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Go Bay Head! event highlights the fact that the boro is back

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Councilwoman D'Arcy Rohan Green read from a note sent by Gov. Chris Christie to the town of Bay Head during last week's Revitalize Bay Head Forum sponsored by the Mayor's Wellness Campaign, Go Bay Head! The note thanked the community of Bay Head for teaching the rest of New Jersey about what it means to be a community.|Photo by SUEANNE GOSS, STAR NEWS GROUP

Councilwoman D’Arcy Rohan Green read from a note sent by Gov. Chris Christie to the town of Bay Head during last week’s Revitalize Bay Head Forum sponsored by the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, Go Bay Head! The note thanked the community of Bay Head for teaching the rest of New Jersey about what it means to be a community. Photo by SUEANNE GOSS, STAR NEWS GROUP

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Revitalize Bay Head marks the beginning of summer, shows that the town is recovering

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By Haley Behre

BAY HEAD — The summer is here, Bay Head is back and the beach has officially reopened.

To celebrate the milestone, The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, Go Bay Head! hosted the Revitalize Bay Head event on June 15 at the fire house, on Bridge Street.

According to Tom Charlton, Go Bay Head! co-chair, the event was a way to mark the beginning of summer and a way for “the town to really recommit to coming back stronger than before the storm.”

The day featured two events: a Revitalize Bay Head forum and an information tent.

In addition, the beach officially reopened and the Bay Head Business Association planned a sidewalk sale.


The information tent, which was outside the fire house, featured artwork by students from Bay Head School and an array of information tables from organizations such as the Bay Head School Foundation, Bay Head Historical Society, the New Jersey Museum of Boating, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Police Department Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the local churches and Americorps and Masons.

There were about 30 informational tables, Mr. Charlton said.

The purpose was to “provide a place for people to come in and find out what is going on in Bay Head,” he said.

In that area, there was also a healthy snack area, which featured food and beverages from The Basin Bar, Surf Taco, Pure Inventions and Jason’s Organic.

Music was provided by the Bay Head Junction and DJ Trish.


The forum featured public speakers and presenters and two videos on the storm and its effect on the local community were shown.

The overall theme of the forum was “Coming Back Stronger,” and the sub-themes were resilience, recovery and renewal.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was expected to be one of those figures to make an appearance, however due to a personal emergency she could not attend the event.

The Rev. Neil Turton, of All Saints Church, began the forum by offering a prayer, thanking those who have helped Bay Head recover.

“We thank you for their selfless work, their dedication and their enthusiasm,” he said. “We thank you for the gift of this day, this beautiful day and for all that we enjoy.”

Mayor William Curtis thanked everyone for coming out on the beautiful day — a day of revitalization.

“Bay Head, I’m going to say, is back. Not everybody is 100 percent, but we’re getting closer and closer every day,” he said.

Councilwoman D’Arcy Rohan Green, who was leading the forum, read a note from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The note said, in part, that over the past few months Gov. Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, have witnessed “not only the worst devastation New Jersey has ever seen, but also the very best in New Jerseyans and those in Bay Head and the spirit of our state.”

The note continued, “Bay Head, you have helped define New Jersey and what it means to be a community.”

Historian Robert O’Brien then spoke about the storms of years past that have impacted Bay Head.

Since the late 1700s, which is the first major storm recorded, Bay Head has faced many storms, Mr. O’Brien said. These storms, which mainly occurred in the winter months, have caused about 4,800 shipwrecks over the 300-year period, he said.

The “worst of all was Sandy,” Mr. O’Brien said, noting the flooding did tremendous damage.

Despite the storms, Bay Head has “always revitalized and restored,” he said.

Children from the Bay Head School then read from “Stories of Sandy,” a book created by students of the school under the guidance of Wendy Maas, school nurse.

Two videos were shown during the forum. The first video featured local “Personal Stories” by various people in Bay Head effected by the storm. These people included Phil Schoettle, Brian O’Neill, who co-owns Mueller’s Bakery, the Rev. Scott Bostwick of St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Kelley Mickle of the Bay Head Office of Emergency Management and Chip Tillson from the public works department.

Mueller’s Bakery reopened on June 15.

The second video, “Friends of Bay Head” provided messages of encouragement from notable individuals who could not attend the forum. These people included home-town favorite and internationally recognized performance-enhancement coach Todd Durkin, New Orleans Saint Quarterback Drew Brees, three-time Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs, NBC Anchorman Brian Williams and NJ Gov. Chris Christie.

how it went

About 300 people came out to the event to kick off summer, making it a very successful day, Mr. Charlton said.

Bay Head resident Sandra Antognoli, who is a Bay Head School board of education member, said she was “moved” by the event.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, Ms. Antognoli said she was worried about the summer and what it would bring since the town was hit hard by the storm.

But seeing it now, Ms. Antognoli said it is “emotional” and “great to see.”

It shows that when a “community sticks together, anything can really happen,” she said.

Bay Head resident Karen Bostwick said it is wonderful to get the town back together and see the shops in town reopen.

Since Sandy, “Everything’s changed,” she said. It is “different,” but in a good way, she said.

“This community is awesome,” Ms. Bostwick said.

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