Community Bulletin Board: Criterion Sentinel (for February 26)


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A presentation “The Fiddle in America: A History and Demonstration” will be held by Dr. Matthew Backes at 1:30 p.m. on March 3 at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Middlesex County, 1775 Oak Tree Road, Edison.

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The event is free and open to the community as space allows.

The program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Pre-registration is recommended. For more information, call the JCC at 732-494-3232.


The Garden Club of Metuchen will hold two neighboring garden clubs – the Woodbridge Garden Club and Terra Nova of Edison – for a joint meeting at 7 p.m. on March 2 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fryer Hall, 7 Oak Ave., Metuchen.

Light refreshments will be served at 6:45 p.m.

The topic will be “Backyard Cutting Gardens—Grow Your Own Bouquets.” Evelyn Lee, manager of Butternut Gardens, a flower and floral design farm in Connecticut, will offer a presentation of weekly cutting garden harvests from spring to fall. She will explain what, when and how to plant little spaces to produce continuous homegrown bouquets and centerpieces, offering garden plans and more.




The Metuchen Democratic Committee is seeking interested candidates to run for seats on the Borough Council for the 2020 election.

Qualified individuals will be invited to screen at a meeting of the committee at 7 p.m. on March 10. Selection criteria includes knowledge of borough government and local issues, and the ability to conduct an aggressive and successful campaign.

Submit a resume in PDF format to Resumes must be received by March 3. There will be no exceptions as per the committee’s by-laws.



The Circle of Single Jewish Friends, for singles age 50 and older, will hold a meet-and-eat lunch at noon on March 15 at Olive Garden, 510 Woodbridge Center Dr., Woodbridge.

Cost is price of meal off menu/tip, plus $3.

RSVP to Roberta at 908-668-8450 or


Applications are being accepted for the Middlesex County Youth Conservation Corps for Spring 2020.

Work will take place at several parcels in Old Bridge, East Brunswick, South Brunswick and Monroe, as well as other county open spaces as needed. Activities include trail building, litter clean-up, invasive species removal and wildlife habitat improvements.

Workers will earn $11.50 per hour. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, April 18 to June 6.

Applicants must be a least 16 years of age on start date; strong, enthusiastic, self-motivated, willing to work and learn as a part of a team; willing to get dirty and work outdoors in various weather conditions; able to walk several miles and stand for extended periods of time; able to kneel and lift materials greater than 25 pounds; able to use a variety of hand tools; and be able to read, understand and follow written instructions and maps.

Application deadline is Feb. 28. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to: Griffith Boyd, Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 661, New Brunswick 08903. 

For more information, contact Boyd at 732-745-3064 or



The Metuchen Parent Teacher Council’s PTC Night Out: We are the 80s Party will be held on March 20.

The fundraiser supports all four Metuchen public schools.

Donations of baskets, gift cards and money are sought from local businesses. Email or call 718-637-4867 for more information.





The Community Purim Carnival Extravaganza will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 8 at the Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County, 1775 Oak Tree Road, Edison.

The carnival is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center, Congregation Neve Shalom, Temple Emanu-El, Congregation Beth Mordecai and the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ.

Admission and games for children of all ages are free. Tickets for a live reptile show will be $4 per ticket. The carnival will also feature an inflatable bounce house, face painting, prizes, puppet show, hamantashen and raffles. Food will be available for purchase.

Participants in costume will receive two prize tickets.

For more information, call 732-494-3232.


Enjoy a light brunch and cabaret show “Aging Schmaging” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 22 at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Middlesex County, 1775 Oak Tree Road, Edison.

Early bird price of $18 will be offered through March 10. Regular price of $25 will be available from March 11-17.

Registration is required. For more information, contact Paula Rann at or 732-494-3232 or Elaine Kaufman at



The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy is holding a silly photo contest through April 28.

Submit a photo of a child being silly and be entered to win one free week of day camp at one of 10 locations.

One winner will be chosen in May.

To enter, visit


United Way of Central Jersey received a grant from the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, a Division of Programs in the Department of State, which hosts the New Jersey Complete Count Commission to continue its advocacy efforts for a complete 2020 census count within Middlesex County.

United Way will focus on increasing the count of young children ages 0-5 and their families residing within neighborhoods designated as Hard to Count (HTC) based upon responses to the 2010 census.

United Way invites all potential community partners to meet at 10 a.m. on Feb. 21 at its office at 32 Ford Ave. in Milltown to outline the outreach plan approved by the Complete Count Commission and determine the specific outreach schedule in terms of kiosk and mobile support center locations and rotation among partners.



