Today is the first day of spring. Do you believe it? We will have some warmer weather during the next two days. In fact, on Saturday it will be 60 degrees, and then we go right back to our winterlike temperatures of the low 30s. It is also possible we may have snow Tuesday. That’s right, snow in the spring and colder days for the next week or two.
What has happened to our weather? We had a difficult winter with a variety of snow days, very cold days and few warm days. That’s not like the winter we normally have. Many of our forecasters have led us astray with several alleged storms. We were told to expect snow and didn’t get any. However, last week they hit it on the head, as we had the deepest snow we’ve had in quite a few years. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long and the sun Tuesday helped to get rid of most of it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who work in the public works departments of our municipalities and county. They did an outstanding job of opening the streets after the snow fell. They certainly have learned how to clean our streets in a most efficient manner. In previous years, the snow would have lasted for several days, but this year the streets were open to the public when morning came around. Thanks to all of those who played a role in clearing the mess that the snow left us.
In addition, our gratitude goes to our public servants — the police, fire and emergency management crews who are out on the streets during the storm. It is also nice to notice that several jitneys were running in Atlantic City, as were taxis. They help people get to and from their homes and jobs.
While sitting comfortably in our homes, we forget those who work during the storm and provide whatever service is necessary. This was one major storm that had everybody working together, and they did an outstanding job from the tip of Cape May to Ocean County.
Mark Soifer does it again
Ocean City's outstanding public relations guru, Mark Soifer, has come up with another outstanding event. Many of you are unaware of the fact that, thanks to this columnist, the Ms. Senior America Pageant is held in Atlantic City in October. The Miss New Jersey Senior America Pageant is also held in Atlantic City, in June. The women must be 60 years of age, and they participate in all the facets of the Miss America competition with the exception of swimsuits.
Soifer became aware of this contest and decided it was time for a Mr. Mature America Pageant. Here, too, the men must be at least 60 years old. He stated that the local people are just overwhelmed at the thought of having such an original event — the only one in the United States — in Ocean City. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Music Pier, on the Boardwalk at Moorlyn Terrace. Tickets are $10, with proceeds benefiting the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Community Food Cupboard and ongoing Philippine reconstruction efforts.
Former Ocean City Mayor Roy Gillian, the father of current Mayor Jay Gillian, is the latest entrant. Roy winters in Florida and is flying back to Ocean City for this event. He is a talented piano player and has performed locally at the Great Bay Country Club as well as other venues.
There will be lots of entertainment, including an 81-year-old baton twirler; a legendary singer-actress with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the reigning Ms. Senior New Jersey America Vanessa Shaw, who is a veteran Broadway performer; and the acclaimed soprano Nancy Fox. The reigning Miss Ocean City, Carly Del Sordo, will represent the teenage community and the city.
Dick Sheeran, legendary Philadelphia TV anchor, will present the pageant’s Inspiration Award to this columnist, an Atlantic City radio host for more than half a century.
Soifer is a one-man public relations office who gets nationwide publicity for the varied stunts and activities that he presents in Ocean City.
One is the Doo Dah Parade, which not only has many bands and interesting participants but also has 500 basset hounds that march down the Boardwalk with their owners. Peter Funt, star of “Candid Camera,” (remember that television show?) will be the grand marshal.
All of this plus other varied activities throughout the year bring Ocean City publicity from around the world. Mark has a very small budget and is one of the most effective public relations individuals in the nation.
A.C.’s public relations?
Many years ago, we had public relations personnel such as Mal Dodson, Al Owen, Sid Ascher and Soundra Usry. They came up with events and handled the news media coming into the city. At that time, the city had a big Easter Parade. Today, people do not dress as they did in that era and it is very difficult to find sufficient sharp-looking people to participate in an Easter Parade. There are other activities that were held on a regular basis. News clips about activities in the city were sent out to papers all over the country, and they used that material.
Why am I writing about this? This is to show what can be done with the right personnel. Atlantic City does not have a public relations office or individual. I realize that the Atlantic City Alliance and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority have public relations personnel for their actions and activities. However, who is responsible for doing projects like those mentioned above?
It is time to consider establishing a citywide public relations department to come up with projects of this magnitude.
Pinky's Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky's Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, "WMGM Presents Pinky," airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: firstname.lastname@example.org