My Epic Weekend In Pictures: Our important food drive.


This weekend was certainly a weekend we will never forget. Every year we do our Stuff The Bus Food Drive Radiothon event where we collect donations for The Sussex County Division Of Social Services Food Pantry (which is really fun to try to say fast on the radio when you're out in cold weather some years, lol.) Even though there are so many factors working against us, I'm proud to say this was still a hugely successful event thanks to you and your help. We will start our weekend with Friday.

Friday's Stuff The Bus event was very different from past years. Normally we kick it off at First Hope Bank on 517 at their Andover location on Newton Sparta Road. I always joke (can't we fit another Sussex County town into the name somewhere, we already have three represented why not?) This year we handled all of our on air messaging from our radio studios instead of being on site at First Hope Bank. Normal years we would have a crowd show up with turkeys and cash, but we are in that tough spot of not trying to attract a crowd. Friday we were able to successfully push for cash, cash, cash at First Hope Bank locations, while still being able to push for food donations at ShopRite locations. We have so many drop off locations with Stuff The Bus all over Sussex County, but with so many of those businesses having employees work remotely, that makes for another logistical challenge of collecting food donations. We knew this was still possibly our most important food drive ever, with how tough of a year 2020 has been on so many of us.

Friday I was able to get more things accomplished at the radio station than a normal Friday of Stuff The Bus, with me being in the radio station for the full day instead of a half day like normal years. I was totally fine with that positive change.

Friday afternoon, while half paying attention to my Facebook feed I saw news that stunned and saddened me. I saw a post that our dear friend Tom Bulger passed away, unexpectedly at the age of 60. Tom Bulger was a football Sunday regular dear friend of mine and Awesome Girlfriend Megan's at The Cottage in Franklin. We just had a fun football Sunday with him a couple of weeks ago laughing all afternoon. Tom loved sports like we did, and was knowledgeable. He was a terrific, caring friend always loving to show us pictures of his new grandson who made him so happy. I even talked Tom into moving back into Great Gorge Village in Vernon, or Campus as I call it. He loved living back on Campus and even started referring to it as Campus, even though he had previously even lived on my street 25 years ago. Tom always knew how to make you laugh. Back in July we took future stepdaughter to The Cottage for her 21st birthday. Meg and I always take the kids there for their first drink, it's our tradition. We reserved the table a couple days in advance for our family. Upon arriving, they had to move our dear friends Tom and Artie over to a smaller table so we could have the table for our family. Artie and Tom were heckling me all night accusing me of using my "star power," to get them moved to the cheap bleacher seats. We reserved these seats days in advance, LOL. Not to mention, they were merely moved to the next table over, so they were easily able to bust on us all night. We all bust on each other like brothers. Tom was a wonderful friend to many, and will be greatly missed.

Saturday morning, Stuff The Bus is on! Due to cutbacks in our radio industry, we don't have street teamers at the moment like we normally do. This meant it was on all of us radio on air guys to set everything up ourselves. Steve Andrews from WSUS and Borasio from WNNJ did a fantastic job setting up themselves. Saturday morning I was called into action at 8:15am. Poor Borasio in Newton couldn't get us onto Wifi. At these live events we do, our promotion teamers stream our radio stations on our iHeartRadio App. They always sound fantastic. The only negative is when you can't connect to the Internet. No matter what Borasio and I did we couldn't get it to connect. I just casually said "don't you miss the old days when we would bring boom boxes to these live remote broadcasts and they always worked?" Light bulb moment. I went to Walmart, and bought an old school boom box. Bam. We were back on within minutes. Success!

Saturday afternoon I was able to dodge the bear that Steve Andrews had ShopRite Franklin help plant right at our broadcast location. It was great to see so many friends out at the grocery stores. So many thanked us not only for still doing our food drive, but for everything else we've done over this past year. Their appreciation felt amazing. We had fun getting to help so many people. When folks asked me how it was possible for us to "buy 5 pounds of food with every 1 dollar we raise," I explained that the Sussex Division Of Social Services Food pantry buys in bulk from the state food bank and gets those great deals. When we say every little bit helps, we mean that literally!

Saturday night Awesome Girlfriend Megan made her world famous pepperoni stromboli, and we relaxed watching college football. She knew I needed to rest up to power through the rest of our weekend. We couldn't get Rutgers on my TV, but Meg was able to stream it on her phone. That's why we ended up with our two games at once setup.

Sunday I was able to have fun with our new midday rock star Annie. I was then solo all afternoon at ShopRite Of Sparta. That store is always so gorgeous. It was unfortunate that I was set up right behind the garlic bread display. Fresh, hot baked delicious smelling garlic bread smelling it for 3 straight hours. You know that feeling when you just can't stop craving carbs because they're literally all you can smell? That was my amusement.

Sunday afternoon I had a small dilemma. I almost didn't go to The Cottage for football Sunday because I didn't want to see my Patriots lose in person again. I was working during the game, so I knew we weren't doing great but didn't know if we had won or lost etc. Meg talked me into going and seeing our friends, since we were reminded Friday afternoon how precious and short life can be. I got there, and my friends were nice enough to change over one of the games to my Patriots game. I got there just in time to see us NOT get the 4th and 4 play, which ended our game with a loss. Exactly what I was hoping to avoid LOL. Ah well.

I ended up enjoying Sunday afternoon football with some friends.

Overall, we had a memorable weekend where we were lucky enough to help so many of our neighbors. We will have totals by tomorrow, and will keep you updated on the radio. I think we might be breaking some of our cash records, which will help many more families.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. I'm praying to get tested, test Negative for Covid-19 so that I can see my parents and sister for my Birthday and Thanksgiving. My birthday is Wednesday November 25th, which is also going to be my 7th year anniversary of working here at iHeart in Sussex, New Jersey. My first day was my 32nd birthday.

Overall, we had a memorable weekend where we were lucky enough to help so many of our neighbors. We will have totals by tomorrow, and will keep you updated on the radio. I think we might be breaking some of our cash records, which will help many more families.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my Epic Weekend In Pictures. I'm praying to get tested, test Negative for Covid-19 so that I can see my parents and sister for my Birthday and Thanksgiving. My birthday is Wednesday November 25th, which is also going to be my 7th year anniversary of working here at iHeart in Sussex, New Jersey. My first day was my 32nd birthday.

Meg asked me what my birthday wish was. I told her all I want is a quiet night in alone with her Wednesday night, getting a Negative test, and getting to see my parents and sister Thursday, my favorite day of the year.

I hope you and your family have a great, safe, and healthy holiday season.