Community Bulletin Board: Criterion Sentinel (for Feb. 16)


Applications are being accepted for the Edison Township Recreation Department’s 20th annual Winter Family Bingo.

This event is open to all Edison families and will take place from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 19 in the St. Matthew Church Cafeteria, 81 Seymour Ave., Edison. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for first come, first served seating.

There is a $5 donation requested per family; six people max.

One extra board, per family, will be given to any family who brings either unexpired canned or bagged (dry) cat or dog food, pet toys or pet treats for donation to the Edison Animal Shelter.

All families must pre-register at on Community Pass or bring their registration form to the Recreation Department, 100 Municipal Blvd., Edison, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Proof of residency is required.

Refreshments will be available for purchase.

For more information, call the Edison Recreation Department at 732-248-7310.



The Metuchen Public Library invites the public to the following events and programs in February:

  • On Feb. 16 at 2 p.m., come for an afternoon of art history trivia.

This is a hybrid program, with in-person and virtual options.

  • Watch the documentary film “Alice’s Ordinary People: The Chicago Freedom Movement,” which tells the story of activist Alice Tregay and her role in the Civil Rights Movement, at 2 p.m. Feb. 17.

This is an in-person program.

The library will then host a virtual discussion with the filmmaker, Craig Dudnick, on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

The film is also available for free on Kanopy with a Metuchen Library card.

  • Teens in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in an in-person celebration of Black poets and poetry on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. This event will involve a poetry reading, followed by a workshop.

Youth Services Librarian Jules will show attendees how to create their own blackout poems using the work of these poets.

Bring a pen and a notebook; poems will be provided.

Space is limited.

Email [email protected] with questions.

  • In celebration of Black History Month, on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m., watch the film “Respect,” a 2021 American biographical musical drama film directed by Liesl Tommy. The film chronicles the true story of Aretha Franklin’s rise from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to international superstardom.

This is an in-person program.

Registration is required for all programs. To register, call the library at 732-632-8526 or visit

If attending any program in person, masks are required for the duration of your stay.



The Woodbridge American Irish Association is a civic organization that feeds the homeless, sponsors the Justin McCarthy Scholarship, maintains Charlie Shaughnessy Park, visits the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, participates in Tools Around Town – but is best known for organizing the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Parade Chair Ben Campbell suggested when the 2021 parade was canceled that there be a “Parade of Food” campaign that made donations to local pantries.
This year, the parade returns to Woodbridge beginning at 1:30 p.m. March 13 at Woodbridge High School, 1 Samuel Lupo Pl., and continues to Town Hall on Main Street.
The parade is funded with ads from local businesses, as well as donations. To support the parade by donating, or to participate, visit
The Facebook is under American Irish Association of Woodbridge.



The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office will present a Youth Bias Task Force Roundtable: A Continuing Discussion from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 17.

The discussion will focus on combatting biases among young people, teaching effective responses to hate crimes, creating a learning expeience through discussion for students, parents and school officials; and opening the lines of communication between school officials and the community.

Panelists will include Erica Hein, New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission; Kyle Anderson, Middlesex County Board of Education; Michael S. Likier, racial justice consultant; William Davis, community activist; Tisha Leonardo-Santiago, bilingual community relations specialist for the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights; Detective Juan A. Rodriguez of the Sayreville Police Department’s Juvenile Bureau; and students from the local Human Rights Commission; with opening remarks by Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

The livestream link is


Beautiful Edison will hold a clothing drive fundraiser through Feb. 19; drop off items from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 30 Nixon Lane, Unit 1E, Edison.

All items must be placed in white or black trash bags to be received as donations.

Acceptable items include clothing, shoes, belts, purses, backpacks, hats, stuffed animals, bedsheets, blankets, curtains and towels.

No household items will be accepted.

Tax receipts can be provided upon request.

Beautiful Edison is a nonprofit organization.




Local History Day, hosted by the Metuchen-Edison Historical Society, is rescheduled to Feb. 20 from 1-4 p.m. at the Metuchen Library, 480 Middlesex Ave., Metuchen.

Details for the March program, based on radio history in New Jersey, and the cemetery cleanup in April, will be announced.





Winter Restaurant Week will be held Feb. 21-27 in Metuchen.

Participating restaurants will provide prix fixe or special items.

“Frequent Diner” punch cards will be provided for patrons to fill out as they eat out. A drawing for a gift card will be done from punch cards collected.

For a list of restaurants, visit



The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, in association with the Rutgers University Program in Cinema Studies, presents the New Jersey Film Festival Spring 2022, which marks the 40th anniversary.

