Ocean City Board of Realtors members Gloria Votta and Ken Cooper arrange the donations during the 2018 clothing drive. By Maddy VitaleStephen Hoffman walked into the Ocean City Board of Realtors office, said hello and turned to enter a room while toting a stuffed garbage bag.He knelt down, opened the bag and pulled out blankets, coats and other items that he placed on tables. “They’re not all from me. They are from my office,” said the sales representative with the real estate company, Marr Agency, in Ocean City.Then Hoffman said with a chuckle, “I’m just the delivery guy.”The items were part of the “Warmth for Winter Coat, Blanket & Boot Drive” in which the realtors and other members of the community collect items for the needy. The clothing drive is organized by the Board of Realtors in cooperation with the Clothes Closet of the Ocean City Ecumenical Council, an association of local churches that gives families in need some assistance. Stephen Hoffman, a sales rep with the Marr Agency in Ocean City, brings a bag of clothing he and his co-workers donated.The Ocean City Board of Realtors has been working along with the Ecumenical Council on the clothing drive for more than a decade, organizers said.“We are the people who are out in the community and we see what is happening,” said Ken Cooper, president of the Ocean City Board of Realtors. “A lot of us make a good living. We should give back. If you are not using something and it is just in your closet, donate it.”Cooper said there is plenty of time to donate clothing and other items. The clothing drive runs through the week after Thanksgiving, but the realtors will still accept donations through December. Then they will transport the items to the Ecumenical Clothes Closet in Ocean City.Cooper said people in need should never feel bad about accepting free clothing or other necessities.“If there are people in the community who have a need, they should come in. Some people are too embarrassed or fear the unknown,” he explained. “We do this because we want people to have warm clothes. We want to help others.”In just a couple of weeks, the conference room at the Board of Realtors filled up with all styles and sizes of coats and boots. The clothing was neatly arranged or folded on the tables. The boots, bedding and socks were stowed underneath in bags.Some garments still had the price tags on them. Clothing by Calvin Klein and Jones of New York and other brand names, lined the tables.Ken Cooper arranges jackets and sweatshirts, including some that still have the price tags on them.Gloria Votta, an agent for Re/Max Realty Group and chairwoman of the Community Services Committee for the Board of Realtors, helped start the drive.Like Cooper, she helps the needy because she wants to give back to the community.As a real estate agent, she has seen many different circumstances, she emphasized.“Not everyone sees this need in Ocean City,” Votta said. “You have to be out and about in the community to see the need. It is there.”She recalled an instance last year in which a man came in looking for size 9 sneakers.“We didn’t have any sneakers,” she said. The man left and in walked another man with a bag of sneakers he wanted to donate, Votta explained.“There was a size 9. We contacted the man and delivered the sneakers to him,” she said with a smile.The sign on the front door at the Ocean City Board of Realtors welcomes the community to donate to the clothing drive.She said there are many other touching stories and all of them are proof that the most important and rewarding thing to do is to help others.“Anyone who is a resident in Ocean City can go to the Ecumenical Clothes Closet and pick up their clothing,” Votta said.She added that the number of items a person may take depends on their needs. She said the Ecumenical Council handles that aspect of the clothing drive.Votta said this year, like last year, they are light on donations of children’s boots and men’s clothing.“We get a lot of women’s clothing,” Votta said. “If you go shopping on Black Friday, we are really in need of children’s snow boots.”Cash donations are also accepted. Votta said cash donations are used for shopping trips to purchase clothes for the needy, as requested by the Ecumenical Clothes Closet.Clothing donations may be dropped off at the Board of Realtors office at 405 22nd Street. To arrange for clothing pickups, people may call the office at (609) 399-0128. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Clothes are given out at the Ecumenical Clothes Closet at Fifth Street and West Avenue. The hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday. Any leftover clothing is donated to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter.The Ocean City Board of Realtors is located at 405 22nd Street.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Rain and resulting flooding conditions have resulted in cancellation of the June 26 race program at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway in Des Moines.The $3,000 to win Jim’s Johns Late Model Futurity is to be rescheduled.