BELMAR, NJ —Belmar could not have celebrated its Sixth Annual Mayor’s Ball in a more befitting — or picturesque — location than the new Taylor Pavilion.

Some 300 people attended the gala fundraiser held last night, June 23, at the oceanfront facility, which opened two months ago where the former pavilion destroyed by Superstorm Sandy once stood.

For many, it was their first time at the new pavilion, and they were impressed with what they saw — a main banquet room arranged by Merri-Makers Caterers in a way that allowed them to take full advantage of the breathtaking view of the beachfront and to enjoy conversation with friends and colleagues on the open rear deck.

Sign Up for E-News

The star of the evening’s festivities was Patricia Provenzano, who received the borough’s 2017 Citizen of the Year Award. Known fondly as “Pat Pro” throughout the Belmar community, she was recognized for her many years of service and dedication to the borough. “I am so appreciative of this honor,” she said, as numerous guests gathered around to personally congratulate her on the special occasion.

This year’s Mayor Ball was significant in another way — Mayor Matthew Doherty designated $20,000 of its proceeds as a donation to the families of the two girls who died as the result of drowning off the Belmar beach on June 15. Hours before the ball, a funeral was held at St. Rose Roman Catholic Church for 13-year-old Mitzi Hernandez-Nicolas and her 12-year-old cousin, Emily Gonzalez Perez, who were students at Belmar Elementary School.

The remaining proceeds from the gala will once again benefit the Belmar Youth Club, a Recreation Department program for students in grades 3 through 8 who live in Belmar or Lake Como, or attend Belmar Elementary School or St. Rose Grammar School.

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.