Ocean City Maryland Business Owner is Giving Back
When thinking of how people give during this time of year, we picture volunteers ringing a bell for the Salvation Army or children’s gifts collected by the United States Marines for their program, Toys for Tots. We buy extra for local food banks or help at a food kitchens. These opportunities to give have become synonymous with Christmas & the giving spirit of the holidays. However you give, thank you. Your efforts to show love and compassion go a long way, and mean the difference between a presentless Christmas or an empty belly. During this season of giving, we want to spotlight the efforts of some local people & businesses, and it is our honor to showcase them.
Quiet Hero Moment
This year Pickle’s owner, Justin Acita, is fundraising to become this year’s King of the prom for Believe In Tomorrow, a foundation that has locations here in Ocean City, MD. Justin and Brittney Acita have owned Pickles for the past five years. They host 1-2 BIT families a week for their choice of lunch or dinner 100% of the cost is covered by Justin and Brittney. The Acitas say they will continue to do this as long as they own and operate Pickles. Last year, Brittney, ran for Prom Queen of the Beach Bash and raised $19,000. Justin helped her with all her events and decided he wanted to run this year. They have been very involved with the BIT for years and plan to continue. “We have hosted many events at Pickles and always participate in the “Beach Bash”, and help whenever and wherever we can. Having 3 children of our own and one on the way, the foundation has always been very near and dear to our hearts. We can’t imagine what these families go through, and we just want to help their stay be as smooth and relaxing as possible.”
Justin has already hosted a “wing cook off” bringing in over 3k. OceanCity.com was at hisTattoo Party at Independent Tattoo of Selbyville on Saturday, November 23 , and it was a huge success. Independent Tattoo, was expecting the event to start at 7pm, but event goers started showing up at 5:30 and they opened their chairs then! At 7pm the shop was filled and there was a line of people waiting. Participants could choose from predetermined tattoos of $50 or $100 each. By the looks of things, not only were the participants happy, but the spoils at the end the night should be high for BIT! The next fundraiser Justin has planned is a mini golf tournament in January, details at this point are TBA. He is also auctioning off a Yeti Cooler filled with tons of giveaways from all over the area. Tickets can be purchased at Pickles, and any of the events he is throwing. If you would like to help Justin or BIT, here are their websites:
About Believe In Tomorrow
Believe in Tomorrow offers respite homes around the country and has buildings in OC. BIT proudly boasts that, “95% of every dollar donated goes directly to support our services for critically ill children and their families. We believe in keeping families together during a child’s medical crisis, and that the gentle cadence of normal family life has a powerful influence on the healing process.”
Locations Here in OCMD
Believe In Tomorrow has a three locations here: A 4 unit condo on 66th st, a unit for military families on 28th St, and a unit in Fenwick Island just north of Ocean City. This allows them to host 6 families every week all year round.
How Beach Bash Started & What Has It Yielded
Wayne Littleton, Program Coordinator for our area’s Believe in Tomorrow, started a new fundraiser, Beach Bash, seven years ago when an unexpected cost of $30,000 arose for a new HVAC system. He didn’t know how the community would react to his concept of throwing a “prom” and getting the court to fundraise, but they loved it! It works like this: Five men and five women volunteer to be part of the court. The Court then runs personal fundraisers up until the Prom, real name, The Beach Bash. The Beach Bash is themed, and held at Seacrets. (Last year’s theme was prohibition.) To become King and Queen of the BASH, the male and female court member with the highest donations from their personal fundraising is crowned! Wayne’s personal goal the first year was to get to $10,000, to off set the cost of the HVAC system, they raised $35,000. The fundraiser has been even more successful every subsequent year, last year’s Bash brought in $129,000. Littleton commented about his surprise of the area’s generosity, “Over the year’s it has just been mind boggling how great our community is. I just can’t believe how much they give. Even when the economy was bad, I thought we would see our numbers go down, but they just give and give some more!” All the proceeds run the three facilities and our now also going to building a fourth place slotted to break ground in February on 65th St.