brian kirk 061612The tents will be pitched, the dress will be casual, and Brian Kirk will sound the season’s keynote, at the annual Jersey Shore Partnership Summer Celebration this Monday evening at Fort Hancock.

They call themselves The Sand on the Beach People — a privately funded initiative dedicated to “raising the awareness of state and federal officials and the general public to the need for safeguarding the shoreline through beach restoration and other shore protection methods.”

Born out of the devastating coastal storms of the early 1990s — and with a resolve strengthened all the more by Superstorm Sandy — the Jersey Shore Partnership is serious about its mission. None of which is going to stop the JSP from having its share of seasonal fun, as the big tent is pitched for the annual host “friend raising/fundraising” Summer Celebration this Monday evening, June 8.

Going on between 5:30 and 9:30 pm (and with a rain date of Tuesday, June 9), the gala affair assembles a collection of local dignitaries, public/private sector VIPs and philanthropic-minded individuals in a scenic Fort Hancock setting overlooking Sandy Hook Bay. But leave the tux and gown at home — the dress is casual, and the overall vibe is beachy, thanks in large part to veteran beach-bar entertainers Brian Kirk and the Jirks.

New Jersey Business and Industry Association president Michele Siekerka will be the dinner chair, with state Senator Joe Kyrillos and his wife Susan Doctorian returning as honorary co-chairs for a second consecutive year. Among the honorees for such accolades as the Tom Gagliano Leadership Award and the Outstanding Partnership Award will be Stevens Institute of Technology, T&M Associates, Investors Bank, and individuals including Jeanna DeYoung, Linda Gilmore, Dana Lancellotti and Diane Wieland.

More than 450 guests — representing elected officials, the educational community, corporations, not-for-profits and individuals from Cape May to Monmouth County — attend the event each year, enjoying fare that has been furnished in previous editions of the event by such food and beverage purveyors as Bahrs Landing, The Boondocks, David’s Culinary, David Burke Fromagerie, and many more.

Tickets to Monday’s event are $120 and are still available here.