Brigantine’s long-term recovery group, BrigStrong, is planning a large Celebration of Community Spirit on Oct. 13 to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
The organizers struggled with how to name such an event, said the Rev. John Scotland, who chairs the group that came together after last October’s destructive storm.
“For some people, it’s not a celebration, because they’re still struggling,” he said. “So we’re celebrating the spirit of the community that brought us through the storm to this point.”
Scotland said the event for Brigantine residents will include music and free food from local vendors. It was scheduled two weeks before the anniversary of when Sandy actually made landfall, he said, to avoid conflict with other events planned by Atlantic County and other entities to mark the anniversary.
“We figured Columbus Day weekend would avoid that and take advantage of better weather,” he said.
Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Brigantine, as a post-tropical cyclone, on Oct. 29.
The celebration comes after a number of workshops BrigStrong has hosted to connect locals with resources to aid in the recovery. BrigStrong volunteers have also helped out individual homeowners and the city’s Public Works Department in cleanup efforts.
Michael Feely, BrigStrong’s vice chairman, said October’s event will also recognize those who responded to the storm.
“We also want to recognize those men and women who were here to protect and take care of the residents, particularly the first responders and people at Public Works,” he said.
Feely said he’d only seen heroism twice in his life — once when he saw first responders bringing stranded people to the emergency shelter at the height of the storm.
“With this, we want to celebrate Brigantine’s strength in recovery,” he said.
Contact Wallace McKelvey:
Follow Wallace McKelvey on Twitter @wjmckelvey