red bank oysterfest 2019red bank oysterfest 2019 Sunshine and feels-like temperatures around 80 degrees put thousands of visitors in a dancing, eating and drinking mood at the 10th annual Guinness Oyster Festival in Red Bank Sunday.

This year’s event, held as always in the White Street parking lot, raised funds for three Red Bank-based benefactors: Monmouth Day Care Center, T. Thomas Fortune House, and Red Bank RiverCenter, the event sponsor.

Were you there? Look for yourself and your friends in redbankgreen‘s photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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Monmouth Day Care’s annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser returns this Saturday to the borough middle school. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

From the neighbor’s house to the White House, there’s no denying that big rig trucks, emergency equipment and other heavy-duty machines hold a special appeal for kids of all ages — and when the opportunity presents itself to climb into the driver’s seat, it’s a rare treat indeed.

Ask the staff of Red Bank’s Monmouth Day Care Center and they’ll surely agree that the safely supervised combination of kids and trucks is a winning formula — and when the Touch-a-Truck event returns to the parking lot of Red Bank Middle School this Saturday morning, it will mark the eighth annual appearance of a successful FUNraising vehicle that’s well worth waiting for.

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Recent Red Bank Regional graduate Kent Hottmann of Shrewsbury returned to his Monmouth Day Care Center alma mater to complete his Eagle Scout project, a music wall.  

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

In a July 15 ceremony held at Shrewsbury Presbyterian Church, recent Red Bank Regional High School graduate Kent Hottmann of Shrewsbury was honored as an Eagle Scout, becoming the 111th scout with Shrewsbury’s Troop 50 to earn Scouting’s highest award since the Troop’s inception in the 1930s.

To satisfy the requirements for the rank, Kent performed over 100 community service hours, and provided service and leadership as an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for his troop. For his Eagle Scout project, Kent went back to his earliest days of pre-school, to improve the children’s playground at his Red Bank “alma mater,” Monmouth Day Care Center.

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 Mayor Pasquale Menna is pictured at right, greeting Count Basie Theatre CEO Adam Philipson during the 2016 edition of the Mayor’s Charity Ball. The third annual event is scheduled for the evening of May 5 at the Oyster Point.

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee

For the third year, Mayor Pasquale Menna will be hosting the annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball, scheduled for Friday, May 5 at The Oyster Point Hotel.

The event, which will be emceed by former Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr., will honor businesses, public agencies and individuals that include the Reverend Terrence Porter of Pilgrim Baptist Church (Humanitarian Award), Super Foodtown (Industry Award), the Red Bank Police Department (Historical Legacy Award), and Roger Mumford (Urban Development Award).

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curchin-open-110216-9curchin-open-110216-1Once a year, the Curchin Group in Lincroft, a CPA practice, moves its desks and files aside and transforms its Half Mile Road office into a miniature golf course, where it hosts a fundraiser called the Curchin Open.

This year’s edition, held last Wednesday, generated $18,000 for two charities:  Mary’s Place by the Sea and the Monmouth County SPCA, which brought two rescues (including a pup named Coco, right) to the event.

redbankgreen was there to document the fun, which included a packed clubhouse bar, a buffet and games. Be sure to click the “read more” for additional photos.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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092014 touchtruck19The kids are in the driver’s seat once more this Saturday at the annual Touch-a-Truck fundraiser in Red Bank, while Middletown Day offers an opportunity to get hands-on with a NorthSTAR emergency helicopter (below).

middletown-day-copter“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Monmouth Day Care Center exec director Heidi Zaentz — and this Saturday, they’ll have an opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with various trucks, tractors, and emergency vehicles — even an emergency Medevac helicopter at a couple of big yearly events that have become major fundraising vehicles in their own right.

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092014 touchtruck13One of the most popular public events of the local kid year returns on September 24, when Monmouth Day Care Center presents the 7th annual Touch-A-Truck event at Red Bank Middle School.

Press release from Monmouth Day Care Center

In the words of Heidi Zaentz, executive director of Monmouth Day Care Center, “Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by” — and on Saturday, September 24, kids will receive a rare opportunity to get up-close and hands-on with these hard working vehicles and more, when MDCC hosts its seventh annual Touch-a-Truck “fun-raiser” event.

