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Monmouth Day Care’s annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser returns this Saturday to the borough middle school. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

From the neighbor’s house to the White House, there’s no denying that big rig trucks, emergency equipment and other heavy-duty machines hold a special appeal for kids of all ages — and when the opportunity presents itself to climb into the driver’s seat, it’s a rare treat indeed.

Ask the staff of Red Bank’s Monmouth Day Care Center and they’ll surely agree that the safely supervised combination of kids and trucks is a winning formula — and when the Touch-a-Truck event returns to the parking lot of Red Bank Middle School this Saturday morning, it will mark the eighth annual appearance of a successful FUNraising vehicle that’s well worth waiting for.

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It’s a big tent event, and a last chance to RSVP, as the Sandy Hook Foundation returns to the North Beach area of the peninsula Friday evening for the annual End of Summer Party fundraiser.

Granted, summer doesn’t officially sigh its last for a couple of weeks — and all those familiar with the rites of Local Summer know that there’s plenty of life after Labor Day here on the New Jersey Shore. But when the Sandy Hook Foundation declares the End of Summer, people take notice and listen — to the extent that the nonprofit’s annual “beach chic” outdoor benefit gala remains one of the most glittering events of the sand-in-your-shoes social calendar.

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Brad Chavero of Red Bank, a student at RBR’s Academy of Engineering, stands in front of Harvard University, where he was able to attend a very competitive camp for advanced math students this summer. He also spent a month at the Rutgers’ campus for the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

While the American Dream may seem a futile quest for some today, first generation American Brad Chavero, a top student and member of the Academy of Engineering at Red Bank Regional High School, is determined to take advantage of every opportunity presented to him to succeed.

This summer, Brad was able to attend not just one, but two very prestigious programs to further his educational experiences. In July, Brad was selected as one of only 72 students in New Jersey to attend the Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology at Rutgers at B.E.S.T. (Busch, Engineering, Science and Technology) Hall. No sooner had Brad returned home from his Rutgers’ camp than he and his father set out the next day to attend a second two-week camp for advanced math students — this one on the Cambridge, MA campus of Harvard University.

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Gretna Wilkinson. (Click to enlarge)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High

Gretna Wilkinson, Red Bank Regional’s (RBR) acclaimed creative writing  teacher, was recently notified that her website and literary blog, the Raven’s Perch, was selected as one of the top 100 literary blogs on the web by Feedspot.com, a website aggregator.

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Two River Theater marketing director Courtney Schroeder is the new chair of the board for the Red Bank Visitors Center. (Photo by Danny Sanchez)

Press release from Red Bank Visitors Center

In a recent press release, the Red Bank Visitors Center announced the appointment of Courtney Schroeder as the Chair of the Board, for the nonprofit organization founded in 2002.

A magna cum laude graduate of Wagner College, with a BS in Arts Administration and a double minor in Dance and Spanish, Schroeder has for the past six years held the position of Director of Marketing at Two River Theater. Prior to landing at Two River, she worked in the development wing for Ballet Hispanico in New York City.

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The Community YMCA’s Aquarockets swim team celebrates their second place finish at the 2017 YMCA Long Course National Championship meet.  

Press release from The Community YMCA

The Aquarockets swim team of The Community YMCA captured second place overall in combined team standings at the 2017 YMCA Long Course National Championship, which took place from July 31 to August 4 in Greensboro, NC. The men’s team took fourth place, and the women’s team finished in fifth place.

“We are so proud of the team’s outstanding efforts,” said Head Coach Jack Caucino. “This was our best finish ever at the national long course championship,” he added, noting that 20 swimmers earned All American status by placing in the top 20 of an event.