One in 8 Middlesex County residents are food insecure – meaning they don’t have reliable, affordable access to nutritious foods and necessities.

The holidays are over but the need for food donations has not ended. MCFOODS (Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services) is running low on items such as macaroni and cheese, rice, spaghetti, peanut butter, tuna fish, canned fruits and vegetables.

Consider hosting a food drive with your business, school, civic group or athletic team. MCFOODS can provide containers and transportation of items back to the warehouse. A flyer is attached that can be used or personalized to promote a collection.

Individual donations can be dropped off at the libraries in East Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Monroe, Piscataway, Plainsboro and Woodbridge.

MCFOODS is also in need of volunteers to help at the warehouse, offer professional expertise, assist at local events and host a food drive.

For more information, contact Jennifer Apostol, MCFOODS director, by calling 609-409-5033, emailing or visiting


The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office will hold an 8-week-long Sheriff’s Civilian Academy for residents of Middlesex County in the spring.

The Sheriff’s Civilian Academy is designed to educate Middlesex County residents on the various functions and duties of the Sheriff’s Office.

Applications are being accepted for the program, which will be held at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville.

The first session is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. on April 14. Classes will continue weekly on Tuesdays. One Saturday class will be held. The program culminates with a graduation ceremony scheduled for June 2.

Each session will highlight functions of Sheriff’s Office including: Defensive Tactics, K-9, Transportation, SWAT, Courts, Civil Process and Foreclosures among others. Participants also will tour the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office and the Main Courthouse located in New Brunswick.

Applications are due no later than Feb. 28. Applicants must be at least at 18 years old, reside within the County of Middlesex, have no felony convictions, not be wanted for any crime, and submit to a limited background check.

For more information, contact Sgt. Frank Sautner at 732-745-5909 or

For more information on the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, call 732-745-3382.




The Middlesex County Board of Elections is seeking poll workers for the Primary Election on June 2. In addition to receiving a stipend of $200 for the day, poll workers perform a valuable civic service by helping to ensure that every eligible voter can exercise their right to vote.

Any county resident who is 18 years or older, registered to vote in Middlesex County and can speak English is qualified to become a poll worker. High school students (16 or 17 years old) can serve as poll workers if they are a United States citizen, a resident of Middlesex County, can speak English and have written permission from his or her parent or guardian and high school representative.

While all individuals are welcome to apply, the county’s focus is recruiting poll workers to assist the county’s large demographics of voters who speak English and at least one of the following languages: Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean.

No experience is needed. Before Election Day, each poll worker attends a single-session training course.

Those interested in becoming poll workers are advised to apply now in order to reserve a spot. For more information and to obtain an application, call the Middlesex County Board of Elections at 732-745-3471.



Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre will celebrate its 25th anniversary with its 16th annual gala, Gala de Espana, from 4-8:30 p.m. on March 15 at Ria Mar, 25 Whitehead St., South River.

Honorees include Lisa Botalico, assistant director and principal dancer; Gisele Assi, Flamenco singer and principal dancer; Krystina Moreno, principal dancer; Teresa Rodriguez, Flamenco soloist; and Catarina Carrasco, featured dancer.

There will be an all-Spanish banquet with sangria and desserts. Dance to the music of Donny Pesce. Wear a Flamenco costume or Spanish-themed dress for a best outfit prize.

Tickets are $75 per person or $700 for a table of 10.

To order online, visit

For more information, call 732-598-3979.




Boy Scout Troop 74 of Metuchen will hold an all-you-can-eat breakfast from 8-11 a.m. on March 15 at the Edison Elks Lodge, 375 Old Post Road, Edison.

The event includes French toast, eggs, pancakes, breakfast meats, omelets made to order, fresh fruit and more.

The cost will be $10 per person. Children under seven years old are free.

Money raised will be used to support outdoor activities, leadership training and community service projects.

Troop 74 meets Monday evenings from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Social Center at the First Presbyterian Church, 270 Woodbridge Ave., Metuchen.





The Winter Farmers Market in Metuchen has been moved to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen.

Winter market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. once a month on March 21, April 11 and May 9.




Join members of the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Middlesex County on March 26 for a trip to the Brooklyn Museum for a guided tour of “Studio 54: Night Magic,” a new exhibit which traces the history, social politics and trailblazing aesthetics of one of the most iconic nightclubs of all time.

