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Helmetta community comes together for ‘Pizza at the Pavilion’ after storm last week

HELMETTA – The community showed why its known as “a little town with a big heart” last week after wind gusts of over 70 mph and rain whipped through New Jersey.

That ferocious storm caused 75 percent – 851 out of 1,156 – borough homes to lose power.

Mayor Chris Slavicek invited the community through social media to the Ronald C. Wilson Pavilion for “Pizza at the Pavilion” with pizza, snacks and camaraderie on the evening of July 23.

He explained that after he posted the invite, he received generous donations from St. George’s Anglican Church and Villa Borghese provided the pizza.

Power went out around 6 p.m. on July 22 and restored around 8:30 p.m. on July 23. Prior to the power restoration, Slavicek said he was on conference calls with JCP&L and they had said power may be restored by as late as July 26.

The mayor said the borough’s Office of Emergency Management, police and fire personnel made sure all residents were safe during the power outage.

Resident Robert Mendez, who stopped by for a slice of pizza, said he appreciated Slavicek’s efforts during the power outage.

“My power is out, but I bought a generator after [superstorm Sandy in 2012],” he said. “I have hot water for a shower, I can cook … everything is all good.”

Councilwoman Noreen Carolan-Genthe said it was a great turnout for the pizza at the pavilion.

“This is what we are,” she said. “The mayor always says we are a little town with a big heart, this is what you do.”

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