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

Celebrate ‘Noon Year’ at library

Celebrate “Noon Year!” at the Middletown Township Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m.

What do you do when you are too young (or too tired) to stay up until midnight? You have a morning countdown and ring in the “noon year!”

All are welcome. For more information, call 732-671-3700.


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.

United Methodist to host Live Nativity Dec. 20

The United Methodist Churches of Atlantic Highlands and Navesink will host a Live Nativity on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. The event will be held at the church located at 96 3rd Ave. in Atlantic Highlands.

The Rev. Jill Hubbard-Smith will read the Christmas story as children of the community don costumes and accompany live animals to a stable. The church invites any children who wish to participate in the show to come out and join them. No registration is necessary to take part in the occasion.

Carols will be sung throughout the presentation, and refreshments will be available. It is suggested that attendees bring flashlights in order to read the song lyrics.

The use of the animals has been donated by W.H. Potter and Son of Red Hill Road, Middletown.

For more information, call 732-291-0485.

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.