Seeger-KillianThe works of legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger (left) and Clearwater Festival founder Bob Killian (right) are celebrated during the 40th anniversary edition of the annual free music and environmental education event, coming to Brookdale Community College for the first time on Saturday, September 12. Killian returns to Monmouth County for the occasion, as well as a September 13 event honoring Seeger’s legacy, at the Unitarian Meetinghouse in Lincroft. (Photo by Mike Berry)

From press materials furnished by New Jersey Friends of Clearwater

It began back in the mid-1970s, as a free festival of music, food and environmental awareness; hosted at the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook and sponsored by the organization then called Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater. Inspired by the work of the iconic folk singer and pioneer activist Pete Seeger and his Hudson River excursions with the sloop Clearwater — and founded by Bob Killian, a Shore-based singer and songwriter best known for his hyperlocal anthem “I Like The Jersey Shore” — the all-volunteer Clearwater Festival has soldiered on through the years in several locations, most recently at Long Branch’s Pier Village.

On Saturday, September 14, the re-branded New Jersey Friends of Clearwater presents the milestone 40th annual edition of the summertime event; a one-day happening that unfolds at a brand new host venue: the Larrison Hall Commons area at Lincroft’s Brookdale Community College. Dedicated to the pioneering efforts of Seeger (who passed away last year at age 94) and Killian (whose return to Monmouth County for the occasion is a highlight of this year’s festival), Clearwater 2015 is an eight-hour burst of activity (11 am – 7 pm) that promises three stages’ worth of live music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors, environmentally themed informational displays, and plenty of free parking on the sprawling BCC campus.

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2015_Honorary_Rotarian(L-R): Red Bank Rotary Club committee members Joseph Greca and Michael Toscano and Past President Denise Benbrook selected David Prown as Honorary Rotarian at a club meeting earlier this summer. (Photo by Anthony Micale)

Press release from Red Bank Rotary Club

During the June 25 meeting of the Red Bank Rotary Club at Navesink Country Club in Middletown, Red Bank business owner and youth advocate David Prown was named an Honorary Rotarian in recognition of his outstanding community service and volunteer leadership.

Starting in 1988 and for each year since, the Red Bank Rotary has sought to present an Honorary Rotarian Award to a non-Rotarian in the area, recognizing someone who best exemplifies the true spirit of Rotary’s motto: “Service Above Self.”  For many years, third-generation local business owner Prown has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring that the youth in greater Red Bank have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. He has passionately volunteered his time (on average 2-4 hours a day, every day) and talent in a most unpretentious and often unsolicited manner, thereby exhibiting the true ideals of unselfish service to those in need.

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Press release from Deputy Chief Stephen Dollinger, Middletown Township Police Department

The Middletown Police Department is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on its Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT). In affiliation with 180 Turning Lives Around, and with the assistance of the response team volunteers, the Middletown Police Department continues to make available this service to victims of domestic violence during the initial stages of a highly emotional and traumatic experience.

The Monmouth County-based nonprofit 180 will be conducting an intensive 40-hour mandatory training course for DVRT volunteers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, October 6-29.  Scheduled from 6 pm-9:30 pm, the training sessions will be held at Wall Township Police Headquarters, 2700 Allaire Road. Applications are currently being accepted, with the deadline to submit an application September 25.

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Press release from Mental Health Association of Monmouth County

Families and individuals whose lives were impacted by Hurricane Sandy will be provided with free mental health and expert information and referral services through July 2016, thanks to a generous grant awarded to the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount $199,821 to sustain and expand mental health and social services in Monmouth County, related to the ongoing effects of the October 2012 “superstorm.” The MHA will continue to provide those services locally at the Red Bank Resource Network, now located at 103 Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank.

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76 buena vista 081815rumson fire 042015 2Five months after a devastating fire, the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald was demolished Monday.

The 132-year-old home, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea when it burned down in April. Investigators ruled the cause of the blaze accidental. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


PBC youthAs part of a community outreach initiative, the Youth Ministry at Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank recently purchased and packed approximately 160 bag lunches for the less fortunate in the Shore region. Pictured are some of the young people who participated in the project, which was sponsored by the Seacoast Baptist Association. For additional information regarding children’s, youth and young adult ministries at Pilgrim, please call (732)747-2343.


rumson fire 072815Rumson firefighters, slowed somewhat by a Cat construction vehicle parked in the driveway, quickly doused a fire that fully engulfed a custom-designed wooden play set in the backyard of a newly completed home at 10 Sailers Way Tuesday evening, Fire Chief Kevin McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

The cause of the blaze could not be determined but is not considered suspicious, he said. Monmouth County property records indicate the home is owned by Anthony Diaco. Rumson, Oceanic and Fair Haven volunteers responded to the 6:49 p.m. alarm, McCarthy said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


bio-blitzPart public science project, part beat-the-clock fun competition, the second annual Bio-Blitz invites all members of the community to help take a snapshot of the diversity of plant and animal life on Sandy Hook.

