Live with Laura radio sharing tools for her New Jersey community

Live with Laura radio sharing tools for her New Jersey community

transformational tools tuesday

Many of you know that I live here at the New Jersey Shore where Superstorm Sandy ravaged my community almost one year ago.  Last weeks boardwalk fire here in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights NJ really has been heart breaking as many of my friends who own business here have just rebuilt from Sandy and were trying to regain some business footing and now their businesses have been ravaged by this blaze.  As I reflect on what my community has been through, it also reminds me of the tools I have shared with Superstorm Sandy survivors that have really helped them through the hardest year of their  life and the life of their business.

I would like to share these tools with my community again now that are dealing with this devastating fire and the challenges that face them as they have to rebuild their business.  Many of the tools I share with you are tools that helped me through the hardest year of my life that left me unable to see, walk, work or function.

Here is this weeks Live with Laura internet radio show which  airs every Tuesday.   I share Transformational Tools  on Tuesday for your life and your business.

On ipad here is direct link

It is my hope that these tools help you with you and your business when you have challenges you face and you can pull from your toolbox and put them in your tool-belt to easily access.

Please share this post and episode with anyone that you know could benefit from this.
The direct link to the Live with Laura Internet Radio show is
where you can subscribe via Itunes, RSS, Bookmark and text.  You can also SHARE via social media – Facebook , Twitter   , Email as well.

Thank you for listening and share what you learned with others.
Listen next Tuesday for more transformational tools for life and business.

Todays Show and Governor Christie

Todays Show and Governor Christie

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J –  Today’s Show and Governor Christie with Mary Pat helping to celebrate Jersey Shore is OPEN.
Band FUN performed several songs one in particular means more to us hear at the Jersey Shore – “Carry On”.
We must carry on and WE are REAL Jersey Strong……

One another segment was also emotion “I AM the Jersey Shore”.  WE ARE the Jersey Shore.  We ARE stronger then the storm.

Today started for us at 3:45 am to get ready for a 5:00 am start for the taping of The Today’s Show and preparing for all that TODAY had to offer.  The largest ribbon cutting that broke the Guinness book of world record today with 5.5 miles of
ribbon symbolically tied together our  hardest-hit towns by Sandy.  We bet the German  previous record-holder by about a mile.

Today Show in Seaside Heights

This is the hand written thank note to Governor Christie and Mary Pat  that I presented on behalf of our community Real Jersey Women and Men for all that they are doing for our state.

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My co-founders of The Real Jersey Girls Michelle Leonard and Gina Leigh also prepared Gina’s CD of her song “Not Alone” for them to listen to as well to remind them that they are not alone in their recovery and that if we all work together and lean in we will get through this.

Tour through New Jersey towns affected by Superstorm Sandy

If you move your mouse over the photos on this link you will see before and after aerial photos

Photos of Keansburg and Union Beach New Jersey
Click here 170 photos ( need to be logged in to facebook to see these photos)

As my home town was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, I’ve done my best to portray what I’ve seen. This was a video created for a school presentation, and centralizes around the areas of Toms River, Ortley Beach, and Seaside Heights  ~  Toms River HS Student –  Austin Sommerer

Areas in Toms River, NJ – Most of the residence were without power for two weeks so many did not realize that 5 or more feet of water was going down our highways and streets.

These two videos were taken as part of “Walk A Mile In our Shoes” to show the government why they needed to pass the Sandy bill

There are interviews with full time and long time residence of Ortley Beach – one of our ground zero communities.

There are interviews with full time residence of Ortley Beach – Beach Side – one of our ground zero communities.

A wonderful Mother’s Day Gift

A wonderful Mother’s Day Gift

Our family has been going to the same efficiency motel on the water in Wildwood, New Jersey for the last 20 years every spring. This year though was extremely needed as I needed to see the Atlantic Ocean without cringing as my community reminds me on a daily basic what Superstorm Sandy has done to my town. My oldest son meet us there from college so it was the start of a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend to relax and decompress. Wildwood crest and Cape May are amazing communities in New Jersey that have unique characteristics. Wildwood pier with rides similar to Seaside Heights and Pt Pleasant you can see from the distance when you are on the very wide beaches. Wildwood has the largest beach area in the state of New Jersey. As I look out over the balcony there was a heart drawn in the sand below which had extra meaning to me this year.

