Tag Archives: Rumson

Tradition: Rumson’s Toy Drive

By Elaine Van Develde

Santa Claus is coming to … the Rumson Department of Public Works.

That’s right. It’s that time of the year, on Friday and Saturday, when Rumson tradition takes hold and Santa, in the form of countless charitable elves, brings toys to the DPW garage on East River Road to bring a better Christmas to children in need.

But this is not just a toy drive. It’s an annual Rumson community tradition. It’s hosted by the DPW employees and the community as a whole, replete with holiday-appropriate hot chocolate, candy canes and yuletide company.

“It’s definitely turned into a big community event,” DPW organizer Mark Wellner said. “A lot of people stop down, bring the kids and socialize. We give the kids the candy canes and hot chocolate and there’s coffee for the adults. It’s really nice.”

Mayor John Ekdahl echoed the sentiment.

“The residents of Rumson are thrilled that the DPW department has for years taken upon themselves to run a Christmas toy drive,” the mayor said. “Different charities are chosen each year and the donated toys always find their way to the most needy children. The enthusiasm of the town is evident by the numbers of toys dropped off each year at the garages behind Borough Hall.”

This is the 15th year of the drive for which organizers usually set a goal of gathering at least 1,000 toys that will get funneled to the kids via Family & Children’s Services, Long Branch, and The Salvation Army, Red Bank.

And “this year we’re shooting for 1,200 or even more,” Wellner said. “We’re always trying to up that number and better ourselves to get more toys to the kids.”

Organizers ask that anyone wishing to donate bring a new, unwrapped gift to the DPW from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday and/or 9 a..m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

 

 

A Soggy, Flooded West Park, Sea Bright

By Elaine Van Develde

The Nor’easter remnants have hit the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

And, as predicted and history has shown, the combination of torrential rains, wind and high tides have produced some flooding on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright and into the low-lying West Park section of Rumson.

In Rumson, Mayor John Ekdahl said in the late morning that “tides are running three feet above normal and is over the bulkhead in parts of West Park and Sea Bright.”

Continue reading A Soggy, Flooded West Park, Sea Bright

Catching Up With Hibernians at Murphy’s

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s not every day that you wander into a speakeasy in Rumson and end up in a sea of green sweatshirts steeped in bagpipe music and merriment —  not every day … except Saturday.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect caught up with a contingent of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 2 Monmouth as they made their way around towns and into Murphy’s in a pub crawl.

Take a look at our photo collage above for a glimpse into their time spent in the classic Rumson hangout. Just click any of the photos to enlarge and scroll with the arrow to the left or right.

Going Retro with a Rumson Police Chief Snapshot

 Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson at the Aj.J. Bruder Memorial Rumson Run.  Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson at the Aj.J. Bruder Memorial Rumson Run.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

 

In our Retro Pic of the Day today, we’re giving equal time to Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson.

We looked back at Rumson and Fair Haven mayors John Ekdahl and Ben Lucarelli to take a break from the tragedy in the area with a flashback of a good time at the A.J. Bruder Memorial Rumson Run.

Bruder, as most know, was a well-liked RFH graduate who died very after a long battle with cancer.

The annual run in his memory always sparks up a great time in celebration of Bruder’s life. It’s sunny twist on tragedy. It’s a day when people in the area run, relish life, remember and smile, as A.J. did in his lifetime.

So, here’s to Chief Paterson’s participation on that day!

Lookin’ Back on Good R-FH Times

Rumson Mayor John Ekdal and Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli enjoy a time together. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Rumson Mayor John Ekdal and Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli enjoy a time together.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

In light of the tremendous amount of sadness lately in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, our Retro Pic of the Day focuses on better times.

Pictured here are our Rumson and Fair Haven mayors having a great time after the A.J. Bruder Memorial Race in Rumson a couple of years ago.

These two look like they’re up to something, ever as friendly as both are.  Remember?

 

Getting Festive with Rumson, Fair Haven Tree Lightings

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s time to haul out the community holiday spirit and get set for the Rumson-Fair Haven area kick-offs to the season of Santa and all the festivities that come to town with him.

First, on Friday evening, at 5:30 p.m., Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will arrive via fire truck at Fair Haven’s Memorial Park on the corner of Fair Haven and River roads. After the initial greetings, Santa will pose for photos with children, according to a release from the Fair Haven Business Association.

The tree will be lit at 6 p.m. and there will be music, food and activities for the kids, the release added.

Throughout the lighting and Santa’s arrival, from 5 to 7 p.m., the release said, there will be a stroll through the River Road East business district during which businesses will be open and featuring a collaborative open house, a newer tradition in Fair Haven.

The business district will be open on Saturday and Sunday for shopping.

Then, in Rumson on Sunday the borough will hold it’s annual traditional tree lighting and festivities in Victory Park.

