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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RBMS_AcademiesTwenty-one eighth graders from Red Bank Middle School have been accepted into the prestigious Red Bank Regional High School academies for next year. They are Desiree Marshall, Creative Writing and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID); Nicholette Glenn, Creative Writing; Michelle Hernandez, Creative Writing; Hannah Nishiura, Creative Writing; Stacy Osorio, Early Childhood Development and AVID; Maria Jimenez, Finance and Early Childhood Development; Jesus Rodriguez, Finance and Engineering; Luis Flores, Finance and Engineering; Cyntaia Birch, AVID; Victoria Sibrian, Early Childhood Development; Camarra Britain , Information Technology; Kady Aguilar, Information Technology and AVID; Gabriela Ortiz, Creative Writing; Rafael Martinez, Informational Technology and Engineering; Manuel Rosario, Vocal; Avian Goldwire, Drama; Tamia Waddy, Drama, Creative Writing and AVID; Chris Marshall, Interactive Media; Adeline Monfil, Information Technology and AVID; Ashley Talerico, AVID and Cristo Luna, AVID. In addition, Jose Campa received the Conte 1st Generation Scholarship to attend Christian Brothers Academy.


rb fortune house 3 061213The onetime home of journalist T. Thomas Fortune is a National Historic Landmark.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The T. Thomas Fortune Project Committee is reminding all Red Bank area residents that on Friday June 12, the nonprofit organization will host a gala fundraiser at the Marion Huber room at Two River Theater.

Presented from 6 to 10 pm under the theme Finding Fortune: Preserving a National Historic Landmark, the event is the latest in a series of benefits geared toward the ongoing effort to rescue and preserve one of the borough’s genuine historic treasures.

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rbms watermelon 081414Homegrown watermelons aren’t promised, but the grounds of Red Bank Middle School will once again the setting for Foodstock, the annual community party and food drive presented on Saturday by Lunch Break. (Archive photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

foodstock_flyer_2015It’s a 100,000-Pound Challenge, and no,it’s not a townwide weight-loss promotion, but an endeavor give our community’s neediest neighbors access to some healthy calories.

Organized by the borough-based nonprofit Lunch Break, the 2015 edition of Foodstock brings the community food drive back to Red Bank Middle School Saturday for a morning and afternoon of refreshments, live entertainment and children’s activities.

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Press release from Lunch Break Inc.

foodstock_flyer_2015On Saturday, May 16, the Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break will hold the 2015 edition of Foodstock, a community food drive. The event will take place at Red Bank Middle School (101 Harding Road) from 10:30 am until 3:00 pm. The collection goal for this year is 100,000 pounds.

The 2015 Foodstock will include refreshments, live entertainment and children’s activities, with all members of the community encouraged to bring your family and friends, enjoy good music and good food, and be a part of a good cause — an organization that acts as the first line of defense for thousands of vulnerable residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and serves more and more people each year.

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P1230351In his keynote address during Red Bank Regional’s Black History Month observance, Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal Julius Clark advised students that their success is of their own making — and not to let society’s stereotypes define them or be an excuse for failure.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

The diversity and talents of the Red Bank Regional High School student body were on full display during the annual celebratory assembly for Black History Month. Students from various groups within the school contributed their time and skills to enlighten their peers on the importance of celebrating Black History.

Principal Risa Clay explained the origins of Black History Month, an observance initiated by Harvard historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson during the month of February — the birthday month of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

“(Dr. Woodson’s) initial goal was to honor these two great leaders,” said Principal Clay. “His other goal was to infuse African American history into American history so that all Americans would learn the complete history of the United States.”

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TTF houseThe nonprofit that’s working to save the former home of T. Thomas Fortune hosts readings from the words of the pioneering African-American journalist, with events in Middletown, Red Bank, Shrewsbury and elsewhere.

T. Thomas FortuneAs part of Black History Month and the National African-American Read-In, the not-for-profit T. Thomas Fortune House Project will host a series of readings from the works of the pioneering civil rights journalist – and onetime resident of Red Bank – T. Thomas Fortune.

Entitled “The People Speak: the Words of T. Thomas Fortune, ” the series includes public-welcome events at Middletown Township Public Library and Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch, in addition to a student-faculty fundraiser at Red Bank Middle School.

It’s the latest in an ongoing program designed to raise funds and awareness toward the effort to acquire, stabilize and restore the T. Thomas Fortune House, the National Historic Landmark at 94 Drs. James Parker Boulevard where the editor, publisher, poet, author and early civil rights activist resided from 1901-1908.

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coa_valentine_ranneyThe Quartet from the Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society poses with the recipient of a surprise Singing Valentine — and YOU can be “NEXT!,” if your personal Cupid is a thoughtful one.

“There is nothing wrong with chocolate,” insists the Chorus of the Atlantic. “Flowers are definitely okay. A reservation at a quiet restaurant is a nice touch. But if you want to make a lifelong impression, consider the gift of song.”

With the institution known as Valentines Day lurking just around the corner, the singing component of the Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society wants to remind one and all that “now is the time to order a singing valentine from a male barbershop quartet.”

