Filling Empty Bowls for the Hungry at RFH

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) students are getting set to fill the pantries, bellies and empty food bowls of those in need.

The high school will host what has been dubbed the Empty Bowls fundraiser, benefitting the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties on Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Empty Bowls stands for the situation faced by local families struggling to put food on the table. The annual event is open to the public and features beautiful original artwork in the form of colorful bowls created by RFH ceramics students. For $10, people may purchase a handcrafted ceramic bowl filled with soup (and bread on the side) and the proceeds go to the Food Bank.

Event organizers are also requesting donations of canned foods for the Food Bank as well as new or gently used children’s books for donation to Bridge of Books.

Retro RFH Polar Bear Dudes

RFH Polar Bear Club after a plunge. Photo/RFH Yearbook screenshot
RFH Polar Bear Club after a plunge.
Photo/RFH Yearbook screenshot

With the announcement of Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson’s successful fundraising ($17,030 for Special Olympics New Jersey) culminating in the Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights on Saturday, it seemed only right that we take you back to polar bear plunging guys of RFH back in the day — way back.

These guys actually had a high school club dedicated to the cause of, well, just plunging into icy cold water on a whim or for a thrill in the 1970s.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day is dedicated to the winter chill, the plunge and the guys who made it a club.

Do you remember the RFH Polar Bear Club? Know any of these cold weather beachgoers? Was the club solely dedicated to the dive into icy water?

— Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Shipping Out at Sunrise in Sea Bright

You never know when your ship will come in, when you’ll catch a perfect view of a Sea Bright sunrise or both.

Well, Rumsonite and RFH Class of ’78 grad Doug Borden got a good dose of both this morning.

Headed over the Rumson/Sea Bright Bridge toward Sea Bright beach, he got a good glimpse of a glorious sunrise and, yes, a ship passing (or coming in for him, if you will).

Take a look at this longtime Rumson-Fair Haven area guy’s moment of sunrise gratitude …

Thanks Doug! Happy Monday, all!

Photos/Doug Borden


Rumsonite Luann Hughes: Irish Soda Bread Champ

Rumsonite Luann Hughes’ winning Irish soda bread
Photo/courtesy of Luann Hughes

Erin go Luann. She did it. Longtime Rumsonite Luann Hughes won herself a place in Rumson baking history with her first-place win in the  2017 Irish Soda Bread Contest at Oceanic Free Library.

The Thursday contest has become an area tradition and one of many prequels to the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Hughes, who hasn’t given up her ingredient secret, announced on Facebook her win and that she has become among the honorees who “get(s) to help carry the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day parade banner!!!”

She won third place last year. And in addition to the hometown baker prestige, not only did the first-place win this year come with the honor of toting the parade banner, but it also came with a festive four-leaf clover trophy.

Congrats, Luann Hughes! Will your secret ever be revealed?

Memorial Set for Former Fair Haven Mayor

Former Fair Haven Mayor Joseph Szostak passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 22. He was 81.

The former longtime music professor and creator of the music program at Brookdale Community College,music director and conductor of the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Monmouth Conservatory Youth Chorus and music critic for the Red Bank Register made Fair Haven his home for 35 years before relocating to Caldwell seven years ago. It is there, at at Paul Ippolito-Dancy Memorial, 9 Smull Ave., where there will be a service to honor Szosktak on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Szostak served as Fair Haven mayor for one four-year term, from 2002 to 2006. As a resident of Fair Haven, he was also a social member of the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company.

He was known as a man who treasured his family, good food, traveling, outdoors and Fair Haven. Szostak, his family said in his obituary, was “a generous, kind, gregarious, sensitive man whose door was always open to whoever needed his help. He made the world a brighter place with his humor, warmth, and love.”

Surviving are: his loving children, Martin and his wife, Gayle McCarthy, Phillip, and David and his wife, Jennifer; cherished grandchildren, Grace and Leo, and former wife, Barbara Armbruster.

He was predeceased by: his siblings, Anna, Florence, Helen, Mildred, Frank and John Szostak.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect is preparing a memorial tribute to Szostak. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with comments and/or photos. Thank you! RIP, Mayor Szostak. You are remembered.

Focus: Barnacle’s and the Gulls

“Such a picture perfect spot, isn’t it?” a woman going to dinner at Barnacle Bill’s said Wednesday as dusk hit the banks of the Navesink River in Rumson. “Beautiful.”

She smiled, nodded and added, “We’re so lucky to have this …”

Yes, we are. The gulls flocked to the dock and little swath of beach at the spot. They seemed to be having a meeting.

All present. All savoring home.

Take a look … (Click to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde


Rumson Police Chief to Plunge for Special Olympics

Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson is taking the plunge again — The Polar Bear Plunge in Seaside Heights.

And, once again, the chief’s dip into icy waters is all for the sake of  a good cause  — Special Olympics New Jersey.

No, it’s not Paterson’s first plunge. But, it was a first for his $15,000 fundraising goal.

And, with only a few days left, Paterson has surpassed his goal. As of today, he has raised $15,340 from 68 donors.

He is grateful; and there is still time to donate, as funds will be accepted until the day of the plunge.

“I want to thank each and everyone of you that helped me reach my goal of $15,000.00,” Chief Paterson said yesterday in a message on his fundraising page. “I sincerely appreciate your kindness and generosity and I promise to represent well …”

Learn more about Special Olympics by clicking here. To donate to the chief’s plunge for the olympics, click here.

Prosecutor: Suspended Cop, Sister Plead Guilty to Health Insurance Fraud

A suspended police officer and his sister pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges in connection with a health insurance fraud scheme, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Tuesday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Suspended Cop, Sister Plead Guilty to Health Insurance Fraud