MANASQUAN — The nonprofit organization Common Ground Grief Center, located at 67 Taylor Ave., hosted its annual clambake fundraiser at Martell’s Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant Beach on Thursday, June 22, raising a total of $270,000.
According to the Common Ground Grief Center website, “the mission of Common Ground is to provide support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults and their families grieving a death can come together and share their experiences as they begin the journey through the grief process.”
Lynn Snyder founded the organization and directs the daily operations of the center, which offers peer support sessions for children and teens who have lost a parent or sibling.
“We provide our support at no cost to the families, so in order to do that we have to fundraise,” said Cindy DeForge, administrative assistant at Common Ground. “It costs $1,000 a year per child. We have 170 [participants] so we need to raise at least $170,000 to be able to support the center for the year.”
The event tickets and sponsorships are purchased prior to the day of the event. The fundraiser included six sponsorship levels. This year’s sponsors include New Jersey Natural Gas, The Earle Family Foundation, Orender Family Home for Funerals, The Shore House Tavern and Smiles By The Sea, among others.
“All proceeds go directly to the program,” said Ms. DeForge. “We have no government assistance. It’s all just fundraising and sponsors who know us, and just soliciting new sponsors.”
Over 1,000 attendees enjoyed a buffet-style array of seafoods, prime rib, salad, rolls, cake, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages from the cash bar, with accompanying music from The Eddie Testa Band.
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