By Joanne Colella
September is here, and with it comes the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular, festive afternoon to bring the summer season to a joyful close! Get ready to kick off your shoes and party on the beach with friends on Sunday, September 18, as the incomparable nonprofit organization Holiday Express hosts the Ninth Annual Holiday Express Sunset Benefit Clambake from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Alongside a beautiful oceanfront setting, a tremendous tent will mark the spot on the sand outside of McLoone’s Pier House, located on the boardwalk at 1 Ocean Avenue in Long Branch. Hundreds of guests are expected to turn out for a truly amazing celebration that is widely considered one of the best annual fundraising events in the area. The wildly popular annual clambake is one of just a handful of public events held each year to help raise funds for Holiday Express and its mission of serving tens of thousands of the neediest and most forgotten among us.
As the summer days fade into autumn and the winter holidays quickly approach, clambake guests – including hundreds of volunteers, musicians, families, friends, and other supporters from throughout the community – will gather for this casual yet lavish event. Ditch the tuxedos and ball gowns, because sandals, shorts, and sundresses are the order of the day to kick up your heels and watch the sunset while feasting upon an endless and delectable buffet of lobster, filet mignon, raw bar, and much more. There will be a premium open bar and dancing to outstanding musical entertainment by the many talented musicians of the Holiday Express Band. Attendees will also enjoy vying for a remarkable assortment of live and silent auction items – all available via online bidding both prior to and during the event – and a generous 50/50 raffle. There are also some exciting new surprises planned for this year’s celebration. Upon arrival, just step out of your car and join the fun – there will be convenient valet parking, too.
Various sponsorship opportunities are available, plus ad space in the event journal. Donations for the live and silent auctions are gratefully welcomed. Reservations for the clambake are requested by September 10, and tickets are $250 per person. For details, reservations, or donations, please visit the Holiday Express website at www.holidayexpress.org or call (732) 544-8010.
Founded in 1993 by Tim McLoone, Holiday Express is comprised of more than 2,000 tireless volunteers, including 150 professional musicians, who all donate their time and talent. During the 2016 holiday season, Holiday Express will bring their unique brand of joy to more than 24,000 individuals at an astounding 90 private, personalized events from early November through Christmas Eve. These Holiday Express audiences are an underserved population that includes the mentally and physically disabled, the isolated and the elderly, individuals in addiction and recovery programs, the poor and homeless, and children with serious illnesses. In short, the Holiday Express mission is to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support, and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness, during the holiday season and throughout the year.