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• The Monmouth County Retired Educators Association will hold its spring meeting on April 12 at Our House Restaurant, 420 Adelphia Road, Howell, at 11 a.m. Voting for the new slate of officers will take place. Guest speaker Meredith Oppenheim will introduce Vitality, a new program available to members. Members are asked to bring a non-perishable donation for the food bank. For luncheon reservations, contact [email protected] or call 732 995-7754. Reservations must be received before April 1. New members are always welcome.

• The Manalapan Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee will host its fifth annual Model Train Show fundraiser at the Manalapan Community Center, 114 Route 33 West, Manalapan (just past Peking Pavilion), from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 27. Donations will be accepted and will benefit veterans’ services. Residents of all towns are invited to attend the event. There will be train displays and Stephen Baker, “The Touchdown Maker,” formerly of the New York Giants, will set up his remote control aircraft and virtual reality equipment. Details: https://manalapanveterans.godaddysites.com/

• Freehold High School Class of 1972 will be celebrating its 50-year class reunion on July 23 at the American Hotel, Freehold Borough. 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. For more information, contact Sue Shrott by email at [email protected] or call 732-995-7754.

• The Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. March 28 (tentative budget adoption) at the Wemrock Brook School, 118 Millhurst Road, Manalapan. The meeting is open to the public.

• New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, will conduct blood drives which are open to the public. The following drives are scheduled: April 15, Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 Route 9, Freehold Township, 12:30-6:30 p.m.; April 24, Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 Route 9, Freehold Township, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To donate blood, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org

• The historic village of Allentown will host its first Daffodil Days Festival held from March 26 through April 3. The festival includes family friendly events set among 3,000 daffodils.
A parade at noon on March 26 will kick off more than 30 activities (many free) and boutique shop specials. Master gardeners will answer questions and guests can meet Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher. There will be a self-guided tour of the local scenic countryside. Guests may savor a chocolate creation of their own making and create daffodil-themed craft projects. Visit www.allentownvinj.org for a complete daily calendar of events. Daffodil Days comes to Allentown courtesy of The Allentown Village Initiative, whose focus is on local history education and historic preservation, natural resource protection, economic development, and the arts and culture.

• Freehold Elks Lodge No. 1454 will hold an All-U-Can-Eat Sunday Breakfast from 9-11:30 a.m. on the third Sunday of every month at the lodge, 73 E. Main St., Freehold Borough. Extensive menu cooked to order. Adults, $11; children 12 and younger, $5.

• The fourth annual Character Breakfast will be held from 8:30-11 a.m. April 2 at Freehold Township High School, 281 Elton-Adelphia Road, Freehold Township. Meet your favorite characters. Wear a costume. Menu includes pancakes, bagels, donuts, bacon, sausage, juice and coffee. Ticket prices are $5 for children ages 3-12; $7 for children 13 and older; and free for children under 2. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Register by emailing [email protected], calling 732-431-8460, ext. 3011, or visiting tinyurl.com/FTCB2022. Adherence to school district COVID protocols will be required.

• The Monmouth County Park System will host a Cookstove Demonstration on March 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel. See what is cooking on the wood stove and discover how recipes, cooking techniques and kitchens have changed since the 1890s. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.

• The Monmouth County Park System will host the Casual Birder on March 29 at 9 a.m. at Big Brook Park, Marlboro, meet in the parking lot. Join a park system naturalist for a morning bird walk. Free. Details: 732-842-4000.

• Join United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and DowntownFreehold.com for the United for Impact Food Truck Festival from noon to 6 p.m. April 24 along West Main Street, Freehold Borough. There will be food trucks, beer, live music, games and more in support of the United Way’s mission. Sponsorship opportunities and vendor tables are available. Register at uwmoc.org/food-truck-festival

• The Freehold Elks Motorcycle Committee will present the New Jersey State Elks Army of Hope Poker Run 2022, in memory of Chris Malvone and other fallen and severely wounded veterans, on April 30, rain or shine. All are welcome to register from 9-11 a.m. at Freehold Elks Lodge No. 1454, 73 E. Main St., Freehold Borough. The Poker Run starts and ends at the lodge. The cost is $20 per rider and $15 per passenger, and includes the poker run, a party at 1 p.m. food, beverages and DJ. Admission to the party only is $15. Details: Christine Reese, 347-739-6254, or Joe Pindilli, 908-635-4788.

• The Rutgers Master Gardeners will hold their Spring Garden Day Plant Sale on May 13-14 at the Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, through Rutgers University, 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold Township. Great plants and free garden talks by Rutgers Master Gardeners will be available both days.
Details: Visit https://monmouth.njaes.rutgers.edu/master-gardeners/

• A new fellowship has started at the Morganville United Methodist Church, 215 Conover Road, Marlboro. Pizza with God features a pizza meal followed by music and devotions with crafts for youngsters. Come as you are and bring a dessert to share. The program will be held on the first Saturday of every month. Registration is requested on the church’s Facebook page, but is not required to attend. Details: Harry Cross, 908-770-6607.

• Monmouth County officials have scheduled the following paper shredding events: Aug. 6, Freehold Borough, Park Avenue Elementary School, 280 Park Ave.; Sept. 24, Marlboro Municipal Complex, 1979 Township Drive; Oct. 1, Colts Neck, town hall parking lot, 124 Cedar Drive; Oct. 8, Freehold Township Municipal Building, 1 Municipal Plaza. All shredding events will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. County residents may shred up to 100 pounds of documents. Large binder clips must be removed from documents; staples and paper clips can remain. Information about the paper shredding events and recycling can be found in the recycling section of the county’s website, www.visitmonmouth.com, or call 732-683-8686, ext. 8967.

• The Monmouth County Library offers six classes available at any time and without any advance registration on virtual Yoga, highlighting breathing, movement, stretching and other activities. Each program is offered at https://ly/MonCoLibraryYoga. The programs are offered by Steven Russell of Becoming Sound. Interested individuals may choose their own path with movements from six of the most popular library video class series. Sessions are Yoga Breathing; Yoga Stretching; Yoga Movement; Yoga Stretching with Support; Yoga at Home on the Floor; and Yoga at Home Standing. Individuals should consult a physician before starting any exercise program.

• New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, is looking for volunteers who will assist donors at area blood drives. No medical background necessary. Volunteers should be outgoing to provide friendly customer service, be able to perform tasks as needed and must provide proof of COVID vaccination prior to volunteering. Must have transportation. All training is provided, including precautions for the safety of the staff and blood donors. For additional information, call or text Sharon Zetts at 732-850-8906, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To apply online as a blood drive volunteer, go to https://www.nybc.org/support-us/volunteer-nybc/volunteer-application/

• Embroiderers’ Guild of America – Monmouth Chapter is dedicated to teaching and sharing the joys of needlework. The organization welcomes stitchers of all levels. Evening stitchers will meet via Zoom on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. Day stitchers will meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. Details: Toni, 732-462-5540, or visit website:www.mcega.org

• CentraState Medical Center has launched a new online grief support group led by licensed clinical social workers certified in grief counseling to assist individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The group is open for adult members of the community who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The private groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space for participants to share their emotions and struggles. The group meets via Zoom on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 3 p.m. To register, call 732-303-5170 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

• Samaritan Center operates a food pantry to provide supplementary food for those in need in Manalapan, Marlboro, Morganville, Englishtown and Millstone Township.  For information, call 732-446-1142 and make an appointment. Donations of funds and food are gratefully accepted to support the operation of the center.

Items for the Datebook may be sent to [email protected] Please send items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.

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