Each year since Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio first took office in 1993, he has hosted an annual toy and food drive at Christmastime for families in need. This year’s drive brought aid to 18 local households, each receiving food for their kitchen pantries and toys for their Christmas trees.
To make the holiday season brighter for these families, the Mayor and his “elves” at City Hall relied on the generosity of others during the five weeks of the drive. With several convenient drop-off locations around town, including 1st Bank of Sea Isle City, Rick’s Breakfast House, KIX Package Goods, Mrs. Brizzle’s Buns and City Hall, a wide variety of donated toys and non-perishable food items began piling-up as soon as the drive began in November.
By the time the event culminated several days before Christmas, a mountain of Barbie dolls and countless canned goods were collected, wrapped and organized inside the mayor’s office. Next, all that was needed was a team of reindeer hitched to a sleigh to deliver the gifts – or at least a caravan of vehicles driven by good Samaritans. As it turned out, the latter was easier to arrange.
As pick-up trucks and SUV’s were being loaded outside City Hall on December 22nd, there was plenty of holiday cheer filling the air – all thanks to the kindness shown by the many people who contributed to this year’s drive. According to Pattiann Ponichtera of the mayor’s office, organizer the event, the residents of Sea Isle City never fail to rise to the occasion when others are in need.