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SIXTH ANNUAL HATZALAH CARNIVAL - A FUN DAY OF COMMUNITY UNITY

By: Frieda Schweky

A day of fun, family, and unity was enjoyed by thousands thanks to a community organization we hold dear. The Jersey Shore Hatzalah Carnival was no doubt the largest family event of the summer, with a petting zoo, face painting, rides, and more!

Hatzalah is an invaluable community resource that, Baruch Hashem, we can call for help when in need of immediate assistance. On Sunday, July 29th, The Jersey Shore Hatzalah hosted their sixth annual carnival at the JCC. Each year this event grows to be even bigger than the year before. This year families came pouring in by the thousands, and approximately 5,000 people attended the carnival throughout the day.

“We host this event each year to re-introduce ourselves to the community in a way they may not always see us during the year,” said one of the founders of the Hatzalah Carnival.  “Yes, we are here for them in times of pain and need, but we are not all about lights and sirens, we are also a family, and are here for the community for good times and smiles as well.”

When attendees arrived at the carnival, they were offered the option to purchase tickets and wristbands to allow them access to the rides, food, treats, and games. All the proceeds from the event went to support the Jersey Shore Hatzalah. Barbeque, salads, popcorn, cotton candy, and ices were offered on this day of fun and delight.

The carnival activities were seemingly endless. There was a dunk tank, bouncy houses, and clowns, large rides such as the zipper and a Ferris wheel, pony rides, and more. Carnival games were played and enjoyed by all. Whatever tickets a player accumulated from winning could be put towards an array of prizes, big and small, such as dolls, toys, drones, air hockey tables, and more.

The petting zoo was open all, and what a sight it was! The littlest members of our community especially enjoyed this activity. This was not your ordinary petting zoo. In fact, the animals were all quite exquisite. There were white fluffy chickens and a llama with a unique patterned coat of fur, as well as a friendly turkey roaming freely. The children loved interacting with the tiny sized goats, the family of ducks, fluffy bunnies, and more.

A major highlight of the day was when the MC announced the arrival of the children from The Special Children's Center, who were invited as guests to come and enjoy the carnival. The entire day the children were highlighted as they enjoyed the wonderful event wearing their VIP wristbands.

The carnival also featured a prize board. It cost $36 to play, and everyone was a winner. The prize board contained envelopes numbered 1-230. Each envelope contained a prize donated by a community business with a value of $50 or more. Just to name few of the prizes: a free family photo shoot, a dozen packs of kosher beef jerky, flowers for Shabbat, gift cards to restaurants and community businesses, and more.

A full-fledged Chinese auction was held at the heart of the carnival. Prizes included a woman's package, a Peloton bike package, an Apple package, a baby package which featured Doona Car seat, and more.

The Jersey Shore Hatzalah extended an invitation to many of the members of the Jersey Shore First Aid Squad, which included the Deal and Ocean Township police, the firehouses, etc. Not only did the firemen attend, they brought two large fire trucks, and parked them at the front of the event, welcoming community members to climb on in for a fun experience.

This was undoubtedly a unique and incredible event, which brought together the community and our highly valued Hatzalah volunteers, whom we appreciate so greatly.