Historical society hosting program

Join the Greate Egg Harbor Township Historical Society on March 7 for the 2014 Speaker Series.

GEHTHS will host a genealogy program by Ed McGettigan, Atlantic County Clerk. The program will take place at 7 p.m. March 7 at the Egg Harbor Township Community Center meeting room, 5043 English Creek Road, Egg Harbor Township. Learn how to start genealogy research and all about the important documents stored at the county clerk's office. A $2 donation is suggested. Admission is free to students and GEHTHS members. Membership applications are available at the door or at GEHTHSMuseum.org.

For more information, call 609-813-2002 or email GEHTHSmuseum@aol.com.

'Shore Thing' writing retreat set

In an ongoing partnership between the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Murphy Writing Seminars, veteran writer and educator Peter Murphy will present "Shore Thing: Writing Beyond The Boardwalk." The retreat will take place at Stockton's Dante Hall Theatre in Atlantic City from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 8.

Following the method Murphy has developed in more than 30 years of leading writing workshops, participants will discuss the craft issues facing professionals before writing to several prompts that will challenge them to write for expression and discovery. They will then share their work in a read-around session.

The $65 tuition includes a lunch of Atlantic City subs and a soft drink. Discounts are available for those who have attended other Murphy Writing programs and for members of the South Jersey Poets Collective. The registration deadline is March 6. Murphy Writing Seminars, a NJ Department of Education Registered Professional Development Provider, will offer seven hours of professional development credit to participating educators.

For full registration information, see MurphyWriting.com or call 609-823-5076.

Life drawing, painting sessions at Noyes studios

The Noyes Studios in Hammonton will resume its Life Drawing and Painting Open Sessions with its Spring Series, taking place on four Friday evenings, March 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Each session is non-instructional, but monitored by a Noyes Museum staff member and runs from 6 to 9 p.m. All sessions are BYOB and BYO materials; a limited number of easels are available on a first-come, first served basis. All skill levels are invited and welcome to attend the open sessions in this friendly and casual atmosphere. Models rotate and will include male and female models. No photography is permitted and participants must be 18 or older, or have parental consent if younger than 18. There is a one-time $45 non-member fee; $35 member fee for all four sessions. Pre-registration is required. Register today through the online store at noyesmuseum.org, or by phone at 609-561-8006.

The Noyes Studios in Hammonton is located at 15 Horton St. and provides five individual studio spaces for resident artists, plus a spacious educational common room for classes, workshops, and the Life Drawing and Painting sessions.

KOC presents check to Our Lady Star of Sea

On Feb. 12, Knights of Columbus Villa Marie Council No. 6342 presented a check for $ 1,000 to Our Lady Star of the Sea special needs classes.

This is the only Catholic school serving the Atlantic City area, and this is the only funding it receives for its special needs children, the council said. The council said it has supported this effort over the past six years, providing several thousand dollars. The collections are done throughout several weekends at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Absecon and the Church of the Assumption in Galloway Township, which is part of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.

This effort is one part of the Knights of Columbus Community Activities called the Intellectual Disabilities Program.

Brunch and Learn set

The Milton and Betty Katz JCC in Margate will host a Brunch and Learn event March 12 at 10:30 a.m.

Attendees will have brunch, followed by a speaker and a documentary on the big screen. This month, Rabbi Avraham Rapoport from Chabad at the Shore will discuss "When You Are Not in the Mood of Your Spouse." He will explain how a cryptic Talmudic passage that records the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago holds timely lessons for modern relationships. After the discussion, the documentary "Mamadrama, The Jewish Mother In Cinema," will be shown.

JCC Brunch and Learn is $3 for members and $5 for nonmembers paid in advance, or $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers day of program. For more information or to register and pay in advance, contact Josh Cutler at jcutler@jccatlantic.org or 609-822-1167, ext. 138.

Community Health Law Project seeks Sandy-affected residents

Due to the ongoing issues that victims of Hurricane Sandy continue to experience, Community Health Law Project has received a contract from the state Department of Human Services to work with residents affected by the storm who were or are living in Atlantic, Cape May, Bergen, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Essex and Union counties.

With this funding, the Community Health Law Project is able to provide legal assistance, as well as case management.

In an effort to reach residents currently in Cape May and Atlantic counties, a CHLP attorney and advocate will be able to meet with residents in its office or at a location close to their home. Call the Community Health Law Project at 856-858-9500.

Sorority hosting youth summit

On March 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Theta Kappa Omega Chapter will host "Imagine Greatness," its STEM program and Emerging Young Leaders Community Youth Summit, at the Alton Auditorium of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Galloway Township.

The STEM EXPO will consist of a series of interactive workshops conducted by representative professionals to drive awareness and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related subjects and careers. The EYL Community Youth Summit will help empower middle school students to make a difference in their communities. Youth scholars and community leaders will participate in a panel discussion of timely topics such as service to the community, effective leadership skills, character building and conflict resolution.

This event is open to students in sixth through eighth grade, free of charge. All participants will receive lunch and a snack. The event sponsored in part by the School of Natural Mathematics and Science of the Stockton College. For more information, call event chairs Timmel Brown at 267-632-5467 or LaGreta Brown at 609-238-0182.

Shabbat Unplugged planned

On March 7, Congregation Beth Israel in Northfield invites the community to unplug their electronics and enjoy an old-fashioned evening of family fun.

Shabbat Unplugged starts with Friday night services, followed by a family Shabbat dinner and bingo games. All ages are welcome. This event is part of a National Day of Unplugging designed to help people of all backgrounds embrace the ritual of a day of rest. For more information, see sabbathmanifesto.org/unplug.

The cost for the Shabbat Unplugged dinner is $10 per person or $25 per family. RSVP to the synagogue office at 609-641-3600 or to cookie.feldman@cbinorthfield.org. Congregation Beth Israel is located at 2501 Shore Road, Northfield.

Special needs open gym set

Dynamo Recreation Center in Galloway Township will host a special needs open gym from noon to 1 p.m. March 8.

