August 10, 2021 (Wildwood, New Jersey) – The Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community sponsored a Community Walk in Wildwood, New Jersey on August 10, 2021. The Acting New Jersey State Attorney General Andrew Buck, Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron, Assemblyman Antwan McClellan and a host of other civic and community leaders walked together through the Wildwood community in unity. This innovative event was organized to help build, meaningful and authentic relationships within Wildwood City, Cape May County and Southern New Jersey.
The event organizers and community leaders have recognized that social capital and engagement have declined in areas such as organizational membership, attending religious services, attending club meetings, and interacting with others face-to-face in communities. These authentic interactions are the glue that binds strong communities. The Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community is diligently working to address the deficit in social capital that is harming individuals, communities, and America.
Attorney General Bruck, Mayor Byron and Assemblyman McClellan are committed to reversing this trend and revitalizing New Jersey’s social capital. The Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community is an important vehicle through which crucial work is being done to strengthen connections among neighbors. The Community Walk is a prime example of the ways in which volunteering, reciprocity, and trust in others can positively impact New Jersey communities. Hundreds of children eager to return to learning environments after a year marred by the Covid-19 pandemic received FREE Book Bags & School Supplies.
Kenneth Fowlkes, Supervisor of the New Jersey Office of Resilience, traveled from Trenton to Cape May County to participate in the walk. “My office is dedicated to creating opportunities to eradicate Adverse Childhood Experiences through grassroots and community-led efforts, technical assistance and strategic support for organizations already pursuing this work. The important work of The Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community falls squarely into the purview of what we are attempting to achieve. We fully support Mayor Byron and Assemblyman McClellan’s efforts here in Cape May County. We need more of these initiatives.”
Dreamchasers Community Services brought a couple collegiate student-athletes to participate in the Community Walk. Zach Hicks, a freshman scholarship basketball player at Temple University and Jalen Hudson, a sophomore scholarship football player at Indiana University of Pennsylvania were eager to help out. Hicks said, “I spend a lot of time in Wildwood and I always enjoy myself. Anything I can to to help this strengthen community I will do. I look forward to coming back to Wildwood every summer.”
Hudson echoed Hicks, “My friends and I love Wildwood. When I was younger, a lot of adults helped me understand the importance of being a high character individual. I try to instill that message in kids every chance I get.” Delgreco Wilson, Dreamchasers Director of Youth Programs was impressed with the gathering on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon.
Wilson stated, “Dreamchaser looks forward to working with the Cape May County Coalition for a Safe Community to help young NJ residents develop and refine job skills. We are committed to serving this community and will be reaching out to schools and other youth serving organizations over the next month or so. Attorney General Bruck, Mayor Byron and Assmblyman McClellan are doing exactly what needs to be done. The way to truly make a difference is to interact with others face-to-face in the community. I am grateful that they invited Dreamchasers to participate.”