• The Hammonton Gazette

Deputy journalists from Sooy

The Hammonton Gazette’s Publisher Gabe Donio and Editor-in-Chief Gina Rullo were invited to work with fourth grade enrichment students at the Warren E. Sooy Jr. Elementary School.


Donio and Rullo met with the students virtually, taught by Joe Martino, Mea Lupinetti, Allison Fedga and Desiree Downes, to discuss journalism and how to write articles for newspapers. They also edited the students’ work.


Students’ articles will be printed this week and next week.


Magic Tree House #1-Dinosaurs Before Dark

by Carter Nadeau-Roos

Gazette Contributing Writer


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In the book Magic Tree House #1- Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne, a sister, Annie, who is 7, and her older brother Jack, who is 8-and-a-half, travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs by discovering an old magic tree house filled with books on their way home from school one day in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania.


Their adventure begins when Jack opens a book and about dinosaurs that he finds in the tree house. He says to Annie “I wish we could go to the time of the Pteranodons” and just like that—Annie looks out the window and screams “A monster!” The tree house starts to spin and they come to a sudden stop.


As they looked out the window, Jack and Annie realized they weren’t in Pennsylvania anymore. They were lost! And surrounded by unfamiliar things. Annie was very curious about the animals she saw outside the tree house and decided to climb down the ladder to investigate. Jack has no choice but to follow his little sister. Their journey features soft, fuzzy Pteranodons; a flower eating Triceratops, a terrifying T-rex and even a mysterious gold medallion Jack picks up along the way. Jack and Annie find themselves in a close encounter with some baby dinosaurs and their angry Mama, and even a confrontation with a T-rex that ends up with Jack riding on the back of a Pteranodon! Problem is, how will they find their way back home to the tree house in order to make it back to Frog Creek before dark?


If you are looking for a book that is full of fun and adventure, this book is for you. This takes the reader on an amazing ride following Annie and Jack through the age of dinosaurs and provides you facts and information on the dinosaurs along the way thanks to the book Jack brings with him from the tree house.


The author provided great details about the adventure and kept you entertained. This would be a great book for kids who love dinosaurs and adventure. This is the first book of the Magic Tree House series and if you like this book, you can check out the rest of the collection as well as other books written by Osborne.


Hammonton carnival

by Jocelyn Emmel

Gazette Contributing Writer


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Throughout the year, there are many events in Hammonton such as the Blueberry Festival, parades, sporting events, the New Year’s Eve Blueberry Drop and more. But one that citizens look forward to the most: the carnival. This special event takes place usually around the middle of July. There is food, rides, games and much more exciting things to do at the carnival.


“The funnel cake there is awesome!” sixth grader Chase Emmel said.


There are other foods at the different stands at the carnival, such as hotdogs, cheesesteaks and more delicious foods.


Now that we have talked about the food, let’s discuss the rides. There are many different kinds of rides at the carnival such as bumper cars, swinging rides and others. There are also many games to play to win fun prizes.


All in all, although the carnival only happens once a year, it is still a special and fun place to enjoy with family and friends.


Fabulous Florida

by Colin Peeke

Gazette Contributing Writer


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If you have had one stressful year and have been cooped up in your house, then you must go to Florida immediately. It’s so warm and relaxing and you get to see so many cool beaches, tropical swaying palm trees, beautiful sunshine and the outdoor malls. Some parts are scary though, so you have to watch out, unless that’s what you are in to. There are alligators and other creatures lurking all over Florida, so you’ve got to look where you step if you decide you want to go to paradise.


If you do go, you should visit Fort Lauderdale. It’s a perfect place to kick back and relax! Another attractive place to visit is Naples, which is also a lovely place to stay.


“It was their best vacation ever and I loved seeing the alligators in the water and going to the malls,” a fellow family member said.


Almost everyone’s favorite part was seeing the manatees, which was tied with the airboat ride with the alligators. When the airboat ride started, it went as fast as a cheetah. It splashed waves all over the boat. There was even an alligator just sitting in the water. Then the captain splashed some water his way and it came near the boat pretty fast. He was swimming right by the boat, staring, with a scary look in its eye. That was really amazing, but pretty scary. Alligators were all over, surrounding the swamps and hiding under bridges.


Another scary thing that happened with the alligators was that the grass was pushed down where the trail was and the swamp started which meant that the alligators were going out of the water and into the trails. There was no fencing to block the alligators off so it was terrifying. They were also just sitting 10 feet away from the people, but most of the people didn’t care and were walking around. A fellow brother loved the nice warm weather, and the clear beaches. Diving down and finding sea shells was a perfect way to spend a vacation. Diving down was like you were dreaming. The best place to see alligators is Everglade National Park, if you’re brave enough.


Even though that part was pretty scary, there are other amazing fun adventures you can go on. For example, Manatee Park is a fun place to go, if you like to see the Sea Cows (which is their nickname). The manatee park is practically the opposite of the alligator ride. The manatee ride was on kayaks and manatees aren’t meat eaters and they won’t attack if you’re near them, but it’s cool seeing them come to the surface for air.


Florida can keep you on your toes, if you’re at certain places, but other places make you want to put your toes in the sand. Its beaches are the best, though some are small. The Gulf of Mexico is an amazing place to visit, and it is one of the best beaches in the world! The clear blue water and the soft sand goes beyond paradise and into heaven!


When you think of Florida, you might think of Disney, but there is so much more fun stuff to do. So if you go to Florida make sure you go to all the fun attractions and watch out!


Fun in Jamaica

by Kelsey Ruhf

Gazette Contributing Writer


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Has the pandemic made you and your family feel bored, tired and you are going out of your mind to do something? Well, the answer is to get to Jamaica! There are so many awesome activities, flavorful food and positive people. If you don’t think it’s the place for you, keep reading and you’ll want to “tropic like it’s hot!”


The best part are their absolutely beautiful beaches. The beach has many different activities for everyone, whether you want to sit and relax or explore the ocean floor. If you don’t want to get wet, they have lounging chairs on the beach which are perfect. The sand’s cloud-like softness and coolness makes it feel delightful. The crystal-clear water allows you to be able to look down and be able to see your feet.


In N.J. the water has a greenish dirty dollar bill color. However, in Jamaica, it is clear blue which enhances the experience. The water temperature is flawless and is overflowed with dancing-waves filled with calming peace which are perfect for relaxing.


If you wanted to explore the sea, snorkeling is for you. You could see the pointy starfish and even pick them up. Another site to see is the coral, which is mostly brain coral. You would never see anything as cool as the coral that is there in Jamaica. There were also sea urchins, sting ray and little fish. Overall the beach had many different activities for everyone whether you wanted to sit and relax on the beach or explore the ocean floor.


If you want to sleep in from all of the activities, no problem, the resort offers a ton of fun things to do without even having to leave. On the water they have a giant inflatable-slide. You have to climb up the back and then you could slide down the front. It was difficult to get up at first but then you get the hang of it. You are able to sit in the middle for those that don’t like the rush. Another fun activity that Jamaica offers on the beach is bubble-ball soccer. You stand in the bubble ball and you bounce into people with the bubble ball.They have a new activity each day either on the beach or at the pool.


“It was very relaxing and there was a lot of things to do so you never get bored,” Julianna Ruhf said.


Now that you did some activities you probably built up an appetite. Jamaica offers so many unique creations of foods and cold refreshments.This may sound gross, but you must try their famous Loaded Pizza. The Loaded Pizza consists of flavorful toppings like pineapple, peppers, mushrooms and topped with more delicious toppings. Another pizza that Jamaica has that’s just as good as the vegetable pizza is their seafood pizza, which includes shrimp, crab and scallops and more creamy juicy toppings.


Don’t be such a “jerk,” try the chicken. Jamaica is also best known for their juicy and tenderful Jerk Chicken, that is loaded with sweet-spicy-smoky sauce. If you don’t want to try it by itself don’t worry you can get a Jerk Chicken pizza! Finally, the Virgin Piña Colada, aka a tropical milkshake, is a great refresher after some spicy jerk chicken. It is sweet tangy with pineapple, you have to try this!


So now that you learned a little bit about Jamaica, hopefully you feel “Fin-tastic!” It is sure to cure the boredom and go beyond all your expectations.


Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

by Taylor Grasso

Gazette Contributing Writer


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Sponsored by the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society, the first Feast of Ou Lady of Mount Carmel was held on July 16, 1875 and is the longest running Italian festival in the United States. This year will be the 146th festival honoring the Italian immigrants who settled here in Hammonton. July 16th is like a holiday in Hammonton and is known as “Feast Day.”


On this day each year, there is a procession following a Virgin Mary statue which follows a similar route to the one back in 1875. It is very important to everyone in Hammonton to keep up this tradition.


“The festival is one of the best highlights of our summer,” Kristy Grasso said.


The festival is usually a week long and also includes lots of tasty food and treats, live entertainment from local bands, games and carnival rides.


The food section consists of food made by volunteers from the local churches and several street vendors.


“The sausage and peppers that they have is delicious,” Matt Grasso said.


Some other favorite foods are the meatball sandwiches and the funnel cake and fried oreos.


Some of the usual rides are the Ferris wheel, carousel, zero gravity, monster trucks, giant slide and torpedo. Monster trucks allow little kids to sit on a monster truck and go around in circles. The slide is a giant slide you go down sitting on a burlap sack which is really fun. The Torpedo is a large structure with swings on it and you swing around high in the air.


There are also lots of mini games where you can win stuffed animals and toys. The mini games include basketball, water gun games and rubber ducks. The water gun game always has a lot of people since it is very exciting. You have to race the other players by filling up the water tube the fastest. The size of the prize depends on how many people play at once. The more people, the harder it is to win, so the winner gets a choice of any prize they want. Some of the stuffed animals are bigger than the kids!


This festival brings the community together even during the recent tough times. It will continue to be a tradition for generations to come.


Remembering the late John J. Grasso Sr.

by Logan Grasso

Gazette Contributing Writer


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Everyone knows there is a global pandemic going on right now that has taken the lives of many people. One of them is John J. Grasso Sr. He lived in Hammonton all his life doing many things like raising his three children, Betty, Sharon, and John, and had 12 grandsons, John, Matt, Alex, Logan, Brian, Brandon, Brett, Brock, Scott, Austin, Daniel and Ryan, and one granddaughter, Brooke. They all went to the Hammonton School District.


He was married to Elizabeth Grasso for 55 years. They both loved going to the Silver Coin Diner and going to Lancaster to see plays at Sight & Sound Theatres.


He was a dump truck driver for a lot of his life and had a heater repair company with many of his grandkids helping out whenever they could. He also had a farm with many fruits and some chickens. Any time one of his grandkids would get good grades on their report card he would take them to the dollar store. He liked going to the Atlantic City Casinos to play cards.


Every morning he would get his coffee with two cream and one sugar at McDonalds for senior price. He would ride his golf cart very slow around his yard every day. Every time he would go to one of his grandkids’ houses, they would have to sing the Barney “I Love You” song (unless they were too old). He loved watching all of his grandkids’ sports events especially wrestling. He was also a volunteer firefighter for many years.


People who knew him say he was very caring, loving and determined no matter what it came to. People always remember his flip phone because he never wanted any other kind of phone.


“My dad knew how to fix anything. He was the one to call when anyone needed help,” his son John Jr. said.


“He once called me at one o’clock in the morning to do a heater call because I was the only one awake,” his grandson Matthew Grasso said.


Overall, John J. Grasso Sr. was a very good person his whole life.


The Silver Coin Diner

by Katherine Cappuccio

Gazette Contributing Writer


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Are you looking for an amazing restaurant to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Well here’s the place. The Silver Coin Diner (voted No. 1 diner in South Jersey and voted No. 3 out of 60 restaurants in Hammonton.)


What a lot of people love about The Silver Coin Diner is that the waitresses are so kind and friendly. They serve quality food at family prices. One of the customers did a review that reads, “It’s breakfast, lunch and dinner all day long. They set up a nice outdoor space for dining and they do takeout too.” This person gave the Silver Coin Diner a five-star review.


If you are really not sure about The Silver Coin Diner, then you should know that they have been serving since 1982. They come up with a special menu once in a while. Their menu has the best breakfast ever! They have short stack French toast and Spanish omelets. They also have eggs, western omelets and chocolate pancakes. Those are some of the breakfast options but there are more. If you are into those breakfast options then The Silver Coin Diner is just the place for you. Hope you choose The Silver Coin Diner.


Super Mario Bros

by Mauro Giacobbe

Gazette Contributing Writer


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Have you ever wanted to play a fun game for yourself and your friends? Have you ever wanted to play a classic game? Well, you can play Super Mario Bros! A long story game where you can defeat evil mushrooms and even dangerous bosses!


In Dangerous Bosses, your main objective is to defeat all the evil creatures and save Princess Peach from Bowser. If you don’t know who Bowser is, then here is a quick recap on who he is. He is the main evil villain that captured Princess Peach and is now trying to take over the palace.


The game was created by a Japanese gaming company called Nintendo. The first Super Mario game release date was on September 13, 1985, and the first gaming console was released on July 15, 1985. The sales reached over 61 million! Nintendo is a huge company now. They go up against rival companies such as Sony, which has the Playstation, and Microsoft, which has the Xbox.


Many people have played it. For example, here is what Rocco Giacobbe had to say about Super Mario Bros.: “It is a fun game! My favorite part is when you get to defeat the bosses like Bowser and Mummipokey.”


It also has some really cool cutscenes, like when Princess Peach gets captured in the palace. You can play as Mario, Luigi or Toad, depending on who you like. You can collect power ups along the way, which give you different advantages such as extra health. Also, you can hatch these pets that you can ride. They are called Yoshis. If you are curious why these pets are called Yoshis, it is because as previously mentioned, Nintendo is a Japanese company.


To this day, the character Mario has been featured in 256 different video games in the franchise. The newest game, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, was released this year on February 12, 2021. Fun Fact: “Color TV Game 6” and “Color TV Game 15” were the first ever video game that Nintendo created. Leaving it with three million units sold. Now, have you thought about playing the game now?