The event is an opportunity for children to interact with others by engaging in fun fitness activities. The free open gym time is for children with special needs including but not limited to Autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger's, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADD and ADHD. Siblings are welcome, and a parent or caretaker will be required at all times in the gym to accompany their child. Children will enjoy an hour in the gym, to run around, jump on the trampolines, play in the in-ground foam pit and more.

For more information on Dynamo Recreation Center and the Special Needs Open Gym, call 609-748-2186. See dynamorecreationcenter.com.

Parents, preschoolers to learn about Purim

Parents and preschoolers are invited to a special program at Congregation Beth Israel in Northfield that will teach about the holiday of Purim through songs, stories and hands-on activities.

The program is part of the Beginnings series to engage the youngest congregants in meaningful Jewish activities. The Purim-themed Beginnings program will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. March 9 at Congregation Beth Israel, 2501 Shore Road, Northfield It is free and open to the community.

The Beginnings program is led by Rabbi David M. Weis and Cookie Feldman, Director of Education. RSVPs are requested to ensure that there are enough materials. RSVP to cookie.feldman@cbinorthfield.org, or for more information, call 609-641-3600.

Beth Judah offers summer, preschool registration

Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor is now opening registration for its "Jewel of the Isle' summer program as well as for preschool 2014-15.

there are multiple summer and preschool incentive packages including early or second-child enrollment, discounts for both sessions and for referring a friend, pay-in-full discounts and $$ credit toward preschool. The summer fun and preschool programs offer flexible schedules. Both programs include the use of technology, computers, and smart boards with age-appropriate software. No membership is required and all families are welcome.

To schedule a visit or for more information, contact Lynne Midelton at lynne.midelton@bethjudah.org or 609-822-7116, ext. 120.

PJ Library presents Purim-Palooza

PJ Library in Atlantic County will celebrate Purim from 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 10 with Purim-Palooza at the Milton and Betty Katz Jewish Community Center, 501 N. Jerome Ave., Margate.

Participants can bake hamentaschen, enjoy a pizza dinner and read a PJ Library Purim book on the big screen. The cost of admission is canned goods to be donated to the JFS Food Bank.

PJ Library is a Jewish family engagement program that mails free, high-quality Jewish children's literature and music to families across the continent on a monthly basis. Locally, PJ Library in Atlantic County is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, in partnership with Congregation Beth Judah, Congregation Beth Israel, the Milton and Betty Katz Jewish Community Center, the Board of Jewish Education and the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

All families raising Jewish children ages 6 months to 8 years and living in Atlantic or Cape May counties are eligible to sign up their children for free monthly Jewish books. Go to PJLibrary.org/communities or call 609-822-1854.

CASA offers info session

CASA for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties is recruiting volunteers and will hold an Information Session in Somers Point at 10 a.m. March 7 at the CASA Office on Shore Road.

Anyone interested in learning more about volunteering to help abused and neglected children should register by calling 609-601-7800 or emailing julie@atlanticcapecasa.org.

Trained CASA Volunteers advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system and are dedicated to ensuring these children are placed in safe permanent homes as quickly as possible. See AtlanticCapeCASA.org.

Congregation Beth Judah to celebrate Purim

Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor has a wide range of activities to celebrate the holiday of Purim, which begins on the evening of March 15.

Purim commemorates the Jewish community in Persia being spared extermination at the hands of Haman, vizier to King Achashverosh, due to the bravery of Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordechai. The events are recalled in the public chanting of the Biblical book of Esther, which recounts the entire story.

Beginning at 8 p.m. March 15, there will be a sing-a-long evening service, the chanting of the book of Esther, and a Purim Shpiel(play) - "Purim Clue: Who Killed Mrs. Vashti?" The Purim Shpiel is generally a humorous take on the biblical book of Esther. Continuing on Sunday morning, March 16, after morning services and the second reading of the book of Esther, Congregation Beth Judah welcomes to singer and songwriter Sam Glaser for a free family concert beginning at 10:30 a.m. The fun continues with the annual Purim carnival, featuring inflatable games and games of chance for all ages, followed by lunch in the Shushan court. The cost of the carnival is $12 per family, and the food court is a la carte.

The entire community is invited and welcomed to share in all of the festivities. Congregation Beth Judah serves all of Atlantic and Cape May counties, and is located at 700 N. Swarthmore Ave., Ventnor. For more information, call 609-822-7116.

SCOSA announces lecture for professionals working with older adults

The Stockton Center on Successful Aging's next professional workshop in the First Wednesday series is designed to help professionals working with older adults.

"Developing a Handicap Scale for Measurement of Dual Sensory Loss in Older Adults" is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 a.m. March 5 at the Health Center at Galloway, 66 West Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway Township. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Debra Busacco, assistant professor of Health Sciences at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and SCOSA Research Fellow (2013-14).

This presentation will focus on providing information on dual sensory loss in older adults. Information on the demographics of dual sensory loss in older adults will be presented and the physical, social and psychological impact of dual sensory loss will be shared. Busacco will present a scale she developed to assess the impact and handicapping effects of hearing and vision loss in this population. Statistical analyses related to the scale development will be discussed. Clinical implications of using the results of this scale to determine an older adult's candidacy for auditory and/or visual rehabilitation programs will be addressed.

The March 5 lecture will include a light breakfast. Upon completion, participants will receive one Continuing Education credit for Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Licensed Professional Counselors.

Online advance registration is required, see stockton.edu/scosa. For seminar information, contact David Burdick at 609-652-4311. For updates and cancellation procedures, see stockton.edu/scosa.

MCBA scholarship applications available

The Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association student scholarship and outstanding educator applications are now available online at mbcanj.com; click on Scholarships (to the right under Quick Links).

Student scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $1,500. The number of awards is determined by the amount of funds available in the scholarship foundation. Criteria include that the person be a resident of the greater Atlantic City region for at least two years; and be accepted or returning to an accredited higher education institution and working toward a degree or certification. Additional information pertaining to the award can be found on the application.

The MBCA also recognizes an area educator for his or her outstanding contributions to education. The Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award is a $1,500 grant and will be presented during the annual luncheon. The grant is for the purpose of obtaining supplies, equipment or purchasing student incentives related to his/her teaching. This award goes to an individual who is making a difference in the development of his/her students by being a positive role model, demonstrating resourcefulness, and utilizing innovating teaching techniques.

