Collingswood, New Jersey

Fight Hunger & Support the arts at Perkins' Empty Bowls 2014

Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood (30 Irvin Ave) will hold its fourth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser on Saturday, December 6 from noon to 3 p.m. With the mantra Feed the Body, Feed the Soul, Empty Bowls 2014 will connect local artists and restaurateurs with community members to raise awareness and financial support for hunger and for arts education.   Empty Bowls strives to ensure that everyone has enough food for a healthy diet, while helping the arts reach into the lives of everyone in the community, regardless of financial means.

“Each holiday season we look forward to this opportunity to give back and to reach out to our community in a meaningful way,” said Alan Willoughby, Executive Director, Perkins Center for the Arts. “This fundraiser reinforces our shared commitment to serve our community, help alleviate a desperate need, and improve arts education in South Jersey.”

Attendees are treated to live music and, in exchange for the purchase of a handmade bowl made by Perkins Center’s artists and volunteers, can enjoy samples of restaurant cuisine from the greater Collingswood area. Funds raised are donated to the Food Bank and support the scholarship fund at Perkins Center.

Led by the efforts of Paul Serena, more than 600 bowls of all shapes, sizes and colors have been created specifically for this year’s event. For months the ceramics studio has been busy with artists who have volunteered to form, trim, decorate and fire the bowls to prepare for the event.

Perkins Center proudly affiliates with the national Empty Bowls organization, supporting hunger awareness and relief efforts worldwide since 1990.  For more information, including volunteer opportunities, parking information and more, visit the website at perkinsarts.org or contact Paul Serena at pserena@perkinscenter.org.

This program is made possible in part by fund from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional Support provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Borough of Collingswood.

Marathon reading of A Christmas Carol, Dec 20

Come out to Dig This (717 Haddon Ave) for a marathon reading of "A Christmas Carol" starting at 5 p.m.on December 20! Stop in to enjoy snacks, drinks and a live reading of the holiday classic. Hear a few verses or Ebenezer’s whole journey.

This entertaining event is open to an audience that can sit and listen to all or as much of the story as they would like. The reading will take about four to five hours. Cookies and punch will be served and there will be a place to donate canned goods to a local food bank. Dig This will offer discounts  on purchases to readers and anyone that brings a donation. 

Readers needed - no experience required to participate. Contact Kenneth at kenneth.allendoerfer@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering as part of this special holiday get-together.

This event is part of Collingswood’s season of holiday events. Caroling, shopping, free parking, visits with Santa and more. Read about all the wonderful holiday events in Collingswood here!

See Santa on Haddon Ave this year!

Bring your wish list! Santa Claus is coming to town to welcome families at his Collingswood Headquarters in the front window of Local Market Collingswood, 714 Haddon Avenue. Bring your camera for pictures! Stay to shop and dine Haddon Ave and enjoy carolers, snow and beautiful lights display.
There is no charge to visit with Santa in Collingswood!

Santa House hours are:
FRIDAY NIGHTS - 6 TO 9PM
SATURDAYS - 1 TO 3PM AND 5 TO 8PM
SUNDAYS - 1 TO 3 PM

Check out the flyer with all the details here!
SantaHours_2014SantaHours_2014

Colls Youth Theatre registration is CLOSED!

Registration for the Collingswood Youth Theatre is CLOSED. 

The Collingswood Recreation Department is pleased to announce the 21st season of the Collingswood Youth Theatre workshop for all students who are currently in grades 3 thorugh 6.  The workshop is directed by Mrs. Patricia Benesch and Mrs. Annemarie Dunn.  The first 65 children who register will receive a part in the production and are requested to be at all rehearsals. 

For rehearsal schedule and other details, follow this link -http://www.collingswood.com/node/6572.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to download the registration form. 

Haddon Avenue opens to two-way traffic

The construction work to build a median on Haddon Avenue has cleared to allow two-way traffic. Concrete work is completed and Haddon Avenue will return to normal traffic in both directions as of early evening, November 22. Powell Lane and the LumberYard garage remains open as well. Atlantic Avenue remains a one way from Collings Avenue to West Knight Avenue.

Work to complete painting, signage, a decorative fountain and landscaping on and around the median will continue in November.

Tailgate party for Colls Cash sale! Nov 22

Collingswood is hosting its seventh annual Collingswood Cash sale! Shoppers flock to Collingswood for the yearly "free money" giveaway, lining up in all kinds of weather as early as 6 a.m. This year, Collingswood is partnering with Camden County to host a morning tailgate party for the dedicated bargain hunters that will gather outside Borough Hall on Saturday, November 22.

