Eugene Joseph Cavanagh, Jr
50th Anniversary Grand Marshal
Eugene Joseph Cavanagh, Jr. is known to all as Chip Cavanagh. Chip was born at Jersey Shore Medical Center, formerly known as Fitkin Hospital, to Eugene
“Gene” and Jacqueline “Jackie” Cavanagh.
The Cavanagh family was a family of nine, Chip being the only son. He grew up with five sisters, Kathy, Peggy, Eileen, Patty, and Shannon. Chip’s sister, Erin, sadly passed away when she was nine months old. Chip grew up on 11th Avenue in the heart of Belmar. He attended St. Rose Grammar School and graduated from Manasquan High School. He then went on to Lincoln Technical School for Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration. This led him to a 43 year career with General Electric Appliances where he was also the Union Shop Steward for Teamsters Local 560.
Chip has been married to his wife, Patty, for 16 years. They have both lived at the Jersey Shore their entire lives. The parade has been a very important highlight of their lives as their engagement took place after the 2006 Investiture Mass during the luncheon. Together, they have one son, Liam, who has marched in every parade since his birth and Chip has a daughter, Meghann, from his previous marriage. Chip also has two grandchildren, Joseph (JJ) and Julianna, as well as a future son-in-law, Daryl. Chip also has 10 nieces and nephews.
Family parade history dates back to the very beginning, where Chip’s mom, Jackie, served as the secretary. She was honored as the Deputy Grand Marshall in 2013 for the 40th Anniversary of the Belmar/Lake Como Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Chip has been involved with the parade since 1973, and as a teenager he made corned beef sandwiches that were given out after the parade. His various roles and responsibilities have grown tremendously. Dave Stanley, served as the long-time parade chairman and Chip acted as his right hand man for years. After Dave Stanley’s passing in 2004, Chip acted as Co-Chairman with Bill O’Connell for three years and has served as Chairman of the Belmar/Lake Como Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee since 2008. Chip is forever grateful to the Belmar/Lake Como Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee for all their hard work and support. Chip was honored as the Grand Marshall for the 2006 Belmar/Lake Como Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for his dedication and commitment to the parade.
Chip’s love of the Jersey Shore and his community can be seen through all of his volunteer efforts. He has been a member of the Goodwill Hose Fire Company for 47 years. In 1992, he served as the Chief of the Belmar Fire Department and currently serves as the President of the Goodwill Hose Company. As the President of Goodwill, he is instrumental in organizing the Belmar 5 Mile Run. In addition, he is the treasurer of the Belmar Fireman’s Relief Association. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Chip volunteered as a baseball coach for the Belmar Little League. He coached the Little Stars all the way up to the Major League teams.
In 2022, he was honored as the very first Citizen of the Year in Lake Como. He also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Lake Como Planning Board. He has led many fundraisers, the latest being for Behrman Park in Lake Como. He sold hotdogs and snacks during Lake Como Day to provide additional funding for the field in order for the children to have access and enjoyment of the great outdoors.
When Chip is not attending meetings and fundraisers have been crossed off the calendar you will find him on the water. Chip will have a fishing pole in hand, enjoying his favorite spot… the sea at the Jersey Shore.