More than $325 million of federal funding will be used to provide financial assistance and counseling for homeowners financially impacted by COVID-19. The Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) will assist eligible homeowners with up to $35,000 in aid. The funds for the program have been allocated by Congress from the Homeowner Assistance Program within the federal stimulus American Rescue Plan.

To be eligible for financial assistance, families must have suffered a COVID-19 related financial hardship occurring after Jan. 20, 2020, such as increased expenses due to child care or funeral expenses, or lost income such as having lost a job. To be eligible, a family must earn less than 150% of their respective county’s median income.

To check qualifications, visit FY 2021 Homeowner Assistance Fund Income Limits. ERMA will also provide free housing counseling services to help homeowners apply for this program. Counselors will guide them through all available options, and even work with their loan servicers to achieve the best outcome possible for their family. These counselors will also ensure that the process is accessible to those without access to the internet or those having difficulties navigating the process.

For assistance applying for the program, call 855-647-7700 or email HAFServicing@njhmfa.gov.

For a list of free housing counselors who can help with the application, visit tinyurl.com/HAFcounselor.

Applications for assistance can be submitted at njerma.com

 

 

Middle-schoolers are invited to four academic competitions by students at Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison.

The first, a virtual event on Feb. 26, is an Informatics Competition sponsored by the Edison Academy Computer Club. Competitors will have their computer science knowledge tested, including in a programming contest. Both novice and experienced students are invited. More information is available at http://mcaic2022.com/.

Quiz Bowl will be held March 12 at the Edison Academy, 100 Technology Dr., on the campus of Middlesex College, Edison. It is a “Jeopardy!”-like competition. Teams of up to six students, with four playing at any one time, will be quizzed on general knowledge, including history, science, literature, arts and more. Top teams will qualify for the Middle School National Championship Tournament to be held in Rosemont, Illinois, in May. More information is available at https://hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25765.

The Edison Academy Science League will host its second Science Bowl at the academy on March 26. The team competition will use a buzzer system to test competitors on the physical sciences. For information, visit https://mcasciencebowl.org/.

The third annual Edison Academy Middle School Math Competition will be held April 30. In addition to using critical thinking and logical reasoning skills, students will be required to collaborate with teammates and to show an ability to learn new ideas. More information is available at https://mcamc.tech/.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has campuses in East Brunswick, Edison, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and Woodbridge, offering 36 career majors. More information is available at www.mcvts.net.

 

 

 

 

 

Sacred Heart Church will hold its second annual virtual tricky tray.

Drop off tickets to play in person at Memorial Hall, 531 Washington Ave., South Amboy.

Dropoff ticket days and times are: Wednesdays, April 13, 20 and 27 from 6-8 p.m.; April 22 from 6-8 p.m.; April 23 from 3-6 p.m.; and April 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Purchase a presale bundle for $60, a $10 discount. No bundle packs will be sold at the door. Ticket sheets and additional raffles will be available at the event for cash only.

Masks and social distancing required.

Virtual ticket pulling starts at 6 p.m. April 29, livestreamed from the church’s website and Facebook page.

For more information, call the parish office at 732-721-0040 or email sheart224@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morris Habitat for Humanity will celebrate its virtual Hearts & Hammers Gala from 6-7:15 p.m. Feb. 26 in lieu of an in-person event. The evening will raise funds for the construction of 50 homes for 50 families in Old Bridge, Randolph, Summit, Plainfield, Perth Amboy and Long Valley.  

Attendees will hear directly from Habitat homeowner families who will share their stories, as well as honorees, volunteers and sponsors who have helped make Morris Habitat’s life-changing work possible.

The 17th annual celebration, hosted by Toni Yates of WABC-TV, will also feature new construction projects, plans for the future, a silent auction, and ways people can get involved.

Gala honorees for 2022 include: Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (NJ-19) with the Leadership Award; Sean Monaghan of Schenck, Price, Smith & King with the Professional Partner Award; Carol Anderson-Lewis, Elizabeth Rifino and Headley Weeks with the Donald H. Kuhn Inspiration Award; and David Farrell, immediate past president of the Morris Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, with the Beth Everett Award.

To learn more, register or sponsor the virtual gala, visit Hearts & Hammers Gala – Saturday, Feb. 26 2022 – Morris Habitat for Humanity or call Stephanie Buonarota at 973-891-1934. 

 

 

 

 

Centraljersey.com will hold a Health & Wellness Expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at MarketFair, 3535 Route 1 south, Princeton.

For tickets, visit nmg.ticketleap.com/CJ22

For vendor opportunities, email events@newspapermediagroup.com

Centraljersey.com/Newspaper Media Group/Packet Media LLC publish this chain of weekly newspapers and monthly magazines.

 

 

 

Right at Home of Central New Jersey will hold a free COVID-19 Booster Shot Clinic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 1 at the Old Bridge office, 1405 Route 18.

The clinic is open to the public and will offer first dose, second dose and booster shots of Moderna and Pfizer.

The flu shot and the shingles shot will also be available.

In accordance with New Jersey Executive Order 283 signed by Gov. Phil D. Murphy on Jan. 19, covered workers at health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than March 30. This requirement includes having received a booster dose.

Healthcare workers are encouraged to attend on March 1 but the clinic is open to the community.

Must bring a driver’s license or identification, insurance card and COVID-19 vaccine card.

Vaccinations are by appointment only.

To register, visit https://bit.ly/Booster_Bus_Registration

For more information, call 732-967-0900.

 

 

The Sayreville Public Library will hold a workshop on Phones and E-Reader Devices for Beginners at 6 p.m. March 1 at the library, 1050 Washington Road, Parlin section of Sayreville. Learn about apps, downloading and basic functions.

The library will then offer Computer Basics for Beginners at 6 p.m. March 8 at the library. Learn the basics about computer usage, such as using the mouse, basic emails, how to upload, and how to download documents, then join an interactive workshop.

Register online at sayrevillelibrary.org or call 732-727-0212, ext. 112.

 

 

Our Lady of Victories (OLV) Knights of Columbus and Columbiettes will hold their Lenten Take Out Fish Fry at the Knights of Columbus, 775 Washington Road, Parlin section of Sayreville.

The menu includes fried flounder platters, shrimp platters and combo platters, all which include salad, vegetable, french fries and dessert.

Also available are fish sandwiches with french fries.

Dinner is takeout only.

Times are 4:30-7 p.m. March 2, 11, 18 and 25; and April 1, 8 and 15.

 

 

 

 

 

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.

The group setting of NAMI Family-to-Family provides mutual support and shared positive impact – experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation.

Through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), learn

  • How to solve problems and communicate effectively
  • Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
  • Supporting your loved one with compassion
  • Finding and using local supports and services
  • Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
  • How to handle a crisis
  • Current treatments and therapies
  • The impact of mental health conditions on the entire family

Sessions through NAMI Middlesex County will be held virtually from 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays, March 9 to April 27, virtually. A Zoom tutorial will be held March 2; attendance is optional.

Register at www.naminj.org/programs/f2f/

 

 

Girls on the Run of Central New Jersey is seeking coaches for its spring season.

Girls on the Run is a physical, activity-based, positive youth development program for girls in grades 3-8. The eight-week program incorporates running to teach critical life skills, encourage personal development and foster team building and community service.

Volunteer coaches use a curriculum to engage teams of girls in fun, interactive lessons.

Coaches do not need to be runners but are required to be at least 18 years old to serve as an assistant or 21 years old to serve as a head coach.

All volunteer coaches must complete a background check and attend a training session.

Teams meet twice a week for 75 minutes and the program culminates with all teams participating in a 5K event in June.

Girls on the Run of Central NJ currently serves girls at 117 sites in Camden, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties.

For more information, visit www.gotrcnj.org/Coach or contact Executive Director Donna York at donna.york@girlsontherun.org.

 

 

To be eligible for nomination and consideration for the Old Bridge High School Wall of Fame, candidates must have:

Graduated from one of Old Bridge’s high schools: Madison Township, Madison Central, Cedar Ridge, Old Bridge Adult High School or Old Bridge High School.

Achieved notable employment/career achievements within their chosen fields.

Exhibited civic and/or community accomplishments through service, volunteer work, philanthropic endeavors, or have received notable local, state, or national honors.

Graduated a minimum of five years prior to nomination.

Nomination forms may be filled out at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7bKCJrldMUOOD8M0xrkhaDibsMwpO9lDuGHT6Pas-KhUNFVETUlXUVdUQ01BQkRUOTY2Q0UwUE5DRy4u

Complete by March 15.

For more information, email sfazio@obps.org.

 

 

United Methodist Women will hold a St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Dinner from 6-8 p.m. March 19 at Sayreville United Methodist Church, 406 Main St., Sayreville.

The cost is $12 for a corned beef dinner, or $10 for spaghetti and meatballs.

The dinner includes boiled potatoes, boiled cabbage and carrots, rye bread or a roll, beverage and dessert.

