RFH: A GAYLA TO ‘JUST BE THEMSELVES’

Vanessa Cameron, David Ramos and Christina Mekheil at the Gayla prom held at RFH Friday night. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

About 100 high school students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and their straight allies gathered for a dance party in the cafeteria at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional on Friday night.

It was the third annual Gayla!, a prom-like event organized by Make It Better for Youth, a consortium which includes Monmouth County high schools, Jersey Shore PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the county library system, the Two River Theater, and the Monmouth County Arts Council.

“What’s great about this is that you don’t go in feeling pressured to fit into any prom stereotype,” said Ellie Halfacre, RFH senior, member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance and event organizer. “It’s not about what sexuality you are, it’s about being with people who accept you no matter what.

“Everyone’s here to have fun and just be themselves,” she said, adding that many friendships had grown out of the prior two Gayla gatherings.

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RED BANK: GIRLY DRESSES, BARRE WORKOUTS

Monmouth Street will soon welcome a boutique for young girls, specializing in dresses and gowns for special occasions. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Two new businesses plan to call Red Bank home in coming months: a dress shop for teens-and-unders called Angel’s Gowns, and Pure Barre, a fitness club.

Each will take over a space that’s been vacant for more than half a decade.

ANGEL’S GOWNS

The storefront at 71 Monmouth Street, next door to David Levin Salon, will soon be filled with gowns specially made for all the milestones in a young girl’s life.

Owner Maria Paganoni, a fashion designer, moved to Red Bank three years ago from Mexico, where she worked for a clothing company that catered to little girls. She decided to put that passion to work here.

“I think it is necessary to have something like this,” said Paganoni. “There is not anything around the area like this.” Read More »

ACCIDENT DEMO DRIVES HOME SAFETY LESSON

RBR students look on as emergency personnel perform an extrication of a ‘victim’ trapped in a vehicle. Below, Joy Jones displays a portrait of her son Steven as she speaks to students about his death at the hands of his drunk best friend. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

Little Silver police  were the first on the scene Friday morning at Red Bank Regional, where three cars lay smashed on the pavement. Sirens blaring, at least a dozen more emergency vehicles lined up in front of the school minutes later.

No one was hurt. In fact, the entire senior class stood around the “crash” site, struggling to hold back laughter when a drunken driver stumbled dramatically out of the first vehicle.

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IN RED BANK: PRIMPING FOR THE PROM

skorenkoLynn Skorenko in her Monmouth Street shop, former home of Adams Imports. (Click to enlarge)

retail churn smallEarlier this week, Retail Churn brought you the scoop on Emilia, a new dress shop going in at 28 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, with a mention of another fashion store planning the same two doors away, but few details.

On Thursday, we found Lynn Skorenko and a friend in the darkened, 1,000 SF space at 24 Monmouth, blocking off the windows with kraft paper to start renovations for what will be Rue Royale Couture, a business she hopes will be popular with teenaged girls and their moms.

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CHALK ONE UP TO ASKING NICELY, IN PUBLIC

lisa-tegenLisa Tegen came into work at Java Stop two weeks ago to find this message on the chalkboard. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It isn’t quite as audacious as, say, proposing on a JumboTron or a Port Authority bus with the media on hand to witness.

But one Fair Haven teenager earned big community points — and secured a prom date — for his creativity with a coffee shop chalkboard one night two weeks ago.

That’s when Rumson-Fair Haven junior Pat Gunther left something at the Java Stop for his girlfriend, Lisa Tegen.

When she came into work the next morning, she was caught off guard by the shop’s chalkboard next to the door.

It read: “Lisa, will you go to prom with me? Call me, Pat.”

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SATURDAY IS DRESS-UP DAY AT LIBRARY

dressesChecklist for this weekend’s visit to the library: some fiction, perhaps in the pages of Wolf Hall. Some real-life stuff with unreal characters, a la The Politician. A DVD or two.

Oh, and maybe a short little spaghetti-strap dress from Vera Wang.

A dress? Sure, why not?

The Eastern Monmouth branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury will hold its third annual “Sweet Seconds Prom Dress Swap” from noon to 4p Saturday.

It’s an event that mixes swap meet rules with charity to offer formal and semi-formal women’s attire for events like proms, spring dances or a fancy day on the town. Read More »