Collingswood, New Jersey

Nominate a great volunteer!

Collingswood seeks outstanding volunteer nominations for National Volunteer Month in April

Do you know someone who gives their heart and soul to Collingswood to make it a better place? April is National Volunteer month and Collingswood, a community built on strong volunteer spirit, is hoping  to celebrate those that give back.

The Borough is holding a short essay contest to find the town’s most giving volunteers. People that would like to nominate a friend or neighbor can write a short essay (150 words or less) describing a Collingswood volunteer who has contributed to the community and how. 

Nominees should fit the theme: A Collingswood resident that has given outstandingly to Collingswood-specific efforts, projects or organizations. A winner will be selected in March and both the essayist and nominee will be honored at the April 6 Commission Meeting. Both will receive $50 Collingswood Cash and the nominee will get a proclamation celebrating their dedication to town. The winning essay will be published in the Town Crier as well.

“There are so many people that give their time and talent to make Collingswood the amazing place it is,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “I suspect we’ll have a lot of nominees and that’s part of what makes our town wonderful. They’ll be very touching to read.”

According to Nationalserviceresources.org, National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Every president since has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week. Additionally, governors, mayors and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of the event.

Last year the Borough honored winner Linda Skowronek for involvement in a broad range of Collingswood events and  organizations as well as her dedication to Collingswood schools.

Send essays to:
Volunteer Month Essay Contest
c/o Cass Duffey, 678 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108

Essays can also be emailed to cduffey@collingswood.com with the subject line “Volunteer Month Essay Contest SUBMISSION.” Essays must be received by March 25 and be no longer than 150 words.

Collingswood 2015 budget focuses on capital improvements

Collingswood’s 2015 budget, introduced at the March 2 Commission meeting, includes appropriations that largely support funding capital projects. The increase is $67 on the average assessed home of $230,000.

“We’re focused on executing capital projects that will enhance the community,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “A big part of the budget is tax dollars going to basics like infrastructure, park improvements, equipment and upgrades – tangible expenditures that residents will really be able to see firsthand and appreciate.” 

Infrastructure highlights include pedestrian safety improvements with traffic calming bumpouts in several locations, a new parking kiosk, the installation of a new bathroom in Knight Park, the replacement of a water well house, inlet repairs, a new water utility truck, sewer department vehicle and a new pickup truck with snow plow.

Notably, inclusive of down payment on a bond ordinance, significant upgrades to the Roberts Pool facility are planned for 2015 and 2016. These include necessary repairs to pipes underneath the baby pool and replacing the gutters at the main pool. These improvements will help maintain good water quality and significantly reduce severe water loss issues. The bond ordinance will finance a new snack stand complete with new bathrooms for patrons of the pool as well.

“Roberts Pool is one of our most loved assets,” said Commissioner Joan Leonard. “It’s used by so many – athletes, seniors, families – and we’ve heard feedback from residents for some time about what they’d like to see at the pool. These improvements will also save money that we’re losing now through old infrastructure and water loss.”

In 2014 the Fire Department was awarded a federal SAFER grant to employ two new firefighters. Since that grant has expired, the 2015 budget will absorb the salary of these firefighters, maintaining staffing in the fire department. 

“It’s just as important that our budget supports our employees,” said Commissioner Mike Hall. “Our departments need appropriate staffs to make sure everything like infrastructure projects and public safety runs smoothly in Collingswood. If we let that slip, we can’t be as responsive as we need to be for residents.”

For the fourth year in a row the Borough’s debt, after being flat for nearly 10 years, continues to decline in 2015. The restructuring of the Borough’s debt has resulted in savings of lowered interest costs and a 20 percent reduction of the Borough’s debt since 2012.

Collingwood Foundation for the Arts hosts Finnegan’s Wake

An interactive dinner comedy to DIE for!

Finnegan’s Wake, the hilarious interactive dinner comedy, is coming to Collingswood!  After playing to sold out audiences in Atlantic City, Finnegan’s Wake will now be playing at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom on March 20.The proceeds from this performance will support the Collingswood Foundation for the Arts.

The classic Irish ballad “Finnegan’s Wake” is transformed into the Irish version of “one of those Italian Weddings,” only in place of the nuptials, there’s a funeral. It’s an interactive dinner theater so the audience is part of the act!

