Big Turnout for Day of Service on Monday in Ocean City

first_imgA group including (not in order) Aodhan Daly and his mom, Mary Daly (right), Bridget Dougherty, Sierra Ortiz, Brett Oves, Zachary and Sean Mazzitelli, Ricky Urban, Race Meyers and Justin Bush clean near the Howard S. Stainton Wildlife Refuge in Ocean City, NJ, during the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service on Monday.More than 170 people fanned out across Ocean City on Monday morning to pick up litter as part of the annual Martin Luther King Day of Service.Christian Bickings and his daughter, Caroline, 5, work near the 52 Street Playground in Ocean City, NJ.The effort included school and community groups, city officials, individuals and families.Aodhan Daly, who turned 11 on Sunday, celebrated his birthday Monday with friends by participating in the community cleanup.“They live in a beautiful place. They have great schools. Their birthdays shouldn’t be just gimme, gimme, gimme,” said Mary Daly.Daly first started celebrating her son’s birthday by volunteering when Aodhan turned 6 — a tradition that has grown over five years from just the two of them to include an increasing number of friends and neighbors.Susie Stauffer volunteered with a friend and their children at the 34th Street Playground in Ocean City.The Daly’s small gesture is reflected nationwide on Martin Luther King Day as Americans are encouraged to participate in a day of service — “a day on, not a day off.”“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” King said.In Ocean City, the volunteer effort saw about double the number of participants of last year’s bitter-cold event, according to Community Operations Public Information Officer Laurie Howey.The volunteers this year enjoyed sunshine and mild temperatures that approached the mid-40s._____Sign up for free daily news updates from Ocean City._____School groups accounted for about half the volunteers, and a lot of young families participated, along with community groups like the American Legion and Ocean City Community Association, Howey said. The event was held for the 10th year in Ocean City, and, as usual, plastic water bottles and cigarette butts accounted for much of the trash collected.Tommy Cusack and Mike Kimball, junior members of Ocean City High School’s South Jersey championship soccer team, fills bags with litter from the Ocean City Municipal Golf Course.Councilman Keith Hartzell, who worked with Councilman Antwan McClellan in a special effort to boost participation, said he was happy to see the numbers turn out on Monday and to see attendance triple for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony, which was held on Saturday.But Hartzell said wants to see even more participation next year. He said he’ll start even earlier in a n effort to encourage churches and community groups to join in the Day of Service.Lia Palapanis, vice president of the Ocean City High School Key Club, and Minh Vu, a National Honor Society member, work at the 15th Street Playground.last_img