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?”

Read More »

BASIE ECONOMIC IMPACT GROWS

basie-marquee-111411The nonprofit theater reported another year of strong financial results. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

basie-ec-impactTwelve years into a renaissance, the Count Basie Theatre continued to grow its economic impact on the Red Bank area last year, officials said.

Show-related spending on everything from babysitters to gasoline to dinners downtown grew to $12.75 million in the year ended June 30, the nonprofit theater estimates in its latest annual report.

That level, a record for the venue, represents a $1 million increase from the prior year, CEO Numa Saisselin tells redbankgreen.

“That supports a lot of restaurant and bar jobs,” he said, citing an estimate of 300 full-time-equivalent jobs made possible by the theater’s programming.

Read More »