RED BANK: FOOD FESTS OUT, CONCERTS IN

weeklings red bank njThe Weeklings, who’ve performed at past food festivals in town, will get a starring slot at a concert in Riverside Gardens Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe sun has set on the possibility that downtown Red Bank will host one or maybe even two food festivals this autumn.

Instead, business promotion agency RiverCenter has put six outdoor concerts on the district’s dance card – but you’ll have to pay to attend.

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RED BANK: CLUB OFFERS LEARNING SPACE

red bank boys girls club 031220The Boys &  Girls Club on Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[Press release]

With area school districts offering partial- and full-remote schedules this fall, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County (BGCM) has opened Remote Learning Centers during the school day at its Asbury Park and Red Bank locations to assist children with their remote education.

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RED BANK: YMCA PIVOTS TO HELP IN CRISIS

Crystal Rubins, membership director at the Red Bank Family YMCA, helps staff a food drive to support area residents served by Lunch Break in Red Bank. (Photo by Joshua Reed.)

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County pivoted immediately when its facilities shut down in March as the COVID crisis started. The gym floors, exercise spaces and pools were vacant, but employees and volunteers jumped into action to respond to critical community needs.

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RED BANK: GIRL SCOUTS OFFER COOKIE RELIEF

Lunch Break clients will enjoy tasty Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank. (Photos by Andrea Plaza.)

[Press release by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore]

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore delivered a mountain of Thin Mints, Samoas and other flavors of beloved Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank to Lunch Break in Red Bank as part of an initiative to thank local heroes and share comfort with the community during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Lunch Break team members help unload 1,000 ‘boxes of love’ for Lunch Break clients.

One thousand boxes of the tasty treats were dropped off at Lunch Break on Friday, June 26 and will be shared with families served by the nonprofit, which provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to those in need in Monmouth County and beyond. Another 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are being delivered to five other organizations in support of the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund.

The fund was launched to encourage local businesses and other supporters to donate cookies for Girl Scouts to distribute to essential workers, volunteers, and other local causes. So far, more than 90,000 Girl Scout Cookies have been delivered, and with Investors Bank’s donation, the fund will top 100,000 cookies.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is grateful for the $50,000 donation from Investors Bank to share 10,000 “boxes of love with everyday heroes on the front lines of the pandemic caring for our community,” said CEO Eileen Higgins.

“Support for the Girl Scout Cookie Program enables Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore to provide leadership programs and experiences to girls in both Monmouth and Ocean counties,” Higgins noted, adding that Girl Scouts were in the midst of their annual cookie program when the health crisis hit, halting community cookie booths and in-person sales, resulting in a large inventory of cookies.

Gwen Love, executive director of Lunch Break, said the organization appreciates the generous donation of delicious cookies that will be enjoyed by individuals and families.

Five other organization receiving the remaining 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are:

• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey, based in New Brunswick. CASA of NJ is part of a national network of nonprofit programs that advocate for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect.

• Disabled American Veterans Department of New Jersey has 34 chapters and is dedicated to helping create better lives for veterans. They work alongside other nonprofits and advocacy organizations to fulfill their promises to all the men and women who have served.

• HomeFront of New Jersey in Lawrenceville, whose mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring resources and expertise of the community.

• Ocean Mental Health Services, Toms River, which offers a comprehensive continuum of mental health services that promote full participation in community life.

• RWJ – Barnabas – Community Medical Center Campus in Toms River, which is working to advance innovative strategies in high quality patient care, education, and research to address both the clinical and social determinants of health.
Anyone interested in supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund can visit, GSFun.org/CookieRelief.

About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For 108 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090.

RED BANK: YMCA OFFERS COVID-19 TESTING

VNA Certified Medical Assistant Ali Robles provides a COVID-19 test kit to a local resident at the Red Bank Family YMCA. (Photo by Joshua Reed. Click to enlarge.)

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

 
YMCA of Greater Monmouth County has joined forces with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey’s Community Health Centers (VNACJ CHC) to offer COVID-19 testing at the Red Bank Family YMCA.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS DRIVE-IN CONCERT

Jersey shore favorites Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will play for an audience watching from parked vehicles. (Video by Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

Darkened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts is taking its act to the track.

The storied venue plans to host a July 11 drive-in concert by  Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport on July 11.

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RED BANK: TWO FALL FESTIVALS? MAYBE…

red bank oysterfest 2019 The annual Guinness Oyster Fest in September could be followed just three weeks later by the International Beer, Wine & Food Fest, usually held in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith a calendar decimated by the COVID-19 crisis, Red Bank appears to be in for an unusually quiet summer.

But as summer edges into autumn, two of the town’s largest annual food festivals could occur within three weeks of one another, redbankgreen has learned.

Here’s a lookahead at the pandemic’s impacts on the summer calendar.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS LEAD FOOD NONPROFIT

Compañeros de Comida 052620.pngCompañeros de Comida includes, from left, Catherine White, Charlotte Stant, Katherine Busch, Brooke Bosonac, Julia Lazarescu, Charlotte Shenman and Margot White. (Not shown: Brett Cetnar Garrett.) (Click to enlarge.)

