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Chiropractor in Hazlet, NJ

Chiropractor Hazlet, NJ

What is Chiropractic Care?

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Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to overall wellness and healing that focuses on correcting issues with your musculoskeletal system. When performed by a licensed chiropractor, it can alleviate and even eliminate common problems such as:

  • Back Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Knee Pain
  • Automobile Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Body Aches

To treat your conditions and help reduce your pain, chiropractors use time-tested, hands-on techniques to adjust your spine, neck, back, and other joints throughout your body to restore proper function, mobility, and alignment. Once your body is in proper alignment, it functions optimally, leading to improved overall wellness and health.

Unlike some sports rehab clinics in The Garden State, chiropractors from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific goals and needs relating to your pain and ability to live a normal life. Because our team takes a holistic approach to healthcare, we cover all aspects of your health and wellness when developing your chiropractic treatment plan. That way, we increase your chances of living a fulfilling life free of pain and worry about throwing your back out.

 Back Pain Relief Hazlet, NJ

What are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor in Hazlet, NJ?

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Seeing a chiropractor can quite literally change your life for the better. According to the American Chiropractic Association, in general, chiropractic therapy is a more effective solution for back pain than other treatments like addictive pain pills, surgeries, and yoga. When combined with services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and acupuncture, chiropractic care may be the key you need to open the door to a pain-free life.

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Some of the many benefits of seeing a reliable, licensed chiropractor include the following:

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Relief from Back Pain

Perhaps the most obvious reason to make an appointment with a chiropractor is for back pain relief. Some people only need to see a chiropractor when they have occasional back pain, such as when they wake up in the morning. Others, such as those who have been in serious car accidents, need regular chiropractic adjustments and therapies, which are often supplemented with techniques like physical therapy and acupuncture.

There are many causes of back pain that range from advanced conditions like having sciatica and herniated discs to everyday issues like poor posture and sleeping in a harmful position. Your chiropractor's job is to pinpoint the cause(s) of your back pain and build a customized plan to address your musculoskeletal conditions. Once that happens, pain relief follows shortly after.

At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, we craft personalized chiropractic plans for every patient we treat, with the goal of avoiding harmful surgeries and addictive medicines.

Neck Pain Hazlet, NJ

Relief from Headaches

If you've never experienced a headache in your life, you're exceedingly rare. Just about every American will suffer from a headache at some point or another. For some, headaches only happen occasionally and are not much more than an annoyance. For others, headaches evolve into crippling migraines that can affect quality of life, ability to work, and much more.

If you find yourself digging into a bottle of Aspirin or something stronger when you have a headache, it might be time to visit an NJSSW chiropractor.

Knee Pain Hazlet, NJ

Improved Sleep

Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you didn't sleep a wink the previous night? Do you have to take sleep aides like Ambien in order to drift off to dreamland? If you have chronic back pain, getting a full night's rest is easier said than done. From misaligned spines to improper sleeping posture, your chiropractor in Hazlet can use manipulation therapy and other techniques to boost blood flow and align your vertebrae, so your body can heal itself and help you rest better.

Relief For Sciatica Hazlet, NJ

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

One of the best things about seeing your chiropractor is that when your session is over, you often feel great. The pain relief feels phenomenal. When you're not in pain, you have a more positive outlook on life, and often enjoy better sleep, blood pressure, and even sexual relations. It makes sense, then, that chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, which promotes relaxation and improved mental health.

Pain And Spine Management Hazlet, NJ

Athletic Performance

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we work with a long list of athletes who suffer from sports injuries and other problems that can manifest from being active. For professional athletes, having a trustworthy chiropractor to care for them is needed for their careers. But you don't have to be a pro athlete to benefit from chiropractic care. Ordinary people that enjoy active lifestyles can reap tremendous rewards through chiropractic care, such as improved range of motion and relief from compressed discs.

Whether you enjoy impromptu games of tag football or simply want to play with your kids, seeing a chiropractor can help you be healthy and active without fighting back, neck, and joint pain. That's especially true when chiropractic therapy is used in conjunction with acupuncture, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.ies and addictive medicines.

