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RED BANK: EISNERS PLEDGE $50K TO LIBRARY

rbpl 1 032714Through his foundation, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner below, has pledged $50,000 to the library that bears his family’s name. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

(Press release from the Red Bank Public Library)

michael eisnerThe Eisner Memorial Red Bank Public Library started 2016 with a nice surprise: a letter notifying Director Elizabeth McDermott of a five-year, $50,000 donation to the Foundation for the Red Bank Public Library from the Eisner Foundation.

This is the largest donation yet received by the library foundation, with $10,000 being donated annually for five years.

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RED BANK: T&M SERVES UP SERVICE

t&M_Lunch_BreakAs part of a “50 Ways of Giving” community service campaign in observance of its 50th anniversary, executives from Middletown-based engineering firm T&M Associates (including President/CEO Gary Dahms ) joined the staff of Lunch Break in Red Bank on January 20. T&M employees were on site at the Red Bank facility to provide food and clothing to Monmouth County families who need help and supplies during this winter season. The “50 Ways of Giving” initiative continues throughout 2016, with employees encouraged to participate in 50 acts of volunteerism during the firm’s milestone year. 

FAIR HAVEN CO. IN THE FABRIC OF COMMUNITY

cozmeena_1Press release from Cozmeena Enlightened Living

To Lisa Luckett, founder of Cozmeena Enlightened Living, the Fair Haven-based business is “a metaphor of the beauty and grace my kids and I received after the loss of my husband on 9/11…My children and I have been showered with love and support that continues to this day. Cozmeena is my way of giving back for all we have received.

“I want to share with people tangible, tactile ways to feel better again,” she continues. “Knitting is one of them.”

Described as a “lifestyle brand centered around knitting for those experiencing hardship,” Cozmeena Enlightened Living has expanded its outreach efforts in the local community. This past holiday season, Cozmeena was approached by Cathy Alescio and Marie Noglows, after the Fair Haven residents spent time volunteering at the Asbury Park facility of Covenant House and saw a need to comfort the organization’s homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. More than 30 Cozmeena knitters created “infinity” and straight-fringed scarves for hundreds of children and adults served by Covenant House, and presented the scarf donations to the Covenant House staff on December 11. In addition, the team of knitters created scarves for dozens of people served by the AIDS and homeless shelter The Center in Asbury Park, as well as Mary’s Place by the Sea, the Ocean Grove-based respite center for women undergoing treatment for cancer.

The effort is now being expanded to encourage others in New Jersey to join, and here in 2016 Cozmeena will act as the distribution arm for the seven New Jersey Covenant House programs, with a planned move to the New York programs as the project expands. The organization will serve as a distribution center for knitters and knitting ministries, helping them to organize and connect creators with people in need.

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PILGRIM HAS RED BANK COVERED THIS WINTER

PILGRIM baptistWith the holiday interlude entered into the books for another year — and with the coming of the seasonally chilly weather that somehow skirted us during a disconcertingly mild December — it’s easy to forget that there are still numerous neighbors who are in need of a helping hand this winter, and still many ways in which to help.

Here at the start of 2016, Pilgrim Baptist Church is serving as the setting for the Annual Community Coat Drive, conducted by the grass-roots Community Collaborative Coalition of Red Bank and designed to outfit men, women and children with warm overcoats and other winter-weather wearables. From now through Sunday January 22, the church building at 172 Shrewsbury Avenue is accepting new or gently used coats of all shapes, styles and sizes, to be distributed during a “Project Community Cares Event” going on at PBC between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm on Wednesday, January 27.

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A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR RBR FAMILIES

givingtreePictured (left to right) at Red Bank Regional High School are RBR SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller, Youth Development Specialist Regina Cochrane, and RBR BUC Backer Foundation member Claire Harbeck Izzo, with the many donated gifts for RBR families in need. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Every year, The SOURCE Foundation at Red Bank Regional High School works to make the holidays brighter for its families in need. This year, partnering with the RBR BUC Backers Foundation, The SOURCE was able to quadruple its efforts through the Virtual Giving Tree program. Over $5,000 in gifts was donated within a two-week period that will benefit over 30 families.

“Our clinicians know the needs of our families and we obtain specific information on what our families can use for the holidays,” explained SOURCE director Suzanne Keller. “We would ask for donations among our staff and the school community, by placing the requests on a ‘Giving Tree’ in the school.”

Enter Claire Harbeck Izzo — a BUC Backer member and administrator for the Constant Contact email service — who thought that people might be more inclined to give if the process was simplified online. Through an amazing tool called Sign-Up Genius, Mrs. Izzo created a virtual list of all the specific needs requested by the SOURCE families and linked it to the BUC Backer email list. The slots were quickly and almost completely filled.

