Long Branch — The organizing committee of the Ray Licata Memorial Swim, in cooperation with the Long Branch Department of Recreation, is pleased to announce that the 12th Annual Ray Licata Memorial Swim will be held on Sunday August 21 at Pier Village in Long Branch. The Ray Licata Memorial Swim has the reputation of being the ‘Swimmer’s Swim’; swimmers and non-swimmers alike are welcome.
The event includes a One Mile Swim, for experienced and amateur swimmers, as well as a One Mile Walk-Along that gives everyone a chance to participate. Families, friends, and beachgoers can walk the swim route on the beachfront as swimmers swim the one-mile water course.
This year’s events will commence at 8:00 AM with registration opening at 6:30 AM under the veranda at Pier Village. Registration includes a T-shirt and swim cap, as well as refreshments.
The One Mile Swim and Walk-Along memorializes the untimely passing of Ray Licata, who as a Jersey Shore resident loved the beach and always did his part to support shoreline safety. It has been twelve years since Ray Licata, community activist and member of the Long Branch swim community, died unexpectedly late one summer afternoon following his routine ocean swim. Ray served as an administrator for the Monmouth County Division of Social Services for 34 years, retiring in 2002. He also volunteered for the 9/11 Memoria Project and Deal Lake Commission.
As an avid swimmer, Ray recognized the importance of the lifeguard’s role and occasionally helped with rescue efforts. He commented shortly before his death about organizing an Ocean Mile Swim in Long Branch. Fulfilling Ray’s vision, the annual swim will enter its twelfth consecutive year.
The Ray Licata Memorial Swim committee members are enthusiastic about continuing the Swim and Walk-Along, which allows many people to participate in this community event. “We are thrilled that this event continues to support swimmer safety at the Long Branch beaches, through the purchase of specialized safety equipment as well as by supporting our junior lifeguard program,” said Glen Rassas, Event Director. “We encourage everyone to come out: swim or walk along the swim route, and support the Long Branch beachfront community.”
Proceeds from this year’s community event will be earmarked to support beach safety as well as the City’s junior lifeguard program. The junior lifeguard program — in its eighth year of support from the Ray Licata Memorial Swim, will teach children and adolescents the basic requirements of beachfront safety, swimming, and lifeguard skills. “It is our hope to give young members of our community, particularly those who do not have the financial resources to enroll in such a program, an opportunity to learn how to promote ocean safety and potentially become a member of the Long Branch lifeguard team,” commented Rassas. “We are proud to have junior lifeguard graduates participating as lifeguards for the City of Long Branch.”
About the Ray Licata Memorial Swim
Organized by local residents of Monmouth County, the Ray Licata Memorial Swim is co-sponsored by these volunteers and the Long Branch Department of Recreation. Over the past eleven years, the swim has raised over $77,000. Funds have been used by the City of Long Branch for two certified lifeboats, a portable defibrillator, a Jet Ski, beach rescue equipment, two ATV’S, and a floating wheelchair. All of this equipment is now available and in use to protect the many residents, vacationers, and visitors to the Long Branch beachfront. Since its inception, the Ray Licata Memorial Swim committee has worked to improve the quality of the event and has become one the most popular ocean swims on the Jersey Shore.
The swim begins and ends at Pier Village. Hundreds of spectators every year enjoy the opportunity to look on and participate in the day’s activity. Members of the Organizing Committee include: Glen Rassas, Ray Licata, Jr., Theresa Licata McConnell, Mark Levy, Dale Mortenson, Lisa Ferrigno, Joe Ferragina, and Jeanne Zucker.
For more information refer to the event website www.RayLicataMemorialSwim.com or contact Glen Rassas, 732-222-2932 (evenings) The thirteenth annual Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5K The thirteenth annual Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5K road race is August 13, 2016 beginning at 8:30 a.m and it promises to be a lot of fun for both runners and spectators alike.