President's Day Weekend is that annual four-day weekend when kids have off during a time of year without many non-school activities going on in South Jersey.  But this year, you should travel to the Jersey Shore for some fun and help to raise money for a great cause.

One of the biggest fundraising events in South Jersey each year is the Mike's Seafood Polar Bear Run-Walk for Autism. Hosted in Sea Isle City during President's Day Weekend, this year's 5K Run and One Mile FunWalk is raising money for Special Services Schools, Autism Support Groups, and Families of Special Needs Children.

Mike Monachetti, owner of Mike's Seafood, is the man behind this annual fundraiser that has grown to see thousands of people come to Sea Isle City each year.  I spoke with Mike on Tuesday's edition of GameNight with Josh Hennig on 973 ESPN South Jersey about how this annual fundraiser started years ago:

"I started this 17 years ago (because) I am the father of a boy and a girl with Autism who are on the spectrum. I have Mike's Seafood so I can take care of my children but there are a lot of people who can't (take care of their children the way I can). So I wanted to raise money for people to help them out....The last two to three years we have been averaging around four to five thousand people come out for the event, it's really taken off.  So many people enjoy the day with their family - I'm lucky to have Sea Isle City work with me as a partner on this to really make it a great day."

This year's event is Saturday, February 17th with registration at the Sea Isle City Promenade starting at 930 am. The 5K Run and One Mile Fun Walk will start after 12 pm; Both Run and Walk happen simultaneously as participants go in opposite directions on the Sea Isle City Boardwalk.  There will be a huge party the Run-Walk is completed with Food and Entertainment for all ages.

For over one hundred years, the Monachetti Family has operated Mike's Seafood located on Park Road on the bay in Sea Isle City. Mike Monachetti is the third generation his family living and working in the Shore Town, he knows all about the work ethic that goes into success at the Jersey Shore. He was going to make the Polar Bear Run-Walk for Autism become a success despite the doubters:

"When I started this, people said 'Nobody is going to come and run in the wintertime'.  Well, every year we get between 600 and 1,000 people to come do the 5k Run. There's no other 5k (this time of year) and people welcome it. For example, you might see five or six guys in Rowan (University) Jerseys on, or Temple (University), and the group of guys comes down that run Cross Country for the different colleges jump in and do the 5K Run.  Just so much support from so many different directions, it's really rewarding to help other people out".

Aside from Mike's Seafood being a staple of the Sea Isle City community, Mike Monachetti has also become famous for posting a sign in the window of his storefront asking Eagles All-Pro Center Jason Kelce to not retire. People have been taking pictures in front of the sign, and sharing on social media to get Kelce's attention. I asked Monachetti if he ever thought Mike's Seafood would become "Internet Famous":

"I had no idea (The Kelce Sign would go viral) but I just wanted to put out a message from the crew here at Mike's Seafood. Jason and his wife, Kylie, the whole family patronizes Mike's Seafood, they come in and get takeout (or) they go out back to eat at the Dock Restaurant. We just feel like we have a strong tie to Jason; His brother Travis also comes with him, his mom (Donna), everybody (in the Kelce family) comes down to Sea Isle City when (Jason Kelce) is here in the Summertime."

Many people who live and work in Sea Isle City have their own personal Jason Kelce stories, so I asked Mike Monachetti what is his favorite Jason Kelce experience:

"People know there are lines to get in Mike's Seafood (during the Summer). I'll go out front and I'll see (Jason Kelce) standing out front of the building and there might be 60 or 70 people in front of him in line waiting to get on the Dockside Restaurant to eat. So I'll say to him 'Let me take you around the side door, take you right up to the dock' and he will adamantly say 'No". He's just genuine, he's down to earth. He would rather stand in line, talk to people, (and) take pictures with people. He's just really amazing."

For more information about this year's Mike's Seafood Polar Bear Run-Walk for Autism event on Saturday, February 17th, you can visit their website here.

Remember These Places That Use To Be In Sea Isle City, New Jersey

Thanks in part to the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Sea Isle City has seen many changes over the years. Whether you grew up in South Jersey or vacationed multiple summers in Sea Isle City, you may remember some of these buildings and businesses that no longer exist. Which ones below do you remember most? (Special Thank you to the Sea Isle Historical Museum for helping me get these pictures and information)

Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media

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