The 40th anniversary festival will take place on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 20.

As a result of COVID, all the films will be available virtually via Video on Demand for 24 hours on their show date.

Tickets are $15 per program; the all-access pass is $100. Ticket buyers will also have special access to filmmaker introductions and Q&A sessions for many of the films.

All the works that are screened are part of the New Jersey Film Festival and United States Super 8 Film and DV Festival Competitions, and were selected by a panel of judges including media professionals, journalists, students and academics. These judges selected the 40 finalists which will be publicly screened at the festival. The finalists were selected from over 633 works submitted by filmmakers from around the world. In addition, the judges will choose the prize winners in conjunction with the festival director.

Prize winners will be announced after the screenings on Feb. 20.

For more information, to buy tickets and to see the festival lineup, visit

 will hold a Health & Wellness Expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at MarketFair, 3535 Route 1 south, Princeton.

For tickets, visit

For vendor opportunities, email [email protected] Media Group/Packet Media LLC publish this chain of weekly newspapers and monthly magazines.




The fifth annual Social Justice Public Art Initiative “Windows of Understanding” officially launched on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a way to pay homage to King’s legacy with a designated “Day of Understanding”.
The works of art from local New Jersey artists will be on display in storefronts and public spaces through Feb. 28 in Metuchen, South Plainfield, Highland Park and New Brunswick.
The New Brunswick Community Arts Council, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Highland Park Arts Commission, the Metuchen Arts Council, and the South Plainfield Cultural Arts Commission partnered on this initiative that unites New Jersey artists, organizations and businesses to promote awareness and engagement around social justice issues impacting local communities.

As Windows of Understanding embarks on its fifth year, its focus revolves around climate change, economic justice, protest to policy, and public health. This is a creative, community-building response to the negativity and hate being perpetuated in today’s media landscape. It is through visual language that artists can communicate methods of understanding in powerful ways that cut across cultural boundaries.


This year, 24 non-profit organizations have been paired with artists to illustrate positive strides. The Metuchen Arts Council mounted an exhibition in the windows of sponsor Berkshire Hathaway’s office on Middlesex Avenue.

Dave LaMarte created a piece on economic injustice based on the First Presbyterian Church Community Food Pantry.

Melisa Gerecci of Metuchen worked on a climate change project for the Urban AG Lab at Rutgers University.

Protest to Policy was the focus of Bobby Duncan for the Citizens Campaign, and Ria Monga for the League of Women Voters of Greater New Brunswick.

For more information on the project, visit or follow on Instagram @windowsofunderstanding and #weseethroughhate



Spectrum for Living announced its 2022 “Wall of Love” fundraising campaign, which will take place through March 1.   

Throughout February, the Wall of Love offers contributors the chance to donate any amount of their choosing to Spectrum for Living, which has a location in Edison.

In return, contributors will be given the opportunity to adopt a heart on the Wall of Love. Hearts can be personalized with contributor photos, messages and personalized inscriptions. 

For more information, visit will present Ladies Night Spring Preview from 5:30-9 p.m. March 24 at MarketFair, 3535 Route 1, Princeton.

General admission to this vendor and fashion show event is free.

A limited number of VIP Experience tickets are available for $25. Includes cocktail and appetizers at MarketFair, entry into the grand prize drawing, and other exclusive offers.

Pre-registration is preferred by visiting

For information on vendor opportunities, email [email protected] Media Group/Packet Media LLC publish a series of weekly newspapers and bimonthly magazines, including this publication.



NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.

The group setting of NAMI Family-to-Family provides mutual support and shared positive impact – experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation.

Through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), learn

  • How to solve problems and communicate effectively
  • Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
  • Supporting your loved one with compassion
  • Finding and using local supports and services
  • Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
  • How to handle a crisis
  • Current treatments and therapies
  • The impact of mental health conditions on the entire family

Sessions through NAMI Middlesex County will be held virtually from 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays, March 9 to April 27, virtually. A Zoom tutorial will be held March 2; attendance is optional.

Register at





The Woodbridge American Irish Association will hold its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade beginning at 1:30 p.m. March 13 at Woodbridge High School.



The Gallery at the Metuchen Public Library has a new exhibit “The Many Facets of . . .” by Edison-based artist and retired teacher Shelley Phillips, a collection of figurative scenes, intimate portraits, abstracts and florals in rich, saturated hues.

The exhibit will remain on display through March 31.

Located at 480 Middlesex Ave., the Metuchen Public Library is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The gallery is located in the upstairs community room. The public can view the exhibit during the library’s open hours unless an activity is taking place in the room.

Currently, wearing a mask to cover the nose and mouth is required when entering the library building.

A meet-the-artist reception will be scheduled as the library’s COVID policies allow.

For more information on library programs and resources, visit



Meet the mayors of Cranbury, Metuchen, Monroe, Jamesburg, Helmetta, South Brunswick and Plainsboro from 8-10 a.m. March 31 at the Crowne Plaza Princeton, 900 Scudders Mill Road, Plainsboro.

Learn about economic development opportunities, arts and culture, travel and tourism, and sustainability.

To register, visit

Sponsored by the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.




Recognizing the bravery and commitment of volunteer firefighters and first responders, New Jersey American Water announces its 2022 grant program for volunteer fire departments and emergency responders (ambulance 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 online application, located at, under News & Community, Community Involvement.

The maximum grant amount awarded to any organization is $2,000 and the deadline to apply is March 31. 

Interested applicants can find more information and apply online at

Grant recipients will be notified by the end of April.




Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of Negro Leagues Baseball will be presented through May 1 at East Jersey Old Town Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway.

The traveling exhibit from The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum features close to 90 framed photographs showcasing the history of African American baseball from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

Also, visit Treasures of Middlesex County: 300 Years of Raritan Valley History at The Cornelius Low House, 1225 River Road, Piscataway.

For hours, information and directions, visit or text “CULTURE” to 56512.




The Freehold High School Class of ’72 will celebrate its 50th class reunion on July 23 at the American Hotel in Freehold.

Tickets are $85 per person, and must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.

The deadline for ticket purchases is July 13. Contact Sue Shrott at [email protected] or 732-995-7754.









The Gallery on Main at 101 Main Street in Woodbridge has new hours for 2022: Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 2-7 p.m.





Downtown Woodbridge’s Main Street Special Improvement District (SID), an organization established to promote economic revitalization, investment and improvements to the downtown, will offer Downtown Dollars, a community-based digital gift card that makes it easy to spend local.

This new initiative is sponsored by the Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce. With their sponsorship, SID is able to offer a special holiday bonus to every $50 and $100 gift card purchased.

Purchase e-gift cards at and view a list of participating businesses who accept the gift cards.

Purchasers are provided the ability to write a personal message and send this card to family, friends and colleagues via email, text, or printing out. 



Central Jersey Chapter 148 of the Korean War Veterans extend an invitation to any veterans, regardless of the branch of service, who served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, in any location, including Europe; or who have served in Korea from July 27, 1953, to the current date.

Other veterans may join as associate members.

The group meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of every month, from May to December, at the Monroe Township Municipal Building, 1 Municipal Plaza, in the court room.

Requirements for membership include paying dues of $25 to the Korean War Veterans Association and $10 to the chapter per year.

Korean War Veterans National LIFE membership is available for those 80 and older, and is $75.

The chapter is involved in various functions during the year, including fundraising to help veterans at the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, the Lyons campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, and the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland.

For more information, contact Charlie Koppelman at 609-655-3111 or [email protected]





The Friends of the Metuchen Library are asking for donations of books.

Email [email protected] to schedule a dropoff appointment.


Cub Scout Pack 53 is celebrating its 70th year, and is holding registration for boys in grades kindergarten to 5. The pack is based out of the Fords section of Woodbridge and Clara Barton section of Edison.

Activities generally include fishing, hiking, BB guns, archery, service time, parades, the Pinewood Derby, the Raingutter Regatta and more.

Visit for more information.

Or, email [email protected]




The Kosher Meals on Wheels program through Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County is in need of substitute drivers to deliver meals, sometimes with limited notice.

Currently, there are openings on Mondays along the Highland Park route and along the Edison/Metuchen route. Areas include Woodbridge, Edison, Metuchen, Highland Park, East Brunswick and Old Bridge.

Call 732-777-1940 for information on how to apply.






To assist unemployed and underemployed county residents with their job search, Middlesex County’s One-Stop Career Centers within the Office of Career Opportunity are offering virtual career-related services.


In addition to accessing the One-Stop Career Centers for assistance with job searches, resume reviewing, career counseling, and career services for low-income residents, job seekers and underemployed residents are encouraged to sign up for SkillUp, a free online training portal with more than 5,500 courses focusing on business, project management, accounting, human resources, information technology, and customer service. To sign up, visit


The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development also recently launched Job Source, offering a variety of tools designed to help fuel a successful job search experience. Users can create a free account and get tips and templates for job search, resume writing, cover letters and many other free services.


State-run One-Stop Career Centers are currently only operating remotely, with career-related services available virtually and by telephone. A return date for appointment-only services at the state-run centers has not been determined.


For more information, contact the Office of Career Opportunity at 732-745-3970 or if interested in job training contact Middlesex County One-Stop Career Centers at 732-745-3955 (New Brunswick) and 732-293-0642 (Perth Amboy) to schedule an appointment.

More information can be found at



The Central Jersey Chapter 148 of the Korean War Veterans extend an invitation to any veterans, regardless of the branch of service, who served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, in any location; or who served in Korea from July 27, 1953, to the current date.

The group meets at 10 a.m. for a breakfast meeting the second Wednesday of every month from May to December at the Monroe Township Municipal Building, downstairs on the first floor.

Requirements for membership include paying dues of $25 to the Korean War Veterans Association and $10 to the chapter each year.

Korean War Veterans National Life membership if one is over age 80 is $75.

The chapter is involved in various functions during the year, including fundraising to help veterans at the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, the Lyons Veterans Hospital Lyons, and the Vineland Veterans Hospital in Vineland.

For more information, contact membership chair Charlie Koppelman at 609-655-3111 or [email protected]





Middlesex County residents looking for local farmers, grocery stores or food pantries – as well as public transportation routes to get there – can download the interactive map-based Accessing Healthy Foods app.





The Center for Therapy & Counseling Services is offering a Teen Girls Support Group.

This free group offers girls ages 13-17 a safe place to connect, share stories and be encouraging. The goal is to enhance self esteem, self confidence and communication skills.

Each group is led by trained facilitators.

Girls meet weekly at 7 p.m. Thursdays, virtually.

Registration is required by calling 732-254-0600.

Or, email [email protected] for more information.

The Center for Therapy & Counseling Services is located at 15 W. Prospect St., East Brunswick.








Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey (BBBSCNNJ) is inviting Middlesex County residents to become a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister to a local child.

BBBSCNNJ currently has 20 children on its Middlesex County waiting list, mostly boys.

BBBSCNNJ provides one-to-one mentoring for youth ages 6-18. Volunteer Big Brothers and Sisters spend quality time with their Littles each month, enjoying free or low-cost activities during which the child may learn new skills, explore new interests, or expand their experience beyond their family and neighborhood. 

There are no special skills required, and BBBSCNNJ’s experienced staff provides continual support.

To be matched with a Middlesex County child, apply at





The Anshe Emeth Community Development Corp (AECDC) Central Jersey Diaper Bank is collecting baby clothing sizes newborn-2T, diapers and books.
Donations can be picked up if within Middlesex County. Volunteers from the Rutgers School of Nursing will arrive between 10 a.m. and noon on the day indicated.
At this time, no shoes, equipment, toys, etc. can be collected.









Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick has launched the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group for families who are coping with loss due to addiction.

The free and confidential support group meets virtually on the second Thursday of every month from 7-8:30 p.m.

Inspired by Saint Peter’s Opioid Task Force, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group is for families and close loved ones of people who have passed away from addiction.

The support group is open to everyone in New Jersey and serves as a safe space for families to discuss their grief.

To join the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group, call Jeanne Delacruz, a social worker at Saint Peter’s who facilitates the support group, at 732-745-8522 or email [email protected]




Gain stability from an in-demand occupation; apply for a Women’s Center career training grant from Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County.

Qualified persons who are active members of the JFS Women’s Center must submit an application and attend an interview. Grants are available for short-term training programs for in-demand jobs.

Eligible candidates must qualify as a “displaced homemaker,” a woman who is a single mother, divorced, separated, widowed, or living with a disabled spouse/partner.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, email womenscenter@j




Central Jersey SCORE, a non-profit resource partner of the Small Business Administration, is looking for volunteers to assist people looking to start a business or grow an existing small business.

The organization is recruiting business owners and executives, both current and retired, who want to share their experience and knowledge with today’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The Central Jersey Chapter of SCORE serves Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Central Jersey SCORE provides in-person mentoring and webinars, both offered virtually in line with current pandemic restrictions. In addition, the SCORE website offers tools and templates on a wide variety of topics and numerous online courses and webinars to assist small business owners through every aspect of business development and management. Services are offered free of charge.

Anyone interested in volunteering with SCORE or seeking additional information should email [email protected]



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 [email protected].