by Malik VincentPeople gathered on May 21 to recognize the contributions of both current and former Ozanam alumni, coaches, volunteers, and sponsors at its benefit dinner at Damon’s Grill and Sports Bar, Downtown.Vince Sims of WPXI-TV served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and conducted the silent auction. Some of the items sold included a ‘legends’ basketball signed by several greats, or what they refer to as “legendary alumni” that have participated in the program over the years. Another was a wood-burned art rendering by OZ’s executive director Curtis Cureton. There was also a raffle that included an autographed football signed by Robin Cole, Mike Meriwether, Mel Blount, and Craig Bingham—to name a few, as well as other sports-related items. OZANAM STAFF AND ALUMNI—Front row, from left: OZ Executive Assistant Darelle Porter, Alumna Dr. Mary Myers, Girls’ Program Director Karen Hall, and Executive Director Curtis Cureton. Back row, from left: Alumnus Chuck Crummie, Dwight “Ice Man” Clay, Jennifer Bruce-Scott, Chuck Franklin, Kirk Bruce, and acclaimed actor Lamman Rucker, who served as the event’s keynote speaker. “Until Ozanam gets the proper funding, it’s going to be a struggle,” program alumni Dwight Clay said. “Now, you can see that they’re on the right track to developing that type of leadership and following but they still need the funding.”Referred to as, ‘the Iceman’, Clay hit the game-winning shot to end UCLA’s NCAA Division I men’s record-longest 88 game winning streak back in January, 1974—a mark that still stands today.“As a young man, Ozanam prepared us intellectually, worldly, and skillfully in sports to take that beyond the Hill District boundaries,” Clay said. “It was just another vehicle presented to young men such as myself to utilize to continue my growth.”Dr. Mary Myers, who is now coordinator of Student Organizations at Cleveland State University, was one of the first female players in Ozanam to play with boys in the mid- ‘70s. Her Archerettes played together in the OZ summer league and then met later on in the regular-season at Fifth Avenue High School.From there, she took her talents to star at the University of Kansas.“We didn’t lose much, in fact, I don’t’ think we lost at all,” Myers said. “The time I spent with Ozanam earned me a scholarship. It provided me with an opportunity for exposure and an environment to cultivate. “Myers, who refers to the late Ozanam founder Karl Kohlman as ‘Daddy Kohlman’, said he was a “disciplinarian” who enjoyed girls basketball and who applied the idea that she called the “each one, teach one rule.”Cureton mentioned that the organization plans to continue Kohlman’s vision, financially, pursuing opportunities for funding by continuing to conduct community events and by obtaining more corporate sponsorship.“Back during the Kohlman era of Ozanam, many of its ventures were funded by his own organization. The Catholic Diocese (who was a key supporter, during that time) assisted with things such as the maintenance of the Community Center.”He feels one long-term solution to any financial difficulties is to build its alumni base and for it to campaign for more such gateways to gain such funding.Native son Lamman Rucker, an Ozanam alumnus, served as the event’s keynote speaker. In his address, he made several references to his pride in hailing from Pittsburgh and how he’s applied his experiences with the OZ program to his life.“Ozanam has been a pillar in the community, and in particular to the Hill District, for many years,” Rucker said. “It was a big part of my childhood. It’s as if your own family asked you to come back and asked you to tell what they mean to you. The fact that I’m here right now is a similar thing.”The famed actor moved to New York after earning his masters from Duquesne to fulfill his stage and screen aspirations. After performing in the theatre, he obtained work in television series, such as: “All of Us,” “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns.” His major movie credits, to date, are Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?”“I can look around and see some of the results of that work we put in back in the OZ days,” Rucker said. “The other guys are here doing great things, whether it’s teaching, coaching, active in business, politics, (etc.). We’re all peers, so it’s no surprise that they’re thriving. I know them and that’s the way it’s always been. It’s good to see that they’re the same people that they were back then… (Their success) is no surprise.”(Malik Vincent can be reached at email@example.com.)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell lies near midfield after suffering a concussion in the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. Pittsburgh won the game 27-11. (AP Photo/David Richard)NEW YORK (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay has been fined $15,750 by the NFL for his hit last Sunday that gave Browns quarterback Jason Campbell a concussion.Gay was fined Friday for unnecessary roughness because he unnecessarily delivered a forcible blow to the head and neck area of Campbell.Also fined Sunday was Saints defensive end Cam Jordan, docked $10,000 for a hit on Falcons QB Matt Ryan.Lions DT Ndamukong Suh was fined $7,875 for motioning a throat slash in a game with Tampa Bay. Jets DT Kenrick Ellis was fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness when he grabbed Baltimore QB Joe Flacco’s face mask.Bears guard Kyle Long was docked the same amount for unnecessarily striking a Rams opponent during a skirmish involving several players.