Posts Tagged 'Tuckerton'

From her own experiences: Tuckerton author speaks about human trafficking horrors

Holly Smith spoke of her experiences as a young victim of human trafficking.

Holly Smith spoke of her experiences as a young victim of human trafficking.

TOMS RIVER – In 1992, at the age of 14, Holly Smith was lured from her safe environment of Tuckerton to Atlantic County were she was forced into prostitution as a victim of sex trafficking.

Smith presented a frank discussion about the growing problem of human trafficking on a global, national and local level during her program on May 6, at the Toms River Branch.

The young author wrote the book “Walking Prey” which detailed her story of being a victim of human trafficking. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery whose victims include men, women and children of all ages and ethnicity.  It is also a first-degree crime with a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.

There are two types of human trafficking: labor trafficking, where people are forced to work for no pay; and sex trafficking.

Because of its geographical location, New Jersey has the potential to be a major entry, transit and destination for human trafficking.

“I was looking for someone to acknowledge me,’’ Smith told the audience of around 50 people. She said she was at a mall with friends when she saw a man observing her. “He picked me out of the crowd and gave me his phone number.’’

Smith read several passages from her book noting how the man who she came to know as Gregg had skillfully spoken to her. “He was charismatic and he talked to me like an adult.’’

“He told me everything I wanted to hear. My world outside of Tuckerton was limited to what I saw on MTV,’’ Smith said. Gregg later convinced her to run away from home.

“It took me 15 years to find out that the person I spoke to on the phone was a different guy from the one I met at the mall,’’ Smith said. “I was a 14-year-old girl with a 14-year-old view of the world.’’

Smith said that within hours of running away from home and meeting with Gregg she was forced into prostitution in Atlantic City. She said that after escaping that life she wanted to “use my story to talk to people about human trafficking which can happen anywhere.’’

“My story is different than others. Every victim’s story is different,’’ Smith said. She showed a video presentation which focused on the individual stories of human trafficking victims living in other countries, in the United States and in New Jersey.

Smith spoke about a U.S. measure aimed at attacking the problem of human trafficking.

In January the Ocean County Library presented programs about human trafficking at its Long Beach Island and Toms River branches in observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day held on Jan. 11.

According to information provided by the NJ Human Trafficking Task Force nearly half (46%) of human trafficking involves prostitution. One-quarter (27%) involves domestic servitude. Ten percent involves agriculture while 5 % involves forced factory work.

It is estimated between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year. Fifty percent of people trafficked into the US each year are children and 800,000 people are trafficked worldwide each year.

New Jersey recently passed a stringent new law that will aid law enforcement in the apprehension and conviction of those caught engaging in it. A website has been created by the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force to educate the public in ways to identify and help victims. For information visit http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/humantrafficking/

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Tuckerton Library Assn. hosts open-house event

(Left to right)  Pham Condello of Teen Services, Tuckerton Branch Manager and OCL Librarian of the Year Toni Smirniw, Assistant Director Valerie Bell,  OCL Director Susan Quinn, Sue Marshall, president of the Tuckerton Library Association, and Barnegat Branch Manager Gigi Hayes.

(Left to right) Pham Condello of Teen Services, Tuckerton Branch Manager and OCL Librarian of the Year Toni Smirniw, Assistant Director Valerie Bell, OCL Director Susan Quinn, Sue Marshall, president of the Tuckerton Library Association, and Barnegat Branch Manager Gigi Hayes.

TUCKERTON –  Members of the Tuckerton Library Association opened the doors of the historic Tuckerton Branch of the Ocean County Library for the group’s annual open house on April 23.

The event celebrated the many programs and services provided by the branch and brought further public awareness of those services.

The evening’s program began with a talk by Beverly Thomes, who was curator of the Toy and Miniature Museum in Delaware.

Thomes shared stores of her passion and knowledge of dolls, toys and dollhouses. This was a passion that she shared with her mother who helped operate her doll and toy museum.