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RED BANK: AN INVESTMENT IN WELLNESS

Press release from Investors Savings Bank

donegoodlogoInvestors Bank Foundation recently awarded a two year grant in the amount $15,000 to the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHA) in support of its Red Bank Resource Network (RBRN) and Sandy Wellness Program. This funding will help MHA continue to provide local residents and Hurricane Sandy impacted families and individuals with free mental health counseling and expert information plus referral services.

“We are honored to have Investors Bank Foundation as a corporate community partner and truly grateful to have received such a generous grant that will help us with sustainability through 2017,” said MHA Executive Director, Wendy DePedro in a statement. “Thanks to Investors Bank Foundation, the Red Bank community and Monmouth County residents will continue to receive the vital programs and services that are provided daily at the RBRN/Sandy Wellness Program location.”

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RED BANK: LUNCH WITH HOLIDAY EXPRESS

holiday express 121815 2It’s more than just music when Holiday Express pulls into Lunch Break, one of 81 stops the organization will make this holiday season. The Grinch, below, is always along for the ride. (Photos by Kate Beckett, above, and Susan Ericson, below. Click to enlarge)

tim-grinch-band-rblightingWith the Turning Point restaurant providing food for 400, volunteers from Holiday Express plan to make a special stop in Red Bank Saturday.

The non-profit purveyor of music, food, gifts, financial support, and human kindness during the holiday season has scheduled a full-band visit to Lunch Break from 10 a.m. to noon.

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RED BANK: SING OUT WITH BRIAN AND RYAN

Brian KirkBrian Kirk and the Jirks (above) play Santa for Lunch Break, in a Saturday night benefit at the Basie…while Dr. Ryan Brandau (below) and the Monmouth Civic Chorus premiere a new Christmas choral arrangement on that Sunday stage. 

director-brandauThey may seem hard to reconcile musically, in their oil-and-water realms of choral-canon classics and party-starting pop hits. But, each in their own signature manner, the organizations known as Brian Kirk & the Jirks and The Monmouth Civic Chorus have earned a place in the hearts of their fervent followers here on the greater Red Bank green. And, every year at this time, the Jersey Shore’s premier cover band and the award-winning vocal ensemble give back to the community, with a couple of highly anticipated events at that Capital of Christmas cheer — the Count Basie Theatre.

The final weekend of the Yuletide countdown kicks off on Saturday, December 19, when cap’n Kirk and his enterprising bandmates suit up and play Santa for Lunch Break, the borough-based community resource that provides year-round meals (and a whole lot more) to Red Bank families and residents of all ages. A sequel to last year’s successful big-beat benefit (and the fourth such “Santa for…” soiree that Kirk and company have staged since 2012), the “three-hour jingle balling of a show” commences at 8 pm with the chief Jirk (whose summertime “Dunesday” beach-bash benefits have been a Shore tradition unto themselves) promising a mix of danceable tunes, “Kirky Style” comedy and special musical guests, in a variety presentation that’s sponsored by “generous anonymous donors” and dedicated in full to funding the ongoing mission of Lunch Break’s volunteers, and their ever-expanding range of charitable, educational and support services for our community neighbors. Take it here for tickets ($35 – $75); bring a non-perishable food item for Lunch Break’s holiday food drive (or make a separate cash donation here) — and read on for more.

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RUMSON DADS, DAUGHTERS ARE THERE TO HELP

fatheranddaughtermissionLast month, Red Bank Regional freshman Mara Campolattaro and her father helped organize a humanitarian mission, during which a group of seven Rumson daughters and dads brought fresh water to an impoverished village in the Dominican Republic. (photos by Tim Orr)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

For years, Mara Campolattaro of Rumson had asked her dad, eye surgeon Dr. Brian Campolattaro, to take her on one of his trips to Latin America, where he performed mission surgery as a pediatric ophthalmologist with the ILAC (Institute for Latin American Concern) organization. When Mara — a freshman at the Red Bank Regional High School Visual and Performing Arts Academy — turned 14, he acquiesced, inviting her on a humanitarian mission to the Dominican Republic.

The Campolattaros soon got inspired to invite six of Mara’s Rumson friends — Paige Borden, Caroline Healey, Hannah Horan, Annabel Morris, Maddie Orr and Olivia Turi, all freshmen at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School — as well as their dads. The girls named themselves and the mission “HereToHelp,” and with the assistance of the ILAC, the team set about identifying a village that was in need of their energies.

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RED BANK: JBJ AND FRIENDS FEED THE SOUL

Henderiks FerraroStar chefs Diane Henderiks and Michael Ferraro are in command on December 8, when JBJ Soul Kitchen hosts a special four-course fundraiser.