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Cape May is a beach community that has Victorian bed and breakfast homes that are painted with vibrant colors, horse drawn carriages and trolleys ride through the community and the down town quaint shops. It is one of my all time favorite New Jersey towns.

As I woke up on Mother’s Day before the boys did I watched the sunrise and decided to create a post on Facebook. As I was looking through the newsfeed I came across a post about a Mayors conference link to a blog post on More Monmouth Musing. As I read the blog post my heart was singing and my eyes were filling up with tears of joy. It had been on my mind and heart to reach out to Mississipi and see who I could speak to who understood what we were going through and what we could learn from them to rebuild and restore. I always say surround yourself with experts those that have done something already, learn the easy way instead of the hard way. I was planning to host the Sandy Summit in June and interview our mayors and organizations as well as experts in their field of recovery from a natural disaster and here this very group was coming here the following week.

Here is the excerpt I read and I knew I had to meet Kathleen and thank her for bringing this group to my New Jersey mayors to help my communities restore.

The Mississippi delegation, comprised of former Congressman Gene Taylor and former mayors Brent Warr, and Eddie Farve, , were being flown to New Jersey free on charge by Southwest Airlines. Their lodging is being donated by Dominique Ervin, General Manager, Hampton Inn of Neptune/Wall and Sal Cannizarro of Immediate Care Medical Walk In of Hazlet.

This mayors helping mayors project is the brainchild of author and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch. A Bay St’ Louis, MS native, Koch has dedicated herself to supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina. She is the author of Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered

When I got home I reached out to Kathleen and it was like she was speaking my language. Each and every word she spoke resonated with me as if she was reading my mind. I let her know that I would meet her at the beginning of the tour of our community and let her know I would also be taping the Mayors conference that evening for those that could not attend.

I drove up to meet them with Michelle Beauregard a New Orleans consultant that is helping our communities through the maze of grants, project management and compliance and Harry a councilman from the Mayors office of Seaside Heights.
We drove them through Bay head, Manaloking, Osbornville in Brick, Lavallette, Ortley and then Seaside Heights.
We meet with Mayor Akers and one of the first things he said was he was so appreciative of those that have come to help through the maze of uncertainty as we have never been through this before. Kathleen let him know she was giving him a copy of her book and he quickly stated he wished that a book washed up on the shores to tell him what to do right after the storm and was grateful for this wonderful gift of her book and also the peer to peer mayors meeting.

After we toured the boardwalk and saw how much progress was happening we then headed up to Union beach where the Mayors conference was. It was on the way up the Parkway that I reached out to a Real Jersey Girl community leader Cathy Murawski who stepped up when we hosted “Walk A Mile In Our Shoes” to raise awareness and get congress to pass the Sandy bill.
I asked her for a “Pink boot “escort through her community so that our Mississippi guest could also see the areas also affected in her community. As we parked the car I told Kathleen, Brett, Gene and Eddie that I was very emotional as I am just about to meet Cathy face to face for the first time. It is amazing the people I have meet that we have banned together for the same mission, vision and purpose.

We arrived at the restaurant that had the most amazing Italian food and amazing New Jersey hospitality. Even the restaurant guest were listening intently during the conference. They witness our mayors learning from leaders from Mississippi teaching them what to expect and how to lead us through the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. They also stated that they will never forget those that came from Florida to help them and teach them what to do and wanted to Pay It Forward to our NJ leaders.

It was a successful conference and I could see a shift and empowerment happening before my eyes as I watched our leaders interact with veterans who have been down the long and at times hazardous road of recovery.

I let Art Gallegher who wrote the article that lead me to Kathleen that he gave me the BEST Mother’s Day gift and my heart was still singing. Kathleen signed her book and inspired me on so many levels. I am forever changed by this gift of kindness and I know that I have life long friends that if they ever want to come back to our Jersey Shores we will extend southern hospitality Real Jersey Girl style.

The Sandy Summit starting June 1st will include the recording of the mayors conference so that other leaders in our New Jersey communities can benefit from the words of wisdom from these wonderful leaders.

Rep. Gene Taylor (D) – Representative for Mississippi’s 4th congressional district 1989 – 2011. Taylor’s waterfront home in Bay St. Louis, MS, was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Afterwards Taylor, a fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Democrat, became an outspoken advocate for insurance reform authoring a widely-supported bill that passed the House but never made it to a vote in the Senate.