Back Treatment Hazlet, NJ

Common Chiropractic Techniques

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Your NJ Sports Spine & Wellness chiropractor in Hazlet may use a range of techniques to restore function and alignment in your body. Some of the most common techniques our chiropractors use include:

  • Mobilization: This chiropractic strategy uses gentle movements to help restore joint functionality and proper spinal alignment.
  • Manipulation: Spinal manipulation uses controlled force and gravity to correct spinal issues and restore healthy alignment.
  • Electrical Stimulation: With this therapy, electrical currents are used to stimulate your muscles and help heal injuries faster.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy: This type of massage and other hands-on techniques relieve muscle tension while providing pain relief and promoting soft tissue health.
  • Trigger Point Therapy: With this therapy, the targeted use of pressure is used to release tension and improve functionality across specific areas of your body.
  • Ultrasounds: High-frequency sound waves can break up plaque and help stimulate your body's natural healing processes for injuries and wounds.

Reclaim Your Active Life with Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care

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Life has a habit of being unexpected. Sure, some surprises only hurt your bank account, like last-minute renovations in your home. But severe incidents, like car accidents, can inflict physical injuries that cause you long-term pain. These problems, like neck and back injuries, affect many Americans daily. Even worse, many hardworking people turn to risky surgeries and addictive pain medications, only to find themselves deep in a hole that seems impossible to get out of.

If you suffer from serious range-of-motion issues or you're in chronic pain, it's important to know that you have treatment choices. You don't have to put your health at risk to relieve your pain. One of the most successful non-invasive treatments offered for pain is physical therapy. The main goal of physical therapy is to restore movement and function to patients affected by illness, injury, or disability.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

Once our PTs have made headway, they will often use our chiropractic therapy to provide the patient with more relief. Having the option of both chiropractic and physical therapy is often very effective, because your chiropractor in Hazlet can address nerve irritation and joint dysfunction while your physical therapist helps retrain your musculoskeletal system, allowing your body to heal faster.

Some of the biggest benefits of using physical therapy along with chiropractic care include:

  • Restoring Mobility After Injury, Surgery, or Illness
  • Developing Flexibility and Strength for Physical Activities
  • Safe Relief from Chronic Pain
  • Improved Spine and Joint Health
  • Enhanced Knowledge of Your Body and How to Prevent Injuries
Herniated Disk Treatment Hazlet, NJ
Back Pain Specialist Near Me Hazlet, NJ

Engage in Activities of Daily Living with Occupational Therapy and Chiropractic Therapy

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Occupational therapy, or OT, is to help patients of all ages and abilities engage in activities of daily living, or ADL. Often, that means helping patients reclaim the ability to continue working, going to school, accomplishing day-to-day tasks, or other activities common to daily living.

Occupational therapy can benefit individuals going through many conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, and chronic pain. The end goal of occupational therapy is to help patients achieve the maximum level of independence and participation in their daily lives. If pain, discomfort, weakness, fatigue, or fear prevent you from participating in activities you love, an OT from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness could become the MVP of your wellness journey.

To give our patients the most complete pain relief and recovery options, our doctors and practitioners will often lean on the expertise of both a physical therapist and a chiropractor in Hazlet. By working together, your PT, OT, and chiropractor can provide you with a comprehensive approach to total-body functionality, from your spine and joints to your mind and range of motion.

Some of the most common benefits of using OT with chiropractic care include:

  • Chronic Pain Relief
  • Improvement of Both Physical and Mental, Emotional, or Developmental Disabilities
  • Improved Development of Fine Motor Skills
  • Better Spine and Musculoskeletal Health
  • Help with Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Much More
Back Pain Doctor Near Me Hazlet, NJ

Boost Self-Healing Processes with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care

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Acupuncture boosts your body's functions and helps improve its ability to heal through anatomic site stimulation - usually called acupuncture points or acupoints. To stimulate these points, acupuncturists at NJ Sports Spine & Wellness insert fine, sterile needles into your skin. Most patients don't feel any pain as needles are applied. Typically, needles are left in the skin up to 30 minutes. After your session, it's normal to feel incredibly relaxed.