Dinner will be takeout.

To reserve, call Winsome at 732-432-9072.

 

 

 

 

 

The 45th annual South Amboy St. Patrick’s Day Parade is set to begin at 2 p.m. March 20.

The parade will feature more than 23 bands and over 2,000 marchers. Parade participants will begin lining up at 1 p.m. on South Pine Avenue.

The parade will provide spectators with a multi-cultural array of entertainment, including various pipe and drum bands, the sounds of Salsa music, a steel drum band and the Philadelphia Mummers String Band.

South Amboy resident Tom Dempsey will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. He and his wife Phyllis were the owners of Phyllis’ Sugar Bowl which offered residents homemade chocolates and ice cream for over 28 years at its former location on Broadway in South Amboy.

For additional parade information or to register an organization as a 2022 parade participant, visit www.southamboyparade.com.

 

 

To help keep shelves stocked, Replenish, in partnership with the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners and the Middlesex County Superintendent of Schools, is hosting the 2022 Middlesex County Spring School Food Drive.

Individuals can drop off donations at public schools throughout the county from March 21 through April 1.

Monetary donations are accepted in the form of a check payable to “Feeding Middlesex County.” Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 781, Edison 08818.

Or, donations can be made online at www.feedingmiddlesexcounty.org.

 

 

 

CentralJersey.com will present Ladies Night Spring Preview from 5:30-9 p.m. March 24 at MarketFair, 3535 Route 1, Princeton.

General admission to this vendor and fashion show event is free.

A limited number of VIP Experience tickets are available for $25. Includes cocktail and appetizers at MarketFair, entry into the grand prize drawing, and other exclusive offers.

Pre-registration is preferred by visiting nmg.ticketleap.com/spring22

For information on vendor opportunities, email michelle@newspapermediagroup.com

CentralJersey.com/Newspaper Media Group/Packet Media LLC publish a series of weekly newspapers and bimonthly magazines, including this publication.

 

 

 

Recognizing the bravery and commitment of volunteer firefighters and first responders, New Jersey American Water announces its 2022 grant program for volunteer fire departments and emergency responders (ambulance and first aid squads) located within the company’s service areas.

Grants may be used to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, communications gear, first aid equipment, firefighting tools, vehicle maintenance and other materials that will be used to support volunteer firefighter and emergency responder operations.

Reimbursement for specific training courses, including the cost of training manuals, student workbooks, and instructors is also eligible.

To apply, organizations must complete the online application, located at www.newjerseyamwater.com, under News & Community, Community Involvement.

The maximum grant amount awarded to any organization is $2,000 and the deadline to apply is March 31. 

Interested applicants can find more information and apply online at www.newjerseyamwater.com/community.

Grant recipients will be notified by the end of April.

 

 

The New Jersey Jazz Society has launched its new Juried Scholarship Competition 2022.

This competition will award a $1,000 prize in each of two categories: Classic Jazz and Original Composition.

The competition is open to all college students currently enrolled in a New Jersey college undergraduate music program.

Along with the cash award, winners will receive guidance, mentorship, and the opportunity to perform with an industry professional. The winners will also receive coverage in Jersey Jazz Magazine.

Submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. March 31. 

For details, visit https://njjs.org/scholarshipprogram/.

 

 

 

T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka are kicking off the fourth Changemaker Challenge in search of the next generation of young disruptors, trailblazers and entrepreneurs with bold ideas for driving digital empowerment, putting equity into action and mobilizing for a thriving planet.

Through March 31, teens ages 13-18 located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico can submit their game-changing projects for the chance to win grants and mentorship to help grow their ventures.

Fifteen winners will be selected for the chance to win up to $15,000 in seed funding and an all-expenses paid trip to T-Mobile headquarters to participate in the three-day Changemaker Lab later this year.

To learn more, visit www.t-mobile.com/news/community/changemaker-challenge-2022

 

 

 

The NAMI New Jersey Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Network hosts a Poetry Contest every year in honor of National Poetry Month in April and Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

This year, the prompt is about aspects of mental health stigma and how we think and feel about them. How we respond to them. How do they shape us if at all? 

However, relate this in a poem without using the word “stigma.”

Host Jacquese Armstrong offered a sample at https://files.constantcontact.com/9325d276001/61aed662-634b-466d-97c8-6a18f21d1d8d.pdf

This prompt will be subjective and personal; however, it is important to articulate the feelings stigma brings to mind in different aspects. When we have examined how stigma resides on the inside, then we can truly address it outside ourselves.

