Community Bulletin Board: the Suburban (for Jan. 20)

The Metlar-Bodine Museum will offer “Stories of Slavery in New Jersey” at 7 p.m. Feb. 4.

Historian and author Rick Geffken reveals stories from New Jersey’s dark history of slavery. A Q&A session follows the lecture.

Dutch and English settlers brought the first enslaved people to New Jersey in the 17th Century. By the time of the Revolutionary War, slavery was an established practice on labor-intensive farms throughout what became known as the Garden State. The progenitor of the influential Morris family, Lewis Morris, brought Barbadian slaves to toil on his estate of Tinton Manor in Monmouth County.  “Colonel Tye,” an escaped slave from Shrewsbury, joined the British “Ethiopian Regiment” during the Revolutionary War and led raids throughout the towns and villages near his former home. Charles Reeves and Hannah Van Clief married soon after their emancipation in 1850 and became prominent citizens in Lincroft, as did their next four generations.

Rick Geffken is a trustee of the Shrewsbury Historical Society, past president of the Monmouth Connection, member of the Navesink Maritime Historical Association and Monmouth County Historical Association. He is currently heading up a project called The New Jersey Slave Record.

To join the Zoom lecture, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84404927732        

Meeting ID: 844 0492 7732

The program is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. Make checks payable to The Fellowship for Metlar House, or use Venmo via Sherry-Hope1

A limited number of signed books are available from the museum, 1281 River Road, Piscataway. Call the museum at 732-463-8363 to place an order. Pickup available on days the museum is open. Cost is $23 each plus $3 shipping.

For more information, email metlarbodine@gmail.com or visit www.MetlarBodineHouseMuseum.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sayreville Public Library will offer the following programs during January:

 

  • The Contagious Optimism Wellness Group goes virtual from 10:30 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of the month.

Feeling down or discouraged? Want to increase your positivity? Dr. Colleen Georges, author of the award-winning, best-selling “Rescript the Story You’re Telling Yourself” and co-author of “Contagious Optimism,” facilitates this monthly wellness group designed to help grow optimism and overall happiness.

Register at www.sayrevillelibrary.org to receive the Zoom link.

  • A virtual movement- and restoration-based yoga practice will be held from 6-7 p.m. Jan. 28. Join Stephanie Barrios-Cullins for two classes offering restorative yoga.Participants need a webcam to participate in this program.

Register at www.sayrevillelibrary.org to receive the Zoom link.

  • Join Constance Hallinan Lagan for Connie’s New Year program “Hope” at 6 p.m. Jan. 21.

    Since the New Year is traditionally a period of renewal and resolution,
    there is no better time to commit to living optimistically

Register at www.sayrevillelibrary.org in order to receive the Zoom link.

  • Enjoy an opportunity to pick up a few new tips from fellow craft addicts during the virtual Stitchers and Knitters Anonymous Club for folks who know the basics, but want to take their project to a new level.Have supplies and a current craft project ready.This group is open to all adult residents. They will meet virtually at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28. For more information, contact Aziza at 732-727-0212.

 

 

Eighth graders will get a second opportunity to apply to the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge.

Applications are being accepted for a second entrance exam, to be held online on Jan. 30.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 23.

The entrance exam is being held virtually for the first time. Students taking the two-hour exam are monitored via webcam by proctors from the academy staff. The exam includes mathematics, language arts and science questions, as well as an essay.

The exam results are used to choose applicants to be interviewed. The interview process includes virtual meetings with both parents and students.

The application is available on the district website, www.mcvts.net.

The academy’s focus is to prepare students for college majors in the medical and biomedical research fields. All students take an honors curriculum with an emphasis on the sciences. Students have opportunities to take Advanced Placement courses as well as courses affiliated with Rutgers University School of Health Professions.

 

 

Raritan Valley Road Runners, one of the largest running clubs in New Jersey, is accepting applications for a new scholarship program designed to help student runners in cross country or track and field who attend high school or community college in Middlesex and Somerset counties.

A one-time award of $1,000 will be made to each of two outstanding athletes enrolling in post-secondary education.

The scholarships are not based entirely on speed or competitions won, but rather on strong academics, sportsmanship, citizenship and financial need.

The scholarships are funded by individual donations, funds from club-sponsored races and business contributions.

Eligible applicants will be graduating from high school in Middlesex or Somerset counties in 2021 or currently attending community college in these counties. They will need to prove acceptance to a full-time (12 credits or more) associate or bachelor’s degree program. They will have a weighted GPA of 2.75 or higher as demonstrated by an unofficial transcript. And they will need to demonstrate passionate participation as a runner in a cross country or track and field in their junior and senior years of high school or while at community college. Participation in extracurricular activities and community involvement will also be considered.

For more information, application materials, or to donate to the scholarship fund, email scholarship@rvrr.org.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. Scholarships will be awarded in April.

 

 

 

 

High school students are invited to enter their substance use prevention messages through their original music as part of the music and song writing competition, “Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey,” sponsored by New Jersey Broadcasters and 959.9-FM WRAT.

The competition is designed to challenge New Jersey high school students to create original music and lyrics with powerful peer-to-peer substance use, misuse and prevention messages. Entries are accepted through Feb. 1.

All music genres are welcomed from students interested in sharing their talent and inspiring messages about shouting down drugs and raising up their voices to inspire their peers.

The winner of the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs competition, as decided by judges and announced at the end of the Prevention Concert, will receive a $5,000 music contract. The second- and third-place performers will receive $3,000 and $2,000 music contracts, respectively, with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

For rules and information on how to enter, contact Diane Higgins at 973-275-7985.

 

 

Nominations for the 25th annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award are being accepted through Feb. 12.

Members of the community can nominate a fellow New Jerseyan and give him or her the chance to be recognized for their service. They are people who help others in need, give their time and energy to solve community problems, and put others above themselves.

Each year, the Making a Difference Award presents $50,000 to one winner, $25,000 to two runners-up, and up to $7,500 to several others at a ceremony hosted by Ramapo College of New Jersey, which manages the awards program on behalf of the Russell Berrie Foundation.

Awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony in May.

The nomination form is available online at berrieawards.ramapo.edu

 

 

Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society and People for Animals will hold their quarterly Snip & Chip for Community Cats event on Feb. 19, where locals can bring in feral cats to be spayed/neutered and microchipped free of charge.

Do not bring any socialized cats, they will be turned away.

The event will be held at the People for Animals Clinic located at 1 Sharon Road in Robbinsville. All feral cats from Central New Jersey are welcome, with a limit of five cats per participant. All cats must be dropped off between 7 and 7:30 a.m. to receive treatment.

Snip & Chip will provide free spay/neuter surgeries (valued up to $55) which will include rabies & distemper vaccines, ear tip, injectable pain control, tattoo, and medical waste disposal for feral cats. Microchip insertion/registration will be available free of charge as well.

Additional services will be available for an additional charge, including post-op boarding.

All additional services must be pre-paid at the time of drop off.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society will accept cash or credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover). No American Express or checks accepted.

Registrations must be made by Feb. 8. To register, participants must fill out the form at https://karmacatzendog.org/snipchiprequest. If participants cannot fill out the form, email SnipAndChip@karmacatzendog.org with “Snip & Chip Reservations” in the subject line. Within the body of the email, participants must provide: full name, email address, mailing address, phone number, number of cats, what town the cats reside in, and a description of the colony.

The pickup date is Feb. 19 or 22; $15 boarding fee per cat to be paid to the rescue.

 

“The Year of 2020” photography contest is being held by The Friends of the Sayreville Public Library.

This contest is open to residents of Sayreville older than age 12 who hold a valid Sayreville Library Card.

Photographs must be relevant to the theme: The year of 2020 in Sayreville or the State of New Jersey. It can be pandemic related or capture Sayreville’s and/or New Jersey’s landscape, people, food, nature or wildlife. Must be appropriate subject matter.
All submissions must be printed in black and white, but may be any size. Digitally altered
pictures will not be considered. The photo can be framed or mounted on mat, foam or gator board, for display and judging only – the frame will be returned after the contest.
Entries must be submitted by the original photographer. Submission of the photo and entry form is a testament to usage rights. If the photo includes people, the photographer is responsible for obtaining releases from those pictured.

Limit five submissions per person.

Submissions may be dropped off at the Sayreville Public Library, 1050 Washington Road, Parlin.

Each photo must be accompanied by a completed entry form (available at the Circulation Desk) or online at the Sayreville Public Library site.

Entries must be received by Feb. 28 to be eligible.

Photos will be on display beginning March 1. Along with three anonymous judges, the public will be allowed to vote on the submissions until March 30. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, quality and effectiveness in conveying the subject. All contest decisions are final. Entries that fail to comply with the rules will be disqualified and the submission will be returned.

Judges will select a first, second, and third place photo, as well as at least one honorable mention. The first place winner will receive a $100 gift card, the second place winner will receive a $50 gift card, and the third place winner will receive a $25 gift card. Honorable mention winners will receive a certificate of appreciation. Winners will be contacted by April 1.

The winning submissions will remain on display in the Sayreville Public Library.

 

The Sayreville War Memorial High School 2020 Hall of Fame Annual Awards Banquet is rescheduled again for 6 p.m. April 24, 2021, at the VFW Hall on Jernee Mill Road.

The honorees are:

  • Chris Beagan, Class of 1990, three-time state championship coach, GMC Coach of the Year
  • Steven Casano, Class of 1985, founding executive director of NeuroSearch; Sayreville Little League coach, sponsorship coordinator and board member
  • William D’Amico, Class of 1973, distinguished military career; three special operations commanding officer tours of duty; post-military career in corporate medical device, consumer goods and industrial manufacturing industries
  • The late Matthew Lynch, Class of 1985, president of Friends Of Children’s Hospital in Warsaw, Poland; honored by U.S. ambassador to Poland for 20 years of service
  • Farrah Reilly, Class of 1994, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author under the pen name Emma Chase; books translated into more than 20 languagesTickets are $50 for adults or $30 for children, with a choice of meals.All reservations received to date for tickets and program ads will be honored.New ad book and ticket requests will be mailed in March.For more information, contact Elaine Kubacz at 732-727-0192 or epkubacz@verizon.net.

 

Recognizing the bravery and commitment of volunteer firefighters and first responders, New Jersey American Water announces its 2021 grant program for volunteer fire departments, ambulance squads and first aid squads located within the company’s service areas.

Grants may be used to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, communications gear, first aid equipment, firefighting tools, vehicle maintenance and other materials that will be used to support volunteer firefighter and emergency responder operations. Reimbursement for specific training courses, including the cost of training manuals, student workbooks, and instructors is also eligible.

To apply, organizations must complete the application available at www.newjerseyamwater.com under News & Community, Community Involvement.

The maximum grant amount awarded to any organization is $2,000.

The deadline to apply is March 12. Interested applicants can find more information and apply online at www.newjerseyamwater.com/community.

Grant recipients will be notified at the end of March.

 

 

 

 

Teens across the state can begin submitting entries for the 26th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights the New Jersey Human Services’ mission to support families, especially during these challenging times.

The contest, run by the Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-aged children.

The 2021 contest challenges teens to illustrate – through art or the written word – how they and their loved ones have supported each other through all of the changes that have happened this year, from remote schooling to finding new ways to stay connected to friends and family.

All entries must be postmarked no later than March 31.

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. Typically, winning students are recognized at an awards ceremony in mid-May, but a final decision on an awards ceremony will be made at a later date based on the status of the public health emergency and related health and safety guidelines.

Winning entries from the contest will be included in the 2022 Office of Child Support Calendar, as well as potentially being included as part of the office’s marketing materials. A number of honorable mention entries will also be selected for possible inclusion in both areas.  

The 2021 calendar can be viewed or downloaded from the contest homepage, www.NJTeenMedia.org, 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.

Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting www.NJTeenMedia.org or by contacting Matthew Cossel at 937-207-7627 or matthew.cossel@efkgroup.com. School registration is not required for direct student entry.

For complete submission guidelines, visit www.NJTeenMedia.org.

For more information about child support services, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit www.NJChildSupport.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ongoing

 

Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey seeks compassionate volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families.

Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their homes, which can also be nursing facilities or assisted living facilities, at least once a week. They read to the patient, reminisce about their lives, play cards, help with letter writing and provide respite for caregivers.

Visits can be virtual, and are either during the day or early evening.

Volunteers may also assist with administrative work within the hospice office.

Patient care volunteers complete an application and attend a virtual volunteer training program that covers the role of a hospice volunteer. Day and evening virtual training programs are offered.

To sign up for the next virtual training class, contact Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Adams at 732-405-3035 or email deborah@dovehs.com.

 

 

The United Way of Central Jersey’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund will assist individuals and families affected by the novel coronavirus with crucial basic expenses including rent, utilities, prescription medication/medical supplies, child care and food.
United Way will work with trusted community partners to identify individuals and families most in need of this temporary support.
Donations to the UWCJ COVID-19 Support Fund may be made online at www.uwcj.org. Checks made payable to United Way may be mailed to United Way of Central Jersey, 32 Ford Ave., Milltown 08850.

 

Monroe Township Jewish War Veterans Post 609 is collecting United States and foreign stamps, both on and off envelopes.

Stamps are used by veterans as hobbies and as therapy to support medical staff at VA Medical Centers nationwide.

Stamps are not traded or sold; they are forwarded to veteran patients at no charge.

Also requested are DVDs suitable for veterans at those locations.

Send all items to JWV Post 609, c/o Charles Koppelman, 6 Yarmouth Dr., Monroe 08831-4742.

 

 

 

Old Bridge High School is seeking active duty or reservist military personnel who are alumni for the Military Wall of Honor expected to be established this year.

The wall is meant to commemorate graduates who have given their lives to honor their country and shine a light on the importance of veterans within the Old Bridge community.

Residents are urged to assist with the project by spreading the word of the proposed military wall. The high school is looking for graduates from 1995 through the present.

To submit information, visit docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSev1sK7AIQ6KvNb2iqUz6l7UgFmPBJXBpMbkAR2IuRwkUeVQQ/viewform or contact Guy Lassen at glassen@obps.org.