RED BANK: OYSTERFEST IS PARTY TIME

The soulful vocals of Remember Jones, below, add to to the vibe when Guinness Oysterfest returns for an eighth annual stand Sunday. 

While efforts are underway to restore oyster populations in the local waterways that once boasted them in abundance, Red Bank celebrates the opening of oyster season by, well, opening a few thousand oysters — not to mention a beverage or two.

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SANDY HOOK: SUN SETS ON SUMMER ’17

It’s a big tent event, and a last chance to RSVP, as the Sandy Hook Foundation returns to the North Beach area of the peninsula Friday evening for the annual End of Summer Party fundraiser.

Granted, summer doesn’t officially sigh its last for a couple of weeks — and all those familiar with the rites of Local Summer know that there’s plenty of life after Labor Day here on the New Jersey Shore. But when the Sandy Hook Foundation declares the End of Summer, people take notice and listen — to the extent that the nonprofit’s annual “beach chic” outdoor benefit gala remains one of the most glittering events of the sand-in-your-shoes social calendar.

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RED BANK: NO OYSTERS, BUT ELUSIVE EELS

The American Littoral Society hung bags of recycled oyster shells from docks on the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers in June to see if they would attract oyster larvae. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After nearly three months, an effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers has yet to detect the bivalve mollusk in the waterways, according to an update by the American Littoral Society.

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SEA BRIGHT: OYSTER WRANGLERS WANTED

Workers with the American Littoral Society prepare to hang a bag of oyster shells off a dock at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The folks at the Sandy Hook-based nonprofit American Littoral Society are looking for a few good people — and an even greater number of enterprising oysters — as part of a summer-long research project known as Operation Oyster.

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FAIR HAVEN: TOWN TO HAVE ITS DAY

Fireworks are scheduled to paint the night sky when Fair Haven Day returns for its sixth annual edition. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

It doesn’t have roots as deep as its sister event, the end-of-summer Fireman’s Fair. But when the first annual Fair Haven Day commandeered Fair Haven Fields for an all-ages, all-invited day of food, live music and fireworks in 2012, it felt immediately like the sort of thing that had been part of local life for generations.

The event, organized by the Foundation of Fair Haven to celebrate the borough’s centennial, established itself as a community tradition that continues when it makes its sixth annual stand this Saturday.

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RED BANK: NAVESINK OYSTER STUDY BEGINS

Workers with the American Littoral Society drop a bag of recycled oyster shells into the river from the dock of a Red Bank home Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to restore a once-thriving oyster ecosystem in the Navesink River got off to a small start last week with the help of scraps from restaurant diners’ plates.

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RUMSON: SALT CREEK RAISES $90K FOR 180

Left to right: “Guest shucker” Lance “Chick” Cunningham joined Lusty Lobster owner Doug Douty and Kevin Guerin at the raw bar for the recent Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser at Salt Creek Grille. The April 6 event raised over $90,000 for the locally based nonprofit 180 Turning Lives Around. (photo by Karen J. Irvine)

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

On April 6, the 14th Annual Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser event at  raised over $90,000 in funds for 180 Turning Lives Around, a not-for-profit organization providing services to individuals and their families affected by domestic violence.

Salt Creek Grille also reached its $1 million mark in total funds raised for local charities through the annual event, which began in 2004 to celebrate what was then the Rumson restaurant’s fifth anniversary.

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RUMSON: SALT CREEK EVENT TO BENEFIT 180

Left to right: presenting the flag in preparation for the annual Salt Creek Grille wine and martini tasting benefit are Lynn Lucarelli, 180 Director of Development; Robert Fouratt, 180 Board President & Managing Partner of The Curchin Group; Cindi Westendorf, Program Cooridinator of 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program; Anna Diaz-White, 180 Executive Director; Robin Fitzmaurice, VP Two River Community Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Rob Habel, Beverage Manager; Steve Bidgood, Co-Owner, Salt Creek Grille and Mark Shopene, General Manager. (photos by McKay Imaging)

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

In the state of New Jersey, an act of domestic violence happens every 7.29 minutes and, alarmingly, in 31 percent of all domestic violence offenses children are involved or present.

