I was part of a group of 40 women who gathered for a retreat at the Jersey Shore to do intentional acts of kindness. Members of the Social Media Moms traveled from as far as California to team up with my group, New Jersey Digital Moms, and Belmar, NJ was one of our stops. The purpose of this visit was to help bring back tourism to the partially devastated coastal community, and aid those who have unfortunately become displaced in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
As you know, Belmar is an hour’s drive from Princeton, and the first beach that greets you at the end of I-195. It’s one of the best spots on the east coast for surfing, plus it’s family friendly, and their beaches are cleaned every evening. Add in the cool factor that it has given rise to Bruce “the Boss” Springsteen’s E Street band, and you have all the makings of a relaxing shore town with a bit of panache.
The day of our excursion was dreary, ironically due to Tropical Storm Andrea. However, we didn’t let that affect us. There was an overall enthusiastic determination. We were based in Ceasars Atlantic City, who generously sponsored us, and carpooled up to Belmar. There we met Mayor Doherty, affectionately called Mayor Matt, and the team from D6 Sports, who sponsored that day’s trip.
D’Jais was our event’s venue. It’s a popular dance club and restaurant in Belmar, and a 70s hangout of Bruce Springsteen. We were offered a comforting lunch buffet. I really enjoyed their pasta and salad, and the warm dishes hit the spot on that chilly, rainy day. D’Jais is ranked 4th in the “Top 100 Bars Down the NJ Shore” list by Fun New Jersey, and for you sand castle fans, they host the annual New Jersey Sand Castle Contest at the 18th Avenue Beach that takes place on Wednesday, July 17th this year, so mark your calendars! D’Jais was a great place to make the presentation since they offer so much to the community.
After our meal, we presented Mayor Matt with a check for $5,000 to help displaced families, including generous support from D6 Sports. He was really appreciative of the efforts we all had made to help his town. It was very apparent that New Jersesy Digital Moms founder Elizabeth Norton was deeply touched by D6 Sports and retreat attendees coming in to help those in our home state, as her voice trembled a bit while thanking us all.
D6 Sports had chosen our event to launch their new product. It’s a D6 SurfSkimmer, which is a skimboard for 5 – 12 year olds with a detachable arm extension and handle, allowing kids to use it as a skimboard after they’ve perfected their skills. A number of instructors where on hand to give lessons to the kids, as well as surfing lessons with Hang Ten surfboards to the adults. Despite the temperature and rain, the kids donned their bathing suits, and the ladies geared up in wetsuits to take on the challenge. My daughter had a blast learning how to maneuver this new board, though like most water sports, there is a learning curve.
We were hoping to attract attention to all the fun we were having, but the weather squashed our opportunity to create a lot of buzz. Plan B is to throw a second Twitter party, and I hope you’ll join us, because you’ll have the chance to win one of five SurfSkimmers. Click the Twitter party image above in the sidebar to RSVP before the event begins. If you don’t win, I was able to score a 20% promo code! Use JERSEYLOVE for the discount when you purchase online at their site. Bring it to Belmar or anywhere else down the shore for some good ol’ summertime fun!
The retreat was documented on social media platforms across the board using the hashtags #JerseyLove, #DoAC, #HangTen, and #SurfSkimmer. There are photos on Instagram, updates on Facebook and Twitter, pins on Pinterest, and videos on YouTube, so search for them if you’re interested. This campaign of social media for social good allowed us to use our social media influence to reach millions of followers to spread the news.
We’ve done something, now here’s how you can help Mayor Matt and the town of Belmar.
- Visit Belmar.com to give furniture or make a monetary donation that will go to aid displaced families in Belmar.
- Go on a mission trip to help rebuild homes in Belmar, or support those who are rebuilding.
- Start a collection at work, school, or your neighborhood for displaced families in Belmar.
- Visit one of Belmar’s beaches, eat at their restaurants, buy souvenirs, and help their community get back on their feet.
- Share this post.
Disclaimer: Lodging, food, venue, and lessons were provided by Caesar’s Entertainment, D’Jais, and D6 Sports. All opinions are my own.