Giving Back

Belmar’s Simply Southern Cuisine to Host ‘Festival-Style’ Toy Drive, Bringing Along the Blue Knights for the Ride

During Sunday’s toy drive, Simply Southern Cuisine will be serving up its ever-popular fried chicken, hush puppies, homemade chips and “a couple of surprises.” Credits: Simply Southern Cuisine
Simply Southern Cuisine’s Rasheed Simmons and his mother and chef, Rita, are hosting a festival-style toy drive from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 24 at the restaurant, located in Belmar Plaza. Credits: Simply Southern Cuisine
Simply Southern Cuisine owner and former New York Giant Rasheed Simmons has invited at least two NFL veterans to judge a motorcycle contest that is part of the kick-off for his first-ever toy drive. Credits: Simply Southern Cuisine
Simply Southern Cuisine's toy drive will benefit The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, and Madonna House, Neptune. Credits: Simply Southern Cuisine

BELMAR, NJ — It’s never too early to start thinking ahead to the holidays, particularly if you’re Simply Southern Cuisine owner Rasheed Simmons.

Looking to make the upcoming season a bit brighter for local children, his Belmar Plaza restaurant is kicking off its first-ever toy drive — festival style — on Sunday, September 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. And the former New York Giant is bringing aboard a host of others to help in the effort, including New Jersey's Chapter 15 of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Harley-Davidson and other NFL veterans.

“I want to make sure that children wake up on Christmas with smiles on their faces and feeling good about themselves,” Simmons said. “My goal is to fill a tractor trailer full of toys to be delivered for the holidays.”

Sign Up for E-News

And he’s planning a big afternoon of fun and festivities to make that happen — just be sure to bring an unwrapped toy and be ready to enjoy the sights and sounds of big bikes.

Dozens of Blue Knights club members are expected to roar into Belmar Plaza for the event, where a major highlight will be a motorcycle contest that is open to the public.

Bikes will be judged for “continuity, cleanliness, paint and accessory, quality and overall appearance” by a former New York Giants player and a surprise guest Super Bowl champion, as well as Creative Performance, a motorcycle repair shop in Wall that will be presenting a custom trophy to the first-place winner. Also on hand will be three other event sponsors: Shoreline Harley-Davidson in Long Branch and Harley-Davidson of Ocean County, Lakewood, and Shop Local Jersey Shore.

And there will be plenty on the day’s food menu. Coming from the kitchen of Simply Southern Cuisine, which Simmons owns and operates with his mom and chef, Rita, will be its ever-popular fried chicken, hush puppies, homemade chips and “a couple of surprises,” he said.

Two Belmar Plaza neighbors — Jersey Shore BBQ and 10th Avenue Burrito Company — also will be participating, as Coney Island Waffle from Belmar’s boardwalk will be bringing dessert.

For the kids, there will be a cotton-candy machine and face-painting. And for everyone’s entertainment pleasure, the Lone Ramblers and Turtle Soup are two bands that will be performing during the toy drive.

All toys collected will be delivered in November to The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, and Madonna House, Neptune, by members of the Blue Knights, a nonprofit organization consisting of active and retired law enforcement officers who enjoy riding motorcycles.

For more information or to drop off an unwrapped toy, call Simply Southern Cuisine, located at 817 Belmar Plaza, at 732-243-9259.


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 and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TAPintoBelmar.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

Washington Crossing State Park Brings on Spring with Maple Sugaring Demonstrations

February 19, 2018

TITUSVILLE, NJ — The art of maple sugaring, known as a harbinger of spring, is featured in a series of educational programs to be held through early March at Washington Crossing State Park.

"Maple sugaring is a hands-on activity that serves as an excellent vehicle for teaching many important natural resource concepts," said Mark Texel, director of the N.J. Department of ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, February 20, 6:00 PM

Belmar Municipal Building, Belmar

Belmar Mayor and Council Meeting


Tue, February 20, 7:30 PM

Lake Como Borough Hall, Lake Como

Lake Como Council Meeting


Wed, February 21, 9:30 AM

Lake Como Borough Hall, Lake Como

Lake Como Mommy and Me Play Date


Thu, February 22, 7:00 PM


Belmar Zoning Board of Adjustment


Fri, February 23, 10:00 AM

Belmar Community Center, Belmar

Coffee with Belmar Public Works Department


Sat, February 24, 6:00 PM

Taylor Pavilion, Belmar

For the Love of Thy Neighbor Gala by the Sea


Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, Belmar

St. Patrick's Day Parade Fundraiser

JCP&L Offers Customers Assistance with Winter Heating Bills

February 13, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — As the cold weather continues, financial assistance programs are available for Jersey Central Power & Light customers who need help with winter heating bills.

Assistance to qualifying JCP&L customers is available through the Lifeline, Universal Service Fund, Weatherization, Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) and New Jersey SHARES ... Named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ — has been named Partner of the Year by NJ News Commons, a network of more than 230 news organizations across New Jersey. The award goes to a journalist or news organization that showed overall excellence in its work for 2017.    

Joe Amditis, associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media, said TAPinto won the award ...

Monmouth County Jail Inmates Earn GEDs through Innovative Online Program

February 11, 2018

FREEHOLD, NJ — It recently was graduation day for four inmates at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.

After completing a state-of-the-art online program offered by the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission, they earned their high school equivalency diplomas (GEDs) — an achievement recognized by the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Correctional ...

Daddy/Daughter Sweetheart Dance: A Great Success Thanks to All Involved

February 7, 2018

To the Editor:

The Belmar PTO would like to thank several local businesses and community organizations for supporting our Annual Daddy/Daughter Sweetheart Dance on Friday, January 19 at Taylor Pavilion in Belmar.

The dance was a fun-filled evening for almost 60 young girls, prekindergarten to eighth grade, and the special men in their lives. Statistics show that a positive father-daughter ...

Belmar and Lake Como

February 7, 2018

Belmar Police Department reported the following arrests occurred in Belmar and Lake Como from January 1, 2018 to January 31, 2018.


Nora Campbell, 35, of Eatontown was charged with disorderly conduct after her January 9 arrest on 10th Avenue by Police Officer Anthony Steneck.

David Lukens, 46, of Belmar was charged with disorderly conduct after his January 14 arrest on 16th Avenue ...