Neptune Mayor Eric Houghtaling and the Neptune Township Municipal Committee have announced that Riverside Park along South Riverside Drive in Shark River Hills has been renamed Volunteer Park in honor not only of the volunteers that helped the residents of Shark River Hills after Hurricane Sandy, but all of the volunteers in Neptune year round.
Partnering in the effort is the Shark River Hills Property Owner’s Association.
On the weekend before the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a renaming ceremony will be held at the park, opposite the Municipal Marina. Further information will soon be provided, but at that ceremony, the Property Owner’s Association will donate two permanent memorials to the park.
One will serve as a thank you to the volunteers, as well as a reminder of resident’s commitment to rebuild and return. The second plaque will memorialize the date of the storm. Contests are being held among Neptune Middle and High School students, as well as residents to supply the commentary for both of the memorials. The Shark River Hills Property Owners will judge the submissions at their September meeting.
Volunteers from across Neptune, as well as from out of state will be invited to attend so that Neptune can properly thank them.
Spokesperson for the Property Owner’s name change effort and memorial fund raising drive, Jim Granelli commented “that the kind of volunteerism in Shark River Hills in the weeks after the storm epitomizes the very definition of volunteerism, be it the volunteers who came from Pennsylvania day after day for weeks; driving back and forth, a woman who ran a community kitchen at the corner of Fairview and Valley; or day to day volunteers like those at the Senior Center and elsewhere in town who help out all year long in so many ways. There are just too many to list who helped out.”
A fund-raising drive is currently being held across Neptune to cover the cost of about $3500 for new signage and the memorials. Even modest donations of $5-10 will go a long way to funding this effort.
To volunteer to help collect donations, obtain more information or make a donation; please contact the Shark River Hills Property Owner’s Association by email, Srhpoa1@optonline.net; or call Jim Granelli at 732-775-4822.