lb-logo-2Press release from Lunch Break Inc.

A chance to be in the audience for some of the most popular major network TV shows. Sought-after seats for NFL games. Even an opportunity to host your very own episode of Antiques Roadshow. When the annual benefit gala for the Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break takes place on Friday, October 21, attendees will enjoy the opportunity to bid on a collection of exciting prize packages — and even if you can’t be there in person for the event hosted at an Eatontown residence, you’ll be able to place a bid on any of the offered lots, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

By going here to register, you’ll be able to use the eBoost app on your smartphone to make donations, preview and bid on items put up for auction, both online and live at the 7 p.m. gala.

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Sheehan-Race_061414_46The race is on once more as the 22nd annual Sheehan Classic returns to the streets of Red Bank Saturday morning. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Sheehan-Race_061414_41Red Bank has always thrived on foot traffic, and never more so than during the Sheehan Classic race and expo, the 22nd annual edition of which returns this weekend.

Named for the late physician, author and “Philosopher King” of runners everywhere, George Sheehan, the event has come to be known as one of the region’s major road running races, attracting the participation of hundreds of competitive runners from Australia to Zimbabwe and committed enthusiasts alike.

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Press release from Lunch Break Inc.

Did you know that more food is consumed in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year — including, believe it or not, Thanksgiving and Christmas?  With a record number of individuals and families in our own neighborhoods throughout  Monmouth and Ocean Counties needing assistance from Lunch Break, there’s never been more of a need to tackle hunger on our home field.

In a 2013 New Jersey Poverty Research Institute study, it was determined that more than two million people in the State of New Jersey struggle to meet their basic needs. That represents an increase of more than 300,000 since the beginning of the economic recession in 2008. Nationally, the poverty line is defined at about $23,000 for a family of four — and the study put New Jersey’s threshold at double that amount, because the cost of living in the Garden State is dramatically higher than the national average.  Increasing numbers of local families continue to struggle with hunger every day. In fact, 85 percent of those who come to Lunch Break for help have at least one full-time job.

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CROP WalkPut on your walking shoes and join the hundreds of volunteers expected to take part in the 34th annual Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk, making a “CROP circle” from RBR High School this Sunday, October 19. (File photo) 

It’s as much of an autumn tradition on the greater Red Bank Green as the Halloween Parade, the Guinness Oysterfest and the Town Lighting concert — and while it doesn’t make quite as much joyful noise as the aforementioned, the annual Red Bank CROP Hunger Walk has been a part of local life for 34 years.

As to the question of how long this public-welcome, recreational fundraiser for community food drive efforts will keep on walking the walk, the event’s website makes it abundantly clear that it “CAN’T STOP***WON’T STOP***As long as there is hunger in the world there will be CROP Walks.”

Departing from (and returning to) the parking lot of Red Bank Regional High School on Sunday afternoon, October 19, the event invites all members of the community to “join your friends, family and neighbors as we walk to end hunger one step at a time.” Hundreds of walkers, strollers and rollers of all ages are expected to take part in what’s become a multi-generational affair; a five-mile circuit (with other options for participants — read on) that gets underway, rain or shine, beginning at 2 pm.

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Docs of Rock 2The Docs of Rock — a band of moonlighting medical professionals and educators, led by retired Ranney School Headmaster Emeritus and guitarist Dr. Lawrence Sykoff, Ed.D. (right) — take it Downtown on Sunday for a fundraiser supporting Lunch Break of Red Bank.

The singer is a practitioner in veterinary dentistry (Kristin Scott, D.V.M.). On keyboards we’ve got the feelgood sounds of a specialist in interventional pain management (Scott Woska, M.D.). The rhythm section consists of an orthopedic surgeon on the fat ‘n funky bottom (David Lessing, M.D.), and a dermatologist on the skins (Ken Grossman, M.D.).

They’re all at the head of the class, in a school of rock presided over by guitarist Dr. Larry Sykoff, Ed.D. — who’s apparently having the time of his life since retiring as headmaster of Ranney School.

Together they’re the Docs of Rock, and this Sunday evening, August 10, they’ll be helping the Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break celebrate more than 31 years of service to the community, with a public-invited party at The Downtown.

Scheduled for 7 to 10 pm , it’s a serious night of fun for Lunch Break, the borough-based nonprofit whose executive director Gwen Love said, “Many people think Lunch Break is just a soup kitchen, but we are so much more.”

