Seashore Campers Paint For A Purpose

LONG BRANCH, July 13 –  Children at Seashore Day Camp did not just create in arts & crafts July 8. Local artist and philanthropist Peter Nicolaou helped more than 500 Seashore Campers Paint For A Purpose. Using recycled surfboards as their canvases, each group created a unique piece of art, which will be raffled off July 15 to benefit the local Ronald McDonald House.

The new activity was part of Seashore’s large scale 90th anniversary Friday Special Event Schedule. From 12-30 to 3p.m., each group was given a surfboard and bag of paint markers, sea glass, shells, mirrors, beads, stones, glitter sticks and more. They were challenged to use their imaginations to make something really special to raise money for the important cause.

Finished boards are currently on display in the 345 Second Avenue gym. Raffle tickets can be dropped into a sand pail in front of each one for a chance to win.  Sheets of 25 raffle tickets are being sold for $15 through Seashore’s main office. Children can enter as many as times as they want. The drawing will be held at dismissal this Friday with winners taking home surfboard art and proceeds being presented to the Long Branch Ronald McDonald House.

“We chose this organization for our annual fundraiser because Seashore is all about families and Ronald McDonald House is about helping families,” Seashore Special Event Director Robin Levin said.

Nicolaou, a longtime supporter of various charities, was thrilled to help Seashore Campers Paint For A Purpose. “It’s important to give back. There is nothing I would rather be doing than using my artistic ability to help others and encouraging children to start at a young age,” he said.

Surfboards were donated by Coastline Adventures, Summertime Surf School, Dosils, Toni Granato of the Sierra Club and the Parker family.

The shore choice with generations for 90 years, Seashore has been attended by celebrities including Oakland Raider Phil Villapiano, Wendy Williams, P.J. Marks, Ashley Tisdale and 2016 Miss New Jersey Teen USA Gina Mellish, who was voted Outstanding Camper in 2012 and will represent this state at the Miss Teen USA pageant in Las Vegas July 30.

According to Seashore Director John Villapiano, more than 45,000 young people have spent summers at Seashore and more than 80 percent of the staff was once campers themselves.

“We know for children to want to get up early in the summer and take a bus to a structured program after being in school all year, the schedule has to give them exactly what they are looking for. There has to be variety, excitement and challenges,” said Villapiano. “We constantly research the market and introduce new activities that give campers a chance to stretch their imaginations, develop skills, test limits, build confidence and try things they might not experience elsewhere.”

Throughout the years, these activities have included running the bases and being featured on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium, listening to Jacquie Lee (VOICE Finalist) perform and sign beach balls at the onsite Rockit Live concert, sled riding down an eight foot mountain of ice in August, performing gravity defying circus stunts under the “Big Top” with an international troupe called “Circus Of The Kids,” samba-ing down Ocean Avenue in a Mardi Gras Parade to the sounds of an eight-piece Samba Band, building sand castles with international sand sculpting champion John Gowdy and dipping more than 600 fingers in paint to create a 6’ x 8’ FingerSmear (which currently hangs in the corporate headquarters) with national artist Kelly Sullivan.

Villapiano summed it up by saying, “You know you’ve got it right when Week 8 of the summer comes and the energy level is still running so high that campers don’t want the program to end.”

While other camps have followed suit since the 1920s and opened throughout the state with their own particular styles, Seashore will always have the distinction of being first and of being the leader that paved the way.

For more information or to donate to the Ronald McDonald House Paint For A Purpose Fundraiser, please call 732-222-6464, visit, visit facebook or follow us on twitter and instagram.


Caption: Seashore Campers Paint For A Purpose. Using donated recycled surfboards as their canvases, campers of all ages were challenged to use paint, glitter, sea glass, mirrors, shells, beads and more to create surfboard art which will be raffled off to benefit the Ronald McDonald House this Friday, July 15. Sheets of 25 raffle tickets can be purchased for $15. Call 732-222-6464.