In all, 45 swimmers on the team, which practices both in Red Bank and Wall, qualified to compete at the YMCA national meet. They are: Hunter Adams, Ryan Burke, Caylie Cardona, Leo Carnevale, Matthew Chang, Nicole Dado, Gabriella DeVirgilio, Ben Dupree, Ryan Foreback, Morgan Fuerbacher, Ginger Hansen, Natalie Heim, Joseph Huber, Victoria Ireland, McKenna Johnson, Megan Judge, Shannon Judge, Arabella Lee, Mary Mahoney, Mitchell Malakhov, Dimitri Maldonado, Taylor Marjamaa, Kaitlyn McCarthy, Caroline McGann, Ryan Meng, Caroline Monaghan, Maile Mora, Brianna Mulcahy, Julia Nappi, Madelyn Piasecki, Sammy Rennard, Theo Rennard, Paul Retterer, Meghan Schienvar, Marie Schobel, Skylar Shafritz, Emma Shaughnessy, Abigail Shaw, Haley Stamberger, Richie Trentalange, Max Walther, Joseph West, Katie Wright, Connor Wright and Jessica Zebrowski.

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From press materials by Family Promise of Monmouth County

While Monmouth County is considered one of the more affluent counties of the Garden State, the issue of family homelessness remains a very real problem here and throughout the area. Beginning on the evening of Friday, October 15, a local place of worship will serve as host location for an interactive “friend and fund raiser” event designed to raise awareness of this often little-discussed cause — by giving participants the opportunity to experience spending the night living inside a cardboard box.

Sponsored by the nonprofit Family Promise of Monmouth County, the area’s only emergency shelter for families — and presented “rain or shine” on the grounds of Monmouth Church of Christ (312 Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls) — the eighth annual fundraiser begins at 5 p.m., and offers participants an opportunity to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges and contributions, by sleeping overnight as a resident of “Cardboard Box City.”

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NFL great Boomer Esiason (left) — joined by Phil Simms (center) and emcee Joe Piscopo (right) — returns for a second annual fundraiser keyed to the cystic fibrosis foundation that bears his name next month.

Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason returns to Garmany of Red Bank on Friday, September 8 for the second annual edition of the fundraising event known as “Garmany… Boom!”

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Led by KYDS principals Rodney Salomon and Mychal Mills, incoming RBR freshmen learned to lean on one another in a contiguous circle swaying back and forth in a yoga tree pose. (Photo courtesy of Red Bank Regional. Click to enlarge)

(Press release from Red Bank Regional High School)

Little Silver:  “What is stressful to you about high school?” Rodney Salomon asked rising Red Bank Regional (RBR) ninth graders.

The students responded with a variety of answers, including:  “friendships—breaking ones apart and finding new ones,” “school work,” “the upperclassmen looking down on you.”

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Laurie Goganzer has been named new president and CEO at The Community YMCA, succeeding Rhonda Anderson.  

Press release from The Community YMCA

On July 19, after an extensive nationwide search, the Board of Directors at The Community YMCA unanimously appointed Laurie Goganzer of Chula Vista, CA, as the new president and chief executive officer for the 143-year-old nonprofit organization, which serves 20,000 people in Monmouth County.

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Recent Red Bank Regional graduate Kent Hottmann of Shrewsbury returned to his Monmouth Day Care Center alma mater to complete his Eagle Scout project, a music wall.  

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

In a July 15 ceremony held at Shrewsbury Presbyterian Church, recent Red Bank Regional High School graduate Kent Hottmann of Shrewsbury was honored as an Eagle Scout, becoming the 111th scout with Shrewsbury’s Troop 50 to earn Scouting’s highest award since the Troop’s inception in the 1930s.

To satisfy the requirements for the rank, Kent performed over 100 community service hours, and provided service and leadership as an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for his troop. For his Eagle Scout project, Kent went back to his earliest days of pre-school, to improve the children’s playground at his Red Bank “alma mater,” Monmouth Day Care Center.

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Recent Red Bank Regional Chase Hintelmann of Little Silver will soon head off to John Hopkins University, where he will study on a pre-med track preparing for a career as a medical surgeon.  

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Class of 2017 Red Bank Regional High School graduate Chase Hintelmann can remember talking with his parents about his grandfather’s early passing. At only 61, a heart attack stole his family’s patriarch. Chase was in preschool at the time.

“They say that he may have been saved if he had heart surgery.” He recalls, “I remember saying, ‘I wanted to be one of those people who could have helped him.’”

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‘Parallax Dreams,’ directed by and starring Red Bank Regional’s John Tuohy, seen below at the awards ceremony.

