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Volunteers, Sandy Victims to Brick PAL: Don't Kick Us Out

Brick council strongly urges PAL to allow relief effort to continue

Brick Township council members, volunteers, residents and those who ate their last hot meal at the Brick Police Athletic League building came together to call on the organization to stop its plan to kick out a volunteer group that has been helping feed local victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Volunteers with the Operation Brick Food Relief group have been serving hot meals to storm victims since Sandy made landfall. The group has also taken over some of Ocean County Meals on Wheels’ routes and provided food for those in other local communities, as well as National Guard troops.

But PAL officials have told the group they must leave the building by Nov. 23, this Friday.

“On Thursday, they're having a Thanksgiving dinner from 11 to 5, and then they're being told the doors will be locked on you,” said Council President John Ducey, who called the PAL’s order “a disgrace.”

“I can't believe this is even an issue,” said Councilman Domenick Brando. “We own that building, they don't have a lease. To want to close that, to get rid of that, I'm not going to stand for it. We'll make the PAL move before they get rid of that program.”

Though township council members unanimously pledged their support for keeping the group in the building, it could take litigation to compel the PAL to allow the group to continue its efforts.

The building, located on Drum Point Road, is owned by the township but provided to the PAL at no cost. The PAL’s occupancy in the building, even without a written lease, could muddy the legal waters.

“Obviously there are some legal issues involved since they are in possession of the building,” said Township Attorney Jean Cipriani. “Even though it's our building, they do, effectively, have a lease-hold interest.”

Township Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said he spoke with PAL officials and, when he did, they were “not interested” in extending the amount of time the group would be allowed to stay in the building.

PAL officials did not attend Tuesday's township council meeting. They could not be located for comment by Brick Patch.

Brick resident Tracy Kenney, a township school bus driver whose home was severely damaged in the storm, said it took her a while to have her first meal at the PAL, but she’s glad she did.

“We didn't think about eating for days,” she said of her family. “We were busy crying, throwing out our memories. My husband decided just last week, 'let's go over there.'"

“I saw four of the children I drive in this town serving food to people,” she said. “I wanted to cry that night, and all I do is cry.”

Marilyn Moscrell is a resident of Toms River’s badly hit Silverton section who has been having her meals at the PAL.

“I've been displaced five or six times from shelter to shelter,” said Moscrell. “Basically, the PAL is the closest thing to shelter I've had. Who knows how long this is going to take. I've been eating out at Wawa for several weeks, two times a day. It gets to be monotonous. Having a meal is the most normal thing you can do everyday.”

Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni suggested the township council no longer offer the building to the PAL after the new year if it does not allow the volunteer effort to continue, as well as strip it of township funding.

Cipriani drafted a letter to the PAL during the township council meeting Tuesday night, informing the organization of the council’s strong feelings on the issue. She also said she would contact the PAL’s attorney and try to negotiate a solution.

Marlene Catino, a chef from Jackson who has been voluntarily preparing food for the group, spoke of how important the effort was for those affected by the storm.

“I had an elderly couple and I asked, 'how's your food, how's dinner?’” Catino told township council members. “The woman told me she lost six pounds in the last three days because she wasn't able to get her Social Security check. This isn't [Hurricane] Andrew or Katrina where it was warm and people could barbecue outside. It's cold out.”

Pavlivdogs November 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Brick is so lucky that JD is helping them out. He has all the answers folks!
Jack Reynolds November 21, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The Pal owns the building suggest you do some reasearch, the deal was made in an exchange, and the town pays the electric bill in exchange for use of the property, more political postering is happening here
Shrute November 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM
There are no PAL employees. They were laid-off in September. PAL did not have the funds to pay these people. Whatever work thye have done since September has been on a volunteer basis. The upcoming gift of kindness night where they distribute gifts to many children was planned by the workers who are now laid off.
Shrute November 21, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Did you read the article? Brick PAL didn't win. They honored the recipients who are listed. The dinner was put on by all the volunteers>
Shrute November 21, 2012 at 05:02 PM
PAL no longer has the after school, preschool and after care programs. They had no money to run them since the Board of Ed. took over the after school program.
Joseph Woolston Brick November 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Jack really? Your going to play the Kid Kard? I will make a bet with you. If you sit down with your kid and explain to them why PAL had to cancel programs or why the kids can't use the building right now, they would understand and probably would want to help cause that's how kids roll.
JD November 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Jack R.. You are wrong.. heresay... Documents say Brick owns the building. I don't think the township attorney is going to come out and say Brick owns the building... but doesn't have a lease agreement with PAL... read the article.
Jack Reynolds November 21, 2012 at 05:26 PM
From Joe woolston.... Jack really? Your going to play the Kid Kard? I will make a bet with you. If you sit down with your kid and explain to them why PAL had to cancel programs or why the kids can't use the building right now, they would understand and probably would want to help cause that's how kids roll...... let me make a bet with you, was anything discussed witht eh board prior to the Meeting... NO.... the board didnt even know about the meeting, the building was taken over by the town and the Pal was told usage was for 2-3 weeks, so thats what it told its activites, Yes Kids rely on the PAL,the PAL has been there for kids for decades, and the town in turn has done its best to hurt the pal, this has been going on for a long time, More politics...forget the kids, forget the people who really need help, this is a typical political event, let no crisis go unused right..., DID anyone even talk to any of the board Members most of who live in and work in town? NO... this is about the building as the lease was misplaced somehow years ago, do some research...
J.JONES November 21, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Hey Jack the building on chamber bridge is being used by national guard..And why can't the pal get support from fema with expenses..and why can't they reach out to schools or churches to help with there events for the kids..I'm sure the choices are there if they try..Let the service continue to help people still in need ..there has to be other options..??
TastyCakes November 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Jack, you are an ignoramus and a horrible representative for PAL. Let me see, kids using the building for "activities" or kids and their families using the building to eat the only hot meal that they've had all day. You choose. The hungry taxpayers in Brick don't give a damn about your ridiculous politics.
JD November 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Jack.... You are ridiculous.... First PAL owns the building.... then you say, where is the lease they promised.. Well... if you owned the building, you wouldn't need a lease... DUH... And all the programs offered by PAL are not cheap... it is "FOR PROFIT"... Please don't sing... its for the kids..
shorecorruption November 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
What happened to Americans?
Joseph Bricktown November 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Mr Jack Reynolds you keep posting "WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?" well the pal site states that their mission is; "The Brick Township Police Athletic League (PAL) is a 501c-3 non-profit agency formed to provide children an alternative to getting involved with juvenile crime. The Brick PAL has a variety of programs and services that we offer. " How is allowing the "KIDS" to help with the relief Effort of their Fellow Neighbors & Family Defer from this Mission Statement Of theirs?
~Barb~ November 21, 2012 at 07:03 PM
They have become hyphenated Americans who only look out for their own.
Cosmo November 21, 2012 at 07:37 PM
We get enough of that song from the NJEA!
4real November 21, 2012 at 09:20 PM
haven't in many years... I will give directly to the people who need help NO need to go threw them. Brick as a community has been wonderful, everyone helping each other Everyone coming out doing what ever they can for one another.... Please Do judge PAL as the entire town, Because that is not a true image at all.. as a Brick Resident for over 14 yrs have not donated a dime to PAL in over 10 yrs ... They are VERY racist too... ( & No Iam not black But I see they way they treat people that are)
Sally Ike November 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Jerry Belle - I said Board of Directors, not employees. http://www.brickpal.org/files/PROGRAM_HANDBOOK_COMPLETE2011.pdf
Ken November 22, 2012 at 04:24 AM
PAL is sickening for wanting to put an end to helping these people. If the township actually owns this building they should evict PAL from it ASAP and turn it into a community center. Kick PAL out I would rather see the building empty than to let them back in after this. Keep the building for emrgency just like this if need be. I will never donate a penny to PAL after reading this.
Tom Cular November 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Dan, The mayor is not on my Christmas card list, but in a situation like that I would have done the same thing.
Waller November 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Sally, you mean like Mr Montenagro? A big Brick Dem attorney, comtributor and friend of Mr John Ducey?
Brick Dragon Mom#3 November 22, 2012 at 02:54 PM
NO worries... just remember KARMA...
shorecorruption November 22, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Anyone think of calling the White house,Governor,FEMA or Congressman/woman?
Pavlivdogs November 23, 2012 at 03:20 PM
JD what happened??? Ur boy won the election & ur off the TR payroll now?
Francesca Miller November 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
As one of the township residents who attended the playground meetings due to desperation and cold, dark nights, I applaud the volunteer group for their kindness and their neverending work. When I was cold and did not have a vehicle to go to the Exxon to purchase a bundle of firewood, the volunteers arrived at my door with a trunkful of wood and a dozen hot meals. I'm sure PAL would have helped in a similar manner? I think not. The only thing I remember about PAL is the high priced summer camp that I paid for my children when they were young. My appliances must be replaced but not before the walls and floors are removed and replaced. This is the missing piece which is not being expressed. Yes, we have electricity, but it will be quiet a few months before we have working kitchens. God bless your hearts, volunteers. We love you and we need you desperately.
Tom Cular November 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM
PAL and the PBA will never see another dime from this house. I include the PBA because: 1. They are closely associated with PAL and have an influence on what goes on there. 2. PBA is a union; what other union asks for public donations to further their cause? 3. Where does the money collected by the PBA go? I may have missed something, and if I did, I appologize. It seems that it only benefits policemen who BTW are very well paid, not the public.
2 sides to a story November 24, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Very disappointed in all the negative comments made about the PAL and PBA.... There are always two sides to every story.....Perhaps if all of you bashers spent less time on your computers and more time out in the community seeing what is going on you could prepare an accurate comment as appose to the ignorant ones based on assumptions and rumors....
Francesca Miller November 24, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Two sides. I write this response on my phone because my computer was destroyed in the storm. Flood insurance will not replace it or any other content of my home. Many of us who respond to this sight have lived in Brick for a lifetime. It takes growing up to see the town from an adult point of view. It's a very corrupt; political town which is not known for it's warm and fuzzy side. I, for one, am trapped in a home with ever decreasing value and increasing tax burden. I'm not surprised that taxes will, once again, exceed the two percent cap. If ever there were a time to show some sympathy towards the tax payers, this is it! How many, in households where one or more has lost employment due to the storm, can afford another tax hike? I'm drowning. Brick's government is ruthless. I'm taken aback by the kindness of these volunteers. I'm just not used to it. They represent something which Brick leaders usually do not display; empathy. I'm going to keep trying until my family is able to rise from the ruins of our home. Kindness and unexpected charity help to deflect some of the horror and despair. Our eyes are wide open, two sides. Unfortunately we fall in the regular, struggling, everyone works 2 jobs just to make ends meet side; not the politically associated side. Lets see; when can I do charity work; after my first, second, or third job?
WMS826 November 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM
PAL has programs they need to run. How long will you need to feed these people, where is the permanent housing or FEMA trailers that those cry babies in New Orleans got so fast. My men needs a cruise ship..anyone remember that looser on the TV...and he got it too!!
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Cosmo November 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM
what is going on daniel? people are using the patch to advertise?

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