Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: NORTH POLE CALLING

santa-calls-121317-2-500x375-2626569RBR students Stacy Osorio, on the phone above, making pre-Christmas calls with Stacey Tepoz from Santa’s workshop (borough hall) earlier this month. Below, Heather O’Donnell cracks up after calling a wrong number with Emily Maier. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High:

santa-calls-121317-1-220x165-9437988Little Silver:  A big part of the Christmas season for little girls and boys is visiting Santa Claus and reciting him their Christmas wish list.  That is not always possible for some boys and girls in the Red Bank community, especially those whose families do not own or drive cars and can’t take them to visit the local mall, where Santa usually sets up shop.  So nine years ago, community leader David Prown, assisted by his good friend Enrico Ciabattoni, facilitated a special communication with Santa Claus and those kids in Red Bank he might have missed.

With the sponsorship of the Red Bank Parks and Recreation Department, flyers were distributed to students in grades K-5 at the Red Bank Primary School and Middle School along with the Charter School announcing the Phone Calls From Santa program. Students wishing communication with someone from Santa’s workshop would sign up by giving their names, phone numbers and times they were available during the evenings in December when the calls would be made. The children could also request if they wished to receive their calls in English or Spanish. The calls were made by community volunteers. (This year that included, among others, students from the Red Bank Regional (RBR) Key Club, Spanish Honor Society and International Baccalaureate program.)

Since Enrico Ciabattoni took over the organization of the program in 2014 response has grown to over 500 phone calls and a Red Bank holiday tradition.  Technology has streamlined the process from the earliest days at the offices of the Two River Community Bank in Tinton Falls which donated their office and phone space for this purpose.  Today, mostly every volunteer has a cell phone; although hard lines are still used at the Red Bank municipal building where, this year, the operation took place during the evenings of December 12 and 13.

The callers are given a suggested script to start the conversation with the often speechless, but exuberant young children on the other end of the phone.

They may state, “Hi I’m one of Santa’s elves calling from Santa’s workshop at the North Pole.  I am just checking the Naughty and Nice list, and if you were nice we’re wondering if we got your gift request correct?… We’ll try to fit your requests on Santa’s sleigh….  Remember to go to bed early on Christmas Eve, and don’t forget the milk and cookies!”

Parents report that their children get so excited; they run all over their house with their phones glued to their ears.

Enrico Ciabattoni comments, “We sincerely thank each and every one of the volunteers for their time and energy and for keeping the best part of the Christmas spirit alive for the children of Red Bank.” He adds, “I continue the event because the conversation with the children is awesome. They get the thrill of speaking to someone from Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. The excitement and joy in their voices is infectious to the point of making the caller feel good too. It’s just a lot of fun for the people on both ends of the telephone.”

Attesting to those sentiments, RBR senior Emily Maier stated, “I thought it was really cute talking to the kids and helping them have a wonderful Christmas.”

RBR freshman Amy Serreno added, “I was thankful I had gone. It was a really sweet thing to do…  The young kids stole my heart.”

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.
PEAK COLOR ON BROAD
RED BANK: A year after they were installed, downtown mini gardens have added to "transformational" improvements, says business owner.
RED BANK: FAIRIES MOVE IN ON WHITE STREET
Red Bank: Girl scouts turns tiny parking lot plot of dirt into a "magical girls sparkle garden."
TRAINING UNDER FIRE
RED BANK: Volunteer firefighters train to cut into pitched roofs under active fire conditions.
“SUPERMOM” WANTS YOUR VOTE
Business owner. Dyed in the wool, lifelong Red Banker. Mother of six. Yup, seems like Anita Pierce does it all. In other words, she’s ...
SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
RED BANK: Town prepares for Saturday's Pride in the Park celebration with another lawn art design by public works supervisor and Fire Chief ...
MOVIES VIA LIBRARY
RED BANK: Public Library now offers members access to streaming movies via Kanopy, with some 30,000 titles and tons of content for kids.
NEW RAINBOW CROSSWALK ON BROWN PLACE
Kicking off pride month, some Brown Place and Spring Street residents, ages 5 to 11, constructed a rainbow crosswalk with chalk over the wee ...
WHAT TO WEAR?
RED BANK: Dressmakers' mannequins appeared to mull what to wear as they looked down on Monmouth Street last week.
SYMPHONY RETURNS JUNE 29
RED BANK: An annual crowd pleaser returns June 29 with a free concert in Marine Park by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, RiverCenter said ...
Heard on the Green
Heard on the Green
DUCK RESCUE EFFORT
Duckling rescue attempt underway in sewer at East Front and Broad, 10:29 a.m.
HOUSING CRUNCH
Demolition begins for new apartments at Globe Court and Mechanic Street.
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...
YAPPY TOGETHER
RED BANK: Look for this cutie pie, named Sacramento, at Yappy Hour on Broadwalk Saturday. He's looking for a new home.