Guidelines:

  • Poem should be in keeping with the theme.
  • Poem must be typewritten. If sent electronically, do not send PDF files.
  • Poem should be no longer than 40 lines.
  • Fill out a media release form to accompany your entry.
  • Provide a cover letter that includes your name, email, mailing address and phone number.
  • Contest submission deadline is April 4.
  • Contest open only to domestic applicants with a U.S. mailing address.

Email the entry to poetry@naminj.org. Or, mail typed entries to: NAMI NJ Poetry Contest, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick 08902.

Poems will be open to public voting for the Top 10. The Top 3 will win a cash prize and the top poems will also be published on the NAMI NJ website for others to read.

NAMI New Jersey is a division of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 

 

 

Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of Negro Leagues Baseball will be presented through May 1 at East Jersey Old Town Village, 1050 River Road, Piscataway.

The traveling exhibit from The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum features close to 90 framed photographs showcasing the history of African American baseball from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

Also, visit Treasures of Middlesex County: 300 Years of Raritan Valley History at The Cornelius Low House, 1225 River Road, Piscataway.

For hours, information and directions, visit middlesexcountynj.gov or text “CULTURE” to 56512.

 

 

The Bernie Cohn Memorial Golf Classic and 76th Annual Outing will be held May 3 at Forsgate Country Club, 375 Forsgate Dr., Monroe.

The annual golf classic serves as an opportunity for the business and community leaders of Middlesex County to connect while supporting the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to improve Middlesex County.

Shotgun start is 9 a.m.

Bernie Cohn was very active with the chamber, serving as past chair of the Board of Directors, past chair of the golf outing and recipient of the first Leaders of Distinction Award.

For registration information, visit www.mcrcc.org/event/76th-annual-bernie-cohn-golf-classic/

 

 

 

 

Middlesex County has scheduled a rabies clinics from 9-11 a.m. May 7 at the Public Works Garage, 167 Main St., Sayreville, for dogs and cats.

For more information, visit https://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/government/departments/department-of-public-safety-and-health/office-of-health-services/rabies-clinics

 

 

 

The Freehold High School Class of ’72 will celebrate its 50th class reunion on July 23 at the American Hotel in Freehold.

Tickets are $85 per person, and must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.

The deadline for ticket purchases is July 13. Contact Sue Shrott at Sueshrott@gmail.com or 732-995-7754.

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

The Sayreville Police Auxiliary is seeking new applicants.

Must be age 18 or older, live within 5 miles of the Sayreville border and have a clean criminal/driving record.

For more information and to apply, visit www.sayrevillepoliceaux.org

 

 

Central Jersey Chapter 148 of the Korean War Veterans extend an invitation to any veterans, regardless of the branch of service, who served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, in any location, including Europe; or who have served in Korea from July 27, 1953, to the current date.

Other veterans may join as associate members.

The group meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of every month, from May to December, at the Monroe Township Municipal Building, 1 Municipal Plaza, in the court room.

Requirements for membership include paying dues of $25 to the Korean War Veterans Association and $10 to the chapter per year.

Korean War Veterans National LIFE membership is available for those 80 and older, and is $75.

The chapter is involved in various functions during the year, including fundraising to help veterans at the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, the Lyons campus of the VA New Jersey Health Care System, and the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland.

For more information, contact Charlie Koppelman at 609-655-3111 or KWVANJ@yahoo.com

 

 

 

The Kosher Meals on Wheels program through Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County is in need of substitute drivers to deliver meals, sometimes with limited notice.

Currently, there are openings on Mondays along the Highland Park route and along the Edison/Metuchen route. Areas include Woodbridge, Edison, Metuchen, Highland Park, East Brunswick and Old Bridge.

Call 732-777-1940 for information on how to apply.

 

 

The Central Jersey Chapter 148 of the Korean War Veterans extend an invitation to any veterans, regardless of the branch of service, who served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, in any location; or who served in Korea from July 27, 1953, to the current date.

The group meets at 10 a.m. for a breakfast meeting the second Wednesday of every month from May to December at the Monroe Township Municipal Building, downstairs on the first floor.

Requirements for membership include paying dues of $25 to the Korean War Veterans Association and $10 to the chapter each year.

Korean War Veterans National Life membership if one is over age 80 is $75.

The chapter is involved in various functions during the year, including fundraising to help veterans at the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, the Lyons Veterans Hospital Lyons, and the Vineland Veterans Hospital in Vineland.

