MIDDLETOWN: FUNDRAISER FOR BOWDENS
Family and friends have raised more than $12,000 to help two former Red Bank volunteers injured by a fire in their Middletown home earlier this month.
George Bowden, 91, and his wife, Gladys Bowden, 88, were both injured when their condo in the Shadow Lake Village complex in the River Plaza section of the township was heavily damaged by an electrical fire on December 15.
Smoke pours from the Bowden home during the fire. (Photo at top by John T. Ward; above courtesy of Middletown Fire Department. Click to enlarge.)
A Go Fund Me account created last week by George’s daughter, Lisa Bowden, quickly exceeded the initial $10,000 goal; as of early Monday, it had raised $12,275.
The couple is reported to be recovering, George at a rehab center in Shrewsbury, and Gladys at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
As seen in the photo at top, the Red Bank council honored the Bowdens in August, 2015, for nearly half a century of volunteer service in the borough. George Bowden was the founding member and chairman of the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission. He spearheaded the creation of the Washington Street Historic District and the restoration of the Red Bank train station, and was an early champion of saving the home of early Civil Rights journalist T. Thomas Fortune‘s Home on Drs. James Parker Boulevard.
Gladys Bowden was cited for her work with Navesink Garden Club, and particularly in instituting its “Random Sightings of Beauty” award, and for her long membership on the borough’s Human Relations Advisory Committee.
A Shadow Lake Village security guard, Keith Thornton, and township police Officer Nicholas Manochio were honored by the township committee last week for rescuing Gladys from the burning home, where she had fallen. The Bowden’s cat died in the fire.