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Facebook19Tweet0Pin0 It’s the personal relationships that mean the most to William Tuning. You may not think of your mortgage lender as a close friend, but according to Tuning that’s just because you have not met him yet.When Tuning stepped out of the corporate banking world, it was because he missed the face-to-face interactions he had with customers. He wanted to return to making people’s dreams come true through home ownership. Along the way, he has formed lasting relationships with his customers.Take Char for instance. Tuning explains that she was under a time crunch to facilitate a VA loan. “I threw out all the stops and during the process we became friends. Throughout her loan process, when she was getting her car serviced, she stopped by and we shared lunch,” explains Tuning and did so on more than one occasion. (His West Olympia office is located near the Olympia Auto Mall.) After her loan closed I was among her friends at her house warming party as if we had known each other 40 years.“That’s why you get into the business. It’s for the relationships,” says Tuning. It’s doesn’t matter to me if it’s a $1 million mortgage or a loan for $100,000, it’s all the same to me.”The joy that Tuning experiences when the transaction is complete and the family moves into their new home is just as great.“Recently I helped a young family buy a modest home in Shelton. They had grown frustrated working with a big bank due to a language barrier and the bank being too busy to help them. They didn’t speak English well and I was stretching to remember my high school Spanish. The couple worked hard and had saved all their dollars for the down payment for their dream home. I worked very hard to close by an extended holiday weekend so that they could move into the home when they already had a few extra days off,” recalls Tuning.In Tuesday’s mail was a handwritten thank you card. “The couple recognized my effort to get the home closed so that they could move in and not take extra time off,” he says.To many that home may not be much, but to them it was their castle.“For me, it’s those victories that make this career so worthwhile. These are the things that keep me coming back every day regardless of how many regulations and processes change in the mortgage industry,” he summarizes.To learn more about William Tuning and his approach to helping people achieve home ownership, click here.You can reach William Tuning directly at 360.539.4687 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Saint Martin’s UniversityFive students at Saint Martin’s University recently received several awards and two scholarships totaling $3,000 during the Annual Pacific Northwest Circle K District Convention, which was hosted in DuPont and attended by approximately 12 clubs from the Pacific Northwest area.The 24-member Saint Martin’s University Circle K Club also was recognized with the Outstanding Single Service Award for 2014-2015 for assisting the residents of the RooLan Retirement Home.Circle K International (CKI) is the collegiate service organization associated with Kiwanis International. CKI has more than 12,000 student members on more than 500 campuses worldwide. It is a student-led organization with an elected International Board of Representatives. CKI tenets are leadership, fellowship and service at the club, district and international levels. The concept of present-day Circle K began at the collegiate level in 1936 at Washington State University.The following individuals, as well as Kiwanis Club of North Thurston/Lacey, were honored during an awards ceremony hosted February 21.Bailey Cammann (junior-senior) received the Volunteer Scholar Award in recognition of her number of service hours while maintaining a high GPA (3.81), the Most Service Hours by a Single Member Award, in recognition of her 400 hours of individual service for the year, and the Gene O’Brien Scholarship for $1,500.Jeremiah “JJ” Olson (senior) received the Charles Hindes Humanitarian Award in recognition of his compassion in contributing to the greater good of society and community with no need or desire for recognition. He also received the President’s Walter Zeller Award in recognition of his tireless efforts to bring awareness to others and raise funds for the Kiwanis International/UNICEF Eliminate Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus Project in developing countries. He also received the Roy Frisch Scholarship for $1,500.Emy Suazo (sophomore) was awarded the International Service and Awareness Award in recognition of her efforts to increase awareness and understanding of international issues affecting underdeveloped countries and for service to the global community. Emy is originally from Honduras and speaks six languages.Maddison (Lotz) Lee (senior) was given the Outstanding Club Member Award in recognition of her commitment to the Saint Martin’s Circle K group through involvement in club meetings, service projects, district and international events and service projects.Bianca Lupercio (junior) received the Outstanding Club Scrapbook Award for maintaining a written and visual history record of club service activities and events for each calendar year. The events and service projects required to be included in the club history are district events, campus service projects, community service projects, fundraising projects, social events, interaction with high school K Clubs and sponsoring Kiwanis clubs, international events and service projects.Toni Christy was recognized with the Outstanding Staff/Faculty Advisor Award for her participation in and leadership of the Saint Martin’s club. Christy is staff advisor and a member of the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis Club of North Thurston/Lacey. She is also an active Kiwanis Club member.The Kiwanis Club of North Thurston/Lacey received the Outstanding Sponsoring Club Award for its support of the Saint Martin’s University Circle K Club.This year’s Club President, Jeremiah “JJ” Olson, is graduating in May. Bailey Cammann has been elected as the incoming Club President and will step into the role in May. Facebook58Tweet0Pin0
