Building More Than Sand Castles
As hundreds of volunteers were busily going about the task of building sand castles on the beach by Martell’s in Point Pleasant Beach Saturday my thoughts turned to Dr. Kenneth Kerr, the only original member remaining from the group that established Big Brothers Big Sisters in Ocean County just over 15 years ago.
As is often the case I was on the microphone directing people of all ages who were on the beach attempting to establish a new Guinness World Record for most sand castles built in one hour, among them our own Shawn Michaels and Sue Moll.
Dr. Kerr, who I’ve known since my days as a student at Ocean County College where he was the former Dean of Students, was as usual very involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters event. He was standing next to me when I said, “did you ever think in those early days you would see something like this?” Only those who know the history of the organization would appreciate a question like that and he did.
I was among those who got involved early at the urging of Dr. Kerr and remember sitting in Board Meetings when there was concern if the fledging organization could even meet its monthly expenses. There were several members who wrote personal checks to keep things moving and some of them are still involved today but in those early days Ken Kerr was the heart and soul of what’s become a truly outstanding non-profit program and one that has made an impact in the lives of so many children.
So on a spectacular Saturday afternoon Doc Kerr was among those who had to relish in the fact that Big Brothers Big Sisters has come such a long way in Ocean County. It’s still a challenge and in truth it probably always will be because that’s life for most non-profits. Much of the credit has to go to longtime CEO Sue Sedivec whose passion and energy is as great today as when she started.
She has a committed Board of Directors, including long timers like Paul Rhine, Paul Barlo, Tom Addalia and Dr. Charles Geneslaw who were on the beach breaking their backs like many others. While not new current President Ken Munroe brings a ton of enthusiasm and he was the one who came up with the idea to try and break the world record while helping celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters 15th year in Ocean County.
It was fitting that nearly an hour after the building was complete and the judges had finished the difficult task of measuring and counting that Munroe grabbed the bullhorn and announced that there would be a new World Record coming to the Guinness folks soon as 1,068 sand castles were built in one hour.
I’m not surprised because Big Brothers Big Sisters has indeed built something special in Ocean County.