Scheduled to run “rain or shine” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Red Bank Middle School at 101 Harding Road, the popular event also includes crafts, games (activity tickets required) and music. Food vendors will be on site, and a 50-50 raffle will be held.

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MDC_8Left to right:  U.S. Dept. of Agriculture administrator Diana Limbacher joined New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials Rose Tricario and Tanya Johnson in a lunchtime conversation with children at Monmouth Day Care Center.

Based on a press release from New Jersey Department of Agriculture

During the observance of Child and Adult Care Food Program Week, Red Bank’s Monmouth Day Care Center hosted several special guests at the MDCC facility on Drs. James Parker Boulvard. Rose Tricario (Director of Food and Nutrition for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture) and Diana Limbacher (Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service) commemorated CACFP) Week with a March 14 visit to Monmouth Day Care Center, where the program feeds breakfast, lunch and snacks to 120 children each day.

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MDCC-Banner-sm copyPress release from Monmouth Day Care Center

On the evening of Friday, April 15, Monmouth Day Care Center (MDCC) will host its first annual Casino Night fundraiser event inside its Red Bank facility.

Scheduled between the hours of 7 to 10 pm, the Casino Night will feature food tastings from local restaurants, drinks, prizes and casino-style games (blackjack, craps, roulette, poker) sponsored by local businesses. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit MDCC and its 47-year commitment to providing a quality early childhood program to the children of the greater Red Bank community, regardless of socio-economic background.

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curchin open 111015 5curchin open 111015 7Once a year, the CPAs at the Curchin Group in Lincroft take off their green eyeshades and get a little silly, setting up a miniature golf course among their cubicles and offices. And as always, the 10th annual edition of the Curchin Open, held earlier this month, was also highly beneficial for two charities — in this case, Lunch Break and Monmouth Day Care Center, both of Red Bank, which will share in the record $16,500 raised from attendees. 

redbankgreen was there to document the fun, which included a packed clubhouse bar, a buffet and games. Be sure to click the “read more” for additional photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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Curchin 2Just another day at the office? For the tenth consecutive year, the certified public accounting firm Curchin Group transforms its Schultz Drive office suite into a nine-hole miniature golf course, as the “Curchin Open” raises funds for two worthy Red Bank-based nonprofits on November 10.

Press release from The Curchin Group

The Curchin Group, LLC, a mid-sized, full-service accounting firm, announced that on Tuesday, November 10th from 4 to 7 pm it will be hosting its 10th Annual Curchin Open, an indoor miniature golf tournament for charity. The tournament will take place indoors at Curchin’s office (200 Schultz Drive, Suite 400, in Lincroft), as the company will transform the space into a 9-hole, fun-filled miniature golf course, open to both experienced and beginner miniature golfers.

Each year, all proceeds from the events go to two locally based nonprofit organizations. This year, Curchin has selected Lunch Break, Inc. and Monmouth Day Care Center, both in Red Bank. The goal of Lunch Break is to alleviate hunger and lead those they serve to self-sufficiency and healthier lifestyles. Monmouth Day Care is dedicated to providing a safe, stimulating environment for families seeking quality childcare without regard to race, religion, ethnicity or economic status.

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touch 33 092113Kids of all ages are invited to Touch-A-Truck, during Saturday’s sixth annual benefit event for Monmouth Day Care Center.

touch 31 092113It seems like a throwback thrill from a bygone age, long before a generation of young millennials grew up with a whole virtual world of diversion and amusement at their fingertips. But, as Monmouth Day Care Center executive director Heidi Zaentz assures us, “every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by.”

Saturday marks the sixth annual appearance of a popular “fun-raising” event inspired by that observation, as Red Bank Middle School plays host to the center’s sixth annual Touch-a-Truck event.

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Press release from Mental Health Association of Monmouth County

Families and individuals whose lives were impacted by Hurricane Sandy will be provided with free mental health and expert information and referral services through July 2016, thanks to a generous grant awarded to the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount $199,821 to sustain and expand mental health and social services in Monmouth County, related to the ongoing effects of the October 2012 “superstorm.” The MHA will continue to provide those services locally at the Red Bank Resource Network, now located at 103 Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank.

