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:
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.
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.Shedule An Appointment
Some of the many benefits of seeing a reliable, licensed chiropractor include the following:
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.
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.
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 Strathmore 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.
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.
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.
Your NJ Sports Spine & Wellness chiropractor in Strathmore may use a range of techniques to restore function and alignment in your body. Some of the most common techniques our chiropractors use include:
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 Strathmore 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:
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 Strathmore. 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:
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 Strathmore 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:
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.
At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our staff consists of licensed and highly-trained professionals, including specialists focusing on:
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 Strathmore, 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.
The “Hip Hop Nutcracker” is the new Nutcracker standard as far as I’m concerned. The original 19th-century classic, adapted from an E.T.A. Hoffman story and set to Tchaikovsky’s score, has since become a Christmas time mainstay, and now it’s been given a fresh, evocative, and totally funky update. From what I could tell, the audience certainly responded. It was a party at the Strathmore with plenty of orchestrated clapping, dancing in the aisles, and even a little “Rapper’s Delight.”...
The “Hip Hop Nutcracker” is the new Nutcracker standard as far as I’m concerned. The original 19th-century classic, adapted from an E.T.A. Hoffman story and set to Tchaikovsky’s score, has since become a Christmas time mainstay, and now it’s been given a fresh, evocative, and totally funky update. From what I could tell, the audience certainly responded. It was a party at the Strathmore with plenty of orchestrated clapping, dancing in the aisles, and even a little “Rapper’s Delight.”
…fresh, evocative, and totally funky update…It really is a delightful two hours…a performance that isn’t afraid to play with a few traditions in order to create some bold new ones.
The show begins with a lively introduction from the evening’s MC, none other than rap pioneer Mr. Kurtis Blow. It was a triumph of nostalgia as the production opened. Blow brought the audience along on a mini hip-hop journey for the ages. His old school rewind hit all the right notes, “Rapper’s Delight,” “Hip Hop Hooray,” “Just a Friend,” “Jump Around.” Iconic classics spun to perfection by DJ Boo accompanying Blow’s bring-the-house-down renditions.
Scanning the audience, you could immediately tell this was a fond Gen-X moment, with their children, and yes, grandchildren, looking on in awe likely wondering how all these 45+ year-olds knew the words…and the moves.
After warming up the multigenerational crowd, Kurtis Blow turned it over to violinist Vivek Menon whose electrifying violin technique really set the tone for the rest of the performance. Most are familiar with the basic plot of the original ballet. Nutcracker comes to life, a Christmas “battle” ensues between the gingerbread soldiers and the mice led by the Mouse King, a bewildered young Clara looking on. The mice are defeated, the Nutcracker is transformed into a Prince, and he and Clara are whisked off to the delectable domain of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker sticks with a similar plot while adding in a few modern-day twists: the Nutcracker (Gabriel Emphasis) is now a street vendor. In defense of Maria-Clara (Ann-Sylvia Clarke), the Nutcracker defeats the Mouse King (Randi “Rascal” Freitas, who seemed to be having the time of her life on stage) with the help of Drosselmeyer (the show-stealing Lisa “LBoogie” Bauford) and a pair of red magic sneakers, calling up a definite Dorothy in Oz kind of vibe. The Land of Sweets is now a throwback nightclub, and Maria-Clara ultimately helps her on-the-verge of divorcing parents reconcile.
The show, adapted by Mike Fitelson, deftly blends contemporary themes with the classic roots of this performance. But what it all comes down to, of course, is the dancing. The dancers are expressive; they’re willing to leave it all on the floor; and they compel audiences to want to get up and move. Hip hop set to Tchaikovsky is an experience that you can only truly appreciate firsthand. The fun the ensemble has is unbelievably contagious. Director and choreographer Jennifer Weber provides a distinctively creative point of view here, and it serves the performance well.
There are just so many elements that come together to make The Hip Hop Nutcracker work. The costumes (original design by Whitney Adams) help define hip-hop culture as set against this particular backdrop. They are clever plays on more conventional interpretations of how Nutcracker dancers are generally costumed. Brandon Stirling Baker’s lighting design plays tricks with just about every aspect of the stage and does so brilliantly. And then of course, we have Moe Shahrooz’s inspired video design. The scenes for the performance are established through projected images of city streets and other such backdrops, some prove downright magical—it snows, ornamented Christmas trees spring up out of nowhere—the magic of tech meets the magic of Christmas.
It really is a delightful two hours as you get to see a performance that isn’t afraid to play with a few traditions in order to create some bold new ones.
Running time: Two hours including a twenty-minute intermission.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” runs through December 22, 2022 presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center at The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852. For more information and tickets on this and upcoming events, go online. on upcoming events at the Strathmore, click here. Strathmore encourages wearing masks inside their buildings.
A man who grew up going to the movies at the Bow Tie Strathmore Cinemas now plans to convert the space into a craft beer brewery and pub.|Updated Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 4:04 pm ETThe beloved Bow Tie. (Google Earth)Alternate Ending's Juicy IPA, which will be on tap. (Provided)ABERDEEN, NJ — New Jersey's craft brewery movement has come to Aberdeen: A man who grew up going to the movies at the Bow Tie Strathmore Cinemas now plans to take over the space and convert the Bow Tie into a craft brew pub and restau...
|Updated Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 4:04 pm ET
The beloved Bow Tie. (Google Earth)
Alternate Ending's Juicy IPA, which will be on tap. (Provided)
ABERDEEN, NJ — New Jersey's craft brewery movement has come to Aberdeen: A man who grew up going to the movies at the Bow Tie Strathmore Cinemas now plans to take over the space and convert the Bow Tie into a craft brew pub and restaurant.
But for those who love the longtime local movie theater, don't completely despair: They will still be showing free movies at the new brewery, once it opens.
The brewery will be called Alternate Ending and they plan to open in the spring of 2020, said business owner Scott Novick, who grew up in Morganville.
Like many area residents, he remembers going to "the Bow Tie" as a kid. Currently, Novick lives in Colts Neck, where he's been brewing beer in his backyard for the past six years.
"I never thought I would be doing this, but this is just a dream come true. The space at the Bow Tie just fell into my lap," said Novick, 38. "I always had dreams of opening up my own brewery, so when I heard through friends there was possibly an opening at Bow Tie, I knew I had to do it. I always thought that would be a cool space for a brewery."
The popular Bow Tie, located on Rt. 34 in Aberdeen, is expected to close at the end of this summer.
"We have gotten some negative feedback from the community on losing the theater," he admitted. "It's sad for me, because I went there, too as a kid. And everyone loves their 'Rocky Horror' midnight movies and stuff like that."
"But we really want to keep the community happy. We're keeping the marquis up on Rt. 34 and we're going to still show movies at the brewery," he continued. "More like quirky, old-school movies like 'Dr. Strangelove' and kids' movies like 'Mulan.' We're completely gutting the interior. It will still have that theater aspect, but we're going to make it more modern."
"I envision the brewery as a place where families can come and get some delicious food, kick back with a few beers, have their kids watch a movie and just relax," he said.
Now let's talk about the beer!
Novick is a self-described "beer nerd." After college, he got a job in his field working in commercial operations for Nickelodeon and VH1. But he loves beer and always had dreams of working in that industry. When a round of layoffs came, Novick said he volunteered.
"I got a big severance package and I knew this was my chance," he said.
Immediately after losing his job, Novick signed up for an online course at a beer brewing school in Vermont. He also got a five-week apprenticeship working at Jughandle Brewing in Tinton Falls. From there, he was hired to work at Other Half Brewing Company in Brooklyn, one of the biggest IPA breweries in the country. He was so eager to get his foot in the door, he volunteered for an overnight shift cleaning the kegs.
"I loved it. I could have stayed there forever and kept learning about the beer-making process," said Novick.
But the long commute into the city and his frequent overnight shifts started to drain on his family. His wife wanted him to find a job closer to home. Novick had always dreamed of opening his own brewery. When he heard the owners of Bow Tie wanted to end their lease, he seized the chance.
"We were able to acquire a liquor license as a restricted brewery, which is pretty rare," said Novick. "There are only about 20 of those in the state that have that. It means we're allowed to serve food, show sporting events and have private parties."
All the beer they serve will be brewed in house.
"We're definitely going to be IPA focused. We've been working on a stout recipe for almost six years now and we think we've perfected it. We'll have five or six IPAs on tap, two different stouts and hopefully some sours," he said. "We haven't hired a chef yet, but the food will be high-end gourmet casual."
New Jersey's craft breweries are definitely having a "moment," with the state giving out more licenses and encouraging their growth. There's Jughandle in Tinton Falls, Raritan Bay Brewing Company in Keansburg, Belford Brewing and a farmhouse brewery is supposed to open soon in Colts Neck, called Source Brewing.
Novick couldn't be happier.
"Breweries are conducive to families. It's fun: You can go and have a beer or two and not get drunk. I envision local families coming in here for a Sunday brunch, having a beer brewed in Aberdeen or a mimosa while a movie plays in the background. I'm just so excited. I get goosebumps thinking about our soft opening."
Their website is aebeer.com and you can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @aebeerco.
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ABERDEEN - The projector is off at Bow Tie Strathmore Cinemas in Aberdeen.The cinema's sign is covered. A township building permit for the interior's demolition, dated last Thursday, is on the door.Replacing the Strathmore at 1055 Route 34 will be the craft brewery and brew pub Alternate Ending Beer Co. ...
ABERDEEN - The projector is off at Bow Tie Strathmore Cinemas in Aberdeen.
The cinema's sign is covered. A township building permit for the interior's demolition, dated last Thursday, is on the door.
Replacing the Strathmore at 1055 Route 34 will be the craft brewery and brew pub Alternate Ending Beer Co. The pub is expected to open in the spring of 2020.
Mayor Fred Tagliarini said the building's landlord expects to start the renovation process next month. Nearby stores also will have new facades too.
"The stores will have a matching look to the restaurant," Tagliarini said. "He is going to renovate the entire shopping center."
Alternate Ending plans to split the 9,000-square-foot building down the middle, with half dedicated to its production space and half for the taproom, which will seat approximately 150 people with additional standing capacity.
Founder and head brewer Scott Novick has said the taproom will also include a room with a 250-inch movie screen for playing classic films, kids' movies and newer releases for free on at least a weekly basis. It also will be available for private parties and corporate events.
Bow Tie Cinemas has owned the Strathmore since 2012, when it took over from Clearview Cinemas. But the building has been a movie theater for decades.
"We are sorry to see it go, but then at the same time, we always appreciate new business coming into town," Tagliarini said. "I guess they just can't compete with the lounge chair theaters, as I call them.
"It certainly has served its purpose over the years," the mayor said.
The Strathmore also was the former home to Friday Nite Specials, the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” performance troupe that’s been celebrating the 1975 cult classic musical with weekly midnight Friday screenings since December 2004.
The show has now been relaunched at Bow Tie's Red Bank theater.
Spot a construction project in Monmouth or Ocean counties and want to know What's Going There? Contact business writer David P. Willis at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will look into it for a future column. Meanwhile, stay in touch with the latest developments: Join the What's Going There Facebook group and subscribe to APP.com today.
With another season of bowling on the horizon, it’s never too early to start looking ahead.NJ Advance Media has highlighted some of the key dates for the upcoming boys and girls bowling seasons.This page will be updated throughout the season with recaps of the tournaments around the state. Directors and coaches are encouraged to email us results so recaps can be posted.Let us know if we are missing a tournament. Opening Day is November 27.BOWLING DATES TO KEEPIN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS...
With another season of bowling on the horizon, it’s never too early to start looking ahead.
NJ Advance Media has highlighted some of the key dates for the upcoming boys and girls bowling seasons.
This page will be updated throughout the season with recaps of the tournaments around the state. Directors and coaches are encouraged to email us results so recaps can be posted.
Let us know if we are missing a tournament. Opening Day is November 27.
