RED BANK: MASKS ADD FLAIR TO MAYOR’S BALL

Not everyone at the fourth annual Red Bank Mayor’s Ball wore masks, but there were plenty of attendees adding touches of lacy, sparkly and feathery mystique to event, held Friday night at the Oyster Point Hotel to raise funds for Holiday Express and the borough’s animal welfare efforts.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, at right, hosted. Among those honored were Holiday Express founder Tim McLoone, who performed with the Atlantic Coast Band featuring the Shirleys, and Detour Gallery owner Kenny Schwartz, above right. 

See who you know in redbankgreen’s photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: THREE HONORED FOR LONGEVITY

The Red Bank council and two state legislators honored three people for longevity Wednesday night. Among them: Edith Blake, above, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday.

Blake told redbankgreen she didn’t know what all the “fuss” was about.

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RED BANK: JENSEN ELECTED FIRE CHIEF

Chief-elect Stu Jensen arrives at the Navesink Hook & Ladder house on Mechanic Street following his election Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid flashing red lights and sounding horns, Red Bank’s volunteer firefighters marked the election of Stu Jensen as 2018 borough fire chief with a celebration Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: DeFAZIO TO RETURN AS FIRE CHIEF

lauterwasser defazio 050716donegoodlogoRetired Red Bank police captain Pete DeFazio, at right above, is slated to serve as chief of the borough’s volunteer fire department for 2017, following his election by members Tuesday night.

His swearing-in, scheduled for January 1, will begin DeFazio’s third tour as chief, a post he held in 1987 and 1993. A member of the Relief Engine Company on Drummond Place, DeFazio retired from the police department in 2010, after 35 years on the force. He’ll succeed Chris Soden, of the Union Hose Company, in a tradition that rotates the top job among the borough’s six fire companies.

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RED BANK: MAYOR’S BALL II DRAWS A CROWD

philipson menna 050616rb mayors ball 050616 12Mayor Pasquale Menna, above right, welcomed Count Basie Theatre CEO Adam Philipson, left, and more than 200 other guests to the second annual Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball at the Oyster Point Hotel Friday night. Proceeds from the $125-per-head event were earmarked for the borough-based nonprofits Lunch Break and HABcore

Check out the photos from redbankgreen’s drive-thru of the cocktail hour, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: A SAVE, AND THEN A SWEARING-IN

CHRIS SODEN 010116Chris Soden gives his oath as Red Bank fire chief at the Union Hose Company. Behind Soden are deputies Pete DeFazio, left, and Stu Jensen, partly obscured. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donegoodlogoChris Soden’s term as Red Bank’s new fire chief got off to a smoky start Friday.

Eight hours before he was sworn into office, Soden and other volunteer firefighters worked their way up six flights of stairs to save a 79-year-old man who’d set his mattress ablaze when he fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

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RED BANK: LAUTERWASSER TO BE FD CHIEF

rbfd chiefs 120214 1Chief-elect Joe Lauterwasser, right arrives at the First Aid building Tuesday night with his prospective first deputy, Chris Soden, left, and second deputy Pete DeFazio, center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03If there’s one constant that defines the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department, it’s family.

That was evident on Tuesday night, when the 143-year-old department’s annual election night celebration was dominated by names and faces that would have been familiar to attendees generations ago.

“We’re based on tradition,” said ex-chief George Lauterwasser (2002) as he awaited the arrival of the chief-elect, his 30-year-old son, Joe, at the First Aid building on Spring Street with dozens of other volunteers. “We keep it up with the kids. We’re old school.”

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AFTER 35 YEARS, DeFAZIO PACKS IT UP

pete-defazioCaptain Pete DeFazio is leaving the Red Bank PD after 35 years.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Pete DeFazio has always been a Green Bay Packers fan, which may seem odd given that he’s a  born-and-bred Red Banker living in a state with two pro football teams.

“I like cold weather,” he says, by way of explanation. “I’ve been to Wisconsin a few times”.

He sports a Packers sticker on his office door and, since his father passed away and was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown, where the late Packers head coach Vince Lombardi also rests, DeFazio jokes that his dad has the legendary coach for a neighbor.

The elder DeFazio didn’t really have a favorite team, so the son’s passion didn’t come from his father. But DeFazio’s sense of community service did. Like his dad before him, DeFazio has served on the Red Bank First Aid Squad and Relief Engine Co. since he was a young man.

He went one step further, though. When a spot opened up on the Red Bank police force in 1975, DeFazio started a career as a policeman — first as a dispatcher, then a patrolman and, eventually, captain, the highest rank within the force short of chief.

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