Tri-Town News Datebook, Dec. 14


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• Jackson’s mayor and Township Council are inviting residents to apply to volunteer on the Veterans Commission, Rent Leveling Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Economic Development Commission, Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, Pathfinders, Environmental Commission, Historical Commission and the Shade Tree Commission. In the new year, officials will create and appoint members to an Open Space Advisory Committee. Residents may submit a Citizen Leadership Form which can be found at under the Forms, Licenses and Permits section. Complete the application and attach a resume. For more information, call 732-928-1200, ext. 1211. Requests for consideration should be received by Dec. 20.

• The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is inviting New Jersey high school students to create original music with substance use prevention messages as part of the 2023 Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey music competition. The competition is open to any type of music genre or any musical style. Entries accepted through March 5. Students interested in sharing their musical talent can submit original music with lyrics about substance use prevention. The finalists’ songs will be showcased in a virtual Prevention Concert on April 26. For competition rules, contact Diane Higgins at 973-275-7985 or

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• The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College, Toms River,
will present the following shows and performances: Broadway for the Holidays II, Dec. 16-17, 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 17-18, 2 p.m., tickets: Adults, $17, Seniors, $14. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 732-255-0500.

• New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, will conduct the following blood drives which are open to the public: Dec. 15, Howell Donor Center, 4068 Route 9 South, Howell, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 20, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; Dec. 22, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 27, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m.; Dec. 28, Howell Donor Center, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; and Dec. 29, Howell Donor Center, 1:30-8:30 p.m. To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call toll free, 1-800-933-2566, or visit

• Bat Shalom Hadassah has announced that the annual Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony in Jackson will take place outdoors at 4:40 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Jackson municipal building, West Veterans Highway. The menorah will be lit by Rabbi Shmeul Naparstek. All are invited to attend the holiday event.

• Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey is seeking volunteers who are willing to make a difference with individuals who are experiencing the challenge of end-of-life. Volunteers dedicate a small amount of time each month to provide companionship-friendly visits; play cards; sewing, knitting or craft projects; music enrichment; pet therapy; and office or administrative assistance. Dove Hospice Services is also seeking veterans who are interested in providing compassion, support and outreach to fellow veterans and their families. Visits can be made to individuals living in facilities or private homes. Ongoing training is provided. Volunteers must be 18 or older and a COVID vaccine is required. Details: Michelle Rutigliano, 732-405-3035.

• Women of Color discussion group is an online meeting held once a month (third Tuesday at 5:30 pm) to discuss issues, coping strategies and resources relevant to women of color. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. Upcoming meeting dates are Dec. 20. Email to receive a link.

• “A Gathering of Womyn of Color” is an online group that meets once a month for all LGBTQ womyn of color in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color community. The group is an open discussion of multiple topics. The group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. Offered by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, the agency’s PEWS program and the Emotional Support for Families of Color Initiative. To receive a link, email

• For individuals who are dealing with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety, there is support available that is free, confidential and led by a trained facilitator. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance meets on Wednesdays from 12:30-2 p.m. at Brighter Days Community Wellness Center, 268 Bennetts Mills Road, Jackson. There are no physicians or therapists in the group, just individuals who live with a mental health condition. Members strive to support to each other and share their stories. Details: Valerie, 610-766-0658, or visit

Items for the Datebook may be sent to Please submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.

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