Community Rallies to Raise Funds Through Arctic Outreach

Feb 27, 2019
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Mallory McBrien’s widower Tim told the crowd at Mud City Crab House on Saturday that one of his wife’s fears before she died was that she would be forgotten.

To the contrary, 1,000-or-so friends and neighbors gathered in her honor, as they have done each February since 2016, to celebrate her memory and to raise money to support her family and other local families and causes. The young mother of two, Piper and Cedar, lost her battle with cancer in late 2016.

The whole Mud City Crab House property became festival grounds, with the parking to match: cars and trucks lined the sides of the road for a quarter-mile in all directions. A large enclosed tent had been set up in the parking lot to contain the bandstand and miles of auction tables piled high with covetable gift packages. A kiddie corral and play area was hopping with happy youngsters. Community volunteer Joe Mangino was on raffle ticket sales duty. Fried clams, hot chocolate and a variety of food and drink were in ample supply, and the fire pit was a welcome hot spot. Bartender Jon Coen’s method for fending off the chill was to clutch the hand warmer packets in his pockets in between pulling beer taps. The day’s high temp hovered around 40.

Co-owner and hostess Melanie Magaziner surmised, the colder the temp, the better the attendance. The turnout was lower the one year it was sunny and mild, presumably because folks had multiple outdoor activities to choose from. This year, everyone had just one place to be: Mud City.

“It seemed like the biggest turnout ever,” according to Dawn Simon and Pete Sullivan of Swing Graphics. “Despite the cold weather, seeing everyone warmed our hearts.”

Everywhere the smiles were as plentiful as the hugs and hellos. Regular customers of the Crab House and Old Causeway, friends and family of the McBriens, local residents in need of some fresh air and friendly faces, and the area’s doers and be-ers were all out en force to reinforce a spirit of generosity and charity in Manahawkin.

This year the event will also help the Levine family of Manahawkin, who are still reeling from injuries and medical bills resulting from a severe car accident on Jan. 30. A donation will also be earmarked for the oyster recycling program of the Tide Table restaurant group (Mud City, Old Causeway Steak and Oyster House, Ship Bottom Shellfish, Parker’s Garage and Black Whale). Proceeds from the Arctic Outreach are administered through event partner Jetty Rock Foundation.  —V.F.

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