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artawards1Red Bank Regional art teacher Barbara Beckett (back row, left) is pictured with some of the sixteen RBR students who were among the winners of the 2015 Monmouth Day Care Journal Art Contest. Shown in the back row next to Ms. Beckett are Michael Eulner, Shrewsbury; Morgan McIntyre, Little Silver, and Bryan Aparicio. Left to right in the front row are Kelly Farley, Little Silver; Tiaunna Macon, Neptune City (grand prize winner in the high school category), and Lauren Bevacqua, Shrewsbury.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Tiaunna Macon of Neptune City, a freshmen at Red Bank Regional High School, was the grand prize winner in the high school category for the Monmouth Day Care (MDC) Journal Art contest. Her art submission will appear as the ad for NJ Natural Gas inside this year’s MDC art journal, a major fundraiser for the non-profit day-center in Red Bank.

In addition to Tiaunna, the other two grand prize winners were third grader Madelyn Sanchez-Berr of Red Bank Primary School (primary school category), and seventh grader Troy Hill of St. James Elementary School (middle school category). All three grand prize winners were photographed by Danny Sanchez and pictured in the journal.

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RBIFF 042714 32 The Weeklings, featuring Glen Burtnik and Bob Burger, below, are among the musical acts adding savour to the Sunday’s Red Bank International Flavour Festival on White Street. (Click to enlarge)

weeklingsIt’s positioned as a family-friendly, fresh-air celebration of international food, music, wine and beer — and it’s undeniably one of the more popular and successful seasonal attractions to pitch its tent in Red Bank within recent years.

Back for a fourth annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns this Sunday for an afternoon/ evening session that mixes many of the best-liked attributes of the old-time Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests.

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Camelot_press_photo_4A special performance of CAMELOT on December 13, captioned for Spanish-speaking audience members, is among a slate of free events designed for Monmouth County’s Latino community at Two River Theater. (Photo by T.C. Erickson)

Press release from Two River Theater Company

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced a series of free events and productions for Monmouth County’s Latino community and Spanish-speaking audiences throughout the month of December. Tickets to the three events on December 13 and 21 are free of charge to Latino and Spanish-speaking patrons.

The special schedule begins with a free event presented under the name Nosotros: A Community Gathering and Sharing of Stories. Hosted inside Two River’s Marion Huber Theater on the afternoon of Saturday, December 13, the 4 pm event is hosted by playwright Tanya Saracho (a writer for television’s Looking and Girls) and Jerry Ruiz (director of Two River’s annual Crossing Borders festival of new Latino plays), as part of a project in which they will collaborate with Two River on creating an original play inspired by Monmouth County’s Latino community.

Saracho and Ruiz invite members of the community to share stories from their lives at the gathering, with no theatrical or public speaking experience necessary to participate. For more information or to reserve a spot, patrons should call (732)345-1400 (English) or (732)936-8843 (Spanish).

There’s more in store this month at Two River — including specially captioned performances of Two River Theater Company‘s current musical production Camelot, and this year’s upcoming all-ages family show.

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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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Touch a TruckA chance to get up close and hands-on with an emergency or heavy-duty work vehicle is the big attraction during Touch A Truck Day, the annual fundraising promotion at Red Bank Middle School this Saturday. (File photo by Peter Lindner) 

“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Heidi Zaentz, executive director of Red Bank-based Monmouth Day Care Center. “This event gives them a chance to get to know these vehicles and the men and women who work with them, while contributing to a good cause.”

The cause is the ongoing operation of MDCC, this year celebrating its 45th anniversary of service to the community. And the event is the fifth annual Touch-a-Truck Day, a September tradition in which local kids get a closer look at the vehicles they see in their neighborhoods every day.

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Kids of all ages are invited to Touch-A-Truck, during the fifth annual benefit event for Monmouth Day Care Center.

Press release from Monmouth Day Care Center

The parking lot of Red Bank Middle School, 101 Harding Road, will once again be the scene of popular all-ages “funraiser” on Saturday, September 20, when Monmouth Day Care Center hosts its fifth annual Touch-a-Truck event.

Between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm,  ambulances, fire engines, dump trucks and other construction equipment will be displayed in the Middle School parking lot, where kids will get a closer look at the vehicles they love to see in their neighborhoods every day. Children are encouraged to explore the vehicles in a safe environment, while the owners and operators are on hand to describe how the vehicles work and what kind of jobs they do.