Based in Monmouth County, 180 Turning Lives Around is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community. It has served individuals and families who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence since 1976 — and on Thursday, April 6, the organization will be the beneficiary of an annual fundraising event at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille.

Since 2004, Salt Creek Grille’s Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser has raised approximately $900,000 for a variety of charitable and nonprofit organizations in the local area, with the restaurant designating a different beneficiary each year. With this year’s 14th annual event, co-owner and local philanthropist Steve Bidgood’s goal is to reach the $1 million mark of funds raised for local charities.

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RED BANK: OYSTERFEST IS A PEARL OF A PARTY

rb oysterfest 092715 10The Guinness Oyster Festival returns Sunday for a “shuck and awe” day of food, beverage and entertainment that includes Tinton Falls pop singer Taylor Tote and band, below. (Top photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

taylor_tote_band_-_social_media_low_res_dsc_7778c-2As open-air diversions go in Red Bank, it’s the undisputed pearl of the season. And making its seventh annual stand, the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street municipal parking lot Sunday for an event that, as the name suggests, pairs the fabled allure of the briny bivalve and dozens of other culinary seductions with the “Irish aphrodisiac” known as —Guinness.

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ON THE GREEN: BOOMER, BEACH, BOOKS, BUCS

End of Summer PartyThe annual End of Summer Party (above) marks a big-tent bid of adieu for the Sandy Hook Foundation next Friday…while NFL great Boomer Esiason (below) visits Broad Street for a cocktail party fundraiser at Garmany.

Boomer EsiasonA late-summer sendoff out on the Hook…a BBQ kickoff to the gridiron season on the home-team turf…a star-studded celebration of life and fashion at a signature retailer…and a show of support for a hometown resource. All dedicated to raising funds for worthy causes, and all happening in the post-Labor Day interlude to come.

This coming Labor Day Monday, September 5 represents the deadline to reserve your ringside seat for the End of Summer — as declared by the nonprofit Sandy Hook Foundation in its annual casual-attire outdoor benefit gala, which returns on September 9 to the North Beach area of the Hook for a seasonal sayonara that commences at 6:30 pm. With tickets beginning at $150, proceeds benefit the Foundation’s ongoing preservation efforts as well as seasonal activities like the popular Free Beach Concert series, in addition to the environmental awareness and educational campaigns of the Fort Hancock-based American Littoral Society. Promised are “dancing under the stars” to live music from Swift Technique; a buffet dinner featuring seafood raw bar furnished by The Lusty Lobster, and an “amazing auction” of exclusive-experience getaway packages. Take it here for further details; here for tickets, and around the bend for more good deeds and good times.

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RED BANK: THE WORLD’S OUR OYSTER SUNDAY

oysterfest 2012 1The Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street lot in Red Bank Sunday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb oysterfest 3 092312Consider the oyster: a fabled food-of-love aphrodisiac to many, and a must-to-avoid mollusk to others. A naturally nurturing jewel-box to hunters of precious pearls, and mere hapless-prey packaging to the otter, The Walrus and The Carpenter.

But whether you shuck ’em or shun ’em, there’s no doubting that the briny bivalve has a certain star-quality luster as the centerpiece of some increasingly popular post-Labor Day events — particularly when paired with the “Irish aphrodisiac” known as —Guinness. And here on the banks of the Navesink, the coming of autumn signals the oyster’s turn to shine as the featured attraction of the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival, the sixth annual edition of which returns to the White Street municipal parking lot Sunday. Read More »

LATE SUMMER FUNRAISING, ‘ROUND THE GREEN

View of the BayBayside tables await guests at last year’s End of Summer Party on Sandy Hook. The annual fundraiser hosted by the Sandy Hook Foundation returns to the North Beach area of the peninsula this Friday evening, as one of several events of interest in the coming days.

