SHREWSBURY: GO OARS-IN FOR INSULIN

For over 25 years, the people of the nonprofit Diabetes Foundation Inc. (DFI) have been providing insulin and medical supplies for New Jersey residents who are unable afford their meds — and as Ilene Winters points out, “In all that time, they’ve NEVER turned anyone away!”

The proprietor of Oar Fitness and Endurance in Sea Bright and the Community Relations Director for the Paramus-based DFI, Winters (pictured) recognizes that the rising cost of insulin represents a continuous need for funding — in other words, a campaign that must maintain marathon levels of momentum. To that end, the Wall Street veteran and avid triathlete has organized a Half Marathon Row fundraising event for the morning of Saturday, May 13.

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SEA BRIGHT RISING SAYS ‘MISSION COMPLETE’

Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for  from Sea Bright Rising in January, 2013, three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the town. On Friday, Winters and Woods announced that the nonprofit organization was dissolved, having completed its mission after giving out $1.6 million in donated funds to 300 families, 20 businesses and the borough itself.

From the announcement: Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: HEY, IT’S NOW OAR NEVER

1006 ocean 040515Ilene Winters, below, plans to open her new fitness studio in a former auto repair shop next door to a Dunkin’ Donuts this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ilene winters 040715 2Ilene Winters spent about 20 years on Wall Street, and another decade involved in nonprofit work helping cancer patients and victims of Hurricane Sandy. Now, she says, it’s time to put another passion into play: physical fitness.

This month, Winters expects to open OAR Fitness & Endurance, a training studio, in a former auto repair shop in Sea Bright.

But her leap of faith requires her to tune out some potential downsides. Among them: the Shrewsbury River, just inches away from the building, and what it can do when the weather turns ugly.

“I’m just trying not to think about it,”  she tells redbankgreen. Read More »

SEA BRIGHT RISING, ONE GIFT CARD AT A TIME

Ilene Winters and Chris Wood reviewing requests for help from Sea Bright Rising in Wood’s office Thursday. Below, a mudline shows the height of the water that inundated homes and businesses in town during Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Nearly 70 days after Hurricane Sandy washed the Atlantic Ocean into his Sea Bright restaurant, Woody’s Ocean Grille owner Chris Wood hunkered down with Ilene Winters in his loft office, sifting through aid requests from residents whose homes were flooded or destroyed in the storm.

The two executives of Sea Bright Rising were prioritizing applications for help with repair and replacement expenses from their neighbors as part of an effort to dole out nearly $500,000 in donations collected in the aftermath of the October 29 storm.

“We need two things from those reaching out to us: specificity and priority,” Wood said. “We don’t give out direct personal checks, cash or Visa cards, but we are more than happy to write checks to contractors, landlords or electricians for a portion –usually around 25 percent, of their bill, for example. We can’t write a check for ‘help’.”

Among the charitable organizations that arose in the wake of Sandy, the one Sea Bright residents have been able to lean on perhaps more than any other is a home-grown effort dedicated to the town’s return from the wreckage.

In terms of community outreach, involvement, and most importantly, results, it’s doing the job, its founders say. And in a period in which many Sandy-related charities are losing steam, Wood and Winters insist theirs is just getting started.

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