A reprise from 2017. Taking you back again after eight years … Remember?
It was the year that Halloween wasn’t, but was in a sense. People in the area woke up to a nightmare, if they slept at all the night before. It was 2012 and Superstorm Sandy had pummeled the Jersey Shore. It decimated Sea Bright and destroyed low lying parts of Rumson. Fair Haven was a bit war torn and powerless.
Woody’s Ocean Grille owner and Sea Bright Rising creator Chris Wood has earned a place in documentary history.
The Fair Havenite and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate won a Telly award for his part in a documentary on Sea Bright Rising and the non-profit’s partnership with the St. Bernard Project.
Wood, or Woody, as he is more widely recognized, thanked “Sean Moran, Viacom, MTV and VH1 for doing such a great job documenting Sea Bright Rising and our partnership with the St Bernard Project,” in a post on his Facebook wall about the award, which he said was a surprise to him on Thursday night.
Wood started Sea Bright Rising in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Surviving the storm better than most in Sea Bright, a small strip of a then near-flattened peninsula town, he and his head chef, Onofrio Moscato, started flipping burgers on a grill in the municipal lot next to the restaurant to feed whoever they could.
What started out as a bite to eat and a little comfort quickly turned into three meals a day, clothing, toiletries, incidentals, a U.S. Air Force tent under which cooking was done and then the National Guard rolled in on official duty to help. The effort grew to fundraising to fix Sandy-ravaged homes under the monicker of Sea Bright Rising.
To date, Sea Bright Rising has raised more than $1.3 million and distributed more than $1 million of it to 300 families and 18 businesses in Sea Bright, according to its website.
Clothing drive at Bicentennial Hall in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
By Elaine Van Develde
Generosity was overwhelming in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
When the call for help was sent out by the newly-created Sea Bright Rising, surrounding community organizations and just plain nice people, supply and clothing bins’ contents were almost spilling into the streets.
At one stop in Fair Haven, organizers had to ask people to stop giving.
It was about this time two years ago that Woody’s Ocean Grille Owner Chris Wood and Head Chef Onofrio Muscato saw an immediate need to help the hungry, cold and displaced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
So, they just pulled out the grill and started flipping burgers, eggs and anything else they could to serve up some comfort to the superstorm’s victim. Before long, the U.S. Army National Guard was sent to set up camp and help. Word spread and soon there was a parking lot full of mess tents, food trucks, clothing bins and more.
Sea Bright Rising was born.
Two years later, Sea Bright Rising has brought in $1.3 million and distributed $1 million of it, Wood said recently. And the organization is not done yet. Many more of Sandy’s victims are still displaced and Sea Bright Rising wants to help.
Check out the non-profit’s website at seabrightrising.org.