The two Belmar Elementary School students who were involved in a tragic drowning and near-drowning last week near the 8th Ave. beach are being referred to as "Belmar's Angels".

The two girls who were at the beach on the tragic evening of June 15th were Mitzi and Emily. Mitzi was a 6th grader and did not survive. Her cousin Emily is a fifth grader that remains on life support.

In the words of Mayor Matthew Doherty "Belmar lost one angel Thursday night and another clings to life at the hospital."  He is asking for prayers for the girls and their families.

The two girls were pulled from the ocean around 6:30 pm. on that evening. It was a beautiful, sunny evening and there were many people enjoying the beach and boardwalk. I was among them and was so heartbroken to witness this tragedy.

The mayor has pledged $20,000 toward the online fundraising efforts for both families, and asks that you please donate anything you can by CLICKING HERE.

Both families face enormous financial challenges. The emotional toll on them, the students of Belmar Elementary, and the community will be much harder to heal. So I will continue to hold them in my prayers.

I will say it even though we all know: please remind your kids to not even so much as wade in the ocean when there are no lifeguards present. It's too heartbreaking for us to lose any more of these precious children.