Submitted by South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) On June 26, 2015, the South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) successfully completed its efforts to permanently preserve 1.18 acres of urban farmland in West Olympia. The land will be used by non-profit Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB) for their nationally recognized youth programming. GRuB brings together youth and people who identify as low-income to grow themselves good food and community.Funded by Thurston County’s Conservation Futures program, SSCFLT’s acquisition protects an irreplaceable parcel of land that yields over 10,000 pounds of produce annually. Food grown on the land is donated to the Thurston County Food Bank, goes home with low-income youth, and is sold through a farm stand and farmers markets to support GRuB’s operations.The acquisition not only helps GRuB continue its important work, but also furthers SSCFLT’s mission to preserve working farmland and keep it accessible and affordable for local farmers. The average age of farmers in the U.S. is 57 and rising, and over two-thirds of the country’s farmland is expected to change hands in the next two decades. SSCFLT views its partnership with GRuB as a way to help train and empower a new generation of farmers and farmland stewards.GRuB In The School provides students an opportunity to lead farm and community work while learning leadership and life skills. The program is designed to help students grow and succeed in school, life and future employment.GRuB’s alternative school model brings low-income and disengaged youth to the urban farm for a unique hands-on learning experience and vocational training. Their innovative curriculum creates opportunities for youth to grow food, learn about leadership and life skills, and contribute to community food solutions. GRuB students gain deeper leadership skills by hosting younger students in GRuB’s field trip program or being employed as second year summer crew leaders. In addition, GRuB’s pollination program now teaches its youth program model and provides technical assistance so other communities can replicate it.GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project also gives low-income people access to resources and community connections by offering them backyard gardens, training and mentorship. Lastly, GRuB relies on volunteers to accomplish much of its work. Inspired by its success with youth, GRuB trains its volunteers and stakeholders to increase their awareness, self-advocacy, communication skills and leadership so they may more deeply engage in GRuB’s programs, the community, and the broader Food Movement.SSCFLT’s preservation of the 1.18 acres of farmland ensures that GRuB can continue its programming in perpetuity. SSCFLT is proud to support the important role GRuB plays in the South Sound community. For more information about SSCFLT and its work to preserve local farmland, visit www.farmsforever.org. For more information about GRuB, visit www.goodgrub.org. Facebook176Tweet0Pin0
Image Courtesy: The Cricket TimesAdvertisement 3lNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsmyWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ecqj97( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) aajlugWould you ever consider trying this?😱bxnftfCan your students do this? 🌚4clsRoller skating! Powered by Firework David Warner mesmerized the Adelaide Oval with an unbeaten knock of 335 against Pakistan in the second test. Brian Lara, currently the batsman with the highest individual score feels that Tim Paine should have given a chance to the left-hander to surpass his record score of 400. Advertisement Image Courtesy: The Cricket TimesWarner slewed his way into the record books by registering the fourth fastest triple ton and also surpassing the scores of Mark Taylor and Don Bradman in the process.Brian Lara, who was in Adelaide coincidentally owing to some commercial engagements felt that he would be able to congratulate Warner on scaling his score just like how Gary Sobers did the same with Lara when he scored 375 against England in 1994. The West Indian legend said:Advertisement “I was hoping they might catch me and get me (out) there and that was one of the reasons I was hoping they might have let him go for it,” “It would have been amazing to walk out there (as Sobers did). Records are made to be broken. It’s great when they are broken by attacking players. Entertainers. Being in Adelaide I would have got an opportunity to if not walk out at least meet him at this opportune time,”Advertisement Read Also:Nepal bowler Anjali Chand takes 6 wicket for 0 and breaks all time T20 recordThe Final Hurdle: Sourav Ganguly’s message to Indian team; If you get to the semis, go past it! Advertisement
