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Ocean City was the first community in Cape May County to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The celebration was initiated a few years after his death by the late Rozelia Cobb, a beloved teacher at the Ocean City Intermediate School.

The tradition is carried forward today by former councilman, Rev. Gregory Johnson, who will present  an inspirational reading of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” during a ceremony set for 1 p.m., Sat., Jan. 19, at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing  Arts Center, Ocean City High School, 6th and Atlantic Ave.

Mayor Jay Gillian will be keynote speaker and the Bubby Fan Gospel Group will perform. Carly Del Sorda will sing a solo. Sandy volunteers, including those from OCNJCARE, the group that continues to assist those affected by the storm and City first responders will be honored. City Administrator, Michael Dattilo will emcee. The event is free and open to the public.

We should continue to support OCNJCARE in its on- going recovery work. Send a check to PO Box 807, Ocean City, N.J. 08226 or drop off a donation at Ocean City Home Bank, 10th and Asbury Ave.

The City’s Clean Communities program will hold its annual Clean -Up Day on Mon., Jan 21. This is a national event that honors the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Families, individuals and groups are encouraged to volunteer for this important, community program. The City has participated in this project since 2008.

Volunteers should register and pick up supplies starting 9 a.m. at the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center, 1735 Simpson Ave. and should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The City will provide gloves and trash bags. All volunteers are invited back to the Senior Center after the clean up for food and warm beverages. Groups or organizations wishing to participate should call the City’s Public Works Department, (609) 399-6111 ext. 9711 or 9702.

(Jan. 22) Ocean City High School will kick off PROJECT PURPLE, an anti substance abuse program created by former NBA basketball player Chris Herren.  The event will be held during the 7 p.m. basketball game against St. Augustine’s Prep at Ocean City High School’s gym.

Herren will address students and parents to educate and create an awareness on the epidemic of substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make good choices and stand up to drugs and alcohol. Herren’s foundation works to raise funds and provide effective treatment solutions for those who need assistance to overcome substance abuse.  For more information on Project Purple, visit www.GoProjectPurple.org or www.theherrenproject.org.  

(Jan. 26) The City will host a free RABIES CLINIC from 10 a.m. till noon at the Ocean City Humane Society, Shelter Rd. The State requires dog owners with a dog 7 months or older to procure a license from the Municipal Clerk’s Office annually during the month of January. To obtain this license, the dog owner must supply a rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian. Dog Licenses will be available for purchase during the clinic. Price is $5.20 for spayed or neutered dogs, $8.20 for those not spayed or neutered. Bring your renewal letter with you. For more information, call the City Clerk’s Office, (609) 525-9326, Mon.-Fri., 8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

(Jan.26) Madison Kennelly of Ocean City will be one of 15 contestants competing for the Miss New Jersey OUTSTANDING TEEN title 7 p.m. at Millville Senior High School, 200 Wade Blvd. Tickets are $35 available from pageant director Joan Cooper, (856) 825-6937 or emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The program will feature Amanda Ross, Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen, 2012 and Lindsey Petrosh, Miss New Jersey 2012 who has just returned from the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas.

The Pageant is sponsored by the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation, an affiliate of the Miss America Organization. The winner will compete for the national teen title in Orlando, Florida in August. She will also appear at the Miss New Jersey Pageant held at the Ocean City Music Pier in June. A purpose of the Pageant is to groom young ladies for future Miss New Jersey and Miss America Pageants.

(Feb.1) The Ocean City High School’s annual PASTA DINNER will be held Fri., Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the School’s Cafeteria, 6th and Atlantic Ave. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children under 10. Take outs will be available starting 4:30 p.m.

Live entertainment will be provided by OCHS instrumental groups including the Jazz Band and Jazz Rock. Advance tickets are available from Band members or call (609) 399-1290 ext. 1248. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Proceeds benefit Band Boosters Senior Scholarships.

(Feb. 8) The 12th Annual CHARLES KNOX Memorial Scholarship Foundation Benefit will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Flanders Hotel Banquet Center, 11th and Boardwalk. The event will star comedians Joe Matarese and Chris Rich.

Charles Knox Jr. was a local high school student who passed away in 1998 at the age of 16. His dad, a Philadelphia police officer, was killed in the line of duty in 1992. Charlie was 9 at the time. As he grew, Charlie enjoyed hockey, music and computers. He was a bright, compassionate individual who always found time to help others. Charlie exemplified goodwill. This scholarship is made in his memory and is awarded annually to students in financial need and the desire to pursue a higher education.

Ways you can help: Donate a certificate or items for Silent Auction, attend Benefit or donate money. Tickets are $100 and include dinner, dancing and show.  For reservations, information or to donate call Arlene’s on Asbury (609)399-3639.

(Feb. 9) The Annual CHILDREN’S TEA will be held at the Ocean City Historical Museum, from 2 to 4 p.m. at 17th and Simpson Ave. This year’s theme is “Life in the Sand.” There will also be music by Leslie Clark. Members can buy tickets now for $4 per person. Tickets available to public on Jan. 22. Best to order in advance. Call (609)399-1801 or stop at Museum.

GET TICKETS NOW!  Enjoy this Valentine’s program by Michael Hartman’s Ocean City Theatre Company.  It’s I LOVE N.Y., a cabaret of Broadway Love Songs. Celebrate love with some of the most enchanting, unforgettable, melodies ever to grace the stage. Professional performers will  provide an entertaining, intimate cabaret of favorites from the “Great White Way,” Sat., Feb. 16, with 8 p.m. Show; 7 p.m. Dessert Reception at the Hughes  Performing Arts Center, 6th and Atlantic Ave.,  OCHS. Tickets purchased before 4:30 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 14 are $18 after that $20. Call (609) 525-9300.

The Ocean City FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 17th and Simpson Ave. continues its free film series 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Library Lecture Hall. Films include Jan. 28, The Age of Innocence; Feb. 11, Roxanne;  Feb. 25, The Color of Money. For information on the Library’s many free events, call (609) 399-2434 or access www.oceancitylibrary.org.

Also at the Library on Feb. 1, Ocean City pianist-composer Andrew Hink, will debut his new album, Lindenwold at 7 p.m. in Lecture Room N110. The record highlights his life in college commuting between the Jersey Shore and Philadelphia.  Hink has performed extensively in this area including five shows at First Night in Ocean City and with the Youth Opera Company, Repertory Theater and the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company of Ocean City.