092014 touchtruck19The kids are in the driver’s seat once more this Saturday at the annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser in Red Bank, while Middletown Day offers an opportunity to get hands-on with a NorthSTAR emergency helicopter (below).

middletown-day-copter“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Monmouth Day Care Center exec director Heidi Zaentz — and this Saturday, they’ll have an opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with various trucks, tractors, and emergency vehicles — even an emergency Medevac helicopter at a couple of big yearly events that have become major fundraising vehicles in their own right.

Back for its seventh annual edition, Monmouth Day Care’s Touch-a-Truck “fun-raiser” returns to the parking lot of Red Bank Middle School for a “rain or shine” round of activity that runs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. A popular and winning benefit for borough-based MDCC and its well-regarded early childhood programs, the event encourages kids to explore an array of ambulances, fire engines, military equipment, limousines, dump trucks and other construction rigs — all in a safe and supervised environment, with owners and operators on hand to explain the jobs done by these hard-working vehicles.

—Food vendors will be on site, and a 50-50 raffle will be held during the event, which also features crafts, games (activity tickets required) and music. Tickets are $15 for a family of up to four (includes five activity tickets) if purchased in advance, or $20 at the gate on day of the event. Take it here for advance tickets and additional information, or call (732)741-4313 — and receive an extra activity ticket when you bring a nonperishable food item for another hard-working Red bank nonprofit, Lunch Break.


A display of fire trucks and other first-responder equipment — including a New Jersey State Police NorthSTAR chopper — will be on the ground at Middletown Day, when the annual celebration returns Saturday to the headquarters of the township’s parks and rec department at Croydon Hall on Leonardville Road in Leonardo.

Commencing at 11 a.m. and running “rain or shine” until 5 p.m., the ever-eclectic event promises a whole lot more, from bouncy-houses to business showcases; live local music to fire safety lessons; pony rides to petting zoo — plus food court and art/craft vendors (including local favorite Art “DoOdleDude” Kaney), flea market, BMX and parkour demos, and all-for-fun sporting contests and tournaments.

There’s even an educational angle to the festivities that run through 5 p.m., as personnel from Poricy Park Conservancy conduct exhibits on the natural and early Colonial history of Monmouth County’s largest municipality. Representatives of the Clean Communities initiative and the Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse will also be on site.

Take it here for complete details — including parking info, directions and info on volunteer opportunities.