PREPARE FOR A SUPERB CELEBRATION AT SIXTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY EXPRESS SUNSET BENEFIT CLAMBAKE By Joanne Colella

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If you are a veteran of the many fundraisers that tend to fill the calendar throughout the year – dispel any impressions of those events, no matter how wonderful they may have been.  If you are a first-time benefit attendee looking for a tremendous cause that is worth your support, seek no further. And if you are merely scouting out opportunities to enjoy one of the most spectacular, festive afternoons of your life to bring the summer season to a joyful close, stop right here and mark your calendar now!  Get ready to kick off your shoes and party on Sunday, September 15 on the beach at Pier Village in Long Branch, where the nonprofit organization Holiday Express will host the Sixth Annual Holiday Express Sunset Benefit Clambake.

The shoreline may be a bit narrower since feeling the impact of Superstorm Sandy, but the setting remains just as beautiful.  And once again, a tremendous tent will mark the spot on the sand outside of McLoone’s Pier House, located on the boardwalk at 1 Ocean Avenue, where 400 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 the public events held each year to help raise funds for Holiday Express and its mission of serving thousands of the neediest 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, beginning at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m.  Sandals, shorts, and sundresses are the order of the day to kick up your heels and watch the sunset while feasting upon an endless buffet of lobster, filet, raw bar, and much more.  (“Come hungry,” guests are advised!)  There will be an open bar and, of course, 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 and a generous 50/50 raffle.  Upon arrival, just step out of your car and join the fun – there will be valet parking, too.

Various sponsorship opportunities are also available, as well as ad space in the event journal.  Donations for the live and silent auctions are gratefully welcomed.  The deadline for ad journal submissions is September 4, and reservations for the clambake are requested by September 4, also.

For details, ticket reservations, or to make a donation, please visit the Holiday Express website at www.holidayexpress.org for easy, online registration.  You may also contact Holiday Express by calling (732) 544-8010 or by emailing holexpress@comcast.net.

Founded in 1993 by Tim McLoone, Holiday Express, comprised of over 1,400 volunteers that include more than 100 professional musicians, prepare and perform approximately 60 private charity programs each year from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve – all for an underserved population that includes the mentally and physically disabled, the isolated, 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 express and throughout the year.

To be a part of the Holiday Express mission is pure magic and to see firsthand the effect that they have on the thousands of people they visit will undoubtedly be the best gift you could ever imagine.   This holiday season, come along and join in the effort!  Look for more information on the Holiday Express website at www.holidayexpress.org.