This year Collingswood Partners will give away $45,000 to patrons of Collingswood businesses. Shoppers that purchase $50 in Collingswood Cash –the Borough’s equivalent to a mall gift card– will receive an additional $20 to spend anywhere in town. The bonus cash is limited and in recent years long lines for the giveaway have started at the crack of dawn.

Those camped out at Borough Hall will enjoy an early morning party to kick off the holiday season in Collingswood! Starting at 6:30 a.m. on November 22 festivities kick off with music and games for guests. There will be multiple giveaways per hour including concert tickets, sports goods and memorabilia, tailgating gear and Collingswood themed merchandise. Organizers will also host crowd trivia games, provide breakfast snacks and a hot chocolate cart to keep folks warm and happy.

"It’s become a festive morning," said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. "People are chatting about what they're going to spend cash on and making friends. We figured it would be a lot of fun to have a party that morning for everyone that waits hours just to support our shops."

The Borough will sell $112,500 worth of Collingswood Cash and give away $45,000 meaning that in less than two hours there will be more than $150,000 in the hands of shoppers that can only be used in Collingswood. Shoppers that buy a max of $400 during the promotion receive a bonus $160 to spend in town.

The bonus money is limited and has traditionally sold out in less than two hours. The yearly promotion greatly stimulates the local economy by incentivizing holiday shopping in Collingswood. Doors open when Collingswood Cash sales officially start at 9 a.m.

Over the past six years, more than half a million dollars’ worth of Collingswood Cash has been sold to spend at local shops during the holidays. The promotion comes with a coupon book filled with additional offers from more than 20 Collingswood shops, restaurants and services, deepening the discounts. The event takes place a week before Shop Local Saturday with the hopes that shoppers will patronize Collingswood for their holiday gifts, parties, appointments and necessities.

"We're celebrating a great shop local initiative," said Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli. "It's a way to make a fun morning even better. It’s cold, it’s autumn, folks are huddled around, we wanted to capitalize on that vibe and make what was just a line of enthusiastic shoppers a party for the morning.”

About the annual Collingswood Cash Sale:

How do I get my hands on free cash? Starting at 9 a.m. on November 22, two locations in town will sell Collingswood Cash: Collingswood Borough Hall (678 Haddon Ave) and 1st Colonial Community Bank (1040 Haddon Ave) starting at 9 a.m. and give away $45,000 of bonus cash (Sun National Bank is no longer selling Collingswood Cash). Lines start forming at roughly 6 a.m. It is first come, first served, but there are limits. The tailgate party will take place at Borough Hall, 678 Haddon Ave, only.

What are the rules?
Shoppers can purchase a maximum of $400 Collingswood Cash, netting a free $160 to spend, give as gifts, etc. Bonus cash comes only with Collingswood Cash purchased in $50 denominations. One bonus cash sale per customer. Customers must be 18 and over.  Purchase can be made by cash or credit card (a credit fee of four percent is added to the sale, credit accepted only at Borough Hall). Personal checks are not accepted. Bonus only comes with the sale of a $50 certificate. The $50 certificate cannot be broken down into small denominations either at the time of purchase or after the purchase. Collingswood Cash cannot be used to purchase gift cards for out of town businesses. The standard certificates last forever but the bonus cash expires on March 31, 2015. Collingswood Cash is sold year round at face value. The promotion is limited to the season and quantity. A full list of rules regarding the bonus cash sale is here.

Shoppers commonly buy gifts and dinners, but have gotten cars repaired, taken vacations, gotten dental work done and even had animals taxidermied with the bonus cash! The promotion is funded by the Business Improvement District tax, a collective fund used to support the business districts.

The cash incentive is paired with the Borough’s yearly effort to put together a beautiful shopping streetscape in the downtown. Merchants extend shopping hours and carolers sing on Fridays and Saturdays, storefronts are hung with garland, the town is dressed in more than a quarter-million lights and parking is free in December. Collingswood even guarantees snow during the season, setting the winter mood with snow machines throughout the downtown. For more information and holiday schedules, see the holiday events page here. 

Collingswood PD launches traffic safety campaign

The Collingswood Police Department has launched a traffic violations campaign that will extend through at least the end of the year. The effort, known as Drive Safe, Collingswood!, is a strategic campaign targeting driving offences and traffic issues including rolling through stop signs, speeding and distracted driving.

