MANASQUAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Manasquan was one of the Monmouth County communities hardest hit by Hurrricane Sandy, but an event coming up hopes to help the borough out.
“We’re struggling, but we’re making progress now. In the beginning, it was so sad,” Mayor George Dempsey told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “We had 60 percent of the town was under water. We had 1,800 homes out of 3,700 homes.”
Now the sand has been sifted and the boardwalk is being rebuilt.
Homeowners, including the mayor are picking up the pieces.
“There’s been a battle to get money for these people. There’s just so much red tape,” he said. “I had over $100,000 of repair work. I’m only about two thirds of it. It’s very frustrating.”
Where insurance falls short, it’s hoped generosity will make up the difference.
“We need a lot of help. This Miracle on Main Street hopefully is going to generate a lot of money to help these folks,” he said.
Miracle on Main Street is a March 30 event that is the brainchild of local D.J. Joe Davidson. A similar event in Belmar raised over $100,000.
“Thanks to CBS 880. You guys did a story on it. People were coming from, actually, out of state. People came from as far away as D.C.,” he said.
The event in Manasquan will last from noon to 8 p.m. and a $20 badge will get you two drinks and a free buffet at participating bars. There is free food, games, and giveaways for the kids too.
“They didn’t have a Halloween. Christmas and Chanukah season was disrupted. Now we have the Easter holiday. So, we’re going to have it Saturday of that weekend and from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock, we’re going to put on a little show for them,” he said.
Davidson says there are lot of great great organizations in Manasquan, including Squan Strong, Vic in Crisis (vic being short for victory), and the church programs.
“What I like to do with this money is give it right back to those organizations,” he said.
“They have crews to go in and do tearing out of the mold and the different things. They put clothes on their backs and they’re emotionally and morally for the people that are down and out,” said William Sepe, President of the Manasquan Chamber of Commerce.
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“Manasquan is definitely open for business. We are here. We’re very glad that Joe came into town and brought his event here. We’re looking for as many people as we can to come on down,” said Councilman Joe Bossone, who owns the Squan Tavern.
“The big thing is to get our beach open so we can get our tourist business back,” said Sepe.
Davidson hopes this event will jumpstart that.
“This was my beach growing up. My heart’s in Manasquan. My heart’s in Belmar. Jersey Shore is my home,” he said.