Audiences will have the opportunity to pay their respects to poor Sean Patrick Finnegan, give a eulogy, or tell their favorite Irish joke. There’s no telling what may happen when Sean’s crazy family and his outrageous friends come together at his funeral. The event includes original music by the Barley Boys (led by Mike Babick) as well as an Irish buffet and full bar.

Tickets can be purchased by calling The Collingswood Grand Ballroom and Scottish Rite Theater at 856-858-1000 x210. Tickets are $40 and include a buffet dinner, two complimentary drinks (beer or wine) and admission to The Wake with music by The Barley Boys. Parking is plentiful and free at the Scottish Rite.

You’ll laugh (until you cry) at Finnegan’s Wake, a production assured to lift your spirits – and rest assured there will be plenty of spirits to go around. After all, this gathering is a celebration of life, not death!

Details for Finnegan’s Wake:
Friday, March 20, 2015 at 7pm; doors open at 6:30pm
Collingswood Grand Ballroom, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood 08107
Tickets $40 per person; include buffet and two complimentary drinks (beer or wine)
Tickets are limited; call 856-858-1000 x210
Mixed drinks & Irish beer available
Proceeds benefit Collingswood Foundation for the Arts 

Snow information

Collingswood’s Public Works Department works hard to maintain safe driving conditions and clear streets during a snowy weather. During inclement weather please pull cars into driveways if possible to aid plowing. Vehicles parked in the roadway cause a hindrance to the plowing operations and put plow drivers at risk for possible accidents with parked vehicles in the roadway. Please do not shovel snow back into the street when shoveling out drives and walks. It impedes plow crew efforts. Remember, property owners are responsible for clearing walks.

Trash service will continue as scheduled. With public works questions please call 856-858-0533. For weather related updates, cancellations or information please stay tuned to www.collingswood.com.

SNOW REMOVAL GUIDELINES
Depending on the duration and amount of snowfall, Borough trucks may plow your street several times. As snow rolls off our plows, it will accumulate in driveways. Please understand that this is unavoidable and it is the homeowner's responsibility to clear it. Here are some helpful hints to make "snow" business less frustrating:

Shovel snow to the right side of your driveway (facing the street) to minimize the amount of snow entering your driveway.

If possible/necessary, wait until the Borough trucks have made at least two passes on your street before clearing your driveway.

Shovel and/or blow snow onto the curb, not into the street.

DO NOT PARK cars on the street from one hour after snow has continuously fallen until 12 hours after snow has stopped. This speeds the removal process and prevents cars from being plowed in.

To insure safety of pedestrians, residents must remove snow from sidewalks following a snow fall.

In the event of deep snow, please shovel around your mailbox and fire hydrants near your house – for your safety and your neighbors'.

 

Perkins Center 5th Anniversary Award Winning Beer Tasting Event

Perkins Center 5th Anniversary Award Winning Beer Tasting Event


Join Perkins Center in Collingswood (30 Irvin Ave) for an fantastic evening of artistry and beer tasting, featuring over a dozen regional craft micro brews, a distillery, gourmet foods, handmade beer steins, live music and a silent auction on Saturday, May 16 from 7-10p.m.


In celebrating a landmark year, the Perkins beer tasting event includes a VIP Tasting at 6p.m. and will showcase five small New Jersey breweries from 6-7p.m.. Handmade beer steins, original artwork and one-of-a-kind items will make the silent auction unique.  Featured breweries are Yuengling, Lancaster Brewing Co., Yards Brewing Co., East Coast Beer Co., Tuckahoe Brewing Co., Flying Fish Brewery and many more.


Handcrafted will feature live music from electro soul group Vita and the Woolf, named one of the Top 5 Philly Music Discoveries of 2014 by The Key XPN. Visitors are sure to enjoy a great evening of fun, food, drinks and laughter.
The opening of ticket sales begin on Friday, February 13 at $50 per person and can be purchased at www.perkinscenter.org. All proceeds benefit the many arts education efforts of Perkins Center.


Handcrafted at Perkins Center was named the 2014 Best Foodie Event in South Jersey by SoJo Happening, and the 2014 Best Way to Buy Art by South Jersey Magazine.


