Giving Back

Belmar Sets Up Online Fund, Dedicates $20,000 from Mayor's Ball to Help Families of Girls in Tragic Beach Incident

A make-shift tribute grows on the boardwalk at Ninth 10th Avenue for Mitzi Hernandez, 13, who lost her life in the Belmar surf on June 15, and Emily Gonzalez Perez, 12, who fights for hers.

BELMAR, NJ — A GoFundMe campaign to help the families of the two Belmar girls involved in the tragic swimming incident on June 15 has raised nearly $33,000 — surpassing the $20,000 goal set by Mayor Matthew Doherty.

According to the Belmar Angels online fund established on June 16 by the borough, Doherty announced that $20,000 from the 2017 Mayor’s Ball will be set aside for the families of 13-year-old Mitzi Hernandez, who drowned off the Belmar beach, and Emily Gonzalez Perez, her 12-year-old cousin, who remains on life-support at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune.

Both girls were students at Belmar Elementary School. Hernandez was a sixth-grader, while Gonzalez Perez just completed fifth grade.

Sign Up for E-News

“We’re going to expand our mission this year and fund an effort to raise money for the girls' families,” according to the GoFundMe page, whose initial goal was to match the borough's $20,000 donation from the ball. “They face enormous financial challenges. Join us by donating anything you can through the Belmar Mayor's Ball and together we can support these families.”

The sold-out Mayor’s Ball will be held this upcoming Friday, June 23 at the newly opened Taylor Pavilion, located on Belmar’s Fifth Avenue Beach.

As of 6 a.m. on June 18, $32,372 had been raised from some 331 persons through the Belmar Angels GoFundMe effort, which Doherty called “an amazing outpouring of support” and as a result, he has kept the fund-raising effort open.

“Belmar lost one angel Thursday night and another clings to life at the hospital,” his message on the fund’s page continued. “This is a close-knit school in a small town, so the feeling of loss is impactful and meaningful. Please pray for the families involved, the girl who passed away and the little girl still fighting for her life in the hospital.”

The girls were swimming unsupervised on June 15 on the Belmar beach in the vicinity of Ninth and 10th Avenues, when an emergency call was received by the Belmar Police Department at 6:l9 p.m., for “a distressed person in the ocean,” according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

A Belmar patrolman and a member of the water rescue team arrived on the scene at 10th and Ocean Avenues, and swam out to rescue Gonzalez Perez, who is fighting for her life at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

At approximately 6:54 p.m., as a search of the area was conducted, Hernandez was located unconscious in the ocean. CPR was administered until first aid arrived and transported the victim to JSUMC, where she was pronounced dead, according to the prosecutor’s office statement.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoBelmarLakeComo and on Twitter at @TAPintoBelmar.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

Belmar Recreation Opens Sign-Up for Kids’ Summertime Running Club

June 27, 2017

BELMAR, NJ — Registration is under way for the Kids’ Running Club, which is open to Belmar youngsters in grades four through eight.

The club will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Silver Lake from July 25 through August 26 — the day of the Belmar Sol 5K along Ocean Avenue. 

During the monthlong program, participants will learn the basics of running ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_39f218776564daf7342c_lakecomomommyandme

Wed, June 28, 9:30 AM

Lake Como Borough Hall, Lake Como

Lake Como Mommy and Me Play Date

Carousel_image_693109b5d6ad55c3f59f_bacenchantedgarden

Wed, June 28, 1:00 PM

Belmar Arts Center, Belmar

An Enchanted Garden Art Show

Carousel_image_9de8b26a36bdf6d8a07b_bacopenstudio

Wed, June 28, 2:00 PM

Belmar Arts Center, Belmar

Open Studio for Drawing and Painting

Carousel_image_e4346150a02344740f8e_dannywhitekids

Fri, June 30, 6:00 PM

Pyanoe Plaza, Belmar

Friday Night Concert: Danny White and Band with ...

One More Trenton Raid?

June 21, 2017

June is budget month in Trenton. Gov. Chris Christie and state Legislature are seeking to balance the budget in a challenging fiscal situation. Unfortunately, environmental funds top the list of places to find “extra” money to balance the budget.

Just a few months ago, with strong bipartisan support, the state Legislature acted to give voters the opportunity to protect natural ...

At Rutgers, a History of Conservatism Intertwined with Controversy

June 21, 2017

Editor’s note: This story is the fourth in a five-part series on the Rutgers Conservative Union. Through that lens, TAPinto New Brunswick intends to provide a comprehensive look at an energetic year of on-campus activism at New Jersey’s flagship university. The third part is available here.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — As the clock ticked closer to 10 p.m., the ...

TAPinto Crushes Readership Record in May with 853,958 Readers; Breaks 6M Readers for the Year

June 6, 2017

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ — TAPinto.net, a network of 65 franchised online hyperlocal news sites in New Jersey and New York, broke its all-time readership record with 853,958 readers and 2,103,803 pageviews in May 2017, up from 639,508 readers in May 2016.  TAPinto also registered more than 6 million readers and 20 million pageviews during the last 365 days, breaking its all-time record ...