DONE GOOD: TURKEY-TIME POTS AND TROTS

holiday-express-1A packed-greenhouse crowd at Sickles Market raised $72,500 last Friday night for Holiday Express, the rolling musical extravaganza that brings good cheer this time of year to 50 or so audiences. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

Done2A great American (Patrick Henry? Paul Bunyan? Leo Gorcey?) once observed, “They also Done Good, who stand and wait.” And as most of us wait here in the all-clear zone between the chaos of Halloweelection Day and the holiday hyperdrive heralded by Black Friday, we remind you that November continues to offer more than a few ways in which to Do Good.

It could be as easy as contributing a couple of bucks or some nonperishable items to any of the many food banks that operate year-round on the greater Red Bank green. A donation to an area toy drive. Or a helping hand for your neighborhood school, church and youth organization to help others, simply by attending (and having a blast at) one of the fun events scheduled for the days and weeks to come.

We’ve got a few recommendations right around the corner, so pass the candied yams and dig on in.

curchin-open-2010-2Kathy Lorenzo lines up a shot during the annual Curchin Open last week. For its fifth annual edition, the indoor miniature golf tourney pulled in $12,000 to be split between 180 – Turning Lives Around and the Monmouth County Historical Association.

WEDNESDAY: Ladies Night Out Fundraiser for 180. The Chelsea at Tinton Falls assisted living facility is the setting for an event benefitting Hazlet-based 180 – Turning Lives Around, whose exemplary counseling skills in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault are just the leading edge of the services they’ve made available to women, kids and families in Monmouth. A $10 donation gets you wine and cheese and chocolate and aromatherapy and intuitive readings, plus an opportunity to onestop-shop a variety of jewelry, handbag and accessories vendors between 5 and 7p. RSVP to (732) 933-4700.

SATURDAY: Fair Haven Sees Stars. “Our annual fundraisers have become legendary,” boast the folks at the Fair Haven Education Foundation — and for the 2010 edition, the FHEF has even figured out a way to extend some of that Halloween mojo almost to the doorstep of Turkey Time, with an invitation for attendees to “walk the red carpet as your favorite celebrity — dead or alive!” It all happens between 7 and 11p at the Knights of Columbus on Fair Haven Road. Proceeds benefit the Fair Haven School District (and support technological advancements at the Sickles and Knollwood Schools), and included in the $50 admission (“costumes optional, fun mandatory”) are music, dancing, light fare, contests and prizes. So break out that GaGa/ Snooki/ Sully/ Thriller Michael costume for one more go-round — and  RSVP to Eileen Bustillo at (732) 936-0988 or eileen@fhnjef.org. Mail checks to FHEF, P.O. Box 6135, Fair Haven NJ 07704 — and call or email for info on dropping off payment in person.

turkeytrot0001_5Dressed to trot: Seventh-grade students at Rumson’s Holy Cross School are joined by event volunteers in advance preparations for the annual Turkey Trot, scheduled for November 20.

SATURDAY: Beauty and the Beach 5 Mile Run/Walk. This second annual women-only outdoor event in the bracing Atlantic breezes of November serves as a benefit for  the Red Bank-based nonprofit Aslan Youth Ministries — and it’s happening along the oceanfront promenade at Long Branch’s Pier Village, who co-sponsors with the local Shore Runner store. It’s $45 to enter and the action starts at 9a, with all the details on the course, schedule and awards available right here.

SATURDAY, November 20: Turkey Trot at Holy Cross. Time once again to trot up an appetite for Thanky Thursday, as the third annual race-day event — a five mile Turkey Trot race followed by a one mile Walk/ Kiddie Fun Run — returns to the start/finish line at Rumson’s Holy Cross School. The popular (300 entrants last year) and scenic tour of the borough’s streets is open to serious runners and amateur amblers of all ages, with all proceeds dedicated to academic, arts, athletic and technological programs at the Catholic grade school. Trophies will be awarded to the winners of each age group category, with top male and female winners also receiving gift cards to the nearby Salt Creek Grille — and  participating kids will receive a medal, as well as free ice cream from Gracie and the Dudes in Sea Bright. The 7th Grade students of Holy Cross will be serving as volunteers and manning water stops, and everyone is invited to partake in post-race refreshments at  the school (as well as an afterparty for the grownups at Donovan’s Reef). Register online right here or in person on the day of the race, beginning at 8a.

SATURDAY, November 27: Turkey Bowl Touch Football Tournament. After the Turkey Trot and all the attendant trimmings, it becomes necessary to work off the excess stuffing —  and nothing fits the bill like Monmouth County’s largest touch football tournament, presenting its 11th annual edition on November 27 at Thorne Middle School in Middletown. It’s an event that’s evolved from a neighborhood game into a fundraising vehicle that’s collected more than $200,000 for local charities — with this year’s beneficiary once again Jason’s Dreams For Kids, the Red Bank-based nonprofit that grants wishes to terminally and chronically ill kids.

Approximately 20 teams of 10 to 16 adult players are scheduled to take part in the rain-or-shine tourney beginning at 9a, with each team donation of $1,250 getting team shirts, knit caps, and food and beverages courtesy of the ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation. It’s all part of the larger Play2Win organization founded by Little Silver’s Adam Kazalski, with an annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament also in the works. Details on team registration, event sponsorships and volunteering can be had right here.

NOW through December 31: Fondue, Thanks and Giving for the Kids. Each year around this time, the Melting Pot at Red Bank’s Galleria raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital‘s Thanks and Giving Campaign — and this year, they’ve set a goal of $22,000, achievable through a tasty incentive by which diners are urged to “give a little” to “get a lot.” Now through the end of 2010, you’ll be able to purchase a $10 “Fondue for the Kids” card at the restaurant, with the full face value of the gift card donated to St. Jude’s — and a $20 discount coming back to you, off any purchase of $50 or more on a future visit. Do the math, and you’ll see that everyone comes up a winner, so dip into those pockets for another helping of holiday-season giving — and we’ll be back next month, with another round of Done Good doings.