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DrLarryRetired Ranney School headmaster Dr. Lawrence Sykoff, Ed.D. — seen at right jamming with Tim McLoone and Holiday Express — leads his band, the Docs of Rock, to the Downtown for a fall fundraiser supporting Lunch Break of Red Bank.

Press release from Lunch Break of Red Bank

To kick off its October 20 fundraising Gala — and to celebrate more than 31 years of dedicated service to the community — Lunch Break is having a party at the Downtown, and everyone’s invited.

Scheduled for 7 to 10 pm on the evening of August 10, the event will feature live entertainment by the Docs of Rock, founded by Dr. Larry Sykoff, Ed.D. (Ranney School Headmaster Emeritus, Senior Consultant). Guitarist Sykoff is joined by keyboard player Scott Woska, M.D., (Interventional Pain Management); vocalist-veterinary dentist Kristin Scott, D.V.M.; drummer and dermatologist Ken Grossman, M.D., and bass player/ orthopedic surgeon David Lessing, M.D.

It’s a serious night of fun for Lunch Break, the borough-based nonprofit whose executive director Gwen Love said, “Many people think Lunch Break is just a soup kitchen, but we are so much more.”

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sheehan_start_2013_BBRunners leave the starting line at the 2013 Sheehan Classic event in Red Bank. The 21st annual race weekend expo returns to town on Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14.

More than 2,500 runners are expected to participate in what is known as one of the Jersey Shore’s most renowned road races, when the Sheehan Classic returns to Red Bank on Saturday, June 14, with its popular 5K (3.1 mile) distance as its main event.

Set for 8:30 am, this year’s edition will be the 21st running of the event that began in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K Classic, and quickly became one of the major road running events on the national calendar. The race moved to Red Bank in 1994, and was renamed to honor the memory of physician, author and philosopher Dr. George Sheehan who was widely regarded as the “father of the running boom” in the United States. Last year, the Sheehan family released a new book on the life’s work of “The Doc,” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his passing.

Over $2,500 in prize money will be distributed in the 5 kilometer run to the top five overall finishers, top New Jersey finishers and age-category winners, during the event that was named one of the Top 100 Road Races by Runner’s World magazine, and the Best Memorial Race in New Jersey by the New York Times. In addition, donations from the weekend expo will be collected for a number of locally based nonprofits, including Lunch Break and the Parker Family Health Center. Additional groups receiving contributions from the event are local high school track teams, various town EMS services and other organizations.

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Press release from Lunch Break of Red Bank

For years, Lunch Break has served as the first line of defense for thousands of residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and beyond, in the ever-expanding battle against hunger and the ravages of poverty in the midst of affluence. According to the nonprofit organization’s executive director Gwen Love, food pantry distributions have increased by a staggering amount, with more than 750 area families depending on Lunch Break each and every month for groceries — amounting to nearly 400,000 pounds of food.

“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” said Love. “Summer is especially difficult, with schools closed and many people on vacation…but hunger doesn’t close for the summer or go on vacation.”

Between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday, May 17, Lunch Break will host the third annual “Foodstock” community food drive at the Red Bank Middle School, 101 Harding Road. The goal this year is to collect an ambitious 50,000 pounds of non-perishable food — and all members of the greater Red Bank community are invited to spend the afternoon enjoying live music, good food,  good friends, and a chance to learn more about Lunch Break and its committed Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers.

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Y MLKAt left, Pilgrim Baptist Pastor Terrence K. Porter (center) accepts a proclamation from Red Bank Council members Kathleen Horgan and Edward Zipprich. At right, Middletown HS South senior Aisha Boori (center) displays the Humanitarian Award presented to her during the annual YMCA Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast. Flanking her are essay contest winners Xavier Norman and Sahar Akbarzai.

A Middletown Township teen was the recipient of an annual Humanitarian Award from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, at a January 20 event that also saw a proclamation honoring the pastor of Red Bank’s Pilgrim Baptist Curch.

During the 25th annual YMCA Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast, Aisha Boori was presented with the award given each year to a Monmouth County student who “exemplifies the definition of a humanitarian and conveys the character values of the Y: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.”

The Middletown High School South senior was recognized for her co-founding of a non-profit organization, Dreamers Without Borders, dedicated to collecting food supplies for Afghan refugees who are housed at an immigration center, as well as Tibetan refugees from a village school in India.The award was presented by First Assistant Prosecutor Marc C. LeMieux.