In addition to the vehicles on display, the entrance fee includes crafts, games and music.  Food vendors will be on site, and a 50-50 raffle will be held.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Monmouth Day Care Center, a non-profit celebrating its 45th Anniversary of providing an excellent early childhood program to the children of the greater Red Bank community.

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BurtnikRiblerBeatle Bones and Smokin’ Stones: Glen Burtnik’s Beatles Tribute and Marc Ribler’s Rolling Stones Tribute (above) join the conceptual coverband Mashwork Orange (below) among the musical headliners adding savour to the International Flavour Festival, Sunday on White Street.

Mashwork_OrangeCombining many of the best-liked attributes of the old Red Bank Food Festivals and the latter-day Oysterfests, the Red Bank International Flavour Festival returns for a third annual world tour in the White Street municipal parking lot this Sunday, April 27. A fundraiser for borough-based entities Red Bank RiverCenter, Monmouth Day Care Center, and Parker Family Health Center, the happening from promoter RUE Events teams the culinary kung fu of some 25 Red Bank restaurants and food purveyors (take it here for a rundown) with a strolling smorgasbord of vendors that include beer and wine for purchase. Adding sonic spice to the affair is the enhanced musical menu of headline-worthy acts on two stages; a shuffle-mix that spans showband salsa (Ray Rodriguez and Swing Sabroso), Scottish marches (Atlantic Watch Pipes and Drums), Shore partyband perennials (Kirk and the Jirks, The Nerds), and the gotta-see-it-to-believe-it conceptual coverband Kubrickery of Mashwork Orange. The Beatles and The Stones are duly represented as well — as channeled by music-biz masters and sought after songwriter/ session cats Glen Burtnik (Beatlemania, Styx), Bob Burger and Marc Ribler.

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mary boynton 0122314Mary Boynton with some of her freshly awakened toddler charges last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


Over the past 30 years, Mary Boynton has wrapped her arms around hundreds of youngsters at the Monmouth Day Care Center in Red Bank.

But one stands out: Anthony, a special-needs child who arrived at the facility on Drs. James Parker Boulevard as a nine-month-old infant, and stayed until he was 10 years old.

When Anthony left, “I cried and cried,” says Boynton.

Expect some tears to flow this week, when the 84-year-old Boynton wraps up her three decades of service at the center to embark on a life in retirement.

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christmasvacationIt’s full! The number of aspiring Cousin Eddies taking part in the second annual EddieCon pub crawl has been capped at twenty — but there’s still room for not-so-secret Santas to hitch up to the SantaCom team, also going on around Red Bank this Saturday afternoon.


bad-santaHe appears right around this time each year, making people smile; a familiar figure instantly recognizable by his trademark headgear and his distinctive transportation.

We’re talking of course about Cousin Eddie, the boorish ne’er-do-well played by Randy Quaid in various Vacation movies — specifically Christmas Vacation (and its direct-to-video sequel). The image of Eddie, clad in bathrobe and flap-eared trapper hat, has been burned into our nation’s pop-cultural consciousness in recent years. And on Saturday, December 17, downtown Red Bank revelers and strolling shoppers may encounter another “thing you can’t un-see,” when nearly two dozen Cousin Eddies take to the streets (and saloons) in support of a worthy cause, as part of the newly minted local tradition known as EddieCon.

And by some Christmas magic, Saturday also marks the first appearance in Red Bank of SantaCon, the international pub-crawl phenomenon described as “a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.”

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pre-k-paintPre-kindergarten student Leslie Herrera at Red Bank Primary School. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Demand for Red Bank’s heralded pre-kindergarten program is spiking, and the school district is on the hunt for more space — and money — to offer every three- and four-year-old in Red Bank the chance to attend.

Superintendent Laura Morana said she’s involved in serious discussion and has a “pretty good lead” to add four more classrooms at a sixth location for the borough’s scattered pre-k classroom setup to accommodate a waiting list that precluded 76 three-year-olds from getting into the program in the 2011-12 school year.

“If we can get four more classrooms then everyone in Red Bank will have the opportunity,” she said.

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truck-1At the controls: a young participant in Saturday’s Touch-a-Truck event at the Red Bank Middle School enjoys his time behind the wheel. The event was hosted by Monmouth Day Care Center, a private, nonprofit child care facility in Red Bank. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)