anderson menna 050115Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, at last year’s inaugural Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball. The fundraiser returns to the Oyster Point Hotel on Friday as one of several benefit events around the borough this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The month of May flowers into full effect with more than just greenery and colorful scenery — it’s also prime time for charity galas and other fundraising vehicles, dedicated to the benefit of some of our area’s hardest-working nonprofit organizations.

Several of those organizations take the spotlight in the days and nights ahead here in Red Bank, beginning tonight, May 4 with the annual fundraiser dinner for the Shrewsbury-based Mental Health Association of Monmouth County. Hosted from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Oyster Point Hotel, the event honors volunteers, corporate and individual supporters from around the greater Green. Take it here for still-available tickets (starting at $75) that include hors d’oeuvres, three course dinner, coffee, tea and dessert (cash bar and chance auction also available) — and take it beyond the break for more good-neighbor opportunities to help.


The evening of Thursday, May 5 offers a chance to chance to help support the One to One Community Mentoring programs of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties, during the organization’s 17th annual Food and Wine Tasting fundraiser hosted for 2016 at Buona Sera Ristorante. Going on from 6:30 to 9 p.m. (and boasting a Cinco de Mayo theme for the occasion), the event features tastings of select wines and tequilas, in addition to hors d’oeuvres, taco bar, desserts, plus silent and chance auctions. Go here for reservations ($90 per person), or call (732)544-2224 ext. 310 for more info.


Mayor Pat Menna will be your host — and former Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr. does duty as emcee — when the Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball returns to The Oyster Point Hotel for its second annual edition this Friday, May 6. A benefit for the borough-based nonprofits Lunch Break and HABcore Inc, the 7 p.m. event will center around the awarding of five prestigious honors, with recipients including retired public works supervisor and zoning board member Jesse Garrison (Humanitarian Award); the Count Basie Theatre (Cultural and Arts Award); the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department (Historical Legacy Award); Philip J. Bowers & Co. (Urban Development Award), and Riverview Medical Center (Manufacturing and Technology Award).

The Special Improvement District organization RiverCenter will also be singled out for recognition, in the year of its 25th Anniversary. Take it here for tickets ($125 per person), which include dinner and dancing, with donated prizes raffled at the end of the evening.


This Saturday, May 7 sees the rain-or-shine return of the annual Spring Carnival at Red Bank Catholic High School, the popular event that commandeers the parking lot of adjacent St. James Elementary School for an afternoon of midway-style games and prizes, rides, a gift auction, video game trailer and rock climbing wall. A presentation of the Making Wishes Come True Club at RBC, the 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. event dedicates all proceeds to Red Bank’s own Jasons Dreams for Kids, an organization that works to fulfill the wishes of New Jersey children and teens with serious progressive, degenerative or malignant conditions. Go here to purchase tickets in advance ($10 per person; $15 including unlimited rock wall use) — and here for the backstory on the successful carnival that’s now in its fifth year.


There’s more good work and good times to be had around Red Bank in May, including a weekend-long Empty Bowls Project initiative cosponsored by JBJ Soul Kitchen and the Art Alliance of Monmouth County (May 14 and 15); a Taste for Homes Food and Wine Tasting Event at the Oyster Point benefitting Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County (May 16), and a Little Taste of Broadway benefit for St. James School at Two River Theater (May 21), presented by the Navesink Business Group and spotlighting food samplings from a smorgasbord of Red Bank restaurants.

Click the links for the complete details on the AllGood section of redbankgreen — and keep it tuned to our source for “News from a Brighter Future” for regular updates on the local organizations and individuals who are doing some amazing things here in the community.