This inspiring story shows how a little bit of dedication, commitment and passion to give back to children in need, can help our community.

This story is on behalf of Rich McCleary, a 46-year-old resident of Ocean City, and manager of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Manahawkin.

Credit: Google Maps

For a little background on Rich, seven years ago he was 135 lbs. overweight and completely out of shape. He actually had a health scare, in which he was faced with two serious options:

  1.  not change his unhealthy habits and live a shorter life
  2. take back control of his health, eat right and get in shape.   

He chose the latter, and in the process fell in love with distance running.

Now, for the past 10 years, Richard and his team at the Applebee’s of Manahawkin, have been holding fundraising events for Ocean of LoveOcean of Love is a charity that helps children with cancer in Ocean County.

And as a valued contributor to this cause, as well as being someone who has a passion for running and his community,  Rich has successfully completed 100 mile runs by himself over the past 3 years to fundraise for Ocean of Love. In 2016, he completed the run with a time of 28 hours and 20 minutes and will complete his fourth run this June.


Rich will run 100 more miles on June 24th, to continue raising money and awareness for the children with Cancer in Ocean County. The run will begin at Sunset Pavilion on Cape May beach and finish at his very own Manahawkin Applebee’s on Sunday morning.

To celebrate his massive accomplishment, his team at the Manahawkin Applebee’s will host a patio party for all who want to show their support for Rich and Ocean of Love, by featuring half-priced appetizers and a Coors Light special from 11am – 4pm on Sunday, June 25. Donations will be accepted that day as well.

Additional donations can be made directly at Applebee’s locations throughout New Jersey and can even be added on to guest checks. 100% of the donations will go directly to Ocean of Love. You can also donate online here.


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