While some practitioners still adhere to traditional philosophies, modern acupuncturists take an integrative approach to the therapy. Today, professional acupuncturists use these techniques to stimulate your body's natural healing and pain-fighting processes. When coupled with personalized care from a chiropractor in Hazlet as well as physical or occupational therapy, you can find real relief from the physical and emotional roadblocks holding you back. Some of the most reported benefits of acupuncture treatment include:

  • Back, Neck, and General Pain Relief
  • Improved Digestion and Relief from IBS and Acid Reflux
  • Relief from Menstrual Cramps
  • Treatment for Allergies and Asthma
  • Enhanced Blood Flow
  • Much More

During an acupuncture session, you may feel a slight sensation of warmth or tingling at the needle's site of insertion. Generally speaking, acupuncture is painless and perfectly safe for you to consider. In fact, many practitioners and doctors recommend combining acupuncture with other treatment options like chiropractic adjustments.

Though acupuncture and chiropractic therapies come from different origins, both include non-invasive, holistic, and gentle approaches that don't require drugs to work. They also both facilitate total-body healing by addressing the underlying causes of your symptoms - not just the symptoms themselves.

Because acupuncture is known to release endorphins and improve blood flow, having a session prior to a chiropractic adjustment can be very beneficial. That's because, after acupuncture, your muscles are less stiff, more relaxed, and easier to adjust effectively. Over time, as you combine acupuncture and chiropractic therapy, you'll benefit from less inflammation and less pain as you heal from injuries or musculoskeletal conditions. That same truth applies to patients who undergo serious chiropractic adjustments.

Trust the NJ Sports Spine & Wellness Difference

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At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our staff consists of licensed and highly-trained professionals, including specialists focusing on:

  • Pain Management
  • Sports Medicine
  • Chiropractic Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Acupuncture

Contact Us

phone-number732-316-5895

Every member of our team believes that the path to wellness and a pain-free life begins with customized treatment plans that cater to your needs and body. Unlike some chiropractors in Hazlet, we do not treat on-the-surface symptoms with one-size-fits-all therapies. We do not rely on powerful pain medications to mask your pain or invasive surgeries that require weeks of recovery. Instead, we address the root causes of your pain so that we can help you live the happy, healthy life you're craving.

To achieve that goal, we'll conduct an in-depth evaluation to learn about your medical history. We'll also perform diagnostic tests and speak with you one-on-one to get a better sense of your needs. From there, we'll recommend the therapies that can give you a new lease on life and be there for every milestone you hit.

If you're fed up of living with the limits of pain and lack of mobility, we're here to help you break free. Contact our office today to get started.

 Back Pain Relief Hazlet, NJ

Latest News in Hazlet, NJ

Meals On Wheels Program Starts Monday At Hazlet Senior Center

HAZLET, NJ — The closest thing to having a home-cooked meal - with all the fun and none of the prep work - is coming to the Hazlet Senior Center starting Monday.That's when the Interfaith Neighbors' Meals on Wheels lunch program gets underway in town.The first lunch will be served at noon on Monday, July 17, at the James J. Cullen Center, 1776 Union Ave. The lunches are served Mondays to Fridays. You can see the menu ...

HAZLET, NJ — The closest thing to having a home-cooked meal - with all the fun and none of the prep work - is coming to the Hazlet Senior Center starting Monday.

That's when the Interfaith Neighbors' Meals on Wheels lunch program gets underway in town.

The first lunch will be served at noon on Monday, July 17, at the James J. Cullen Center, 1776 Union Ave. The lunches are served Mondays to Fridays. You can see the menu here.

And all Hazlet residents - and nonresidents - age 60 and over are encouraged to join in the group or "congregate" lunches, or to participate in a meal delivery program.

There is a donation of $3 per meal - but it is just a donation, said Senior Center Director Denise Bucciero. Payment is not required.

One requirement, though, is that you need to call by 11 a.m. the day before a lunch to confirm your attendance the next day.

You can call Interfaith Neighbors at 732-888-4876 or the Senior Center at 732-217-8683 to reserve. For the first day, you should call by this Friday at 11 a.m. to get started in the program.