“I was glad to share this passion with her. I feel blessed,’’ Thomes said before a packed audience in the branch’s meeting room.

The museum operated from 1994 to 2007, Thomes said. She recalled a special invitation to bring some of her dollhouses to Tokyo thanks to an invitation from the Tokyo Gas and Electric company who was hosting a special program about homes of different time periods and cultures.

In addition to dolls and dollhouses, Thomes said the museum had a collection of more than 700 mini vases and 20 miniature replicas of Noah’s Ark with 300 hand carved wooden animals.

Present at the evening’s festivities were OCL Director Susan Quinn, Assistant Director Valerie Bell, Judy Macaluso of Branch Services, Pham Condello of Teen Services, Tuckerton Branch Manager and OCL Librarian of the Year, Toni Smirniw and Barnegat Branch Manager Gigi Hayes.

The Library Association which drew a large turnout of their membership coordinated the night’s program.

The association provided refreshments including a variety of sandwiches, cakes, fruit platters, vegetable tray and beverages.

“This was a wonderful night and it brought so many people who support and enjoy this library together,’’ Smirniw said.

For more photos check out our Flickr album at https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceancountylibrary/sets/72157644149281317/

Members of the Tuckerton Library Association gather during their annual open house program on April 23.

Members of the Tuckerton Library Association gather during their annual open house program on April 23.

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Beverly Thomes, past curator of the former Toy and Miniature Museum in Delaware, shows off a doll house from her collection during the Tuckerton Branch’s Open House held on April 24.

Beverly Thomes, past curator of the former Toy and Miniature Museum in Delaware, shows off a doll house from her collection during the Tuckerton Branch’s Open House held on April 23.

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Tuckerton: Civil War troops from Ocean County

 TOMS RIVER – Tuckerton Library Association’s annual open house Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. will include a discussion about two companies that were raised from the southern portion of Ocean County during the Civil War.

Local historian and retired history teacher Pete Stemmer will present the program to help mark the war’s 150th anniversary. He will present a slide show and discuss the N.J. 10th Volunteers and N.J. 23rd Volunteers regiments and emphasize the role of local communities in the war.

Many of those soldiers, with names like Pharo, Crammer, Perrine and Britton, still have descendants in the area.  People are invited to see if they are related to those veterans.

The program is free and open to the public but registration is required.  For more information or to register go to the library’s Website www.theoceancountylibrary.org or telephone the branch (609) 296-1470.

Tuckerton branch children reflect on 9/11

Mayor George Evans, Laurette Crowell and I gave all of the participants ribbons and a certificate of participation.

The Tuckerton Branch of the Ocean County Library had a day of remembrance on September 8, 2011 in honor of those involved in the events of 9-11-2001.  A variety of children, ages 7-14, came together to share their thoughts and feelings on paper that now hangs around a memorial wreath on display in the library for the month of September.  In addition 11 children from the community chose to build/draw/creatively conceptualize through artistic expression their own interpretations of the events of 9-11 and what it has meant over the last ten years for them to remember and hear about.  We were joined by Mayor George Evans and Laurette Crowell from the school board to share in the experience of hearing first hand from the children what their ‘monuments’ meant to them.  The day was memorable for all with the community coming together to share their stories with each other, moving into the future while never forgetting the past.

“We Remember” by Stephen (7) and Daniel (5) Demilio from Tuckerton

 

“We Will Never Forget” by Jac (12) and Lexi (15) Smirniw from Egg Harbor Twp.

 

“The Reflecting Pools” by Luke (11) and Paul (7) Jacob from Manahawkin. This is a depiction of the reflecting pools amid the trees that were planted at ground zero and were presented at the 10-year memorial service. The pools have the names of the lost engraved around their perimeters.

 

Tuckerton celebrates its 135th Anniversary

Ocean County Library’s Tuckerton branch celebrated its 135th anniversary on April 22 with a special reception and presentation by area resident and former White House correspondent Louise Michalowicz. Continue reading ‘Tuckerton celebrates its 135th Anniversary’


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