Fire Company No. 1 selling clambake T-shirts

Bay Head Fire Co. No. 1 will be selling 2020 Clambake T-shirts on a first-come, first-serve basis Saturday, Aug. 29, Sunday, Aug. 30 and Thursday, Sept. 3. [COURTESY OF ROBERT HEIN]

BAY HEAD — While Bay Head Fire Co. No. 1’s biggest fundraiser of the year was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department is bringing a favorite part of the festivities to the community beginning this weekend.

“Bay Head Fire Co. No. 1 did not hold its annual fundraising clambake this year in response to the ongoing pandemic,” firefighter Robert Hein told The Ocean Star in an email.

“Knowing how popular the event normally is, and with the realization that many folks collect the unique T-shirts from each year, we have decided to continue that tradition with a 2020 T-shirt designed to highlight the cancellation of this year’s clambake.”


According to officials, T-shirts will be sold at $20 each, with 2XL shirts sold at $25, on a first-come, first-serve basis from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 30 at the table alongside Mueller’s Bakery on Bridge Avenue, and also from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 in front of the firehouse on Bridge Avenue.

Depending on the success of the initial sales, remaining shirts will again be available for sale the following Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday at the same locations and times.

“People collect the T-shirts from year to year, and we didn’t want this to be a year where those people that collect them didn’t have an opportunity to have the year represented, so we had a limited number of T-shirts, 100, made and starting Saturday we’ll be selling them Saturdays, Sundays and Thursdays for the next two weeks,” Chief Joseph Todisco said.

The 47th annual clambake scheduled for Aug. 15 was canceled amid concerns and precautions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. According to officials, the event represents 35 percent of the department’s yearly income as it brings more than 1,000 community members from near and far to enjoy a day of seafood delights, craft beers, live music and a DJ, fire engine rides, face painting and much more.

“We do a clambake every year and we do a clambake T-shirt every year and people collect them and people want them so, for this year, since COVID is an issue … I said to the company, ‘Why don’t we sell a T-shirt so people could continue their collection?’” former fire chief Bruce Sutphen said. 

“I said I have an idea: We’ll use the fire company logo and use the Ghostbusters ‘no’ sign and we’ll put 2020 on there and we’ll put the COVID mask on the duck. I had a colleague, Chloe Barone … draw it up and then I presented it to the company.

“We ordered 100 shirts to start and we’re going to see where it goes. If we sell out right away and I have to re-order I’ll do a re-order … but it gives everyone three shots right off the bat to get a shirt.”

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