DOIN’ GOOD, IN DOLDRUM DAYS

beatlemania1Alan LeBouef (at right, as Paul) leads the Stars of BEATLEMANIA in a fab fundraiser for the Red Bank Rotary Club, at Two River Theater.

Done2In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the January Doldrums for sure. And with most of us variously tapped out, snowed in or plowed under, the conventional wisdom holds that you  simply don’t schedule much of anything in the way of fundraiser events here in the season of slush.

That said, a handful of brave businesspeople and nonprofits are apparently ignoring the memo, offering a variety of constructive reasons to venture gingerly down the sidewalk and out of the house — and maybe just maybe do a little bit of the Done Good deed in the process.

A roundup of suggested January jaunts follows forthwith.

ciminoraychrebetSit on it: TV weatherman Chris Cimino, Rachael Ray and ex-Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet are among the creative folk whose custom-decorated chairs are offered for bid during this year’s CHAIRISH THE MUSEUM fundraiser at the Monmouth Museum.

SATURDAY, January 8: Second Saturdays at Joel McFadden Designs. The recently inaugurated series of monthly art events at Joel McFadden Designs continues this weekend with a new local creative in the spotlight (silkscreen specialist Molly Gaston Johnson) and a charitable twist, in that sales generated from this show will be dedicated to the establishment of “a non-profit organization that will help people in need in the Asbury Park area develop business and graphic design skills.” The artist is expected to be on hand (along with the stylized fauna and disagreeable robots of her design-enhanced clothing, towels and greeting cards) from 7 to 9p this Saturday at the White Street showroom, with attendees treated to that all-important wine and cheese, and Johnson’s work remaining on display during regular business hours through February 2.

WEDNESDAY, January 12: 180 Turning Lives Around “Pearl Project”. The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is the setting for a donations-accepted reception (4 to 6p) hosted by the locally based counseling nonprofit 180 – Turning Lives Around; an unveiling of a community art therapy project in which survivors of domestic violence and their children have created symbolic ‘pearls’ to portray their healing.

THURSDAY, January 13: Anti-Bullying Program at Middletown Main Library. The big branch of the MTPL is the setting for 90-minute session (7 to 8:30p) on the topic of bullying — including the root causes, and the kind of responses that don’t simply ratchet up an already volatile situation. Presented in the library’s Community Room, it’s a program hosted for tweens and teens (ages 11 and up) BY teens (from the Civic Leadership Club at Middletown High School South), and it’s moderated by Civic Leadership Club mentor Bob Lightbody, as well as by Teen Zone librarian Ellie Strbo.

RESERVE by January 14: Career Wise in a Day at The Oyster Point. On February 5, The Oyster Point Hotel is the setting for a daylong session devoted to young women and career exploration, sponsored by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore with other area businesses and nonprofits. US District Court judge Susan Wigenton is keynote speaker for the event, in which female high school students can network with successful women from various professions — among them State Senator Jennifer Beck, Monmouth Arts Council director Mary Eileen Fouratt, gastroenterologist Dr. Alexis Choi, and Kate Cordero of Two River Theater. Discounted admission ($29) available with registration by January 14; cost is $35 after that, with final deadline for registration January 29. For more info, take it here.

FRIDAY, January 14: Red Bank Rotary presents The Stars of BEATLEMANIA. With the Liverpuddlian Lads once again flying high on the cultural radar (courtesy the recent iTunes deal), it makes sense to power a fab fundraiser with an equally fab catalog of signature favorites that span the era from The Cavern to the Corps. On January 14, Broadway Beatlemania alumnus (and veteran MockCartney) Alan LeBouef leads the Four MockTops in a concert at Two River Theater that’s presented by the Rotary Club of Red Bank and dedicated to its ongoing efforts to assist local nonprofit charities, here in the organization’s 90th Anniversary year — a tradition that’s previously benefited such hardworking orgs as Lunch Break, Parker Family Health Center, 180 – Turning Lives Around, Ronald McDonald House, the Salvation Army and the VNA of Central Jersey. General admission tix for the 8p show (preceded at 7p with a catered reception) are priced at $65, and are available from the Two River box office right here.

SATURDAY, January 15: CHAIRISH THE MUSEUM event at Monmouth Museum. Next Saturday marks the advent of two of the year’s most anticipated events at the Monmouth Museum — including the Monmouth County Arts Councils MCAC Juried Exhibition, the 32nd annual edition of which assembles a who’s-who of regional painters, sculptors, photographers, illustrators and crafters for an event that kicks off with a free opening reception between 4 and 6p — and continues during regular hours throughout the gallery areas of the Museum (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College) through February 27.

Are you sitting down? This day of well-entrenched traditions is also host to a recently minted tradition that’s generated tremendous buzz for the county arts facility — Chairish The Museum, a fundraising vehicle in which dozens of local creatives (and even the occasional celebrity) are invited to build and/or decorate a chair, to be displayed both at the museum and at numerous other shops and galleries throughout Monmouth County. The chairs (all of them offered for sale as way of furnishing revenue for the ongoing programs at the museum) will be moved to Lincroft on Saturday, February 12 for a Silent Auction that begins at 5p (and for which the $10 admission price can be applied to any chair purchase).

In previous years, the Museum enlisted the help of famous folk ranging from Queen Latifah (who hand-painted a chair with her retired art-teacher mom Rita Owens) to Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw and even Ralph Nader. You’ll be able to bid on (if not sit on) many of the chairs on display, beginning Saturday — with this year’s seating plan enhanced by, among others, Yum-O! Organization founding foodie Rachael Ray, former Jets wide receiver (plus Morgan Stanley RB advisor) Wayne Chrebet, and NBC-TV meteorologist Chris Cimino.

SATURDAY, January 15: MLK Community Service Breakfast at RBCS. Red Bank Charter School hosts the third annual event that celebrates the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. by encouraging people of all ages to get involved in community service activities. Pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice, coffee, and tea will be served, with an appearance by special guest speaker Pastor Terrence Porter of Pilgrim Baptist Church. Local non-profits, including Lunch Break, Bridge of Books Foundation, Clean Ocean Action, Surfrider Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, The Community YMCA, Red Bank Sade Routes, Real Mama, and the Red Bank Public Library will be present to distribute information about their organizations and recruit volunteers. Bridge of Books will also be accepting donations of gently used books at this event, running from 8 to 11:30a with admission $8 for adults, half price for kids.

SUNDAY, January 16: MLK Community Service at Pilgrim Baptist. Guest preacher Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Bed-Stuy visits Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank for an “everyone welcome” event at 7p, honoring the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

SATURDAY, January 22: Calendar for Kids Winter Activities Showcase. The American Red Cross, Jersey Coast Chapter in Tinton Falls is the scene for a day of fun activities, presented by Calendar for Kids and “local businesses that host things to do with your kids during the cold winter months.” Enjoy games, sporting activities, face painting, educational activities, healthy snacks and more, along with prize giveaways and demonstrations (on CPR, donating blood and volunteering) by the people of the local Red Cross chapter.