Dec. 2: Marisa Tufaro Classic (at Majestic Lanes)
Dec. 4: Greg Rottengen Tournament (at Oakwood Lanes)
Dec. 8: Tom Irwin Memorial Crusader Classic (at Bowler City)
Dec. 9: Edison Township Classic (at Majestic Lanes)
Dec. 9: Rule the River Classic (at Ocean Lanes)
Dec. 9: Westfield Blue Devil Classic (at Jersey Lanes)
Dec. 16: Charles A. Simon Baker Challenge (at Majestic Lanes)
Dec. 16: Roll With the Indians Tournament (at Ocean Lanes)
Jan. 6: Brick Tournament (at Ocean Lanes)
Jan. 13: Baker Bonanza (at Bowler City)
Jan. 13: Central Jersey Winter Classic (at Bowlero North Brunswick)
Jan. 20: Ewing Devils Den Co-Ed Invitational (at Slocum Lanes)
Jan. 20: Game of Throws Tournament (at 30 Strikes)
Jan. 20: Woodbridge Classic (at Majestic Lanes)
Jan. 27: Battle at Bristol Tournament (at Bristol Pike)
Jan 27: Lakewood Scotch Doubles (at Ocean Lanes)
Feb. 3: Joe Romer Memorial Tournament (at Bowlero North Brunswick)
Feb. 3: South Jersey Singles Classic (at Ocean Lanes)
Feb. 10: South Jersey Super Bowl (at Ocean Lanes)
Dec. 20: Olympic Conference Holiday Bowl (at Laurel Lanes)
Dec. 21: NJAC Tournament (at Sparta Lanes)
Jan. 12: Passaic County Tournament (at Parkway Lanes)
Jan. 16, 18: Union County Individual Tournament (at Jersey Lanes)
Jan. 17: Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament (at Oakwood Lanes)
Jan. 18-19: NJTAC Tournament (at Bowlero-North Brunswick)
Jan. 19: Union County Teams Tournament (at Jersey Lanes)
Jan. 25: Morris County Tournament (at Rockaway Lanes)
Jan. 27: Bergen County Girls Team Tournament (at Bowler City)
Jan. 29, 30: Greater Middlesex Conference Individual Tournament (at Majestic Lanes)
Jan. 30: Ocean County Tournament (at Ocean Lanes)
Feb. 1: Burlington County Scholastic League Open (at Laurel Lanes)
Feb. 3: Bergen County Boys Team Tournament (at Bowler City)
Feb. 1: HCIAL Championship (at Bowl Rite)
Feb. 1, 5, 6, 7: Greater Middlesex Conference Team Tournament (at Majestic Lanes)
Feb. 5: Hudson County Boys Team Tournament (at Hudson Lanes)
Feb. 6: Bergen County Boys Individual Tournament (at Bowler City)
Feb. 6: Essex County Team Tournament (at Hanover Lanes)
Feb. 6: Shore Conference Individual Tournament (at Ocean Lanes)
Feb. 6: Tri-County Conference Showcase (at 30 Strikes in Stratford)
Feb. 8: Bergen County Girls Individual Tournament (at Montvale Lanes)
Feb. 8: Hudson King & Queen Tournament (at Bowl Rite)
Feb. 8: Shore Conference Boys Team Tournament (at Ocean Lanes)
Feb. 8: Skyland Conference Tournament (at Oakwood Lanes)
Feb. 5: Hudson County Girls Team Tournament (at Hudson Lanes)
Feb. 13: Essex County Individual Tournament (at Hanover Lanes)
Feb. 13: NJIC Tournament (at Parkway Lanes)
Feb. 15: Shore Conference Girls Team Tournament (at Ocean Lanes
TBD Monmouth County Tournament (at Strathmore Lanes)
TBD Bayshore Holiday Classic (at Strathmore Lanes)
Feb. 14: State Team Tournament Round 1 (at higher seed)
Feb. 20: State Team Tournament Semifinals (at higher seed)
Feb. 23: State Team Tournament Finals (at higher seed)
Feb. 24: North 1 Sectionals (at Bowler City)
Feb. 24: North 2 Sectionals (at Bowlero North Brunswick)
Feb. 24: Central Jersey Sectionals (at Bowlero North Brunswick)
Feb. 24: South Jersey Sectionals (at Laurel Lanes)
Feb. 27: State Team Semifinals and Finals (at Bowlero North Brunswick)
Feb. 29: State Individual Championships (at Bowlero North Brunswick)
The N.J. High School Sports newsletter now appearing in mailboxes 5 days a week. Sign up now and be among the first to get all the boys and girls sports you care about, straight to your inbox each weekday. To add your name, click here.
HOWELL - Jerry Lewis has nothing on the parents at Mother Seton Academy.While the late comedian made a name as the multimillion-dollar fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, these Catholic school parents are forging their own reputation for gathering contributions for a good cause: their kids’ education....
HOWELL - Jerry Lewis has nothing on the parents at Mother Seton Academy.
While the late comedian made a name as the multimillion-dollar fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, these Catholic school parents are forging their own reputation for gathering contributions for a good cause: their kids’ education.
Less than two months after the Diocese of Trenton announced that the pre-K-to-eighth-grade school would be closing in June because of a $140,000 debt, parents say they have raised more than $103,000 and hope to top $250,000 before they’re done.
“We really went grassroots, and it is very old school,” said Andrea DeMarco Lopes, whose son, Preston, is a seventh grader. “We’re knocking on doors, canvassing and getting our children involved.”
