One of the most endearing character traits, in my opinion, is modesty, particularly when it’s genuine and surprising.
At last week’s Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, Charles “Buddy” Jenkins was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Jenkins owns the Jolly Roger Amusement Parks on the Pier and 30th Street and Bay Shore Development Corporation, which operates Thrashers Fries and a couple Ocean City hotels, among other business interests. Jenkins is clearly a successful businessman and has been for decades in several industries.
While his award was certainly a result of his business acumen and success, it was also due to his community involvement. Topping his list of contributions to this community must be the creation of the Joan W. Jenkins Foundation on Route 50 in West Ocean City that serves more than 50,000 people annually with recovery and addiction struggles. Over the years, the services offered at the foundation have grown and it’s clearly serving a vital role on the local front.
In presenting Jenkins with his award, Laura Deeley Bren of Deeley Insurance Group, award sponsor, said, “His contributions to the community are felt in so many areas. They are felt in business, in tourism, in education, in health care, in his support for the addiction and mental health community and his generosity has supported so many people in our town.”
In his speech, Jenkins’ reluctance to accept the award was evident as was his humility.
“When I was asked about being nominated by the chamber for the Lifetime Achievement Award, I started not to accept it because my lifetime is still ongoing, and I can tell you I want to continue to make things better,” he said. “I also do not view my achievements as being any more than what I was expected to do. … We want to make this place better for the future of young people coming here, so tonight’s honor goes to my family, my friends, my employees – past and present – because they always thought how can I make it better.”
It’s that giving and selfless attitude – shared by many in business and particularly those with significant means – that has made this community so special for many years. It’s incumbent upon younger generations to emulate that in the years to come to ensure our community remains this way.
Kudos to the Ocean City Mayor and Council for not going with a beach ball paint design for the water tower on 64th Street. As I mentioned in the past, the only thing worse than one beach ball tower in Ocean City is to have two within three miles of each other.
During much of the conversation this week about the painting, there was some serious micromanaging by council members. As currently planned, the repainted tower will essentially look the same but be much cleaner thanks to the new coating of paint. Topics discussed this week included whether there should be a stripe on the message as there is currently, the color of the text and if a vinyl applique would be a better way to go.
After a lot of talk, it was decided the bid would follow staff recommendations on the bid awarding and design options with and without the dark blue stripe around the tower’s center would be presented to the council for review. Let’s hope all this gets settled with one more meeting.
Good Samaritan stories are always fun to report.
Thanks to a tip from beach stand operator Drew Haugh, it was learned two men pulled two swimmers ashore on Monday morning. Numerous rescues were reported throughout this week by town rescue swimmers because of the warm ocean water, balmy air temperature and rip current prevalence.
On Monday, Ocean City resident Frank Panetta and West Virginian Glenn Miller acted swiftly in response to calls for help from a man and woman caught in a rip current near 2nd Street. The rescuers’ accounts of the event made the story special.
“I came out of the water and was laying on my chair when I noticed the ladies next to me saying someone was in trouble,” Panetta said. “Then the guy to my left (Miller) said ‘let’s grab my boogie boards and see if we can help.’ He started going in after lady and I went after the man.”
Miller added, “I was sitting there reading my Bible and I started hearing screams and hollers. The second time we heard a distinct ‘help.’ I got to the woman first, and the gentleman sitting next to us went after the man.”
While both men downplayed their roles in the rescues, it’s clear the situation could have been tragic without their fast reactions.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said Haugh, who witnessed the entire situation. “They were heroes. They went in there and risked their own lives to save someone else’s.”