Mayor’s Ball aids families of two young drowning victims

The Mayor's Ball was held in the newly rebuilt Taylor Pavilion. COURTESY OF THE BOROUGH OF BELMAR

BELMAR — The sixth annual Mayor’s Ball, held at the Taylor Pavilion on June 23, dedicated a significant portion of its proceeds to the families of drowning victims Mitzi Hernandez, 13, and her cousin, Emily Gonzalez-Perez, 12. 

Mayor Matt Doherty donated $20,000 from the event to the families and the community was asked to match that amount on a GoFundMe page. Residents more than answered the call, raising $62,797.

The balance of the Mayor’s Ball proceeds, $18,000, will go toward the Belmar Youth Club, which is normally benefits from the event.

“Unfortunately, we had the tragic deaths and because of that, we thought we would donate to their families,” Mayor Doherty said. “Although we are glad to help, it is so unfortunate it happened to begin with.”

Each table at the event displayed a card in remembrance of the two girls and guests were asked to take a moment to reflect on the tragedy. In his remarks, the mayor said, “I just talked about thanking everyone for their generosity.”

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Connor Northrup is a Reporter at The Coast Star. He can be reached at or at 732-223-0076, ext 23.