And Bucciero is looking forward to all the good things that can come from the group meals.

"It can be lonely at home. The congregate meals are social," said Bucciero. The meals are a great way to "meet friends and have conversation." And membership in the Senior Center is not required, she added.

Bucciero was familiar with the Interfaith Neighbors program in other towns, and was instrumental in making the arrangements with the organization to bring it to Hazlet. The service comes at no cost to the township, she noted.

Interfaith Neighbors says its program provides a nutritionally balanced noonday meal for approximately 3,500 senior citizens annually. It operates several "congregate" sites, now including Hazlet.

And Cheryl Schmelzle of Hazlet is the other special ingredient in making all of this happen: She will do the cooking.

Schmelzle said she has worked in similar programs in Bayshore towns and was first a volunteer and now a longtime employee of Interfaith Neighbors, which is based in Asbury Park.

The congregate meals are cooked fresh by her at the Senior Center. she said. The delivered meals are prepared in the Asbury Park kitchens and frozen for distribution, she added.

She said there is a brief referral process to go through for the delivered meals, which Interfaith Neighbors volunteers bring to homebound seniors.

Those who want to register for the delivered meals can contact Maria at Interfaith Neighbors at Nutrition Client Intake, 732-775-0525, ext. 221 or email your request to the Nutrition Program Senior Manager, Dante Agresti at dantea@interfaithneighbors.org.

Schmelzle said that once she gets started preparing lunch on Monday, diners can just visit her in the kitchen and let her know what other days they plan to attend.

"This way I get to know everyone," Schmelzle said, adding that diners also can still call in advance.

Plated lunches will be served weekdays at noon. Homebound seniors can order meals through the program and they will be delivered to their homes.

Daily lunch is a $3 donation and should be ordered 24 hours in advance. Special requests are a $4 donation and should be ordered seven days in advance, the township says on its website.

Schmelzle noted that "special" might mean a grilled cheese, rather than the planned meal. She does not prepare meals for special dietary needs, she said. The menu is subject to change, she added, based on food availability.

But Schmelzle doesn't seem worried about the prospect of cooking lots of lunches starting next week.

She said she's worked in programs all around the Bayshore, and often had to switch locations on a day's notice.

"I can adjust just fine!" she said.

'They put everything aside': How you can help Hazlet family helping their son fight cancer

Four-minute readAsbury Park Press0:000:59ADThe deliveries come to the Lupo family home in Hazlet twice a week around dinnertime. On Mondays, it’s pizzas. On Thursdays, the smorgasbord includes chicken parmigiana, buffalo wings, subs and salads.A local Italian place, Giuseppe Pizza & Restaurant, sends the goods gratis. It’s a kind gesture to make life a bit easier for 17-year-old Jack Lupo, his parents and three siblings. Jack has been undergoing chemotherapy for Ewing sarcoma — a ra...

Four-minute read

Asbury Park Press

The deliveries come to the Lupo family home in Hazlet twice a week around dinnertime. On Mondays, it’s pizzas. On Thursdays, the smorgasbord includes chicken parmigiana, buffalo wings, subs and salads.

A local Italian place, Giuseppe Pizza & Restaurant, sends the goods gratis. It’s a kind gesture to make life a bit easier for 17-year-old Jack Lupo, his parents and three siblings. Jack has been undergoing chemotherapy for Ewing sarcoma — a rare cancer found in his right ankle — and is facing a 16-hour surgery Sept. 6.

Childhood cancer is a gut punch for any family. Adding to the Lupos’ hardship, both of Jack’s parents are out of work. His mother Sarah took leave from her job in radiology to be at Jack’s side through the endless appointments and hospital stays at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. His father Mike is a painter who’s been largely sidelined by injuries incurred from a fall off a ladder in 2020.

“It’s been rough,” Sarah Lupo said, “but people have been so incredibly generous.”

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A community is rallying behind them, from multiple local charities to the alumni of his high school hockey team to the guy delivering chicken parm (Jack’s favorite) on Thursdays. The material help makes a difference, and so does the moral support.

“I can’t even explain how much it’s meant to me,” Jack said. “I’m really thankful for what everyone is doing.”

'He knew I was strong enough'

Through three years as a student at St. John Vianney High School, Jack Lupo was living the dream. He’s posted a 3.9 grade-point average while playing varsity ice hockey and lacrosse and holding a job at Grana Pizza Café in Matawan. In May, right after the Lancers’ final lacrosse game, he experienced ankle pain. At first he chalked it up to soreness from the sport. But later, imaging revealed the bad news: It was Ewing sarcoma, a cancer that begins in a bone or joint and typically occurs in children and young adults.

Jack spent the summer undergoing chemotherapy — three cycles of three weeks apiece. Unable to play hockey or lacrosse, he took up the gentler sport of golf to stay active.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now, just taking it day by day,” he said. “I get a little nauseous now and then.”

Right after his diagnosis, Sarah said, Jack told his family members, “God gave me this because He knew I was strong enough.” He’s handled the numerous challenges — fatigue, nausea, isolation (his immune system is compromised during the chemo cycle) and uncertainty — without complaint.

“He’s always smiling and so positive," Sarah said. “If he had hair, you’d never know there was anything wrong.”

A critical step in Jack’s treatment comes Sept. 6, when he'll undergo a 16-hour bone regeneration surgery to remove and replace his right tibia (the main bone between the knee and ankle) with a metal rod that will help regrow the bone over time. Two follow-up surgeries will be needed, plus 10 more rounds of chemotherapy.

“Once we’re done with this, God willing, he can do whatever he did before,” Sarah said.

As with many families in their position, it bothers the Lupos that less than 5% of federal spending on cancer research is devoted to the pediatric forms of the disease. The good news is that goodwill groups are doing their best to fill the gap.

It takes a village

A day after Bob Heugle got a phone call about Jack’s illness, he was at the Lupo home. Heugle never had met them before, but his Frances Foundation, a Holmdel-based nonprofit that assists local pediatric cancer patients and their families, provided gift cards and offers of further financial assistance.

Heugle has seen it all, but even he was taken aback by the Lupos’ reaction.

“They already, at their very first meeting with me, were telling me about how they want to give back to the Frances Foundation,” Heugle said. “The very first meeting, when their kid is just starting the cycles of chemo. That’s what really struck me.”

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Jack will be among the honorees at the Frances Foundation’s annual gala Oct. 21. His whole family will be guests as well.

“Even in the best of times, it’s hard,” Heugle said of the financial strain on pediatric cancer families. “All the parents' priorities go to getting that kid well. They put everything aside — that includes jobs.”

Another local charity, Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, launched an online fundraiser for the Lupos that has raised $42,000 of the $75,000 goal so far. Infinite Love was founded by Middletown resident Andrea Verdone Gorsegner, whose daughter Natalie was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 (Natalie is now 13 and is considered cured).

Earlier this month, participants in the annual St. John Vianney ice hockey alumni charity game dedicated the event to the Lupo family, bringing a big crowd together with Jack in attendance.

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“I want Jack to know how much support he has and how much he inspires other people,” Sarah Lupo said. “I’ll be the first to admit — he is holding us all up.”

The well-worn phrase “it takes a village” certainly applies here. Jack Lupo knows better than anyone. Reflecting on the support from strangers, neighbors, siblings and especially his parents — who set aside everything to help him fight — Jack summarized three brutal months in four wonderful words.

“I truly feel loved.”

You can support the Lupo family fundraiser online at www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTg0MzE4 or by mailing a donation to Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, c/o "Jack Strong" at P.O. Box 4064, Middletown, NJ 07748.

Jerry Carino is community columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the Jersey Shore’s interesting people, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

Important Upgrades For Hazlet Public Works Equipment, Services

With a new street sweeper ready for spring - and plans for curbside bulk pickup - Hazlet's Public Works' plans are coming to fruition.HAZLET, NJ — Hazlet's already well-maintained public spaces are about to get even more help when a new street sweeper goes into action this spring.The new equipment is part of a two- year, approximately $2 million capital program to upgrade Department of Public Works equipment - and services - in this 5.67-square-mile municipality.Over the last two years Hazlet Township’s Dep...

