Eskimo Outreach Raises Over $35,000 for Local Families

Warm Hearts Gather on Cold Day
Feb 28, 2018
Photo by: Ann Coen

For the third annual Eskimo Outreach fundraiser this past Saturday in the parking lot of Mud City Crab House in Manahawkin, rain had been in the forecast; but the general consensus among organizers was an angel was on their side. The event honors the memory of Mallory McBrien, a young wife, mother and beloved community member who lost her heroic battle with cancer last year. Proceeds benefit her two children’s investment account as well as other community members in need.

At the heart of the Eskimo Outreach is the idea that, thanks to the fortitude of the people of the LBI region and the prevailing sense of community, even an outdoor event in February can be a success.

Despite the chill in the air, the atmosphere was one of warmth as hundreds of supporters filled the parking area to enjoy food and drinks – under the tent and in the restaurant, out of the “Barstream” (a classic Airstream trailer converted into a walk-up wet bar) and from the bars rented from Rustic Drift. The family-oriented event also meant plenty of dogs on leashes, and kids with painted faces roasting marshmallows at fire pits.

“The local support was truly amazing,” according to Jetty CEO Jeremy DeFilippis. “I had so many great conversations with people that I haven’t had the chance to chat with, since the winter has kept us all inside the last couple of months.”

DeFilippis said he expected total contributions to exceed $35,000.

Manahawkin-based apparel company Jetty and its nonprofit Jetty Rock Foundation are two of the main organizing bodies. Reynolds Landscaping pitched in by grading the lot, moving heavy equipment, and beautifying the space with flowers. Mud City Crab House and the neighboring Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House provided most of the volunteers to seat and serve, and the famous crab cakes. Local shellfish farmers shucked clams and oysters all day, taking the opportunity to promote Jetty’s film “The Oyster Farmers” and the Oyster Recycling Program.

This year, more than 50 additional volunteers, under the management and guidance of Jacklyn Boffice and Hannah Sprague, signed up to help with everything from setting up tables to slinging hot cocoa.

Under the big tent, local businesses and creatives played their part. The silent auction’s reclaimed bench created by Michael Stewart stole the show. Live bands, with audio by MK Productions, donated their time and talent to provide eight hours of music. Emceeing the activities was Bellarine Theater Co.’s Christopher Huch.

“It’s really amazing how everyone contributes,” said Jetty CMO Cory Higgins.

“Everybody just kind of ‘gets it,’ and they come out with a pocket full of cash to contribute to those who need to be picked up by their community,” DeFilippis said.

Darn Swell Media shot video footage and Ann Coen Photography captured the emotion on everyone’s faces. The shared mission, and a common value among many area residents and business owners, was working for the greater good.

— Victoria Ford

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