Bus will leave at 9 a.m. from the JCC, 1775 Oak Tree Road, Edison, and return at approximately 4 p.m.

Cost is $69 for JCC members, $79 for non-members, and includes transportation, admission, guided tour and lunch on your own in one of the museum’s restaurants.

Register by March 15. Call Diane Mael at 732-494-3232.



Prudential Center, Entercom and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have announced the Sixth Annual Mikey Strong Charity Hockey Game, presented by M&M’S, to benefit spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives at 7 p.m. on March 27 at Prudential Center in Newark.

Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti, hosts of Entercom station WFAN (WFAN-FM/AM) morning show “Boomer & Gio,” will host the two-period charity game and be joined by notable NHL Alumni, including Bruce Driver, Colin White, Marek Zidlicky, Randy Velischek, Jim Dowd, Tommy Albelin and Ken Daneyko.

General admission tickets are priced at $25 and are on sale at

Prudential Center doors will open at 6 p.m. First 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a voucher for two complimentary tickets to a select New Jersey Devils game during the 2020-21 season and a voucher for two complimentary tickets to a select New York Yankees game during the 2020 season.

Fans should tag #MikeyStrong, #JoinReeve, @Prucenter and @ReeveFoundation in their social media posts.

Proceeds from the game will go to the Nichols Family Trust to provide for Nichols’ medical needs, as well as the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis. Nichols, a Monroe resident, was 17 when on Jan. 4, 2014, he was playing for the Monroe High School hockey team when he suffered an injury that left him paralyzed from a fractured C5 vertebrae.

For more information, visit



The Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce has released dates for its 2020 events:

– Town-wide garage sale, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25

– Spring street fair, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 17

– Cruise nights, 6-8:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month from May to September (May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2)

– Restaurant Week, July 13-19

– Metuchen Country Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 3

For details or vendor/sponsor information, visit


Guidelines for the annual NAMI NJ (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Mental Health Poetry Contest include:

* Poem should be in keeping with the theme of how your superpowers helped you battle your challenges with mental illness

* Poem must be typewritten. If sent electronically, do not send PDF files.

* Poem should be no longer than 40 lines.

* Fill out a media release form to accompany your entry.

* Provide a cover letter that includes your name, email (if available), mailing address and phone number.

The contest submission deadline is March 25.

Mail typed entries to NAMI NJ Poetry Contest, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick 08902. Or, email your entry with the signed media release form to

April is the National Poetry Month and May is Mental Health Awareness Month.


The Woodbridge Township Psychic Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 7 at the Evergreen Senior Center, 400 Inman Ave., Colonia section of Woodbridge.

Readers scheduled to appear include Jane Doherty, Judy Kay, Jennifer Wood, Scotty The NJ Medium, Constance Elek, Intuitive April the Psychic Housewife of New Jersey, Dawn Strouse, Bonnie Edwards, Michele Germann Rothermel and Christine Barath. Palm readings by Shannon, Marie Gilbert and Jean Lee Brown Ramalho.

Admission is $5. Lectures are free.



The 2020 Progressive Insurance Saltwater Fishing Expo will showcase more than 200 exhibitors selling saltwater fishing products, from new boats and kayaks to an array of accessories including fishing rods, reels and lures, from noon to 8 p.m. on March 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 14 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 15 at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison.

The annual event includes a seminar on filleting and preparing fish, a Fishing 101 Interactive Center, a 50-foot casting pond, a fishing simulator and free fishing for children 11 and younger.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-11, and free for children 5 and younger when accompanied by an adult. All children 11 and under will receive free admission on March 15. Rods Go Free on March 13 – anyone named Rod or any variation of the name will receive free admission with a valid form of ID.

Tickets are on sale at


The Heart of Oneness Holistic Expo will be held March 27-29 at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison.

Reiki, crystals, psychic readings, workshops and aura photography.

Hours are 5-9 p.m. on March 27, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 28 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 29.

Free tote for the first 150 attendees at the door on March 28 and 29.

For more information and tickets, visit


Registration is open for the 44th annual Rutgers Home Gardeners School, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 21 at the Rutgers University Cook/Douglass campus in New Brunswick.

The Home Gardeners School is 40 individual workshop sessions that cover an array of horticulture topics. This format allows attendees to select the workshops that are most relevant to their gardening interests and create their own personalized schedule for a day of learning. Expert speakers from commercial horticulture and landscape design firms, as well as faculty and staff from Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE), will cover topics  including landscape design, common problems and solutions, annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, beekeeping, hardscaping, best management practices and deer control methods.

