OCEAN: The Ocean Township Mayor’s Charity Ball committee bought a wonderful and colorful party to the town on Saturday evening, the annual gala to benefit The Community Hope Fund.
The ballroom of The Renaissance took on the air of the Parisian Cabaret Moulin Rouge, with music, bright table centerpieces of huge red and black feathers, top hats and wall decorations.
The décor set the tone for a celebration and honoring of three community members, Dr. Richard Ponton, the Stavola Realty Company and Public Employee of the Year, William McMahon.
Dr. Ponton, Director of Ocean’s Human Services, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service, and many contributions, including Project Extend, and later the Employee Assistance Program in the School, District. He created Community Day, park improvements programs, Meals on Wheels, and T.O.G.S. (Township of Ocean Growing Staring) for youngsters and the Community Hope Fund.
Mayor Bill Larkin, program emcee, reminded all that Ponton was a big contributor to the Colonial Terrace Golf Course success. “You always have time for nine”, is the slogan.
Mr. Gary Vialonga, President Stavola Realty accepted the Community Service Award on behalf of the company, thanking all the employees who have made the company and its contributions to all the towns it serves. Mayor Larkin noted the spirit of community and giving that Stavola Realty has demonstrated in its years serving the area.
William McMahon, Jr., a lifelong Ocean resident from Wanamassa the Ocean school system and longtime supporter of the town received the Public Employee of the Year award for his dedication as an employee and also as a volunteer in youth activities – soccer, baseball and recreation programs.
The Community Hope Fund promotes youth development and supports the charitable needs of the township and surrounding communities. It provides help for neighbors struggling financially due to temporary setbacks, organizes food and clothing drives.
The Esteem Reel Time Band served up the music, and the dance floor had lots of activity.
The ball committee was made up of Co-Chairs Christine Hanlon and Priya Mattson and supported by Mayor Larkin, Marie Curtis, Sharon Dente, Carin Greenspan, Linda Kotch, Selina Mishkin, Diane Novobilsky, Denise Parlamas, Jennifer Palumbo, Margo Simpson and Sylvia Sylvia.
Silent and chance auctions, plus a 5-0-50 filled out the closing moments.