2008seapaddleAndrew Mencinsky and a brigade of sea paddlers head down the Hudson River last year. They’ll be doing the same next week.

In May, 2007, a two-mile-wide tornado tore through the town of Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95 percent of its homes and businesses. In the aftermath, citizens decided to resurrect their town, but with a modern twist: everything’s being done “green.” Public buildings are being constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Cars are being replaced with alternative fuel or hybrid ones. Farms are replanting organic.


Red Bank retailer Hobbymasters — which plans to install the largest solar energy array in Red Bank and whose owner, Arlene Placer, is an avid tornado chaster — is helping out the Greensburg Greentown effort. The store has set up a page on its website through which visitors can donate solar science projects, hydroponics, fuel cell vehicle models and related materials to students at Greensburg High School, where there’s a new Green Club.

“At the end of August, we will be shipping all of the products to Greensburg,” says Arlene’s son, Alan Placer. “In addition, we will be providing the Greensburg school system with our wholesale pricing on future purchases for their science department.”

Customers can buy items for the schools and have them shipped free; for those who simply wish to donate a dollar to the Greenburg rebuilding effort, there’s that option as well on the Hobbymasters site.

Here’s a rundown of some Done Good events happening closer to home in coming weeks:

SATURDAY, August 16: Paddle around Manhattan fundraiser

Last year, sea paddlers organized by the Surfers Environmental Alliance raised $90,000 for autism research by paddling around Manhattan.

On Monday, some 75 paddlers, including some big names from the surfing world, will attempt to match or top that result when they depart from the South Street Seaport for the 28-mile loop around the island, ending at the World Financial Center on the Hudson side.

But first, they’ll party. On Saturday night, they’ll attend a White Water Gala at a private residence in Monmouth Beach, where there will be live music by Random Test and Japanese Motors; star surfers Darrick Doerner, Gerry Lopez and Joel Tudor; plus auctions of celebrity-donated memorabilia, Dick Brewer surfboards and more.

Why do the paddle on a Monday? Because that’s when people are in Manhattan, says organizer Andrew Mencinsky. As for the additional commuter traffic on the water, he says, “there’s a few more ferries to dodge and a couple of seaplanes landing,” but that’s about it.

If you’d like to participate in the paddle or are interested in attending the party, check in here.

THURSDAY, September 18: Give ’em-the-chair art

Toys.Calm will host “Sweet CHAIR-ity,” an auction of one-of-a-kind chair art.

Toys.Calm is the work of two young Fair Haven women: Erin Puck, a 21-year-old student at Villanova and brain cancer survivor who formed the nonprofit to address the anxieties of children who are hospitalized for long stints. With 15-year-old Sarah Frank, a sophomore at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, she formed Sweet Charity this year to make sure no birthday or other milestone in a hospitalized teen’s life goes unrecognized and that the pediatric floors have DVDs, books, and games appropriate for teenagers.

The event will be held at McLoones Riverside in Sea Bright. For more information please call 732.995.3373 or email.

FRIDAY, September 19: Swan song to summer for Clean Ocean Action

Party from 6 to 11p at the Seagull’s Nest in Sandy Hook to live music, food, drink and a quite possibly spectacular sunset.

Tickets, at $100 each, may be purchased online. For more info, call Jennifer or Emily at 732.872.0111.

SATURDAY, September 20: Support for China’s underground churches

Red Bank Community Church’s “China Challenge “will feature hundreds of cards created by artists, adults, and children from all over the world to support the pastors of China’s underground churches.

The weeklong exhibit highlights RBCC’s campaign to provide Chinese pastors with Bibles, teaching materials, and a week of financial support. Each card represents a donation of $20 to this campaign. Donors can also add a personal note of encouragement to a Chinese pastor on each card they sponsor. After the exhibit in Hong Kong, the cards will be inserted in the “care packages,” which will then be distributed to the pastors.

After the show at RBCC, the exhibit will be flown to Hong Kong, where it will again be displayed as part of a global effort to encourage Christian ministers in China.

The opening is from 3 to 6p at 135 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. More information is available online or by calling 732.687.3580.

SUNDAY, September 21: Polo fundraiser for 180 Turning Lives Around

180 Turning Lives Around, a nonprofit dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual abuse, hosts a .
Family Fun Polo Match and Picnic Party starting at noon at Bucks Mill Park in Colts Neck. Polo experts will be on hand to explain the rules of the game and to introduce the polo ponies – which are actually full-grown horses – to interested spectators.

The following day, 180 will hold its Second Annual Golf Classic at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal.

For information about reservations or sponsorship opportunities for either the Polo Match and Picnic Party or Golf Classic, call Amy Zemak at 732.264.9124.

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