LunchbreakRed Bank Regional students delivered dozens of home-made cookies to Lunch Break to sweeten their holiday meals. Pictured (left to right) are: RBR culinary club students Paolo Repetto, Union Beach; Brady Kirman, Sydney Kutzin, Little Silver; and Derrick Bradley, Shrewsbury. Joining them for the photo are Lunchbreak chef Tyrone Burr, volunteer Kina Mwanza and RBR Culinary teacher and Chef Pete Roskowinski.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Last year, the Red Bank Regional School Community as most of the shore area, was totally immersed in helping its own members have a bit of a happy holiday season while they weathered the destructive consequences of Superstorm Sandy. This year, the generosity for their struggling neighbors continues with an outreach to many other charities.

RBR continues to help its own by reprising the Holiday Giving Tree, which was originally established last year to benefit RBR’s families most affected by Sandy.  This year it helps all RBR families that could most benefit from the community’s generosity for the holidays. Patrons pick a hand-made ornament on the tree which designates a gift card that families have indicated they could most use.  The tree was a collaborative effort by the RBR Guidance Department, Media Center, The Source and Administration.

GivingTreePictured above are RBR Media Center Specialist Kathy Smith, RBR Source Director Suzanne Keller, RBR Principal Risa Clay, Source Youth Development Specialist Nicole Paventi and Guidance Supervisor Dawn Kaszuba who collaborated to reprise the RBR Giving Tree to benefit the RBR families most in need for the holidays.

School clubs and departments have also spearheaded other charitable drives and outreach.  The National Honor Society works with Linkages to adopt families of young moms and their babies who have no other way to provide for their children’s holiday. They also send cards to children spending their Christmas in St. Jude’s Hospital.  The French Honor Society collects hats, scarves and gloves for the homeless.  The Culinary Club bakes hundreds of decorative Christmas Cookies and brings them to Lunch Break. The Key Club students make calls to families upon request, assisting Santa, who is a bit busy this time of year. Individual students always help in other local charities such as Holiday Express in their herculean holiday efforts of entertaining, feeding and gifting those most in need in the tri-state area. School-wide food drives sustain the local food pantries among many other endeavors.

This year, the English Department decided to combine academics with community service for their honors students’ required special project.  This is how Freshman Bryce Barnes of Shrewsbury came to be photographed in Brooks Brothers with the elite clothing stores’ staff, management and executives from notable local entities.

Bryce Barnes explains, “For my Honors English assignment, my teacher asked that we complete a series of selfless acts and keep journal entries relating our experiences; and we had to come up with our own idea.  My youth leader at my church thought a coat drive would be beneficial, so I started researching coat drives and came up with “One Warm Coat”, with their nearest drop-off being Brooks Brothers, right in my home town.”

Bryce publicized the coat drive in church, went door-to-door in his neighborhood and solicited the help of his alma mater, Shrewsbury elementary school.  As a result, he collected and delivered approximately 150 coats to Brooks Brothers. The store manager, Ness Marcovitz and her staff sorted through the coats and enlisted the aid of the Monmouth Park Charity Fund. They, in turn, brought in New Jersey Natural Gas’s Community Relations Department and United Way of Monmouth County to help distribute the coats to those in need.

RBR continues its community service activities throughout the year with such activities as beach sweeps, the Crop Walk, Relay for Life and community tutoring.  Clubs raised money for the Red Cross Philippines Disaster Relief Fund. RBR International Baccalaureate students are all involved with community service projects. These range from working with an organization in Uganda to helping Ronald McDonald House. However, the holiday season presents a special opportunity to intensify those efforts so others may share from the students’ and staff’s efforts and generosity.