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HAMMONTON - Hammonton First held a grand opening celebration on Aug. 30 to mark the official opening of its headquarters, located at 210 Bellevue Ave., directly next door to Casciano Coffee Bar in Downtown Hammonton.

The free event included live music, food and drinks, all provided by volunteers and donations. The large crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk of neighboring buildings, as those that attended sat at tables under umbrellas on a beautiful late summer evening.

A ceremonial ribbon cutting was cut to mark the opening.

A donation drive to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston was also held as part of the headquarters opening event.

Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato and the Hammonton First candidates for Town Council — Tom Gribbin, Brooke Sacco, and Richard Alverio — asked those interested in donating to direct their giving to the following charities that focus on helping Houston people and pets.

Donors should make checks payable directly to any of the following: Greater Houston Community Foundation — Memo: Mayor of Houston Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston – Memo: Hurricane Harvey or Houston Humane Society - Memo: Hurricane Harvey Efforts.

“Steve, Brooke, Ricky and I had an excellent night seeing everyone at the Hammonton First headquarters grand opening. There was such an outpouring of support, from so many people and businesses in our community, who are donating directly to help the people and pets in Houston,” said Deputy Mayor Tom Gribbin.

Those still interested in donating to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts may drop off checks at the Hammonton First Headquarters at 210 Bellevue Avenue in Hammonton from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days per week. Beginning on Sept. 5, and running through Election Day on Nov. 7, the headquarters will be open daily, seven days a week. In addition to being a donation drop off center, voter registration forms, vote by mail applications, candidate information and more will all be available at the headquarters. The headquarters is staffed by volunteers. There also is to be a secure drop box at that location that donors can use after business hours.

Donors that would prefer to mail their checks should issue them directly to the charities, and may send them to Hammonton First – Attn: Hurricane Harvey Relief - P.O. Box 112 Hammonton, NJ 08037. All checks that are dropped off to the headquarters or mailed will be collected, sorted and mailed by Hammonton First volunteers in batches to the designated relief charities.

Steve DiDonato is running for re-election as mayor on this year’s Hammonton First ticket, along with Tom Gribbin, Brooke Sacco and Richard Alverio, who are running for Town Council. Hammonton First is a local organization formed in 2005 comprised of Independents, Republicans and Democrats dedicated to improving the community of Hammonton.

For more information, or to get involved with the Hurricane Harvey Donation Drive or the campaign, please visit www.facebook.com/hammonton1st, email info@hammonton1st.com or call/text (609) 517-6324.

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