Casino Night Scores Big ForJackson's Schools
It all came up aces for the townships' students and schools, thanks to the success of last week's 2nd Annual Casino Night, hosted by the Jackson Educational Foundation (JEF) at the Claflin House in Lakewood.
With sights and sounds of a casino f loor, approximately $15,000 was raised from the sold out event, which will help expand the number of teacher grants, student services and programs offered by the foundation this year, said JEF President Marty Spielman.
"We'll be awarding twice as many college scholarships to graduating seniors from both Jackson Memorial and the first graduating class from Jackson Liberty high School," said Spielman. "Some of the new programs this year will include staff recognition for district wide employees, including cafeteria staff, bus drivers, custodial and grounds staff. We also donated a digital camera to each high school's art department as an award for the 2009 Ad Journal Design Competition."
Knowing money is tight for everyone, particularly when it comes to donations towards charitable efforts, Spielman expressed his deepest thanks for all those who helped make the event such a success.
"2009 has been a remarkable year for the JEF—mostly because in such difficult economic times, we have seen our membership grow, donations holding their own and attendance at our events more than we ever expected," said Spielman.
As chairman of the event for the past two years, Councilman Scott Martin applauded the outpouring of community support for Casino Night and the JEF.
"The support of the businesses and the people of Jackson was imperative to the success of this event," he said. "I truly appreciate their generosity. Without it, this event would not have been the success that it was."
Martin, who also serves on the JEF board of trustees, said this year's attendance figures far exceeded even his own expectations.
"Last year we had a nice turnout, but this year the event doubled and sold out," he said, noting the current venue has been a grateful host, but Casino Night is growing by leaps and bounds.
"We have outgrown the Claflin House so, we will be looking at a number of venues," said Martin, "but I would have to say the leading contenders are La Bove Grande in Lakehurst, and Eagle Ridge (Country Club) in Lakewood."
The future looks bright for Casino Night and the JEF.
"I am gratified by the outpouring of support of the entire community enabling the JEF to continue its mission to give back to the school district by providing enhancements for all students through graduation," said Spielman. "The monies the JEF raises helps to supply needed technology to prepare them for the exciting, competitive and often complex world in which they will live in after completing their education."
In addition to the fun and games, the JEF also reached out to local donors to sponsor gift auction items, including a 42" highdefi nition flat screen television.
"When people tell you 'we don't want to leave—can you stay open another hour?' you know you had a successful event," said Spielman. "Everyone who attended truly had a great time and tells us they can't wait until next year's event. We all look forward to next year, which promises to be even better."
For more information about the JEF, their services and donation, visit their Web site at www.jacksoneducationalfoundation.org.
Jackson Seniors Give Back To Schools To The Tune Of $20,000
By Lauren Puglisi
--Photo By Lauren Puglisi Members of Jackson's
Educational Foundation received a check for $20,000 from Bill Baletti, Paul Mayerowitz and Hal Wohl of Westlake and Four Seasons at Metedeconk Lakes senior communities.
At the start of Tuesday's board of education meeting, members of the Jackson Educational Foundation were pleasantly surprised when they received a check for $20,000 from their fellow residents.
Bill Baletti and Paul Mayerowitz of the Westlake Golf and Country Club Community, and Hal Wohl of the Four Seasons at Metedeconk Lakes, presented the check to the president of the foundation, Martin Spielman.
The Jackson Educational Foundation is an all-volunteer, community based, non-profit organization that strives to raise and spend funds in support of educational activities.
Spielman said he was honored when he found out that volunteers from Westlake and Metedeconk had donated money to the foundation.
"People think that the seniors in this town don't care about education just because they turn down the school budget. But receiving this donation shows that they do care an awful lot about education. I am very thankful to Bill, Paul and Hal for initiating the idea," Spielman said.
The idea to raise $20,000 for the foundation did not come overnight. It started when Baletti and Mayerowitz filed tax appeals last year and received real estate tax reductions.
When the rest of Westlake and various other senior communities in Jackson got wind of Baletti and Mayerowitz's savings, they wanted in when it came time to filing appeals this year.
Baletti said the tax assessor did the right thing after meeting with him and finding that taxes for a home in Westlake average about $8,000 to $10,000.
"Instead of having the entire community fileappeals, the assessor lowered property assessment in Westlake, Metedeconk, Cooks Springs and South Knolls," Baletti said. "We decided through our efforts, since our taxes had been reduced, to give back as a community."
After discussing the idea of sending donations to various national foundations, the seniors of Jackson decided that they wanted their donations to benefit the Jackson Educational Foundation.
"In spite of what people may think, although many active adults in these communities vote down the budget, it does not mean we are against education because we know education is good," Baletti said. "I am happy we chose to give money to the foundation because it is an association that very rarely receives donations that directly benefit the youth in Jackson."
When Baletti, Mayerowitz and Wohl left donation boxes at Westlake and Metedeconk, many months passed before they raised the $20,000.
"The residents felt no obligation to donate. We made sure to leave the box there for several months so residents who travel to Florida and Arizona in the winter would have a chance to donate when they returned," Baletti said. "As we receive more checks from out-of-town residents, we will send them directly to the foundation."
The foundation's vice president, Barbara Spielman, was in shock and couldn't seem to take a smile off of her face on the night she publicly received the donation.
"The Jackson Educational Foundation has great board members and volunteers. I feel so fortunate to receive this donation," Mrs. Spielman said. "Nobody knew how much we were going to receive, this amount was such a surprise, I am still trying to catch my breath."
November 23, 2007
GET READY TO ROCK
Second Battle of the Bands event planned
By LAUREN O. KIDD
STAFF WRITER, ASBURY PARK PRESS
A 73-year-old grandmother may seem like an unlikely promoter of a Battle of the Bands competition, but don't tell that to Rosanne Tarnofsky of Jackson.
And don't tell her that grandmothers can't rap, either.
Tarnofsky came up with the idea to create a Battle of the Bands as a fundraiser for the Jackson Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports township schools.
She performed a rap at the first Battle of the Bands event in February, and says she already has her rap prepared for the next event, scheduled for January.
Tarnofsky got the idea for the music competition from her grandson, Michael Tarnofsky of Westfield, who competed in a number of such contests before his band The Executives took third place in February's event.
That competition drew about 500 people, and Rosanne Tarnofsky, the event chairwoman, hopes the second annual event, to be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Jan. 19 at Jackson Memorial High School, will attract even more.
Following the first program, "I would go to the Stop and Shop and all of the kids who work there, would say, "When are you doing that again? When are you doing that again?' " Tarnofsky said.
She is now accepting nonreturnable CDs and audio tapes from bands interested in participating in the event. After receiving the demos, organizers will determine whether a band is appropriate for the competition.
"I know that there is a great deal of musical talent in our area and this would provide a great venue for our kids to show what they can do," Tarnofsky said.
In the last competition, the blues/classic rock/jam band Outside the Box took first place out of eight groups that participated, with Learning Takes a Lifetime placed second. The winning group earned a chance to record a CD at The Jam Room Music Complex in Howell.
Tarnofsky said that she and the other event organizers are looking for multigenre groups from Jackson and surrounding areas.
First-place winners will again earn a chance to cut a CD at the Jam Room, second-place winners will get the chance to practice at the Jam Room, and third-place winners earn a professional photograph of their band, she said.
Tarnofsky said the event is a lot of fun, and that kids and adults both enjoyed the first one.
"You want to do fundraising and the best way to do fundraising is through kids," she said. "And what is their main thing? It is music."
The Jackson Educational Foundation works with the Jackson Board of Education to enrich and expand the educational lives of township school children by purchasing equipment that might otherwise not be available. The foundation provides scholarships for graduates and encourages innovative educational programs thought a program of minigrants to teachers.
November 1, 2007
Bands sought for January event
JACKSON - It's not too early to start getting ready for the 2008 Battle of the Bands.
The Jackson Educational Foundation in conjunction with the Jam Room Music Complex of Howell will be sponsoring the second annual Battle of the Bands on Jan. 19 from 7-11 p.m. at Jackson Memorial High School, Don Connor Boulevard. Bands are now being sought to perform.
"We are looking for multi-genre groups from the Jackson community and surrounding areas who want to strut their stuff and compete with other groups for some great prizes," said Rosanne Tarnofsky, who chairs the Battle of the Bands committee.
Any band that is interested in participating in the Battle of the Bands must submit a non-returnable compact disc or audiotape so the committee may determine if the band is appropriate for the event.
"I know there is a great deal of musical talent in our area and this would provide a great venue for our kids to show what they can do," Tarnofsky said. "We have professional musicians, music critics and others from the music world who will be working on this evening as well."
The Jackson Educational Foundation is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to enriching and expanding the educational lives of Jackson's school children by providing needed technology and programs hat would otherwise not be available through the normal budget process of the Jackson School District. The foundation also provides scholarships for graduating seniors and encourages innovative educational programs by providing mini-grants to teachers.
"We are the group that teachers come to when they need something extra which has not been accounted for in the Board of Education budget," said Martin Spielman, who is the foundation's president. ""
Band members should be between 14 and 20 years of age. All demo CDs should be submitted by Nov. 16. For more information go to 'Contact Us' on the website at www.jacksoneducationalfoundation.org.