An earlybird kickstarter for the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day celebration…a late-summer sendoff out on Sandy Hook…and a no-time-like-the-present “Shop and Sip” socializer on behalf of the Middletown Library…all dedicated to raising funds for year-round fun on the greater Green, and all on tap in the September days and nights to come.

This Friday morning, September 11, sees the first in a series of special events keyed to the annual Rumson Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on March 13, 2016, as Rumson Country Club hosts an “Erin Open” golf outing that commences with a “shambles format” shotgun start at 8 am. On-site registration begins at 7 am, and there’s an invitation to convene at the club’s River House for a post-Open  cocktail reception and barbeque luncheon (featuring awards ceremony, auction and door prizes) that begins at 12:30 pm. Tickets for the reception and luncheon are $75, and information on event registration and sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing info@rumsonstpatricksdayparade.org — while more community get-togethers in a “Done Good” vein await, after the break.

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RHODE BANK: STUFFIES FOR THE SUPER BOWL

chowdahousePieHole checks in with Rhode Island’s embassy in Red Bank, the Chowda House, to speak with chef Glenn Kovacs about stuffies. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels smallDespite being the smallest of the six states that make up New England, the breadth of unique, hyperlocal culinary contributions from Rhode Island make it a great place to look for inspiration for Super Bowl Sunday’s menu items.

The foods that are sure to make a Rhode Islanders’ mouth water that you’ve probably never heard of include hot wieners, the spinach pie and pizza strips, all polished off with a coffee milk.

But with a nod to the Patriots’ presence in the big game, the one Rhode Island food we’ve got our eyes on for this Super Bowl is the stuffed quahog, aka stuffie.

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RED BANK: THIS TOWN IS YOUR OYSTER…FEST

oysterfest-2010-1The Guinness Oysterfest returnS to downtown Red Bank Sunday for an afternoon of sunshine, food, music and eary-fall good spirits.

rb oysterfest 2 092312Although there are those who choose to shun it rather than shuck it, there’s no denying that the oyster has long been celebrated for its aphrodisiac properties. And when the bivalve’s paired with the brackish brew that’s been called “the Irish aphrodisiac” – —Guinness – well, what’s not to love?

Whether you’re a fishy aficionado or strictly landlubber’s menu, there’s much to sink your teeth into this Sunday, when the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival returns to the White Street municipal parking for for a fifth annual edition. Presented by Red Bank RiverCenter and produced by RUEevents, it’s a seven-hour fleadh of food, music and stout that benefits a pair a pair of regional cancer treatment nonprofits — the Jane H. Booker Cancer Center at  Riverview Medical Center, and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ — in addition to helping fund the ongoing events and programs of the RiverCenter partnership.

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DRINKS BY THE RIVER, HOPE FOR KIDS

There’s still time to reserve a place at Salt Creek Grille’s 2014 Wine & Martini Fundraiser, scheduled for the hours of 7 to 10 pm on Thursday, April 10 at the riverfront restaurant in Rumson.

Established  eleven years ago by Salt Creek Grille managing partner Steve Bidgood, on what was then the fifth anniversary of the popular American grill at the foot of the Oceanic Bridge, the event is dedicated each year to a different, locally based nonprofit organization. To date, more than $620,000 has been raised for ten local charities that serve children’s needs. All proceeds go directly to the charity, thanks to the generous support and donations of goods and services made by the restaurant and purveyors.

The beneficiary for 2014 will be the Hope For Children Foundation of New Jersey, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charitable organization of young professionals, entrepreneurs and parents in Monmouth County working together to raise funds to make a difference in the lives of children and their families. Each year, HFCF identifies charitable organizations and individuals that will benefit from monies raised from various fundraisers, and to date, HFCF has donated close to $2 million to local charities and families in need of assistance.

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