Press release from American Littoral Society

It’s part contest (racing against the 24-hour clock), part educational event, part scientific endeavor, and all fun — it’s the second annual Bio-Blitz, and starting right now the American Littoral Society is inviting the public to take part in a major undertaking on September 18 and 19, designed to “create a snapshot” of Sandy Hook’s biodiversity.

By identifying as many species as possible during that 24-hour period, the Littoral Society can paint a picture of 2015 Sandy Hook, and the breathtaking array of plants, fish, birds, bugs, reptiles and furry creatures who make their summer home on the peninsula. Collected over time, this data can lead to valuable information about the effects of climate change and habitat degradation on the species that utilize this area. This will also be a unique opportunity to teach the public about the biodiversity that exists along New Jersey’s coast — particularly the unique mix of species that’s found only within the Gateway National Recreation Area.

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robert henne 032014In honor of Robert Henne, right, a 23-year-old Fair Haven special police officer who died in March, the borough PBA plans a heavy-duty Crossfit “hero workout” challenge on Saturday, July 18.

The daylong outdoor event featuring a 1,000-meter row, sled pull and more – is to be held at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High, where Henne played football and was a member of the track team.

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Press release from The Community YMCA

At its 141st annual meeting, held Wednesday, June 17 at Rumson Country Club, The Community YMCA Board of Directors elected Joseph Oriolo chairman and chief volunteer officer. Oriolo replaces Patricia Whittemore, who led the board for two years.

The Shrewsbury resident has been a member of the Y board since 2008, and most recently served as vice chairperson. He also served as chairman of the Y’s Governance Committee.

“We are grateful for Patty’s leadership and we are pleased to welcome Joe as chairman and chief volunteer officer,” said President and CEO Rhonda Anderson. “He will continue to lead us forward to help increase our visibility as a cause-driven organization that strengthens the lives of over 20,000 people we serve in Monmouth County and beyond.”

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bucky moran 052615Bucky Moran at home earlier this week. Below, Moran gets a hug from one of his saviors, Paramedic Lori Corson. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


bucky moran 052715The last thing Richard ‘Bucky’ Moran remembers prior to his heart attack  last month was asking a motorist to move his car from the City Centre Shopping Center in Red Bank, where he works part-time.

So he knew nothing of the Edison Township fireman who, while driving by, saw Moran crash to the pavement and pulled over to start doing CPR. He didn’t know about the Red Bank policeman who happened to be coming out of a store at the mall, and had a defibrillator in his patrol car. He was unaware of the deputy fire chief who also pulled over and contributed the CPR effort, during which Moran was revived but “coded” again at least three times. And he’s a complete blank about the EMTs and paramedics who intubated him and blasted him with twice the standard amount of juice to get his ticker working again.

But on Wednesday night, the retired mail carrier and current school crossing guard got to meet, and hug, many of his Good Samaritans, at a packed-room meeting of the borough council.

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AlexlemonadeAs part of Mitzvah Day in the community, the Fourth Grade school children of Monmouth Reform Temple set up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand to collect money for cancer research. Working the stand are Kyle Little (Little Silver), Marisa Seckular (Middletown), Jake Schwartz (Shark River Hills), Agatha Hershey (Rumson), Alexa Tuller (Lincroft), Ava Schwartz (Shark River Hills), Dylan Nifoussi (Little Silver) and Ethan Smith (Rumson).

Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple

On May 17, an army of over 200 Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) members of all ages went forth into the community to perform “mitzvot”  — a commandment from God to do good in the world on MRT’s “Mitzvah Day.”  They tilled the soil behind the temple building in creation of a community garden to feed the poor, and ventured out to paint a Habitat for Humanity home. They knitted caps and blankets for preemies, and made templates for shoes for Ugandan children.

