Posts Tagged 'Toms River'

Celebrating Wellness and Mental Health Provider Fair

mental Illness2TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Library in partnership with the Mental Health Awareness Committee of Ocean County and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), will host “Celebrating Wellness” an awards ceremony and a “Mental Health Provider Fair” from 4:30 to   7 p.m. Wednesday May 6.

The fair will be held at the Toms River Library branch, 101 Washington St. Toms River. It will feature knowledgeable mental health representatives, literature, brochures and services that support Ocean County’s adults and children who are suffering with mental illness.

The provider fair will feature more than 20 vendors who will offer information about the services they provide the mental health community.

“This is a real opportunity to reach out to the community and give the resources they need to deal with mental illness. Mental illness is a dysfunction of the brain. It can be temporary or permanent, it can happen to anyone, and the good news is that it can be treated,’’ said Mike Jones, NAMI Ocean County President.

“Celebrating Wellness” will begin at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will honor individuals who worked to change the stigma of mental illness in their community. In addition, students will be honored for artwork that expresses what a difference a friend makes and for their essays on mental illness.

“This evening is about recognizing people who have gone over and beyond to support our cause,’’ said Colleen Woods, chairperson for the Mental Health Awareness Committee of Ocean County.

The programs are free and open to the public with no registration required.  For more information about the event go to the library website, or Mental Health Awareness Committee of Ocean County visit

“Over Our Dead Bodies” author/mortician to speak @ Toms River library

TOMS RIVER—Fourth generation undertaker turned author Todd Harra will speak about the book he co-wrote “Over Our Dead Bodies” 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ocean County Library Toms River Branch, 101 Washington St.

“Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift The Lid” was co-written with Ken McKenzie and is a collection of the quirky, bizarre and humorous anecdotes borrowed from funeral directors across the United States.

The book is a collection of real stories from morticians and funeral directors that shows the lighter side of our mortality. From police interventions during a funeral riot, to the phenomenon of funeral crashers who show up only for a free meal, it gives a glimpse into the more surreal and whimsical side of the funeral industry.

“Over Our Dead Bodies” is a sequel to the duo’s 2010 book “Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill The Dirt.”

This program is free and open to the public. To register, visit the Ocean County Library’s website or call 732-349-6200.

SCORE business startup seminar @ Toms River branch

TOMS RIVER  – Thinking of opening your own business, but don’t know where to start?

Members of the Ocean County Chapter of SCORE #150, a nonprofit association of volunteer business counselors, can help.  Local business owner and member Glenn Harris will present a free seminar on the mandatory keys for success in starting your own business 6:30 p.m. Monday March 2 at Toms River.

Topics to be covered include competence in the industry or field, persistence, minimum requirements in writing a business plan, competition and financial literacy.

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 .

Amixi de Boggiasco e del Golfo Paradiso performed in Mancini Hall


The Toms River branch hosted Amixi de Boggiasco e del Golfo Paradison from Boddiasco-Genova-Liguria Friday afternoon. This annual presentation of traditional dances was sponsored by the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade Committee, Inc.

Michael A. Blandina, the committee chairman opened the program.

The Polizia de Stato (State Police of Italy) posted the colors and the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, John D. McMahon Assembly provided the posting arch.

Maria Cambria sang the Star Spangled Banner and Amixi de Boggiasco sang the national anthem of Italy.

Committee co-chairmen Jerry Bove and John Giavatto welcomed the 130 people who attended the program.

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari spoke about the importance of such celebrations that bring people together.

“First, and most important, is to remember it is all about family,” he said, and then remember the communal responsibilities people learn from their heritage.

One of those lessons Vicari said learned from his ancestors (his father was from Sicily and his mother from Naples) was the need to work and the pride that came with it.

Vicari also praised Mike Blandina’s commitment to the annual festival and presented him with a proclamation from the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

“Mike is very dedicated to this and he has a passion for his heritage,” Vicari said.

Of the 530,000 people living in Ocean County, it is home to about 165,000 people who are of Italian descent. The committee spends about $125,000 to host the week-long Italian-American event in Seaside Heights. More information about the festival can be obtained from their website .

Robert Di Biase is the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.

Write that novel during November

TOMS RIVER –  So what do you think? Can you write a novel in a month? How about with a little help?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun approach to creative writing and Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch will participate at two levels this year: teens and adults.

On Nov. 1 aspiring novelists will begin writing a 50,000 word novel and complete it by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 30.

Last year 310,095 people began the month as auto mechanics, home makers, police officers, students, physicians and many other careers. By the end of the month they walked away as novelists.

National Novel Writing Month is sponsored by a non-profit group of the same name that believes a person’s story matters. It organizes events where people find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. It is designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels.

Teens, between 12 and 18, will kick off the event 7 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 28. They can register for the kickoff by telephoning the branch 732-349-6200 or 609-971-9514.

Teens will write together on Tuesdays during the month.

Adults can get together Wednesday evenings in November between 5-9 p.m. (3-5 p.m. Nov. 26 because of the Thanksgiving holiday) for a write-in.

The sessions are free and open to the public.

For more information about National Novel Writing Month visit their website .

While not a part of National Novel Writing Month, local author Jon Gibbs will present a workshop entitled “Novel Writing: the first draft” 6:30 p.m. Wed. Oct. 15 at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St.  Learn how to turn your story ideas into a finished first draft. Bring your favorite pen and paper and be prepared to work.

Gibbs workshop is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone the branch 732-349-6200 or 609-971-0514 or go to the library’s website , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

“Together, we are stronger than bullying”

sm-FrankLatham03 Frank Latham knows about bullying. Over one summer he went from being the second shortest kid in his K-8 school and often badgered for it, to growing nine inches and becoming one of the school’s tallest.

“They weren’t so comfortable with putting me down after that,” he said.

By sharing his own experiences of being bullied he was able to bond with the more than 110 people who attended his seminar about learning to prevent bullying people with developmental disabilities.

Classified with a learning disability, Latham brought both a professional and personal experience with disabilities into his program. He has a unique insight into the struggles of students with disabilities.

The seminar, presented by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, was held Thursday in the Toms River library branch. Many of those who attended the seminar had a chance to share how they were bullied.

“I was born with cerebral palsy,” said one young man. “It seems people have always made fun of me because I can’t walk.”

One adult woman told how someone in her group home harassed her. Another said her mother was overbearing and she said it felt like being bullied.

“Eighty percent of people with disabilities experience bullying,” said Latham. “Often people who are bullied did nothing to the person who bullies them.”

“Can comedy be a type of bullying?” a person asked.

“That depends,” said Latham, “it can. You have to ask if it was intentionally meant to harm you. If so, it absolutely is bullying.”

“We collectively have the power to make a difference and to change what happened into something that never happens again,” he said.

He recommends steps to deal overcome bullying.

  • Instill confidence in your disabilities and abilities. People with self-confidence and self-esteem are less likely to become victims.
  • Recognize the effects bullying can have on you: changes in mood, eating habits and sleeping patterns, along with signs of physical injury are markers that can be recognized.
  • Communicate with all parties involved in the incidents, including teachers and counselors. Document the bullying events. The bully and the victim are equally in need of education.
  • Seek support because no one should feel inferior or afraid, and there is no shame in asking for help. The better one understands about asking for help, the better one will be able to deal with bullying.

Disability harassment is illegal and New Jersey has some of the strongest laws in the country to protect people.

The program will be repeated 6 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 21 at the Little Egg Harbor branch, 290 Mathistown Road. The program is free but registration is required. To register telephone the branch 609-294-1197 or go to the library’s website , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

What is bullying? Acts, words and behavior towards an individual that intends to be hurtful and includes an imbalance of power.
Four types of bullying: Verbal: teasing, gossip, name calling, embarrassing jokes or threats. Emotional/social: uses social power to cause emotional pain and can include group exclusion, intimidation and public ridicule. Physical: actual physical harm or pretending and threatening harm. Cyber bullying, is now the most common type of bullying and the most insidious because the bully does not have to be present. It includes harassment through electronics such as texts, email, social media and instant messaging.

TR Library Friends seeking book donations

The Friends of the Toms River Library are asking for books, CD’s, and media donations for our Book Sale scheduled for November 6-8th. The materials should be in PRISTINE condition. We cannot accept material in poor condition, textbooks, encyclopedias, old computer books, magazines, abridged or condensed books or phonograph records. Material can be dropped off at the library during open hours. Your help in making the Book Sale a success is appreciated.

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