'We were blindsided':Parents organize to try to save Mother Seton Academy in Howell
Diocese officials say there has been no change in the plan to close the school, but stressed it is up to the local pastors at St. Aloysius Parish in Jackson and St. Veronica Parish in Howell that operate the school.
Neither pastor has responded to requests for comment or shown an indication that more fundraising could head off a closure.
But parents are not backing down.
Just days after the diocese announced on Dec. 31 that the school would close at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, citing the deficit and claims of an untenable financial situation, parents went into action.
After holding a meeting that drew dozens of moms and dads, they began an outreach campaign, launched a Facebook page (Save Mother Seton Academy) and created a nonprofit organization named Friends of Mother Seton Academy.
“We have walked into businesses and asked for donations and people are reaching out to their landscaper, their dog walker, anyone who provides them services,” DeMarco Lopes said. “It is all tax deductible.”
A slew of events are being held, ranging from a Facebook telethon set for Sunday to a pancake breakfast slated for Feb. 27 at the Knights of Columbus in Jackson. Among the guests of honor at the breakfast will be Christie Pearce Rampone, the Olympic soccer champ and Point Pleasant product.
Catholic education:Christian Brothers Academy appoints first lay person as president
Other scheduled happenings include canning drives on Saturday and Sunday outside Big City Bagels in Howell, and a Polar Bear Plunge on March 5 in Sea Bright in which volunteers will brave the cold for sponsored donations.
“It makes me feel good,” said Kristanne Leggio, a mother of two Mother Seton students, referring to the donations that have come so far. “We are looking for an angel donor, that one philanthropic person. We have a ton of support and people are giving what they can.”
The Diocese of Trenton, which oversees the grade school, cited enrollment declines from 300 to 126 students in just the past two years, along with the debt, when the closing announcement occurred at the end of December.
Specifically, it was the decision of the two local parishes that operate the school and their pastors that it be closed. Those are the Rev. John P. Bambrick of St. Aloysius Parish in Jackson and the Rev. Peter J. Alindogan of St. Veronica Parish in Howell.
“As co-directors of Mother Seton Academy, we write to you today to announce a sad, but unavoidable decision about the future of our school,” the pastors said in a letter to parishioners and parents last month. "After careful analysis of enrollment and financial challenges; consultation with advisers at the parish and diocesan levels, and prayerful discernment of any available options, we must formally announce the closing of Mother Seton Academy at the end of the present school year.”
But dozens of parents believe they can make up the difference when it comes to funding.
“It is a lot of arbitrary decision-making being made and never coming to the stakeholders,” Leggio said about the closing plan. “They didn’t even give us any options.”
Among the major donations are those from a long list of local businesses, according to DeMarco Lopes, who said parents are asking those businesses they use regularly and walking into local shops for direct requests.
“I know it has been in the community for a long time and we have friends whose children go there. I wanted to help if I could lend a hand,” said Keith Strathmore, owner of Strathmore Air Conditioning in Old Bridge, who gave $1,000. “Every little bit helps. If it was a church I was a part of and it was going through it, I would hope some stranger would do the same thing.”
Tony Conte, owner of Tony C Landscaping in Barnegat, agreed after giving his own donation: “My grandchildren go there, it is a great school, and there are not a lot of Catholic Schools around. It is a shame, hopefully they can get all of that money.”
Then there are the videos that are strewn throughout the Foundation’s Facebook page, with images of students explaining their love of the school and asking for contributions.
Under the terms of the nonprofit status, the Friends of Mother Seton Academy is not spending any of the money being collected until a decision is made to keep the school open. If that occurs, it would be donated to the school’s operation, organizers said. If it does not remain open, it would all be returned.
“Our goal is to raise as much as possible,” said DeMarco Lopes. “Ultimately our goals is looking at $250,000 to $500,000, going to the bishop and telling them what we have raised.”
But diocese spokesperson Rayanne Bennett stressed that it is not up to the diocese to decide, noting it is the local pastors who have the final say.
Leggio hopes that enough money can be raised to make it difficult for the local pastors to close the school: “If we had $500,000 in the bank they would have a hard time saying it’s a no-go.”
Joe Strupp is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience who covers education and several local communities for APP.com and the Asbury Park Press. He is also the author of three books, including Killing Journalism on the state of the news media, and an adjunct media professor at Rutgers University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Reach him at email@example.com and at 732-413-3840. Follow him on Twitter at @joestrupp