Students in the fourth grade raised money for pediatric cancer research by setting up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and students in kindergarten through second grade visited the Kensington Court assisted living center singing Jewish folk songs and dancing to entertain the residents. At the end of their performances, the children presented the residents with colorfully decorated flower pots and brilliant flowers to brighten their rooms. Another group of students visited the Chelsea assisted living center doing arts and crafts with the residents. A different group cleaned the trail along the Henry Hudson Trail in the Highlands.

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2012-music-topic-miri-ben-ariGrammy winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari is the special performing guest as the annual Hand in Hand Tribute Dinner comes to Two River Theater.

Press release from Hand in Hand 

She’s called herself “The Hip Hop Violinist:” an Israeli-born, Grammy winning recording artist (and Israeli Army veteran) whose numerous artistic, humanitarian and commercial collaborators have ranged from Jay-Z and Kanye West to Michelle Obama and Itzhak Perlman. On the evening of Monday, June 15, Miri Ben-Ari makes her Red Bank performing debut as the special musical guest of Hand in Hand – an organization that sponsors unique recreational and outreach programs for children with special needs – during its annual Tribute Dinner at Two River Theater.

Chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, the buffet dinner fundraiser event will honor the teenagers who volunteer for Hand in Hand, in addition to four community members who have an important stake in the program’s success – Dr. Glenn and Elaine Parker, and Dr. Russell and Ellen Ashinoff.

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rbms watermelon 081414Homegrown watermelons aren’t promised, but the grounds of Red Bank Middle School will once again the setting for Foodstock, the annual community party and food drive presented on Saturday by Lunch Break. (Archive photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

foodstock_flyer_2015It’s a 100,000-Pound Challenge, and no,it’s not a townwide weight-loss promotion, but an endeavor give our community’s neediest neighbors access to some healthy calories.

Organized by the borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break, the 2015 edition of Foodstock brings the community food drive back to Red Bank Middle School Saturday for a morning and afternoon of refreshments, live entertainment and children’s activities.

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Press release from Monmouth Reform Temple

Tikkun Olam, the Jewish tenet of “Repairing the World,” will be on full display in May during two major social action events planned by the Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) in May. On Monday, May 11, MRT members will join congregants at Saint Anthony of Padua Church (121 Bridge Avenue in Red Bank), to launch the Shine A Light program to install bicycle lights for members of the Red Bank community.

The program was the brainchild of MRT member Dean Ross, who seeks to improve the safety on the roads for the nighttime bicycling community. The Red Bank businessman explains, “We have had a few accidents, and some near misses in Red Bank with residents on bicycles at night who do not wear reflective clothing or have any kind of light and motorists don’t see them until they are just upon them.”

He adds, “This is what Judaism is about, getting other people involved to help others.”

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Press release from Lunch Break Inc.

foodstock_flyer_2015On Saturday, May 16, the Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break will hold the 2015 edition of Foodstock, a community food drive. The event will take place at Red Bank Middle School (101 Harding Road) from 10:30 am until 3:00 pm. The collection goal for this year is 100,000 pounds.

The 2015 Foodstock will include refreshments, live entertainment and children’s activities, with all members of the community encouraged to bring your family and friends, enjoy good music and good food, and be a part of a good cause — an organization that acts as the first line of defense for thousands of vulnerable residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and serves more and more people each year.

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rumson blithewald 1 rumson blithewald 3The April 20 fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald, which was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase in the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser, occurred the same morning that landscapers had put the finishing touches on a yard design called the Secret Garden.

Red Bank-based Siciliano Landscape, which oversaw the project with a landscaper from Marlboro, has posted a gallery of before-and-after photos of the garden, along with a link for those wishing to donate to the VNA. The now-canceled home tour was to be the nonprofit organization’s largest fundraising event of the year. (Photos courtesy of Siciliano Landscape. Click to enlarge)


Spirit of the SatoProject Animal Worldwide partners with Middletown Township Library for a free Wednesday evening screening of the documentary SPIRIT OF THE SATO: The Journey of Puerto Rico’s Lost Dogs. 

From the city streets of San Juan to the most remote beaches, they’re among the most “invisible” of the homeless population. An estimated quarter of a million Sato (local slang for mixed-breed or “mutt”) dogs roam Puerto Rico, often abandoned by their owners and left to fend for themselves in a US territory where spaying and neutering animals is not common practice.