For more information, contact membership chair Charlie Koppelman at 609-655-3111 or KWVANJ148@yahoo.com

 

 

Middlesex County residents looking for local farmers, grocery stores or food pantries – as well as public transportation routes to get there – can download the interactive map-based Accessing Healthy Foods app.
Visit http://middlesexcountynj.gov/healthyfoodsmap

 

 

The Center for Therapy & Counseling Services is offering a Teen Girls Support Group.

This free group offers girls ages 13-17 a safe place to connect, share stories and be encouraging. The goal is to enhance self esteem, self confidence and communication skills.

Each group is led by trained facilitators.

Girls meet weekly at 7 p.m. Thursdays, virtually.

Registration is required by calling 732-254-0600.

Or, email info@centerfortherapy.net for more information.

The Center for Therapy & Counseling Services is located at 15 W. Prospect St., East Brunswick.

 

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey (BBBSCNNJ) is inviting Middlesex County residents to become a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister to a local child.

BBBSCNNJ currently has 20 children on its Middlesex County waiting list, mostly boys.

BBBSCNNJ provides one-to-one mentoring for youth ages 6-18. Volunteer Big Brothers and Sisters spend quality time with their Littles each month, enjoying free or low-cost activities during which the child may learn new skills, explore new interests, or expand their experience beyond their family and neighborhood. 

There are no special skills required, and BBBSCNNJ’s experienced staff provides continual support.

To be matched with a Middlesex County child, apply at mentornj.org.

 

Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey is seeking compassionate volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families.

Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their home, which can also be nursing facilities or assisted living facilities, at least once a week. Visits can be virtual and are during the day or early evening. Volunteers may also assist with administrative work in the hospice office.

To sign up for a virtual training class, contact Deborah Adams at 732-405-3035 or email Deborah@dovehs.com

 

The Madison-Old Bridge Township Historical Society is looking for middle school and high school yearbooks from Madison Township and Old Bridge Township to add to its collection.

Contact Jeff Kagan at 646-246-5598.

The yearbook collection is readily available for the general public to review at the Thomas Warne Museum located just across the street from the Old Bridge High School.

 

The Anshe Emeth Community Development Corp (AECDC) Central Jersey Diaper Bank is collecting baby clothing sizes newborn-2T, diapers and books.

Donations can be picked up if within Middlesex County. Volunteers from the Rutgers School of Nursing will arrive between 10 a.m. and noon on the day indicated.

At this time, no shoes, equipment, toys, etc. can be collected.

 

 

 

 

Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick has launched the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group for families who are coping with loss due to addiction.

The free and confidential support group meets virtually on the second Thursday of every month from 7-8:30 p.m.

Inspired by Saint Peter’s Opioid Task Force, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group is for families and close loved ones of people who have passed away from addiction.

The support group is open to everyone in New Jersey and serves as a safe space for families to discuss their grief.

To join the Substance Abuse and Addiction Loss Support Group, call Jeanne Delacruz, a social worker at Saint Peter’s who facilitates the support group, at 732-745-8522 or email jdanyus@saintpetersuh.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMI In Our Own Voice (NAMI En Nuestra Propia Voz) is a program by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) New Jersey chapter geared toward community education and reducing the stigma of mental health, as trained volunteers share their lived experience of mental health recovery.

To schedule a presentation at a school, PTA meeting, congregation, town hall, support group or professional training, email ioov@naminj.org

Presentations are available in English and Spanish.

 

 

 

Gain stability from an in-demand occupation; apply for a Women’s Center career training grant from Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County.

Qualified persons who are active members of the JFS Women’s Center must submit an application and attend an interview. Grants are available for short-term training programs for in-demand jobs.

Eligible candidates must qualify as a “displaced homemaker,” a woman who is a single mother, divorced, separated, widowed, or living with a disabled spouse/partner.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, email womenscenter@jfsmiddlesex.org

 

Central Jersey SCORE, a non-profit resource partner of the Small Business Administration, is looking for volunteers to assist people looking to start a business or grow an existing small business.

The organization is recruiting business owners and executives, both current and retired, who want to share their experience and knowledge with today’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The Central Jersey Chapter of SCORE serves Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Central Jersey SCORE provides in-person mentoring and webinars, both offered virtually in line with current pandemic restrictions. In addition, the SCORE website offers tools and templates on a wide variety of topics and numerous online courses and webinars to assist small business owners through every aspect of business development and management. Services are offered free of charge.

Anyone interested in volunteering with SCORE or seeking additional information should email marcia.glatman@scorevolunteer.org

 

 

 

 

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