For full consideration, all applications must be submitted no later than March 15 at MBCA Offices, 1616 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401. For more information, contact Alex Marino, scholarship chair, at alexmarino@comcast.net, or see mbcanj.com.

The MBCA will hold its Annual Scholarship Foundation Awards Luncheon at noon April 29 at the Tropicana Casino/Hotel Resort. This year's keynote speaker is Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri. Tickets are $45 and available by calling 609-348-1903. Tables of 10 are available with signage.

Atlantic Cape offers 'Club 50 Plus' workshops

Atlantic Cape Community College's "Club 50 Plus" offers workshops to enhance the personal, professional and social lives of older learners this spring.

The workshops will be offered at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Building T; and the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road in Cape May Court House. Classes include:

March 7: iPad Basics

March 10: Intermediate Piano, runs for five Mondays

March 14: Introduction to the Personal Computer for Seniors, runs for five Fridays

March 21 and May 2: Fraud Recognition for Seniors

March 25: Grapes and the Ground They Grow In, runs for five Tuesdays

April 25 and May 2: Exploring the World via the Internet for Seniors

May 9: Manage, Edit and Email Your Photographs

May 16: Organize Your Photos and Videos in the Cloud

June 7: Publish Your Book, Guaranteed

Join Club 50 Plus for $5 and get a 20 percent discount on future club workshops, culinary and professional development through June 30. Mention code CEGN001-MW01. For workshop prices or to register, call 609-343-5655 or see atlantic.edu/conted.

Casino Career Institute offers training

Atlantic Cape Community College's Casino Career Institute is offering quick-start courses in Blackjack, Roulette or Baccarat.

The four-week courses teach fundamentals and emphasize game knowledge, chip value and card handling. New sections begin weekly. For a complete list of classes and to register, see atlantic.edu/cci or call 609-343-5655.

Atlantic Cape seeks distinguished alumni nominations

The Alumni Association Advisory Committee of Atlantic Cape Community College is seeking nominations for Atlantic Cape Community College President's Distinguished Alumni Award.

The award recognizes Atlantic Cape graduates who have distinguished themselves through professional, personal, public or community-based accomplishments. Past recipients include: Dr. Valerie Travis-Reese, practicing psychologist; Katherine M. Morris, Esq., partner, Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law; Michael R. Rann, Esq., Michael R. Rann Law Offices, LLC; and Janice DeCicco Fipp, Ed.D., superintendent, Northfield School District. The award winner will be announced and recognized at Atlantic Cape's graduation May 22.

The deadline for nominations is March 21. To nominate someone, go to atlantic.edu/alumni. Nominations after the deadline will be considered with next year's nominees.

SCOSA seeks volunteers

The Stockton Center on Successful Aging is seeking volunteers to participate in a research project on the campus of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 101 Vera King Farris Dr., Galloway Township.

This research is designed to explore the relationship between activity in the brain and thinking and memory. The research project, "Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind," is directed by Dr. Jessica Fleck, associate professor of psychology. While many are screened for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, skin cancers and other conditions is common for older adults, very few people have ever participated in a screening of brain health and function. The National Institute on Aging suggests that changes in the physical brain may occur a decade or more before changes in memory and thinking are observed. If so, early detection of changes in the physical brain is key to long-term health and vitality. The study is comprised of two sessions, each an hour to 90 minutes long. Fleck is looking for healthy participants who are between 45 and 64 years old.

For this project, participants must be right-handed and have no prior diagnosis of dementia, neurological disorder, or traumatic brain injury. The project involves the use of EEG, which measures electrical activity in the brain. Tests of memory and thinking will also be administered in a second session. Participants who score outside the normal range will be provided referrals for further neurological assessment.

Those who are interested in participating should contact Fleck and the Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind Research Team at 609-626-3444 or eeglab@stockton.edu to learn more.

Sons of St. Patrick plan dinner

The Atlantic County chapter of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick has announced that Atlantic City Fire Department veterans Norman Wilson and John Mistler will be honored as 2014 Outstanding Men of the Year at the society's 80th annual dinner and scholarship banquet on March 8 at the Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point.

The group also will award scholarships to two outstanding local students pursuing higher education next year. The black tie optional event also serves as a kickoff event for many St. Patrick's Day celebrations. For ticket information, call Patty Ferry at 609-289-1529 or e-mail friendlysons35@gmail.com.

Atlantic Cape offers online training

Atlantic Cape Community College's Continuing Education division, in partnership with Education to Go, is offering professionals the opportunity to upgrade their current skills and develop new talents through online training courses.

Concentrations include Business, Grant Writing/Nonprofits, Career Ideas, Career Development, Personal Enrichment, and Test Preparation. Students need Internet access, an email address and web browser. Courses begin every six weeks and consist of 12 lessons, quizzes, assignment, tutorials and online discussions. Most classes are $109.

See ed2go.com/accc or atlantic.edu/conted, or call 609-343-5655.

New to Medicare workshops set

Atlantic County residents interested in learning how to navigate the Medicare system and make informed decisions about Medicare coverage are invited to attend a free workshop in March at four locations.

The New to Medicare workshops are sponsored by the Atlantic County Division of Intergenerational Services in an effort to help newly enrolled Medicare participants or those who are soon to be eligible better understand the choices. The workshops will address enrollment, Medicare Parts A and B, Part D prescription drug coverage, supplemental coverage and Medicare Advantage Plans. Information about programs that help low-income beneficiaries offset the cost of Medicare premiums and co-pays will also be provided. The workshops will be held:

March 6, 5-7 p.m., Atlantic County Library System/Hammonton, 451 S. Egg Harbor Road.

March 13, 5-7 p.m., Atlantic County Library System/Ventnor, 6500 Atlantic Ave.

For more information, call the Division of Intergenerational Services at 888-426-9243.

Movie series set

Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor is presenting a movie series, "Jews and Muslims: Intimate Strangers."

The documentary series offers a deconstruction of 14 centuries of history shared between Jews and Muslims. Spanning the mythical times of Abraham through contemporary tensions, filmmaker Karim Miske explores the misunderstandings and omissions that have contributed to polarized identities and conflict.