With the 2013 documentary Spirit Of The Sato, filmmaker Ellen La Torre took a quantum leap toward raising awareness of the plight of the Satos — drawing the participation of experts that include original “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan, and focusing on the efforts of Project Animal Worldwide, the Eatontown-based nonprofit organization presided over by La Torre. Partnering with dog-friendly Shore area businesses like Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar and entities like the Monmouth County SPCA, the people from PAW have run “Sato Reunion” missions to Puerto Rico; matching dogs with adopting homes throughout New Jersey and the region — and on Wednesday, April 29, the feature subtitled The Journey of Puerto Rico’s Lost Dogs receives a free screening at Middletown Township Public Library.

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rb h20 rescue 042715 1The sailboat, seen above, righted itself after its two occupants were rescued, a witness said. Below, one of the two people rescued gets some medical attention. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


rb h20 rescue 042715 2Two boaters were pulled from the chilly Navesink River when their sailboat capsized in brisk winds off Red Bank Monday morning.

The pair were pulled to safety by kayakers, police said.

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mcf+-+CHRISS-LANDING-seagulls-tinaThe foundation is in the process of acquiring the 15-acre Chris’s Landing in River Plaza. Below, Meredyth R. Armitage. (Photo below by Tina Colella. Click to enlarge)

Press release from the Middletown-based Monmouth Conservation Foundation.

Meredyth R. ArmitageMonmouth Conservation Foundation, the non-profit organization that collaboratively has preserved more than 22,500 acres of open space and farmland throughout Monmouth County, is pleased to announce five individuals have joined the organization’s Board of Trustees: Meredyth R. Armitage, Paul R. Brown, Ph.D., Mai Cleary, Mark Forrest Gilbertson, and Bob Sickles.

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rumson fire 042015 3Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald appears to have been accidental, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.

Spokesman Charlie Webster told redbankgreen on Thursday that investigators believe the fire began in a wall between a guest room and an en-suite bathroom on the second floor. But they were unable to determine if a live electrical circuit or equipment was the cause, he said.

At the time of the fire, Blithewald, on Buena Vista Avenue, was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser fundraiser, which was to have begun Saturday but has now been cancelled. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


Here’s a Sea Bright firefighter’s view, courtesy of a helmet-mounted camera, of Monday’s fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald.

A message on the Sea Bright Fire Rescue Facebook page says this about the footage:

“We feel that releasing this film will not only give the public insight on what we do but will allow our brothers and sisters of the service an opportunity to better both themselves and ourselves in the future. The members made multiple attempts to try and gain control of the fire with an interior attack but were subsequently driven back. Please excuse some of the language as the guys were in the heat of the moment.”



RUMSON FIRE 042115 2Blithewald as seen Tuesday morning. An area of the roof between two dormers showed heavy damaged, as seen below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


RUMSON FIRE 042115 1The fire that caused extensive to a 132-year-old Rumson mansion Monday proved a challenge to volunteer firefighters, some of whom were on the scene nearly seven hours, Chief Kevin McCarthy tells redbankgreen.

“It’s a big, older house, so there’s lots of tough spots to get into,” said McCarthy. “It took a while to get it all mopped up.”

There was no official word on a possible cause of the blaze. McCarthy referred questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, where a spokesman said information was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

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rumson fire 042015 2rumson fire 042015 1Fire caused extensive damage Monday afternoon to a Rumson home slated as the showcase for the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser.

No one was injured in the four-alarm blaze at 76 Buena Vista Avenue, an 1880s-era mansion known as Blithewald. As of 3:30 p.m., three hours after the fire was reported, smoke could still be seen rising through the roof, which had gaping holes in it. There was no immediate official word on a possible cause.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said a heartbroken VNA volunteer who asked not to be named, standing outside the Blithewald gate.

The fire is the second tragedy in recent years to strike the VNA event. In 2013, a van shuttling tour participants hit a dumptruck in Rumson, causing at least one serious injury. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


NYBloodCenter-Assembly-3Press release from Red Bank Charter School

As part of an ongoing commitment to service learning, Red Bank Charter School (RBCS) will host a community blood drive on Friday, May 1. Scheduled for the hours of 2 pm to 6:30 pm, the effort is a partnership with the Little Doctors Program of the New York Blood Center, serving tri-state area hospitals.

RBCS Student Ambassadors will assist in the day, with a goal of collecting 30 pints, which can help as many as 90 patients. Fun and educational activities are planned for those who are too young to donate, and the Lakewood BlueClaws will honor RBCS at a spring home game for service learning activities and sponsorship of the blood drive.

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