A Monumental Day: Make a Difference Day supports new Neptune Township memorial

Coastal Habitat for Humanity
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

By Leah Rocktashel

Coastal Habitat for Humanity partnered with the Asbury Park Press as part of Sandy Service Day / Make a Difference Day.  The event took place Saturday morning, October 26th, in Neptune Township on the grounds of the former Welsh Farm Dairy and the future location of a memorial honoring local veterans. The official groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial will take place on Veteran’s Day on Monday, November 11, 2013.

Coastal Habitat for Humanity was thrilled to have veteran groups, local fire and police departments, AmeriCorps volunteers [see photo], Monmouth County residents and community officials as volunteers on this exciting day.  Friends of Coastal Habitat worked together to clear the grounds and paint the exterior of a historic building on the property.

Volunteers like Allan Tusing from Howell, a member of the Down to Earth Landscaping team, heard about the event through word of mouth.  Allan felt very pleased to be a part of an important and monumental day.  Make a Difference Day was Allan’s first time working with Coastal Habitat and a very enjoyable experience working with the team, chipping old branches throughout the day.

Volunteer Rachel Fernandez, originally from Miami, Florida, was participating as a member of FEMA Corporation.  Rachel has previous experience working for Habitat for Humanity and felt Make a Difference Day was a great accomplishment for the township’s development. Rachel stated "Coastal Habitat is a great organization to volunteer for and has a “do what you can” mentality, which is relatable to many volunteers."

Adjutant Roger Youth and Chaplin Larry Calhoun Jr., are three year original members of Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  Roger was born and raised in Neptune and is a ‘63 graduate of Neptune High School before serving in Vietnam and Korea. He has worked with Coastal Habitat several times before and was pleasantly surprised with the day’s outcome, giving the ground breaking ceremony "an A+."

Larry Resides in Asbury Park and served our country in Honduras and US.  The sense of pride through Larry’s voice was evident as he described the how park "honors the memory of the long gone."

Make a Difference Day was Larry’s second time working with Coastal Habitat and he felt that it was beautiful to see people dedicating their personal time and energy to a great cause.  Larry affirmed that the park was a "great way for youth to understand the freedom they have and most importantly why they have the freedom".

For more information on Make a Difference Day, visit MakeADifferenceDay.com.  Follow @CoastalHabitat on Twitter for more photos from Make a Difference Day.  To support future Coastal Habitat efforts, please click here to donate.