This photo is still displayed prominently on the White House website:
Donna Vanzant struggled through flooded streets and downed power lines two days after superstorm Sandy to reach the ravaged marina she owns in Brigantine.
Secret Service agents were combing the area when she finally arrived, and by the time the afternoon was over, she had met President Obama and shared an emotional hug with him.
The following morning, the image of that embrace, top right, appeared on the front page of The Record and was published and broadcast by news outlets around the world.
I was fortunate enough to be in the pool of news photographers who accompanied the president on his tour of the devastation along the Jersey Shore, and among those who got to photograph Vanzant’s presidential encounter.
I returned to Brigantine last week to see how she was doing.
All but one of the boats in her North Point Marina that were pushed as far as three blocks away by the storm surge have now been recovered, but there is much left to do. Vanzant estimates that her business losses will amount to at least $500,000, including the cost of repairing the marina.
She said she was honored to meet Obama, but she is also frustrated that she has yet to receive help from either her insurance companies or the government. “The president told me I would get immediate help,” she said.
“Looking back on it, it wasted a lot of people’s time,” she said of the visit.
The future of the North Point Marina remains uncertain. “I am just moving minute by minute, because the insurance companies are telling me no, no, no!” she said.