The remaining viewings will take place at 7 p.m. March 17 and 31, with a discussion following each movie. RSVP to karen.mckinney@bethjudah.org or call 609-822-7116, ext 101. The entire community is welcome.

Group trip planned to Israel

Cantor Ed Kulp plans to take a group to Israel departing on Nov. 9. For information, contact Ethel Levinson of Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor at 609-822-7116, ext. 102, or ethel.levinson@bethjudah.org.

An information meeting is tentatively set for 10 a.m. March 30. Anyone interested in this trip is welcome to attend.

CONTACT luncheon set for April 27

CONTACT Cape-Atlantic will hold its 23rd annual auction and luncheon, Spring Sensation, on April 27 at Greate Bay Country Club, 901 Mays Landing Road, Somers Point. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. and features a luncheon and gifts.

Eddie Davis, host of the Lite Rock 96.9 Morning Show, will emcee the live auction. Guests will bid on gift certificates to area restaurants, shops and events, as well as many donations from area merchants. There will also be theme gift baskets, door prizes, bucket bingo and more. Tickets are $25.

For more information, tickets or to donate a gift item, call 823-1850 or 463-4564.

Women's Hall of Fame honorees announced

The Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame Board of Trustees has announced the names of the 2014 Hall of Fame Honorees.

The ceremony honors women who have made significant contributions to the Atlantic County community. Honorees were selected based on lasting contributions in areas including arts and entertainment, athletics, business, education, government and public service, journalism and media, law, medicine and health, philanthropy, science, social services and volunteerism. They are: Patricia Bailey, public service; Alisa Cooper, government and public service; Lori Herndon, business; Dorothy Saatkamp, volunteerism; Mindy Shemtov, social services; Corinne J. Sparenberg, education.

The induction ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. March 20 at Linwood Country Club. The cost is $75 per person. To register, call 609-645-3800.

Plein Air event set in Hammonton

The Noyes Museum Shop in Hammonton and the Hammonton Arts Center invites artists to Paint Downtown Hammonton, the seventh annual Plein Air event that has attracted artists from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, as well as many New Jersey artists.

Gathering throughout Hammonton on April 5, artists will paint at locations of their choice to capture the effects of natural light quickly. Cash prize awards will be given out and all paintings done during the event will be on display April 5-26 at the Hammonton Arts Center at 219 Bellevue Ave. All artists ages 18 and older are welcome to register. The registration fee is $30.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. when painters set up their easels all around town to document the vibrant culture of the Hammonton area. Paint Downtown Hammonton ends with a judging of the paintings at 5 p.m. and a wine and cheese reception to follow at the Hammonton Arts Center. Judging this year's competition is Michael Budden, an award-winning artist from New Jersey.

Till to be Katz gala honoree

The Milton and Betty Katz Jewish Community Center of Atlantic County announces the honoree of its 2014 annual Gala as Cookie Till, owner of Steve & Cookies restaurant in Margate.

The Gala is scheduled for March 22 at One Atlantic at the Pier Shops in Caesars, Atlantic City. For Gala sponsorship or ticket information, contact Julie Fink at 609-822-1167, ext. 159, or jfink@jccatlantic.org.

Katz JCC to hold Mahjong brunch

Come to the Katz JCC at 10:30 a.m. March 6 for a bagel brunch spread and a chance to play Mahjong with other players in the community. All players and skill levels are welcome. There also will be raffle prizes.

Registration is $15 for members and $18 nonmembers. Call Josh Cutler for more information or to register by phone at 609-822-1167, ext. 138, or email JCutler@jccatlantic.org. Spaces are limited.

Simulcast program features Wagner, Smith

Robert Wagner and Liz Smith will discuss the Golden Age of Hollywood live from New York's 92nd Street Y. The event will be presented at 8:15 p.m. March 11 as part of the Rabbi Dr. Gordon L. Geller Simulcast program at Temple Emeth Shalom in Margate.

Wagner will take a nostalgic look at the stars, their homes and stories of Hollywood from his perspective spanning five decades as an insider. Smith has worked in celebrity show business for 57 years, wrote for various New York newspapers and many magazines. She still writes a syndicated column. Self-described as "the 2000-year-old gossip columnist," she has also raised millions for various charities.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. A reception will follow the program. Call 609-822-4343 for more information.

Brigantine to start community theater

The Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission is joining with the Brigantine CER program to organize a community theater group on the island. The plan is to produce the play "Night Watch" by Louise Fletcher, tentatively to be performed at the North School Auditorium, July 18, 19 and 20.

Auditions are scheduled for 2 p.m. March 15 at the community center for all actors who would like to try out for this venture. The play's cast consists of nine people, four women and five men. Responders to the audition call should bring a one-minute monologue of their own choosing to perform on stage will be asked to read from the script.

An audition committee will make the cast selections after a call-back audition at 2 p.m. March 22. Director Tony Vraim plans to begin rehearsals in mid-May, which requires a commitment of three days each week, depending on the role the actor is playing. For more information or questions, call Joanne at 609-266-2806.

Arc introduces new signature event

The Arc of Atlantic County will host its first ever MonArc Awards, a new signature fundraising event that celebrates the individuals and corporate citizens who help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their greatest potential.

A focal point of the event will be a presentation of a special MonArc Butterfly Award, which will be given to Annie Damiano, of Galloway Township, an Arc service recipient. With her mom, Lisa, "Team Annie" has raised more than $10,000 to support The Arc's work in four years through the agency's annual Step Up for The Arc Walk. The Arc also will honor Irv Singer of Margate, founder and chairman of the I. Rice and Company Golfing for Good Tournament and manager of the Arc's Northfield thrift store, and Steve Kuhl and Joe DiMedio of I. Rice and Company, presenting sponsor of the golf tournament, which has raised more than $250,000 for The Arc's recreation program in five years.

The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. March 12 at the Carriage House in Galloway Township and will feature a complimentary wine and beer reception, a silent and chance auction, music duo by Kenny i, professional photo opportunities for each guest, a video presentation and seated dinner. The Arc is seeking advertisers for the event program book, auction donations, sponsors, underwriters, attendees and cash donations. Tickets are $100 and ads start at $50 for a name listing.

For more information, call Patrick Manion at 609-485-0800, ext. 135, or pmanion@arcatlantic.org, or see arcatlantic.org/events/TributeDinner.asp.

Low-income families can get free tax assistance

The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey will provide free tax assistance for low-income families in the area through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, a locally run IRS-supported tax preparation service that is free for residents making a total household income of less than $52,000 per year.

UWGPSNJ uses IRS-trained volunteers to help qualified individuals with tax preparation, ensuring that they obtain the full refund available. Individuals can receive free one-on-one tax filing support at tax assistance sites, or eligible individuals making a household income of less than $57,500 can also file their state and federal taxes for free online through United Way's My Free Taxes initiative. UWGPSNJ also helps to connect working individuals with resources for financial education, covering topics such as establishing good credit, budgeting and long-term money management skills to help them build assets and save for the future. In Atlantic County, VITA sites are located at:

Carnegie Library Center, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City

Family Success Center, 3050 Spruce Ave., Egg Harbor Township

Egg Harbor City Library, 134 Philadelphia Ave., Egg Harbor City

Hammonton Family Success Center, 310 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton

United Way, 4 East Jimmie Leeds Road Suite 10, Galloway Township

Appointments are required in advance and can be made by calling 211. See UnitedForImpact.org/VITA.

Sons of Italy awarding scholarship

Antonio Meucci Mainland Lodge No. 2613 of the Order Sons of Italy in America is awarding the Eugene and Barbara Compton Scholarship of $2,500 to a graduating high school senior of the Class of 2014.

The recipient must be of Italian heritage residing in Somers Point, Linwood, Northfield, Pleasantville, Absecon or Egg Harbor Township. Specifications for receiving the reward include, in order of importance, Essay, Academics, Financial Need, Community Service, Leadership, Recognition/Awards, and Scholastic Activities. The deadline for the receipt of applications is March 31.

Students may apply through their school's guidance office. Call 609-646-0299 for more information.

MBCA mixer benefits Seashore Gardens

The Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association will hold a March Madness mixer to benefit Seashore Gardens Living Center from 5 to 8 p.m. March 10 at Sofia's in Margate.

Tickets are $25, which includes food, cash bar and live entertainment. Those interested in attending are encouraged to buy their tickets by calling the MBCA at 609-348-1903 as space is filling fast. Groups that buy 10 tickets will get one extra ticket free. Sofia's is at 9314 Amherst Ave. All attending guests will receive free parking.

For more information, contact Sharon D'Angio at 609-748-4614 or dangios@seashoregardens.org.

Evening of Inspiration fundraiser planned

On March 8, Alesia Shute will host the fifth annual Evening of Inspiration fundraiser at Mays Landing Country Club, 1855 Cates Road, Mays Landing to raise money for research and treatment of pediatric cancer.

The event from 6 to 11 p.m. will include a complimentary cocktail hour and dinner, with live music by the Jim White Band. A silent art auction will take place, featuring the works Corey Petit, of Vineland. As in past years, monies from the evening's fundraising event will also be used to help make hospital stays for children more comfortable and to fund research.

Tickets are $80 and are tax deductible. Corporate sponsorships packages are also available, with levels from $500 to $5,000. Tickets and sponsorships are available at everythingsokaybook.com. For more information about the benefit, visit everythingsokaybook.com or contact Corey Blake at corey@roundtablecompanies.com or call 847-682-3493.

Register for Stockton summer classes

Summer classes at Richard Stockton College are now open for registration for both matriculated and non-matriculated students.

The college is offering four summer sessions. For classes, there are two six-week sessions and one 10-week session; a 12-week session is for internships and independent studies. More than 287 courses - 70 of them offered totally online - will be offered at the Galloway main campus and the Manahawkin and Hammonton instructional sites. Tuition and fees will not increase for 2014 summer courses. For one credit, the summer session rates are:

Undergraduate, in-state tuition is $229.09; $123.22 education and general fees; and $31.95 facilities fees.

Undergraduate, out-of-state tuition is $413.36; fees same as above.

Master's, in-state tuition is $543.11; $129.70 educational and general fees; $33.63 facilities fees.

Master's, out-of-state tuition is $836.04; fees same as above.

Doctoral, in-state tuition is $597.42; $129.70 education and general fees; and $33.63 facilities fees.

Doctoral, out-of-state tuition is $961.45; fees same as above.

An additional fee for transportation and safety is charged once in the summer term, not per credit.

For more information, visit the Office of the Registrar at intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=190&pageID=1

Spots open on summer Israel trip

Congregation Beth Israel invites community members to join the congregation on a trip to Israel led by Rabbi David and Susan Weis this summer, June 25-July 6.

Departing from Newark International Airport, the trip to Israel will include stops in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, Tzfat, the Dead Sea and Masada. Highlights of activities include: Tree planting in the Biblical Nature Reserve; camel rides and Bedouin hospitality in the Negev; chocolate making workshop at the DeKarina Chocolate Factory; a b'nai mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem; an early morning walk to the fortress of Masada, followed by a float in the Dead Sea; a visit with artist David Friedman in his studio in Tzfat; a trip to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum; a nature walk to the waterfall in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve; a visit with an Ethiopian family to hear about their incredible journey home to Israel; Shabbat in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

A limited number of spaces are still available. For more information, contact bethisrael@cbinorthfield.org or 609-641-3600.

MBA scholarships available

The Margate Business Association's Daniel and Maria Walters Scholarship Program is now accepting submissions.

The program awards two $2,500 college scholarships to high school seniors who have attended Margate City schools. Qualifications include the submission of three references (unrelated to the applicant), providing a list of activities and awards and writing a 300- to 500-word essay on the following:

What does the phrase "making a difference" mean to you? How you have made a significant difference in some aspect of school, family and your community? As you sum up your essay, look beyond your graduation day and speculate how you plan to make a difference through your chosen career.

Identities of the applicants are not known to the judges. The deadline for submission is March 24. Scholarship winners will be announced in June. Applications can be downloaded at marvelousmargate.com or by calling 609-822-1129.