Each year, the Chorus sends a corps of uniformed quartets throughout the region to surprise-serenade sweethearts in four-part, Sweet Adeline harmony. The quartets have appeared in a panorama of settings — homes, offices, restaurants, warehouses, schools, even a police academy — and as the nonprofit Chorus points out, “They will go anywhere to bring your message of love.”

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bball_irThe Borough of Red Bank’s Parks and Recreation Department has announced a partnership with Jersey Fusion Basketball to present a Sports Performance Training (SPT) program for Red Bank boys and girls of high school and middle school ages. The free basketball training program offers an opportunity to sharpen and acquire new skills, in advance of the high school tryouts that begin November 24-26 this year.

The program is free to all Red Bank residents attending grades 7 to 12 at the following schools: Red Bank Regional High School, Red Bank Middle School, Red Bank Charter School, and St. James School. Sessions will be held from 6 to 8 pm at Red Bank Regional this Friday, November 14, and again on Friday, November 21. Red Bank residents can register in advance by simply sending a reply email to

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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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JABC_024_(Large)Aspiring young musicians will get a chance to learn with the pros, during a Summer Music Camp program that commences August 4 in Red Bank. (photos by Roberto Muolo)

Press release from Jazz Arts Project

Young people who want to experience the gift of learning to make music are invited to take part in a new one-­week head­start music camp for beginning instrumental music students. The program, coordinated by the Red Bank-based non­profit Jazz Arts Project,  will take place August 4 through 8 at Red Bank Middle School, and is offered free of charge to all interested students in the district.

The camp will offer individual and grouplessons, ensembles and workshops, led by a specialized and highly qualified staff experienced in music education and performance.

The program was initiated by Jazz Arts Project during the summer of 2012 in Asbury Park, and continues each year in that community.

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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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David Prown of Prown’s Home Improvement will be providing free equipment for young Red Bank residents who take part in the spring season sports programs of Red Bank Parks and Recreation, every Sunday from this weekend through the end of May. Read on for details. (2011 file photo by Dustin Racioppi)

For school-age kids, saying there’s “nothing to do” is no longer an option — not with Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Track and Field, Lacrosse, and Camp on the schedule for the coming months. And for those who say they’ve “got no gear” — well, it turns out that’s no longer an excuse either.

Even adults who are in need of working off some of that winter wonderweight will be hard pressed to find reasons why not, as Red Bank Recreation announces a full seasonal slate of programs for borough residents of all ages.

It’s a season that begins this weekend, with the March 29 start of Developmental Lacrosse League activities — to say nothing of the looming registration deadlines for several of the other programs and services offered. There’s still time for Red Bank boys and girls to join players from all local towns in a “Count Basix” Spring Lacrosse Clinic, designed for both beginners and more advanced players of one of America’s fastest growing youth sports. Coaches from United Lacrosse will be on hand at Count Basie Field on Henry Street for eight Saturday sessions that commence on Saturday morning and continue through May 24 — a “fun and energizing environment” that hosts sessions for players in grades 5 to 8 between 10 and 11:30 am, with grades K through 4 taking the field from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Participants can bring their own equipment (helmet, stick, gloves, shoulder pads, arm/elbow pads and mouthpiece for boys; protective eyewear, stick and mouthpiece for girls) or it can be provided by the program. Cost for the Count Basix lacrosse clinic is $45-$55 for Red Bank residents depending on age group, and $150-$200 for non-residents. Call (732)530-2783 to get in on the action this weekend — and click READ MORE for the rundown on all other seasonal programs from Red Bank Rec.

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From press materials furnished by Red Bank Recreation

There’s just one day before the January 3 sign-up deadline for Red Bank Recreation’s 2014 Indoor Soccer programs — and, according to RB Rec director Memone P. Chrystian, there are numerous ways for kids and adults of all ages to get involved with this  popular wintertime activity.

frankcocchiRegistrations are currently being accepted for participants in the 2014 season of “Games Only” play that commences on Sunday, January 12 and runs through March 23. It’s a ten-week slate of 50 minute games, hosted inside the gymnasium at Red Bank Middle School on Sundays (except for the holiday weekend dates of January 19 and February 16). Games are organized in four grade level groups for young players — Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 5th through 8th — as well as a division for High School players, introduced for the first time this year by popular demand.

“Every year we get a flood of people who want to register in the last days leading up to the start of the program,” explained Chrystian in an emailed announcement. “Please ask them not to wait…anyone who registers after January 3 will have to go on a waiting list.

Registrations are also still being taken for this year’s Indoor Soccer “Work with a Trainer” sessions, conducted by professional soccer trainer Frank Cocchi of The Next Level Ball Mastery Program (pictured) and hosted in the Middle School gym on Saturday afternoons beginning January 11.

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basie-marquee-3-090213-500x375The Count Basie Theatre and the Red Bank Borough School District are thrilled to announce a new, free children’s choral program, The Central Jersey Youth Chorale, beginning in the Fall of 2013.This free program, open to all Monmouth County students grades 4-8 as of 2013, is scheduled to run from October through June, and will be under the musical direction of Kristopher Zook, local conductor, composer and vocal music educator from Red Bank Regional High School. Rehearsals will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-6 pm at the Red Bank Middle School, 101 Harding Road, Red Bank.