An enigmatic short film by a Red Bank Regional sophomore, shot in and around Red Bank, was a double prize winner at a student film festival last month.

John Tuohy, a 16-year-old rising junior from Little Silver took the top prize in the Big Dreams and Silver Screens Festival held in Rahway on June 3.

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L-R: Former Marines Fred Dispensiere and Joe Perrotto welcome Matthew (Matt) Valko to the Wall of Honor at Knollwood School.   

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, Matthew (“Matt”) Valko completed his U.S. Marine Corps boot camp training and headed to the Combat Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. But before that, the native of Fair Haven had another important milestone to address, at the middle school from which he graduated in 2010.

Matt’s photo has now been added to the Knollwood School “Wall of Honor,” featuring graduates who are proudly serving their country in the armed forces. Located prominently in the main hallway of the school, the Wall of Honor was commissioned in 2011 by co-chairs Betsy Koch, an eighth grade science teacher at the school, and Joe Perrotto, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Pictured are current, past, and future graduates of the International Baccalaureate program at Red Bank Regional: (back row) IB Coordinator Ryan Hilligus, Kevin Burke, Sara Murphy, Katie Moran, Caroline Garth; (middle row) Isabella Ramos, Madison Ciccone, Hannah Haugenes, Skylar Haugenes, Alex Sosa, Cece McCarthy, Amy Lonergan, Summer Smith, Sophie Pouso, Emma Guinnessey, Elise Katz; (front row) Grace Noglows, Sophia Mazzini, Hannah Christensen, Victoria Sullivan, Kristen Wimmer, Sophie Navarro, Ashleigh Lloyd.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Several weeks preceding Red Bank Regional High School’s graduation ceremony, a smaller one was held for a special group of students — those receiving the coveted International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. RBR is one of only four schools in the county, and 14 in the state of New Jersey, to offer the internationally renowned IB program.

The school’s IB coordinator Ryan Hilligus addressed the seventh RBR IB graduating class, asking that the students reflect on their “two intense years” in which they attended over 1,000 hours of IB classes and approximately 20 hours of exams; wrote thousands of words of extended essays and completed over 4,000 hours of creativity, activity, and service efforts.

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SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller (left) with Corey Van Huff, first recipient of the Sean Macon Memorial Scholarship, presented to him by Sam, Tiaunna and Lynn Macon.   

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Recently, The Source in-school program at Red Bank Regional High School hosted its 17th annual year end reception, a celebratory event to award student scholarships and honor the Community Partnerships that enable its mission, “To remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in our community.”


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Jennifer Lakefield has been named as the new Chairperson of the Board, for the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit The Community YMCA.  (Photo by PeterMurphy)

Press release from The Community YMCA

In an annual meeting that took place on June 14 at the Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, The Community YMCA named several Red Bank area residents to official positions, and elected Jennifer Lakefield as chairperson and chief volunteer officer of the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit’s Board of Directors.

A resident of Colts Neck and managing director of Red Bank-based ZAIS Group, Lakefield will provide leadership to the 20-member board, which sets strategic direction and policy to guide the Y’s work of strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. She succeeds Joseph Oriolo of Shrewsbury, and will serve a two-year term ending in 2019.

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The most recent Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest, held in April, raised $15,000 for two charities: borough-based Parker Family Health Center and Shrewsbury-based Holiday Express. Jim Scavone, executive director of event host Red Bank RiverCenter, presented checks of $7,500 to each organization at Wednesday’s borough council meeting.

Holiday Express founder Tim McLoone, above, played at the festival with his side project, The Shirleys. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


Their not-so-secret identities include familiar names that span centuries: founding father Ben Franklin, inventor Thomas Edison, anthropologist Dian Fossey and Silicon Valley visionary Steve Jobs. Considered together, they’re the American Giants of Science — a superteam with a mission to rekindle a young nation’s intellectual curiosity in a tech-driven age when scientific inquiry appears under siege.

On Wednesday morning, explorers aged 7 and up are invited to take part in an interactive “whirlwind tour through time,” with the point of departure the Middletown Township Public Library.

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