"People are concerned with unsafe driving on their streets," said Collingswood Chief of Police Kevin Carey. "We are cracking down on drivers that are taking speed limits, crosswalks and stop signs as suggestions."

Drive Safe, Collingswood! addresses:

- Stop sign violations

- Speeding violations (especially in business districts & Collings Avenue)

- Increasing traffic patrols

- Targeting distracted drivers (texting/cell phone usage while driving)

The Police Department is focusing on areas that see frequent traffic issues by gathering information from residents. Residents can report traffic concerns in their neighborhood by emailing police@collingswood.com.

The campaign comes on the heels of the Collingswood Police Department making four new hires in the last two months, increasing police staff to 24 sworn officers. The Borough also launched a town-wide crosswalk striping program and increased pedestrian safety measures over the summer to improve conditions for drivers and pedestrians in Collingswood.

"The key thing is to remember to use common sense when driving," said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. "Too many people are rushing or distracted. Try to be more aware of everyone else's safety while driving because families, kids and pedestrians are on almost every block."

2014 Collingswood Holiday Ornament available!

The 2014 Collingswood Holiday Ornament order form is available! This 19th ornament in the series celebrates First Baptist Church of Collingswood's 125th Anniversary. Each year's ornament highlights a time, place or special event in our town. It's a great way to decorate your home or tree with something uniquely Collingswood.

If you've missed out on previous years, want to start a collection or just buy one or two ornaments that have special meaning to you, you're in luck! Select few ornaments from past editions are still available.   2014 Ornaments will be available for pick up at Arts Plus Gallery upon notification.  Past ornaments can be purchased at Collingswood Borough Hall, 678 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood.

Enjoy an ornament that celebrates our treasured Library, historic Zane School, stunning Scottish Rite, magestic Transfiguration Church, the family-favorite Holiday Parade and several other Collingwood landmarks. 

The 2014 ornament and each run of ornaments are limited in quantity - order now!

Previous ornaments still available for a special offer of just $10.

Thackara House (low inventory)    
Collingswood Manor                        
May Fair (low inventory)                  
Zane School (low inventory)               
Collingswood Theatre (low inventory)                       
Foster Warner                                    
Transfiguration Church (low inventory)                      
Holiday Parade (low inventory)                               
Collingswood Library
Collingswood 125th Anniversary (low inventory) 

Knight Park Playground commemorative pickets now for sale

Personalized picket makes wonderful tribute, holiday gift

As part of the successful volunteer-driven effort to build a safe, accessible playground structure in Collingswood’s Knight Park, a commemorative fence was added around the toddler area in the center of the new playground. To contribute to the effort, many families and supporters purchased personalized pickets to show their support for the park.

This holiday season, the Borough is taking orders for the remaining spaces on the memorial fence. Personalized fence pickets are $30 each or two for $50. Consider honoring your family or surprising a loved one. Pickets can be engraved with an individual, family, company, corporate or civic name. Knight Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

“If you bring your children or grandchildren to Knight Park it’s a great way to be a permanent part of the playground and show your support for an important place in our community,” said Collingswood Mayor James Maley. “The Knight Park Playground Committee worked incredibly hard to bring this structure to life and we’d love to see the fence filled with names of families and organizations that cherish this space.”

Pickets are a wonderful gift idea – order for the holidays! Deadline for orders is Feb 28, 2015 (or until enough orders are received to complete the fence). Pickets will be installed in spring 2015. Visit Borough Hall (678 Haddon Ave) or click here for an order form.

Third Annual Knight Park Clean Up, Nov 8

Saturday, November 8 at 9 a.m. meet your neighbors and join volunteers at Knight Park at the Pavilion for the 3rd Annual Autumn Clean Up!

Last year, under the direction of local landscape artist George Schroeder, volunteers created a landscape design and planting around the Pavilion at Knight Park. Just a year later we’re seeing the gorgeous benefits of this contribution come to fruition! There are lovely young multi-trunk eastern redbud trees and other plantings. This year, volunteers will meet on November 8 to clean up the mulch area, re-edge the garden, and rake and beautify the gardens around the bridge.  There will be lots of coffee and plenty of good conversation so come join the fun.  We need your hands and energy to spruce up one of Collingswood’s most important spaces.

Please bring gloves/rakes and any other hand tools that could be helpful. For more info please email Commissioner Joan Leonard at jleonard@collingswood.com.

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