SEA BRIGHT PLAYGROUND TAKES SHAPE

The playground-to-be at Sea Bright’s municipal beach. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The Sandy Ground Project Memorial Playground in Sea Bright, built to honor and pay tribute to the victims of the horrific Newtown School shootings, has broken ground, but is still more than a month away from being completed, according to borough Recreation Director Kathy Morris.

The Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore and the New Jersey Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association are spearheading a project called “The Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play” that aims to create 26 memorial playgrounds across the state, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the December school slaughter. Sea Bright is the first town to receive a memorial playground, this one dedicated to Ann Marie Murphy, a special education teacher who lost her life in the shooting.

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SEA BRIGHT: OPERATION SHEETROCK TRIMMED

The rebuilding of a public access stairway over the sea wall is among the projects in the scaled-back volunteer outreach, says coordinator Frank Lawrence, below. (Photo below by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Last month, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long offered college students an altruistic alternative to the traditional debauchery-laden spring break: come help residents hang wallboard and make other repairs to their storm-battered homes.

Operation Sheetrock,” she dubbed it.

But with spring break now underway or rapidly approaching, few residences are ready for wallboard hanging, and won’t be for at least a few more weeks, according to borough volunteer coordinator Frank Lawrence.

“So many homes don’t have heat or electricity yet,” Lawrence said, “so a lot of the walls inside these houses are holding moisture. If we hang sheetrock over the walls right now, the moisture will be trapped inside, and when the weather warms up, mold will inevitably grow inside the walls. It’s the perfect environment”

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RED BANK: FIELD OF GIANT DREAMS

EFFU players practicing for tourney action at Eastside Park last week. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Once banished from a humble neighborhood park, the hardy men of Red Bank’s Eastside Flag Football Union are about to take it Big Time.

As in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Home of the National Football League Giants and Jets. Host gridiron to next year’s Super Bowl.

Ok, so maybe some of those 82,500 seats will be empty. But for these pigskin enthusiasts, the chance to participate in the Giants-sponsored Flag Football Snow Bowl, a charity event that directs all proceeds to the New Jersey Special Olympics, it’s a dream come true.

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RED BANK: EX-NFLER VISITS, BEARING SHRIMP

Celestine and Wallace Woods in their alter-egos as Santa and Mrs. Claus, above, and former pro footballer Jarvis Green, below. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Former pro defensive end Jarvis Green has been on a rampage of goodwill lately, and on Thursday sacked another location with Christmas cheer: Red Bank.

Jarvis, who put in eight seasons with the New England Patriots, is affiliated with a New Orleans-based shrimp consortium that this week joined with the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to help feed the hungry and spread joy.

On Thursday evening, following a visit to help feed victims of Hurricane Sandy in Ocean County, he stopped in at the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County and Lunch Break, just a couple of doors apart on Doctors James Parker Boulevard, with 100 pounds of shrimp.

“That’s a lot of shrimp,” said Green.

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FOR SEA BRIGHT, A NOT-SO-SECRET SANTA

Jersey Shore barband legend Brian Kirk (above, at the 2001 Oysterfest in Red Bank) and his band of partystarting Jirks come to the Count Basie on December 20 for a sold-out Sea Bright Rising benefit. Below, actress-musician Jill Hennessey is also slated to appear. (Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

The way Brian Kirk tells it, the slender “city” of Sea Bright has been his home in more ways than one. “It’s where I met my wife, where I spent my youth and is the home base for my cover band, Brian Kirk & the Jirks,” he says.

While the long-running combo continues to gig regularly around the region’s wedding halls, outdoor stages and nitespots, the Red Bank resident’s legacy as an entertainer is entwined with Donovan’s Reef, the landmark beach bar  where the Jirks held down a Sunday night stand that outlived nearly all the original anchors of 60 Minutes.

With Hurricane Sandy having (at least temporarily) consigned Donovan’s Reef to Davy Jones’ Locker, Kirk looks homeward on Thursday, December 20, when he and the Jirks team up with the seagrass-roots organization Sea Bright Rising for a benefit show from which all proceeds will go directly to Sea Bright “residents, businesses and the community as a whole.”

