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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fooddrivePress release from Red Bank Regional High School

For the fourth year in a row, Red Bank Regional High School has utilized a “Battle of the Class” competition to motivate a school-wide food drive which benefits the local community. Over 7200 food items were donated from February through April 1 to help fill the food shelves of Lunch Break and the Salvation Army in Red Bank, at a time when large donations aren’t typically made to local pantries.

The competition included student classes and staff members, divided into teams based on zodiac signs. The winner was Team Gemini/Pisces, who overwhelmed the other competitors with over 1100 items. They team a $1000 prize toward their class account (donated by the National Honor Society), and earned points toward the popular “Battle of the Classes” activity taking place in May.

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NancyMulherenPress release from Riverview Medical Center

In a recent announcement, Riverview Medical Center Foundation named Nancy B. Mulheren of Rumson (pictured) as the new chair of the Board of Trustees. In an additional announcement, Mulheren and her fellow board members welcomed Mary Vaden Eisenstadt of Locust as the RMC Foundation’s newest trustee.

“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to positively impact health care in our community through my role as chair of the Riverview Medical Center Foundation Board,” stated Mulheren, a real estate manager and community investor who has served on the Foundation Board since 2011.

An active philanthropist in New Jersey — as well as Virginia, home to her alma mater Roanoke College, where she serves as a Trustee — Nancy is the director of The J.A.M. Anonymous Foundation, established in tribute to her late husband John and dedicated to continuing his philanthropic legacy. She also serves on the boards of the Count Basie Theatre Foundation, VNA Foundation Board, Canterbury School, and as an Honorary Board Member of OASIS (Ongoing Autistic Success in Society).

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rb trout 040415 1 rb trout 040415 2James Tulley of Asbury Park shows off his catch from the first day of trout fishing at Red Bank’s Mohawk Pond Saturday morning. “All the guys come out and laugh and joke and get in some fishing,” said Tulley, who stops at the pond every year on opening day.

The the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife does an annual restocking of the pond with trout. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


habitatPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Habitat for Humanity Club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has been officially named an affiliate campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. RFH, one of only two official campus chapters in Monmouth County, was recently awarded a disaster services grant totaling $11,100 from Habitat for Humanity International and State Farm Insurance.

The RFH Habitat for Humanity Club, with over 110 student members participating in builds, clean-up projects and fundraising, provided a boost to the campaign by applying for and receiving the grant. The money will be presented to Habitat for Humanity/The “House That Youth Built” by a representative from State Farm, which has been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity since 1994, and will be used by the Club for the “House That Youth Built,” a youth-based service project for the Henn Family of Middletown Township.

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fh flag 032315A flag flew at half-staff outside borough hall Monday night in honor of Robert Henne, below, a 23-year-old special police officer who died earlier in the day. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

robert henne 032014Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli issued this statement Tuesday afternoon:

The Borough of Fair Haven wishes to acknowledge the very sad and untimely passing of Special Police Officer Robert Henne. Officer Henne passed away at his family home in Fair Haven, on March 23, 2015.

Officer Henne grew up in Fair Haven and graduated from Rumson Fair Haven High School. He was also a graduate of the 39th Monmouth County Police Academy.

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23 madison planrb fire 102214 1Five months after she was awakened by a smoke alarm and escaped to see her house go up in a ball of flame, a Red Bank woman won approval to replace the structure Thursday night. 

Designed by architect Ron Grammer, Joan Raymond’s new Craftsman-style house on Madison Avenue retains the original footprint. The plan met no opposition at the zoning board hearing.

A mother of three grown children who was alone at the time of fire, Raymond was unharmed, but lost her cat to the blaze, the cause of which was never definitively determined. She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas, she told redbankgreen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)



RB fire 031915 2The fire did heavy damage to the house at 93 River Street. The roof at the rear corner of 95 River, at right above and left below, also briefly caught fire. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


RB fire 031915 1No one was injured as Red Bank volunteer firefighters quickly knocked down a blaze that had tongues of flame shooting out of two sides of a house Thursday morning.

The occupants of the home at 93 River Street, between Shrewsbury and Leighton Avenues were not present when police on patrol noticed smoke and called in the fire at around 11:15, said police Chief Darren McConnell.

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Press release from Monmouth County Parks System

The Monmouth County Park System has added another training session for prospective docent volunteers on Sunday, March 15.  In addition to the morning session held at Huber Woods Environmental Center in Locust from 11 am to 12:30 pm, an afternoon session will be held at Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center in Port Monmouth from 2 to 3:30 pm.

Both sessions will cover everything docent volunteers need to welcome visitors and answer questions. Prospective volunteers (age 21 or older) should attend the session held at the location where they are interested in volunteering. Volunteers are needed for half-day shifts on weekends at Huber Woods Environmental Center. Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center is looking for volunteers from 1 to 4 pm on Sundays, April through October.

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DEER 022815 14The doe allowed caretakers to swaddle it in blankets for several hours Saturday evening, above. Below, the doe struggling to escape the frigid Navesink that afternoon; the deer at left drowned. (Photo above by Stan Balmer, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


deer 022815 9A deer saved in a dramatic rescue from the frigid waters of the frozen Navesink River Saturday was released later that night – but only after veterinary professionals suggested it be euthanized, redbankgreen has learned.

Second Deputy Fire Chief Pete DeFazio said personnel at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls told him and other emergency volunteers that the hospital had no facilities for the deer, which while uninjured, was cold and immobile, and would probably be euthanized.

“I said, ‘why, after we went to all this trouble, would you euthanize it?'” DeFazio told redbankgreen Monday evening. “How can you kill this thing after all we went through to save it?”

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