With a new street sweeper ready for spring - and plans for curbside bulk pickup - Hazlet's Public Works' plans are coming to fruition.

HAZLET, NJ — Hazlet's already well-maintained public spaces are about to get even more help when a new street sweeper goes into action this spring.

The new equipment is part of a two- year, approximately $2 million capital program to upgrade Department of Public Works equipment - and services - in this 5.67-square-mile municipality.

Over the last two years Hazlet Township’s Department of Public Works, which is headed by Ken Kruk, has had the opportunity to upgrade its fleet and replace some aging and outdated equipment, the township says.

For the first time in over four years the DPW will have a sweeper that will be out on a regular basis starting in spring 2024, said Business Administrator Robert Bengivenga.

And the equipment is just one among other upgrades being anticipated for delivery, including:

Find out what's happening in Holmdel-Hazletwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

And the Public Works upgrades are all part of the goal to offer more to residents, said Bengivenga.

Over the past two years, he said the Township Committee decided to invest heavily in updating equipment and the facilities of the DPW. With the aid of low interest rates at the time, the $2 million investment is able to cover a lot of needs.

This all fits into the governing body's body vision to offer better services to a broad spectrum of residents - for example, the newly upgraded and appointed Freedom Park (formerly 8th Street Park) provides young people with more play options; initiating Meals on Wheels in the township serves an older population, along with other programs for seniors.

And the new Public Works Department equipment will serve everyone, he said.

Also the Public Works yard at Leocadia Court has been repainted and repaved, Bengivenga said, to add to the DPW sense of pride. "We didn't want potholes," he said, when the public came to use the site.

Providing curbside bulk pickup was a major goal of the Township Committee, he added.

Beginning in the spring, the township will offer two bulk pick-ups a year from residents' homes. Residents will be able to call to make an appointment to have such items as furniture, carpeting or mattresses picked up.

This is all in addition to the many responsibilities of the Public Works staff, which has to oversee not only 77 miles of road but also snow plowing and maintaining storm water inlets and basin repairs; tree trimming: and street sign fabrication and installation, among other duties.

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Where To See Santa In Holmdel-Hazlet This Christmas Season

Santa Claus is coming to Holmdel and Hazlet for Christmas: Check out these stops on his journey.In Holmdel and Hazlet, kids can catch up with Santa at these events:HazletFind out what's happening in Holmdel-Hazletwith free, real-time updates from Patch.WallDec. 2, 3 weekends through Dec. 16, 17: New Jersey Museum of Transportation presents the Christmas Express with Santa, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Fare is $7 for a...

Santa Claus is coming to Holmdel and Hazlet for Christmas: Check out these stops on his journey.

In Holmdel and Hazlet, kids can catch up with Santa at these events:

Hazlet

Find out what's happening in Holmdel-Hazletwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Wall

Dec. 2, 3 weekends through Dec. 16, 17: New Jersey Museum of Transportation presents the Christmas Express with Santa, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Fare is $7 for all. is Located at Allaire State Park on Route 524, Wall. Click the museum's Facebook site for details.

Dec. 10, 17: Historic Allaire Village - Christmas at Allaire from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays, Dec. 10 and 17. See the Village transformed into an enchanting showcase of holiday cheer. Visit includes a surprise visit by Santa Claus. Tickets can be purchased in advance for just $8 per person (children 2 and under admitted for free) or at the door (if available) for $10 (children 2 and under admitted for free). Advanced purchase is highly recommended. See the Village event website for more details.

And you can find other chances to meet with Santa:

Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 Route 9, Freehold Township offers "Experience the Magic of Santa." Children can visit Santa’s winter wonderland at the Lower Level, Zara Court. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase.

Here's how to go about making an appointment: Pre-Booking your visit is recommended to help reduce wait time and it's easy.