Handcrafted at Perkins Center is a 21+ event taking place at Perkins Center, Collingswood (30 Irvin Ave. Collingwood, NJ 08108) on Saturday, May 16th from 7-10pm. Tickets are $50 per person and include tastings of all the craft brews and food showcased at the event. Attend the VIP Tasting for an additional $20.  Space is limited for the VIP Tasting, purchase tickets early. For ticketing and event details, please visit PerkinsArts.org or call (856) 235-6488.

Free parking on winter Sundays

Collingswood is offering free parking on Sundays for the winter. There’s no charge to park in town on Sundays during February and March. Parking is limited to three hours.

Hours of operation for paid parking are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 50 cents per hour.

Where can I park in Collingswood? It’s easy! Parking maps and more information here.

Annual Egg Hunt – March 28

Collingswood Rotary will host this year’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28 beginning at 10 a.m.  The hunt will take place at the gazebo in Knight Park. There will be candy and goodies for boys and girls ages eight and under. Bring your camera for pictures with the Easter Bunny! No pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Rotary President Michael Trainor at 609-313-4910 or savingsandfunreading@gmail.com.

Symphony in C presents Blast Off! A concert for young people

 
Symphony in C and Assistant Conductor Petko Dimitrov present Symphony in C’s annual Concerts for Young People, educational and entertaining concerts featuring great orchestral works and stories brought to life through renowned story tellers for students in Pre-K though ninth grades.  Two performances will take place at the Scottish Rite Auditorium on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  Renowned performer Michael Boudewyns will join Symphony in C for Daniel Dorff’s Blast Off! and Benjamin Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.
 
The program will feature the winner of the Rising Stars Competition, Jason Vassiliou.  Jason Vassiliou is a sophomore distinguished honors at Conestoga High School in Berwyn PA. He is currently a violin student of Hirono Oka, of Cherry Hill, NJ, who plays with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jason will perform Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor with Symphony in C on February 26 at 10:00 am and 11:30 am. Applicants submitted a video DVD containing two musical selections totaling ten minutes of music.  Nine applicants were selected from the submissions to perform in the final round of auditions. 
 
Tickets are currently available and range in price from $8 - $10. This program is sponsored by Subaru of America, additional support is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The New Jersey Cultural Trust, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation.  Symphony in C is a member of the South Jersey Cultural Alliance (SJCA). 
 
Symphony in C concerts are wheelchair accessible.  Large print programs and brochures and assistive listening devices are available at all concerts.   For more information on Symphony in C go to our website at www.SymphonyinC.org or call 856-963-6683.
 
About Symphony in C:  Symphony in C is one of three professional training orchestras in the United States preparing musicians and conductors who are on the cusp of world-class careers through concert, educational outreach and professional development programs.  Performing at the Gordon Theater at Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts in Camden, New Jersey, Symphony in C serves over 90,000 people annually through its critically-acclaimed concert series, educational outreach programs and radio broadcasts.  Symphony in C has been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and strives to continue making artistic, educational, and economic impact on a regional, national and global scale.
 
About Jason Vassiliou:  Jason Vassiliou is a sophomore distinguished honors at Conestoga High School in Berwyn PA. He is currently a violin student of Hirono Oka, of Cherry Hill, NJ, who plays with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
 
About Petko Dimitrov: Petko Dimitrov is in his fifth season serving as Assistant Conductor of Symphony in C.  Dimitrov also serves as Music Director of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, in Connecticut. In July 2010, Dimitrov was appointed to be the Artistic Director of the Lasdon Park Concert Series in Katonah, New York.  He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of The New Symphony Orchestra, in his native Bulgaria. Dimitrov was awarded a Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Fellowship in the 2007-2008 season which recognizes accomplished young conductors and provides them with a monetary award to further develop their career.  Dimitrov made his debut as a conductor with The New Symphony Orchestra, Sofia, Bulgaria, in May 1998, performing a concert of British music by Sir Michael Tippet and Henry Purcell, in collaboration with The British Council. Since then he has been an Assistant Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra and has performed subscription concerts, as well as commissions regularly. He has also been active as a Conductor of a Chamber Ensemble of The New Symphony Orchestra. Since 2001 Dimitrov has been studying and working in the United States.  In 2004 he completed his Masters Degree in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Michigan, under the direction of Kenneth Kiesler. In 2006 Dimitrov finished his studies with Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma in Orchestral Conducting.
 
