Home Authors Posts by tkelly
When local Congressman Jeff Van Drew met with President Donald Trump in December, the president vowed to come to Cape May County to stump for the freshman congressman’s 2020 re-election bid. Last week Trump made good on his promise to support Van Drew, who had unexpectedly switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican a few days earlier. The president’s re-election committee announced Trump would host a rally in Wildwood later this month. No one is happier about this development than Ocean City’s Fourth Ward Councilman Bob Barr, who met with Trump after Van Drew’s visit, and who considers the congressman to be a mentor and one of his closest friends.
If you forecast it, they will come. Beginning on Wednesday, broadcasters and websites have been calling for warmer-than-normal temperatures in Ocean City this weekend. Not a little bit warmer, but 30 degrees warmer. That was pretty much all visitors and locals needed to hear. It didn’t matter that temperatures never quite reached 60 as predicted and that gusty winds made it feel cooler than that.
Greg Browne was a hero. As such, he received an appropriate funeral mass Thursday in his adopted hometown of Philadelphia. Browne passed away in the evening hours of New Year’s Day following a heroic 18-month battle with cancer. He was 53. Browne saved lives as an Ocean City lifeguard and as a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic. On Thursday, his own life was celebrated by family, friends, professional colleagues and a large group of brothers from the Philadelphia Fire Department. Approximately 250 people turned out for the services at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, with more than 100 of them representing the firefighters, paramedics and police.
They came. They saw. They plunged into a new year and decade. Ocean City’s First Day at the Beach event was just about perfect, organizers and participants agreed. With a huge crowd of onlookers, more than 500 brave souls who decided to usher in 2020 with an, ahem, invigorating dip in the Atlantic, and almost perfect conditions, what was not to like?
Ocean City Councilman Keith Hartzell, a longtime volunteer and benefactor to Wednesday’s Community Christmas Dinner in Ocean City, took a moment to consider the event organizers, Mike and Peaches Lukens. The couple conceived the event in 1989, organized it and executed it every year since. “They are the heart and soul of what it means to call Ocean City ‘America’s Greatest Family Resort,’” Hartzell said. “We’re a beach resort in the summer. In the other nine months, we’re a Norman Rockwell painting. We’re Mayberry. We’re small town America coming together as a community. Nothing says it better than this event.” Peaches and Mike, who started the event by serving approximately 150 people at the old Ocean City Youth Center, have seen their idea grow into one of the town’s most beloved events. However, this year is expected to be their last.
Bill Moreland, longtime Ocean City winter and spring track coach and cross country coach, announced this week that the 39th edition of the Alumni Cross Country Run will take place 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve at Ocean City High School’s Carey Stadium track. Since 1979, Moreland was involved in the Red Raiders’ running programs’ fabulous string of success, including numerous Cape Atlantic, South Jersey and state and Meet of Champions team and individual titles. He retired from teaching in 2008 and from coaching in 2015 after 36 years in various boys and girls head coaching and assistant coaching roles at O.C. Though officially retired, Moreland is still very involved in the program, talking to the current coaches and runners on a regular basis. The Alumni Run still occupies a special place in his heart.
It’s not every day that an Ocean City councilman has a private White House audience with the president and vice president of the United States. In fact, it’s probably safe to assume such an event never occurred previously. But that’s exactly what happened to Councilman Bob Barr on Thursday. Barr said he was “humbled and honored” to be invited by his friend, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, to attend an Oval Office ceremony and press availability to officially announce Van Drew had become the first U.S. representative in 10 years to switch political parties. Barr, the councilman representing Ocean City’s Fourth Ward, wanted to support Van Drew and he hoped to meet President Donald Trump. What actually took place exceeded his wildest expectations.
Peaches and Mike Lukens are preparing to organize their 30th community Christmas dinner in Ocean City. The local tradition, free to the public, annually attracts hundreds of people to St. Peter's United Methodist Church. However, this could be the last year for the event. Peaches and Mike are stepping down as the organizers after this Christmas. The hope is that a local business or benefactor will sponsor the dinner in the future.
Imagine a free dinner for you and nine friends and/or family members at Mike’s Seafood & Dock Restaurant in Sea Isle City. One lucky friend on Mike Seafood’s Facebook page won’t have to imagine it: The winner of a new promotion for the landmark seafood store and restaurant at 4222 Park Road in historic Fish Alley will live the dream. “It’s a pretty nice prize,” said restaurant owner Mike Monichetti. “The winner could use it to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or other special occasion. Or they could just hang with their friends for a great evening out. Whatever the winner decides, we’re going to make it a special event.” Entering the contest is easy and fun. For a chance to win, simply go to the Mike’s Seafood Facebook page, like it, comment on the post about what it is you love about Mike’s, share it with your favorite friends and you’re in the game.
In an age of cyber-deals, easy online shopping and other benefits, carrying packages and waiting in line at the post office might seem old-fashioned. That’s exactly what customers seem to like about going to the Ocean City Post Office at Ninth Street and Ocean Avenue. “I love that post office," said Johanna Hoch, a resident at Gardens Plaza Condominium at Park Place and the Boardwalk. The local post office has other fans, too, especially during the holiday season when mailing their cards, packages and gift baskets.