[Press release from Compañeros de Comida]

 

There is an exciting new community collaboration in Red Bank. Several weeks ago, Lunch Break introduced a community grant program offering families financial assistance during the COVID Pandemic. At that time, Itzel Perez of American Friends Service Committee, Isabel Escalante, a parishioner at St. Thomas Church, Charlotte Stant, a rising senior at RFH and Risa Clay, Tinton Falls councilwoman and retired Red Bank Regional High School principal began working with the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative (GRBWI) Immigration Committee to help identified families complete their applications.

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SHREWSBURY: Y LAUNCHES ANNUAL CAMPAIGN

Christian Buckman 031020 .jpgY board member Christian Buckman, chairperson of the Annual Community Campaign, encourages Red Bank YMCA members to support the fundraising effort.

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

Providing families affordable childcare, increasing youth access to water safety skills and reducing isolation among seniors are three ways the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County helps to strengthen the community.

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RED BANK: CELEBRATING HARRIET TUBMAN

Gertrude Kehleay, housing administrator at The Wesleyan, thanks actor Lorraine Stone, who appeared as Harriet Tubman. (Stephanie Rahn)

[Press release from United Methodist Communities]

United Methodist Communities (UMC) at The Wesleyan celebrates Black History month annually — 2020 was no exception. Lorraine Stone reenacted the life of a remarkable cook, nurse, slave, political activist, suffragette, armed scout, liberator, abolitionist, spy, founder of a retirement home, and devout Methodist. That extraordinarily courageous, five-foot-tall, historical legend is Harriet Tubman.

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RED BANK: CLASSIC 5K SET FOR JUNE 20

The 2020 Red Bank Classic kicks off at 8 a.m. on June 20 in downtown Red Bank. (John Vitollo)

The third annual Red Bank Classic 5K will return to downtown Red Bank on Saturday, June 20 to raise support for youth development programs at the borough’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Red Bank Family YMCA.

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SHREWSBURY: YMCA URGES ‘TOGETHERHOOD’

YMCA Laurie-GoganzerYMCA President & CEO Laurie Goganzer is encouraging local residents to pitch in and give back to the community through the Y’s Togetherhood program. 

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is encouraging local residents to help strengthen the community through a new volunteer initiative announced at the organization’s 31st commemorative breakfast honoring the civil rights leader.

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SHREWSBURY: YMCA HOSTS ESSAY CONTEST

Local high school students are invited to participate in the annual YMCA Dr. King essay contest.

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is pleased to announce that the annual essay contest held in conjunction with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial breakfast in January has been expanded to all students in Monmouth County.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER THEATER FOUNDER DIES

Robert Rechnitz with his wife, Joan, in 2012. Below, the Two River Theater, where a new plaza was under construction this week. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank two river theaterRobert M. Rechnitz, who co-founded Red Bank’s Two River Theater with his wife, Joan, died at his home Saturday, the theater announced Wednesday. He was 89 years old.

 

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FAIR HAVEN: HARVESTFEST DRAWS A CROWD

The pumpkin-painting table at Fair Haven PTA’s HarvestFest.

(Fair Haven PTA press release)

More than 300 people turned out to enjoy HarvestFest on Saturday, Oct. 5. This highly successful, annual fundraiser celebrates autumn and Halloween while raising money to further the mission of the Fair Haven PTA.

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RED BANK: TENTH OYSTERFEST ROCKS THE LOT

red bank oysterfest 2019red bank oysterfest 2019 Sunshine and feels-like temperatures around 80 degrees put thousands of visitors in a dancing, eating and drinking mood at the 10th annual Guinness Oyster Festival in Red Bank Sunday.

This year’s event, held as always in the White Street parking lot, raised funds for three Red Bank-based benefactors: Monmouth Day Care Center, T. Thomas Fortune House, and Red Bank RiverCenter, the event sponsor.

Were you there? Look for yourself and your friends in redbankgreen‘s photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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FAIR HAVEN: RIVER RATS LOSES TAX CASE

fair haven river rats River Rats’s home at the northern end of Battin Road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s River Rats organization is not entitled to a property tax exemption, even though it’s a registered nonprofit run by volunteers, the New Jersey Tax Court ruled last week.

The organization tells redbankgreen it will appeal the decision.

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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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RED BANK: KIDS, RESPONDERS LOSE FREE YMCA

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank YMCA says affected families can apply for subsidies to replace the free memberships. Below, the letter sent to parents of children in the Healthy Kids program. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank YMCA letter 061919Red Bank’s schoolchildren and emergency first-responders will lose their free access to the borough YMCA in September.

The Maple Avenue nonprofit’s executive director, Katie McAdoo, tells redbankgreen the change was driven by its need to be “accountable” to funders.

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