It’s been a busy couple of weeks since our most recent E-Newsletter. In addition to countless people making the most of the final days of summer, during the past two weeks we also enjoyed a sizable amount of good publicity and other notable events that are definitely worth mentioning. For example, on August 18 members of the Crescenz family stopped by City Hall to view the miniature stature (aka: “Modello”) of their brother, Michael, that’s now on display on the third floor, where many people will see it on their way to Court, City Council meetings and other civic gatherings. Michael, a corporal in the U.S. Army who was killed in action while heroically battling heavily-entrenched forces from the North Vietnamese Army, was the only Philadelphian who received the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
In addition to their home in Pennsylvania, the Crescenz family also spent many happy summers here in Sea Isle City. And, because they received a great amount of support from the people of our community during a fundraising effort that raised money for a large statue of Michael at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Penn’s Landing, the Crescenz family and the fund raising committee graciously gave Sea Isle the modello as a way to say “thank you.” On August 18, some of Michael’s relatives were here to view the placement of the modello for the first time. Fortunately, they were very pleased with the location we chose for Michael’s likeness, which made us all very happy here at City Hall. My thanks go to Joe and Valerie Crescenz for taking the time to visit with us – and for the tremendous sacrifice their family made for our nation. Our thanks also go to Bill Crean, of the Michael Crescenz Statue Fundraising Committee, for his ongoing dedication and hard work. Plus, special thanks go to Veterans Advocate Joe Griffies, who helped raise awareness for the fundraising effort. Joe also worked tirelessly to ensure that the Philadelphia VA Medical Center was renamed the “Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center” in 2015. Well done, Joe!
In other news, last week the Canadian travel network “Évasion” was in Sea Isle City while gathering film footage about Cape May County, which will be aired in Quebec in 2018. The host of the TV show that will air the footage, Evelyne Audet, was a delight to speak with – and she seemed very impressed with our town. It was a pleasure to meet Evelyn and all of the film crew members, and my thanks go to everyone at Évasion for including Sea Isle City in their travels. Also, thanks go to the ladies from the County Tourism Office, who helped put our community in the spotlight by working closely with our “Neighbors to the North.”
A very solemn event took place on Saturday, August 26, when our Police Department hosted a gathering at 26th Street and Landis Avenue in honor of Officer Michael “Mickey” Cullinane, Sr., a devoted member of the SICPD who died in the line of duty in 1992 while rescuing a construction worker from a deep pit that had filled with toxic gas. Mickey was a highly decorated officer, who left behind a wife, a 5-year old son, siblings, parents and many other loved-ones when his “end of watch” occurred twenty-five years ago. The tragic death of Officer Cullinane was a great shock to us all – especially when we realize that something like this doesn’t just happen in distant communities such as New York, Miami or Los Angeles. Instead, it happened right here in Sea Isle City – much to our great sadness. Losing an officer in the line of duty is a reminder of just how difficult their jobs are, and that is something we should never forget. Mickey is still missed by many people to this day, and he will always be remembered fondly here in Sea Isle City. With that in mind, I hope that all of our residents and visitors will take a moment out of their busy schedules to stop by Officer’s Cullinane’s memorial at 26th Street, which was erected by Eagle Scout Ben Jargowsky in 2015.
Now that Labor Day is almost here and the 2017 summer season is quickly coming to an end, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this year a tremendous success – from our City employees, who worked hard throughout the season to ensure that our town was clean, safe and filled with a variety of entertainment and recreation opportunities; to our local merchants who put their best foot forward and made all of our visitors feel at home; to the many travelers, summer homeowners and “weekend warriors” who graced us with their presence and fine company…thank you all!
Even though Labor Day is almost here, please remember that we have many great events planned throughout the autumn months – so don’t think that the fun is over here in Sea Isle. In the weeks ahead, be sure to join us for our “Heart” tribute concert on September 2; a free “Pose For Peace” yoga class on September 4; the Sea Isle City Food Truck Festival September 8 – 10; the Baby Boomer Rock-n-Roll Revival with Jerry Blavat on September 16; and Sea Isle’s 2017 Fall Family Festival on September 16 & 17. For a complete list of upcoming events, please go to www.VISITSICNJ.com – or stop by the Welcome Center and speak with an employee from our City’s Tourism Office.
One of the projects I will be working on this winter is the creation of a Dog Park in Sea Isle City. We are currently looking for an appropriate location – not on the beach, but rather on “terra firma” where we can create a space that will be just for dogs and their owners. We will keep the public aware as this project develops; but in the meantime, I respectfully remind all dog owners to keep their pets on a leash and to always “curb” your dogs, which means dogs should only be permitted to “do their business” on the curb side of the sidewalk (not on people’s front yards or in local parks where children frolic).
If you plan to be in Sea Isle City on the morning of Monday, September 11, please join us at Veterans Park for our annual Patriot Day Ceremony as we honor the many lives lost during the 9-11 terrorist attacks. We hope to see you there!
This week’s “Shot-Out” goes to all of you, our Newsletter subscribers. Thank you for caring enough to stay informed about what happens in Sea Isle City – and for taking the time to read this publication every two weeks. To date, we have over 7700 people on our Newsletter mailing list, and that number keeps growing – so please keep reading!
Smile…You’re in Sea Isle!
Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio