Today was a rollercoaster day at the Ocean of Love Billboard Radiothon. We had some nice waves of donations coming in where we kept the momentum from yesterday moving forward.

There were also quite a few stretches where the donations were slow. It was quite frustrating, and I started to feel that anxiety that we were falling behind the pace we need to hit our goal of $105,700 for Ocean of Love.

We finished Monday night with an amazing $18,613. By 5 p.m tonight we only raised about $7,000 more. I was getting worried. As the night went on, we received some amazing donations from Bayville Elks, Ma-22, Our longtime friends from the Brick Lions Club, and a lady who wrote a check for $1000 to one of our volunteers who was collecting money on the side of the road as part of our bucket brigade. And of course, I can't forget about the two young girls that raised $200 bucks with their lemonade stand.

Around 9 p.m, as things were winding down, Forked River Fire Company showed upout of the blue and handed us a check for $1142, along with a check for $500 from Lanoka Harbor Fire Company.

By the end of the broadcast day we finished with $34,613. It was definitely the push that we needed.  Thank you to everyone who donated.

But this is what actually "blew me away" tonight.

Of course I know that the Radiothon is not about me. I'm just doing my part to help out Ocean of Love and these beautiful families. I am just honored and humbled to be part of something special year after year. It's about Ocean of Love and the families they help every day

But before the guys from Forked River handed me the checks, they gave me something that left me speechless.

Last year during the Radiothon when they showed up, it was pouring rain. I was soaked. They said they wish they brought me a fire helmet to help keep me dry.

I guess they remembered because tonight they presented me with a helmet from Forked River Fire Department 60 for me to keep as my own...It's a REAL fire helmet.

Andy Chase Photography
Andy Chase Photography

It doesn't happen often, but I was speechless at that moment, and I am still.

It was just the thought that they would give me something like that really touched me...Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing they don't give out helmets on a daily basis

Our firefighters are the true heroes for what they do. I don't deserve to wear it, and I won't, but I will keep it in a safe place and cherish it every time I look at it, and to be honest....It's probably one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

Thank you Forked River Fire Company

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Andy Chase
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