Friday, November 21, 2014

Wildwood Police Plan to Pinch Grinch on Boardwalk


WILDWOOD – Police in this city are set to pinch the Grinch and run him out of town when he makes his appearance on the Boardwalk Sat., Dec. 13 during the second annual “Pinch the Grinch 5K Run and 1 Mile Grinch Walk.”

Members of the Wildwood police department will be out in force during the event to make sure the green thief and his dog, Max, are sent packing back to Whoville without toys, hollywho  wreaths or roast beasts.

Wildwood’s finest will be on patrol as well participating in the event, scheduled to take off from in front of the Wildwoods Convention Center at 10 a.m., rain or shine.

During last year’s event police were able to nab the Grinch on the Boardwalk and remove him from the city. The master of purloined playthings was found slithering around runners as they took their places at the start line.  Several toys were found inside the Grinch’s shirt. 

According to Capt. Robert Regalbuto, the evidence was immediately returned to Santa Claus for delivery on Christmas Eve.

"In these tough economic times families in need have difficulty in making Christmas magic for their children. That’s when the Lunch with Lynch Foundation steps in to make sure all local children are given the thrill of opening a present on Christmas morning."

The impetus to support the run was an easy decision, said Regalbuto. The police department has a long-standing relationship with John Lynch, Director of Sales and Entertainment for the Wildwoods Convention Center.

Lynch’s foundation, Lunch with Lynch, serves many needy families on the five mile island.  A holiday offshoot of the Lunch with Lynch program, “The Lynch who Stole Christmas from the Grinch,” provides toys, gift cards and warm coats to needy families throughout the Wildwoods.

“John Lynch has always done good things for the people of this community,” said Regalbuto. “The Wildwood Police Department wanted to help John with this event.”

The run will begin at 10 a.m. sharp on Dec. 13 outside the Wildwoods Convention Center. From there, athletes will run south to Cresse Avenue, make a turn and head north toward 21st Avenue. A quick turn there will bring runners back to the Convention Center for refreshments and an awards ceremony.

“We’d like to have as many law enforcement officers as possible make the run,” Regalbuto said. “We’re encouraging other police departments to participate.” 

To that end, Wildwood police will be issuing three prizes: “Top Cop” to the first officer to make it across the finish line; second place “Senior Officer”; and the third place “Rookie” award.

Registration costs $30 per person, or $15 with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy.  On-site registration begins at 8:30 the day of the race.

Information about the run, or becoming a sponsor, can be obtained by contacting Regalbuto at 609-522-0222, extension 2330 or online at  

Pre-registration for the race or walk can be done online at  Organizers are also seeking volunteers to assist on race day.

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