Retro Simple Fair Haven Buddy Times

A bunch of boys. A bag of Cheetos. Dirt-eating grins. Pranks. Pull the ol’ finger. The little things are what made these guys smile — and wipe their pants with orange-stained Cheeto hands.

Continue reading Retro Simple Fair Haven Buddy Times

Saying Goodbye to Fair Haven’s Will Jakubecy

Saying goodbye is always tough. It’s especially tough when you didn’t expect the person to go anywhere anytime soon. It’s what happened when 32-year-old Fair Haven native Will Jakubecy died suddenly. An especially tough goodbye had to be said.

Continue reading Saying Goodbye to Fair Haven’s Will Jakubecy

Focus: A Fair Haven Cop’s Shave for Childhood Cancer

The event was dubbed Shave a Hero/Save a Hero.

Cops, firefighters, teachers, school administrators … all sorts of community leaders, and even kids and parents … They all gathered on Saturday at Middletown Fire Department’s Community Fire Company in the Leonardo section of the township to get a head shave as a way of showing their participation in the fight against childhood cancer. Participants’ heads were shaved by kids with cancer.

Fair Haven Police Cpl. John Waltz (along with his son) was one of the shavees. And, after the shave, a good time was had by all at the firehouse. Proceeds funded the cause via Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer.

Take a look at the photos below for a glimpse into the event … (And don’t forget to click to enlarge!)

— Top photo/Laurie Kegley

— Gallery Photos/John Waltz

Fair Haven Cop Getting a Shave for a Good Cause

Fair Haven Police Cpl. John Waltz isn’t getting a shave and a haircut, he’s getting a haircut that’s a shave for a good cause. And he and several other people kids look up to as community role models are getting the shave on Saturday at what has been dubbed Shave a Hero.

It’s all being done in the name of funding for childhood cancer and providing assistance to affected families in need. The Middletown Fire Department has collaborated with Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer for the family-friendly fundraising event during which the main attraction will be watching those thought of as “big” heroes (firefighters, police officers, school principals and community kids looking to help) having their heads shaved by little heroes — childhood cancer survivors.

The event will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Community Firehouse Station #4 at 75 Appleton Avenue in the Leonardo section of Middletown.

In addition to the main attraction — the big shave — there will be be food, games, music, face painting and more.

The story of Infinite Love … 

Seven-year-old Natalie Grace Gorsegner was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August of 2012. She underwent over two years of aggressive chemotherapy and has been in remission since November of 2014.

While the Gorsegners are grateful for their daughter’s survival, they know all too well that many families do not share their same good fortune as childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States; and, funding has been extremely limited. In more than 25 years, only three new drugs have been developed for any type of childhood cancer, organizers said statistics show.

Through their grassroots foundation, Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, the Gorsegner’s have made it their mission to continue the fight against childhood cancer, mainly seeking research support, but also helping the families of young fighters both emotionally and financially.

In the past four years, the foundation has awarded more than half a million dollars in research grants to some of the nation’s top leading research facilities and hospitals. Funds have come from individual, business and group donors.

** Food/beverage bands will be sold $20/person, food/water bands will be $10/person and kids 12 and under eat for FREE (no advance sales). Any shavee who raises/donates $20 or more will automatically receive one food/beverage band.**

 

Fair Haven Police Team Up with Addict’s Mom in Opioid Abuse Forum

By Elaine Van Develde

If you think you’re in a cozy suburban bubble, protected from what authorities have coined a rampant opioid abuse epidemic, Fair Haven Police are set to burst it.

And the pin is poised for the pop, or at least a little deflation, tomorrow night when borough’s police join with CFC Loud N Clear Foundation (healingus.org) for an informational presentation, discussion and guest speaker about the abuse of opioids, in pill form as well as injectable heroin, and other substance abuse issues at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Knollwood School.

Police say they are committed to doing everything in their power to inform people of the harsh reality of especially opioids’ devastating effect on communities where people tend to think in insular terms, “Not here, not my kid,” Patrolman William Lagrotteria said.

“I hear it from the kids all the time and it’s very upsetting: ‘Hey, we live in the bubble. We have nothing to worry about.’ I always set them straight about that. They’re not protected from this. Not at all. It doesn’t matter that this is a more affluent area. It doesn’t matter that the addiction may not look as ugly as it does in a city, where people end up on the streets. It’s here, too, and it’s just as bad. It just doesn’t look exactly the same, or, rather it’s harder for some to see, maybe because they don’t want to.”

But, he added, if you are aware, and look close enough and pay close enough attention, you’ll see it and you can help conquer the heroin abuse problem. Though, he said, that’s not the only substance abuse problem in the area.

Monmouth County has been on alert to the pervasiveness of the heroin epidemic for several years now.

The Prosecutor’s Office has held forums at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH). Police are carrying Narcan to revive those who overdose.

And Thursday night, they are bringing information to the small-town local level about what’s been going on with respect to addiction, overdose and death statistics, categories of drugs and how to identify them, how to recognize signs of substance abuse and where to go for help and what to do in the first part of the forum, Lagrotteria said.

The second portion will feature speaker Lynn Regan, mother of a recovering addict and founder of CFC Loud N Clear Foundation.

“We’d really like to see a lot of people come out for this,” Lagrotteria said. “It’s such a critical issue and we really want to help. Please join us.”

