports Memorabilia Show.
Twin brothers Hunter and Trevor Paone, who play soccer, were part of Ocean City High School’s annual Spring Signing and Commitment Day ceremony on Tuesday. In all, 18 student-athletes were recognized, including the Paones, who are headed to East Stroudsburg University to continue playing soccer. Athletic Director Vince Leavey said 12 OCHS athletes announced their college plans last November at the early signing date and at least three more will be announcing later this spring. That brings the anticipated total to 33 student-athletes who will play at the next level.
There were many highlights of Jen Polcini’s and Melissa Flink’s participation in a 48-hour, 250-plus mile relay run to raise Down Syndrome awareness: running through the streets of the nation’s capital, bounding the famous Art Museum steps in Philadelphia and appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, just to name a few. The biggest highlight may have been the advancement of an idea. “Everyone has value and their own special gifts,” Polcini said, “and we all need to recognize that each person belongs in the big picture and makes a contribution. No one should be excluded.” Polcini and Flink, both of Ocean City, are the mothers of Michael, 7 and Judah, 10, respectively, who have Down Syndrome. The women were members of a 21-person team that ran continuously as part of the National Down Syndrome Society’s “Run for 3.21” relay.
Sure signs of spring: beach tag sales are picking up, second homeowners are getting their places opened up and cleaned for the season, and the latest Book Sale of the Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library is about to take place. “They are a fantastic organization, and they really do a great job,” Library Director Karen Mahar said of the Friends and Volunteers. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group helping to support what we do.” The annual spring book sale takes place Friday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In 1968, the Wiesenthal brothers, Don and Glenn, were beginning their more than a half century of auto repair and gasoline sales at 860 West Avenue – the highly visible corner of Ninth Street and West Avenue in Ocean City. Although the brothers had hoped to continue to stay in business, their attempts to buy the building were unsuccessful, and they lost their lease. The building, at a site occupied by a gasoline station since 1935, Don Wiesenthal said, is slated for demolition. The location will soon be the site of a bank and a parking lot.
Let there be lights! A special event at the Ocean City Skatepark will make the fondest wish of many skaters come true – at least for one night. The park, at 550 Asbury Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets next door to Ocean City Fire Department Headquarters, will host a special Night Skate event on Saturday, March 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 per person.
Ocean City residents and visitors enjoyed breezy, sun-splashed weather Saturday, and many kicked off their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a day early. Marie Sacks-Wilner has no Irish blood. But that didn’t stop the Somers Point resident from playing Irish music on her flute on the Boardwalk.