SEA BRIGHT TO TAKE IT BACK TO THE BEACH

sb mount sandy 3 112112‘Mount Sandy’ and the small mountain of storm debris are gone from the beach, where Sea Brighters will gather on October 29. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

How does one mark the anniversary of a once-in-a-lifetime storm that destroyed one’s home or business?

In Sea Bright, residents and merchants will note the year-ago devastation of Hurricane Sandy on October 29 with a quiet potluck dinner and a bonfire on the beach to demonstrate their own resilience and determination to recover, recreation director Kathy Morris tells redbankgreen.

“It’s going to be very low-key,” Morris said, “just a place for us to meet, greet and chat.”

There’s no music or fanfare planned.

“I’ve got an Italian dinner set,” Morris said. “Residents will bring dishes. Senior citizens will bake. The fire ladies will set up coffee.”

After the dinner, at the firehouse, residents will gather at the edge of the ocean that nearly obliterated their town for a bonfire. Public works employees have already begun stockpiling waste wood for the fire, Morris said.

Artist Megan Gilhool will set up a canvas or other surface on which residents will be encouraged to write messages or make drawings. The finished work, a “hope canvas,” will hang in the town’s community center.

The event is meant to “symbolize the town’s unity and progress” in rebuilding, while recognizing that “not everybody’s back home yet,” Morris said.

And of course the event is rain-or-shine. At the edge of the ocean that nearly obliterated the town.

“You know what? We all survived the hurricane. We’re not going to worry about some rain,” Morris said.

The Sea Bright community dinner is scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m.