54°F clear sky


Lunch Break clients will enjoy tasty Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank. (Photos by Andrea Plaza.)

[Press release by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore]

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore delivered a mountain of Thin Mints, Samoas and other flavors of beloved Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank to Lunch Break in Red Bank as part of an initiative to thank local heroes and share comfort with the community during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Lunch Break team members help unload 1,000 ‘boxes of love’ for Lunch Break clients.

One thousand boxes of the tasty treats were dropped off at Lunch Break on Friday, June 26 and will be shared with families served by the nonprofit, which provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to those in need in Monmouth County and beyond. Another 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are being delivered to five other organizations in support of the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund.

The fund was launched to encourage local businesses and other supporters to donate cookies for Girl Scouts to distribute to essential workers, volunteers, and other local causes. So far, more than 90,000 Girl Scout Cookies have been delivered, and with Investors Bank’s donation, the fund will top 100,000 cookies.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is grateful for the $50,000 donation from Investors Bank to share 10,000 “boxes of love with everyday heroes on the front lines of the pandemic caring for our community,” said CEO Eileen Higgins.

“Support for the Girl Scout Cookie Program enables Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore to provide leadership programs and experiences to girls in both Monmouth and Ocean counties,” Higgins noted, adding that Girl Scouts were in the midst of their annual cookie program when the health crisis hit, halting community cookie booths and in-person sales, resulting in a large inventory of cookies.

Gwen Love, executive director of Lunch Break, said the organization appreciates the generous donation of delicious cookies that will be enjoyed by individuals and families.

Five other organization receiving the remaining 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are:

• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey, based in New Brunswick. CASA of NJ is part of a national network of nonprofit programs that advocate for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect.

• Disabled American Veterans Department of New Jersey has 34 chapters and is dedicated to helping create better lives for veterans. They work alongside other nonprofits and advocacy organizations to fulfill their promises to all the men and women who have served.

• HomeFront of New Jersey in Lawrenceville, whose mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring resources and expertise of the community.

• Ocean Mental Health Services, Toms River, which offers a comprehensive continuum of mental health services that promote full participation in community life.

• RWJ – Barnabas – Community Medical Center Campus in Toms River, which is working to advance innovative strategies in high quality patient care, education, and research to address both the clinical and social determinants of health.
Anyone interested in supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund can visit, GSFun.org/CookieRelief.

About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For 108 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090.


richard-t-smithPress release from The Community YMCA

High school students who are currently participating in programs at The Community YMCA or the Western Monmouth County YMCA are invited to enter an essay contest honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The contest, which has an entry deadline of Thursday, January 5, will present its winning entries at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Monday, January 16.

Hosted at Branches Catering in West Long Branch, the 28th annual event co-sponsored by the Shrewsbury-based CYMCA will include readings by the two winning essayists, each of whom will be awarded a $500 scholarship sponsored by Investors Bank and Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association. Richard T. Smith (pictured), President of the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP, will be the keynote speaker at the breakfast, scheduled from 8 to 10 a.m.

More →


Drummer_Carmine_Appice_(right)_works_with_Basie_Rockit!_students_in_advance_of_their_Vanguard_Awards_performance_on_August_29th.Legendary rock drummer Carmine Appice, above at right works with members of the Rockit! band in preparation for Saturday’s show, which also honors local music legend Bobby Bandiera, below.

bandieraA lieutenant governor, a captain of industry and a rock ‘n roll field marshal are the honorees — with some music royalty in the house — when the Count Basie Theatre presents its 2015 Vanguard awards in Red Bank Saturday night.

More →


KimBandieraLt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Shore music legend Bobby Bandiera are among the luminaries to be honored by the Count Basie Theatre on August 29, with the second annual Vanguard Awards.

Press release from Count Basie Theatre

The Count Basie Theatre has announced honorees for the 2015 Vanguard awards, honoring lifelong devotion to the arts in New Jersey. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, musician Bobby Bandiera, and Investors Bank’s Richard Spengler will be recognized as Vanguards on Saturday, August 29, with tickets going on sale at noon this Friday, July 24 through TheBASIE.org, phone charge at (732)842-9000, and – at the Count Basie Theatre box office.

Also on August 29, Rockit! At The Basie will present its annual summer concert, The Who’s TOMMY In Its Entirety and Other Sounds of ‘69. The show will feature curation, guidance and performances from Bandiera, 2014 Vanguard winner Maureen Van Zandt and very special guests, and monies raised from the concert will go towards partnership program scholarships and other initiatives that fall within the Basie’s mission of providing arts education and outreach programs.

More →