Italian Mardi Gras slated for Jan. 31

The Italian American Association of Monmouth County will host Carnevale, the Italian Mardi Gras festival, 2-6 p.m. Jan. 31 at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club, 20 Shore Oaks Drive, Farmingdale.

The cost is $40 for adults and $22 for children ages 3-10. The cost includes lunch, music, dancing, masks and activities, in addition to an auction table and 50/50. Costumes are optional.

For more information, call 732-863-0021 or visit

New Year’s Day walk in Holmdel slated

Ring in the New Year with the Friends of Holmdel Open Space on a leisurely trail walk through the beautiful Ramanessin section of Holmdel Park and Holmdel’s adjoining Bayonet Farm Park. The walk will be held Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Meet at the parking lot on Roberts Road, across from the Holmdel Park Arboretum and shown on the map provided by Monmouth County Parks: http://co.monmouth. park_ trail_ map_ 2011.pdf

If the lot is full, park in Holmdel Park and walk across.

The walk is approximately 2.5 miles. For those who want a shorter or longer walk, maps are available so you can take off on your own. Hiking boots or sturdy sneakers are recommended. Also, as deer hunting is allowed in this section of Holmdel Park, wear orange or other bright colors.

The walk, to be led by former Holmdel Mayor Larry Fink and FOHOS President Janet Jackel, is rated “easy to moderate” and will end at Bayonet Farm, 41 Middletown Road, where light refreshments will be shared — feel free to bring some. Families are welcome. A car shuttle back to Holmdel Park will be available or you can arrange your own. The walk will be held rain, snow, or shine. For more information, or 732-946-3656.

Library to kick off ‘1,000 Books Before K’

Families are invited to join the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program at Middletown Library this coming January.

The “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children essential early literacy skills.

Registration begins Jan. 1, 2016 and will be ongoing.

The program will officially launch on Jan. 27 when participants will be invited to attend a kick-off event at the library and can begin logging books read to their child.

Earn rewards throughout the program for levels reached.

To register, visit the Kidszone at

The “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program is available to all families with children between the ages of birth and 6 years.

For more information, call the library at 732-671-3700, ext. 340, or visit

Shrewsbury Chorale welcomes conductor

Do you like to sing? The Shrewsbury Chorale invites all interested local singers to participate in open rehearsals on January 5 and 12 from 7:45-10 p.m. The group practices weekly on Tuesday evenings at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, 1475 W. Front S., Lincroft. Scores will be provided and there is no charge.

The Shrewsbury Chorale is a mixed chorus serving audiences in Monmouth County. They perform three yearly concerts that feature music ranging from classical to popular repertoire. This set of open rehearsals is special because they will be welcoming a guest conductor, Neil F. Brown, who will take the podium as they prepare for their March concert. Brown has extensive experience in choral conducting and accompanying in both church and educational settings. As a good friend of the Chorale, he served as accompanist during the 2010-11 season.

The Shrewsbury Chorale auditions singers from September through June and is accepting new members. Former Chorale members are also encouraged to revisit. To schedule an audition, call Joy More at 732-216-3907.

For more information, call: 732-747-1362, email, or visit

Epiphany celebration slated for Jan. 3

The Italian American Association of Monmouth County will host Pranzo with La Befana in celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany from 1-4 p.m. Jan. 3 at St. Mary’s Church, Madonna Hall, 1 Phalanx Road, Colts Neck.

The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-10.

The event will include a performance of the legend of La Befana, pasta and meatballs, baked goods and a goody bag for children, in addition to an auction table, 50/50, Italian music and games.

For more information, call 732-863- 0021 or visit

Art Society exhibit opens at ArtSpace

The Monmouth Arts member gallery, Monmouth ArtSpace 105, is presenting a fall/winter exhibition of three artists from the Arts Society of Keyport through Dec. 30.

Curator and participating artist, Mary Ann McKay, has selected photographs and paintings from two other Monmouth Arts and Arts Society of Keyport members — Peter Dant and Grace Sharpe.

McKay, a graphic designer and painter, became interested in glass mosaics after working with the Arts Society of Keyport on their mosaic mural rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. She has begun to incorporate glass in her recent work. McKay is also the vice president of the Arts Society of Keyport.

Dant of Peter Dant Photography, whose studio is in Hazlet, creates meaningful, sensitive photographs for his clients and their families.

An accomplished decorative painter, Sharpe has more than 20 years of experience as a fine artist, exhibiting throughout the tri-state area.

Together, these three artists give a glimpse into who the Arts Society of Keyport is, beyond the identity of their mosaic sculpture rebuild — an incredible community art project unto itself that is three years in the making.

Monmouth ArtSpace 105 is free and open to the public during regular office hours, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and during Red Bank Visitor’s Center hours, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


United Methodist Homes of New Jersey Foundation announced Samuel B. Preston was recently elected the chair of its Board of Trustees.

Preston is an adjunct professor of business ethics at the Stern School of Business at New York University and has over 35 years of experience in banking and consulting in the U.S. and abroad.

He most recently held positions at Rabobank, N.A. in Netherlands and Chase Manhattan Bank and Salomon Brothers in New York.

Shulem Deen to speak at Temple Shalom Dec. 18

Shulem Deen, author of “All Who Go Do Not Return,” a memoir about growing up in and then leaving the Hasidic Jewish world, will speak at Shabbat evening services at Temple Shalom of Aberdeen, 5 Ayrmont Lane, on Dec. 18. Deen will answer questions following services. Services begin at 7:45 p.m. Temple Shalom is located at 5 Ayrmont Lane in Aberdeen.

As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the United States, he knew little about the outside world. Deen’s memoir features the initial questioning of the faith, the experience of disillusionment, discovery of enlightenment, and attempts to find one’s way in an entirely unfamiliar secular world.

His work has appeared in The New Republic, Salon, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, and elsewhere. He serves as a board member at Footsteps, a New York City-based organization that offers assistance and support to those who have left the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

For more information, call Rita Carol at 732-583-2386.

Keyport holding home decorating contest

The Keyport Recreation Commission will be sponsoring awards for outdoor holiday decorations. The judging will take place on Dec. 17 from 6:30-9 p.m. Make sure your lights are turned on to be included in this event.

Winners will be announced New Year’s Day at the reorganization meeting, held at the Keyport Central School in the all-purpose room on Broad Street. You must be present to claim your prize.

The homes that have won a prize in this event in the past three years are not eligible to win a prize this year.

For more information, call 732-739- 5145.