Occurring in the wake of the December 5 concert that brought San Francisco-based band Train to the edge of the battered borough’s tent city, the special Santa for Sea Bright extravaganza – officially sold out as of this posting – takes place at the Count Basie Theatre, the elegant setting for one of the displaced town’s council meetings in recent weeks. Kirk & the Jirks will be joined for the 7:30 p.m. show by a fellow stalwart of the Shore barscape, championship bluesmaster Matt O’Ree, as well as a promised set of “special guests” that includes TV series star (Crossing Jordan, Law & Order) turned singer and songwriter Jill Hennessy.

redbankgreen caught up with a beyond-busy Kirk for a conversation about good times, hard choices, and the big challenges facing the little town that so many of us feel a connection to.

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AREA TOY DRIVES NEED YOUR HELP

The Red Bank PBA is running its annual toy drive at the police station. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Calling all wannabe Santas – there’s no need to don a red suit to make a difference in a child’s life this holiday season. Just check out one of the many local toy drives that local businesses, legislators, and non-profits are pulling together to make sure that every child has a happy Chanukah or Christmas – especially those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Among them: Margaret Spicer, owner of Distinctive Toys in Fair Haven, knows the holiday season may not be a great one for her business, so she is channeling her efforts to help those in need. She’s banded together with the Knights of Columbus, Life Guard Ecumenical Foundation (LGEF), and Rebuild/Recover  to create “Sandy’s Toy Shoppe,” where affected parents can come and select new toys for their children.

The event comes together beginning Saturday in Eatontown.

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RED BANK: CHEATING, FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Christine Zilinski of Salon Concrete styles the hair of Maritza Soler of Port Monmouth last week. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Done2In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, Red Bank hair stylist Christine Zilinski jumped in as a volunteer to help residents of Union Beach cope with the aftermath.

It didn’t seem like enough, though. Zilinski said she wanted to do more. She wanted to use her strongest skills.

Of course, the answer to what that might mean was right there in her mirror. And it came with a sexy catchphrase: “Cheat on your hairdresser.”

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RED BANK: SCHOOL REOPENS, WITH GOODIES

Greg Martin of Michigan-based Disaster Relief at Work delivered pencil cases for kindergartners, above and below, as well as all other Red Bank Primary School students Monday morning. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One month to the day after it was inundated by the Swimming River in Hurricane Sandy, the Red Bank Primary School reopened Monday morning.

The event was accompanied by the arrival of a truckload of school supplies donated by residents of Clarkston, Michigan.

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RED BANK: THIS TIME, ELECT TO GO NAKED

Models make their way through the crowds at the inaugural Go Naked and Check Yourself awareness-raiser in 2011. This year’s edition takes place Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

The presidential race may be over, but there’s still one more election this month: Elect to Check, the theme for this year’s Go Naked and Check Yourself cancer fundraiser and awareness raiser.

Red Bank’s Sugarush cupcakes and Sweetest Sin lingerie have teamed up again for the second edition of this popular and slightly risqué event that helps build awareness about detectable cancers.

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A WHOLE LOTTA DOING GOOD FOR OTHERS

Local folks gathered Thursday at Red Bank Family EyeCare to support their efforts for helping Haiti’s eyes.

By DANIELLE TEPPER

RED BANK
Thursday, October 4: Red Bank Family EyeCare Open House

Done1Tyrone Choate, optical manager at Red Bank Family EyeCare, spent all of July volunteering at Cap Haitian Eye Center in Haiti, where he was inspired to apply what he learned at home – before turning around and bringing something right back.

“The doctor there really impacted me,” said Choate. “He wasn’t doing it for the money, but out of the goodness of his heart.”

The CHEC operates solely on donations, so Choate worked together with Dr. Erin Curtis to organize last week’s open house. Their goal was to raise at least $2,640, which is what it costs to sustain the Haitian clinic for one month. The night raised $2,000 from over 150 people and a portion of all eyeglass sales will be donated throughout the month of October to reach the grand total needed.

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WOMEN TO SHARE THEIR SONGS AND STORIES

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank is the kickoff site for the three-day event. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

What is the value of art? Is it a frivolous hobby or a creative outlet necessary for emotional health?

Coming up this weekend is a three-day fundraiser designed to provoke such musings. The second annual “Women of Song” event is being held to promote the arts in Monmouth County through music, poetry, and performance. It kicks off Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank before continuing on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park over the weekend.

Organizers Maxine Snow and Helen-Chantel Pike co-founded the event, with help from Brenda Wirth and Jenny Woods, to rectify what they saw as a “lack of representation for female talent in the Jersey Shore area,” said Snow.