RED BANK — Mark Gibson’s family has lots of questions about what went wrong.Gibson had lived in Red Bank for more than 15 years, had worked at a good job. But over the course of time, things had spiraled out of control, to the point that two weeks ago, Gibson made the terrible decision to end his life.According to Red Bank Police Lieutenant Eliot Ramos, Gibson’s body was discovered in his West Front Street apartment at approximately 1:05 p.m. on Jan. 27. And while the county medical examiner’s report is not yet completed, Ramos characterized his death as “non-suspicious.”Shocked and grieving family members last week acknowledged that Gibson, 50, had committed suicide.His father, Ron Gibson, speaking from his San Francisco, California, home this week, said Jan. 27 was the last day his son could be in his Red Bank apartment, as a sheriff’s officer was scheduled to arrive and serve Mark with his final eviction notice.“He was going through distress,” said his sister Kathy Gibson-Swing, of her brother’s last few months of life.Gibson, 50, had seen his life take a downward trend, most severely in the last few months, family members explained. His sister Connie D’Aura said Gibson over the years had grown somewhat distant from family members. But in the last few months he began contacting them asking for assistance, as he faced challenges in paying his rent and buying groceries.Family members wondered and worried about him, his sisters said last week, when they came to Red Bank to clean out his apartment and get his affairs in order.Gibson grew up in the Bay Area and had joined the Navy out of high school. Following his enlistment, he eventually made his way east working for AT&T at the telecommunications firm’s Staten Island location, and settling in in Red Bank, according to family members.“He was making six-figures, paying taxes,” the elder Gibson remembered.However, it appears he hadn’t worked on a regular basis for a number of years. He suffered a serious injury as a passenger on a motorcycle, which caused him to remain out from work on disability for quite a while, his sisters said. And when he returned to work, it was in another slot that was eventually earmarked for elimination as the company underwent downsizing and reorganization.Gibson, they said, didn’t file for unemployment after losing his job; instead he lived off his severance package, retirement money, an insurance settlement from the accident and the dividends from investments. But Gibson’s investments, his father said, took a hit in the 2008 financial meltdown, contributing to his son’s financial and emotional distress.“It was his lowest point to have to ask for money,” Gibson-Swing.“He was very independent,” sister Carol Rogers added.“There are a lot of people who don’t understand what it’s like to not have a job and be alone,” Gibson-Swing observed as she recalled her brother, who never married or had kids.Gibson’s difficulties extended beyond his inability to pay rent, and he began going most days to Lunch Break soup kitchen and food pantry, 121 Drs. James Parker Boulevard. There he would get a meal, some groceries and talk with some of the clients.“He seemed like such a nice person,” remembered Pam Elam, Asbury Park, who sat at Lunch Break, working on her word puzzles. “It’s so sad, so sad.”Medhat Michail, who goes by “M&M,” a Bank Street resident, said Gibson would often help him navigate on the facility’s computer, while Gibson would use it to actively search for a job.“He was depressed,” Michail said, recalling Gibson telling him the only thing he owned was his car, though it was rundown, and he couldn’t afford gas or insurance. “I asked him why didn’t he sell it,” Michail said. “He said it was the last thing he had and he didn’t want to give it up.”“I think he felt trapped,” Michail said.“I thought he was quiet, very respectful,” said Lunch Break’s executive director Gwendolyn Love.Lunch Break recently put a couple of computers in the main area, creating an Internet café to allow clients to look for work. “He was helping a lot of clients, helping with the computers,” which he seemed to enjoy,” Love said, remembering that she had asked him about working as a computer counselor. That idea seemed to appeal to him, Love said, but he declined, telling her he planned on moving in with his sister.After his final court appearance on the eviction notice, Rogers said, her husband planned to help Gibson move to their Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, home, where he could get things together and start fresh.At that point he began to search out social services but appeared to have become frustrated with the bureaucracy. His attempt to file for unemployment years after losing his job got him nowhere, with Gibson being told it was too late for benefits, according to his sister.It appeared that everything came crashing down with the final eviction notice. “It was almost like he got some shocking, horrible news that pushed him over the edge,” Gibson-Swing said.Her brother spoke three languages, loved art and music, wrote poetry. “You see how beautiful somebody is on the inside when they write something like this,” Gibson-Swing said of her brother’s poetry.Gibson had been treated for depression years earlier while still living in San Francisco, the elder Gibson said. And Mark had made an appointment to meet with someone from the Veterans Administration for possible treatment, the elder Gibson only recently found out. “So, he knew he was hurting,” he said.“I read somewhere that people who are very bright are able to mask depression,” he said. “And I think that was what it was in this case.”His phone had been cut off, his car was in no condition to make the trip to Harrisburg and it seemed there were only dead ends. “I just wish we would have been able to help him,” Gibson-Swing said.“Some people are just too proud to let people know their circumstances,” Love said. But there was help available, which Love said she finds really distressing.“You feel like you let him down, some how,” she said. “Because it should have not happened.”