About Michael Boudewyns:  Michael has been performing with Symphony in C since 2004, and has loved being part of their fantastic Concerts for Young People. Since 2004 he has also been a frequent guest artist with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s popular Family Concerts, presenting vaudeville-inspired performances of classic stories for young audiences. Additionally, he has appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra in the Beyond the Score presentations of Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Other family concerts include performances with the orchestras of Saint Louis, Milwaukee, New Haven, Richmond, and the Westchester Philharmonic. This season Michael will make his Des Moines Symphony Orchestra debut with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He will also present: Peter and the Wolf with symphonies in Texarkana, Princeton, and Annapolis; Dr.Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, with soprano Kimberly Schroeder, with orchestras in Lincoln, Annapolis, Kennett, and Harrisburg; The Story of Babar with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; and Mozart’s Toy Symphony with orchestras in Harrisburg, Charlotte, Newark and Lincoln. Michael is a graduate of the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware, and co- founder of www.ReallyInventiveStuff.com.

Work in Harmony Café hosts “Our Wishes Over Dishes”

Program partners with Nunzio Ristorante Rustico and The Tortilla Press to help families address end-of-life issues

Our Wishes Over Dishes is part of a national movement to bring families together to have a conversation on what family members wishes would be at the end of their lives. Do you or your older loved ones have an advanced directive? Have you made out a will? Do you want to be buried or cremated? These are very difficult questions to answer, but so very necessary in planning for later years.

Work in Harmony (810 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood) is offering the use of their conference room free of charge one night a week from 6 to 8 p.m. for families who want to hold this important meeting with their loved ones  in a quiet, neutral environment. Planning assistance and resources will be available.

Collingswood restaurants Nunzio’s and Tortilla Press are providing limited menus  for families to order from and have delivered to enjoy a meal surrounded by loved ones while having one of the most difficult and important conversations a family can have.

Work in Harmony Café owner Michelle Polidoro is a registered nurse. The idea to host Our Wishes Over Dishes came from years of seeing patients struggle to make end-of-life decisions for sick loved ones. It became a personal matter for her when a family member got sick.

“My family faced this decision last January when my Pop passed away. We made the decision to give him morphine at the end, and for a long time afterwards my mom felt guilty for doing so,” said Polidoro. “It is important that people know what their loved ones would want if faced with this same decision or other decisions that need to be made.”

Polidoro was familiar with “Death over Dinner”, a similar national program which aims to make the conversation regarding care in final days more empowering when supported by loved ones. She decided her co-working café gave families an ideal space to plan for end-of-life and enjoy a meal together. She is offering her space for free to families that want to share their wishes.

Did you know (According to Death over Dinner statistics):
-How we want to die represents the most important and costly conversation that America isn’t having.
-Nearly 75% of Americans want to die at home, yet only 25% of them do.
-60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important”; 56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes.
-Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.
-The vast majority of bankruptcies are due to end of life expenses.

Work in Harmony aims to offer families a comfortable place to start a dialogue. “Let’s make our community strong by participating in this movement to increase awareness of end-of-life choices and decrease the burden on families and society,” said Polidoro.

To reserve space or get more info, contact Michelle Polidoro at michelle@workinharmonycafe.com or call 856-869-9600.

Band Boosters Basket Raffle 2015

Band Boosters Basket Raffle 2015

Add a boost to your evening at the CHS Band Boosters 9th Annual Basket Raffle on Saturday, March 14 at the Collingswood Senior High School (424 Collings Ave) from 6 to 10 p.m. Entry fee is $5 and includes light refreshments. The event will feature regular, premium and super baskets as well as door prizes!

Raffle tickets prices on the night of the event:
-$5 for 1 sheet of 25 tickets

-$10 for 3 sheets of 25 tickets

Presale tickets will be available February 1-28 at five sheets for $15. Remember presale ticket and entry fees must be paid no later than March 1. To order presale tickets contact Laurie Webber at collsbandboosters@yahoo.com or 856-534-6123.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for presale ticket purchasers and presale tickets will be provided upon entry.

You can win big, Come boost your luck!

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