RED BANK: K9 VEST, MAYOR’S BALL, PINS

Eko, one of two canine members of the Red Bank police force, has a new ballistic vest, courtesy of the Elks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank mayor and council were in an appreciative mood last Wednesday, spotlighting  good works by three charitable organizations.

And the town now has an official lapel pin. Read on for details.

The borough’s new lapel pin features the town emblem, an iceboat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

• Mayor Pasquale Menna, who instituted a charity event called the Mayor’s Ball in 2015, doled out the proceeds of this year’s event, held in May, presenting checks of $9,000 each to two nonprofit organizations.

One went to Holiday Express, the traveling Christmas-season musical group now in its 30th year. The organization, which has large and small iterations, headlines the annual downtown Red Bank light-up on the night after Thanksgiving; puts on a house-rocking show at the Count Basie Center for the Arts; and travels to dozens of schools, senior centers and other venues during the season to sing carols and feel-good Christmas tunes.

“They bring so much joy to people who don’t have joy in their lives,” Menna said.

The organization is hosting a bingo night October 5 at its Eatontown warehouse.

The other $9,000 beneficiary was the year-old borough Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. The money “will go a long way toward making Red Bank more animal friendly,” Menna said.

• The council presented a certificate of appreciation to Elks Lodge #233 for raising funds for a protective vest for Eko, one of the police department’s two crimefighting K9s. The other dog, Hunter, already has a vest.

“There are some instances where the K9 could be the first point of contact with a target, and the vest, which is both ballistics and stab-proof, will help ensure his safety while patrolling the streets,” Eko’s full-time companion, Patrolman Tanner Shea, told the audience.

• The borough now has an official lapel pin. Business Administrator Ziad Shehady said he ordered 350 pins, featuring the borough logo depicting an iceboat, at a cost of about $1 apiece, to be worn by local officials and given out as mementoes to school children and other visitors to borough hall.

“It’s just a nice token,” said Shehady.