I am happy to report that this year’s Mayor’s Holiday Toy & Food Drive was a tremendous success, once again proving what generous people we have in Sea Isle City.  Earlier today, the items collected during the drive were delivered to 18 local families in need (including 39 children overall). The facial expressions we saw as we delivered boxes filled with food and toys is a clear reminder what the Christmas season is really all about.

My thanks go to everyone who contributed to our 2016 Toy & Food Drive, including AARP Chapter 710, Acme Markets, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Bellucci, Casa Payroll Services, the Commodore Club, the Sea Isle City Garden Club, Sea Isle Realty, Tax Collectors & Treasurers Association of Cape May County, the veterans of VFW Post 1963, and the many individuals who donated toys and food to this worthy cause.   Special thanks go to Sis Borden and Marianne Owings for volunteering to wrap many of the gifts.

I am also very thankful that the Cape May County Police Chiefs Association hosted a Holiday Dash Run / Walk on December 9, which benefitted this year’s Toy & Food Drive.  The donations made by our County’s law enforcement officials helped ensure that everyone will have a nice Christmas.  And, since this year’s inaugural Run / Walk was such a success, the Police Chiefs Association plans to host their second annual Holiday Dash on Saturday, November 25, 2017, on 63rd Street. –Please mark your calendars now!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Holiday House Lighting Contest.  I am certain the judges of that event had a difficult time choosing this year’s winners, because there were many well-decorated homes entered in the competition. First Prize (a $100 gift check from 1st Bank of Sea Isle City) went to the Laidlaw Family at 7804 Central Avenue; Second Prize (a $50 gift check from 1st Bank) went to the Fraga Family at 128 50th Street; and Third Prize (a floral arrangement from Rocky & Fred’s Florist) went to the Smith Family at 138 73rd Street. Congratulations to everyone who won – and thank you to every family who decorated their home this Christmas…Sea Isle City looks great!

As I have often said, Sea Isle is a terrific place to be no matter what time of the year – and the holiday season is certainly no exception. As is the case each December, many wonderful events have been taking place all over town – including the Recreation Office’s Santa’s Calling Program, the Historical Museum’s Christmas Open House, VFW’s annual Brunch with Santa, the Sea Isle City Fire Department’s meet-and-greet with Santa, the Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Stroll, and countless holiday gatherings in private homes and businesses all over the City. My thanks go to every person who helps make the season bright here in Sea Isle City.  I’m sure that Charles Dickens would agree that the people of our community “know how to keep Christmas well.”

I hope you can be with us on December 31, because Sea Isle City is the perfect place to ring in the New Year.  Many of our local restaurants will be open on New Year’s Eve — plus Sea Isle’s annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display will begin at 8:00 p.m. on the JFK Boulevard Beach.  Also, Jitney Service will be available on December 31 from 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.

In other news, the Cape May County Freeholders recently authorized the County Engineer to go out for bid for the design portion of a resurfacing project along Landis Avenue (a County Road) from 69th Street to the Townsend Inlet Bridge.  We will keep you informed as that project develops.

And speaking of road work, the Sea Isle Boulevard elevation project is progressing. Currently, a new 12-inch gas line is being installed along the entire length of the causeway, and, if all goes as planned, the north side of the roadway will be paved in January.  Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their patience during this important project and remind all motorists to observe the 40 mph speed limit as they safely travel along Sea Isle Boulevard.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Smile…You’re in Sea Isle!

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio