Actress Maria Bello, the star of such films as Coyote Ugly and Payback, was honored today with the “Key to Sea Isle City” from Mayor Leonard Desiderio.
The mayor, members of Sea Isle’s City Council, local business leaders and New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew, presented Bello with the key to honor her charitable work in Haiti, according to a press release from Sea Isle officials.
Following the Haitian earthquake in 2010, Bello co-founded the organization We Advance, a grassroots movement that promotes the health, safety and well being of women in that country.
Bello also has a special attachment to Sea Isle. The Norristown, PA native, and her family have been summering in Sea Isle City since she was 10 years old.
At the ceremony, Bello noted that efforts have been made to help the people of Haiti, but more needs to be done.
“A bill was recently passed that requires Haiti to have more elected females officials, and the government recently donated $10 million for women’s causes,” said Bello. “However, there are still many Haitians living in slums and washing in sewers.”
Bello also had a lot to say about her feelings for Sea Isle City.
“I have been all over the world but I love to return to Sea Isle City each summer,” she said. “This is my home, my roots…I love it here.”
Currently filming the movie Grown Ups 2 with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, Bello also mentioned that while on location she told her fellow actors that they “need to see the beaches of Sea Isle City.”