Tuckerton Seaport Holds a Baby Shower for Military Moms and Dads

May 24, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson Danielle Weekes and Robert Holloway from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst are expecting their first child in October.

Over 40,000 military and Department of Defense civilians are employed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. It’s not surprising, then, that romance blooms, many are married and some are expecting their first child. So Tuckerton Seaport Director Brooke Salvanto and Joey Fortman, founder of “Reality Moms” online support group, joined heads to do something nice for 22 young families waiting on their blessed event. On Saturday, May 20, Armed Forces Day, they held a Baby Shower at the Seaport to honor them.

Danielle Weekes, originally from Virginia, and Robert Holloway, from Maryland, are both aerial porters for the military – “It’s like the UPS for the military,” explained Holloway – met on the job. They are expecting their baby in October.

Ana Marie and Mathew Rogers are part of the civilian engineering support squad for the Department of Defense. Their baby, Ana Sofia, couldn’t wait for the shower; she was born on May 16 and at four days old slept through her first party.

Lindsey and Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel Farias moved to the base two months ago from San Diego. She is trying to adjust to the boomerang spring weather. She was expecting her second child and brought 2-year-old Jase, to the delight of all.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Patrice Crockett lives off base in Mount Holly. Her job as a loadmaster is to coordinate deployments for the Air Force and to care for herself and her new baby-to-be.

Bridget and Air Force Tech Sgt. Heath Miller were expecting their first biological baby to add to their family: They had adopted two foster care children before getting pregnant.

The couples were feted with a scrumptious lunch courtesy of Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis and chef Ian Smith. Salvanto decorated the second floor of the Tucker’s Island Lighthouse with a light touch of red ,white and blue plus a smattering of pink. Each table held free gifts provided by the sponsors of Reality Moms’ online site. Every family would receive a free “Joovy” stroller and Love Me More backpacks filled with Baby Be Hip baby essentials. As the lunch ended, they were treated to 10 easy baby shower games to win a spectrum of prizes from a Nook high chair to a diaper “cake” decorated with Giggle With Me baby toys.

Fortman said her website is a community of women and men who believe in the realities of motherhood: the good, the bad and the funny. “My father was in the Army, and I always dreamed of giving back. As tough as mother- and fatherhood is, what military families are going through makes it tougher. I adore the Seaport and Brooke, and we asked ourselves, ‘how can we honor the military?’ and we came up with the baby shower.”

Lori Pepenella, chief executive officer of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, and Dana Lancellotti, director of the Ocean County Tourism and Business Council, are both honorary commanders of the joint base and selected the families.

The chamber of commerce also donated the cake for the shower and tourism bags for each couple.

Salvanto was so pleased with the day that she hopes it will become an annual event.

— Pat Johnson



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