55°F moderate rain


Zakiyah Godsey, left, and Natashsa Cargill of the Red Bank branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County write letters to girls featured in the documentary film ‘Girl Rising,’ which promotes the spotlights the limited educational opportunities of girls around the world, with particular focus on societies in which women are repressed.

Along with 10 other young women, Zakiyah and Natasha attended a private screening, organized by the Sierra Club, at Monmouth Mall. “It was a very emotional experience,” said Boys and Girls Club director Christy Clark. “The girls kept talking about it.” In response, the girls have launched a pen pal exchange and plan to donate school supplies.

‘Girl Rising’ will be screened at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High on Wednesday, May 22 at 6 p.m. Admission is $5. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)


Done3Attention motorcyclists: If you’re a rider who’s interested in supporting military veterans — or if you’ve ever wondered how to maintain your best poker face while riding into a strong headwind — the morning and afternoon of Sunday, August 28 may reveal the answers. [UPDATE: Event rescheduled for Saturday, September 3, because of Tropical Storm Irene]

That’s when Red Bank Elks Lodge #233 joins with some of its brother lodges in Long Branch, Jamesburg and Old Bridge for a fundraising Poker Run.

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rb-comm-ctrSisters Violet, 14, and Yanna Preston, 17, are the first members of the planned community center and will be trained as recruiters. That’s center director Robert Taylor in the background. (Click to enlarge)

Growing up, Yanna and Violet Preston spent countless hours at the Count Basie Learning Center on Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank.

But the borough-owned building, located next door to their home on Bridge Avenue, has been vacant for the past two years, an interim in which the town twice tried to sell it and failed to attract a single bid.

Meantime, squirrels made themselves at home in the structure, and dozens of kids who used to rely on it as a safe place for educational activities offered by the Community YMCA had to make do elsewhere.

Now, though, a campaign to revive the building by turning it into a  community center is on the verge of completion. And this week, the Preston sisters were not only the first to sign up as members, but have volunteered to serve as youth recruiters for the facility.

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