OVER A DOZEN FUN WAYS TO HELP OTHERS

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Hollywood’s Siobhan Fallon Hogan, TV’s Real Housewife Caroline Manzo and Broadway’s Michael Mulheren appear at local fundraisers in the coming days.

There’s a gala for the neediest of our neighbors that’s studded with familiar faces from movie screens and Broadway stages. A sneak-preview of a film from a major studio, raising funds for the arts right in our backyard. There’s even a benefit dog walk, graced by a reality TV star who’d be able to tell us a thing or three about catfights.

donegoodlogoYou don’t need to boast of any showbiz connections to have Done Good for your community — sometimes all you need to do is come on out, take in some lovely early-autumn weather or enjoy some of the best of local cuisine. Cheer on a committed competitor from the crowd, or pound some pavement for a charitable cause. Donate a used book, buy a used book — or bring back those library books, no questions asked.

In this edition of Done Good, redbankgreen pulls together more than a dozen ways that you can be part of something big in the days and nights to come. It’s an opportunity that begins this weekend and continues on through the first half of October — with benefits that will be felt locally (class trips, school sports, food banks, animal rescues, holiday traditions, clean streets) as well as globally (clean oceans).

The Done Good rundown continues, right around the corner.

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Nesting instincts: The Sea Gull’s Nest on Sandy Hook is the scene for a season-ending sunset salute catered by top kitchens and hosted by Clean Ocean Action.

FRIDAY: Sunset at Sandy Hook. Those of you who assumed that the sun had already set on the summer at Sandy Hook have another ray of light to latch onto October 1, when the folks at the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action commandeer the Seagull’s Nest Oceanfront Beach Deck Restaurant for their 12th annual sayonara to summertime; a bit late this time (but oh what an entrance). One of the more unique dining attractions on the northern Jersey Shore — with a panoramic sunset view so famous they stop the action each evening for a patriotic salute — the Nest is the airy aerie for an affair catered by more than 30 local restaurants and kitchens (here‘s a full list), with live music by Green Earth Troubador Art Servilla and the always above-average Thom White Band. General admission tickets are $125 at the door (special reservations can be made right here); sunset’s free anywhere else you’d like to have a look. Park in Lot D for the event, and check the COA website for info on its upcoming Fall Beach Clean-Up effort.

SATURDAY: MCSPCA Dog Walk and Pet Fair. It’s the 17th annual “Barktoberfest” on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, brought to you by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Red Bank Veterinary Hospital of Tinton Falls. A day dedicated to awareness and ongoing care of the homeless animals currently being sheltered by the MCSPCA, the four-hour event combines the centerpiece dog walk (in case of rain, they take it indoors to BCC’s Robert J. Collins Arena), pet-related vendor fair, K-9 police unit demos, Frisbee aerialist dogs Tyronne and AbbyDoodle, live music (by, you guessed it, The Wag) and special celebrity guests — with this year’s A-list speaker none other than Caroline Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (previous celebs have included Elwood, the World’s Ugliest Dog). Register online here; non-registrant admission is $15 and all funds raised go to the MCSPCA’s ongoing operation.

SATURDAY: 8th Grade Garage Sale at Shrewsbury School. The kids and parents of the 8th grade at Shrewsbury Borough School (Obre Place off Broad Street/ Route 35) present a “rain or shine” garage sale between 8a and noon, with the goal of raising funds for a class trip to Washington, DC.

SUNDAY: First Annual Red Bank Triathlon. A 750-yard swim, 5-mile run and 21.5-mile bike race (through Red Bank, Middletown and Holmdel) are the components of this inaugural tri competition, hosted by Sandy Hookers Triathlon Club and commencing October 3 at 8a from Marine Park. It’s a companion to the club’s yearly War at the Shore event  in Long Branch, and proceeds benefit Riverview Medical Center and the 2011 Kaboomfest fundraising drive. Online registration and more info available here.

MONDAY: A Taste of Old Italy fundraiser for Lunch Break of Red Bank. The 2010 Fall Gala for the hardworking borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break comes to the Two River Theater for “A Night of Songs and Tastes of Old Italy” that offers up live and silent auctions, a 50/50 raffle and a “food and wine tasting extravaganza” highlighting the wares of Basil T’s, Buona Sera, Branches, Danny’s Steakhouse, Gaetano’s, Gianni’s Pizzeria, Rumson Wine & Spirits, Sickles Market, Terlato Wines, and Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza, “to name a few.” Wash it all down with Italian song favorites performed live by young Broadway veteran John Leone (Jersey Boys). The starpower continues with your emcees, Italian-at-heart actors Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Forrest Gump, Men in Black, Seinfeld, SNL) and Tony nominee (for Kiss Me KateMichael Mulheren of Middletown — soon to return to Broadway as J. Jonah Jameson in the upcoming Spider-Man musical. Tickets ($100 per person) can be reserved at the Lunch Break website.

