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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Give Thanks for Your Shore

Writes Terry ...... BOSTON, NOVEMBER 17, 2012 - For a generation of east coast residents, the shoreline is a treasured friend who remains close by, almost ready. Some of us call it, "The Beach," while man refer to the "The Shore," as in, "I'm headed down to The Shore."

Logo by Andrey Dombroski; Images by Getty 
Bruce Springsteen waxed philosophic on the Shore for his very last song at his very last show at the old football Giants Stadium, not long after he wrote "Wrecking Ball" to signify the changing times and the demolition of an arena that he, himself, opened back in the '70s.

Sang Bruce on many a night ...

'Cause down the shore everything's all right,
You and your baby on a saturday night
You know all my dreams come true,
When i'm walking down the street with you
    - Bruce Springsteen - Jersey Girl
As the recent storms resulting from Hurricane Sandy pounded the eastern shoreline of the northeast United States, so many felt helpless. Although we had plenty of advance warning and the planning was organized and well executed, there's no cure for a surging ocean line at high tide. The water surges to the point where no man, no amount of sandbags or holding wall can contain the rattled ocean. It savagely surges and the tides rise in the bays and the Sound. The shoreline, our dear friend is transposed into a devastating killer overnight. He waits for no man.

This story, written by David Chimiel of tells the tale:


By David Chimiel

Sammy Steinlight was driving up and down the shore to survey the damage from Hurricane Sandy. He stopped in Long Branch, where he used to live, and started chatting with a woman who'd lived there for decades.

"She just kept asking, 'Do you believe it?' ", Steinlight said. "She said that her house was okay but that her shore wasn't. She just said, 'We need to get our shore back.'"

Steinlight, a devoted fan of the Jersey-shore music scene, said the woman's plea made him think of Bruce Springsteen. "I always remembered Springsteen's line from years ago, 'Remember, in the end nobody wins unless everybody wins.' "

A week earlier, when the winds first kicked up, the power went out and the damage began to mount, Steinlight realized Sandy was going to require more than the usual effort to restore the shore. So the Manalapan resident sought out a couple of friends and created a website,, dedicated to raising money that will go directly to all efforts to cleanup efforts.

"As the storm was peaking, I sat in the house with my wife, Jen, and our nine-month-old, Spencer. I just felt helpless and empty," Steinlight said. "But I was determined to figure out a way to be there to help the folks of the Jersey Shore and areas around the state of New Jersey."

The Manalapan resident knows how to get out the message. As a former public-relations executive with Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers, the owner of communications agency Steinlight Media, reached out to Terry Lyons, an old friend who now lives in Boston. "Terry has been a great help," Steinlight says. "He helped us make sure that had strong backing and legitimacy. I stressed that all the funds had to be used for to specifically help the people who are suffering in New Jersey. It felt important to me."

"When I heard the conviction in Sammy's voice, I didn't have to think for a second and knew the right thing to do was to just help in any way I could," Lyons said. 'I made a quick call to a good friend at the American Red Cross and sought some guidance. It couldn't have been six hours later, we were on with a Red Cross disaster-relief executive. They have been supportive in our efforts since."

"Along with the hard work of Terry, web designer Mia Harris and graphic/logo artist Audrey Dombroski, we were up and running just days after the storm hit," Steinlight said. Steinlight's efforts through the Red Cross are just one of the many ways that residents can volunteer or donate to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts all over New Jersey.

Steinlight still has a tough time coming to grips with the losses in a place that shaped his life. "The Shore has always represented something magical to me," he says. "The sounds of the ocean, the smells of the boardwalk, feel of the hot sand and the sense of community and culture that makes it incredibly unique and extremely personal. Most of all, the Jersey Shore is a way of life. I grew up in East Brunswick, but we spent so much time down the shore with family and friends. Whether it's countless family dinners at Vic's in Bradley Beach, nights at the Stone Pony or Donovan's Reef or breakfast at Steve's Luncheonette, I've always felt Jersey Shore 'branded'."

Steinlight also is touched by the troubles of others affected around the state. "I have two family members who each built companies in Newark and Elizabeth. So much of what they had built was destroyed. With that comes the natural domino effect of layoffs and unemployment for employees who were the unfortunate victims of circumstance."

Steinlight said the effort has been supported by friends, family, state associations and even the Knicks and Rangers, who've pledged memorabilia to be auctioned off. "Every dollar, article of clothing, can of food and front line efforts will help in the relief," he added.

"Good folks in our own backyard need our support," Steinlight said. "Their despair is real. Our shore and state has a tremendous amount of pride and loyalty. I simply wanted to provide another outlet for our people to put forth their support as we band together to pick each other up and restore the magic so that our next generation could cherish what we have had...and will once again.

"This isn't about us, it's far bigger than any one effort. It's going to take help from the whole nation, the world. And, just like we all reached to help in Haiti or in New Orleans, now it's time to help our neighbors."

Contact writer David Chmiel at

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