Pilgrim Baptist Pastor Terrence K. Porter delivered the keynote address to a crowd of approximately 300 people gathered at Branches Catering in West Long Branch.The pastor also received a proclamation from Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna and council, for his dedicated service to the Red Bank community.

Each year, teens enrolled in Monmouth County YMCA programs are invited to submit essays reflecting on Dr. King’s words, on how they can follow in his footsteps to improve the welfare of others and serve their community.This year’s essay winners were Xavier Norman, a freshman at Monmouth Regional High School, and Sahar Akbarzai, a senior at Old Bridge Regional High School. The essay winners were each rewarded with a $500 scholarship.

The annual breakfast was hosted by The Community YMCA and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, and sponsored by Meridian Health and Sunrise Optimist Club.In addition to presenting the awards, the Ys collected non-perishable food items to support Lunch Break of Red Bank.


LurieKirkKimballBandleader Brian Kirk (center) brings his Jirks back to the Basie stage on December 23, in a Santa for Lunch Break benefit that boasts the chart-topping voices of Elliot Lurie from Looking Glass (left), and Bobby Kimball from Toto (right).


Over the course of some two decades working favorite watering holes up and down the Jersey Shore — and building a solid following as a go-to group for weddings and corporate events — Brian Kirk & the Jirks have kept the party percolating by specializing in one thing: that attention compelling, wildly eclectic genre known as Other People’s Hit Songs.

This coming Monday, when the guys best known for their long tenure at Sea Bright’s much-missed Donovan’s Reef leave the bars behind for the grand proscenium of the Count Basie Theatre, they’ll be calling in reinforcements on the hitmen front — The Nerds, whose entertaining shtick and awesome chops have broken them out into the big world beyond Jersey. They’ll also welcome a couple of guys from out of town — the sort of men whose names and faces might not be known to all, but whose professional lives are all about The Hits. Who own The Hits.

The occasion is Santa for Lunch Break, a benefit for the borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break of Red Bank, and a sequel to last December’s sold-out Santa for Sea Bright event that raised crucial funds for the seagrass-roots organization Sea Bright Rising. Billed as a “variety show format” with “energetic music, bad jokes, and a little bit of ‘Bruce’ for a great cause,” the 8 pm concert follows in the spirit of Dunesday, the summertime series of beach-bash benefits that the enterprising Kirk maintained even after Superstorm Sandy dispatched Donovan’s to Davy Jones’ Locker — and that drew many thousands of faithful (including an enthusiastic Mr. Springsteen) to its open-air funraisers for neighbor families and community causes.

For the December 23 show in Red Bank, Kirk and his crew will share the stage with a couple of classic voices who are sure to strike a chord with anyone who never left home without a transistor radio or Walkman. Bobby Kimball is the vocalist whose time in Toto resulted in such Top Five hits as “Hold The Line,” “Africa,” and the Grammy winning “Rosanna” — while Jersey guy Elliot Lurie is none other than the singer and songwriter behind Looking Glass, and one of the most recognizable lite-rock bar anthems in all of human history, the 1972 Number One smash “Brandy.”

The Party Committee at redbankgreen spoke to busy bandleader (and owner of Red Bank-based Key Telecom Inc.) Brian Kirk as he made continued preparations for Santa’s wild ride.

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hobbymasters 112413-1A team of Radio Control race car drivers from Hobbymasters of Red Bank ruled the roost during the 2013 Turkey Race, held November 24 at South Jersey RC Raceway in Landisville, NJ. Pictured left to right are Venom Racing / Team Hobbymasters drivers George Tsakiris, Jerry Frazee, and Connor Placer, who combined for six AMain finishes during the annual event. They’ll be donating two whole Thanksgiving turkeys to the nonprofit Lunch Break of Red Bank, on behalf of the team and track.


LunchBreakBBrady Kirman of Little Silver presents Lunch Break supervisor Dina Mwanza with one of several loads of fresh produce from the RBR organic culinary garden. The garden is planted and cultivated by students in the culinary arts program.  (Click to enlarge)

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

In celebrating its 30th birthday this year, Red Bank soup kitchen Lunch Break asked the community to share any extra produce from their garden to fulfill its mission of providing healthy, fresh food to their patrons. The culinary students at Red Bank Regional (RBR) heeded the call and harvested their exquisite summer bounty in late August and early September to deliver to Lunch Break.

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