Arts workshops for teens set

Teens who are interested in the visual and performing arts are invited to participate in a variety of Saturday workshops through April as part of the Atlantic County Teen Arts Academy.

The goal of the Teen Arts Academy is to provide area young people with greater arts education opportunities and to enhance the skills needed in preparation for college or a professional program. The Teen Arts Academy is a collaborative effort of area arts organizations and educational institutions to provide teens with new opportunities for learning in the visual, performing and literary arts.

Workshops include Creative Writing: Zines for Teens; Printmaking; Watercolor Painting; Songwriting; Musical Theatre Styles and Audition; Digital Self-Portraiture and more. Each workshop is three hours at a cost of $30, which includes materials. All participants must register. A minimum of seven registrants is required for each workshop to proceed. Registration is available at noyesmuseum.org or in person at any of the following locations: Noyes Museum of Art/Stockton College, 733 Lily Lake Road, Oceanville, 609-652-8848; the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College, 2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City, 609-626-3805; and the Noyes Museum Shop, 5 S. Second St., Hammonton, 609-561-8006.

For more information, contact the Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at cmasonpurdie@aclsys.org or 609-646-8699, ext. 6314, Monday-Friday.

Retro dance party to benefit Alcove Center

The Alcove Center For Grieving Children and Families and greatest hits radio station KOOL 98-3 are teaming up March 7 to present the Alcove A Go Go, a retro dance party featuring the soundtrack of the disco era and beyond.

The event is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Boogie Nights at the Tropicana Casino and Resort. The party will be broadcast live on KOOL 98-3. In addition to the dancing and the live radio broadcast, guests will enjoy complimentary light fare plus drink specials from a cash bar. The party will also feature live and silent auctions. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best disco outfits and prizes will be awarded for the best and most authentic retro wardrobe. Tickets for The Alcove A Go Go are $75. Groups of four can purchase tickets for $240, a $60 savings. Parties of 10 are $500, a savings of $250. Tickets are available through thealcove.org or by calling 609-484-1133.

Proceeds will support the mission and programs of the Alcove Center For Grieving Children and Families, a nonprofit based in Northfield.

Jan-Ai scholarships available

Scholarships ($500-$1,000) are now available from the Jan-Ai Scholarship Fund to high school seniors pursuing a college degree in the arts to include the following: music, visual arts, theater and dance. Visit the website to download the application. May 12 is the deadline for all applications.

Since April 2007, $93,919 in scholarships and cash awards have been given to 236 recipients. The goal is to make that $100,000 by 2014. Donors can give via PayPal, jan-aischolar.org, or sending a check or money order to PO Box 8068, Atlantic City, NJ 08404.

The Jan-Ai Scholarship Fund was created to honor the memory of Ventnor native Jennifer Cakert, who died at age 26 in June 2006. It was established to help young people follow their passion in the arts.

Art exhibit highlights A.C.'s Northside

The Noyes Arts Garage: Stockton College presents Floretta Schiff Mostovoy's "Visions from the Northside," a unique and provocative exhibition based on the people, sights, and underlying racial tension of Atlantic City's Northside, through March 6.

Hailing from New York City, Floretta Schiff Mostovoy began private art lessons at age 8 and graduated high school with a degree in fashion illustration in the middle of the Great Depression.

After working as a fashion illustrator for an advertising agency for several years, Mostovoy met her husband, Ira, aboard a cruise ship. The couple opened a fishing supply shop in the heart of Atlantic City's Northside, where Mostovoy continued freelance fashion sketches for local department stores and her husband worked on his photography. While living in Atlantic City's Northside, Mostovoy's subjects were usually her neighbors. Her paintings remind viewers of the affinity between blacks and Jews through their common heritage of oppression and shared fear of random violence.

For more information about the exhibits, events and artists of Noyes Arts Garage: Stockton College, call 609-626-3805 or visit artsgarageac.com.

Agricultural sciences scholarship available

A $500 college scholarship is available to an Atlantic County high school senior pursuing a degree in agricultural sciences.

For more information, call the Rutgers Cooperation Extension Master Gardener program at 609-625-0056 or see rutgers-atlantic.org/garden.

Latz's to exhibit work by Zerbe

Carol Zerbe, a retired artist-educator and resident of Somers Point, is presenting an exhibit of watercolors, "Light and Location," at the second level dining room of Latz's by the Bay Restaurant, 801 Bay Ave., Somers Point, through April 30. All of the exhibit pieces are for sale.

For more information about Latz's by the Bay, call 609-788-8838 or visit LatzsByTheBay.com; for information about Great Bay Gallery, 829 Bay Ave., Somers Point, call 609-653-4991 or visit greatbayartgallery.com.

Free income tax-return preparation offered

The following Atlantic County sites will offer free tax-return service by certified counselors with the AARP/IRS tax aide program. Appointments are required at the following locations:

Atlantic County Library System/Ventnor, Mondays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., call 609-677-8266.

Atlantic County Library System/Galloway Township, Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., call 609-677-8266.

Atlantic City Free Public Library, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., call 609-677-8266.

Atlantic County Library System/Brigantine, Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., call 609-677-8266.

Atlantic County Library System/Pleasantville, Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., call 609-677-8266.

AtlantiCare Life Center, Egg Harbor Township, Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., call 888-569-1000.

Atlantic County Library System/Brigantine, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., call 609-677-8266.

Walk-ins are welcome at:

Shore Memorial Hospital, 100 Medical Center Way, Somers Point, Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

For more information, call 609-335-7805 and leave a message.

Atlantic Cape's culinary workshops offer taste of global cuisine

The Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing offers amateur chefs and food enthusiasts opportunities to learn how to prepare three- and four-course dinners with an international flair without leaving South Jersey. Chef Jon Davies of Cape May leads the "An Evening in …" series this semester.

Discover the flavors of the Caribbean in An Evening in Jamaica, April 8. Explore the influences of Spain, Africa and others on these recipes, including jerked chicken, curried goat, mashed plantains and gizzada sweet coconut tart.

