A look back on the history and impact of the The Causeway Gazette.
MANAHAWKIN, NJ – What if we made a newspaper? That was the thought that Joe Stroffolino, Director of Advertising and Marketing for the Causeway Family of Dealerships, had in 2013 after receiving an ad in the mail that resembled a newspaper clipping.
The idea was simple – create a newspaper that Causeway could brand and customize with a mix of informative, localized content and advertising.
David C. Wintrode, President of Causeway Family of Dealerships/Causeway CARes, immediately supported Stroffolino’s idea. “Let’s do it,” Wintrode said.
The presses began to roll, and the masthead read “The Causeway Gazette”.
The first few months were filled with heavy advertising and little content, then that ratio quickly switched.
Stroffolino, the publication’s editor, wanted to provide readers with a mix of events, local success stories, sports, announcements, local news and more. “Oh, and there would be absolutely no negative content on these pages, only positive and encouraging news,” he added.
The Causeway Gazette’s geographic target was around the Southern Regional School District. “The idea was ingenious,” said Wintrode. “The basis for mailing was the schools, which all the parents were excited about.”
The publication also offers coloring contests for both kids and adults. “The community loves these contests, and our staff picks a winner each month based on submissions,” said Stroffolino. “Winners receive gift certificates to local businesses. It really is a great outreach effort.”
As the years marched on, The Causeway Gazette eventually transformed into a vehicle to spread awareness on the endeavors of Causeway CARes and the Wintrode Family Foundation in partnership with the nonprofit community.
In 2019, Causeway Family of Dealerships celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a $10,000 Monthly Grant Program to benefit local nonprofits and community organizations. The yearlong grant program reached its peak in its final month when Causeway donated a vehicle to a local nonprofit. The initiative’s success (over 80 grant applications were received) led to the CauseWheels Monthly Vehicle Donation Program to help neighbors and positivity impact Ocean County. All of these endeavors have been showcased throughout the pages of this publication.
To date, Causeway CARes has purchased, recycled and donated 24 vehicles and counting through its CauseWheels Vehicle Donation Program.
“Each vehicle we donate provides a pathway for local nonprofits to continue their great work in the community,” said Stroffolino. “In many cases, it stimulates collaboration between organizations to help make these donations happen.”
Although all of these stories are worthy of recognition, here are a few examples.
Interfaith Health and Support Services utilized its vehicle donation to create a new program called “Ride for Health”. Through the collaboration of Causeway Family of Dealerships and OceanFirst Foundation, Interfaith has been able to bring seniors to their medical appointments and to area senior centers for midday meal and group activities.
Northern Habitat for Humanity received a 17-foot box truck has helped it carry out its mission and expand its home repair program to cover all of Ocean County. This donation was made possible in part through a grant from the Grunin Foundation.
Earlier this summer, The HOPE Center in Toms River received a van that has allowed it to pick up food directly from Fulfill and other local partners on an as needed basis to support the community. This donation was funded in part through a grant from Fulfill.
“It has been a great dream of mine to partner with various nonprofit, local and community-based organizations to ensure their long-term success and encourage collaboration between them,” said Wintrode.
Today, The Causeway Gazette’s readership has expanded beyond Southern Regional to Barnegat toward Little Egg Harbor – its current circulation is 27,000 and growing.
“I am thankful for Joe’s perseverance in ensuring the Gazette’s success,” said Wintrode. “It has been a humbling experience to see how community collaborations have enabled certain groups to further their mission and ultimately make our community a better place to live, grow and thrive. It really is life changing.”
If you would like to send The Causeway Gazette local news, announcements, charity or fundraiser information, business stories or current events, please email them to CausewayGazette@gmail.com.
About Causeway CARes
Causeway CARes’ mission is to make a direct and profound impact in and around Ocean County in the areas of education, food security and quality of life. Founded in 2004 and funded by the Wintrode Family Foundation, Inc., Causeway CARes strives to make the community a better place to live grow and thrive. To learn more, visit https://causewaycares.com.