There are also special holiday events:

Santa Cares: In partnership with Autism Speaks, the mall has reserved a time for special sensory-friendly Santa experiences. Sunday, Dec. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Pet Night: Bring your favorite pets to see Santa and support the Humane Society with any photo experience on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 4. Please enter and exit via the lower level entrance by Old Navy just prior to, and immediately after, your Santa visit.

Check the mall website for other shopping tips and to learn about partnership of the mall and the United Way of Monmouth & Ocean Counties for winter coat donations.

Monmouth Mall: Eatontown, Routes 35 and 36; Santa is now located in the common area opposite Macy's. You can make reservations here for this holiday tradition and see the full schedule. There is also an opportunity for photos for your pet. See the "Santa Paws" site to book a reservation.

Magic of Lights, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, through Dec. 30. Sundays to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays to Saturdays, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Enjoy visits with Santa at Toyota Holiday Village.

Santa at American Dream: Here are the hours: https://www.americandream.com/photos-with-santa# They also offer pet photos with Santa Sundays: Dec. 3, 10 and 17 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Military Mom Gathers Care Packages For Troops From Hazlet

HAZLET, NJ — Kathy Bossert has a son in the military and comes from a long line of people who have served the country. So she knows how much it means to those in the service to receive a gift from home.So last December, she started what is both a "one-woman show" and a community effort - Hazlet's American Hero Project. She collects gifts, gift cards and more to be mailed to the 24 Hazlet residents currently serving stateside and abroad in the military.She followed up last year's gift collection with one in May f...

HAZLET, NJ — Kathy Bossert has a son in the military and comes from a long line of people who have served the country. So she knows how much it means to those in the service to receive a gift from home.

So last December, she started what is both a "one-woman show" and a community effort - Hazlet's American Hero Project. She collects gifts, gift cards and more to be mailed to the 24 Hazlet residents currently serving stateside and abroad in the military.

She followed up last year's gift collection with one in May for Armed Forces Day. And now she is in the midst of her second holiday collection.

"I love what I do, and I rely on the town and the VFW and the American Legion for donations," Bossert said.

Part of Bossert's inspiration comes from her own family. Her family currently has her son in the Air Force (joining last year) and her nephew in the Navy, and she said her family has had veterans in every generation dating back to the Civil War.

Find out what's happening in Holmdel-Hazletwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

With that legacy behind her, she is now getting to the task at hand.

She is organizing large gift boxes (16"x 16" x 16") that can weigh 25 pounds for all the personnel from Hazlet, no matter where they may serve - from Mogadishu (Somalia) to Missouri.

And she customizes the boxes to the recipient.

For example, her son, Airman First Class Michael Bossert, is currently stationed in Missouri and really likes to get hand warmers, she said. "But I'm not sending those to someone serving in Florida!" she added.

Apart from researching the protocols in each base, she said she has to fill out Customs forms to make sure the packages reach their destinations overseas.

There are Hazlet residents in the Middle East, in Bulgaria, as well as in the United Kingdom and Japan.

She somehow makes this daunting task work - not only with the help of donations, but by working closely with the Post Office, which adds an employee to help her individually to handle the shipping.

Her project gets its following on its Facebook page, but she wants the wider community to know about it too, and to know that she has received thank-you notes from many of the recipients.

The response has been "overwhelming, humbling actually," said Bossert, a 22-year resident of Hazlet and mother of three. The thank-you notes show such gratitude, "it makes me cry," she says.

And bins are out now for collections up to Dec. 1. Then Bossert starts packing the gifts for mailing Dec. 5.

There are seven bins set up around town with the exception of Here We Grow, which is in Keyport, but owned by one of Hazlet's actively serving military. They are:

Bossert explains that each package contains handwritten thank-you cards and also the Scouts and students in town send homemade cards.

"This holiday package, they are receiving Boy Scout popcorn and Halloween candy. I also make sure that each service member receives a $100 Amazon gift card to buy whatever they might need," Bossert said.

Here is the donation "wish list," compiled by those out in the field - her son and his base mates, she said:

An Amazon Wish List can be found at this link.

Also, whatever Bossert can't send or hold over until the next mailing gets donated to a veterans' home in Menlo Park, she said.

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