Hope Is Delicious, as they say over at Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, the pay-what-you-will community restaurant established by the Middletown-based guitarslinger/ frontguy/ actor and globetrotting humanitarian. This Tuesday evening, December 8, the impulse to “feed the holiday soul” is as contagious as it is delicious, when a pair of celeb chefs make some noise with the pots and pans during a special fundraiser event for the ongoing programs of the JBJ Soul Foundation.

Served between 6:30 to 9 pm, the four-course dinner will spotlight the culinary creations of Michael Ferraro, executive chef and co-owner of NYC’s Delicatessen, and a young veteran of the city’s top kitchens whose resume includes the Four Seasons and the Beacon. A familiar face on many foodie-friendly TV shows (including Bar Rescue and Beat Bobby Flay), the specialist in international comfort cuisine teams up for the occasion with New Jersey’s own Diane Henderiks, the pro caterer and nutrition consultant whose Chef Inspired Healthy programs appear weekly on The Daily Meal Video Network.

Seating is necessarily limited for Tuesday’s special event, and seating is still available at $150 per person. Reserve by emailing heather@jbjsoulfoundation.org.

LINCROFT: CBA FOOD DRIVE TOPS 20K ITEMS

CBAThrough the generous efforts of students, faculty, staff and their families, the 2015 Christian Brothers Academy Thanksgiving Food Drive amassed a tally of 20,191 items to help benefit those in need. Campus Ministry director Tim Sewing noted that many food pantries and benefit organizations find their stocks significantly depleted following the holiday rush, and the annual CBA effort has helped fill that gap. As has been custom, the student body was awarded an extra day off for the holiday weekend, with the announcement made during the Academy’s Thanksgiving Prayer Service, a completely student-run service in which the entire school participates. 

FAIR HAVEN: KICK-STARTING SEASON’S SPIRIT

KickDanceHolidayGivingPress release from Kick Dance Studios

In a partnership designed to help local families in need this holiday season, KICK Dance Studios is teaming up with Life Guard Ecumenical Foundation (LGEF) to host Black Friday Shop-N-Drop Parties at its Fair Haven location, 611 River Road.

From 2 to 4 pm on November 27, boys and girls ages 4 to 11 can boogie down to Taylor Swift in a dance off, complete with costumes and prizes, or participate in a Lego build off. Each of these activities is perfect for both boys and girls. The cost is $25 per dancer (or $50 per family), and all proceeds going to the Fair Haven-based Life Guard foundation and its programs of support for community members who are facing severe economic hardships.

It’s a continuation of a partnership that saw Kick Dance help support LGEF with a Thanksgiving food drive, collecting much-need food items for Thanksgiving baskets to give to local families this holiday season. Dancers collected items like grocery store gift cards, canned goods, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and other Thanksgiving food for families in need.

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RED BANK: BIG SMILES FOR LITTLE NEIGHBORS

LunchBreakEvery year, the Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break provides toys, books, clothing, gift cards and other items to local needy children and their families through the annual Adopt A Family Holiday Toy Program — and here in 2015, over 2000 children have registered for the endeavor about which Lunch Break says, “through the delivery of Christmas toys, where there might not be any otherwise, together we can break the cycle of poverty.” So far, kind donors have sponsored nearly 200 children — and additional donors are needed to bring smiles to he other 1,800 children hoping for a toy this holiday season. All children, regardless of financial status, race, or religion are deserving of a holiday toy, which can mean everything to them. A new toy provides fun and brings a sense of pride in having something of their very own — so click here to donate and help bring a big smile to a little child in need.

RBR TACKLES HUNGER AT THE BIG GAME

RBR_football_food_driveRed Bank Regional students Liam Joyce, Jack Navitsky and Devon Barnes (all from Shrewsbury) display the food collections made in honor of the big Thanksgiving Day football Game of RBR versus Long Branch. Anyone attending the game will receive free admittance if they bring non-perishable food  items at the game entrance.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

A new tradition will meet the old, as football fans who donate a non-perishable food item will receive free admission to the football game between Red Bank Regional High School and Long Branch High School this Thanksgiving. The traditional matchup — one of the longest-running in the Shore area — will take place on Thanksgiving Day, November 26. Kickoff is at 10 am at RBR, and all who donate—parents, children, students, RBR fans, Long Branch fans — will get in for free.

All the food collected will be donated to the Salvation Army of Red Bank, an organization that assists people in over 30 area towns, explained English teacher Cassandra Dorn, who helped initiate RBR’s fifth Football Food Drive.

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SEA BRIGHT, RUMSON: SEEKING TOYS FOR TOTS

sbfd toys for tots 2015With an eye toward Christmas, volunteers in Sea Bright and Rumson are planning “toys for tots” drives in coming weeks.

Picking up an effort previously spearheaded by the borough police, the Sea Bright volunteer fire and first aid squads have scheduled a toy drive for Wednesday, December 2, Fire Chief Walter Olenhaus of Sea Bright Fire & Rescue tells redbankgreen.

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