Mayor Brent Warr – In 2005, Warr was elected mayor of Gulfport, MS, at 68,000 the second largest city in the state of Mississippi. Seven weeks later, Hurricane Katrina hit. Warr remained at the helm for the next four years, overseeing the city’s recovery. In 2006, Warr received the Urban Leadership Award from the Penn Institute for Urban Research for his “outstanding work on rebuilding and responding to disaster.”

Mayor Eddie Favre – Favre served as mayor of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi from 1989 – 2009, overseeing the rebuilding of the town of approximately 9000. Though its downtown is the highest point in the U.S. on the Gulf of Mexico, 75% of the homes and businesses in Bay St. Louis were heavily damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Bay St. Louis recovered so well that in 2010 Coastal Living named it one of the top ten small beach towns in America and in April it placed #3 in Budget Travel’s “Coolest Small Towns in America.”

Author and former CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch. A Bay St’ Louis, MS native, Koch has dedicated herself to supporting survivors of natural disasters since Katrina. She is the author of Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost It All and Found What Mattered. She was sent to Japan by the U.S. State Department in March of this year to deliver her message of Resiliency and Words of Hope to the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami of the second anniversary of that catastrophic event.



Hope Always Lives On

Hope Always Lives On

The words Hope Always Lives On sums up today in so many ways.

A second semi truck — filled with hundreds of 18-gallon totes brimming with personal-care essentials, cleaning supplies, clothing, nonperishable food and even some furniture and file cabinets came all the way from Akron, Ohio today.
The beauty of these gifts is that they were largely powered by area schoolchildren, young adults from the University of Akron and Kent State University, and senior citizens. They’re all members of the perpetually active HALO (Hope Always Lives On) Foundation of Akron, founded by Sharon Deitrick. HALO initially organized student leaders in the “93 cents for Flight 93” campaign to raise funds for the memorial in Shanksville, Pa., for the heroes of United Flight 93 who fought back against the terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

9/11 is a emotionally charged subject here in NY and NJ so today’s delivery really brought many of us to tears on so many levels.
The generosity was overwhelming and so much appreciated.  Seeing the names of those that lost their life along the side of the semi-tractor trailer reminded me of amazing people who did amazing things on that day on Sept 11, 2001 and now this group that is honoring their memory has done an amazing thing as well here in NJ.

Participating schools include Akron’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) School, St. Sebastian Parish School, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Firestone, Mogadore, Our Lady of the Elms High School and Field High School in Portage County.

St. Vincent-St. Mary sophomore Katherine Friess got involved with HALO as an extension of her service-learning project. She said she didn’t fully realize the magnitude of what she was doing at first in collecting goods for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. But once she put herself in the victims’ shoes she gained a wider appreciation, saying, “If the roles were switched I would be grateful for everything the HALO Foundation has done.”

Firestone senior Richard LaPilusa called participating in the project a good fit for him: “It’s a great feeling helping people in need! I’m sure the other students in my chapter would say the same thing.”

One of the youngest members, Olivia Robinson, a fourth-grader at Rootstown Elementary School, asked guests at her recent 10th birthday party to donate items for the children devastated by the hurricane, instead of getting gifts for herself. She delivered nearly 15 bags full.

Knowing that others  care for  strangers warms my heart even more. I know that my community appreciates everything that was supplied today by these wonderful beautiful people.

Several residents at Akron’s Rockynol Retirement Community began knitting and crocheting baby blankets, enough to fill six large totes. Women from Francesca Residence Hall wrote notes of encouragement to the families who have lost all of their possessions.

Gary Didado, president of J.W. Didado — an electrical and high voltage contractor — and his employees joined the fundraising effort after observing firsthand Sandy’s destruction; several of its crews were dispatched to the area shortly after the storm to restore power. “Our employees raised about $11,000 in three days,” Didado was happy to report.

Also on hand for the sendoff was an ecstatic Mark Jones, vice president of Jersey Central Power & Light (parent company is FirstEnergy), who splits his time between his home in Green and one in New Jersey. He called it “an amazing experience.”

The trailer was  unloaded at the People’s Pantry in Toms River by dozens of local volunteers, including Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) employees, U.S. Army personnel, Toms River students, local officials and emergency responders.

The mission of the HALO Foundation is to offer hope to the afflicted through the generosity of service and charity involving intergenerational support from seniors to children.  Additional information about the organization is available at

The People’s Pantry, operated by Toms River High School students and volunteers, offers free nonperishable food, toiletries, housing supplies, and other items to residents who need help in areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy.