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Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Carteret, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Carteret, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Carteret, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Carteret, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Carteret, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Carteret, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Carteret, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Carteret, NJ

Carteret Performing Arts Center to ‘Uncork’ Wine-Tasting Event

CARTERET, NJ — They’re going to uncork many of New Jersey’s best wines for people to sample as the URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center hosts its first indoor wine and food event.“UNCORK Spring!” is to debut on Saturday, March 23, at the Carteret Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 46 Washington Ave., from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.CPAC Director Diana St. John and Mayor Daniel J. Reiman say they hope it becomes an...

CARTERET, NJ — They’re going to uncork many of New Jersey’s best wines for people to sample as the URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center hosts its first indoor wine and food event.

“UNCORK Spring!” is to debut on Saturday, March 23, at the Carteret Performing Arts Center (CPAC), 46 Washington Ave., from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

CPAC Director Diana St. John and Mayor Daniel J. Reiman say they hope it becomes an annual local attraction, bringing more visitors to the borough.

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, “UNCORK Spring!” was customarily an annual outdoor event. “(Those) were very successful but, obviously, a different type of event,” said Kathy Bullock, consultant for the Garden State Wine Growers, who organized the upcoming Carteret event with Diana St. John.

“When the opportunity was presented to host a spring event at an indoor location, it seemed a natural transition to bring back UNCORK Spring! in a new exciting way,” said Bullock, from New Egypt-based GPS Inc., an event producer for more than 20 years, including more than 150 wine-related festivals.

For a $35 advance admission price, or $40 at the door, people can sample and buy roughly 125 wines; meet many Garden State’s winemakers; and learn about their wineries. There will also be a variety of artisans on hand whose products go well with wine, organizers said.

Wines will be paired with delicious samples of sweet & savory mini-meatballs; Thai Chicken Satay on skewers; Mojo-marinated grilled shrimp; roasted red grapes on herb-ricotta Crostini; dessert sample and more.

“Most (wineries) will bring wines and styles that represent their unique product lines,” Bullock said. “You can count on many (to) unveil new product and seasonal offerings. Often times, wineries will bring new releases to events as a means to create awareness and market their new product.”

Participating wineries include:

● Angelico Winery; Lambertville, NJ

● Autumn Lake Winery; Williamstown, NJ

● Bellview Winery; Landisville, NJ

● DiMatteo Vineyards; Hammonton, NJ

● Plagido’s Winery: Hammonton, NJ

● Salem Oak Vineyard; Pedricktown, NJ

● Tomasello Winery; Hammonton, NJ

● Valenzano Family Winery; Shamong, NJ

● Villari Vineyards; Sewell, NJ

● The Vintner’s Wife; Swedesboro, NJ

● Wagonhouse Winery; Swedesboro, NJ

Most participating wineries are among New Jersey’s “Top 14,” according to Tasting Table magazine. Many of their 125 wines are recognized nationally and internationally for quality, flavor, and have won awards in prestigious wine competitions, organizers said.

Due to the different growing conditions in the state, New Jersey offers a diverse group of wines for every palate from its different wine regions, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

New Jersey wineries annually produce almost 2 million gallons of wine with a retail value of almost $30 million, the Department of Agriculture said. There are more than 50 licensed wineries in New Jersey.

“Supporting the New Jersey wine industry is extremely important to our state’s vibrant agri-tourism industry, Bullock said.

For more information, visit the URSB Carteret Performing Arts Center event page, or call the CPAC box office at (877) 849-2722, weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Carteret Approves 78 New Luxury Apartments, Medical Offices

An artist’s rendering of Carteret’s new Pershing Estates, with 78 one-and two-bedroom luxury apartments, upscale amenities, and ground-floor medical office space.Photo Credit: BOROUGH OF CARTERETLast UpdatedFebruary 15, 2024 at 7:37 AMCARTERET, NJ — It’s official: A luxury apartment complex is to be built along Pershing Avenue near Borough Hall, the community center and public library, and a short walk to Noe Street Park.The Plann...

An artist’s rendering of Carteret’s new Pershing Estates, with 78 one-and two-bedroom luxury apartments, upscale amenities, and ground-floor medical office space.Photo Credit: BOROUGH OF CARTERET

Last UpdatedFebruary 15, 2024 at 7:37 AM

CARTERET, NJ — It’s official: A luxury apartment complex is to be built along Pershing Avenue near Borough Hall, the community center and public library, and a short walk to Noe Street Park.

The Planning Board has given Pershing Estates Urban Renewal LLC approval to build “Pershing Estates,” with 78 one-and two-bedroom apartments, upscale amenities, and ground-floor medical offices or other ancillary health services.

Pershing Estates will replace four vacant, older Pershing Avenue homes that Carteret acquired between 2017 and 2019, making them into revenue-generating assets for the borough.

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It is too soon to say when Pershing Estate’s construction will begin, a borough spokesman said.

“Carteret is booming with progress, rebuilding block by block,” Mayor Daniel J. Reiman said in a prepared statement as he announced Dec. 13th's approval for the mixed-use redevelopment project. Pershing Estates will feature:

● 35 one-bedroom and 43 two-bedroom apartments.

● Upscale amenities include a rooftop garden terrace.

● 95 parking spaces in an onsite garage and a surface lot.

Vehicles leaving its parking area will be restricted to right-turns only onto Blanchard Street, where more on-street parking is to be available, according to public documents.

Anticipating more pedestrians in the area, Carteret is requiring that sidewalks be handicapped-accessible at Pershing Avenue and Blanchard Street. Pershing Estates will also have structural accommodations for people with disabilities.

The four properties to be redeveloped are 235, 237, 241 and 243 Pershing Avenue. They will combine into one lot, designated as 237 Pershing Ave.

Deeds on file in Middlesex County show Carteret acquired:

● 235 Pershing Ave., in 2017, for $301,000

● 243 Pershing Ave., in 2017, for $255,000

● 237 Pershing Ave., in 2018, for $1

● 241 Pershing Ave., in 2019, for $1

A preliminary site assessment is underway, a step toward demolition of those homes and the eventual redevelopment.

The older houses are in the “Hilltop II Redevelopment Zone,” designated in 2019 by the Borough Council, as an area in need of redevelopment.

Carteret Officials ‘Disappoint’ Road Extension Opponents

Photo Credit: COURTESY OF SANTHOSH JANARDHANANThe proposed Carteret Avenue Extension through the Meridian Square Apartment complex.Photo Credit: CARTERET BOROUGHThe entrance to the 190-unit Meridian Square Apartment complex in Carteret, NJ. Photo Credit: FILE PHOTOMeridian Square tenant Wayne Johnson addresses Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman at a Feb. 22nd Borough Council meeting.Photo Credit: COURTESY OF SANTHOSH JANARDHANANLast UpdatedMa...

Photo Credit: COURTESY OF SANTHOSH JANARDHANAN

The proposed Carteret Avenue Extension through the Meridian Square Apartment complex.Photo Credit: CARTERET BOROUGH

The entrance to the 190-unit Meridian Square Apartment complex in Carteret, NJ. Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Meridian Square tenant Wayne Johnson addresses Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman at a Feb. 22nd Borough Council meeting.Photo Credit: COURTESY OF SANTHOSH JANARDHANAN

Last UpdatedMarch 2, 2024 at 7:07 AM

CARTERET, NJ — Carteret Avenue extension opponents got what they wanted: A public meeting with Mayor Daniel J. Reiman and the Borough Council.

But, they are unhappy with the outcome of that Feb. 22nd in-person session where Mayor Reiman asked municipal consultants to outline the project’s genesis and lay out details for the upcoming roadwork.

Upset opponents issued a prepared statement saying officials heard, but did not appear to listen, to their safety and quality-of-life concerns.

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They fear the borough will not alter its plan to cut a Carteret Avenue extension through Meridian Square’s 190-unit apartment complex, a move they claim may also affect people in Meridian Terrace and the Lexington apartment complexes, plus other nearby condo residents.

Frank Bellino, the mayor’s chief-of-staff, described the Feb. 22nd public meeting as “an opportunity for the borough to present facts and the (project’s) history with professional planners, engineers and other experts.”

“As always, we welcome any residents’ comments or concerns in regard to this or any matter,” Bellino said, pledging that “any recommendations to improve safety or efficiency will be taken into consideration.”

The road extension construction is to begin, in phases, this spring, Bellino said. He explained federal, state, county and local agencies approved it years ago, and construction was awarded nearly three years ago.

Not good enough, adversaries say.

So, they are redoubling an effort to get 19th District lawmakers – state Sen. Joseph Vitale, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez – along with Rep. Frank Pallone and Middesex County Commission Director Ronald G. Rios to accompany them on site visits.

“(These) representatives should see firsthand how (state and federal) funds they provided are being used, and may adversely impact people in Carteret,” said Thom Ammarato, spokesperson for the opponents.

Federal, state and county officials have helped Carteret accrue tens of millions of dollars in public grants and other financing for the road extension and Carteret’s sweeping redevelopment along its Arthur Kill waterfront.

Nearly two dozen Carteret residents, including parents of local school-age children, showed up at the public meeting to voice concerns about Carteret Avenue Extension, citing safety, noise, and other disruptions to their quiet neighborhood.

“The mayor did not listen to us. He did not address our concerns about safety, or traffic, or noise, or exhaust pollution,” said Wayne Johnson, a Meridian Square tenant spearheading opposition to the road extension. “The meeting lacked any meaningful give and take. That was not the kind of meeting we wanted.”

Floria Butts, another Meridian Square tenant, said she is “disappointed that borough officials did not show any concern for how the increased traffic in the neighborhood will affect children at Columbus School (or) the middle school.”

Among the speakers at the public meeting was Talisa Andrews – pastor of Carteret Revival Church and a local Redevelopment Agency commissioner – who expressed concerns, and said she did not recall that commission being consulted about the road extension.

Addressing pedestrian safety, Bellino said the road extension plan includes “two signalized intersections (with) raised pedestrian crosswalks, crosswalk signals and state (Department of Transportation) safety signage.”

“(These) will provide safe, controlled access, and certainly provide effective traffic-calming along the extension while significantly improving safety over current levels,” Bellino said.

Johnson also took issue with Mayor Reiman’s assertion that Meridian Square’s owners knew about, and approved, the Carteret Avenue extension years ago through the development.

“I checked with our complex’s management. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that they do not want a public street built through their property, and never did,” Johnson said. “If they wanted the road extension, why they (were) in court, fighting the borough’s condemnation of their property?”

Meridian Square’s owners lost their October 2023 court challenge to the road extension.

Superior Court Judge Michael Toto gave Carteret permission to use eminent domain to condemn roughly 800-square-feet of Meridian Square’s property, and 3,000-square-feet of land used as a storm detention basin.

At the heart of this issue: Borough officials say extending Carteret Avenue is crucial for better traffic access to a planned ferry terminal; recreation areas like its marina; and other commercial waterfront redevelopment projects.

“We are not opposed to the waterfront redevelopment. We are opposed to (any) development destroying our, safe, peaceful neighborhood,” said Johnson.

His group also launched a “Save Carteret Avenue” website to keep residents updated.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Will Turn Woodbridge ‘Shamrock Green’ Again

WOODBRIDGE, NJ — The American-Irish Association will proudly present its 50th annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday, March 10th, coming through downtown to thrill scores of spectators.Woodbridge’s parade, known as one of New Jersey’s best and biggest, runs from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.It starts at Woodbridge High School on Samuel Lupo Place. Participants will proceed from Freeman Street and Linden Avenue, along Amboy Avenue to Main Street, where it ends near ...

WOODBRIDGE, NJ — The American-Irish Association will proudly present its 50th annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday, March 10th, coming through downtown to thrill scores of spectators.

Woodbridge’s parade, known as one of New Jersey’s best and biggest, runs from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It starts at Woodbridge High School on Samuel Lupo Place. Participants will proceed from Freeman Street and Linden Avenue, along Amboy Avenue to Main Street, where it ends near Woodbridge Brewing Co., 33 Main St.

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Ahead of its parade, the American Irish Association of Woodbridge has announced 2024 honorees:

● George D. Aston, Grand Marshall – A longtime Avenel resident, Aston has a four-decade career with PSE&G, and is a proud member of UA Local 855, the gasfitters union in Somerville. Aston has served his community as a Woodbridge Planning Board and Environmental Committee member, and as a coach for various basketball, baseball, football, and wrestling leagues and teams. As Grand Marshal, Aston is the chief organizer for the St. Patrick’s Day parade lineup and route.

● Ed Wehrenberg, Irish Man of the Year – Raised in Iselin, Wehrenberg and his wife, Sharon, have lived and raised their family in Colonia since the 1970s. An Army veteran, Wehrenberg retired in 2000 after a three-decade career with Shop-Rite.

● Karen McCrory, Irish Lady of the Year – Raised in Iselin and Edison, she majored in theater arts at Upsala College, East Orange. Besides her work in community theater, McCrory had a 34-year career with the U.S. Postal Service in Metuchen and the United Parcel Service. She and her husband, John Marsicano, are very active in American Irish Association projects.

● Brittany Bader, Miss American Irish – A sophomore at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.

● Alesandra McFadden, Lady in Waiting – A freshman at Arthur L. Johnson High School, in Clark.

Association President Ben Campbell also credits Woodbridge resident Sean R. Daly, and Keven M. McCreary, from Avenel, for their admirable service as 2024’s parade chair and co-chair, respectively. See more from Ben Campbell and Sean Daily at:

While the American Irish Association is best known for its crowd-pleasing St. Patrick’s Day parades, Mayor John E. McCormac also says this civic organization does much more throughout the sprawling community.

It raises money for local charities and scholarships; supports educational initiatives and other fundraisers; and contributes to the town’s year-round food drives for the needy, McCormac says.

Association members routinely volunteer for neighborhood cleanups, and for the town’s “Tooling Around Town” program that does home renovations for senior citizens, veterans, the disabled, and low-income residents.

TAPinto Woodbridge prominently featured the American Irish Association’s 23-year volunteer effort to build free handicap-accessible ramps at homes throughout Woodbridge for senior citizens and others who are disabled. Read: Woodbridge’s ‘Eddie & The Rampers’ Help Neighbors in Need.

Among its other good works, the association also:

● Contributes to the Justin McCarthy Scholarship Fund.

● Maintains Charles Shaughnessy Park in Colonia.

● Visits and provides services to Menlo Park Veteran Home patients.

● Produces a fun-filled “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” event each September.

● Operates the new “Club Pub,” at Acacia Center, 95 Port Reading Ave.

Sponsors for 2024's St. Patrick’s parade includes Woodbridge Brewing Company, San Remo’s, Moby Dicks, Big Shots, Strickland’s Steakhouse, Il Castello, the Reo Diner, The Main Tavern, and other area businesses. All of those, and many more in downtown Woodbridge, will be open on parade day.

Carteret Actress’s New Web Series to Premiere at Garden State Film Fest

CARTERET, NJ — Actress Raven M. Smith, now a first-time filmmaker, will get the spotlight at New Jersey’s largest, internationally-recognized independent film festival.The pilot for Raven’s original comedic web series, “Quarter Life Crisis,” will premiere at the 22nd annual Garden State Film Festival, that runs from March 21–24th at Asbury Park-area venues with film screenings at The Cranford Theater.“Thi...

CARTERET, NJ — Actress Raven M. Smith, now a first-time filmmaker, will get the spotlight at New Jersey’s largest, internationally-recognized independent film festival.

The pilot for Raven’s original comedic web series, “Quarter Life Crisis,” will premiere at the 22nd annual Garden State Film Festival, that runs from March 21–24th at Asbury Park-area venues with film screenings at The Cranford Theater.

“This is a huge deal, and an incredible thrill,” said the 25-year-old actress, who was raised in Carteret and still lives there. “To premiere my (webisode) pilot at this festival is a dream-come-true.”

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“Quarter Life Crisis” will air at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 23rd, at The Cranford Theater, 25 North Avenue West, in Cranford. Smith hopes this screening will help secure a web host for her comedic series.

Raven wrote the original 24-minute pilot’s script in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, and soon after she earned a bachelor’s in fine arts from Montclair State University. She has already penned scripts for five more webisodes, and has other ideas in the hopper.

“Quarter Life Crisis” centers on two, twenty-something roommates, both Manhattan transplants, trying to make it in the big city, and the funny, poignant, and sobering challenges they face.

“In some way, it is a love letter to people my age,” Smith said. “It’s about all the things today’s 20-somethings deal with as they start out.”

The pilot features a six-person ensemble cast, with Raven in a lead role. The cast includes Irvington actor Joshua T. Crockett; Jesse Castellanos and Bradley Satchell, both from Florida; Gwendolyn Torrence, Washington, D.C.; and Mike Yang from China.

Most of the cast are Smith’s former Montclair State classmates and friends. The pilot’s director is John Caccamo from Wall; and the cinematographer is Dylan Tollefson, is from Medford.

Besides her lead role and script-writing, Smith is the webisodes’ executive producer, promoter, and financed the project out-of-pocket.

ABOUT THE ACTRESS

Raven M. Smith says she “fell in love” with writing as a youngster. She wrote two children’s books before age 11, and she began acting in grade school and in church productions.

She performed as a youngster in Easter and Christmas plays at Agape Family Worship Center in Rahway, and later in Carteret High School drama club productions. Smith is a 2016 Carteret High graduate.

At 17, Smith was among a hundred teenagers nationwide accepted to the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy in Florida, an intensive four-day conference that enables high school students to explore a host of career options.

Soon after, she landed a four-week stint in the Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory. “At Rutgers, I realized that acting could be my future, a profession I would love to have,” Smith said.

It’s hard work, and a path Smith is still learning to navigate.

To support herself, she has a full-time job at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, in its ticket & audience services department, and she does freelance voice-over work for a Manhattan production studio.

She is also continuing her education with theater classes at HB Studio in New York, while she continues to write and map out her next moves.

Meanwhile, Raven is building an admirable resumé of film, theater and commercial credits, available on her professional website.

Performing on-stage, Smith says, remains her true passion. “Being on-camera, in film or on TV, is great. But, there’s something lovely about performing in a theater,” Smith said.

“Live theater allows actors to directly connect with an audience, giving people a chance to learn, understand, relate, and identify with a new or a different perspective,” Smith said. “It’s wonderful to give that to an audience.”

Theater – much like “Quarter Life Crisis” – is ensemble-based, something that thrills Smith, who says “there’s so much joy to being part of an ensemble cast as it comes together and works together.”

ABOUT THE FILM FESTIVAL

The Garden State Film Festival celebrates the independent film genre, screening original works by local filmmakers and a host of other worldwide artists.

The 2024 Garden State Film Festival will feature 200 films from 14 countries over four days with screenings, parties, professional panels, special events, and awards, says Lauren Concar Sheehy, the festival’s executive director.

Feature length and short films range from documentaries, comedies, children’s, thrillers, and webcasts; many filmed in New Jersey with local talent.

“Since New Jersey offers so many different kinds of locations and settings; mountains, beaches, cities, farms and more, we see New Jersey appear in so many different films,” Sheehy said in a prepared statement.

For information about the Garden State Film Festival including show times, venues, ticket prices, and its awards dinner on Sunday, March 24th, visit the festival’s website.

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