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EMERGENCY RESPONDERS SEEK HELP

The first aiders are looking for help responding to more than 800 EMS calls a year. (Click to enlarge)

This edition of Done Good focuses on appeals for help from two Red Bank organizations that are usually on the receiving end of such calls.

One is the borough’s volunteer First Aid Squad and Rescue Squad, a unit of the volunteer fire department.

The other is the Community Emergency Response Team, an all-volunteer unit of the borough’s Office of Emergency Management.

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BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, STRAPPED, SEEKS HELP

Kids in the after-school Child Care program play a game at the Red Bank unit of the Boys & Girls Club Wednesday. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

On a typical weekday afternoon, a visitor to the Boys & Girls Club in Red Bank might find a handful of kids keeping happily busy inside the modest building on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. This is their after-school hangout, where they play games, get homework help, and relax before their parents pick them up after work.

Many families in the borough depend on this program, especially in these hard economic times, to keep their kids off the streets and engage their minds. But the club, which took over the borough-owned building – formerly Bizarro’s bar  – at the corner of Bridge Avenue just three years ago, is struggling, say club officials and supporters. They’re making the financial situation the focal point of the year’s programming plans.

“There are so many lucky people in Monmouth County with really comfortable lives, but others are far less fortunate,” said Nicole Corre, a borough resident who is raising money for the club through her participation in this year’s New York City Marathon. “So many kids get to spend their summers at beach clubs or nice sleep-away camps, but the small respite these kids have at the Boys & Girls Club is fading away. Where do they have to go?”

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FOOD FOR… SPORTS GEAR AND FIELD LIGHTS

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Upcoming: Thursday, August 16

Red Bank Flavour, a culinary campaign driven by the borough’s restaurants and food stores, presents “A Night on the Navesink: A Flavour Summer Soiree” at the Molly Pitcher Inn on Thursday, August 16.

Held at Red Bank’s newly renovated riverfront hotel, the evening, co-sponsored by hotel owner J.P. Barry Hospitality, will offer guests culinary samplings from more than 20 borough eateries, as well as wine samplings, libations and craft beer selections from New Jersey breweries.

A portion of proceeds from “A Night on the Navesink” will benefit Lunch Break and the Red Bank Middle School Athletics Foundation.

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A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY, A LITTLE BIT MOBILE

A mobile language lab at RBR will be stocked with iPads when it opens in September, thanks to a donation from the school’s fundraising foundation.  (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

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Come September, Red Bank Regional High School will have a fully operational Apple Mobile classroom for the 2012-2013 school year for its world language classes.

The RBR Education Foundation recently presented the Board of Education with a check for $28,000 to purchase an iPad cart equipped with 35 iPads and three MacBooks with a two-year protection program, as well as a voucher for applications available to “foster the acquisition of foreign language.”

“This level of accessibility into other cultures and languages is completely unprecedented,” said assistant principal Will Smith.

 

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HELPING OUT: A ROUNDUP

Sweetest Sin Boutique owner Angie Courtney plans to run the New York City Marathon to raise money for injured Marines. (Click to enlarge)

The winners of the eighth annual Andrew Kroon Scholarship raffle were announced June 8 at Red Bank Regional (RBR) High School‘s annual reception for The SOURCE.

They were:

Third Prize: $637.50 Juanita Lewis.

Second Prize: $637.50 Robin Stavola, who donated her winnings right back to the program.

First Prize: $1912.50 Carol Johnson.

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HELP FOR THE HUNGRY, VETS AND ATHLETES

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TUESDAY: “Family Night Out” to benefit Lunch Break
By dining at any one of 11 participating restaurants on June 12, Red Bank area residents can help take a bite out of hunger. A portion (or bite) of the proceeds from each lunch or dinner will be donated directly to Lunch Break, an organization dedicated to helping community members in need. Mention Lunch Break during the meal and receive complimentary tickets to see “JAWS” at the Count Basie Theater that night at 7 p.m.

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VOLUNTEERING: TWO RIVER CLEANUPS SLATED

Our beautiful Navesink, as seen from Marine Park in Red Bank Wednesday evening. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Done2This weekend, area residents will take to the water as part of two individual cleanup events in an effort to keep the Navesink River beautiful and litter-free.

Those who are proud to call Red Bank and Rumson home based on the river’s picturesque expanse are asked to give a couple hours’ worth of time and exertion in order to protect it.

Both events are rain or shine, except in the case of thunder and lightning. All volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes; unlike a beach cleanup, volunteers may have to walk through bushes and shallow parts of the river to retrieve garbage.

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DONE GOOD: HELPING VETS FIND JOBS

Done3Done Good is a periodic rundown of charitable outreach efforts and fundraisers on the The Green. To submit items for consideration, please send an email with the words ‘Done Good’ in the subject line.

TODAY: “Taking Care of Our Own” Open House for Veterans
Red Bank’s Two River Theater hosts a “Taking Care of Our Own” open house Tuesday, May 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. that will focus on helping returning veterans gain employment with non-governmental entities while also serving as an forum for them to meet local business owners.

There will be a number of free resources offered to veterans along with numerous discounted services from the private sector; a great networking opportunity and fundraiser. A food-wine-gift auction is included as well with all proceeds going to Operation Homefront and Lunch Break. No admission charge for veterans, $20 donation for other attendees. For more info, call 973-449-7702.

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RED BANK ART WALK GETS BACK ON ITS FEET

Works by Kathy Polenberg, above, and other local artists are showcased as part of the rejuvenated Red Bank Art Walk event on Friday.  

It looked for a while as if it might never regain its footing — but after sitting out the past couple of years, the Red Bank Art Walk makes its return this Friday, hot on the heels of the borough’s selection (by Smithsonian Magazine) as one of the top three Best Small Towns in the USA for culture and quality of life.

A three-hour, self-guided tour through the downtown Green and points west, the Art Walk is both rejuvenated and reconfigured in its 2012 incarnation, with a new cast of participants joined by several “non-traditional spaces” where Art Happens, from restaurants and retail stores to at least one transformed place of worship.

Going on between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, this first in a projected new series of events is being spearheaded by a relatively recent arrival to town — Gallery U and Boutique, the rather Unique and Unorthodox artspace that opened its doors at 80 Broad Street last year.

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GIVING IT UP FOR DUWAYNE

Jon Caputi of Red Bank’s Jonathan Salon trims the hair of borough resident Hannah Ludwikowski, 7, as her father, Scott, looks on Monday night.

The Broad Street salon gave 50 $7 children’s haircuts in four hours to raise funds for the medical care of Duwayne Powell, a 9-year-old Red Bank Primary School student suffering from a heart ailment. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

PAINTING, AND CLOTHING, THE TOWNS PINK

A profusion of pink explodes from local wardrobes this time of year, as evidenced by these pix from the 2011 Girls’ Night Out party in Pink Bank. (Click to enlarge)

It started six years ago, in a place called Pink Bank.

It quickly caught on in the nearby communities of Pink Haven (Fair Haven, that is) and Pink (Monmouth) Beach. And in 2012, you’ll find it happening everywhere from Pinkbury (Shrewsbury), Pinkson (Rumson) and Little Pink (Little Silver), to Pinkdel (Holmdel), Atlantic Pinklands (Atlantic Highlands) and possibly other coordinates on your G-Pink-S.

Beginning Friday, May 4, and continuing through May 12, Riverview Medical Center invites residents of the greater Green to participate in a campaign that’s designed to encourage women aged 40 and older to schedule an annual mammogram — as well as to fund mammography services to our uninsured and underserved neighbors — with a pledge to Paint the Town Pink.

If, as it’s been said, it takes a village to turn a town pink, then this year’s nine-day campaign promises to be “bigger and pinker than ever,” with a gala reception, celebrity appearances, large-scale public events, and the centerpiece of the schedulE: the mass “pinking” of homes all over this side of the Garden State Pinkway.

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GROCERY SCION DONATES $1M TO RIVERVIEW

The gift puts Riverview’s campaign to pay for a new day-stay surgery center past its $15 million goal. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Navesink couple is the latest in a string of wealthy donors to write a whopping check to help pay for a new surgical center at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, the hospital announced late Tuesday.

Richard Saker, the third-generation CEO of the Saker ShopRite chain, and his wife, Laura, have donated $1 million to the cause through the business, the hospital reports.

The commitment pushes the hospital’s campaign for the 22,000-square-foor surgery center “well past” its $15 million goal, the nonprofit said in its announcement.

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