tamara-drewe-movie-poster2Graphic, novel: Gemma Arterton tops the refreshingly star-free cast in TAMARA DREWE, the Stephen Frears adaptation that gets a sneak screening in Red Bank courtesy of Tom Bernard and the Monmouth County Arts Council.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7: Benefit screening of TAMARA DREWE. While we’re on the topic of big-time entertainments based on comic books, the latest in a long line of prestige movies adapted from graphic novels — in this case, the Posy Simmonds creation Tamara Drewe — goes into limited release on October 8. Blessed with a splendidly starless cast, the film by director Stephen Frears can be seen one night prior to its New York premiere, in a sneaky-peeky preview that unspools at Red Bank’s Clearview Cinemas as a fundraiser for the ongoing programs of the borough-based Monmouth County Arts Council. It happens courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics president (and Middletown resident) Tom Bernard, and the 7:30p screening is preceded by a 5:30pm reception at Jamian’s. Tickets for film and reception are $50 per person ($45 for MCAC members), available by calling (732) 212-1890 before 4p.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8: Food for Fines at MTPL. Time to unburden your guilty conscience, and do a double-decent in the process, when Middletown Township Public Library offers “amnesty” for overdue fines on October 8, 9 and 10. In a partnership with the Monmouth County nonprofit organization Project PAUL, the MTPL will take in the fight against hunger by collecting non-perishable food items at the main library on New Monmouth Road during those three days — and, as an added incentive, for every two food donations, the library will take $5 off a fine (or $10 for four items, and so on). Amnesty will be in effect through October 15 (does not apply to lost items) — and of course, donations are welcomed from all those who make a habit of returning their books in a timely fashion. Suggested food items include canned fish or meats, peanut butter, canned beans and vegetables, shelf-stable milk, pasta and holiday items (“no Costco-sized portions please”).

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9: Kickoff BBQ Fundraiser for The Source at RBR. Originally scheduled for the evening of the football Buccaneers’ first home game on the artificial grass of Count Basie Field, the annual fundraising event for Red Bank Regional High School‘s school-based youth services program The Source has been moved to the afternoon of October 9, when the Bucs host Raritan High School on their (real) home turf in Little Silver. Festivities begin at noon on the lawn adjacent to the gridiron, and continue up to the 2p kick-off time, “rain or shine.” Included in the ticket costs ($15 for adults; $5 for students and kids) are BBQ food favorites, a 50/50 drawing and door prizes —and you can get your tickets at the gate or reserve in advance by calling (732) 842-8000 (extension 341 or 236). All proceeds will benefit The Source, which begins its 11th year with a new coordinator, Suzanne Keller. To find out more about the many programs and services offered by The Source, visit the school website.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9: Sea Bright Fire and EMS Wetdown. Sea Bright’s emergency responders invite one and all to a public party from 1 to 5p at the borough’s firehouse, featuring all you can drink for $5 bucks (or $10 bucks for beer plus food catered by The Mad Hatter) and live music by Shore scene favorite Chris Morrisy.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10: Fire Prevention Expo and Free BBQ in Red Bank. Fire, of course, has its good and its bad points —and in their annual event presented at the White Street municipal parking lot, Red Bank’s all-volunteer firefighters demonstrate some of the more people-pleasing applications (the grilling of burgers, dogs and other barbecue favorites) while putting the emphasis on fire prevention and safety. Rescue demos and a fire-simulation trailer are also on the program; it’s all free from 11a to 3p, with a rain date of October 17. Contact (732) 530-2797 or tjwelsh32@verizon.net for more info.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13: 14th Annual Red Bank Candidates Night. Not a fundraiser but an awareness-raiser, this yearly event is offered by The Westside Community Group as an opportunity for all Red Bank voters to participate in a public Q&A with Borough Council candidates. It’s moderated by WCG president Amy Goldsmith and presented at 7p inside the first-floor Community Room of River Street Commons (49 Catherine Street). More info at (732) 741-3715 or (732) 747-0306.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16: RBREF presents A Day at the Races. The Red Bank Regional Education Foundation invites adults age 21 and over to “a fun day of horse racing, good friends and great food” at Monmouth Park. It all happens inside the track’s Reserved Picnic Area, with gourmet lunch catered by the RBR Culinary Club, craft beers, a 50/50 and sponsored race. All proceeds benefit the RBREF’s program of grants to benefit the students of Red Bank Regional High School, and tix ($50 dollars) can be reserved at (732)345.0447 or RBR.Ed.Found@comcast.net.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17: Community Book Fair in Little Silver. The Little Silver Business & Professional Association invites you to “Share Your Story” by donating used books at selected downtown businesses — or choosing from hundreds of used books, DVDs, video games and CDs offered for sale at the borough’s firehouse on Prospect Avenue, from 9a to 3p. Proceeds from the sale will help pay for decorative banners to be hung on the town’s lampposts.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17: Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk. It’s the 30th year for his great local tradition (inspired by Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty efforts around America, and first organized locally by area Presbyterian churches); an everyone-welcome effort to feed the poor and hungry of all nations. Offering two routes (1 mile and 5 miles) to participants, the annual CROP Walk event raises funds for 15 local Monmouth County food pantries, as well as global partner organizations in 80 countries worldwide. Walk commences at 1:30p from Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, with registration beginning at 12:30. Donations of rice, beans, and peanut butter are especially welcomed from attendees; check  for info on volunteering, and contact the organizers directly at redbankcropwalk@gmail.com

Does your organization have a charitable event planned for the Red Bank area? Please send full details to us here, and be sure to include the words DONE GOOD in the subject line.