Dear Elliott, Walter, and Committee and members of Shore AC,
I am honored- and surprised at being given the Shore AC Humanitarian Award. Working at our food pantry is very rewarding- actually, it is a lot like working the refreshment tables at Jersey Shore Half Marathon, and other large races! It involves lots of planning, ordering, and serving- just no medal ceremony! It also depends on a very loyal, hard-working group of people to make it work. (Sounds like Shore AC again). The volunteers have given their time two days every week since last March (Tuesday for set up, and Wednesday for distribution).
They were serving up to 266 families each week last year- numbers have backed down to about 160 a week lately. Each volunteer has their specialty. We have one person who worked for a circus. He oversees the tent set up (alas, no elephant to assist). Volunteers come with many different backgrounds. There is one volunteer who is in charge of refrigerated foods and bread (bagging, sorting, and keeping records). He brings experience from his job- as Race Director of the Jersey Shore Gran Prix. That's right, Phil Hinck has been our chicken and egg man for more than a year.
From March 2020 until January 2021, the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at Christ the King Parish in Long Branch served 6,637 families. When looked at it that way, it was kind of a marathon of grocery bags. Sometimes we have sprints though, when it is almost closing, and we have run out of bags. For those interested in field events we have the 50 lb. potato shlep.
I thank Shore AC for giving me the opportunity to be part of a great track and field organization, with so many good people and unforgettable experiences. I am honored that you recognized the non-track activities as well. For all of you, if the time comes to put aside the spikes, implements, or racing flats, just know that there is still an arena where you can compete- on a different level.