In 1976, Curtis Colby befriended a boy named Joey, whose father had died. Curtis spent time mentoring him as a volunteer and discovered Joey's younger brother also was in need of a strong male role model. This connection was the original impetus for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties, which connects youth with responsible and positive adult mentors through community- and school-based programs to help change their lives for the better. Youth aged 6–14 who have one-on-one relationships with mentors have reported increased self-esteem, an improved ability to express their feelings, and better attitudes toward school.
Since its inception, all the plays that Two River Theater has produced have shared a common thread: capturing the human experience. Bridging the gap between players and audiences, their intimate performances have made them a New Jersey treasure, leading to three Theater of the Year awards from the New Jersey Theater Alliance and The Star Ledger, as well as designation as a Major Impact Organization by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Giving them space to play along the way are two theaters: the 350-seat Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, where six-play subscription seasons and holiday shows unfold, and the 99-seat black box Marion Huber Theater.
During Enable’s day program, five days of structured activities engage individuals with disabilities, allowing them to volunteer in their local community, interact socially with their peers and other adults, and improve their physical and cognitive well-being. Participants volunteer with Meals on Wheels and visit veterans, or learn new skills such as art, pet therapy, and horticulture. The day program empowers people with disabilities to tackle their goals and personal interests while building a recreational community in a structured environment.
It’s hard to not feel great after a trip to The Butterfly Charities—not only are the gardens beautiful, with about 100 large butterflies flitting their wings atop vibrantly colorful nectar flowers, but the profits of each admission are donated to area charities. The gardens are so peaceful that yoga classes and napping conventions are held onsite, and the small courtyard outside is often used for weddings and parties. Live butterflies can also be hand delivered for ceremonial release at special occasions such as weddings and memorial services.
Blue Water Seafood Company’s expansive menu satisfies the deepest desires of seafaring appetites. Appetizers such as oysters on the half shell ($16/dozen) launch the stomach on a seafaring journey, continued by jumbo lump crab cakes ($17 lunch; $23 dinner) and fried clam strips ($15 lunch; $18 dinner). Blue Water's live Maine lobster ($26/lb., dinner only) is steamed and served with roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables upon order, bringing forth celestial flavors from the abyssopelagic depths. The maritime menu is bordered by an assortment of terra firma tasties including lemon chicken with artichoke hearts and crispy garlic ($14 lunch; $18 dinner) and New Zealand lamb chops ($35, dinner only).