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDSThe Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, an all-volunteer arts council, plans an all-new website and logo and is looking for someone to design the logo.Designers are invited to submit a logo expressing the vision and role of the arts council by July 2 to be considered for a $200 prize. Entries may be submitted by mail or e-mail or hand-delivered.Contest rules are available at www.atlantichighlandsartscouncil.org; by e-mailing email@example.com, or calling 732-737-7160.* * * * *Captain David Harrison, base commander for Naval Weapons Station Earle, will speak at the Historical Society meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20. The meeting will take place at the Atlantic Highlands Senior Center in the Municipal Harbor.A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Harrison has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he led Navy efforts against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIED). Among his many U.S. Department of Defense positions, he has worked in Counter-Terrorism Policy and as deputy director for Deep Submarine Rescue and Diving. He received a Bronze Star and three Joint Meritorious Unit Awards for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and also holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University.Harrison will talk about environmental and community initiatives supported by the Navy in Monmouth County communities, and will answer audience questions. He also will share information and stories about the history and current use of the naval base.NWS Earle was commissioned in 1943, and includes a 2.9 mile-long pier in Sandy Hook Bay plus Bayshore property in Leonardo and a larger inland base in Colts Neck.LINCROFTDebbie Mans, executive director of the N.Y/N.J. Baykeeper headquartered in Keyport, will report on the health of New Jersey and New York bays, especially Raritan Bay, at 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 25 at Brookdale Community College.The presentation, open to the public, will include the college’s students and the members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club.Mans also will discuss the ups and downs of her organization’s disputes with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) over Baykeeper’s attempt to determine if oysters, whose beds were decimated by overharvesting and pollution, can be repopulated in Raritan Bay.The DEP, having been criticized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), shut down the Baykeeper’s effort to reintroduce the oyster. The DEP claimed that if poachers illegally took the oysters from the bay’s polluted waters, the contaminated oysters could make people ill and jeopardize the state’s entire shellfish industry. The U.S. Navy became involved in the issue.A cash buffet will be offered at 6 p.m. Mans’ presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.COLTS NECKThe Ashley Lauren Foundation is holding a Dance Walk for Kids with Cancer fundraiser.The event will be held on Saturday, June 23, with registration beginning at 11 a.m. It will take place on the walking path at the Colts Neck Municipal Complex, 124 Cedar Drive.The dance walk was made popular on Facebook by Ben Aaron, an LXTV NBC reporter, and has been viewed by 17 million people. It is walking and dancing – all done to music.A $10 donation will be accepted and be used to support the programs of The Ashley Lauren Foundation that help ease the burden of families with a child with cancer.The foundation helps with direct family assistance with such items as household bills, bills and medications not paid through medical insurance and traveling expenses to and from hospitals. The fundraising will also support programs for assistance with food, clothing, and household items; emotional support; support groups; parties for children; advocacy; outings; birthday and holiday gifts for children; the Making Dreams Come True program and anything else that is needed to make their lives easier and to let each child know that he or she is important.Additional information is available by calling the Ashley Lauren Foundation at 732-414-1625.* * * * *Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, the Monmouth County Park System’s Eco-Elephant Family Flea Market is the place to be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23.Held at Dorbrook Recreation Area on Route 537, this event features individual, business and nonprofit vendors. Who knows what you might find? Discovery is half the fun.Prospective vendors are still welcome up to and including the day of the event. Vendors are responsible for providing their own tables, tent, merchandise and genial attitude. Those interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-542-1642, Ext. 31.Additional information regarding the Monmouth County Park System is available by visiting www.monmouthcountyparks.com or calling 732-842-4000. Those with hearing impairment may dial 711 for the TTY/TDD number.RED BANKThe Men’s Ministry of the Pilgrim Baptist Church will host its annual Fatherhood Mentors Breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 16.The guest speaker for this year’s event will be Derrick Simmons of the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson.There is no cost for the breakfast. Fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers and surrogate fathers are encouraged to bring a young man for a morning of fun and fellowship. All are welcome.Further information is available by calling 732-747-2348.* * * * *The New Jersey premiere of Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, will be presented as a benefit by Monmouth Arts at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21.The film will be shown at the Clearview Cinema on 36 White St. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Art Alliance, 33 Monmouth St.The reception and film will be $35 for Monmouth Arts members, $45 for non-members, and $10 for the film only.The proceeds will be used to match a New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant to benefit Monmouth Arts community arts programs.Sony Pictures Classics, Surf Taco, and the Springpoint Senior Living Foundation are sponsors of the event.LITTLE SILVERThe Little Silver Public Library is sponsoring a talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 28, by author Jon Gertner who will discusses his book, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation.Gertner, an editor at Fast Company magazine and a writer for The New York Times magazine, documents the scientists behind the success of Bell Labs and looks at the reasons why Bell Labs became a source of innovation for electronic communication today.MIDDLETOWNThe Toms River-based ASTRA group is returning to lead the kick-off event of the teen summer reading program at the Middletown Township Public Library.The evening event of stargazing will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, at the library’s main branch, 55 New Monmouth Road.Telescopes will be provided for taking a peek at the cosmos, along with sky charts to use and take home.Funding for the library’s public programs comes from the support of the Middletown Township Public Library Foundation, Inc.
By John BurtonFAIR HAVEN – The borough firehouse on River Road is a sea of activity this week.Men and women are cleaning and moving boxes, forklifts are lugging heavy items, trailers are being backed up with loud beeping sounds and then being unloaded.The site is busy, similar to the energy and din of a construction project, all to prepare for the Aug. 23 start of this year’s edition of the annual Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.On this day, John Feeny, one of the three co-chairs of the fair committee, looks out over the buzz of activity and says, “It’s unbelievable how everyone knows his position and does it.”Fair Haven fireman John Felsmann and his daughter, Kirstan, give the thumbs from the balcony of the Fair Haven Firehouse after posting the fair info on a billboard.The annual event, touted by the volunteer fire company’s members as the largest firemen’s fair in the state and the second largest fair of any kind in the state, is about to begin its eight-day run. It begins Friday, Aug. 23, and continues daily through Saturday – with the exception of Sunday, Aug. 25.The event is a massive undertaking for department members, residents and others who volunteer – including some who now live out-of-state and travel back to the borough to help. All donate their time to make the event a success.Feeny, along with co-chairs Jim Butler and Andy Schrank – all longstanding fire department members – talked earlier this week about what it takes to get the operation going each year.There are various committees designated to oversee different parts of the fair: the rides, games and one of the largest operations for the endeavor – the huge amount of food that gets served over the course of the fair.The running of the fair requires the efforts of about 125 volunteers each night to operate the various attractions. The attractions requiring the most effort is working the dining tent adjacent to the First Aid bays. The tent and bays can fit about 150 diners per seating who can select from a variety of seafood or “landlubber” dinners, prepared and served by volunteers. During the day, volunteers work on getting things ready for evening, including local kids who take on the responsibility of shucking corn.While committee members couldn’t come up with the number of dinners served, Butler says, “It’s an amazing number.”What’s also amazing is the amount of other food that gets eaten during the fair, they noted.According to Butler, last year’s fairgoers consumed about 18,000 hot dogs and about the same number of hamburgers.“The first night they smell so good,” Schrank said of the hot dogs, “but by the end you’re sick of them.”Along with those offerings, ice cream is available and there is a beer garden for beer and wine for adults.The operation of the fair involves a system that has been honed over the years, with volunteers working on what they know and like. That keeps the operation moving.Schrank has been involved with the fair for 32 years; Feeny tops that with 40 years under his belt. Butler, who has been working with the fair “since I was a kid” and was one of the kids who helped shuck corn, totals his time at more than 35 years.“We’ve been doing this so long it goes like clockwork,” Feeny said.The rides are operated by employees of the Majestic Amusements Company of York, Pa. The games, which are set up by that vendor, are operated by the fire company members and other volunteers who are known faces to those wandering through the fair.Renee Evans, a Fair Haven First Aid Squad member, and Chris Cerruti of the Fair Haven Fire Department, clean the snack bar kitchen in preparation for the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.The organizing, including obtaining the required permits and working with vendors, is “all year long,” Schrank said. The work really gets going in June, when orders are placed. The days leading up to the fair are for setup and running it is the time for the sweat equity.“The event is the department’s largest annual fundraiser, with proceeds going to support and supplement the approximately $30,000 annual department budget. The money helps buy needed equipment, vehicles and for the upkeep of the facility,” said Schrank, adding, “The cost of doing this is incredible.”Perhaps even more than the money raised, the reason to continue the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair is that it has become an important tradition, woven into the fabric of the community, the three pointed out.“I don’t think we ever thought about not doing it,” Schrank said.Butler added, “It’s just part of what we do.”