The event begins at 5 p.m. and will feature, as usual, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Tower Singers, Deane-Porter’s third grade chorus and Tim McLoone & the Shirleys with members of Holiday Express.

Looking Back at Best Halloween Buds

RUMSON HALLOWEEN BESTIES
These two were thrilled about celebrating Halloween 2014 together at Rumson’s Victory Park. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Talk about just exuding the love of a bestie …

These two girls had a great day together at the Rumson Halloween celebration at Victory Park.

After getting permission to take their pic from parents, they instantly put their arms around each other, plopped their heads together and smiled ear-to-ear.

When this photographer asked, “Are you guys best friends?” They grinned even wider and shook their heads up and down with a big “Yeeees!”

Adorable. It’s likely, as with many in the area, that these two will be friends forever.

Here are a few more … And, take a look back at our slideshow of Halloween in the R-FH area by clicking here.

A Revival: Holy Cross Church

By Elaine Van Develde

When it comes to Holy Cross Church in Rumson, you could say it’s a case of that old Peter Allen song, Everything Old is New Again — and, maybe, vice versa.

The long-anticipated, beleaguered church restoration/expansion project broke ground in the spring of 2013.

When portions at the rear of the 1885 white-shingled house of worship were demolished, leaving only its facade and room for the expansion, the sight of the hollowed, one-dimensional flat structure was a view of a different kind.

The foundation for the expansion was blessed on Nov. 3, 2013.

Since then, a lot of building, recreating the designs of Charles Keely, has been done. Slated for completion by the end of 2014, the compromise of what was originally to be an even bigger Holy Cross is looking nearly complete.

Take a look at our photo gallery above. Just click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through using the arrows to the left or right. 

Honoring Vets in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

“Many of those who were drafted into war many years ago were only seniors in high school. They were so young, their faces looked like dough,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said, explaining the significance of what is dubbed the Doughboy Statue that stands at Memorial Park.

It’s where the Veterans Day ceremony in the borough took place on Tuesday. It’s also where some of those once dough-faced soldiers, now wearing the passage of time and life experience on their faces and in their eyes, gathered to pay tribute to fellow vets, those who have passed, those killed in the line of duty and those still in service.

They gathered in both Fair Haven and Rumson.

In Fair Haven, World War II vet Warner White, recipient of the Purple Heart award and Combat Infantry Badge, made his way up to the mic to speak of his time on the Atlantic French Coast at Utah Beach (D plus 94) and the Battle of the Bulge.

A native of Ohio, White has made Fair Haven his home since 1962.

Modest, as many World War II vets are, White quipped, “Ya see this picture of me here (pointing to the program). They make it look like I’m saluting. I really wasn’t. I was just combing my hair.”

He spoke of his experiences and all listened intently, including the very young, doughy-faced students in attendance.

Also recognized were a couple of the oldest living World War II vets in the audience: Ray Taylor, who served in Korea as well, and Oscar Hille, of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Also still living in Fair Haven, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect has learned, is 97-year-old World War II vet, Ken Curchin.

In Rumson, special recognition was paid to Jack Donovan Fowler, who was a First Lieutenant in the 7th Armored Division of the Battle of the Bulge.

Captain Daniel J. Edwards was the “presiding officer of the day” for the ceremony and Captain Mike Lilley, of the U.S. Marine Corps, spoke. Lilley, a Rumson resident, is executive director of Better Education for Kids, Inc.

All are the faces of service to the country. There were many thank-you’s and handshakes Tuesday morning. And Mayor Lucarelli called for that and more consideration to be a constant.

“In war there are and (have been) so many casualties and lives lost … Many who served and return have wounds that cannot be seen, such as post traumatic stress disorder and brain trauma …

“If you see a vet, thank a vet. If you see a vet and it seems like he’s having a hard time, understand. Go up to him and comfort him if you can.”

The casualties of the wars … 

• World War I, 115,000 lives lost;

• World War II, 405,000 lives lost;

• Korean War, 36,000 lives lost;

• Vietnam, 50,000;

• Persian Gulf conflicts, 7,000.

Veterans Day in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Both the boroughs of Rumson and Fair Haven will commemorate Veterans Day on the same day, same time — Nov. 11 at 11 a.m..

“The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said.

In Rumson, the ceremony will take place in the usual spot by the war memorial in Victory Park. It will feature members of the armed forces and veterans of various wars as highlighted speakers and participants.

In Fair Haven, the service will take place at Memorial Park. Remaining World War II vets from the borough will be in attendance, the town’s oldest living World War II and Korean War vet, Ray Taylor, 93, will be a featured speaker.

“He’s (Taylor) is a very special man,” Lucarelli said. “It’s always an honor to hear him speak.”

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature photo galleries of both events.