The registration fee is $95, but early registration is $80 is being offered through Feb. 29. An additional discounted fee of $70 is available for Master Gardeners (certificate required) through Feb. 29.

Participants can purchase a $14 box lunch when registering or bring their own bag lunch.

Attendees are asked to bring food donations for Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) or pet items for Scarlet Paws Rescue.

For more information or to register, visit or call the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education at 848-932-9271.



Teens across the state can begin submitting entries for the 25th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights NJ Human Services’ mission to support families.


The contest, run by Human Services’ Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-aged students. This year, the contest will accept entries in the hand-painted/hand-drawn and written word categories.

This year’s challenge to teens is to illustrate through art, including the 
written word, a valuable life lesson or moment that you will never forget. Teens are invited to show when parents and other loved ones provided valuable life lessons and teaching moments.


All entries must be postmarked no later than March 11. Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second, and third places in both the middle and high school groups, for each of the two entry categories, with each receiving a prize package at an awards ceremony in May. 


Winning entries will be included in the 2021 Office of Child Support Calendar and be placed on display in the New Jersey State House in Trenton shortly after the awards event. A number of honorable mention entries will be selected for possible inclusion in the State House exhibit and possibly the calendar 


The 2020 calendar can be viewed or downloaded from the contest homepage, to serve as inspiration for the teens. The website also provides the official rules, frequently asked questions, entry forms, a look at the winners and honorable mentions from previous contests and other important contest information.


Entries can be submitted via the students’ art or English/language arts teachers, if their school is registered. Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting or by contacting Matthew Cossel at 973-799-0200 or Teens whose schools are not registered can submit entries directly.


For complete submission guidelines, visit For more information about child support services, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit




Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar launched its fourth annual Above and “BEE”yond Teacher Essay Contest, which will recognize top teachers nominated by their students.

The contest is offered at Applebee’s restaurants in New Jersey owned and operated by local franchisee Doherty Enterprises: Brick, Bridgewater, Butler, Clark, Clifton, Edison, Flemington, Garfield, Hackensack, Hackettstown, Hillsborough, Howell, Jersey City, Jersey Gardens, Kearny, Lacey, Linden, Manahawkin, Manalapan, Manchester, Middletown, Milltown, Mt. Olive, Newark, Newton, North Bergen, Northvale, Ocean, Paramus, Parsippany, Phillipsburg, Piscataway, Rockaway, Tinton Falls, Totowa, Union and Wall.

Applebee’s will award four winners from separate regions with a $500 sponsorship check to use toward their classroom for the 2020-21 school year, along with an end-of-year party for their current class.

To nominate a teacher, students must submit an essay in-person at their local Applebee’s explaining why their teacher deserves to be Teacher of the Year. Students who enter will receive a free ice cream certificate (one per entrant).

Contest submissions will be accepted through March 1. Winners will be announced on April 6.

 For more information about, visit



The 74th annual Bernie Cohn Golf Classic will be held on May 14 at Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Dr., Monroe, by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tee off is 9 a.m.

Sign up at



The Antonia Maria Foundation and Day One Sober Living will hold their 2020 spring gala, Celebrate a New Day, from 7-11 p.m. on April 3 at the South Gate Manor, Freehold.

The second annual gala will launch the partnership with Day One to help revolutionize sober living care for women in New Jersey. Together, the two organizations will be opening Leo’s House, a recovery home for women following in the footsteps of Gracie’s House. Both are located in North Brunswick.

For information on tickets or sponsorship, call 732-823-8350.


The Winter Farmers Market in Metuchen has been moved to St Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen.

Winter market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. once a month on April 11 and May 9.


Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County will hold its One Community Gala for 2020 at 5 p.m. on June 14 at Classical Caterers at Congregation B’Nai Tikvah, 1001 Finnegans Lane, North Brunswick.

Dinner, dancing and auction.

Honorees include community leaders David and Ellen Rabinowitz, BCB Bank and Vincent Davis, and Bill Neary.

Sponsorship opportunities and journal ads are available.

For more information, email or, or call 732-777-1940.



The Winter Farmers Market in Metuchen will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 9 at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen.

The fourth annual Celebrate Middlesex County event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 13 at Roosevelt Park, Parsonage Road, Edison.

Enjoy roller skating, a fishing derby, live music, entertainment, food trucks and hands-on activities.

For more information, visit

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