By John BurtonRED BANK – When cancer strikes, treatment is about a lot more than just attacking the disease.That broader focus is the essence of the soon to be open newly renovated and redefined oncology center at Riverview Medical Center to assist patients as well as their families through difficult times.And the best part, it’s all under one roof for convenience and peace of mind, hospital staff stress.As part of Meridian Health System’s $128 million Monmouth and Ocean counties, system-wide expansion of its oncology services, called Building Hope, Riverview Medical Center is spending more than $30 million creating a totally renovated 46,250 square-foot space at its existing Jane H. and John Marshall Booker Cancer Center and will incorporate increasingly new, cutting edge technology for the treatment of cancer.In addition, the facility will be offering services in nutrition, healthy living and other areas.This system-wide project will “continue to allow Meridian to bring the highest quality of cancer care to multiple access points in our communities,” said Riverview President Tim Hogan.BTK Architects, Philadelphia, which designed the project, spent a great deal of attention redesigning the actual facility to offer healing and comprehensive environments.“We need to constantly grow to keep up and give our patients their best chances,” said Dr. Adnan Danish, chairman of radiation oncology at Riverview.Danish, who is also the medical director of the medical center’s CyberKnife radiation treatment and robotically-assisted surgery for tumors, has been with Riverview since 2006. He described this expansion as a “major step forward” for the medical system and one he’s excited about for its potential for the already hundreds of patients who are treated annually at the cancer center.“I’ve been waiting for years,” for this upgrade, he said. Included in the plans for the center is the installation of two TrueBeam linear accelerators. Riverview already has one for radiation therapy treatment, which Danish said is some of the most advanced and sought after developments in the field. Riverview is the only facility in the area to have the technology.The cancer center will have available to patients and families in and out-patient treatments; nurse/navigators who will help guide them through the treatment process by coordinating their schedules of doctor and other appointments and connecting other services; multi-disciplinary oncology suite for evaluation by team physicians in one visit; infusion/chemotherapy facilities; and conference and family supportive care resources. Even the planned architectural revamping for the facility is done with the patients in mind, providing calming designs, including elongated windows in the lobby area, allowing for full view of the Navesink River, Danish pointed out. All of which is intended to, “basically offer better service to our patients,” and all in one location, he said.“We really try to emphasize the patient’s whole experience,” serving all the needs involved in the treatment, Hogan said. “We’re always looking for what brings out the most benefit for the patients in the communities we serve.”“We’re expanding because the community needs it,” Danish added.Earlier diagnosis results in more effective treatment. Therefore, quality of longer term life and life beyond treatment is critical, Danish added.Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is currently constructing its latest satellite outpatient facility, planned to be roughly 120,000 square feet on neighboring Middletown’s Red Hill Road. Meridian’s plans have been in the works for quite some time and will offer more extensive services, Danish said, stressing, “This isn’t their (Sloan Kettering’s) community.”“Patients have choices,” Hogan responded. However, “We feel we have an incredibly strong program here that continues to advance as advancements are made in cancer treatment,” coupled with a dedicated staff, he continued.“All of us who serve here, work here, live here,” Danish said. “We’re here for the community.”