Ocean County Conference’s first old-timers’ barbecue

Barnegat Township Local 296 State Delegate Christopher Ebert wanted to find a way to honor past delegates of the Ocean County Conference.

So Ebert talked to NJSPBA President Pat Colligan and Pension Coordinator Pete Andreyev, and they came up with the idea to throw a barbecue for the old-timers.

“I got the idea from Pat because they do it every year in Middlesex-Somerset County Conference,” Ebert explained. “And I talked to Pete, and he was like, ‘That’s a great idea. I’m in.’ It was actually pretty easy.”

On June 5, current and past delegates of Ocean County Conference, along with several PBA presidents, met up at the picnic grove in the back of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Berkeley Heights.

The newer delegates took the opportunity to learn from past delegates who shared their personal experiences and offered advice. Ebert mentioned that it is important to keep the past delegates as close as possible, because their knowledge can only help.

“We have a lot of newer delegates statewide,” Ebert said. “And the retired or past delegates have a wealth of information. So we wanted to get the younger and older people to come, hang out and pick everybody’s brain.”

Retired member Ed Weimmer, or Chef Ed, insisted on flipping the burgers. Retired member Jimmy Smith, who owns Ryan’s Boulevard Deli & Grill in Seaside Heights, donated burgers, hotdogs and other food for the barbecue. And Gary Brown from the Patriot Financial Group donated funds for beverages.

“It was a low-cost way to throw a get-together for all the old-timers,” Ebert said. “I think once word spreads that we had a good time, it’ll get bigger every year.”