Jackson Educational Foundation
Local Organizations Band Together In Support Of Education
Press Release - February 12, 2007
Jackson - Several local organizations and residents jumped on the "bandwagon” in support of The Jackson Educational Foundation's First Annual Battle of the Bands Fundraiser at Jackson Memorial High School's Fine Arts Center this weekend. More than 500 students and adults attended the function, far exceeding expectations and making it a highly successful fundraiser, organizers said.
"The success of this event means the Foundation was able to raise enough money to make a great contribution to Jackson students,'' said Foundation President Marty Spielman. "We are pleased to announce that because of everyone's hard work over the past several months, we will be purchasing five Smart Boards for Jackson's elementary schools. We can also begin a Mini-grant Program for teachers and a Scholarship Program for students.''
The Jackson Educational Foundation is a Non-profit Organization whose goal is to assist the School Ddistrict in providing funds for a variety of Programs, Grants, and Scholarships that the Board Of Education is unable to cover within its operating budget. "The Foundation is comprised of an extremely dedicated group of volunteers including parents, educators, administrators, business and community leaders and former educators, with a common goal to give back to students and teachers," Spielman said.
"We were bowled over by the positive response to this event,'' said Fundraising Chairman Michael Kafton. "I think that everyone who attended had a lot of fun and already there's talk about doing a second Battle of the Bands. It's very gratifying to be able to host an entertaining event like this which raises money that goes back into our school System and helps Jackson's kids."
Eight youth-oriented bands from Lavallette, Toms River, Howell and Jackson performed in the competition and were judged on music ability, originality, showmanship, crowd reaction and vocal ability. Three prizes were awarded to Outside The Box, Learning Takes A Lifetime and The Executives. The 1st And 2nd Prizes were donated by The Jam Room of Howell and included Recording Time or Rehearsal Time. The 3rd Prize was a Photo Shoot for use in the Band's Press Kit.
The event attendance and successful Advertising Journal, coupled with JEF’s Winter Fund Raising Campaign, will allow The Jackson Educational Foundation to present Smart Boards to each of Jackson's Elementary Schools, begin a Mini-grant Program for teachers and a Scholarship Programs for students.
The Smart Board Interactive Whiteboard creates an interactive working, training, and learning environment. Teachers can simply touch the Smart Board Interactive Whiteboard to highlight key points, access applications and Web Sites, and write notes in electronic ink. At each step, the work can be saved to a computer file that can be printed, e-mailed or posted to a Web Site for students' use.
"On behalf of the entire Foundation, we would like to thank all the patrons and volunteers for making this such a successful event,'' Spielman said. “And our success means that our students and teachers can have access to important resources that can make the education process even more meaningful. That's something to be proud of.” Upcoming Foundation events include a Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show and an Alumni Picnic to be held in the Summer. The Foundation is also looking for Volunteers. For more information about the Foundation or to make a contribution, please contact Spielman at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.jacksoneducationalfoundation.org.
Published September 28, 2006
Car wash boosts JEF
BY DAVE BENJAMIN
JACKSON - Some students at Jackson Memorial High School are all wet.
"The Jackson Education Foundation (JEF) fundraising committee held a car wash on Sept. 16 at Commerce Bank and the kids raised $268," said Theresa Licitra, assistant principal at the Elms Elementary School, who co-chaired the event with former mayor Michael Kafton. "Eight students from Jackson Memorial volunteered and spent a Saturday morning washing cars in order to raise money for the foundation, which benefits all Jackson students."
Student coordinators Christopher Grimes, a junior, and Taylor Grimes, a freshman, were instrumental in recruiting car washing volunteers from JMHS.
In addition to Christopher and Taylor, the high school student volunteers included juniors Briant Dunnican, Kyle Menchaca and Eric Mundie; sophomore Rebecca Becci Garcia; and freshmen Marissa Fischer and James Cornick.
Second-grader Hannah Moss, fourth-graders Victoria Jankowsky and Rain Cornelius, and fifth-graders Alexandra Aldarelli and Amanda Capasso, under the direction of Elms Elementary School after-school child care head teacher Kathy Williams, created posters for the morning car wash.
Commerce Bank, Century 21, All-Star Bagels, Jackson Hardware, ShopRite of Jackson and Seasonal World demonstrated their support through donations.
The fundraising initiative and its success was also attributed the efforts of JEF member Jennifer Grimes.
"The Jackson Education Foundation would like to thank the Jackson community volunteers and sponsors whose combined commitment and collaborative effort helped to make this fund-raising event a huge success," Licitra said. "The successful efforts of these volunteers truly make a difference within our schools and within our community."
The foundation is a voluntary organization established in 2005 under the leadership of Martin and Barbara Spielman.
Martin Spielman is presently the vice president of the Jackson Board of Education.
The JEF provides the means to enrich and enhance programs in the Jackson public schools.