Classes take place at Atlantic Cape's Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Kitchen 2. All classes take place 6-9 p.m. and cost $75 each. To register, call 609-343-5655, or visit atlantic.edu/conted.

SCOSA presents local history craft workshops

The Stockton Center on Successful Aging is sponsoring a yearlong series of craft workshops for older adults at the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College, 733 Lily Lake Road, Oceanville. The winter/spring schedule, presented by Niki Giberson of Swan Bay Folk Art Center in Port Republic, is:

Weave a Wool Drying Basket, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. March 15. Notched handles and legs make this a useful knitting or chair side basket 14-by-14-inches square. $38 materials fee collected by the Noyes Museum at time of registration.

Easter Tree with Felted Ornaments, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 5. Learn the art of needle-felting. Complete seven ornaments and take them home with the tree, which is 18 inches high and 10 inches at its widest point. $50 materials fee collected by the Noyes Museum at time of registration.

Tote Basket with Wooden Handle, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May 17. A basket for magazines, file folders or books, 8-by-15-by-15 inches. $40 materials fee collected by the Noyes Museum at time of registration.

Water Needle Felted Bag, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 21. Learn the art of water felting to create a designer purse 6-by-8-inches. $25 materials fee collected by the Noyes Museum at time of registration.

The workshops will be presented by Niki Giberson, SCOSA volunteer art instructor, owner and operator of Swan Bay Farm in Port Republic. Giberson has been teaching basket-making and felting for many years. The wool used in her felting projects is sheared from the sheep that live on the farm, Swan Bay Folk Art Center and Farm in Port Republic.

Advance registration is required; call 609-652-8848. See stockton.edu/scosa for more information, updates and cancellation procedures.

SCOSA presents craft workshops at Noyes

The Stockton Center on Successful Aging is sponsoring a yearlong series of craft workshops for older adults at the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College, 733 Lily Lake Road, Oceanville.

The Winter/Spring schedule, presented by Diamond Frandsen of the Ivy Cottage, is as follows:

Woven Mason Jar and Flowers (two sessions), 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. March 13 and April 24. Session 1, use natural materials with colorful additions and original over/under weaving techniques to cover the outside of a mason jar (level: intermediate). Session 2, use a specially designed flower frog and fresh flowers and greens to create a floral arrangement for your jar. All materials and tools provided by instructor. Participants must attend both sessions. $40 materials fee collected by the Noyes Museum at time of registration.

South Jersey Berry Basket, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. June 12. Create a 3-inch round heirloom basket with unique handle using natural materials and colorful accents with three different weaving techniques. Level: Intermediate. $25 materials fee collected by the Noyes Museum at time of registration.

The workshops will be presented by Diamond Frandsen, SCOSA volunteer art instructor, fiber artist/custom designer and owner of the Ivy Cottage. Advance registration is required; call 609-652-8848. See stockton.edu/scosa for more information, updates and cancellation procedures.

VA mobile medical clinic available

The Wilmington VA Medical Center's Mobile Outreach Clinic will be available on the Richard Stockton College campus monthly during the academic year.

The clinic will be available on campus every third Tuesday - March 18 and April 15. The mobile units offer the following services to veterans:

Primary care services including history and physicals, management of acute and chronic illnesses, women's health, and patient education

Ancillary services: Immunizations (including flu and pneumonia vaccines), lab services (including blood draws, urine specimens, etc.)

Social worker available for assistance with eligibility/enrollment, mental health referrals, and identification of resources available to veterans.

Lou Holtz to speak at Stainton brunch

The Shore Medical Center Foundation has announced that college football coach, television analyst and author Lou Holtz will be the featured speaker at the 25th annual Stainton Society Thank You Brunch in Atlantic City on May 4.

Members of the Stainton Society, the foundation's largest fundraising organization, and the Stainton Associates, whose membership is comprised of the next generation of philanthropic leaders, will be invited to listen to Holtz as he discusses how to overcome steep challenges with hard work, discipline and a tenacious spirit.

Stainton Society and Stainton Associates members play a vital role in the growth of Shore Medical Center and its continuing mission to provide the highest quality care to the community. To join the Stainton Society or Stainton Associates and secure an invitation to this year's Thank You Brunch, call 609-653-3800, email foundation@ShoreMedicalCenter.org or see GiveToShore.org.

Body in Balance hosting events

Body in Balance in Linwood hosts many events for health and wellness.

BIG exercise class, every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. and every Friday from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Chair Zumba, every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon.

Chair Yoga every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m.

Balance Class every Thursday from 8 to 9 a.m.

Parkinson's group exercise every Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m.

Parkinson's caregiver support group every Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m.

Parkinson's support group for the patient every Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 609-365-8499.

K-Loc Education Center offers events

The K-Loc Education Center, 904 S. Main Street, Pleasantville, is offering health-related and educational events.

The K-Loc Healthy Kids Fitness program is now offering individual, group or families classes to improve their lifestyle and healthy living. The Choose to Move, Train and Lose program is designed for people who prefer a one on one class with a personal trainer on their own schedule. Free fitness evaluation, participants can be referred to staff nutritionist for consultation and healthy eating evaluation. Regular class fees are $5 per session.

Classes are held at K-Loc Education Center and Personal Training Studio, 904 South Main St., Pleasantville (American Legion building). Call Kyle Lockett at 609-674-7605 or Vivian Lockett at 843-467-0068 to schedule an appointment.

'Joseph Project' planned in Margate

The Beth El Abram and Rose Weiss Hebrew School, under the supervision of teacher Tamar Spanier, once again will sponsor "The Joseph Project."

Spanier and students go to local stores to purchase new coats, gloves, hats and other winter clothing essentials for adults and children who otherwise would not have these items. The community's assistance is requested in sponsoring needy families in the area - donors are asked to bring or mail a monetary donation to Beth El Synagogue to help purchase new coats. The coats will be distributed by Jewish Family Service, which helps the entire community, regardless of nationality or religion.

Checks should be made payable to "Beth El Youth Account" and mailed to Beth El Synagogue, PO Box 3133, Margate, NJ 08402. For more information, call 609-823-2725.