Students wishing to audition for the performing ensemble should prepare a song that reflects their vocal strengths for one of the two audition days, Monday, October 7, or Wednesday, October 9 at 5:00 PM in the Red Bank Middle School Auditorium.

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A crowd of hundreds applauded a performance of “The Greatest Love of All” at a candlelight vigil in memory of Riyadhna Farrow. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)


Dozens of loving messages honoring Riyadhna Farrow, known to some as “RiRi,” were written on the door of her Red Bank home Friday night as hundreds gathered there for a vigil in her memory.

The 18-year-old Red Bank Regional High School senior died suddenly last Monday.

The Count the Children Movement organized the event for friends, packed tight in a parking lot at the Montgomery Terrace apartment complex, to share their fondest memories of Farrow and for borough, school and church administrators to remind those closest to her of Red Bank’s support.

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The Red Bank Roller Vixens put on an action-packed show for a full house at the the Red Bank Middle School in a fundraiser for the eighth-grade class trip Friday night.

The event also featured a bit of hardwood action by the Red Bank Riot Girls, a junior league squad for girls ages 12 to 18; some nasal silliness by the Pretty Things Peep Show; and a raffle based on a storm of ping-pong balls.

redbankgreen was there, natch.



Red Bank’s own Stacie Rivera (aka Racie O’Madly) skates with the Broad Street Betties at the borough middle school this Friday night. Below, the Red Bank Roller Vixens at the 2011 Halloween parade. (Above photo by Gary Courtney)


There’s the Career Track, the Mommy Track — and the place where it all equalizes, the flat track of 21st century Roller Derby.

A handful of times each year, a gung-ho group of area women put aside their daytime personas as working moms, professionals, stay-at-homes and students — slipping into adopted identities like Shamrock Shake Her, Rinky Tuscadero and KourtKnee KarBashUin, and skating onto a modular wooden oval as the Red Bank Roller Vixens.

According to team co-founder Stacie Rivera, it’s a passionate, unpaid pursuit that came together “out of selfish desire. We felt that Red Bank would really support it, with the town’s eclectic mix of people.”

A bookkeeper by trade — and therefore a natural choice to have been “volunteered” as the team’s official treasurer — Rivera will be among the Vixens taking the track on Friday, January 20, when the Broad Street Betties meet the Train Stop Trixies in an intra-league exhibition bout at Red Bank Middle School.

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enricoEnrico Ciabattoni is spearheading an effort to raise money for boys and girls soccer clinics in Red Bank. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


A possible solution to a money problem could be as simple as shaking a can or putting an open hand out and asking, ‘Can you spare some cash?’

That’s not how Enrico Ciabattoni wants to do business, though.

The Peters Place resident, trying to raise funds for an end-of-summer soccer clinic at the Red Bank Middle School, is making the kids who want to be part of the camp do the work.

“I wanted it more to be the kids learning to help themselves rather than going to someone and saying, hey, can you give us some money?” Ciabattoni said.

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chopper1A helicopter search Thursday was part of an investigation into the whereabouts of missing Red Bank woman. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Busy last week prepping for the rapture?

Whatever you missed is all here, below, waiting for you.

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The students at Red Bank Middle School — aka the video factory — are adding another award-winner to their bounty.

For the second year in a row, the school’s students pulled in a $3,000 grant for winning first prize in the national National Pest World‘s public service announcement contest.

“That means a lot to them,” says Holcombe Hurd, a teacher who helped oversee the video production. “That makes them feel part of a real successful community.”

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dan-campbellDan Campbell, a member of the Red Bank Middle School Athletics Foundation, says spring sports will go on, but financial support is needed. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


Despite statewide funding cuts that translated to the scrapping of all athletics last year at Red Bank Middle School, sports will, as promised, return to Red Bank.

The Red Bank Middle School Athletics Foundation, which started in November with a small group of parents, announced last week that spring baseball and softball are back on the roster.

And with a little in-kind support from the school district, the group is bringing the spring season back without a dime of taxpayer money, member Dan Campbell said.

“I don’t think I can find words to really express the work this foundation has done to support the sports,” Superintendent Laura Morana said. “I have a lot of admiration and appreciation for the work that they’re doing.”

It hasn’t been an easy task, and will continue to be a challenge, Campbell said.

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soccer-110510-2Scenes from the girls’ game between Red Bank Middle School and Red Bank Charter School Friday night. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)


Soccer teams from Red Bank’s middle and charter schools faced off under the lights on the new artificial playing surface at Count Basie Field Friday night.

Here’s a recap from kids’ advocate David Prown:

The larger Red Bank Middle School won the inaugural girls Count Basie Cup soccer match 3-0 over the Red Bank Charter School.

Immediately following that game, the Middle School Boys nipped the Charter School 3-2 in a brilliantly hard fought game between friends.

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