By MADDY VITALE
Sea Isle’s Beautification Awards are in and like the 32 years of the ceremony before, each home or business was selected for standing out as a place that showcased pride.
Whether the home or business owner renovated, maintained, or just simply spruced up their places, judges who drove through town from the Environmental Commission, the Garden Club, and other organizations, found a select eight topped a list of entries.
Residents and visitors were able to nominate a property through Sept. 9, that they felt should be considered for an award. Property owners could also select their own homes or businesses for consideration.
“We had 28 entries and it was a good showing of people who came out for the ceremony,” explained Dudley McGinty, one of the longtime residents and judges of the awards. “It is amazing. You would think that they won a million dollars. That is why we keep doing it. People are recognized for their hard work.”
McGinty said that among the prizes were a plaque by a local artist that can be displayed outside of the winners’ homes or businesses. They also received a gift card to a local nursery for $30.
The awards ceremony was emceed by former mayor Mike McHale. The winners were as follows: Braca’s Café at JFK Boulevard, Shore Title at 4210 Landis Ave., Walter and Veronica Quaile at 138 52nd Street, Dave and Dee Farina at 221 55th Street, Jill and John Renninger at 10 57th Street, the Shankweiler family, 4711 Central Ave., Richard and Diane Grubb at 17 71st Street and the Schok family at 10 90th Street.
McGinty noted that this year there were many different reasons for the selections. Some families won because their older homes were consistently maintained through the years. Others won because they were doing a lot of upgrades or renovations and others won for beautifying their homes with gardens and a splash of pain and a new roof.
Marci Shankweiler said she and her husband, Mark, were thrilled that the place they have called home since 2006 with children, Maura, 17, and 15-year-old daughter, Rose, was chosen for the honor this year. They pride themselves on their garden, filled with flowers and herbs that the couple shares with neighbors.
“Dudley called to say we were one of the winners,” Shankweiler explained. “We were so happy. I am looking forward to using my gift certificate. My husband and I are out in the garden and do all of the work ourselves so we will really like it to buy more flowers and herbs.”
Their home, built in 1992 by the Devers, needed some sprucing up, Shankweiler said. So, the family, along with a friend and neighbor, Ed Griffin who has a business in that industry, decided to do the work themselves.
“This year we revamped the whole exterior of the home. Our neighbor did a lot of the work. It has new siding, windows, roof, trim and we added a lot of stonework,” Shankweiler said.
She and her husband, friends of the builders and former homeowners – the Devers- said they wanted to display the same love toward the house that they did.
“There was so much tender love and care in it by the Devers. It is so nice to be able to put something into it too,” Shankweiler added.
But above all, she explained what makes a home – and it has nothing to do with its appearance.
“What really makes a home is family. That is what makes it so special,” she noted. “My grandmother lived on 47th Street. To me, it is a building, but when you fill it with family it is home.”