Developmental abilities leads to growth and fulfillment

TOMS RIVER –  Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch (101 Washington St.) will show the documentary “I’m an Artist” 7 p.m. Monday May 11. A discussion of the film will follow.

“I’m an Artist” is a heartwarming documentary about young adults with physical, emotional and mental disabilities and the dedicated teacher that helps them to create their own artwork and gain confidence in their life skills.

The film is a tribute to dedicated teachers and families who work very hard to make a difference in a person’s life. Their enthusiasm and support shows children with learning disabilities can achieve more growth than most people believe possible.

The program is free and open to the public but registration is required.  Registration begins April 27.

The Ocean County Library is a Professional Development Provider registered with the New Jersey State Department of Education. If educators have received approval from their school district, they may receive a Professional Development Certificate for participating in this event.

The programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone 732-349-6200 or 609-971-0514, or go to the library’s website: www.theoceancountylibrary.org , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

Mahjong Fun Day coming to Toms River library 5/9

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The Friends of Toms River Library will sponsor a “Mahjong Fun Day” 10 a.m to 4 p.m. May 9th in the Bishop Building, 39 Washington St., adjacent to the main library branch.

The cost is $100 per table or $25 per person which includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

For additional information telephone Karen Roselli 908-307-7265, or Nancy Gardner 732-604-9696.

Mahjong players please join us for a FUN DAY.

Panel discussion to explore what it means to be transgender

TOMS RIVER “A Different Normal: Transgender 101” panel discussion will be held at Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.

Panelists Karina M. Davis and Seth Rainess will share their personal insights and experiences on what it means to be transgender and what the journey of transitioning is like for individuals and their families. An audience Q&A period will follow the presentation.

Davis is the mother of three children and her oldest is a transman. Karina has been married for three years to her husband Evan, who is also a transman.

Davis has a BA in English and is certified in K-5 and Special Education. She has been a member of Jersey Shore PFLAG’s speakers bureau for more than five years.

Rainess is a motivational speaker, Jersey Shore PFLAG facilitator and the author of the book “Real Talk for Teens: A Jump Start Guide to Gender Transitioning and Beyond,” . He holds a MS in Psychology and Rehab Counseling and has conducted seminars for transgender youth in high schools and universities.

This program is sponsored in partnership with the Ocean County Human Relations Commission. The program is free and open to the public.  For information or to register, please call 732-349-6200 or visit the library’s webpage at http://www.theoceancountylibrary.org

SBA loans seminar at TR library branch 4/30

Toms River – Are you ready to start your own business? Are you planning to grow and expand your own business?

Small Business Administration’s Lender Relations & Economic Development Specialist, Sheryl Paynter, will be at the Toms River library branch 7 p.m. Thursday, April 30th. She will provide people who are in business or thinking of starting a business information on business loans and technical assistance programs offered by the SBA.

By attending this seminar, you can learn about SBA’s 7(a) Guaranty Loan Program, the MicroLoan Program, the 504 Fixed Asset Loan Program and the most popular of all of SBA’s loan programs – SBAExpress. 

This program is free and open to the public but registration is required. Register in-person, by telephone (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-0514, or online at www.theoceancountylibrary.org under calendar of events.

TR library to host Volunteer Fair

TOMS RIVER –Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch will host a Volunteer Fair 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 12 in Mancini Hall.

Attendees will meet with a variety of county and local agencies and other organizations that are looking for your help.  Men, women and young adults are needed for indoor and outdoor tasks.  A variety of talents and skills are needed and many organizations will provide training.

A short list of work opportunities include:

Outdoors:  trail repair; planting beach grass; staffing information booths at fairs; and construction and property maintenance, including hammering and drilling.

Indoors: clerical and office work; computer and technology skills; crafts; fundraising; advocacy and educational events.

The Volunteer Fair will help you find an organization that is a perfect match for you and your talents! It will also enable you to promote yourself to prospective employers by documenting your special skills and showing your commitment to community service.

The program is free and open to the public. For information, telephone 732-349-6200 ext. 5111 or visit the library webpage www.theoceancountylibrary.org .

Everyone had fun at OCL Friends second mahjong fundraiser

Left to right: Bernice Zeldin (Toms River), Diane Handerhan and Gail Natali (both of Lacey), and Pat Terranova (Middlesex County) are all ready and eager to get the tournament started.

Left to right: Bernice Zeldin (Toms River), Diane Handerhan and Gail Natali (both of Lacey), and Pat Terranova (Middlesex County) are all ready and eager to get the tournament started.

Don’t walk into a mahjong tournament and expect it to be ghostly silent with only the clacking sounds of tiles being lifted then rapidly discarded if they do not fit into a person’s plan.

Instead you will hear mostly business-like conversations as a person announces the selected tile to the other three players seated around the game table.

And those murmured conversations, which can build up to a loud buzz, filled Ocean County Library’s Mancini Hall in Toms River Wednesday as 80 people competed in a mahjong tournament, the second within a year. The tournament was a fundraiser held by the Friends of the Ocean County Library.

“We’ve gone and captured the subculture of mahjong fans,” said Marie Goione, one of the event’s organizers. “They’ll go anywhere where there’s a mahjong game.”