Focus: It’s Another Fair Haven Dock Sunset

Yes, it’s been done many times … Sunset photos at the Fair Haven Dock.

But no two sunsets are ever the exact same. And no feeling each time you stand there, stroll down the dock or on the beach and take it all in is exactly the same.

From one perspective at least, tonight’s setting was about color, clouds and content chatter among fishermen.

Good night, Fair Haven …

— Elaine Van Develde

(Don’t forget to click to enlarge!)

Simple Summer: Yoga Posing with Goats

Who knew that yoga mixed with goats and peppered with charity would yield a simple summer pleasure?

Well, apparently a lot of R-FH area friends. You’ve heard of beach yoga, hot yoga, yoga in the park … Well, this is goat yoga. Yes, goat yoga. And these goats are not meant to get your goat, or yoga mat, for that matter.

Continue reading Simple Summer: Yoga Posing with Goats

Focus: Dusk Solace at the River

It’s been said umpteen times, so why not say it again? There’s nothing quite as comforting to a Rumson-Fair Haven area native as the sights and subtle sounds down by the river at nightfall.

The gently lapping water. A conversation in the distance. A boat docking. A favorite spot for an exhale. River Rats’ place. Everyone’s place. An anchor.

Take a look and feel the comforting lull of home …

— Elaine Van Develde

Memorial Services Set for Fair Haven’s Will Jakubecy, 32

“In a perfect world we would all get the chance to say goodbye to each other before leaving. Unfortunately like we’ve experienced with many other friends and loved ones that just isn’t the case.”  ~ AJ Fox ~ excerpt of a Facebook post to Will Jakubecy

The Fair Haven community and beyond has been blanketed with sadness, shock and a lot of love since hearing of the sudden death of 32-year-old Will Jakubecy on July 20.

Messages and photos in remembrance of the Fair Haven native flooded social media, honing in on a vibrant life well-lived, shared and taken too soon.

And on July 26, from 4 to 8 p.m., the remembrance will continue with first a visitation at John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. It will be followed by a “Big Ass Repast,” according to Will’s obituary, at the Fair Haven Firehouse on Saturday at 2 p.m. for which all who loved Will are invited to come equipped with their favorite stories and photos of him.

As for any other details … the family, in his tribute, asks that “in lieu of flowers, please hold your loved ones close and call your mother. She worries.”

Will’s obituary/tribute from John E. Day Funeral Home, put together by his loved ones, paints the picture of his life … and it’s a giant canvas filled with bright color and unabashed detail.

Here it is … RIP, Will Jakubecy. You are remembered.

Wil Jakubecy
Photo/Jakubecy family via John E. Day Funeral Home

“On July 20, 2017 our hearts were forever broken when Will was taken home on a country road. Will passed away due to unknown heart disease and stubbornness.

Will grew up in Fair Haven and attended Knollwood School. There he terrorized his teachers and made lifelong friendships with many.  He put in his four years at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School where he had a notorious football career as a stud fullback with the Bulldogs. Number 33 was known as “The Tank.” A man of tradition, he painted himself green and streaked through the halls of RFH on St. Patrick’s Day.

Will graduated from West Virginia University and was a proud Mountaineer. He rarely missed a football game and was a die-hard fan of Blue & Gold.  “BZ” or “Be Easy” was a familiar face at Mario’s Fishbowl and all the local pubs of Morgantown. He never missed a chance to toss ‘em back and chase some girls.

After college, Will packed up his ski gear and moved to Bend, Oregon where he perfected his big mountain powder style. He upped his game on various back country trails with great friends and family. He was always prepared with a lifter in the pocket of his jacket.

Will came home and picked up a trowel to work alongside his dad and best friend, Bill.  He became an accomplished mason, and they enjoyed many lunch breaks at Val’s Tavern.  He eventually moved on to work with his cousin Jake and the dockbuilders of Local 1556.

Will travelled the world in search of the best powder with the West Long Branch Ski Club. He was a proud member of the esteemed club within the club, The Bushwackers. There he was named “Soaring Eagle” for the obvious reasons.

An all-American boy, Will enjoyed many sports including softball, hunting and fishing.  He swung his bat for The Machine in the Rumson Townie Softball League with his dad and longtime buddies.  The whitetail population of Monmouth County can sleep a little easier knowing Will has finally hung up his bow. His presence will be sorely missed at the Muzzy Stump Shoot this year and every year to come.

Will was the proud godfather of three: Johnny, Cole and Timmy. Not especially religious, he shared few bible verses, but he taught them loyalty, kindness and strength. He loved them hard and taught them how to properly have a good time. He made sure they would become aces in the snow and knew how to hold a rod & reel.

Will’s beloved dogs, Tanner & Clay, will never be the same.  When you see them running through Fair Haven Fields, please send them home.

Will is predeceased by his grandparents Carl & Margaret Jakubecy and Jack Costello and his Aunt Jackie Lake. He also is giving Heaven some Hell with his cousin Mike Sharkey.

Will is survived by countless heartbroken friends and family members, most importantly his parents Joy (Costello) & Bill Jakubecy, his sister and brother-in-law Alison & Kevin Countryman and his beloved nephew & niece Timmy & Maggie. He is not survived by any children of his own (as far as we know).”