Tickets on sale for Chefs at Shore fundraiser

Give a taste of the area's finest restaurants this season, while giving back to a good cause - the organizers of the annual Chefs at the Shore are making tickets available early specifically for holiday gifts.

The 2014 Chefs at the Shore fundraiser is scheduled for 5:30 to 9 p.m. June 19 at Historic Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City. The event showcases some of the area's finest food while it funds educational programming at the Atlantic City Aquarium. Proceeds also go to fund chef educational programs and scholarships for culinary students for the Professional Chefs Association.

Tickets are $50 each and will be provided in a box suitable for gift-wrapping. Tickets are available at the Atlantic City Aquarium, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, or by contacting michelle@acaquarium.com or 609-348-2880, ext. 25.

Electric bill assistance available

Atlantic City Electric reminds customers that they have options to apply for energy assistance.

The TRUE Grant program assists customers who are ineligible for low-income programs by providing as much as $750 toward their Atlantic City Electric bill. See ahanjtrue.org or call 732-982-8710 for more information.

The Universal Service Fund helps ensure energy bills are more affordable for eligible customers. See energyassistance.nj.gov or call 800-510-3102.

The New Jersey Statewide Heating Assistance and Referral for Energy Services (New Jersey SHARES) program provides assistance to New Jersey customers in need of temporary help paying their energy bills. New Jersey SHARES is a statewide, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides grants to pay the energy and utility bills of households in need, through a statewide network of more than 250 community-based social service agencies. Visit njshares.org or call 866-657-4273.

The federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides help for numerous households each year. Call 800-510-3102 or see energyassistance.nj.gov.

Lifeline is a utility assistance program that offers $225 to people who meet certain income guidelines. This benefit includes utility customers as well as tenants whose utility bills are included in their rent. Call 800-792-9745 for information.

For more information about energy assistance programs, visit nj211.org or call 211 - New Jersey's non-emergency helpline, available 24/7 in the state.

Customers also can contact Atlantic City Electric's Customer Care Center at 800-642-3780 and ask about Budget Billing or register for My Account, a web-based interactive tool that is free and easy to use. My Account provides customers with a detailed analysis of their specific electric use and offers ways to save energy and save money on their monthly energy bill.

DVDs requested for troops

AMVETS Post 911 in Somers Point is requesting used DVDs of movies to send to U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas.

Donations of good condition DVDs will be accepted at the following locations: Chester's Pastry Pantry Bakery, 506 New Road,Somers Point; Bennett Chevrolet, 6721 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township. Cash donations will be accepted to pay for mailing DVDs. Checks made payable to "AMVETS Post 911 NJ" can be sent to AMVETS Post 911 NJ, PO Box 413, Somers Point, NJ 08244.

Jazz scholarship available

The Somers Point Jazz Society has announced the creation of a $1,000 jazz scholarship program for high school student musicians from Atlantic and Cape May counties.

The purpose is to help students gain experience with a qualified jazz educator. For an application, contact the Somers Point Jazz Society at 609-927-6677 or through spjazz.org. An MP3 or CD sampling of the student's work must accompany the application. Applications should be sent to PO Box 329, Somers Point, NJ 08244. A scholarship presentation will take place in May.

This program is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Local Arts Grant administered by Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs and Shore Medical Center.

Village by the Shore now accepting members

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties has announced that its newest initiative, Village by the Shore, is now accepting members.

This nondenominational program offers services and socializing for Atlantic County adults 50 and older through a concierge style. People can now take advantage of a special introductory rate of $18 per month or $180 a year. The Village is not a physical place, but a movement enhancing the people's lives to get the most from their community at any stage of life. One call offers "one-stop shopping" with access and referrals to preferred service providers, specialists and social services. Benefits include resource and referral concierge, visits, phone check-ins, care coordination and transportation as well as local lectures, concerts, workshops and classes.

For more information on Village by the Shore or to get involved, call 609-822-1109 or email villagejfs@jfsatlantic.org. To learn more about agency events, services and programs, see jfsatlantic.org.

Gilda's Club to hold writing contest

Gilda's Club South Jersey is calling all teen writers and poets for its seventh annual "It's Always Something" Writing Contest. If you have survived cancer, have watched a family member or friend deal with cancer, or have watched someone your own age go through cancer, we want to hear your story.

Needed are honest and personal essays or poetry from students in ninth through 12th grades. Essays must be between 500 and 1,000 words. Essays and poems should be typed and double spaced. Writings will not be returned. Writings, along with a completed contest entry form, must be postmarked by March 14. Winners will be selected by May 9. For more information and a contest entry form, contact Beth at Beth@gildasclubsouthjersey.org.

Stockton to host Pinelands Short Course

Richard Stockton College will host the 25th annual Pinelands Short Course on March 8, a daylong educational event that explores the unique ecology, culture and history of New Jersey's Pinelands.

The course is open to the public and includes sessions on topics such as wildlife, plants, land-use/recreation and history and culture. Nonprofit organizations and other groups may distribute information and sell Pinelands-themed books and artwork in an exhibition gallery. New Jersey educators who attend can earn professional development credits through the state Department of Education. The course will take place in Stockton's Campus Center and in the new Unified Science Center, set to open this fall.

Tickets are $40, with discounts available for senior citizens and students. For schedule and brochure, see nj.gov/pinelands.

Multi-Care Center seeks volunteers

Looking to give back? Our Lady's Multi-Care Center in Pleasantville needs volunteers who are at least 14 years old.

Opportunities include: helping with resident outings, helping office staff, playing board games and bingo, card games, serving meals, friendly visits, welcoming guests, playing music or singing for guests, transporting residents to and from daily Mass at the on-site chapel, and arts and crafts. Call Shalini at 609-677-6369.

Our Lady's is located at 1100 Clematis Ave., Pleasantville.

Small Sandy Survivors group set

New Jersey Hope and Healing presents Small Sandy Survivors, a creative, interactive workshop that offers support and education to children ages 5-10 who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The events are free. Counselors are available to meet with parents during the workshop. To find a workshop in your area, call 609 652-3800, ext. 308. New Jersey Hope and Healing is sponsored by the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Disaster and Terrorism Branch, through a FEMA grant in partnership with Mental Health Association in New Jersey.