The proceeds from the tournament will go to Ocean County Library.

The Ocean County Library Friends and the Friends groups that are found at many of OCL’s 21 locations raise money, donate equipment and sponsor special programs that the library’s budget cannot afford.

The $40 entry fee allowed participants to play in two sessions of three games each. Six prizes were awarded to the high scorers. Organizers also provided players a Continental breakfast and a lunch.

“Mahjong is very popular,” said Goione. Five library branches host mahjong games on a regular basis, including Lacey, Stafford, Upper Shores in Lavallette, Berkeley and Manchester.

She also offers free lessons to beginners twice a year at the Berkeley branch.

“Many area women play,” she said, “but not many men. The men who play are usually there as part of a couple.”

“Win, lose or draw, I’m guaranteed to be the highest scoring male player here,” said Dennis Taylor, Berkeley, who was there with his wife Maria. Dennis was the lone male participant in Wednesday’s tournament.

He finds the game is a mixture of skill and luck, and he finds the more he plays and practices, the luckier he gets. A rookie in September’s tournament, he handily beat last year’s scores Wednesday.

Dennis Taylor, Berkeley, was the lone mal participant in Wednesday's tournament. Yes, only 1.25% of the players were male - Dennis.

Dennis Taylor, Berkeley, was the lone mal participant in Wednesday’s tournament. Yes, only 1.25% of the players were male – Dennis.

Joanne Bourne (left) was the director who made all the rulings on questions from the mahjong gamers, and Marie Goione, a member of the Friends of the Ocean County Library who organized the tournament.

Joanne Bourne (left) was the director who made all the rulings on questions from the mahjong gamers, and Marie Goione, a member of the Friends of the Ocean County Library who organized the tournament.

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Every tournament has a director, one whose rule is final. Wednesday’s director was Joanne Bourne, owner of Four Seasons Mah Jongg Tournaments, Lakewood. Like last year, she volunteered her time to make this tournament a success.

Tournament director Joann Bourne tallies up the scores to determine the six winners at Wednesday's mahjong fundraiser tournament. Her company organizes weekend and multiday tournaments ranging from Piscataway down to Atlantic City and west to Lancaster, Pa. She volunteered her time to direct this tournament.

Tournament director Joann Bourne tallies up the scores to determine the six winners at Wednesday’s mahjong fundraiser tournament. Her company organizes weekend and multiday tournaments ranging from Piscataway down to Atlantic City and west to Lancaster, Pa. She volunteered her time to direct this tournament.

Assistance by volunteers was vital for the event’s success. More than a dozen people pitched in to help run the tournament.

“People want to be involved in things they’re passionate about,” said Suzanne Scro, supervising librarian and branch manager of the Manchester branch. “They buy into a project and want to share it with the community, thereby setting an example by promoting the value of our library.”

Winners of the first round were (left to right) Debbie Sklar, Rose Balzano and Miriam Lubinsky.

Winners of the first round were (left to right) Debbie Sklar, Rose Balzano and Miriam Lubinsky.

Winners of the second round included (left to right) Barbara Celano and Pat Terranova. Second place winner Mary Ann Barbato was not available for the family.

Winners of the second round included (left to right) Barbara Celano and Pat Terranova. Second place winner Mary Ann Barbato was not available for the family.

It takes volunteers, lot of dedicated volunteers, to make a fundraiser a success.

It takes volunteers, lot of dedicated volunteers, to make a fundraiser a success.

Seated left to right: Narnegat residents Cathy Ryans, Rita Rilbin, ChryAnn Ferrarese and Eileen Person were the first group ready for play. "We're all avid readers and we support the library," said Ryans.

Seated left to right: Narnegat residents Cathy Ryans, Rita Rilbin, ChryAnn Ferrarese and Eileen Person were the first group ready for play. “We’re all avid readers and we support the library,” said Ryans.

Martial arts/dance fusion at Little Egg Harbor library branch 5/5

TOMS RIVER –  The New York City-based BALAM Dance Theatre will present an evening of martial arts and dance 6 p.m. Tuesday May 5 at the Little Egg Harbor library branch, 290 Mathistown Rd.

The dance company’s artistic director Carlos Fittante and principal dancer Toshinori Hamada will perform in traditional costumes.

The BALAM Dance Theatre joins diverse dances and historical periods from around the world with the opulence and aura of Balinese theatre. It appeals to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  Its artistry and movement fused with athletic and detailed skills are enhanced by eclectic music, striking masks, vibrant costumes and fantasy stories.

They will perform four dances during their program:

  • Baris, a Balinese warrior dance set to gamelan music that primarily uses percussive instruments;
  • the Japanese Noh Theatre dance “Yashima”;
  • the Baroque dance solo “Entrée de Apollon,” published in 1701;
  • “El Vito,” a Spanish Escuela Bolera dance solo celebrating the allure of the bullfighter.

They will also present a special feature, a demonstration of Iaido, a Japanese wood sword technique, with audience participation.

The programs is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone the branch 609-294-1197 or go to the library website: www.theoceancountylibrary.org , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”



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